The first season of Stargate SG-1 is done and dusted. Since I have a lot to say, let’s get to it.
SG-1: Pilot Predictions and Where They Bonked
- Shau’re/Skaara rescue mission is a season finale. Totally bonked on the season finale. Unless Skaara is actually rescued in the first episode of season 2, this one is tabled until further notice.
- Giant room of coordinates on Abydos plus Chulak refugees equal season 1 plot. I held onto this one for half a season before bonking it. The refugees from Chulak were mentioned in one episode early in the season and never referenced again. It’s like they didn’t even spend time on Earth.
- Kowalski is a secret Goa’uld mole until the end of the season but not the season finale. Totally bonked in the second episode. Kowalski had an untimely end. I still think him and O’Neill had so much potential as buddies. I would have loved an episode that focused on Kowalski and his team, which would have been SG-2 if he wasn’t possessed by a Goa’uld.
- Teal’c self-sacrifices himself to prove himself to the US military. He didn’t need much to prove himself to O’Neill and he proved himself to everyone else with his scraple with Kowalski/the nameless Goa’uld. Teal’c barely spent any time at the blunt end of everyone’s trust issues.
- Iris will be broken by an outside force. Now that the season is done, I don’t think this will be done by a Goa’uld. I think one of the more advanced, isolationist societies will be the ones to do this.
- Jackson killing Goa’uld larvae in “Bloodlines” will come back to bite him in the ass. Not yet so far but the series is still young.
SG-2: The Nature of the Gods
The recurring phrase whenever the team encounters a society of lesser technology than theirs is “We’re not gods. We’re just like you.” And they’re believed every time. Though annoying, this is integral to the overarching plot in that the stargate teams from Earth are the catalyst to an interplanetary revolution that will (most likely) overthrow the Goa’uld. Even so, I would like future episodes of the show to explore what it means to be god.
Ancient pantheons of western civilization are shown as being very real, prominently the Ancient Egyptian and Norse pantheons. We have yet to meet the Norse gods/aliens, but I hope we do soon. Though “Brief Candle” had very Grecian architecture and fashion, we have yet to meet anyone of the Greco-Roman pantheon as well.
Episodes that explored the nature of godhood are as follows:
- Children of the Gods — what you call “gods” we call “people with advanced technology” and “capable of being killed”
- The Boca Divide — these people are infected with the disease and we will prove it by curing them of it
- The First Commandment — gods are susceptible to human desires but that doesn’t make them indestructable
- Brief Candle — your god used you as lab rats in his sick experiment
- Hathor — a single person was probably given a different interpretation in each society in ancient Earth
SG-3: Best to Not Get Married in This Universe
If you’re a man, marriage is in the background. If you’re a woman, marriage is sacred if mentioned at all. Let me explain.
Jackson, O’Neill, and Teal’c are married, or was married until quite recently. Jackson is still married and supposed to be on a search for his wife who was kidnapped by the bad guys. Shau’re is mentioned in 8 episodes, and Jackson shows emotion regarding her in approximately 2. O’Neill is divorced but still loves his wife, as evidenced by two moments throughout the series. In “Brief Candle” he is unable to write her a letter, and in “Solitudes” she was his inspiration to survive when all hope was lost. Meanwhile, O’Neill still has a wife on a random planet, also evidenced by the events of “Brief Candle.” Teal’c’s wife lives on Chulak, and their devotion is never questioned though it was rocky during the events in the episode “Bloodlines.” All in all, marriage is a background description for the men of SG-1.
Carter, meanwhile, is not married. She used to be engaged but broke it off. This was only mentioned in “The First Commandment.” Her one temporary relationship in “Enigma” lacked a physical component. She’s uncomfortable with using sex as a weapon as evidenced in “Hathor.” Otherwise, Carter is not attached to anyone while the men on her team are. Personally, I’m hoping for her to find a cute woman to get it on with, but I don’t know how hopeful that wish is. I do ship Carter and Frasier, though. (Science Sisters 5eva! ❤ ❤ <3)
Given the last paragraph, though, what are the odds that Carter is asexual?
SG-4: It’s Us vs. Them if Them is The World
The show prioritizes SG-1’s relationships with each other more than their relationships outside the team. It’s the main four against the world in approximately six episodes in season 1:
- Brief Candle
- Thor’s Hammer
- Fire and Water
- Tin Man
- Within the Serpent’s Grasp
Despite being in the good graces of the President of the United States, the stargate program is constantly under attack from authorities within the United States’ military/government. Perhaps this is supposed to draw a parallel with the treatment of NASA within the public eye. A lot of people I spoke with as a child thought the money put towards NASA could be better spent elsewhere in the world. It’s that sort of attitude that further paints the main characters in a moral light. Even in the face of adversity, they still embark into the unknown to learn what’s out there. American heroes, every one, even Teal’c who is literally not of this world.
