When Teal’c gets ‘stuck’ in the Stargate, Colonel Simmons sends over Doctor McKay (squee) to ‘help’ Sam. Daniel and Major Davis deal with Russians while Jack teams up with Harry Maybourne (yet again).
Last time on Stargate SG-1: Four recruits proved their mettle to SGC.
Where is Teal’c?
In a meadow, the quartet is fleeing from a pair of attacking Goa’uld death gliders to reach the Stargate. Daniel puts in the chevrons to activate the Gate. Jack and Teal’c stay behind to attack while the other two head through the wormhole. Jack gets blasted backward but isn’t heavily hurt; Richard did in fact get injured doing that stunt. Teal’c somehow has a cannon-like weapon to wield.
A big Goa’uld ship rises up to start blasting at them as Jack runs through the wormhole. Tanith is piloting this larger ship so Teal’c lingers to get in a final blast before entering the wormhole. I think Tanith got taken out by that blast, but it’s hard to tell with Goa’uld.
But he doesn’t come through the Gate before the wormhole shuts down to the shock and worry of his teammates. Hammond arrives to ask where he is but they don’t know, Jack stating honestly that Teal’c was right behind him.
Hammond, Jack, Sam, Daniel, and Walter are all in the control room after the opening credits. The first name up in the post-sequence credits? David Hewlett. I won’t lie, I had to pause the episode to go squee and bounce around for a few minutes to rejoice that my grumpy Canadian is here at last since I haven’t seen him in years at this point. I mean, I was almost sure that was him in one of the scene selection images, but this confirmed it. So yeah, it’ll be fun to see his character development here and on the spin-off.
In any case, this group is discussing what happened on the planet P3X-116. The larger ship was an Alkesh. Walter starts to dial in the chevrons, Sam suggesting a MALP. Agreeing, Hammond orders Walter to do that. But once he put in the second chevron, Walter got an “unknown error” so Sam has him shut down the process.
As Jack and Sam chat, the latter realizes that the Gate might have shut down while Teal’c was in transit and that the ship might have hit the other Gate. From what I could tell, she’s correct.
Hammond is talking to Daniel in the briefing room; in fact, the younger man is sitting on the table. Apparently the Tok’ra gave them data that the Goa’uld were scoping out the planet as a new base. Daniel states that what was left out was that the Goa’uld in question was Tanith. To be fair, it’s possible that the Tok’ra didn’t know who it was. Daniel alludes how there’s a “thing” between Tanith and Teal’c as the credits specify that John de Lancie is Colonel Frank Simmons.
Arriving, Sam wants to act quickly and does some technobabble that Daniel points out is “Gate Travel one-oh-one”. Sam reveals that the “energy pattern” of Teal’c is still in the Gate but doesn’t know how to get him out. There’s a “system reset” each time a wormhole is formed. Sam wants Silar and his team to ‘tweak’ the iris to prevent any wormholes. The commentary again affirms that Amanda Tapping learns what her technobabble means for the episode in question so she actually knows what she’s talking about.
This will make the second Gate the dominant one on Earth and thus how the off-world teams will get home. The trio splits up to get stuff done. Silar’s team goes to work while Sam and Walter do computer stuff in the control room.
Hammond uses the red phone to call the Pentagon. Daniel shows up. SG-5 is due to arrive back in less than an hour. The general views Daniel as the best man for the job to represent SGC in Russia, so he’ll have to head out.
A patched-up Jack wanders over to talk to Carter, sitting down and wanting to learn/help. But after she does some technobabble, he just goes, “Can I get you some coffee?”
The blonde is worried that she won’t be able to get Teal’c back.
In Russia, the city seen via stock footage, Daniel and Major Davis arrive at an office. I believe this is the same colonel seen at the end of “The Tomb”; the man understandably wants to know what’s going on. Daniel honestly admits they’re not too sure what’s happening. SG-5 and SG-8 have already arrived safely as the colonel contacted his people but he’s grumpy at the US government. There’s currently a stalemate about whether or not to have concurrent Stargate programs.
Jack has his head in his arms at a table in the mess. Entering, Hammond sits across from him to wake him up and suggest he head home. But Jack doesn’t want to leave, despite the general’s assurances. Jack gets grumpy at Teal’c for not obeying orders as “It’s that damn Jaffa revenge thing”. Telling him to get some rest, Hammond leaves.
When the general reaches the briefing room, Colonel Simmons is introducing Major Carter to Doctor McKay. The brunet genius has been studying the Stargate program from Area 51 for over a year. Hammond tries to defend Sam. McKay has longer hair than he will in the future, and is generally oddly adorable considering how scathing he is of Sam’s haphazard system. Then again, during his rant the events of “Red Sky” popped into my head because he has a point. Hammond and Simmons want the duo to work together to fix this issue, the latter doing a title drop in regards as how long they’ll have.
