This blog’s oldest recurring joke is that our son can almost never recognize actors in other roles. This time, he needed prompting that a guest part is played by Ernie Hudson, despite the kid being Ghostbusters-gaga for the last five weeks or so. But he can recognize places just fine. This time, I started the episode, and paused on the opening shot until everybody could join me on the sofa. The kid immediately knew where this was: the planet our heroes visited last season in the story “Icon”. Nothing went right then, and everything goes worse this time.
I’ve always liked the fact that the heroes of the Stargate universe never have it anywhere as easy as the heroes in similar programs. This week, they take a huge, huge loss. One of Earth’s two flying battleships is destroyed, along with forty-some personnel, and, almost adding insult to injury, the peace that they broker at the cost of all those lives is shown to be even more tenuous than it was when we last left these squabbling cold war knuckleheads, and the story ends with the planet’s future uncertain, but they’re no longer able to make contact through the gate and can only assume they’ve blown themselves up. When we first watched this series, I remember thinking that surely one of the two flying battleships was going to go down in a big season finale cliffhanger. No, it goes down in a stupid, pointless mission of mercy where everybody fails, a hideous waste of lives and resources. I think that it’s very rare for an action-adventure hour like this to do something so grim and so bleak, so props to everyone in the production team for doing it.