During a meeting with the Tok'ra high council, Major Graham
of the SGC, begins firing upon the Tok'ra before taking his
own life. The SGC discovers that Graham was a Zatarc, the
victim of Goa'uld mind control technology. According to Anise
- a Tok'ra scientist - its victims are subconsciously programmed
to kill, their recollection of the procedure covered by false
memories. Anyone who has come into contact with the Goa'uld
could well be a Zatarc and not know. Using an experimental
device, Anise sets out to discover whom, at the SGC, has been
affected. The test uncovers a second Zatarc - Lieutenant Astor,
who also goes berserk, shooting wildly before turning the
gun on herself. Horrifyingly, subsequent testing uncovers
false memories in two more members of the SGC: Colonel Jack
O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter.
shock opening to shock ending, Divide & Conquer is
riveting viewing, not least of all due to the eye-popping
leather top worn by the actress who plays Anise. If the previous
volume and this one are anything to go by, season four is
making a serious effort to up the babe count!
- my hormones aside - this episode is an excellent example
of why SG-1 is one of the best sci-fi dramas around
today. The level of suspense never relaxes and the pace is
just perfect, the tension increasing steadily until the stunning
climax, that while both brutal and shocking is also very moving.
Further more, I was impressed by the novel way in which the
script delivered a revelation concerning O'Neill and Carter.
exploring planet P4X 639, the SG-1 team meets Malikai, an
explorer from another world who shares Daniel's interest in
an alien device covered in a strange Latin-like script. As
solar flares erupt overhead, Malikai warns Daniel that the
resultant geomagnetic disturbance may be dangerous to the
SG-1 team and tells him to leave. When Daniel ignores the
warning, Malikai shoots him and begins to operate the alien
device. O'Neill and Teal'c try to help Daniel but are caught,
with Malikai, in a mysterious energy generated by the device.
Abruptly, O'Neill and Teal'c find themselves back at Stargate
command, ten hours earlier, preparing to leave for the mission
from which they've just returned. And then it happens again.
And again. And again. As O'Neill repeatedly returns to eat
the same bowl of Fruit Loops, it becomes clear that they've
been caught in a time loop and that only he and Teal'c retain
their memories through each ten-hour cycle. It's up to them
to decode the script on the alien machine and discover a way
to break the loop.
Divide & Conquer was sublime, then Window of Opportunity
is ridiculous - you really couldn't have two more contrasting
episodes. Humour to the point of slapstick is the order of
the day, making this episode a riot from beginning to end.
gradual revealing of Malikai's tragic past are the only serious
moments, so in the main, the somewhat unoriginal story merely
serves as a narrative backbone, or shall we say excuse, for
Richard Dean Anderson (O'Neill) and Christopher Judge (Teal'c)
to goof around. They do it well too, having my fellow viewer
and I in fits of laughter.
the end of the day, Window of Opportunity is just utilising
the same premise as the film Groundhog Day (and even
gives it a mention), but who cares when it's done this well?
the Stargate won't open, trapping teams offworld, the SG-1
team investigates and discover that the Russians have their
own Stargate. The Russian Stargate, apparently recovered from
the sea after Thor's ship crashed on earth, is locked open,
maintaining a perpetual wormhole. At the request of Russian
scientist Dr. Svetlana Markov, the SG-1 travel to the Russian
Stargate facility. There they find all the soldiers and scientists
dead and the Stargate locked open, connected to a water-covered
planet. Svetlana explains that the Russians had retrieved
a sample of the water, and realised it emits significant levels
of energy. That same water, however, seems to have disabled
the investigative drone sent by the Russians, leaving it inoperable
and sending transmissions that are keeping the gate open.
Daniel, Carter and Svetlana head through the wormhole in a
miniature submarine in an attempt to recover the drone, but
the water halts the sub and begins to crush it. Meanwhile,
back at the Russian facility, O'Neill and Teal'c are surprised
to find in a freezer the body of Col. Maybourne, who, once
thawed, comes back to life, coughing up gallons of water.
It may look like H20, but it is actually alive.
is an impressive CGI showcase, the majority of the episode
taking place underwater, but only in the virtual realm of
SFX guys' computers. Particularly impressive is the submersible,
being a convincing blend of live action interior and CGI exterior.
a joy to have the sneaky Maybourne back, and Marina Sirtis
(Star Trek: The Next Generation) makes a guest appearance
as Svetlana. The story is nothing to write home about, but
it's intriguing that the Russians now have a Stargate and
Maybourne is involved in the project.
expect we haven't seen the last of the Russian Stargate, and
I hope that its presence promises for some interesting future
While on an archeological dig on planet P3X 888, Daniel
discovers the ancient remains of a primordial Goa'uld symbiote.
Before he can bring back his sample however, his team is attacked
by an Unas and Daniel is dragged off by the giant primitive
creature. Learning of Daniel's disappearance, O'Neill leads
a rescue mission to the planet. Upon his arrival, he discovers
that SG-11 has been almost wiped out - only Hawkins survived
- and the planet's water supply is teeming with Goa'uld symbiotes.
Now O'Neill and Teal'c have to face the possibility that a
Goa'uld may have invaded one of the team. Meanwhile, Daniel
begins to understand a few words of his captor's language.
The Unas, a juvenile whose name seems to be Chaka, saves Daniel's
life when he's attacked by a symbiote. As the rescue team
struggles to catch up, however, the question remains: has
Daniel become the Unas' newest friend or is he simply being
brought home for dinner.?
First Ones is not the most thrilling of Stargate
episodes, the pace being quite slow and the ending leaves
one feeling completely unmoved by the experience. Of concern
is O'Neill and Teal'c's solution to the problem of the team
members who are host to a Goa'uld. The method of discovering
who is a host is logical, but the way the victims are shot
down without hesitation seems gratuitous. Couldn't they have
been incapacitated, and the help of the Tok'ra enlisted to
remove the symbiotes?
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