Hammond, Davis, Chekov, and Kinsey reveal the Stargate’s existence to ambassadors of China, Great Britain, and France.
Last time on Stargate SG-1: Nirrti’s latest batch of ‘experiments’ turned against her once Jack convinced them of the truth.
As this is the first clip since the season two finale, there is a lot more ground to cover. I will honestly try to name each episode- if the commentary says otherwise, I’ll put the correct answer/situation afterwards, leaving my mistake in place. That is, if I make any.
Don S. Davis, who plays Hammond, is part of this commentary. This is acknowledged to be his first.
The Big Reveal
Colonel Chekov is trying to sell the cover story regarding the sunken sub to the Chinese ambassador. The other man is understandably concerned by the fact that America and Russia are sharing a secret from the rest of the world, given the two nations’ past relationship. Two white guys, the ambassadors from Great Britain and France, show up to be grumpy about the Americans as well. The Chinese ambassador is snarky once again.
Hammond and Davis arrive, as does a female Russian attaché (I think she’s Chekov’s assistant). The two Russians chat briefly in their own language before the entire group sits at the horseshoe-shaped table. Welcoming the ambassadors to the Pentagon, Davis starts to explain about the Stargate program. The trio of ambassadors grows very quiet.
After a shot of the Pentagon’s exterior, the camera cuts back to the meeting room. Davis gives the background on Earth’s Stargate, including that single wormhole back in 1945, leaving out Ernest’s accidental exile. On the screen, a photo of Daniel Jackson comes up to clarify how eight years ago, he joined the program and deciphered the symbols on the Stargate. “Literally hundreds of planets” have since been visited, and this episode takes place before that regrettable shift where ‘literally’ can now mean ‘metaphorically’.
The European ambassadors are incredulous. Hammond is sympathetic, while Chekov backs that this is the truth. The British guy is not pleased that RUSSIA learned about this before his nation, given the standard sociopolitical relations. Hammond confesses about how Maybourne (his name omitted) essentially sold out the information to the Russians.
Davis clarifies how they got another Gate, complete with a flashback to the events of “Nemesis”. He tries to explain things, but it gets complicated, particularly since the trio is still wrapping their minds around interplanetary travel and aliens being real. Hammond tries to help, but Davis concedes how confusing this must be for them.
Senator Kinsey arrives late due to a prior meeting. The trio of ambassadors is grumpy to Kinsey’s amusement, but he does confirm that the Stargate is real. It’s restated that he originally found out as he wanted to find out where all those billions of government money were going. It’s admitted that the planet is in danger (again, or just in general?).
There’s a bit of backstory on who made the Gates, but as SGC still doesn’t know much about the Ancients they can’t explain much. The Goa’uld are still (again?) planning to attack Earth. There’s a flashback of SG-1 with Jacob from “The Serpent’s Venom”, I believe- confirmed by the commentary right after talking about Davis’ backstory as an actual military veteran. There are brief explanations on ha’tak vessels, alkesh, death gliders, and motherships. Oh, and I did miss over the brief flashback to “Exodus” where Jack and Teal’c get shot at (oops).
It’s stressed that negotiation is impossible with the Goa’uld. There’s a flashback to the first stage of attack from “The Sentinel” and then footage of the blasts on the underground Tok’ra base in “Summit”. Davis clarifies on the ground-level attack, leading to another flashback from “Summit”.
Kinsey backs up the upset ambassadors, revealing that he was overruled when he tried to claim that the Gate was too dangerous to be used. Hammond clarifies that it was by ignoring Kinsey’s order that SG-1 saved the day. Also, in general, even then it was too late to ignore the rest of the galaxy. There is a valid point to be made how Apophis was taken out to only be replaced by the more dangerous Anubis, particularly as Apophis himself only came to prominence in the wake of Ra’s death, which was caused by Jack and Daniel. There’s a flashback to Anubis and Thor during “Revelations”
Davis concedes that Anubis is very powerful and has already tried to destroy Earth twice. The ambassadors understandably taken aback by this tidbit. The asteroid occurred a year ago. Hammond explains a few things and there’s a flashback to “Fail Safe”, including Jack’s hilarious line “Carter, I can see my house”, before Davis stresses how SG-1 saved the day. It’s admitted that Anubis is currently working to consolidate his power over the System Lords, but after that, it’s likely that he’ll turn his attention towards Earth again.
Keeping Secrets and Cleaning Up Messes
The plan is to have these five nations work together to mount Earth’s defense. Chekov admits that this would be a very complex scenario. Davis is worried about a “widespread panic” occurring if the Stargate’s existence (and all it entails) became public knowledge.
The Chinese ambassador doesn’t believe in ‘keeping secrets” and claims his country is the same (earning himself a justified look of incredulity from Chekov), wanting to reveal this information.
There’s another shot of the Pentagon’s exterior, further highlighting that this is a new part of the plotline. The ambassadors are squabbling amongst themselves. Hammond is proud of his base’s efforts, while Kinsey dismisses it as entirely luck.
Davis brings up how an entire fleet got wiped out. The others are now at least genre savvy enough to predict that it was due to SG-1. There’s a flashback to the time Sam blew up a sun in “Exodus”.
Hammond states that the Goa’uld’s fatal flaw is “arrogance” and Davis clarifies that they’ve taken advantage of being underestimated multiple times. There’s a flashback to missiles being sent through the Gate to take out some Jaffa guards in “The Sentinel”. Don S. Davis notes how Kinsey has the same flaw, which is part of why SGC keeps winning against his schemes. In the actual episode, Hammond states that their main goal is to obtain technology to defend Earth.
The Stargate program has been active for six years. Two years ago was the X-301, with a flashback to where things started to go wrong during “Tangent”. The X-302 was built in response. Jack and Sam in the cockpit, checking systems (and Jack checking if there are phasers- there are not) during “Redemption, Part 1”.
The Chinese ambassador is rather stressed out by the revelation that the Americans have gotten access to advanced alien technology that could be used offensively against other nations just as readily as defensively against alien invasion. Hammond is idealistic about how such technology will be used. Chekov points out that the USA hasn’t used such technology yet and therefore is unlikely to do so in the future. Kinsey is more amused than anything else by all the discord.
It’s time to explain what happened with the X-303. There’s a flashback to its initial liftoff under NID power during the events of “Prometheus”, which was also the name given to the spacecraft. Davis tries to keep talking, but the Chinese ambassador wants to talk to his bosses immediately.
Hammond wants to defend the world, while the Chinese ambassador doesn’t like America having prominence in this operation. The European ambassadors agree that they want a more neutral location. Kinsey wants to offer a compromise, bringing up the NID, a civilian agency, to take control of the Gate.
Incredulously Davis brings up the events of “Smoke & Mirrors”, where, ya know, the NID tried to assassinate Kinsey. The senator dismisses that as a small, rogue faction.
When he tries to dismiss Hammond’s dislike as being personal, there’s a flashback to Hammond telling Jack what happened off-screen back in “Chain Reaction”. In other words, how there was a threat to his granddaughters to force him into retirement.
Davis brings up what nearly happened to Madrona. There’s a flashback to SG-1 retrieving the weather control device in “Touchstone”. The implication is that the NID takes for Earth without considering the implications for other inhabited planets. It would have been a bit much to bring up the events of “The Sentinel” again, but that’s another case of that. And the one time SGC started to forget that, it came back to haunt them in “Spirits”, which was right before “Touchstone” (my conclusion there already connected those dots).
The commentary initially thinks this flashback is from “Shades of Grey”, but soon corrects themselves. For being halfway through season seven at this point, the commentary keeps quiet about Daniel’s return throughout.
Next is a flashback from “Shades of Grey” as the Asgard beam up the stolen stuff from the NID base and the ensuing arrests. Kinsey seemingly dislikes Hammond and Jack out of a mistrust of their competence. If this had been genuine, that could have made for an interesting scenario, but I know that Kinsey just wants more power for himself.
The senator blames the Stargate program for repeatedly bringing the planet to the brink of destruction, bringing up the black hole incident from “A Matter of Time”. Hammond counters how Jack risked his life to save the day, and the ensuing flashback involves Siler in the background (something I noted even before the ending credits noted Dan Shea’s cameo).
Trying again, Kinsey brings up how aliens have invaded the base multiple times. There’s that time Jack got pinned to a wall by a device during “Message in a Bottle”, Replicators attacking the base in “Menace”, and then the mimicking aliens’ self-inflicted deaths in “Foothold”.
Thinking that they aren’t doing their jobs properly, Kinsey expresses his distaste for SGC’s narrow escapes as he suspects one of these times, they won’t make it. He’s genre blind like that.
Saved by Thor
Hammond is grumpy during the interlude- everybody’s standing, getting snacks, and there’s a handful of other people present. I’m not sure who they are or why they’re present- maybe there’s a secondary briefing going on in another room? Hopefully the commentary will clarify this.
Davis arrives to alert Hammond that Kinsey has been manipulating things to get control of the NID and the Gate. The general assures the younger man that he has his own ace up his sleeve.
