What’s better than one Colonel Sassmaster? TWO Colonel Sassmasters and a personal tragedy.
Spoilers below the cut.
This week, the SG-1 team investigates a lonely desert planet made up of destroyed crystals. Colonel O’Neill finds one that is not broken and gets knocked out, only to have a mysterious duplicate take his place. For at least five minutes, he is quiet and this does not phase the rest of the SG-1 team in the slightest. They go about their business without noticing that O’Neill lacks his trademark sarcastic flair. In the meantime, Crystal!O’Neill rummages through O’Neill’s personal items and then goes to meet Sara O’Neill, O’Neill’s ex-wife and mother of O’Neill’s dead child.
Neither Sara nor her father realize that this is not the O’Neill they know, but they do make comments that he’s kept his emotions from them. They also ask why he’s so interested in Charlie all of a sudden. But O’Neill acts the grieving father and his ex-wife and ex-father-in-law leave him alone to grieve and it’s all very creepy. What is this crystal alien doing and why is he so interested in progeny?
Meanwhile, back at Stargate Command, we learn that Jackson knows more about O’Neill’s personal life than Captain Carter and fills her in on Charlie O’Neill who accidentally shot himself with O’Neill’s handgun back before the Stargate Project even happened. Teal’c, who had expressed interest in seeing the planet, had asked Crystal!O’Neill to show him but got a “Not today.” So Teal’c watches some television and discovers the sensationalist drama that is the American news media.
Then the actual Colonel O’Neill makes it home with his normal spunk, now with some crankiness because how dare his team leave him behind! Only to get carted away to a jail cell where, after some medical tests reveals that this is indeed the Colonel O’Neill we all know and love, there is a duplicate of him somewhere NOT in the Stargate Command mountain.
Carter and Jackson’s study of the crystals turns up some unexpected results by way of talking faces in the crystals that are activated close proximity. Through communication with one crystal brought back that was damaged but not completely broken, the SG-1 team learns that the crystals were lifeforms before the Gao’uld came and slaughtered them all. Carter reveals that Crystal!O’Neill probably went to O’Neill’s ex-wife since he was looking at pictures of Sara and Charlie.
While this is happening, Sara and Crystal!O’Neill have conversations about Charlie that O’Neill probably never had ever. They end up having a picnic in a park and then Crystal!O’Neill is overcome with a strange electricity and it sends him to the hospital.
The SG-1 team gears up to meet Crystal!O’Neill at the hospital but not before Major General Hammond takes away Teal’c’s staff. Teal’c claims that he will need it, but Hammond insists and trades the staff for a baseball hat that covers Teal’c’s golden symbol on his forehead. It was a cute scene.
At the hospital, Crystal!O’Neill’s spasms start posing a danger to the people around him. The hospital is evacuated and the SG-1 team sent in to handle things. O’Neill and Sara pass each other and O’Neill hugs her in a “Thank God you’re alive. You have to tell me everything but not now.” Sara is confused but is not about to interrupt a military operation.
When the team reaches Crystal!O’Neill, it reveals that it only wanted to heal O’Neill but upon reading his memories, discovered that he had a big emotional wound in the place Charlie used to be and decided to try to fix that. He turns into Charlie, O’Neill is somehow given peace, and he leads Crystal!Charlie back through the stargate.
While this episode focused on Colonel Jack O’Neill, he was not around to explore his own emotional depth. Perhaps the the point was to explore that depth without changing how his character is portrayed.
It’s good to know that the story introduced in the movie is still present in some capacity. At this point, however, the show could completely retool everything about the movie and I’d be fine with it. The movie and the television show have such different atmospheres that they might as well be separate entities.
I’d like to know if Sara O’Neill had to sign a gag order of some kind because she knows about the stargate now. That sounds like a security leak.
Episode gets bonus points for not mentioning rape.
This episode’s adorable mascot is Teal’c’s introduction to 80’s screamo.