Hammond gets Simmons into his office so he can argue with him. The Pentagon doesn’t want to deal with the Russians long-term nor do they want the program here shut down for an extended period.
Daniel wants a team sent to visit an off-world ally for fact-finding. The colonel gets grumpy.
Jack leaves a gas station to spot Harry Maybourne by his truck. He gets mad at the other man, who insists he didn’t shoot Jack and points out if he had he wouldn’t have shown up. In a clear case of his character development since “Bane”, Harry goes on the subject of Teal’c missing that “I hope you get him back”.
Harry rightfully mistrusts Simmons on the subject of Teal’c and SGC. He tells Jack that he’ll be around for a few days at the Accent Inn under the name of Cassidy.
When Jacks asks, “David or Shaun?” Harry replies “Butch,” in a tone that implies it should have been obvious.
Jack calls after him, “You know, Simmons says you’re the one who sullied the good name of the NID.”
Coming back, Harry asks, “Do you believe that?”
After a pause, Jack admits, “No.”
“Trust me, Jack. I know him well. I’m the one who recruited him,” Harry states before leaving for real. Jack is left uneasy.
Sam is typing in her lab when McKay arrives. She’s prickly towards him. Having picked up on the tension between SGC and Simmons, he makes sure to clarify that he works for the Chief of Staff, not Simmons. McKay pokes holes into Sam’s general work in getting the Gate working sans DHD, making her irritable.
Daniel calls her about what the Tok’ra said; they unwittingly backed up McKay’s theory that a DHD would have prevented this from occurring. When Sam hopes they could use a DHD to fix the issue, Daniel replies, “Not without giving back Alaska.”
“That bad, huh?”
Soon after Daniel admits that the Tok’ra aren’t sure how to fix the issue the phone call ends.
In his office, Hammond has just wrapped up a phone call of his own. Entering, Simmons shuts the door and points out there are less than thirty-two hours left at this point. He’s certain that McKay and Carter won’t fix the issue in the given time slot. Simmons claims he knows how to save Teal’c but it won’t be free information. Hammond starts out grumpy and gets grumpier when Simmons tries to manipulate him.
Jack goes to visit Harry at his inn suite. I’m not sure if Harry’s joking or not when he strongly implies he could kill Simmons and it’d “be [his] pleasure”, trying to get Jack to agree by theorizing that Simmons was the one who shot him. He’s right, but I don’t know how he can be so sure of that. Maybe because he does know the other man?
Evidently there was an off-screen phone call between them where Jack told Harry about Simmons trying to blackmail Hammond. Apparently the NID wants a Goa’uld hand device, which means they likely have the escaped Goa’uld in their custody. Jack wants to find said missing Goa’uld.
Davis is with two Russians about a list of demands. They want a permanent Russian team in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex among other things, including shared information (retroactively too). Davis is irritable while Daniel wants the DHD, asking what they’d want in exchange. The Russian colonel has a point in saying by not knowing the current technologies available to the US they can’t name a reasonable price.
In his kitchenette, Harry reassures Jack that he has a more secure setup for his hacking this time in a reference to “Chain Reaction”. Once in the system, Harry reveals to Jack that he knows all the NID safe houses in the US. Simmons stopped briefly in Minot, North Dakota, on his way to Colorado Springs. That is clearly a detour.
Getting their food in the mess, Sam and McKay talk technobabble. It turns out he’s allergic to citrus and is very dramatic about it, because Rodney. They sit down to keep talking; McKay’s hungry despite disliking the mess food.
Sam does her best to come up with a plan, but McKay keeps poking holes into it. He remains snarky and skeptical despite her arguments and ends up revealing that he ended up creating the deadline because he doubted that Teal’c would still be alive in sixteen hours (the deadline).
McKay continues to put his foot in his mouth by revealing that he’s attracted to Sam as she’s his weakness of a “dumb blonde”. Furious, she tells him to “go suck on a lemon” before storming off. He mutters about how sexy she is as a result.
There’s a walled house, which the commentary admits doubled as this location and as the Russian embassy. In the security room, the guy notices that a spot has acted up. He and the guy on the other end of the radio thinks it’s a squirrel, but the security guy suggests backup regardless. But he can’t contact Joe anymore so he tells Paul to go check on him with Peter.
Suddenly the lights go out so the security guy heads over to the backup generator, which doesn’t work either.
In another room, the Goa’uld is in his cage. Paul and Peter are guarding him as he half-smiles.
