Stargate SG-1: Spirits and Touchstone
You’d think as someone who wants to do freelance or regular work for online blogs and communities that I would be better at maintaining my own blog. You’d think that. You’d also think I could actually follow through with a committment to spend a whole month blogging through a season of a tv show. It’s just 10-11 blogs per month, at two episodes per blog! How hard can that be? 4 weeks in a month, 7 days in a week…
Stargate SG-1 – Season Two – Episode 13 – Spirits
Up front: I’m not a big fan of this episode.
Trinium, a new metal discovered by one of the SG teams, is what SG-1 is searching for as they find a planet with large quantities of it. They are following on the footsteps of SG-11, who went missing on the planet in search of this rare metal. But when the Stargate dials into Stargate Command, an arrow made of this super dense yet lightweight metal is shot through the Stargate and right through Jack O’Neill’s arm. Jack is now out for a few days as he recovers, so SG-1, led by Samantha Carter, goes through the Stargate on their own. (Sam’s first command!)
On the planet, SG-1 discovers the local natives, who are essentially Native American Indians. They say that the Spirits of the planet took SG-11. SG-11’s mining operation was against the will of the Spirits and damaging to the environment, and when SG-11 refused to disarm the charges that were already set, the Spirits whisked them away. Certain enough, when Daniel gets through to the natives (and the Spirits), they literally part the mists and reveal SG-11, who no recollection of any time having passed.
Sam convinces one of the natives to come back to Stargate Command with them to discuss alternative mining operations. Together with SG-11, they return to the SGC, where no matter which method is proposed, the natives are against it. Litereally, the only option open to the SGC, is to ask the Spirits to send trinium down the mountain rivers and then gather it in pans, similar to pan gold mining. Yet that’s not good enough for the government of the United States, who order Hammond to order SG-1 to give the finger to the natives and do what must be done.
At this point, it’s revealed that SG-11 is actually the Spirits in disguise…who are not even true spirits, but aliens living invisibly amongst the natives. SG-1 convinces the aliens to be more open and honest with the natives instead of letting them be revered as supernatural spirits, and negotiations are underway for more methods of obtaining trinium.
Yuck yuck yuck. Let’s combine almost every element in politics that I react to, and you get this episode.
Pretty certain this is the episode where Richard Dean Anderson had appendix surgery, but I could be wrong.
Moving on. Best to forget this piece of crap.
Stargate SG-1 – Season Two – Episode 14 – Touchstone
Much, much better episode…
SG-1 returns to the planet Madrona, where they intend to study a unique Touchstone that allows the natives to control the weather. But, crap, the Touchstone has been stolen, and the planet is experiencing a monsoon basically. The natives accuse SG-1 of stealing it, and they barely convince them to let them go back to Earth to find out what happened to it. But the clock is ticking.
Investigating, SG-1 discovers the second Stargate has been used, but it’s not under normal government control. They discover Colonel Maybourne is somehow involved, and some shadowy group is preventing General Hammond from connecting with the President. Things are being orchestrated against them. Maybourne has been transferred to Area 51, and SG-1 goes to investigate. They discover that the Stargate that Area 51 thought they had was actually a fake. Thinking outside the box, they realize a specific type of aircraft would be necessary to transport something the size of the Stargate, and what do you know, one was spotted landing in Utah.
They arrive at the air field to discover the real Stargate and a bunch of individuals whom SG-1 is under orders to not fire upon on any condition. Of course, they immediately are under fire. SG-1 recovers the Touchstone, the shadow individuals escape through the Stargate, and the weather is restored to the planet Madrona.
Much better. I love episodes that feature Maybourne. He’s probably not remembered all that much in the greater Stargate mythos, but he’s a wonderful foil for Jack O’Neill. The two have a unique relationship and interaction style that is fun to watch, similar to Jack and Daniel. Seeds are planted in this episode for shadow government organizations that exist through the rest of the Stargate franchise, well into Stargate Universe.
And the idea of a device that controls the weather is pretty neat, especially the twist that it’s removal basically spells disaster for the planet.
Good episode. Lots of action, intrigue, and just a touch of science fiction.