Stargate Command has shut down on the eve of the invasion of the Goa’uld. This bodes well.
Spoilers below the cut:
Major General Hammond, in a shouting match with O’Neill (practically), explains that he has tried everything to get the program out from under the dirt. But even the President of the United States can’t unearth the stargate program–doing so would be political suicide. So they just have to live with the stargate being buried, literally and bureaucratically. O’Neill takes this news to the SG-1 team, and no one likes the look of it. Daniel is adamant that the planet will be destroyed in the most gruesome and obvious way possible. Teal’c is likely to agree but his days on Earth are numbered. Since Teal’c’s presence on Earth was solely dependent on Stargate Command’s involvement in interstellar matters, he’s off to fight the good fight on his own.
O’Neill eventually caves and agrees to defy orders despite the threat of being court martialed as soon as he sets foot back on friendly soil. O’Neill tells Carter that he’s not going to order her to come, but she didn’t need the encouragement. She’s going. So they dress in black/stealth gear and sneak through the stargate to Jackson’s coordinates.
They arrive in a giant room which Teal’c describes as a storage room. They look around, loot some weapons, and everyone save Teal’c falls over from a mysterious force. After offing some guards, they start sneaking around to see what’s what. They discover that they’re on a spaceship and are probably en route to Earth as they speak. Carter hypothesizes that it’ll take a year for them to reach Earth. They also watch some Jaffa warriors plant a giant sphere in the middle of the stargate, which Teal’c describes as a long-range communications device. Shortly after, there is a gathering in the space where Aphophos appears on the floating sphere and announces his son as the leader of the ship.
Apophos’s son is Klorel who inhabits the body of Skaara. Shau’re is nowhere to be found. As Klorel leads his Jaffa warriors out of the chamber, the team reconvene to talk about next moves. Carter and Jackson are to plant C4 bombs at strategic places around the ship. Meanwhile, Teal’c and O’Neill will track down Klorel in the hopes that Skaara is still conscious enough inside.
Back on Earth, Major General Hammond organizes a team to Jackson’s coordinates under the pretense that they’re to arrest them for court martial. Hammond, however, asks the Major to bring them back alive and in one piece. The Major, who may play a larger part in later seasons, is set and ready to go. Except when they dial the coordinates, they’re unable to lock onto the target. SG-1 is stuck by themselves in enemy territory, which isn’t really news to anyone in the audience but it does put a damper on the atmosphere at Stargate Command.
In Klorel’s chambers, O’Neill and Teal’c take the Jaffa guards by surprise and overpower Klorel. O’Neill yells at him because that’s definitely going to make Skaara emerge. But a bit of pain from a Goa’uld weapon is enough to surpress Klorel’s influence for Skaara to emerge. He apologizes for what he’s about to do and asks for O’Neill’s forgiveness. O’Neill asks what he’s going to do (knowing full well what) but Klorel emerges again. More Jaffa guards arrive and capture O’Neill and Teal’c. Klorel takes them to the communications chamber and tells his father about the prisoner’s on board. Klorel does not know of the presence of Carter and Jackson, and neither Teal’c or O’Neill volunteer the information. Despite Apophos ordering their execution, Klorel brings them to the bridge instead to witness the coming invasion/destruction of Earth.
Meanwhile, Carter and Jackson have been stealthily sneaking around the ship and planting C4 at places that are likely to cause chain explosions. They then discover that O’Neill and Teal’c have been captured and try to free them. They are successful. In the final shot of the season, the SG-1 team looks out the window of an alien spaceship to see their planet hovering on the brink of destruction.
This episode definitely leans towards action and story rather than character development and world building. And yet I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch this episode. Why? Because I wasn’t enthused about the ending of the recap episode and I’m an adult who can be tired at work if I want to.
In terms of season finales, this does a good job at assuming they’ll have another season. Then again, by the point this episode films and airs, the network already knows if they’re renewing a show for another season or not. However, none of the plot arcs introduced in the pilot “Children of the Gods” are really addressed. Shau’re and Skaara are still Goa’uld with no hope of rescuing them anytime soon. The most we know about the relationship between Earthlings and Goa’uld are that Earthlings are super annoying. Furthermore, there is a scene in “Children of the Gods” wherein Jackson asks the people of Abydos to unbury the stargate one year after the pilot and to lose all hope if he does not show up. That did not happen in the season finale. The only reference to Abydos is Skaara. So in that regard, the finale almost fails as a finale since none of the storylines introduced at the pilot are brought to a close.
Of course, the first episode of the second season might change things. This is an age of television where season finales and season premiers act as two-parters. What awaits us in the second season? That remains to be seen.
This episode’s adorable mascots are the Zat’nik’tel guns, because they don’t really look like guns but they’re deadly as hell.