Chekov is talking with the Chinese ambassador, pointing out that the US is spending a ton of money and risking lives to create the technology, which the other nations will then get the blueprints to for far less risk. His aide (?) is by his side. The commentary notes that halfway through season seven, X-303’s hyperdrive still isn’t functioning properly. Moments later, it’s time for everybody to retake their seats, except it’s the small group again. Um, okay.
Hammond points out that whoever has the Gate will be representing Earth and that SGC has not only made enemies, but friends, during their missions. There’s a flashback to Jack on Othala during “The Fifth Race”, emphasizing the line about how humans have “great potential”.
The Chinese ambassador still wants “full disclosure” of the Stargate to Earth’s populace. One of the European ambassadors expresses interest in Kinsey’s proposal. The commentary lampshades the title drop here.
However, Thor in his chair then teleports into the space created by the table’s odd shape… which might have been deliberately chosen by Hammond in case Thor turned out to be needed. Nearly everybody is flabbergasted by encountering an actual alien.
Thor introduces himself as the “Supreme Commander of the Asgard fleet” and as having come at Hammond’s request. It’s pointed out that SG-1 has saved both species’ butts on multiple occasions… okay, so Thor said it more eloquently but the sentiment is there. Thor also comments how the two species are more than allies, they are “true friends”. That’s adorable.
Kinsey tries to introduce himself but Thor knows who he is. In fact, he comments, “O’Neill suggested I send you to a distant planet for your actions here, but I am reasonably certain his statement was in jest.”
“I’m sure it was, Commander.”
“Supreme Commander,” Thor corrects him. Yeah, Thor has assimilated Jack’s dislike of Kinsey. Not that it’s unjustified, but it’s still a cute friendship moment. It’s stressed that it is “preferred” by both Thor and the High Council for the SGC to stay in charge.
The Asgardians- also they don’t point this out- even have a valid diplomatic reason to do so. Disregarding everything else (which is a lot), it was rogue NID members who repeatedly stole from the Tollan, the Asgard, and others. They have legitimate reasons to doubt how well the NID would handle being in charge of the Stargate and Earth’s relations with the rest of the galaxy.
Thor has also dropped by to upgrade Prometheus as thanks to SG-1 for saving both galaxies from the Replicators. Hammond is pleasant towards Thor, who soon teleports away.
Kinsey is sullen. The European ambassadors agree to let SGC stay in charge. Chekov affirms Russia will back the USA. The Chinese ambassador concedes that for now, the Stargate can stay where it is. Hammond looks over at Kinsey to see if there’ll be any more trouble from him for now.
Conceding that it was “well played” of the general, Kinsey leaves. Both Hammond and Davis are pleased with themselves.
This was everything a clip show should be- helpful recapping and clarification on how events built upon each other, as well as moving forward the series’ plot. After “Politics” and “Out of Mind”, this is SG-1’s third clip show and it’s best one yet. At episode 127, we were admittedly due for one as it aired in 2003, a pre-Netflix world (I think…).
Three more nations’ representatives now know about the Stargate, further expanding who on Earth is involved with the galaxy at large (muhahaha). Though, really, they should have been more flabbergasted about how USA and Russia have essentially teamed up to fight aliens. In other words, this is the first step to the future where everybody knows about the Stargate’s existence- and by extension, just how not alone Earthlings are in the galaxy.
SG-1 only shows up in clips from past episodes. The only exception is that Michael Shanks shows up to voice Thor, who smacks down Senator Kinsey’s unfounded arrogance. SGC might cut things close at times, but I doubt the NID would do any better and certainly suspect it’d do far worse. After all, it’s not like SGC has an entire rogue faction.
There’s a certain symbolism to having the meeting take place in the Pentagon, as this marks five nations knowing about the Stargate program: America, Russia, Great Britain, France, and China.
Evidently in general each season covers a year’s worth of time. That, or it’s a meta nod to the number of seasons. I know I could probably find an online timeline, but I’m a little worried about spoilers as I want some degree of mystery as I continue onward throughout the three series.
To be fair, Kinsey was already doubting SGC’s competence back in “Politics”. However, half-a-decade of keeping the planet uninvaded should have convinced him that they might be figuring things out if that was his real issue with them. It’s interesting how Kinsey’s been involved in two of the clip show episodes.
At the beginning, the commentary does acknowledge the issues associated with clip show episodes, but I agree with their own final assessment- this was still a great episode.
Next time on Stargate SG-1: The team finds a crashed spaceship and its survivors.