Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 1, Episode 2

"The Enemy Within"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overal Rating: Very Good

Occurring within a day, or so, of the events in “Children of the Gods,” the title says it all. The new Stargate Command, Earth’s main line of defense against the Goa’uld, and base to the SG teams, is rife with enemies, and their goals are woven together.

The Goa’uld: who are attempting to attack Earth through the stargate, but an iris shield covering the stargate (installed in “Children of the Gods”) prevents completion of their assaults.  Teal’c: still thought of as the enemy by many, but not by the members of SG-1.  Colonel Kennedy: who views Teal’c as a specimen for study, is sent to Stargate Command with orders to take Teal’c away for questioning, and testing. And, the one enemy no one is aware of: a young Goa’uld larva, which attached itself to Kawalsky during the fight to escape Chulak, Teal’c’s home planet, during the previous episode.

The entire episode is set in the underground headquarters of Stargate Command. There isn’t much opportunity for the characters to stretch and grow within this episode, with two exceptions: General Hammond, and Major Kawalsky.

Don S. Davis’ portrayal of General George Hammond is given room to show Hammond as being the perfect person to be in charge of Stargate Command.  Humane, but not naive, nor a pushover. He never forgoes his orders, yet never forgets that he is dealing with unique individuals, and the lives of actual people, all while in an extraordinary situation.

Jay Acovone shows some impressive acting chops, switching from Major Kawalsky, to the very different personality of the Goa’uld within him, in the blink of an eye. I never doubt that Kawalsky is brave, afraid, pragmatic, and hopeful. I never doubt that the Goa’uld within him is arrogant, and ruthless. Jay Acovone’s performance not receiving recognition from his acting peers in the form of an award nomination is disappointing.

In every episode, Joel Goldsmith’s music score is phenomenal.

Overall, a very good, very intense, episode. Many tidbits about the Goa’uld are learned, as well as some surprising information about Earth humans.  One of the last shots of the episode became an iconic image for this show.

Colonel Kennedy is one-dimensional. Not because of the actor’s performance, though. Because only one-side of Kennedy is presented in the episode, with no explanation for his behavior. I'm never sure if Kennedy’s motivation is patriotism, sadism, or if he is just a jerk.

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