When he opens the door, the security guy gets zatted by Harry. Once in, Harry contacts Jack, who turns the lights back on so Harry can use the cameras. Harry tells Jack that there are two guys guarding the Goa’uld.
Said duo is nervously guarding but easily get zatted by Jack when he enters. Jack wants to interrogate the Goa’uld within Adrian Conrad.
Over in Russia, Daniel is arguing with Davis on how the treaty will be worked out. Interesting points are brought up for both sides as they discuss the potential for a naquadah generator program in Russia.
Harry has tied up and bound the guys before uneasily letting Jack into the cage. Jack wants to know what the Goa’uld told Simmons. The Goa’uld doubts Jack will kill him so Jack zats him. Jack reveals given the host’s role in Sam’s brush with death in “Desperate Measures” that he doesn’t care about whether or not the host lives either.
The Goa’uld claims that if he dies, so does Teal’c. Ultimately the Goa’uld stays in his cage while Jack and Harry leave room. Jack realized that there was a camera in the cell and thus there’s footage of Simmons’ meeting with the captive. In the security room, they find the correct VHS (another reminder that this show is currently set in 2002).
Major Davis and Daniel are at a table when the colonel comes in. Daniel wants to save his friend and brings up the events of “The Tomb”. The colonel reveals that Zukhov was his friend, which enables Daniel to point out that then the colonel must know how he feels. That tidbit certainly clarifies why the colonel was so angry at the end of that episode, if he had just learned of his friend’s death.
Daniel suggests the Russians could lend the DHD to them and the colonel can come along.
Hammond has been ordered to resume regular operations in an hour or else. Hammond, Simmons, and Walter are all in the control room. The gate chevrons start to be dialed in. Sam is told by an air-woman that she got a call from Jack. It turns out he got the data to save Teal’c and it also incriminates Colonel Simmons. The chevrons are stopped and Hammond orders Simmons to be arrested.
McKay, Jack, Sam, and Hammond all watch the footage of the Goa’uld and Simmons. McKay thinks that following what the Goa’uld said is a bad idea, not to mention reckless. It turns out he’s been ordered to supervise the naquadah generator program in Russia. He seems to realize this is SGC’s revenge on him, which does seem rather harsh.
Silar hands the master control crystal of the DHD over to Sam. Jack expresses worry- Silar responds despite his comment having been meant for Sam. The blonde observes that it doesn’t matter where they are if the Gate blows up.
Daniel suggests that the Russian colonel can leave, but he chooses to stay. The Gate starts up, with lots of sparks. A weird wormhole forms with extra glow. Teal’c emerges, very confused. His friends are all happy to see him.
Then the DHD explodes, shocking Silar. Davis is present in the control room too. Daniel gets awkward while the colonel is horrified. Jack and Sam go to check on Teal’c, the former telling Silar “Shake it off, Sparky”. The Jaffa believes that Tanith is dead so he got his revenge. Jack gets snarky on the subject. Teal’c is confused about what has occurred, disbelieving Jack when the other man says that Teal’c owes his life to a Goa’uld.
There’s some talk about Silar’s actor, Dan Shea, is the show’s stunt coordinator which is why he often gets hurt on-screen.
This was a spectacular episode: John de Lancie/Colonel Frank Simmons returns, Jack and Harry teamed up, the Russians played a major role, and Doctor Meredith Rodney McKay made his first appearance. It acts as a follow-up to both “The Tomb” and “Desperate Measures”, elements of both coming into play here. As the commentary admits, this show requires regular viewing- you can’t just hop in and out of watching episodes.
Both the Americans and Russians make good points. McKay also makes good points about how reckless Sam can be and how her MacGyver-y methods can cause trouble. But her creative thinking and risk-taking often solves issues at the SGC. I think, ultimately, both perspectives are needed. However, McKay’s attitude upsets the main characters.
I am so happy that McKay has shown up at last. He was my favorite character on the spin-off and I’m glad he’s as I remember him- a brilliant, socially inept jerk (with a heart of gold that’ll be seen more in the future). I can’t wait to see when he’ll reappear. Probably when the team has to deal with the Russians again. Amusingly enough, the commentary barely takes notice of McKay’s existence, which likely implies he was originally meant to be a one-off character.
There was some minor protagonist-centric morality going on, but there is a point that Teal’c has risked his life repeatedly for Earth, which isn’t even his planet.
By this time Harry Maybourne is an ally to Jack, not a foe. Possibly him helping Teal’c here makes up for his more villainous role in “Bane”. The NID is partially a legitimate organization, so I wonder who will be the next ‘liaison’ between them and SGC if Simmons is in jail. Also, what’s going to happen to the Goa’uld in Adrian Conrad?
Next time on Stargate SG-1: There’s a system lord summit and the Tok’ra base gets attacked again.