Stargate SG-1 7.15 – Chimera

This is the episode that introduces David DeLuise as Pete, Sam’s boyfriend. You get so used to the fellows in this show having space girlfriends that Pete being a cop from Denver seems so bizarre. Sam took all the hallucinations of the fellows from a couple of episodes ago to heart and had her brother fix her up with somebody. She’s so in like with him when this one starts that she starts humming the program’s theme tune. We asked the kid, who really didn’t enjoy this story much at all, whether he thinks the relationship will last. “He’ll probably get taken over by a Goa’uld,” he said.

Speaking of whom, here’s Anna-Louise Plowman back as Osiris. She hasn’t been seen since the end of season five, probably because there wasn’t a really good reason to bring Osiris/Sarah back during the season where Daniel wasn’t around. She’s trying to poke and prod at Daniel’s subconscious to find some Ancient Secrets, and the two plots come crashing together when Pete decides to stake out Sam while she and the team are staking out Daniel’s house to catch Osiris in the middle of the night. Osiris gets extracted and, presumably, killed, and Daniel’s old girlfriend isn’t seen again.

But Pete’s going to stick around for a little while. I paused the episode to comment, with a growl, that Pete’s pillow talk is absolutely appalling. I don’t know what it is about teevee boyfriends, but I’m willing to wager that if I’d been wining and dining Major Carter and she shared that she does classified government work on deep space telemetry that occasionally requires her going out of the country with no notice, I’d respect the “classified” bit and wouldn’t poke or prod and certainly not use the trust guilt card on the first freaking morning together. How soon until this fling ends, again?

Stargate SG-1 5.22 – Revelations

Unusually, Stargate SG-1‘s fifth season didn’t end on a cliffhanger. That’s because Showtime had axed the show, and the Sci-Fi Channel picked it up for season six. Presumably, they didn’t want to launch their run with the second part of a story; they wanted a big new tale instead. So it’s an all-action starship runaround with lots of corridors and lots of bad guys, which is fine by our son, because that’s what he likes best and he enjoyed the blazes outta this one. Anna-Louise Plowman is back, and we finally get to meet Anubis, who is a robed and hooded figure who seems to have a black, shimmery portal instead of a face.

As to the “revelations” of the title, there’s the ugly one about Anubis having access to some far superior tech that nobody’s encountered before, and also something grim about the Asgard: they’re dying. They’re a clone race and they’ve reached the end of their genetic line. So Earth started this season with three powerful, if unreliable, allies. The Tollan have been wiped out, the Tok’ra have been decimated, and the Asgard are on borrowed time. Kind of a bad time for Anubis to show up with powers and weaponry far in advance of anything anybody else has, but a great point to end the season.

That’s all from the Stargate universe for now. We like to mix things up to keep them fresh, so this is going back on the shelf, but we’ll resume with season six in late March. Stay tuned!

Stargate SG-1 5.16 – Last Stand

Sadly, this episode is Morrigan’s second and final appearance. She gets maybe three lines across both parts. So why do I say sadly? Because the actress is freaking gorgeous and I love that outfit. She could’ve come back two or three times a year and I’d have been just fine with that.

Anyway, no, the second half of the story is not as good as the first half, because what seemed like a promising introduction to a bunch of new villains takes a distant back seat to Osiris dominating the story by telling the other seven System Lords that s/he’s joined the service of a villain so vile that all the assembled System Lords deposed him and banished him to a distant corner of the galaxy a thousand years ago. He’s called Anubis, and though he doesn’t show up in this story, a solid majority of this bunch votes to allow him back in. Anubis will become the dominant villain over the next three seasons, as the show becomes consistently solid and watchable every single week.

(Actually, the promising “Mardi Gras” of colorful villains takes such a distant back seat that one of them, Svarog, not only doesn’t get any lines but the actor is uncredited. Apparently, Stargate‘s fandom has not uncovered the identity of the actor who plays him. Somehow, it reminds me of that Batman episode with six master villains played in long-shot by stand-ins.)

