Pointless Nonsense

Posted in tv by Bill on August 30, 2011

I didn’t think about it until now, but it’s interesting that Jack O’Neill is both the main character and the comic relief. That doesn’t really happen very often, does it?

Episode 1:

  • We’ve made the transition to widescreen for this season.
  • SG-1 is trying out their new version of Daniel Jackson, and apparently he’s not quite meeting their expectations.
  • New opening credits for Season 6, and they’re actually much cooler than seasons past. Slow motion close-ups of the gate movement. And Corin Nemec’s in the cast now, so apparently the new Jackson is going to be Parker Lewis. Weird. But now we’ve got this whole episode to transition from him being random alien exile guy into the new Archaeologist/Linguist guy. I’m not sure why the Earth’s premiere team for visiting other planets would be half composed of aliens, but whatever.
  • This episode is, I guess, exposition for the season, because in addition to the whole Parker Lewis addition to the team. Sal Bass shows up, Teal’c’s wife dies, the Russians want in on an SG team, testing out a new fancy ship, the return of that scientist douche who thinks he’s so great and wants to bang Carter, and an incoming wormhole that won’t disappear even after 38 minutes.
  • Nothing really happens, then at the end Anubis holographically projects himself into the SGC to give a supervillain speech (“Prepare to meet your doom!” or something… maybe “Welcome to You’re ‘Doom'”?).

Episode 2:

  • For some reason, we’re back to 4:3 for part 2 of this terrible season premiere.
  • Aha! They actually mention the fact that matter goes one way through the gate, but “certain waves” can travel both ways, explaining my complaint about how the gate operation was totally unclear.
  • Chief Tyrol appears for the second time, this time he has a real role and dialog and stuff. He plays a torturing evil guy, which is kinda weird.
  • Anyway, some stuff happens and they have to fly the Stargate out into space and detonate it to avoid some sort of catastrophe. So everyone packs up, as if the audience is supposed to believe the Stargate program is over, and it will subsequently be a show about people who used to go to other planets.
  • And it actually took all of a two-parter to arrive at the obvious conclusion of Parker Lewis joining SG-1 as Jackson’s replacement.

Episode 3:

  • SG-1 heads to the ship where Anubis beat Thor, now abandoned. It seems that Thor used his link to the ship’s computer to plant a virus (which they explain in one of those “like putting too much air in a balloon!” analogies), which left the ship uninhabitable. My guess for the plot going forward is that reuniting the virus with Thor’s comatose body will wake him up.
  • And I’m almost right. It’s his whole consciousness, which they intend to transfer into a cloned body (using the newfound knowledge about Asgardian genetics from the previous episode).
  • There’s lots of submarine-movie type stuff, with a serious of flooded areas of the ship sealed off.
  • Corin Nemec gets his first big heroic moment, coming up with a plan and risking his life to save everyone.
  • I’ve noticed more than most other shows, the plots in SG-1 are really concentrated in the middle. They don’t do much beginning or end. The show frequently starts with SG-1 returning from a mission gone awry, and then we play catchup while they figure out how to fix things. And then the transition to “we’re totally fucked” to “everything’s great, the end” is often very abrupt, and there’s rarely an epilog/post script type scene. Just “hooray, we won!” and then the credits.

Episode 4:

  • There’s been a team (including one of the Lone Gunmen) digging around in the ice where they found the second gate, and they just found a frozen corpse that predates human life on Earth, and is somehow frozen in a way that it’s still alive.
  • The opening credits I liked for the first few episodes have already been replaced by a montage of clips from the show, which is not nearly as good.
  • Stupidly, while thawing out a million year old alive thing, they’re just wearing surgical masks and not the hazmat suits they should be wearing. What if this person has smallpox, or something worse? And one of the scientists who dug her out gets sick. Dr. Frasier is all “we may already be infected too” and quarantines the place. But when treating the sick scientist, she doesn’t even wear a surgical mask, even though she might not be infected yet.
  • Because the producers aren’t total idiots, the frozen girl is kinda hot. Since everyone else is infected with a deadly, incurable disease, I was beginning to suspect that she might have magical healing powers. And in fact she does. But curing everyone (except O’Neill) killed her.
  • As I was saying about abrupt endings, we close with O’Neill reluctantly agreeing to becoming a temporary Tok’ra host to save his own life (and recover vital intel from the symbiote). The episode ends as they’re carrying him into the gate for the joining.
  • One thing that might be annoying going forward is that they could give everyone who was healed by frozen girl some sort of magical power (healing or otherwise) as a side effect.

