Saturday, December 31, 2011

Stargate SG-1, Season 5, Episode 2

images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Excellent

Commentary by:
Peter DeLuise -- Director
Christopher Judge -- “Teal’c”
James Tichenor -- Visual Effects Producer

The commentary is very informative, and interesting.  Lots of behind the scene information.  The commentary stays on point with what is on screen.  Having Mr. Judge on the commentary is a welcomed addition.  A nice pairing with two excellent commentators, Mr. DeLuise, and Mr. Tichenor.

At the end of “Enemies” Teal’c is captured by O’Neill.  Now, Teal’c is under guard at SGC, and Apophis’ brainwashing is overcome with time, and psychological therapy.  Nice … if it were true.  Teal’c is only pretending he is no longer under Apophis’ influence.  Bra’tac ("Maternal Instinct"), who recently arrived at SGC from off world, removes Teal’c’s symbiote, commencing the Jaffa ritual of Malshuraan.  The ritual takes a Jaffa to death’s door.  Once a Goa’uld symbiote is first implanted, a Jaffa cannot survive for long without one.  Bra’tac hopes that as Teal’c’s life flashes before him, he will remember the truth about Apophis, and negate the brainwashing.  There is one problem with Malshuraan.  A Jaffa doing the ritual always dies at the end of it.

Dr. Frasier is against performing the ritual on Teal'c, however she is over-ruled by General Hammond.  SG-1, and General Hammond, are not happy about the pain, and mortality rate, of Malshuraan.  However, they understand that Teal’c would prefer death to remaining under the influence of Apophis.  Also, a brainwashed Teal’c will be a prisoner, and a lab rat, dying in a few years when the Goa’uld symbiote he carries matures.

During Malshuraan, Teal’c relives past events of his life.  The memories cover some of the time when Teal’c believed the Goa’uld are gods, to when he became Apophis’ First Prime, and realizes that they are not gods.  With such a strong likelihood of death, the question is whether Teal’c will die with the mind of a free Jaffa, or as a twisted slave to a dead Goa’uld.

This well written episode shows formative events in Teal’c’s life that were previously only hinted at in passing.  There is also a chance to see the average Jaffas’ perspective of life under the rule of Apophis.  A very interesting, and exciting, episode.

Tony Amendola returns as Bra’tac.  Mr. Amendola is an excellent actor, and his portrayal of Bra’tac makes me wish Bra’tac appeared in more episodes.  All of the regular cast members provide very good performances.  Teryl Rothery is great as Dr. Frasier.  Ms. Rothery’s acting is always good, however sometimes Frasier’s dialog is out of character for an Air Force officer, and doctor.  In this episode, Frasier’s dialog matches the high quality level of Ms. Rothery’s performance.  Watch for General Hammond’s facial expression near the end of the show.  His look is very poignant, and speaks volumes without the use of words.  I think this is the hallmark of an excellent actor.  Brook Parker returns as Drey’auc, and performs very well.

The special effect sequences are done well, and visually rich.  The scene of Teal’c standing on a planet after a great battle with Ra’s Jaffa is beautiful.

Apophis’ brainwashing of Ry’ac in “Family” was overcome with a ‘zat gun blast.  This method does not work on Teal’c.  Why it doesn’t work is not addressed, nor explained.

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