Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 3, Episode 5

"Learning Curve"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Fair

Stargate Command is establishing a relationship with the humans on the planet Orban.  The Orbanians are slightly more technologically advanced that the Taur’i.  As a gesture of good faith, the Orbanians allow Carter to study a naquadah reactor, a device that is not much larger than a shoebox.  Earth returns the gesture by allowing Jackson to explain the archaeological significance of items uncovered on Orban.  Possibly discovering how the often blond, seemingly non-Latin, Orbans descended from South American folks snatched by a Goa’uld during pre-Aztec times.  I like the Jackson character, but I think Earth got the better part of this deal.  Orbanians use some of their children to learn new information.  The child geniuses are called Urrone.  One of the Urrone, a girl named Merrin, goes to SGC to explain the workings of the naquadah reactor.

Most of the cultural differences between the Orbanians and Stargate Command are smoothed over, until SGC learns how the Urrone share their knowledge with their people, a procedure/ceremony known as the Ovarium -- a name that brings to mind fertility, scrambled eggs, and Ovaltine.  The ceremony is not shown during the episode, so let your imagination run free.  O’Neill wants to keep Merrin on Earth.  Merrin, and the Orbanians, want her to return to Orban.  O’Neill puts his own spin on conflict resolution about the impasse.

The episode presents the issue of handling cultural differences with the interesting contrast of viewpoints between the Orbanians, and SGC.  Until the end, at which point O’Neill decides to forcibly reconstruct Orban society to his ideal.  O’Neill's goal is admirable, however, his method is deplorable.  The dialog indicates that Jack is charmed by Merrin (but not in a creepy way) and wants to protect her, however, Merrin and O’Neill have no on screen chemistry, making Jack’s actions seem even more out of place.

If you like watching children not emote -- without any of the Vulcans coolness -- then this is the episode for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment