Friday, October 21, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 3, Episode 13

"The Devil You Know"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Very Good

The plan set forth in “Jolinar’s Memories” to rescue Jacob/Selmak failed.  SG-1, minus Teal’c, is exposed as spies, and they are now prisoners of none other than my favorite bad penny who keeps turning up, Apophis.  Apophis died on Earth (“Serpent’s Song”), and Stargate Command sent his body through the gate to Sokar, in order to stop an attack on the Earth stargate.  Sokar then used a sarcophagus to revive Apophis in order to continue torturing him.  Goa’ulds are just so wrong.  Sokar then dumped Apophis on Netu.  Apophis murdered his way to become the top Goa’uld on Netu.  He intends to use his prisoners to gain his freedom from Sokar.  At the very least, Apophis hopes to get close enough to Sokar to kill him.  Apophis finds the team’s communication device, and uses it to talk smack to Teal’c.  Realizing that SG-1, and the others, cannot escape, Teal’c returns to the Tok’ra.

A Tok’ra, named Aldwin, joins Teal’c in the cargo ship, and they return to Netu.  Teal’c is on a rescue mission.  The Tok’ra are not big on rescuing people, although they will try to rescue information.  Eh, priorities.  Aldwin’s intent, with the blessing of the Tok’ra High Council, is to destroy Sokar.  They plan to destroy Sokar’s ship when it is near Netu by destroying Netu.  Why use a bomb to destroy a space ship when you can use an exploding moon to destroy a space ship.  Go big, or go home!  The down side to the plan is SG-1, Martouf, Jacob/Selmak, and hundreds, possibly thousands, of beings at Netu will be destroyed.  The Tok’ra are okay with this; Teal’c is not.  SG-1, and company, are trapped on a moon that will soon be destroyed, with no rescue mission setting out for them.

Scenes of Apophis trying to get information from his prisoners slam the brakes on the flow of the episode.  They interfere with the pace, and add little to the story.  The rest of the episode is loaded with suspense, action, and a calmly angry Teal’c -- three elements of a great Stargate SG-1 show.  David Palffy is the creepy Sokar, a Goa’uld who is not about being pretty.  Peter Williams is Apophis, and is great.  The regular cast provides good performances.  Teal’c has the best line of the episode.

The sets and costumes are first rate.  The attention to detail is apparent, and successfully executed, right down to the emblems on the foreheads of Jaffa in service to Sokar, a stylized five-point star that is upside down (in keeping Sokar tied to Satan).  All in all, a fun ride with an exciting ending.

The scenes of Apophis interrogating his prisoners were too protracted.  They weren't violent, they were just too long.

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