Episode 5:

  • This episode calls back to the rich guy who infected himself (or tried, I don’t really remember) with a symbiote to cure himself.
  • They travel to a town in Oregon (with the exception of a few trips to D.C., their trips inside the US are almost always the Pacific NW, because it’s harder to make Vancouver look like other places) where a scientist who’d just contacted Carter has just died suspiciously.
  • Everyone in the town is evil at night, and out of it during the day. So there’s something crazy going on.
  • Also, someone is building a spaceship or something in their garage.
  • Turns out they’re all infected with immature symbiotes who can only control their host when the host is asleep.
  • Carter is “infected,” by which I mean we’re supposed to believe that she was, when she either can’t be due to her brief time with a Tok’ra host, or she took something from the dead scientist tha tmade her immune to its control. Anyway, they’re playing it like she’s evil, but other than totally letting a department of evil guy get infected, she saved Teal’c and Corin Nemec’s asses.
  • Interestingly, they pretty much punted O’Neill’s condition for this entire episode. I wonder if Richard Dean Anderson just wanted some time off.

Episode 6:

  • And now we appear to be actually ready to deal with the O’Neill Tok’ra business. He is captured by the Goa’uld shortly after his Tok’ra symbiote fled his body for some reason.
  • Jackson, having ascended to a higher plane of existence now existing as a being of pure energy (which is the dumbest thing yet), shows up to console O’Neill while he’s being tortured. Together, they deduce that O’Neill will be tortured to death and no one can rescue him, so Jackson offers him help in ascending too. So, yeah. I guess this is going to be a thing in this show. Which is awful.
  • But they put that off, at least for now, and O’Neill is eventually rescued.

Episode 7:

  • This episode takes us back to Parker Lewis’ homeworld. Dean Stockwell plays a representative of his planet. I wonder if this will unseat his roles on Quantum Leap and BSG from the top two spots in my list of favorite Dean Stockwell roles? Probably not.
  • I like how, even though earth has been separated from from these other worlds for millennia, Dean Stockwell wears a suit and tie that would make him look perfectly normal in early 21st century Earth.
  • Dean Stockwell seperately visits Corin Nemec to inform him that he works with an underground rebellion and plans to overthrow his government.
  • So I got totally distracted by a Louis CK interview and am now having to watch parts of this show a second time. Anyway, it turns out Dean Stockwell, the J. Robert Oppenheimer of his planet, has sufferend some sort of radiation poisoning type thing that turned him schizophrenic and the whole rebellion business was in his head. Corin Nemec gets to show off his range by being all full of anguish over his old friend’s deterioration.

Episode 8

  • The guy who played Dr. Phlox guest stars as some sorta scientist part of a team of hapless nerds who take the roles of the janitors in that one Babylon 5 episode where we get to see the goings on from the perspective of the peons. They even get some jokes in about how Dr. Phlox is a big Star Trek fan.
  • They’re decidedly comic relief, as they mount a rescue mission when SG-1 gets captured, but they were actually captured on purpose to meet an undercover Tok’ra contact.
  • The scientists bumble their way through saving the day and get an end-of-Star Wars-style award ceremony, which turns out to be a daydream by one of the scientists. But they leave it vague, I think. I’m leaning towards the entire episode being a dream (in which case, thanks a fucking lot for wasting my time), but it’s possible just the award thing at the end was a dream.

