Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 4, Episode 4

images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Episode Rating: Fair

Commentary by:
Peter DeLuise -- Director
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.

At SGC, there is an incoming wormhole.  Bra’tac’s IDC is received; however, it is not Bra’tac who exits the wormhole.  The traveler is Shau’nac, a Jaffa priestess who knows Teal’c.  Possibly knowing him in a biblical sense, based on their steamy reaction to seeing each other.  Bra’tac could not accompany Shau’nac to SGC, and gave her his IDC because Shau’nac thinks she has discovered a way to defeat the Goa’uld.  She can mentally chat up her symbiote, and has convinced it to turn against the Goa’uld.  Yeah, no one is buying what she is selling.  This does not dent Shau’nac’s conviction.  She is confident in her belief, and since the Goa’uld symbiote she is toting around in her belly pouch is mature, and ready for a host, the truth will literally come out very soon.

With the help of the Tok’ra, a host is found for Shau’nac’s Goa’uld symbiote.  Apparently, she was correct.  The symbiote, whose name is Tanith, has rejected the badness that is Goa’uld-dom, and switched teams, willing to fight with the good guys.  Teal’c and Shau’nac plan to teach other Jaffa to chat up their symbiotes, in an effort to lure the baby Goa’ulds away from the dark side.  Having a chance to foment a new aspect of rebelling against the Goa’uld -- and being with Shau’nac, the smoking hot girlfriend -- convinces Teal’c that it is time to quit SGC.  The bright future for the Jaffa is dimmed by events impacting the new path of Goa’uld symbiote enlightenment, as well as Teal’c and Shau’nac’s happily ever after.

Musetta Vander is Shau’nac, and she does a good job portraying the Jaffa priestess.  The actor and part are a perfect fit.  I fully believe that Shau’nac and Teal’c are more than just acquaintances.  Everyone’s performances are okay.  The problem with the episode is that the story is not strong enough to sustain interest from the beginning through the end.  The characters debating about changing the minds of Goa’uld larva, and Teal’c making goo-goo eyes with Shau’nac, are the bases for the entire episode.  That is just not enough.

The story’s framework is not very believable, either.  The Jaffa who discovers a way to sway the minds of Goa’uld larva just happens to be the only Jaffa, other than Bra’tac, who has any chance of convincing Teal’c.  The difficult to contact Tok’ra just happen to quickly respond this time.  The ever short of hosts Tok’ra managed to wrangle up a host for Shau’nac’s symbiote.  Too many fortunate coincidences piled one after another.

A lot of time is spent playing up Teal’c and Shau’nac’s romance.  I think their relationship is more confusing, than engaging.  “Family” established that Teal’c is no longer married to Dray’auc, so he is single.  However, that same episode had Teal’c getting crazy angry about being divorced, and he and Dray’auc declare how much they still love each other.  Their feelings for each other is a major turning point for events in “Family.”  Yet, now Teal’c is okay with being a swinging single.

Maybe it’s an unexplored aspect of Jaffa society.  Maybe Teal’c is a horny-dawg, going for whichever woman is closest to his loins, rather than closest in his heart.  I don’t know, and that bugs me.  I don’t like it when a character’s behavior is inexplicable, especially when it negates events of a previous episode.

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