Once you get past the episode being written, in part, for the slowest possible member of the audience, they had a lot of fun making this parallel universe story. I’m sure anybody reading this was exposed to the concept at a very young age. We take it for granted now, at last, but when this was first shown 15 years ago, MGM must have figured that it’s just possible somebody tuning into the Sci-Fi Channel to watch this might just be a newbie, meaning poor Beau Bridges had to play General Landry as twelve steps behind everyone else while they catch him up. It does result in a funny line about the SGC becoming the Grand Central Station of the Multiverse, but really, he should have said “Okay, parallel universe scenario, Carter, get to work,” and saved a minute. With the constant references to older, similar weird situations in earlier episodes (including two non-faves), they should probably already have a code name for this and a battleplan laid out.
What they did with this story was playful and amusing and pretty smart, and brought back some familiar faces like Teryl Rotherty and J.R. Bourne, whose characters had died in our continuity, but with (at least) eighteen different SG-1 teams in the base, they really didn’t do nearly enough. Amanda Tapping has to deliver a gigantic load of technobabble, even for this show, and I swear they could have cut almost all of it to give us more silliness.
So there are all these new SG-1s at play, and we only meet two and glimpse a couple of others, apart from the Room Full of Sams, and that feels like a missed opportunity. By chance, we came to this episode the same weekend as Spider-Man: No Way Home, which doesn’t waste a minute with explanations of things the audience has understood for many years, but I thought that was also a missed opportunity. Only two guest universes? With Maguire and Garfield only mentioning characters we’d already seen? I wish both productions had gone a little bit bigger.