Season 2 Episode 4 – The traumatic memories of the team’s straight, white males.
Synopsis: The team visits a lush planet where the residents are kept in strange pods. They’re sucked into pods of their own and separated. While O’Neill relives one of the worst missions of his career with Teal’c, Jackson relives the death of his parents with Carter. Upon realizing the memories repeat themselves, they both refuse to play along which incites the appearance and annoyance of the Gamekeeper, the man who runs the virtual reality simulator where the residents presently live. The Gamekeeper is excited for some new material for his residents, but SG-1 is less than happy to provide. Instead, they tell the residents their planet is beautiful and fertile and definitely not poisonous. Now that his illusion is shattered, the Gamekeeper runs to a portal that will lead the people back to the real world, and everyone is finally free of virtual reality.
Once again, SG-1 incites a revolution. Their reputation for overthrowing societies grows with every episode this happens. And this is why the Goa’uld are so afraid of them. If they can overthrow an entire society in forty minutes or less, think of what they can do with a whole season. Or TWO since that seems more likely.
O’Neill and Jackson are the only ones who are able to provide new material for the simulator. Teal’c is protected by his prim’ta (the Goa’uld larvae) and Carter probably got some benefits from the Goa’uld revolutionist that possessed her two episodes ago. It begs the question what other benefits Carter will get from the Goa’uld revolutionist (immunity to all diseases? Prevention from psychic invasions? The possibilities remain unknown!).
This also means that most of the focus in the episode was on the two straight, white males of the group. I boo this. Does Carter have any super-traumatic events in her life? Other than knowing she’s a super smart scientist and a resourceful soldier, we don’t know much about her personal life other than she’s an aunty (from “Cold Lazarus” in season 1). Likewise, I wonder if Teal’c had any super traumatic events in his life. Other than giving his son a prim’ta to save his life or betraying the Goa’uld warlords, that is. It would have been interesting if this episode recreated an event the audience was witness to. What would Teal’c have done differently earlier?
“Obviously my options are infinite and my solutions are zero.” — Daniel Jackson to the Gamekeeper
This was the second episode in which we saw O’Neill kinda freak out a bit about bodily autonomy. The first time was season 1’s “Tin Man” where he was the only member of the team Super Not Okay with being a synthetic double. Perhaps O’Neill is supposed to be the lens for the audience. Or maybe the show is drawing parallels with the idea of being possessed by a parasitic alien creature. I’d like to see more behavioral aftereffects from such an experience. Which means I’ll be watching Carter closely. Will she retain her “This is kinda neat. How does it work?” attitude? We’ll see how that goes. Additionally, is this setting up O’Neill to be possessed by something and having it break him?
This epsiode’s adorable mascot is Teal’c with hair.