"Shades of Grey"
Overall Rating: Good
SG-1 is on Tollana, begging High Chancellor Travell for some advanced technology. The Tollans nix giving primitive societies (i.e., any society less technologically advanced than theirs) anything other than grief. The Tollans do not give a hoot if other beings destroy themselves, as long as they do not use Tollan weaponry to do it. The Tollans are still ticked off about their original home world being destroyed by other people’s misuse of gifted Tollan tech (“Enigma”) . Frustrated, O’Neill snaps, and steals some Tollan tech after the meeting with High Chancellor Travell. Back at SGC, he presents the mechanism to General Hammond, and eventually confesses the item is less gift, more stolen property.
O’Neill is given a medical checkup, but there is no evidence that he is under the influence of anything alien. Jack is just angry, and frustrated with the slow pace of acquiring something from off world that can help Earth defend itself against the Goa’uld. O’Neill is forced to retire from the Air Force, and he rejects his former SG-1 teammates. He does attract the attention of the shadowy, ne’er do wells last heard from in “Touchstone.” It turns out there is a sophisticated organization that holds the same view as angry O’Neill.
O’Neill goes dark side, and joins the organization. SG-1 has a new commander who is not meshing well with Teal’c and Daniel. Are the halcyon days of team SG-1 over?
Anderson is excellent as O’Neill. He is the focus of this episode, however the rest of the regular cast performs very well. Look for a wonderful shot of O’Neill traveling through the stargate.
None, really. The first time viewing this particular episode is best. Subsequent viewings make for a good episode.
The story touches on good people doing bad things for what they believe is the right reason. It's easy to believe that the folks at the top of the shadowy organization aren't motivated solely by altruistic concern for Earth's well-being. I wonder about the boots-on-the-ground folks in the organization, though. I would like to have learned more about their motivations, and get a deeper peek at their rationale for joining the organization.