My rating for each episode in season five.
Episode 1: Enemies -- Excellent
Episode 2: Threshold -- Excellent
Episode 3: Ascension -- Fair
Episode 4: The Fifth Man -- Excellent
Episode 5: Red Sky -- Fair
Episode 6: Rite of Passage -- Good
Episode 7: Beast of Burden -- Fair
Episode 8: The Tomb -- Excellent
Episode 9: Between Two Fires -- Excellent
Episode 10: 2001 -- Excellent
Episode 11: Desperate Measures -- Good
Episode 12: Wormhole X-treme! -- Excellent
Episode 13: Proving Ground -- Good
Episode 14: 48 Hours -- Excellent
Episode 15: Summit -- Excellent
Episode 16: Last Stand -- Excellent
Episode 17: Fail Safe -- Very Good
Episode 18: The Warrior -- Very Good
Episode 19: Menace -- Excellent
Episode 20: The Sentinel -- Very Good
Episode 21: Meridian -- Good
Episode 22: Revelations -- Very Good
I think this is one of the best seasons of Stargate SG-1. The storyline of the Goa’uld continues, and expands in scope, as new aspects of the Goa’uld System Lords are uncovered, and the depredations of the Goa’uld are demonstrated in new ways. This season also brought Anubis to the forefront, a powerful Goa’uld with plans that, if successful, will result in his being the one ruler of this galaxy, and his being a threat to the Asgard empire almost as great as the Replicators.
The Free Jaffa rebellion is covered to a greater extent during season 5. Up until this season, Teal’c and Bra’tac have been the faces of the budding Jaffa rebellion against the Goa’uld. Season 5 shows that the rebellion has been growing, and other Jaffa leaders are rising up in the fight.
Even most of the episodes that do not directly involve the Goa’uld storyline demonstrate improvements over previous seasons. Rather than such episodes being asides at best, filler at worst, they tend towards building on the Stargate SG-1 foundation, giving more depth to series, and the characters.
Season 5 ended without a cliffhanger, as Showtime had decided to stop producing the series, and a cliffhanger would be unfair to viewers. SciFi Channel took over producing Stargate SG-1 from Showtime beginning with season 6. SciFi Channel initially intended season 6 to be the series finale, however, the series was renewed at the last minute.
Why did Michael Shanks leave Stargate SG-1? Theories, and rumors, abounded on the Internet, with some finger pointing at Michael Shanks, and some at the controlling team of Stargate SG-1. My thoughts about the situation? I do not know Michael Shanks, nor was I involved in any part of the decision making process for Stargate SG-1. So, I don’t know what happened. For me, the rationale behind Shanks’ departure is moot.
For season 6, I missed Daniel Jackson being on the show all the time. However, upcoming episodes do a nice job of moving on by continuing to nurture, and expand, the realm of Stargate SG-1. Season 6 is another example of how oftentimes, when a television show has a strong ensemble cast, a character can leave without crippling the series.