SG4-1: Small Victories

Thor and Sam head off to save Thor’s home world from Replicators while the guys back on Earth cope with the aftermath of the Replicator survivor boarding a Russian sub.

Last time on Stargate SG-1: Jack, Teal’c, and Sam worked together to prevent a group of Replicators, who had hijacked Thor’s ship, from landing on Earth.

There was a season summary, as this is the beginning of the fourth season.  The special credits were used again… maybe starting next episode there’ll be a new montage of the ‘standard’ opening sequence.  No offence meant, but after three full seasons surely it’s time for it to get updated.

The episode opens with the Replicator having snuck onto a Russian sub.  As I don’t speak Russian and there are no subtitles, I’m at a loss as to the details of the opening scene… but the results are that the Replicator starts to kill everybody on board, as later confirmed since the show was nice to me and didn’t show the gory details of said mass murder.

Homecoming

It apparently took longer than expected for SGC to set up the second Stargate without Sam’s aid.  Daniel, as he’s checked up on by Janet, finds this ironic as he explains the situation to her.  Janet tries to tell Daniel to take it easy but he rushes off when the alarm starts up.  It couldn’t have been fun for Shanks to have somebody near his presumably still-healing scar.

1TeamReunion

When SG-1’s signal is heard, the iris is opened and the trio comes through, annoyed by the delay.  Teal’c for whatever reason grew a blond mini goatee while on ‘break’ which he keeps for the whole episode.  When Daniel tries to point it out, Jack tells him not to touch it.  Jack and Sam want kudos for saving the world again; apparently Thor’s pod got picked up by his kind before the trio even went through the Gate.  Jack wants a shower before the debriefing, leading to a bit of teasing by Hammond and Daniel about his smell.

Later, Jack once again drops by Sam’s lab to ask, “Whatcha doing?”  … So he’s Isabella and Sam is Phineas.  TEAL’C IS FERB!  And maybe some Buford.  Does that makes Daniel Baljeet…?

Amused, Sam explains she’s studying some salvaged “Replicator pieces”.  Jack doubts that’s a good idea but Sam is reasonably sure they’re inactive/dead.  Now that the world is safe, Jack wants to go on his fishing trip while Sam wants to stay in her lab for a while.  As he leaves, Jack mimics a Minnesota accent.  And once again Sam then chases down Jack, this time due to a phone call.  Jack flat out says, “Déjà vu,” about the scenario.  Davis is coming over so Jack can’t go fishing, making him go, “D’oh.”

There’s a briefing with him, SG-1, and Hammond.  “A large mechanical spider” attacked a Russian sub, leaving the crew dead.  Obviously this will complicate US/Russian relations.  Jack wants to blow it up, as taking samples went poorly for the Asgard.  Sam points out that conventional weapons are unlikely to work so Jack suggests nuking it.

Davis acknowledges “we’ve considered that” but Hammond points out that would really complicate US/Russian relations if there was a mysterious nuclear explosion on top of everything else.  Teal’c reasons that although immune to Goa’uld weaponry Earth weaponry had better luck.  Then the alarm for an unauthorized wormhole goes off.

Stupidity is Needed at Times

The soldiers are at the ready in the Gate room and Walter reveals that the iris won’t close.  All the technology in the area shuts down.  Thor comes through the wormhole so SG-1 heads into the room and the soldiers told to stand down.

Thor expresses his gratitude towards SG-1.  Hoping to take advantage of the timing, Sam reveals that at least one Replicator survived the explosion.  But Thor can’t help as all available ships are involved in protecting his home world, which is currently under attack by Replicators.  In fact, Thor came- is so desperate he used the Stargate when no ships could come- to ask for more aid.

When the wormhole shuts down, SGC’s technology turns itself back on.  Thor reasons that the human perspective might be more effective than the Asgardian one despite it being “less sophisticated”.

Daniel translates, “Wait a minute.  You’re actually saying that you need someone dumber than you are?”

“You may have come to the right place,” goes Jack.  Hammond refutes that SG-1 needs to stick around to stop the whole Replicators-on-a-sub issue.  Sam volunteers to go with Thor, leading Jack to comment, “I don’t know, Carter.  You might not be dumb enough.”