Episode 9:

  • Markus from Jeremiah, who also write and directed the Woody Harrelson superhero movie Defendor guest stars as a Tok’ra. I was going to say this marks the third episode in a row with a guest star from another SF show, but it looks like Jeremiah was actually after this. Anyway, his role is apparently to be an asshole Tok’ra who looks down on humans and Jaffa. And naturally they’re stranded on a fairly rustic planet with a ton of Jaffa soldiers, so tensions are high.
  • There’s a whole who’s-the-traitor mystery type thing going on, and the guy from Jeremiah is too much of a dick to be the guy, and we don’t have a suspect, so I think it’s an outsider we haven’t seen.
  • And yeah, it turns out to be an invisible guy who they defeat and the episode ends abruptly as ever.

Episode 10:

  • SG-1 meets up with a civilization who’s never contacted other planets through the gate before. These people are technologically behind Earth, but have a magical cure-all that they’re willing to share with Earth in exchange for gate know-how. It would be really boring for the cure-all to work perfectly and consequence free, so I’m just waiting for the part where it goes wrong.
  • And there we go, it’s made from Goa’uld juice or something, mimicking the immune system boosting that symbiotes do. But these people are having trouble making enough for their needs. They recruit the Tok’ra (including the guy from Jeremiah again) to figure out how to make more. Apparently they have a Goa’uld queen who’s been reproducing and they extract their goop from the offspring, but the queen is dying. And the literal snake oil that has been keeping them healthy is actually suppressing their immune systems and doing the healing instead, if they stop taking the stuff, their natural immune systems won’t recover. So they need it bad.
  • Oh wow, and it turns out the Goa’uld queen is actually the original Tok’ra, long thought dead. That’s quite a cool twist. Save the Tok’ra queen and kill 20% of this planet, or continue the abuse of the queen and possible last hope of a dying people.
  • Kudos for the cool dilemma, but they skirt the ethical quandry by having a Tok’ra sneak in and sacrifice itself so the queen can take its host. And have the queen be dying anyway, and in her final act produce a cure for the dependency these people have.
  • I really don’t like the perfect resolution, but that was actually a pretty good episode. I don’t even remember the last one that was close.

Episode 11:

  • Early on, the message of this episode is that the free press is evil and must be stopped, as a reporter uncovers evidence of a multi-billion dollar secret project. After some finagling, they reach a deal with the reporter’s producer (played by Fletch’s ex-wife’s lawyer) to give them access to the project to document it, with the Air Force holding onto the footage until they’re prepared to go public, at which point they get the exclusive.
  • The project in this case is apparently the building of a giant spaceship capable of interstellar travel, and of course it goes awry. The cameramen, lead by the main bad guy from the Canadian crime series Intelligence, turn out to be evil and hold the ship hostage demanding the release of the rich guy who got himself implanted with a Goa’uld. Also on their team is this girl who has been in a ton of Vancouver-y stuff but I can’t place what I know her from.
  • It appears that this was all a ploy devised by the rich guy Goa’uld and John De Lancie. Things go rather predictably, Carter sorta plays the role of John McLaine, screwing with the hostage takers plans from behind the scenes. The rich guy gets shot and the Goa’uld jumps into John de Lancie. O’Neill and Teal’c find their way onto the ship. The only surprises are that they airlock Q and that they do a hyperspace jump and end up with no idea where they are. Being late in the episode, I expected a “we’re lost, to be continued,” but instead we got a “Thor shows up and randomly asks for their help, to be continued.”

Episode 12:

  • So the Asgard lured all the replicators to their homeworld with the intent of getting them stuck in some kinda time bubble, but it didn’t work and now they’re screwed. They need this new Earth ship and it’s relatively backward technology to try to save them all with a rather stupid plan.
  • Turns out the replicators reversed the time bubble and they are replicating and advancing considerably faster than they would have. When SG-1 entered the bubble, they find the replicators can now take human form. They are lead by this British guy who tried to take over as producer on The Larry Sanders Show, and one his lackeys who barely talks is Helo. So these guys are total dicks except one who’s kinda human. They use the niceness of the kinda human guy to screw everyone over and escape, leaving them all stuck in the reverse-reversed time bubble. If there’s any justice in this show, this episode serves as the origin story for the nice kinda-human replicator’s journey to supervillainy. He was totally nice, totally taken advantage of, and now will be tortured for centuries for trying to be a good guy. I so desperately want this guy coming back for revenge in like season 9.

Episode 13:

  • Shortly after returning from somewhere else with a spooky alien artifact that Parker Lewis just touched, he starts seeing things that no one else does. This is a staple of science fiction shows, so they could have moved past it in 2 minutes, but instead we spend 10 being all “is he going crazy? Oh no!”
  • Anyway, everyone ends up seeing these things that look like moths. Which turn out to be harmless moth-y things from another dimension, but the ability to see them spreads out to people outside the base. So they figure out how to cure the ability to see them and track them all down. And that’s kinda all that happens.

Episode 14:

  • Senator Bad Guy From Robocop/Captain Jelico from TNG is assassinated and apparently by O’Neill. So either it’s a ruse, the scene at the beginning is deliberately misleading (intercuts between the assassination and O’Neill hunting), or there’s an O’Neill lookalike or mind control thing going on.
  • So at the 12:00 mark, we have arrived at an O’Neill lookalike. This is from a previous episode that I’ve basically forgotten, but I probably complained when it happened that it opened up the door for this bullshit.
  • Though they’re dealing with a government conspriacy and all that, they’re more than willing as Air Force people with no domestic jurisdiction at all to violate people’s rights to due process and privacy and whatnot.
  • Stupid twist, it turns out the Senator’s not dead.
  • The assassination attempt was apparently a conspiracy by a bunch of evil old white billionaires. Which would’ve been a cool new enemy, but instead they’re all apprehended in this episode.

Episode 15:

  • The kinda evil guy that’s been helping out O’Neill for a while has info on where Q wanted to take that ship and why he wanted to go there, so he blackmail’s his way into going along through the gate (and a full presidential pardon), saying he has a key that unlocks a store of ancient super powerful weapons.
  • Turns out it was a ruse (surprise!) and he gets the jump on carter and opens up a portal to… somewhere. O’Neill chases him through the portal and they appear to be in a peaceful field in the middle of nowhere on who-knows-what planet.
  • Evil guy (I should pay attention to his name) says it’s some kind of alien utopia, but when they get there it’s a long-deserted village. Oops.
  • Back where they started, Carter and Corin Nemec and a guy who used to be on the X-Files are trying to figure out where the hell they went and how they got there.
  • Things go all Lord of the Flies for a while, and it turns out they’re under the influence of a plant that makes you super paranoid. They figure that out after nearly killing each other, and then are rescued. As usual, not much of a coda.

Episode 16:

  • The Russian SG team returns with an alien who’s been experimented on by Nirti, the same Goa’uld who made that little girl a bomb back in season 2 or whatever. He turns to a puddle of water like Senator Kelly in the first X-Men movie.
  • Which turns out to be a coincidence, possibly intentional, since Nirti’s experiments are basically giving people superpowers. Mind reading and telekinesis are the most obvious ones. They miss out on an easy joke when Carter is all “they could have other abilities, super human strength, or enhanced senses,” and O’Neill totally should have said “adamantium claws,” but they dropped the ball. They’re also horribly deformed, but oh well.
  • I think I will remember Corin Nemec’s name now, since he says to the deformed people “my name is Jonas.”
  • Everyone in SG-1 is captured and starting to get messed with by Nirti. Since O’Neill was forced to bring along the Russian SG-team, I can only assume they will come to the rescue and O’Neill will have a newfound respect for them or whatever. At least that ought to be how it goes, but you never know since this show is kinda jingoistic.
  • And it looks like they might get out of this by Nirti discovering that Jonas is different from the others (I assume his superfast learning) and wanting to bang him for some reason. It’s weird seeing this actress trying to be all sexy while they drop her voice down a couple octaves to sound Goa’uld-y.
  • And none of my guesses is right, O’Neill just convinces the superpowered freaks that Nirti isn’t really a god.