SG-5: The Many Aliens of the Galaxy
From the Goa’uld to cystalline energy beings to a mysterious council of four races, the stargate universe is a big place. Here are the aliens we encountered so far:
- Goa’uld — the big bad, parasitic, lots of ancient Egyptian influence
- Energy crystals — introduced in “Cold Lazarus” and mostly extinct. Oddly helpful despite previous encounters with the Goa’uld
- unseen Norse gods — I have it on good authority (i.e. a random gif on Tumblr) that the Norse aliens are not human-shaped
- the 4 races featured in “The Torment of Tantalus” — I would love to see if anyone translated those tablets yet
- sea creature from “Fire and Water” — writes in cuneiform and has an air-tight dwelling underwater. Also technologically advanced, though unwilling to make friends with anybody who is friends with a Jaffa. Will pose problems later on?
SG-6: Civilizations and their Techno-babble
Most of the civilizations encountered are derived from ancient or near-ancient civilizations, mostly from Europe though one episode featured a village based on the Monguls. They have farming and hunting and their most powerful weapon may be a trebuchet if they had the manpower to design and build one. Otherwise, most civilizations are considered “primitive” by our standards. SG-1 doesn’t willingly share their technology with these civilizations, but they don’t voluntarily give up what they have either. Unless you’re trading a handgun for the freedom of your teammate, of course.
Four civilizations are more technologically advanced than Stargate Command/Earth: the Goa’uld with their sarcophagus and their life-sucking hand devices; the Nox with their floating cities and invisibility tech; the Tollans with their ability to phase through walls; and whatever Harlan called himself in “Tin Man.” Three of these civilizations are unwilling to share their knowledge with Earth. Two of these civilizations see the Earthlings too young and scrappy to responsibly use their advanced tech. Only one of these civilizations doesn’t fully understand their technology (Harlan).
I would argue that this plays into the show’s themes on god-hood. One of the attributes of gods is the ability to manipulate the world in ways that cannot be understood. What’s a cell phone to someone who doesn’t comprehend Skype? It’s that sort of magic that convinces the ignorant that those more powerful than they are worthy of worship.
SG-7: Through a Feminist Lens
I will always interpret my media through a feminist lens. Have done so since my childhood. Will continue to do so well into my future of media consumption. Stargate SG-1 is no different. What are my feminist conclusions?
I enjoy the depth of Captain Carter though I wonder why she has an extensive set of skills while the others do not. She was most likely a psychology undergrad, a practiced electrical engineer regarding stargate technology, and has some biology background based on her efforts in “Brief Candle.” I enjoyed her the most when she was physically tough, such as the final act of “Emancipation” or when she shrugs off a stab wound in “The Boca Divide.” I especially love her when she teams up with Dr. Frasier in the name of science. Two ladies doing science together is probably the most feminist thing I can think of in the wake of #distractinglysexy.
This show can be better in terms of feminism, however. We can see more women in characters-of-the-week roles. I would like more warrior women, particularly in Stargate Command, but also among the other worlds encountered. I still remember the lone American soldier who was captured by the Goa’uld, forgotten by her peers and superior officers, and later killed in “Children of the Gods.” Even so, the women that are introduced are just as flat or rounded as their male counterparts. It’s quite refreshing, actually, to not worry about what horrible trope will infect the women next episode.
Unfortunately, this show is not devoid of rape. The first four episodes mention rape in some capacity. Fortunately, this seems to have been a brief phase in the show’s writing. Putting women in positions of sexual vulnerability disappears entirely. Episodes that mention rape are as follows:
- Children of the Gods — you can’t tell me Shau’re getting a Goa’uld implanted into her is not a form of rape
- Emancipation — one chief threatens to rape Carter because of her “insolence”
- The Boca Divide — Jackson suggests they let the supposed neanderthal force himself on the frightened human child
- The First Commandment — Carter’s ex-beau with his small harem of pretty women, most likely
- Hathor — Technically, Jackson and O’Neill were both raped by Hathor but the writing didn’t treat it as such
SG-8: Things that Make Me Smile
Everything involving Teal’c is fantastic. Teal’c eyebrows are works of art. Teal’c facial expression looks like he’s 1000% done with whatever nonsense is happening around him. Teal’c’s stoicism breaths meaning into my life.
O’Neill’s sass reminds me of the works of John Scalzi, sarcastic and turning common idioms into jokes. That being said, I would love it if he started getting into puns. I doubt it, but I would love it.
Jackson, the nerdy academic, gets super attractive if you A) remove his glasses B) ruffle his hair C) take off his shirt or D) all of the above. He’s also prone to death as evidenced by this fun video of every time Daniel Jackson dies to the tune of “Only the Good Die Young.” The video contains mild spoilers, but I don’t care. Someone else noticed that Jackson and death is very much a theme. There’s even a little meta clip at the very end.
SG-9: One-sentence Conclusion
Someone please watch this show with me.
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The Future of These Recaps
They will still happen. Believe me when I saw that I love this show and I love writing about it so that will not change. The things that will change will be the posting schedule and the posts themselves. How will they change, you ask? I’ll focus more on analysis and less on summary. The posting schedule will be less aggressive to make room for posts about other topics that interest me. I’m keeping the adorable mascot trend.
Season 2 recaps will resume in August.