“I think I can handle it, sir,” she replies.  Hammond accepts the compromise.  Using a gizmo, Thor reactivates the wormhole so he and Sam can leave.  As she does so, Sam repeats what Jack said to her in the same accent when he tells her to “have fun”.

By the Sea and Up in Space

Davis, Silar, Jack, Teal’c, Daniel, and as it turns out Janet are all among the team sent to the seaside to deal with the Replicator-infested sub.  Jack, Teal’c, and two red shirts (Baker and Stevens) are sent on a recon mission with Daniel, Davis, and Silar as ground control, complete with visuals thanks to the cameras on the four’s helmets.  Jack is cranky about having to deal with more robot bugs.

Thor’s home world has a gorgeous syfy city.  In midair is a vast spaceship that’s almost complete: it’s called the O’Neill and it’s the first ship designed primarily to combat the Replicators.  Currently the battle is five Asgard ships versus three Replicator-controlled ones.  The plan is to join the battle and find a way to stop them from this smaller ship.

For the recon mission there is interplay of footage of the quartet via standard filming, some footage from their head cameras, footage of Davis and Daniel being concerned, and even a bit of footage from the Replicator perspective.  While it’s a bit tricky to tell in the lightning, apparently the new Replicators are a different hue.  In a room Teal’c and Stevens find a larger bug Daniel terms the queen.  A short fight breaks out; Teal’c gets out to rejoin the other two but Stevens’ camera goes out and he is dead.

As they travel Thor gives Sam the crash course on how Replicators function.  There’s a reminder that the two races have different ways of thinking.  It’s stressed that it takes at least several blocks to start making more.  For further help, Thor has an interactive hologram of a Replicator come up on the table.

1Blocked

Janet tends to the injured Teal’c while Davis and Jack both now agree the best option is to blow up the sub.  Out of the injury Janet pulls out a Replicator block.  … I’m just going to use Janet as comparable to my height since apparently we’re both comparatively tiny.  Well, she’s more petite than me but height-wise we’re probably close.

Sam briefly gets lost in thought worrying over her teammates.  Thor assures her once his world is safe for the time being they’ll help out Earth.  I will acknowledge that at this time Thor’s planet is the one at higher risk.  Thor teleports in a tray of colored cubes (?) when Sam admits she’s hungry.  While he likes the yellow ones, apparently Asgard food isn’t palatable to Sam (or possibly even to humans in general).  After her initial reaction, Sam apologizes.

The humorous moment ends when a second Asgard pops up on the screen- the five ships have been lost but the trio of Replicator ships continue their approach.

Figuring a Way Out

Daniel interrupts the plan to blow up the sub by bringing up that the block is corroded.  As these Replicators were made out of the submarine’s materials they’re more vulnerable than the ones encountered on Thor’s ship.  Davis comments that makes the idea of blowing up the sub sound even better.  But the Replicator from Thor’s ship is liable to survive the explosion and therefore history could be repeated.

Giving better contrast to an image of the “mother bug” they can tell it’s the Replicator from Thor’s ship at its center.  Teal’c insists on accompanying Jack on the mission to stop the queen.  Of course, the other bugs will be upset when ‘mom’ is killed so Teal’c reminds them that the Replicators are attracted to bursts of energy.

Jack thinks out loud about setting off a small charge elsewhere to draw away the other Replicators.  Silar alerts the group that the engines just came on so they have to enact the plan before the Replicators figure out the controls for diving.

Sam learns that the “full power of the generators” is needed to fly at hyperspeed so no shields or weapons can be used while in that mode.  Thor points out the Replicators don’t care about time the way organic beings do and admits it’s possible the Replicators have ‘learned’ from other sources besides the Asgard as their modifications to Asgard technology indicate.  Since this small ship is less advanced and not attacking the Replicators don’t care about it.  Sam is struggling to come up with any ideas.

Almost as soon as the duo gets on the sub, Daniel alerts them that the sub has begun to dive.  Davis assures the other man that the sub can’t dive far with just the diesel engines.

