“There wasn’t even one explosion in that,” our son grumbled. Kind of drives home how a nine year-old is definitely viewing the show through a very different lens right now. I am really enjoying this run of episodes all over again for all the character conflict and interesting production decisions – this one is definitely one of the cheapies – but he’s been dissatisfied since this season began, unfortunately.
Anyway, this is the first time we’ve seen Cliff Simon’s excellent villain Ba’al since he was introduced the year before, and also the first time since Simon’s tragic death in March. This is where he became my favorite of the show’s bad guys, a patient, ruthless, and incredibly intelligent opponent. Much of the story is a two-hander between Simon and Richard Dean Anderson…
…but the meat is the two-hander between Anderson and Michael Shanks, who makes a return visit this week as Ascended Daniel, coming back to our plane of existence to help Jack ascend, because there doesn’t seem to be any other way out of the trap he’s in. There’s such great chemistry between the actors, and there’s an amazing moment where Jack loses his temper, and he can’t keep up the sarcastic front any longer, letting the real and unpleasant Colonel O’Neill come to the surface. It’s great stuff.
As a very nitpicky aside, while I do enjoy this hour a great deal, they missed a trick by giving it (yet again) another forgettable title unrelated to anything that actually happens in it. Ba’al’s fortress has all these gravity traps within it, and Jack’s prison doesn’t need a door, because one little control knobs turns the far wall into the floor, with the door in the ceiling. Surely it should be titled “Oubliette.”