Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stargate SG-1, Season 5, Episode 16

"Last Stand"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Excellent

Commentary by:
Martin Wood -- Director
Robert Cooper -- Writer & Executive Producer
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.

Summit” ends with Osiris presenting herself to the System Lords.  She recognizes Daniel, who is posing as Yu's servant.  Zipacna’s fleet is attacking Revanna, the Tok’ra home base.  Many of the Tok’ra are dead.  SG-1, minus Daniel, is trapped in the Tok’ra underground tunnels, along with a severely injured Lieutenant Elliot, the only survivor of SG-17.  Lantesh, a Tok’ra symbiote, managed to survive Martouf’s death in “Divide and Conquer” although Lantesh is still very weak.  The container that Lantesh was recuperating in is destroyed during the Jaffa bombing of Ravanna.  Lantesh blends with the injured Lt. Elliot, which is the only chance they both have of surviving.

Now, Osiris confronts Daniel when they are alone.  She did not out Daniel to the System Lords because Goa’uld do love intrigue.  Daniel uses the Reole chemical on Osiris, and continues as Yu’s personal servant.  As Daniel prepares to release the symbiote poison amongst the System Lords, Osiris reveals to the gathering that Anubis is the Goa’uld who has been harrying the System Lords' forces.  Anubis wants to be a System Lord again.  Again?  It turns out that Anubis was a System Lord in the past, and was banished from the Goa'uld coalition because he was so deviant, and evil, he creeped out the other Goa’uld.  That is pretty bad.  Believed to have died about a thousand years ago, his resurfacing means that the Tok’ra plan cannot be implemented.  Doing so would leave one all-powerful Goa’uld -- Anubis -- controlling their entire empire, a nightmare scenario for the Tok’ra, and the rest of the galaxy.

Back on Revanna, O’Neill, Carter, Teal’c and Lt. Elliot hide from Zipacna’s Jaffa forces.  Trapped, with no opportunity to get to the stargate, the team continues the deadly hide and seek, trying to keep themselves -- and the formula for the symbiote poison -- from being captured by Zipacna’s Jaffa.

Continuing to pose as Yu’s personal servant, Daniel remains at the summit, attempting to gather information about Anubis’ plans.  Yu is the only current System Lord who held that position a thousand years ago.  He knows just how bad Anubis is.  Daniel overhears Osiris tell Yu that Anubis offers the destruction of Earth in trade for Yu’s vote accepting Anubis back as a System Lord.  Daniel does not learn the details of Anubis’ plan, and risks death as he continues in the part of Yu’s human servant.

The rest of SG-1, and Lt. Elliot, are stranded on Revanna, hunted by a large Jaffa contingent.  Earth is under threat from Anubis.  Daniel is in the lion’s den, his cover wearing thin.

“Last Stand” continues the high quality level of action, and intrigue, began in “Summit.”  The regular, and guest, cast maintain their strong performances.  Kudos to everyone involved in all aspects of this episode.

In “Summit,” Jacob/Selmak mentions that the Goa’uld population has recently had zero growth for the first time in thousands of years.  The reason is given in this episode.  However, that reason doesn’t jibe with the established canon regarding the vast numbers of infant Goa’uld born in a single spawning, and the numerous spawnings across the galaxy.  There must be a lot of squirmy baby Goa'ulds around, because every adult Jaffa is toting one around in his, or her, belly pouch.

Perhaps, once the Goa'uld larva matures in a Jaffa's belly pouch, it is destroyed, rather than being allowed to infest some body.  That would be a believable rationale for the Goa'uld's zero population growth, something the reason given in this episode is not.  Why would adult Goa'ulds kill their offspring?  They're Goa'ulds.  They do bad things all the time.  Doing something like that is completely in line with their established behavior.

Ultimately, mentioning that the number of Goa'ulds stopped increasing is irrelevant.  It just provides a chance for some nicely done special effects.  I'm all for special effects.  However I do not appreciate when a plot point is presented as being vitally important, but then turns out to be of no consequence.

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