Sam is tired and Replicators don’t get tired- but they do need to ‘eat’ in order make more of them.  The O’Neill is made of a new, strong alloy and is capable of going at hyper-speed.  Sam points out that the Replicators would want to obtain its properties for themselves, as if it’s “an all-you-can-eat buffet”.

Thor thinks Sam’s plan is a bad one: to get the O’Neill to use hyper-speed to lure the other ships into doing the same and then blow up everything.  Sam acknowledges there is a risk but Thor doesn’t want to take it.  Back on the sub, Jack and Teal’c start enacting their plan to take out the mother bug.

Sam reasons that using “better technology” is what keeps increasing the danger for the Asgard.  Thor admits that the Asgard would have never considered this tactic so the Replicators won’t expect it.  Sam adds that having stupid ideas is why she’s here.  Agreeing to the plan, Thor teleports out.

Jack and Teal’c find the mother bug and use a grenade… which doesn’t work so Jack shoots it a lot.  This causes some Replicators to block the exit and others to approach in order to attack.  Daniel is getting worried for his friends as the duo tries to figure a way out.  Silar reports that the anchor line has snapped and Jack decides to blow up the sub.

“That’s not exactly a positive attitude, Jack,” protests Daniel but the other man insists on the order.

“Now That’s Timing!”

The O’Neill zooms off and Thor teleports back next to Sam.  The three Replicator ships approach the other ship, which goes into hyper-speed.  Via Asgardian technology the duo watches representations of the four ships break apart.  The ensuing wave of wreckage doesn’t damage their ship due to its shield.

1PostHug

Sam is so elated she gives Thor a hug before pulling back to check that he’s okay, as seen above.  The blonde beams, “We did it.”

“It was your stupid idea, Major Carter,” Thor replies, giving her the bulk of the credit.  I don’t know whether or not that was a back-handed compliment.

Davis gives the order and torpedos are fired at the sub.  Daniel is clearly upset at having to watch his friends’ impeding deaths.  But just as the first one scores a direct hit, Teal’c and Jack are teleported out to Daniel’s relief and Davis’ shock.

Once on board Thor’s ship, Jack says the section quote before checking on Teal’c who is fine.  Everybody’s happy that things turned out okay.  Sam brings up the O’Neill to Jack’s pleasure before admitting they had to blow it up.

Thor wants to be able to help humanity against the Goa’uld but the war against the Replicators will be taking priority for the Asgard.  Plus, although Sam’s idea worked this time, in the future the Replicators will know what to expect and not reaction.  But at least there’s hope for the Asgard now.

Sam tells Thor they’re willing to help him again if the need arises.  Jack just offers to take Thor fishing.  Thor teleports back to Earth so he can return home as well.

Conclusion

I’m not quite sure how the Replicators will ‘learn’ how Sam’s idea works- unless any Replicators in the area pick up on the ‘energy’ caused by the admittedly huge explosion and piece together what happened to the other Replicators.  The Sam and Thor subplot was a well-done variant on the ‘rock beats laser’ story.  The less advanced humans are capable of seeing new methods the Asgard wouldn’t have thought of.  Despite the usage of the term ‘stupid’ throughout the episode, it really was more along the ideas of thinking outside the box.

Meanwhile, the guys dealt with a Replicator-infested sub.  The multiple-footage method for the recon method definitely heightened the unsettling atmosphere as well as enabled different perspectives.  Michael Shanks (and by extension, Daniel) is still mostly sidelined after his surgery.  I have to wonder how last season’s finale and this episode were originally intended to be done before real life forced them to alter the scripts.  Regardless, this episode showcased how each teammate is intelligent but has a differing perspective, allowing them to tackle a wide range of scenarios successfully.

I am well aware the Replicators will remain a major threat for seasons to come, and these past two episodes have done a great job of introducing their high danger level to multiple species, especially the advanced Asgard.

 

Next time on Stargate SG-1: The team encounters a new off-world culture called Euronda and it doesn’t go well.  I mean, it goes worse than usual.

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