Monday, June 13, 2016

Stargat SG-1, Season 6, Episode 6


"Abyss"
images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Excellent

Commentary by:
Martin Wood -- Director
James Tichenor – Visual Effects Producer
Christopher Judge – “Teal’c”

The commentary is very informative, and interesting.  Lots of behind the scene information.  The commentary stays on point with what is on screen.

Review:
Past: At the end of “Frozen” the Tok’ra take O’Neill away to temporarily blend with a symbiote. O’Neill needs a Tok’ra symbiote to heal, but wants it out of him as soon as he’s back on his feet. No, the Tok’ra aren’t going soft. Staying true to character, the Tok’ra want information the symbiote has. Ever short of hosts, the Tok’ra agree to the symbiote leaving O’Neill after he is healed and the Tok’ra have the information they need.

Present: The Tok’ra named Thoran (“Frozen”) arrives at SGC. General Hammond wants to know where Colonel O’Neill is, and why he hasn’t yet returned. Thoran has some bad news for SGC. After blending with the Tok’ra symbiote named Kanan, healing, and debriefing, Kanan/O’Neill left the Tok’ra base. The Tok’ra do not know Kanan/O’Neill’s location.

The Tok’ra blame O’Neill, convinced that another Tok’ra would never go against the wishes of its host. SGC blames the symbiote, knowing that O’Neill could not force a symbiote to do something against its will. Thoran is offended that SGC believes a Tok’ra would force a host to do something. SGC is over Tok’ra bluster, and want to find out what happened to O’Neill.

Where is O’Neill?

Turns out that O’Neill is captured by a Goa’uld named Ba’al -- a powerful System Lord, well versed in many forms of torture. Methods he uses on O’Neill. Ba’al tortures; kills; and then using a sarcophagus brings O’Neill back to life over and over. He wants to know why O’Neill is at Ba’al’s base. Thing is, O’Neill doesn’t know because Kanan used Jack’s body to enter Ba’al’s base. But Kanan skittered off, abandoning O’Neill when capture was certain. Convinced that the information he seeks is buried somewhere in Jack’s mind, Ba’al won’t stop until he gets the answers he seeks.

SGC does not know where O’Neill is. The Tok’ra aren’t forthcoming about Kanan’s activities just prior to blending with O’Neill. There is one person who knows O'Neill's location, but cannot help Jack.

This is one of the episodes I would rate higher than Excellent. The basic story is: O’Neill is missing, and how will he get back to SGC. The episode contains so much more. Phenomenal acting from Richard Dean Anderson and others. Intense, revealing dialogue. Wonderful effects. And, General Hammond letting the Tok’ra know that their arrogant attitude does not fly when it gets in the way of finding a member of SGC.

Cliff Simon is Ba’al and is amazing in the part. Profoundly evil, but never crossing over into clich√© evil doer, or being over the top. Mr. Simon’s performance shows Ba’al being suave, charming, elegant, as well as willing and capable of doing anything he sees fit, such as heinous torture. Ba’al is equal yet opposite to Apophis (always portrayed to perfection by Peter Williams). Ba’al is just as willing and capable of reprehensible behavior as Apophis. However, Ba’al’s actions slip silently upon his victims, rather than being announced with cannon fire like Apophis.

Kudos to Cliff Simon for his portrayal of Ba’al. Ba’al and Apophis are my two favorite Goa’ulds on the show. Dorian Harewood returns as the Tok’ra Thoran.  Every actor performs well.

Failures:
None.

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