Anubis attacks Earth, leading to the second appearance of Doctor Meredith Rodney McKay; Teal’c and Rya’c deal (poorly) with the loss of Drey’auc but Bra’tac helps.
Last time on Stargate SG-1: The remaining three members helped out Heimdall and Thor against Osiris.
The season premiere begins with Jack and a guy running down a rocky hill, while Teal’c and Sam are at the Gate. Angry natives emerge from over the crest, charging at them. Evidently there was some sort of misunderstanding just prior, as the stranger (wrongfully) thought it was peace pipe time.
In the control room, Hammond asks Walter when SG-1 is due back as he has a message for Sam. Just as Walter says not for nearly two hours, the wormhole opens up and their message/code states they’re under fire. The iris is opened and there are guards with weapons at the ready. The quartet comes through safely, though a spear is thrown onto the ramp as well before the iris closes. The newbie has been shot with a tranquilizer dart and falls over.
Sam tells Hammond that P2X-374 was unfriendly. It’s made clear that Captain Hagman wasn’t a good fit for the team. The general informs Sam that Area 51 has finished an interesting project.
In Daniel’s old study with his stuff, Jonas is studying while the weather channel is on the small TV set. Sam drops by to check on him. It’s revealed that nine people have tried to join SG-1 in the three months since the events of “Meridian”. Sam wants Jonas to come with her off-base to Nevada for a surprise.
Jonas, Teal’c, Sam, and Jack go to a hanger where there’s an aircraft. Dr. Larry Murphy is the guy in charge of this project. After introductions are made, Jack clarifies that he doesn’t want to test-fly it after the events of “Tangent”. Murphy points out that while the X-301 was a modified glider, the X-302 is “entirely human-built”.
“So was the Titanic,” Jack refutes. Although amused, Sam stays on topic. She and Murphy discuss the technology and note this wouldn’t have happened without the naquadria Jonas brought to Earth. There’ll be a preliminary test in the near future.
Colonel Chekov, who was last seen in “48 Hours” I believe, and Hammond are in the latter’s office. Jack tries to go back down the hallway as soon as he sees him but Hammond gets him to come in. Re-introductions are made prior to the reveal that the Russians want one of their own on SG-1.
“Over my rotting corpse, sir,” Jack instantly replies.
“Colonel,” Hammond warns the younger man.
“I’m sorry. Did I say that out loud?”
The general does his best to smooth things over, but Jack remains prickly. After Chekov leaves the office, Hammond does admit that he agrees with Jack. Jack doesn’t want to replace Daniel at all, but Hammond feels it would be a greater disservice to not try to find somebody who’d bring a similar perspective to the team. Before dismissing Jack, Hammond tells him that he’s been going easy on him given the circumstances but it’s time to find somebody qualified.
Sam’s hard at work in her lab/study when Jonas comes in to express his gratitude and his desire to learn more about Earth science. It turns out he also wants to join SG-1 and points out that Fraiser’s tests showed that he learns faster than normal Earthlings. Jonas also wants to help his planet through such missions and to finish what Daniel began. Sam is resistant to the idea and in general there’s a weird vibe going on between them (what, I don’t know). Jonas is amused to Sam’s confusion (and mine). The commentary admits that the coldness comes across as “weird” in this scene and Jonas being a quick study is a huge part of his character.
Jonas is sparring with Teal’c and there’s the comment that Jack’s been blaming Jonas for what happened to Daniel. Essentially, Jonas wants to ‘make up’ for what happened but Jack isn’t interested in giving him a chance to do so. Teal’c is clearly less exerted than Jonas, so I’m pretty sure the Jaffa won the sparring match. Jonas tries to get Teal’c to agree to talk with Jack about him joining the team if he wins the match.
Teal’c with a giant tray of food goes to sit at Jack’s table in the commissary. The commentary admits this is the same set as the previous scene. Looking up from his files, Jack snarks, “Little snack?”
The colonel is struggling to find somebody to join SG-1, saying, “I mean, I can be as diplomatic and open-minded as anyone.”
