Monday, August 22, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 1, Episode 14

images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating: Excellent

SG-1 gates to a planet to help SG-7 document an astronomical event.  Stargate Command (SGC) established an observatory on the planet three months earlier.  The planet’s residents are human (probably snatched from Earth by Goa’ulds, but it is never mentioned).  They are peaceful, and live in a nearby village with an agrarian society.  SG-1 finds the body of a native near the stargate.  With more searching, they find additional bodies.  Something killed SG-7, and everyone in the village, except for one survivor.  After taking the survivor back to the SGC, a chain of events is set in motion, which may end with the destruction of SGC and the deaths of many people on Earth.

Katie Stuart is wonderful as Cassandra.  She does not speak at first, yet even in silence, Ms. Stuart eloquently expresses her character’s emotions.  Kudos to Ms. Stuart.  Stargate SG-1’s ensemble cast act as a cohesive unit, supporting each other, and doing well individually.  Kevin McNulty makes another appearance as Dr. Warner, which is always a pleasure.

General Hammond, from this episode, “ … the decision is quite easy.  The consequences are what’s difficult.”

A slam-bang, rollicking, shoot-em-up action sequence can be thrilling.  However, such scenes get stale if the heroes never have to face tough questions.  Such as what to do when the enemy isn’t a gun-slinging alien bent on destroying the Earth, but an innocent who, through no fault of their own, is a threat.  Sometimes, there is not a good choice to resolve a situation, only the right choice.  Stargate SG-1 shines by asking these types of questions, and by not shying away from the hard answers.  The show reflects on such questions from the point of view of being Earth’s front line defense from alien attack, and from the viewpoint of complex individuals absorbing the realization that there isn’t always a “happily ever after” option.

“Singularity” is an example of why the show lasted for 10 seasons.  It has it all: action, emotion, and some new developments that keep the series fresh.

14th episode broadcast.
15th episode in the DVD set.

Amanda Tapping is an excellent actor.  Sam Carter (Tapping’s character) is an experienced Air Force officer.  Carter gets super weepy at times in this episode.  I think that Tapping is skillful enough to show Carter conveying the same intensity, and type, of emotion without all the tears.  I think Carter’s sogginess is about underestimating the audience.  We do not have to see a character that is portrayed by a talented actor crying to the point of risking dehydration to “get” that they are not happy.

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