Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 4, Episode 22

images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Episode Rating:  Excellent

Commentary by:
Joseph Mallozzi -- co-Writer
Jim Menard -- Director of Photography
James Tichenor -- Visual Effects Supervisor

The three commentators are very engaging, however, sometimes this session drifts away from what is on screen, leaving scenes without any relevant commentary.  David Warry-Smith directed this episode, however he did not participate in this commentary.  Although it is not always pertinent to what is on screen, the commentary is very informative, and interesting.

Up in space, a Goa’uld mothership makes its way towards a planet.  Beneath the surface of that planet there is a flurry of Tok’ra activity.  The planet is the current home base for the Tok’ra.  Tanith (“Crossroads”) is still with the Tok’ra, but working for the Goa’uld.  He learns about the mothership after it arrives at the planet, and questions why the Tok’ra are not evacuating the location.  At that moment, SG-1 rings down from the ship, to the underground Tok’ra base.  The mothership previously belonged to Cronus, who is now dead (“Double Jeopardy”).  SG-1, representing Earth, now owns the mothership.

Shortly after SG-1 arrives, Tanith learns that the Tok’ra, and SG-1, knew that he had not stopped his Goa’uldish ways, and have known this since Shau’nac died (“Crossroads”).  The Tok’ra have used Tanith to feed false information to the Goa’uld.  After being told his perfidy failed, Tanith is confined, sentenced to be removed from his human host, and left in the desert.

The Tok’ra intend to borrow the mothership from Earth, and use it to move themselves, and their stargate, to another planet.  The new location will be a planet whose location is unknown to the Goa’uld, and one that does not have a stargate.  O’Neill is not happy about loaning the mothership to the Tok’ra.  However, orders are orders.  The Tok’ra think that Earth is not ready for the level of technology within the mothership, and the Tok’ra want the ship left with them.  No way that is going to happen.

Just as things are going well, Tanith escapes from the Tok’ra, and gets a message to Apophis about the Tok’ra’s intent to move to a secret location.  Teal’c joins the Tok’ra in searching for Tanith.  It is a “Jaffa revenge thing.”  After hours of searching, they still cannot locate Tanith.

Meanwhile, an operative embedded with Apophis gets word to the Tok’ra that Apophis is getting together an attack fleet, and plans to head to the Tok’ra’s current home world.  There is not much time left to get the Tok’ra on the mothership, and get away.  However, Jacob and Carter devise a new plan that will still allow the Tok’ra to escape, and in addition, the large fleet Apophis is sending their way can be destroyed, significantly crippling Apophis.  It is a bold, crazy plan that should work.

Apophis’ desire to destroy the Tok’ra is challenged by Selmak and the Carters’ plan to destroy many of his ships.  The Tok’ra plan is met with something less than rousing approval from O’Neill, although he eventually agrees to go along with the strategy.  Teal’c is focused on one thing: finding Tanith and then killing him.  Daniel is in the vicinity.  I do not think it is a spoiler to tell you that things do not go exactly as planned for anyone.

The episode begins with exposition, and the uncovering of truths; continues with some super-charged action; and ends in another galaxy.  And, this show is a cliffhanger.  A breath-taking end to season four.

Carmen Argenziano returns as Jacob/Selmak, Peter Wingfield returns as Tanith, and Peter Williams returns as Apophis.  The guest stars, and the regular cast, perform very well in this highly entertaining episode.  The special effects are fantastic.  Kudos to everyone involved in their creation.

A grand ending that whets the appetite for season five.

Tanith’s escape from his prison is ridiculously easy, and completely unbelievable.  Not only does he easily escape from three Tok’ras (at least two of whom are armed), he then eludes every other Tok’ra at the base, and makes it to the planet’s surface.  He's like some sort of Goa'uld version of Rambo's evil twin.  I don' t buy it.  For me, credibility has left the moment.

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