Episode 17:

  • I was thinking early this season with the interaction with the Russians, that it was surprising that only they had figured out about the Stargate program, and that presumably the Chinese would at least have had some inklings that something weird was going on. And here we are with Lost‘s Pierre Chang as the Chinese ambassador, along with the British and some other European (he’s barely spoken but he’s got to be German or French), being told everything about the Stargate.
  • I call bullshit, sorta, as I think we’d have informed the British and Canadians and maybe French before the Chinese, even by a few minutes, just as a measure of goodwill and/or to test how a friendly country would react before breaking the news to a country with which we have a shaky relationship like China.
  • Anyway, it’s a clip show.

Episode 18:

  • On a planet they’ve never visited before, O’Neill finds a suspiciously earth-looking photograph on the ground, and Jonas (see, totally remembered that) finds a shipwreck. Teal’c and Carter don’t recognize the type of ship at all. But, hey, there were survivors, and one of them is the most ubiquitous of Vancouver TV actors, Martin Cummins.
  • They are supposedly descendents of the Celts (as in whtie people, so probably good guys, by my this-show-is-kinda-racist theory) and are stranded on this planet. There are some aliens that look like something out of Star Trek: TNG, though I can’t quite place who they look like. Maybe that Darmok guy a little? I’m hoping the Celtic guys do turn out to be evil, cause the aliens are brown and set up initially as the bad guys.
  • Martin Cummins is desperately trying to get into Carter’s pants. They completely abandoned the O’Neill-Carter thing they were so concerned with a long time ago. But despite all the guys after her, this show is pretty asexual. I don’t think she slept with anyone during the entire run of the show. I don’t think anyone has since the time O’Neill was stranded on that agrarian utopia planet and basically got married.
  • Hey, sweet, the white guys are in fact evil. It turns out the crashed ship was a prison transport, and the survivors are all prisoners.

Episode 19:

  • In what seems just like that Deep Space 9 episode where Sisco is a science fiction writer in the 60s, Teal’c is a firefighter getting ready to donate a kidney to his father in law or something.
  • Interestingly (maybe), this is written by the guy who plays Teal’c. I wonder if he just wanted an excuse to not have the gold thingy on his forehead for most of the shooting.
  • Carter’s the Captain, O’Neill appears to be the Lieutenant (my assumption based on what I know of firefighter ranks from Rescue Me), Jonas is the probie. And Apophis keeps popping up and freaking him out. Daniel Jackson pops up as a shrink.
  • In the real world, he’s having these visions while trying to do his little meditation dealy (which I won’t even try to spell).
  • And it turns out both are dreams, he and Sal Bass were at a battle where all the Jaffa lost their symbiotes but Teal’c. To keep Sal alive, he moved his symbiote back and forth to keep them both alive.
  • The Tok’ra offer a solution of using that Goa’uld-derived drug from that planet a while back to ween Teal’c off his symbiote, under the assumption that they’ll develop a way to give him his immune system back sometime in the future.

