Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 1, Episode 11

images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating: Good

Not wanting to jeopardize his status with his relatively new allies the Tau’ri (humans on Earth), Teal’c keeps a secret from his human companions -- he has a wife and young son on Chulak.  Teal’c's son is nearing the age when Jaffa are implanted with a Goa’uld larva.  Teal’c understands the connection between the Jaffa being Goa’uld slaves, and the lifelong dependence upon having a Goa’uld larva.  He wants to break the cycle by preventing implantation in his son.  Teal’c risks everything to return to Chulak.  Reluctantly, General Hammond green lights SG-1 for a mission to Chulak -- get Teal’c’s son.  And, maybe, snag a Goa'uld larva, or two.

Back on Chulak, Teal’c discovers some of the consequences for his defiance of Apophis.  His house is destroyed, and his family is missing.  Teal’c encounters one old acquaintance, his first teacher, the Jaffa Bra’tac.  Master Bra’tac knows the Goa’uld are not gods, but remains in service to the Goa’uld doing what he can to help their victims, and also doing what he can to work against the Goa'uld.  He longs for the time when the Jaffa will be free of Goa’uld oppression, and the need for implantation.

Pleased to see Teal’c, and unimpressed by the humans of SG-1, Bra’tac leads Teal’c to his son.  Opponents, both expected and unexpected, attempt to interfere, to keep Teal’c from stopping the implantation of a Goa’uld larva in his son.  Overcoming all other challenges, one small adversary forces Teal’c to choose between allowing the implantation, or watching his son die.

This episode allows a peek at another side of Teal’c, something other than Teal’c being a fearsome warrior.  Aspects of Jaffa society are slowly revealed.  The society is very complex, with many layers of class, and societal constraints for interaction.  Jaffa are a contradiction: proud, intelligent, warriors; and yet also subjugated, superstitious, slaves.

Most of the Jaffa introduced in the series are like Teal’c.  Stoic, not much for smiling, and quiet.  Bra’tac is quick to smile, with a sharp wit, and is quite a talker.  Tony Amendola is wonderful as Bra’tac, saving Jaffa behavior from being one note.  He uses his talent to breathe life into Bra’tac.  Bravo, sir.

Neil Denis is Rya’c, and Salli Richardson-Whitfield is Drey’auc.  Denis as Rya’c is good, cute without being precocious or annoying.  Richardson-Whitfield performs well.

11th episode broadcast.
10th episode in the DVD set.

It makes sense that Teal’c is willing to fight his way out of SGC to get to Chulak.  It doesn’t make sense that SG-1’s mission to Chulak was suddenly given a go.  I know that many in the SGC care about Teal’c, but it was such a quick turnaround,  felt like I blinked and missed something.

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