Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 4, Episode 15

"Chain Reaction"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Episode Rating:  Excellent

Commentary by:
Martin Wood -- Director
Jim Menard -- Director of Photography
James Tichenor -- a Visual Effects Supervisor

The commentary is very informative, and interesting.  Lots of behind the scene information.  The commentary stays on point with what is on screen.  Mr. Tichenor is not the Visual Effects Supervisor of this episode.

SGC receives SG-1’s IDC.  The team is under fire, battling to make their way back to Earth.  After General Hammond orders the stargate iris opened, weapons fire from the other planet strikes inside the gate room.  It is a close call, but SG-1 makes it back to SGC.  During the team’s debriefing, General Hammond announces that he is stepping down as commander of SGC.  He says he no longer wants to be responsible for possibly sending SG teams to their deaths.  Everyone has a breaking point, and General Hammond states that he has reached his.

SGC staff is stunned, and saddened, by Hammond’s decision.  Major General Bauer is assigned as the new commander of SGC.  Bauer’s command style is very different from Hammond’s, as is his perception of how to accomplish SGC goals.  Two of Bauer’s early command decisions are: remove Carter from SG-1, and re-assign her to research; and to bar Daniel from being part of any SG team.  O’Neill takes these decisions poorly, and is essentially suspended after expressing his displeasure to Bauer.

O’Neill visits Hammond, and learns that the general was forced out.  Jack intends to help Hammond, and gets an unlikely ally -- Harry Maybourne (“Watergate”).  Their investigative efforts lead them to Senator Kinsey (“Politics”).  Back at SGC, Bauer’s changes result in a situation that could end all life on Earth.

Maybourne and Kinsey are deliciously bad.  Tom McBeath, and Ronny Cox, are superb in their portrayals of the morally ambiguous Maybourne, and the mightily obnoxious Kinsey.  The story is strong, combining suspense with action.

Many post-Hammond SGC scenes are somewhat stodgy.

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