Overall Rating: Very Good
SG-1 heads to Madrona, a planet they originally visited five weeks earlier. Madronans are humans who have a primitive society, however, the planet is believed to have been populated at some point by an advanced alien race. The planet was terraformed at some point, and an advanced weather control device, the Touchstone, remains on the planet. SG-1 intends to do some testing of the weather device. The Madronans are hostile towards the team, because people dressed like SG-1, and carrying similar weapons, stole the Touchstone. The weather on Madrona is degrading into very dangerous meteorological conditions. SG- 1 denies culpability with stealing the Touchstone, and promises to find the device.
Returning to SGC, O’Neill shows an unusually high level of tact, and obliquely accuses General Hammond of being involved in the theft of the Touchstone. Shocked by the accusation, Hammond denies responsibility for the theft. He understands O’Neill’s position, since Hammond is responsible for everything that happens at Stargate Command. He authorizes Carter to check for suspicious stargate usage. Sam’s research determines the second stargate (located in “Solitudes”) is being used, instead of being in storage. Additionally, unusual weather patterns on Earth make it likely that the Touchstone is here.
It turns out that during the formation of the stargate programs, someone put forth the idea to disregard diplomacy if there is ever a chance to snag alien technology. Hmm. SG-1 heads to Area 51 (yes, that Area 51), the destination of the alien goodies brought to Earth through the stargate. Also, the current assignment of Colonel Maybourne (“Bane”). The weather on Madrona is getting worse. The Madronans will die from the weather conditions if the device is not returned within two days. SG-1 has to work through the puzzle of the phantom SG team with the Earth connection within 48 hours, and without being able to trust anyone outside of the team.
An interesting venture into the realm of mystery. The story’s layers, and misdirects, are well done. Stargate SG-1 is fleshed out further in this episode, without dragging the momentum to a standstill. Scientific research is paired with detective work, and a healthy dose of espionage, to find the Touchstone. Tom McBeath returns as Colonel Maybourne. Excellent performance from the entire cast.