Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 2, Episode 15

"The Fifth Race"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Excellent

A probe arrives on a planet, and finds a site with text in a language that matches one of the four alien languages found in the repository of information on Ernest’s planet (“The Torment of Tantalus”).  Since one of the four languages is Asgard, SG-1 goes to the planet the probe recently checked out, hoping to meet one of the other three races.  The team arrives in a room that does not have any apparent exit.  Just as SG-1 prepares to return to Earth, a mechanism appears on a previously blank wall.  When O’Neill moves closer to investigate, the machine suddenly grabs O’Neill’s head, preventing his escape.  Soon after, the mechanism releases a barely conscious O’Neill.  Back at SGC, Dr. Frazier gives O’Neill a clean bill of health.  However, Jack begins to exhibit strange behavior, including speaking an unknown language, incredible expertise in science and math disciplines, and more.

Curiosity about Jack’s condition becomes alarm as the rate of the change increases, and the neural damage is escalating. If unchecked, it will destroy Jack’s brain.  Searching off world for more information about O’Neill's condition, Carter, Teal’c, and others are trapped on a planet due to a faulty stargate dialing device (DHD), and they will die from the planetary conditions if they do not escape soon.

Jack’s mind continues to change, leaving him less and less able to communicate in any appreciably way.  There is one possible solution to Jack’s condition, but seeking the cure means Jack may never be able to return to Earth.

A cleverly written episode, making very good use of Mr. Anderson’s dramatic, and comedic, acting skills.  Shanks is wonderful as Daniel.  The rest of the cast provides strong performances, with believable reactions to O’Neill’s condition.  Increased options for future episodes are cleverly incorporated.

15th episode broadcast.
16th episode in the DVD set.


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