“Upgrades” is the first of three episodes to guest star Vanessa Angel as a Tok’ra called Freya. I had completely forgotten this character existed. Since I’m reading ahead at the SG Command Wiki to remind myself what’s coming up in future episodes, I was surprised to learn that they gave this character and her skimpy costume a little trial to see whether she could work some ratings magic, noting that one of the Star Trek shows started getting all sorts of media attention when they put the gorgeous actress Jeri Ryan in a skin-tight silver jumpsuit. Since I didn’t remember Freya at all, but I know exactly what Jeri Ryan looks like in that costume without ever seeing one minute of that show, it’s safe to say this tactic didn’t work.
The kid enjoyed this episode hugely. The Tok’ra have found some legendary armbands that are said to increase their wearer’s strength, speed, and reflexes, and basically give them superpowers. The armbands don’t work on the Tok’ra, so they come to Earth to conduct some human trials. This leads to lots of comedy super-speed gags, and eventually they sneak out of the base to visit the local O’Malley’s Bar and Grill and chow down like Joliet Jake at the Soul Food Cafe because their metabolisms are so messed up by the bands. Then they do a field trial to go beat up some bad guys and our kid was every bit as happy as he would haven been had it been the Marvel superheroes coming out of the Stargate to thump the mob of villains guarding it. It’s all very exciting, even if the hearts of any kids watching were sure to break as the armbands run out of juice.
Interestingly, the scenes at “O’Malley’s” were filmed at a really popular restaurant in Burnaby called Horizons. It actually shut down for good earlier this year after a 34 year-run. A little photo at that link shows that the fight on the other planet was staged literally just below the restaurant, and that diners could have watched it being filmed. Round of applause for that location scout, I think.