There’s not an explosion or a gunfight and there’s only a single flying tackle without a punch thrown, but the kid really enjoyed this one, as well he should. It’s a terrific follow-up to the previous season’s “2010”. That story was set nine years in the future, when Earth’s alliance with a powerful race called the Aschen goes terribly wrong. It ended with some timey-wimey hocus pocus to cut off access to the Aschen homeworld in the present, stopping that rotten future from happening. But now, our heroes meet the Aschen on some other planet and have no idea that they’re villains.
There are a couple of things in the story that I wasn’t completely sold on. Ronny Cox is back as the recurring pain-in-the-rear Senator Kinsey, and he’s written in too broad strokes: rushed and hurried, bent on signing a treaty with the Aschen far more quickly than any politician or diplomat would ever dare. But Richard Dean Anderson is completely flawless this week, very believably getting an increasingly bad feeling about the situation, and I love the way that he calmly tells the ambassador who comes with them that he’s not dressed for the mission, and that his shoes will be ruined. I also really like the way that they move Daniel right into his element, researching the Aschen and finding evidence that Jack’s bad feeling is right on the money.
I think what works best for me is the feeling of impending doom. How are they going to discover the truth about the Aschen in time, since it took their timey-wimey counterparts more than nine years to figure it out? And once they do, how are they going to convince their dimwit superiors that they really need to look this gift horse in the mouth very, very closely? It’s an episode to watch with a sinking feeling for the whole hour. They never brought back the Aschen for a third go-round. They’d have had a lot to live up to if they tried.