Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stargate SG-1, Season 6, Episode 9

images used above are courtesy of Gateworld and MGM

Overall Rating:  Very Good

Commentary by:
Peter DeLuise – Director
James Tichenor – Visual Effects Producer
Gary Jones -- Actor

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

Off-world, at the SGC Alpha base, there are injuries and controlled chaos as an influx of Tok’ra come through the stargate. The SGC Alpha site is a planet unknown to the Goa’uld. Some SG team members (not SG-1) come with the Tok’ra. Anubis attacked the Tok’ra base. Out of options, Jacob/Selmak (“Descent”) dialed the Alpha site as an escape path for the remaining Tok’ra and SG team members.

Three quarters of SG-1 is at the Alpha site when the refugees arrive.  Quinn is at SGC. O’Neill is not happy about the unexpected arrivals, but works with the situation. The Alpha site is already a temporary home to many displaced Free Jaffa (“The Warrior”). Now, there are Tok’ra in the mix at the becoming less and less secret, secret Alpha site.

The Tok’ra do not like Jaffa, Free or otherwise, because while serving the Goa’uld, Jaffa killed Tok’ra. After what happened to him in “Abyss” O’Neill is not overly fond of the Tok’ra, except for Jacob/Selmak. The Free Jaffa do not like being dissed, condescended, or patronized – three behaviors often exhibited by the Tok’ra. A frustrated O’Neill, the proud Free Jaffa, and the arrogant Tok’ra, all forced together. What could go wrong?

A Tok’ra who had an altercation with a Free Jaffa is found dead. The Tok’ra blame the Free Jaffa. The Free Jaffa deny any part of the murder, and resent having their honor impugned. Then, the Free Jaffa accused of the murder is found dead. The tenuous peace at the Alpha site is crumbling. O’Neill must find out the truth of the deaths, while keeping allies from becoming enemies.

This is one of my favorite episodes because it goes beyond “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” A common enemy, in this case the Goa’uld, does not friendship make. Old angers aren’t far from the surface when the different races interact. Or newer anger, like O’Neill’s unhappiness with his trip to Tok’ra blending land. Despite this, the three species need to work together, or at least for the moment live together. All while trying to solve two murders. I like that the interactions aren’t magically happy and peaceful, all things considered.

There is much more to the interesting story in this episode, but I cannot reveal it without spoilers.

Richard Dean Anderson does a masterful job as O’Neill deals with all that is going on. Carmen Argenziano returns as Jacob/Selmak and is wonderful. Peter Stebbings is Malek, the Tok’ra commander of the base Anubis attacked. Mr. Stebbings performance is enjoyable and he portrays Tok’ra hubris very well. Tony Amendola returns as Bra’tac (“Redemption, Part 2”) and is excellent as always. Teryl Rothery is Dr. Fraiser (“Shadow Play”), and completely believable as a doctor in the midst of a crisis. Obi Ndefo returns as Rak’nor (“The Warrior”). Christopher Judge’s facial expressions as Teal’c are perfection, conveying exactly what Teal’c is thinking or feeling even when Teal’c is not speaking. All in all, a lot of very strong performances.

Nothing major.

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