"Into the Fire"
Overall Rating: Excellent
Hathor is back (“Out of Mind”). After being absent from the Goa’uld hierarchy for a few thousand years (“Hathor”), she wants to scope out the status of the Goa’uld's power before she makes a play to dominate the galaxy. Her plan: fool SG-1 into believing they are on Earth, 77 years in the future. Then, pluck their knowledge of the current Goa’uld situation using a memory retrieval device. Go big, or go home, proves not to be the best counter-intelligence strategy. After SG-1 (minus Teal’c) uncovers the deception, Hathor abandons that method for a simpler one. She implants a symbiote in O’Neill. The symbiote will have access to everything O’Neill knows.
Teal’c quit the SGC in “Out of Mind.” He wants to search for the rest of SG-1, however during the three weeks he was unconscious from the attack that resulted in SG-1’s abduction, Stargate Command had exhausted all leads to SG-1’s location. Teal’c returns to Chulak, intent on forming an army of Jaffa, and finding his teammates.
Back at SGC, Colonel Makepeace, and his SG team, ran into some Tok’ra on a planet. The Tok’ra tell Makepeace where SG-1 is located, and that they are prisoners of Hathor. General Hammond sends all available SG teams (four teams that are not out on missions) to rescue SG-1. The SG teams rescue Carter and Jackson. O’Neill is Goa’uld infested, and considered lost. Alerted by the attack of Makepeace’s SG teams, Hathor puts armed Jaffas around the stargate, blocking escape back to Earth. Trapped, Makepeace relays the situation to General Hammond via radio contact. General Hammond intends to mount a rescue of the trapped SG teams. The Pentagon denies Hammond’s request to send more SG teams to Hathor’s planet. With five SG teams under his command trapped, General Hammond pursues help from other allies for the rescue attempt.
This episode is split between Hathor’s planet, and Chulak. There is a lot of action, and special effects, making for an exciting episode. There is a pitched battle between the SG teams, and Jaffa, and some SG team members are killed. People dying during pitched battles is inevitable, and I think it is good that the show at least acknowledges that sometimes SG team members are killed in action. Previously, the only reported off world SG deaths happened by the hand of a crazy SG officer, and a black hole. The deaths are sad, but I think avoiding such occurrences would make the show cartoon-y. The status of post-Apophis (“Serpent’s Song”) Chulak is neatly inter-woven with the events on Hathor’s planet.
A nice redemption of the badness that is the season two finale.
Hathor’s plan to learn about the current status of the Goa’uld power structure is over-the-top, but then, so is Hathor.