And then there was that time that actor Christopher Judge, who had written a couple of pretty good episodes already – most recently “The Changeling” in season six – decided that his character needed a space girlfriend. So he wrote another pretty good episode and passed it along with the hopes that actress Jolene Blalock, who had a regular part in Star Trek: Enterprise, might be available to play Ishta. Judge, you sly devil, you.
I tease, but this is another pretty good episode from Judge, who clearly worked out a lot of the backstory of Teal’c’s people, and how they can one day – and that day’s coming soon – be free from their oppressors. A big chunk of that is getting the Jaffa free from hosting symbiotes, which their physiology demands from puberty, the result of centuries of genetic engineering. Teal’c and his mentor have been taking an experimental drug instead of a symbiote, and now they meet a new group, Ishta’s gang of rebels, who need new symbiotes for the children in their ranks. The humans want to give these rebels the option of the drug, but isn’t that just trading subservience to the alien baddies for reliance on a drug from Earth? How can they be sure humanity can be trusted, or even that the drug will work long-term when their kids need it now?
I think it’s a fascinating moral dilemma and it’s a very nicely-directed story with lots of location filming, but unfortunately our son was not very impressed. He said he couldn’t really connect with the problem and didn’t understand it much. Plus, there are lots of scenes with Judge and Blalock quietly talking about their dead lovers and letting go of things past. He’s been around the block enough times to know this sort of talk leads to smooching.