Teal’c clearly pauses, knowing how much of a lie that is.
“Hammond is insisting SG-1 needs a sociopolitical nerd to offset our overwhelming coolness.” It’s kind of sweet that Jack implicitly included Sam as being cool.
When Teal’c suggests Jonas Quinn, Jack thinks he was joking. Teal’c isn’t impressed when Jack tries to refuse Jonas on grounds of him being an alien. Jack says Teal’c joining was different and that he doesn’t trust Jonas. Alarms blare due to a wormhole activating.
Nothing is Scarier
Bra’tac and Hammond encounter the remaining trio in a hallway. The elder Jaffa reveals that Drey’auc is gravely ill.
In the elevator, Sam tells Jonas (who’s holding a book entitled Black Holes Quarks and another one) about Teal’c’s family and the reasoning why they don’t live on base/Earth. It boils down to Teal’c would be mostly busy with work and they’d be utterly isolated from their culture. They’re walking down a hallway when an upset Colonel Chekov shows up, angry after learning about the X-302.
The Russian’s complaining is interrupted by alarms due to another wormhole. Jonas and Chekov are left in the general’s office while Sam and Hammond go to the control room. Walter reports that there’s no IDC so the iris is still closed. Jack shows up to be confused as there’s nothing incoming and points out that it could be an attempt to block them from leaving. Sam points out that something, even a radio signal, must be sent through to keep a wormhole open. Hammond wants to call the President, Sam is openly concerned, and Jack feigns being blasé.
Bra’tac and Teal’c have arrived in a rebel Jaffa camp. It’s revealed that Drey’auc was too ‘proud’ to ask Teal’c to come. It’s mostly implied, but evidently she was dying due to her symbiote larva having reached maturity and her refusing to let someone else (even a captured loyal Jaffa) die to ensure her own survival. Jaffa priests are no longer given larval Goa’uld due to the spreading Jaffa rebellion. Now I’m really concerned about the why and when of Goa’uld eating their own young. Rya’c, now in his early teens, blames Teal’c for his mother’s death and storms off.
Hammond, Jack, and Sam are in the briefing room. There’s more technobabble and there’s a reminder about the thirty-eight-minute deadline for a wormhole being kept open. The computer system has been programmed to dial the Alpha site immediately after the wormhole shuts down. But then the wormhole stays open, making them realize that this is a serious problem.
Teal’c goes into the tent, which has multiple candles lit. Sitting down sadly, he lifts up a veil to realize that Drey’auc is dead so he tears up. Later, he goes into the woods to find Rya’c, who’s fed up with this situation. Teal’c wants to free all Jaffa but Rya’c wants to avenge his mother’s death and feels that his father has only brought “false hope” to Jaffa. Although he can’t fire the staff weapon on his father, Rya’c does repeatedly whack him with it. I can only surmise that on some level Teal’c does feel responsible for his wife’s death and guilty for all the time he spent away from his family, otherwise Teal’c would easily disarm and defeat the teen.
Walter and Davis are in the control room when Sam shows up. There’s a minor power uptick, so it’s possible that something is coming through the wormhole. When the sensors’ sensitivity is increased from 50 percent to 200 percent, a definite pattern emerges.
Rya’c is upset that Teal’c won’t fight back. When he finds the duo, Bra’tac is not happy with Rya’c and points out that all Jaffa are victims of the Goa’uld. Furthmore, Rya’c hasn’t ever fought in battle. When Rya’c is still angry, the elder Jaffa points out that it doesn’t become a less worthy cause just because it seems unwinnable.
Sam explains to Jack and Hammond just how bad this situation is- this method of attack will eventually destabilize the Stargate and it’ll explode, which would ultimately lead to apocalyptic conditions. The scientists at SGC have no idea how to stop it.