Episode 20:

  • Apparently the Prometheus ship is operational. Or close to it. O’Neill and Teal’c are on board while they run combat drills, and O’Neill makes fun of all the “prepare to do this”/”preparing to do this, sir”/”do this” business, but the joke was done better (and more briefly) by Warren Ellis in Switchblade Honey.
  • So they end up stranded with engines not working, but they’re sorta near a planet that theoretically should have a gate. The people there are more than a little hostile towards their approach. Their head military guy is basically ready to kill them all, but they have a government guy (played by a TV that guy) who is open to the idea of people from another world.
  • Jonas shows them a picture of the gate, and they immediately recognize it as the mythical ring of the gods, believed to be a fairy tale. Though I think of aliens arrived from space and said they were looking for a horse with wings they know to be on Earth somewhere, I’d be pretty open to the idea that maybe Pegasuses (Pegasi?) might’ve existed at some point.
  • Anyway, they set out to find the gate. This guy who’s one of the few people on the planet who still knows anything about their past and is a devoted follower of Horus is cool and tries to help them out. So in exchange, Jonas ans Teal’c are all “hey, thanks! btw, your entire system of beliefs is wrong and you’ve been worshiping a total dick.” They make no effort whatsoever to cushion the blow.
  • Thanks to the guy who seems quite happy about having his faith crushed, they find the gate and dig it up, dialer intact and everything. But when they dial out, the military guy decides he wants it and takes Jonas and Teal’c prisoner (for some reason they always seem to split up with Carter and O’Neill on one team and Teal’c and Jonas on the other). TV That Guy gives a big dramatic speech, and SG-1 gets to use the gate (presumably to go get stuff with which to repair the ship).

Episode 21:

  • The previouslies refer to the little girl who came through the gate with the bomb in her, and her development of superpowers, the disfigured X-men aliens, and Nirti the eugenicist’s fascination with Jonas, so… yeah. More of that business coming.
  • Jonas is apparently seeing the future and it’s making him sick. Or, rather, he might have a brain tumor that’s allowing him to see the future. Or, rather, something tumor-like.
  • This is happening at the same time as contact with a backwards planet that’s been mining what little precious minerals they have left for a long absent Goa’uld god. They have a prophecy about strangers coming through the gate to destroy their god, so they want SG-1 to help. But Jonas keeps seeing visions of things going horribly wrong.
  • Randomly, in an online discussion about how movie special effects work, I was informed that this episode has a scene with a badly misplaced squib on Teal’c. And, yeah, there it is stuck to his back. It’s bigger than I would’ve thought.
  • Some stuff happens and they remove the future-telling tumor thing from Jonas’s brain.

Episode 22:

  • So we return to Abados or however that is spelled for the first time in a long time. Anubis needs to get all the “eyes” (I have no idea what they are) of 6 of the system lords together to create some sort of super eye, like something straight out of a video game plot. He’s got them all except Ra’s, and that’s most likely on Abados. Or so says Jackson, who’s meddling in his fancy ghost form and sends SG-1 to find the eye thingy.
  • They do briefly allude to the whole O’Neill and Carter wanting to bang each other thing, but very, very briefly. So I guess at least they’re still acknowledging that it existed.
  • There’s a whole thing about Jackson’s other ascended buddies being the ancients. And Jackson confronted Anubis, who reveals himself to be a black skull face that’s supposed to mean something, I guess. I assume he’s not the Batman villain Black Mask, but that would be an interesting twist. Ah, he’s apparently an ascended Goa’uld, so that explains that I guess. Since he’s an ascended guy, Jackson has decided that all bets are off, and he’s now totally ok with interfering with stuff even though ascended guys aren’t supposed to. The plan is to turn the eye over to Anubis. He told the Goa’uld about how powerful it is, so he expects them all to fight Anubis. Meanwhile, SG-1 will look for this city of the ancients described in some tablet in Ra’s temple. It should theoretically have awesome weapons which are a match for Anubis even with the eye.
  • Also, that Skaara kid died, possibly ascended.
  • I was hoping for a scene where Anubis combines the pieces and there’s like lightning bolts or some bullshit effects while he marvels at his new awesome power, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Also, that whole plan where the Goa’ulds fight it out seems to go horribly wrong, since Anubis just whips their asses. Jackson tries, unsuccessfully, to stop Anubis, but the other others stopped him I think, so Anubis destroys Abados.
  • But then Abados is fine, it looks like maybe the whole planet ascended or something. This is all bullshit.

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