"The Serpent's Lair"
Overall Rating: Excellent
SG-1 is on Klorel’s vessel, very near to Earth, and Klorel is dead. As the team prepares to blow up the vessel, Apophis’ ship looms into view. Destroying Klorel’s ship will not damage the other vessel, or prevent Apophis from attacking Earth. SG-1 is willing to die, but not willing to fail in their mission to save Earth. Before a plan to stop Apophis’ ship can be worked out, the team is captured by Klorel’s Jaffa.
On Earth, the Goa’uld ships are spotted. The SGC is again fully staffed, and prepping for a battle with the Goa’uld. Colonel Samuels is at the SGC to coordinate a missile strike against the Goa’uld ships, a defense based on assumptions and arrogance rather than sound tactics. Despite SG-1’s efforts, events are closely paralleling those from “There But For the Grace of God.” The SG-1 team is held prisoner. Klorel is in a sarcophagus, and will rise again. Earth has no definitive defense against the impending attack. Apophis is poised to decimate life on Earth.
This second part to season one’s cliffhanger “Within the Serpent’s Grasp” continues the smooth flow, action, and suspense of the previous episode. There are bright moments of dialog, and many excellent visuals. The ensemble cast are great together, and when working with guest stars.
Peter Williams returns as Apophis. Apophis is a great antagonist, and Mr. Williams excels in his portrayal. His depiction of Apophis establishes the baseline for Goa’uld behavior. Fueled by hubris, resulting in almost as many failures as successes. Cruel, but complex, with multiple factors influencing Apophis’ decisions. Powerful, but no so powerful that defeating him crosses into the realm of the impossible. I especially like that destroying Earth is not the sole factor motivating Apophis’ behavior. He does not seem to spend all of his time plotting to destroy Earth, although it is definitely on his "to do" list. There are plenty of other people, and places, he wants to conquer. Mean, but consistent. Bravo, Mr. Williams.
There is a great scene transition occurring right after Hammond reams out Samuels. There is the great scene before the transition of Hammond reaming out Samuels. Yes! I've been waiting for that since "Children of the Gods".
A favored Goa’uld tactic -- dial up their target’s stargate to prevent escape -- isn’t used in this episode. It was used in “There But For the Grace of God.” Not using that tactic in this episode left the stargate open for SGC to continuously evacuate people, and lowered the tension level.
The sarcophagus heals wounds, and can restore life. In this episode, it also mends torn clothing, removes bloodstains, and in one instance, replaces equipment destroyed before the person went into the sarcophagus. I always get distracted for a few seconds at scenes with these particular costuming issues.