That night at the camp, there’s a massive pyre with the wrapped-up Drey’auc on it. After saying a few words in the Jaffa tongue, Teal’c uses a torch to set it ablaze. There’s a crowd of Jaffa. Rya’c is grieving on its outskirts, but walks away when Teal’c spots him. Bra’tac keeps Teal’c from following him and has to explain why Rya’c is lashing out- he’s felt his mind to be weak after the events of “Family”. Then he points out how Teal’c himself was afraid after his own father’s death and that Rya’c feels that Teal’c doubts him like he doubts himself because Teal’c has never said otherwise. Teal’c walks back towards the pyre.
I suspect that Teal’c being frequently away has played a role in this rift. Rya’c was legitimately closer to his mother even if he hero-worshipped his father. Heck, Bra’tac knows Rya’c better than Teal’c does at this point. Furthermore, Rya’c is mostly hearing about his father’s exploits second or third hand. It has to be overwhelming at times to have such a legendary trailblazer for a parent, especially when your inner doubts whisper that he cares more for the cause than his family.
Rya’c is sitting on the steps of the planet’s Stargate when Teal’c finds him and sits next to him. Teal’c reveals what Apophis did to him and how Bra’tac helped him regain his mind (the events of “Enemies” and “Threshold”). He then reassures his son that he loves and trusts him. There’s then a sweet father-son hug.
Davis and Siler are working in the Gate room. Jonas shows up and thus clued in that there’s an issue.
“Still sexy as ever, I see,” McKay tells Sam from off-screen in the control room. Oh, Rodney. You’re still more jerk than heart of gold at this point.
The blonde demands, “What are you doing here?”
He was sent by the Pentagon to help find a way to save the world. Walter alerts Sam to a phone call. The cargo ship got battered by the Goa’uld in “Revelations” while Chekov is grumpy that they can’t contact the Asgard. Murphy will get the X-302 ready in six hours to use its hyperspace generator for the first time as well as its first flight. Sam and Jack volunteer to go on the mission.
Teal’s, Bra’tac, and Rya’c emerge from the Jaffa camp to see a cargo ship landing. They approach the white Jaffa Shaq’rel, who informs them that Anubis is attacking the Tauri.
Jack and Sam arrive at the hanger, with the goal of reaching Abydos to use its Stargate. Murphy and Jack snark at each other. When the scientist points out that he’s needed here and thus can’t go with them, Jack goes, “Yes, yes you are.”
Again with the obviously accidental Phineas and Ferb references. The duo enters the cockpit, with scientists nearby helping to set it up. Sam’s worried that the Asgard might not be able to help. Jack is not amused.
Back in the briefing room, Jonas finds Hammond and McKay because he’s worried. Jonas and McKay agree that the X-302 won’t work, the latter taking Jonas’ journal to look over the notes there. McKay goes, “Oh, this is even worse than I thought.”
Hammond is annoyed by pointing out it’s what they have unless they have a better idea. Jonas snags his journal back as McKay leaves.
X-302 is preparing to take off. Jack wants phasers but Sam basically tells him ‘nope’. Hammond tries to warn them about Jonas’ concern over the naquadria’s instability. Sam thinks they’ve run through all the possible results, but Jack’s worried about the “inconceivable scenarios” as he’s genre savvy.
Walter, McKay, Hammond, Jonas, and Murphy are all in the control room as Sam and Jack take off in the glider.
Back at the camp, the Jaffa have failed to reach Earth via the Stargate. Teal’c wants to stop the weapon but they don’t know where it is. He and Bra’tac figure out that if one of Apophis’ planets can’t be contacted then it’s likely the planet being used.
The new spacecraft leaves the atmosphere and it’s time to use the hyperspace generator. Jonas literally crosses his pointer fingers, having failed to understanding the ‘habit’ as explained by McKay earlier. Jack and Sam fail to use the hyperspace generator so ground control decides to have them return to Earth.
Left on Edge
Everybody’s back in the briefing room. Sam explains why a safety feature kicked in and why the X-302 failed to use the hyperspace generator. McKay is grumpy and Hammond worried.