This is the last onscreen appearance of Kevin Durand’s character Zipacna, although he’ll be mentioned from time to time after this. Courtenay J. Stevens makes a last appearance this week as well, since he gets killed off along with a huge swath of the humans’ allies the Tok’ra. If all this wasn’t bad enough, Anubis sends word that just because there’s a treaty between Earth and the System Lords keeping the planet off-limits, Anubis is not a System Lord – yet – and is not bound by it. Yeesh.

I enjoyed this story overall because of the dense world-building and the huge blows that the heroes take. Our son was less taken with it, since just about all the action and the shooting was in part one. It’s a downbeat story, as the series really needs from time to time, but I think this one ended on such a low note that he rolled his eyes and curled his lips. “It had a few good moments,” he shrugged.

Stargate SG-1 5.15 – Summit

First things first: “Summit” features the first appearance of Cliff Simon as a new recurring villain, Ba’al, and he is freaking fantastic. He is by far my favorite of this show’s many enemies. If they gave me the reins of Doctor Who tomorrow, I wouldn’t use the Master very much at all, but I’d offer the part to Cliff Simon. Ba’al is malevolent and smart and has a cunning that far outstrips the blunt-object idolatry of the System Lords, and Simon is completely amazing in the role. There’s another Goa’uld that I also like quite a lot, but we won’t meet him for quite some time, and he’s still no Ba’al.

“Summit” is a major episode in developing the System Lords. Three of the villains we’ve met before – Yu, Osiris, and Zipacna – are all reintroduced, and we meet five others, who are mostly one-offs*, and everybody’s getting together because somebody’s been wiping out their armies. So Vince Crestejo, who we haven’t seen in more than two years, is back, along with Anna-Louise Plowman and Kevin Durand. There are lots more speaking parts in this story than we normally see. Coordinating everybody’s schedule for this one must have been a joy.

Another reason I really enjoy this one and its follow-up: the heroes get themselves well and truly thrashed. While Daniel is infiltrating the System Lords’ summit with our old pal Jacob, Zipacna leads his armies against the Tok’ra. We saw the humans’ powerful allies the Tollan wiped out earlier this year, and now the Tok’ra are decimated. Even more surprising: just two episodes ago, we met Courtenay J. Stevens’ character of Lt. Elliot, newly assigned to SG-17. They all get killed as well. Elliot’s going to survive into part two, barely, but could this situation possibly get any worse? Tune in tomorrow night…

Stargate SG-1 4.13 – The Curse

Jack and Teal’c are barely in this episode, but they get the best part: fishing in Minnesota, miles from the action.

Meanwhile, in Illinois and in Egypt, everybody else is investigating some mysterious deaths that have started when some artefacts, unearthed in the 1930s but not seen since the freighter carrying them to the US sank off the coast of New Jersey, get dredged up and shipped to Daniel’s old archaeology professor. For most of the hour, this is an interesting tale of old academic rivalries and petty jealousies with a strangely high body count. The artefacts, naturally, include two aliens in cryosleep. They were imprisoned by one of their enemies thousands of years before, and one of them died in stasis. The other one, Osiris, ends up taking over the body of one of Daniel’s former colleagues, Sarah, played by Anna-Louise Plowman.

Honestly, it’s a good story until the reveal shows that Osiris is yet another one-note “god,” evil for evil’s sake, talking the same line as everybody else in his pantheon. He gets away in the end, not needing a Stargate since he parked his ride in the desert outside the tomb. The kid responded to this by growling and grumbling. “Great,” he moaned, “like we need another villain!” I know we’ve got a couple that are considerably more interesting showing up eventually, and we’ll be losing a couple before the end of the month. Osiris won’t be back for a surprisingly long time. I just checked and he vanishes for an entire year, which is really odd because this episode is staged like we’re going to have a repeat scrap really soon.