Jack later tracks down Sam in her lab, where the colonel fumbles over his words before accepting that she’s an egghead “but in a good way”. The blonde couldn’t think in the room with the other scientists, as everybody else is looking at her for the answer. My sister pointed out “Not McKay”, which is likely true.
“Well, you do have a penchant for pulling brilliant ideas out of your butt.”
When Sam looks at him, Jack amends, “Head. Out of your head when we need them.”
“Not this time.”
“Well, you’ve still got two days to work on it.”
Sam is stuck and afraid to Jack’s concern. They bond a bit before Jack leaves to eat cake, Sam deciding to join him. However, then the alarms blare. As they go through a hallway, the lights go out. Sam and Jack reach the Gate room and an Anubis hologram appears to give a speech about how Earth is doomed.
“Oh, come on, who talks like that?” complains Jack.
In contrast, Sam deduces that Anubis must have ‘downloaded’ some Asgardian technology from Thor. After a bit more gloating, Anubis disappears.
Jack scoffs, “Oh, please.”
The new, cool opening sequence with a moving Stargate spoils that Jonas Quinn will in fact be joining SG-1. Amanda Tapping now has second billing, while Jonas’ actor Corin Nemec has precedence over Don S. Davis. On the one hand, I get that Jonas will have a larger role in the episodes. On the other, I’m still a bit offended on Davis’ behalf. The DVD menu has mixed it up as well, which is odd but I’ll adjust.
The commentary reveals that Christopher Judge’s playing of Teal’c has altered due to no longer discussing scripts and such with Michael Shanks.
I won’t lie, I totally squeed when I saw David Hewlett in the credits. This is Doctor Meredith Rodney McKay’s second appearance and I’m hopeful that next episode will be his third. It turns out that while the characters hate McKay, pretty much everybody on set likes David Hewlett (daw). McKay tries to be smarmy, but to me he comes across as more pragmatic. And after SGC’s little stunt against him at the end of “48 Hours”, I can where McKay wouldn’t be keen on playing nice with them.
Tony Amendola also got kudos for knowing Bra’tac best. It was great to see him again, as well as more of the rebel Jaffas. The commentary admits it was a bit of a “deus ex machina” for Bra’tac to even mostly remember the sequences for Anubis’ seven planets.
The commentary admits that the two halves were filmed together and I won’t be watching the Directors’ featurette until after I’ve watched both. Overall, this was a great start to the season. I just have two major nitpicks.
One, Drey’auc got fridged. She died to cause emotional pain in Rya’c and Bra’tac, after last being seen in flashbacks during “Threshold”. Besides, I never really believed that she and Teal’c loved each other but only appreciated each other as the other parent to their son. In contrast, Jack and Sam seem to be closer than ever (which is saying something). Maybe they’ve been bonding during the time skip? There’s a part of me that wants to see just how badly the other eight attempted members did (one lasted just two hours).
Two, Jonas came across as arrogant in wanting to join SG-1. Jack and Daniel went on that first mission and did the Chulak mission as well. Sam led the way to figure out how to use the Stargate and also helped on the Chulak mission. Teal’c turned against his ‘god’ and was the reason the other three (and the other captives) survived the Chulak mission. Jonas was brave in bringing the naquadria to Earth… but him wanting to go straight to being on SG-1 just rubs me the wrong way.
It’ll be fun to see when in the season’s commentaries they’ll be aware of Michael Shanks’ return. Maybe I am be harder on Jonas for replacing Daniel… but he just comes across as a supposedly ‘cooler and smarter’ version of him so far. I will admit it’s not fair of Jack to blame Jonas for Daniel’s death, but right now I’m glad that Jack is coping better than he did after Charlie’s death (possibly because he got a proper goodbye with Daniel).
Jack is as snarky as ever, but McKay got in a few good lines as well. Only forty-three episodes left until I can begin Stargate Atlantis, in which there’ll be SO MUCH MORE Doctor Meredith Rodney McKay!
Next time on Stargate SG-1: Anubis’ scheme is prevented and Jonas joins the team.