Season 2 Episode 5 – Satisfying two running themes: The Many Deaths of Daniel Jackson and Daniel Jackson’s Growing Harem.
Synopsis: The team are hidden on a planet mining Naquadah, the mysterious metal the stargates are made from. Jackson rescues the resident princess which results in the capture of the rest of the team. In an escape attempt, Jackson is seriously injured by falling rocks and is revived by a sarcophagus kept by the royal family. He befriends Princess Shaila whom he rescued and she gets him addicted to using the sarcophagus when completely healthy. Meanwhile, the rest of SG-1 are forced to mine naquadah without rest. Jackson tricks Shaila to let him and his teammates through the gate with the promise that they’ll marry upon his return. Instead, Stargate Command keeps Jackson locked away until his withdrawal symptoms fade. He returns to Shaila to open negotiations on sharing naquadah with Earth and the alliance is sealed with the destruction of the sarcophagus.
There are two running themes with the show: Jackson dying and Jackson acquiring a new love interest on the current planet. This episode satisfies both of them and it’s pretty great, if not a little infuriating because, you know, he’s probably still married. Bonus points to Carter for straight up saying “You have a wife” at a later part of the episode. The beginning part of Jackson and Shaila’s relationship was pretty adorable, especially since there was never a good moment for Jackson to drop the “I’m sorry, I have a wife” bomb.
My biggest annoyance this episode was that it felt like it jumped around a lot. There weren’t any transitions between the plot-relevant scenes, such as when Jackson was put into the sarcophagus the first time to save his life. Nor did we see the team being lead to or released from the mines in the first place. Or Carter squirreling away naquadah to eventually take back home. O’Neill mentioned Teal’c making new friends like he always does which seemed like to referenced a scene that didn’t make the final cut. It feels as though this episode was originally written to be two parts but then the writers asked why it would have to be two parts and simply cut scenes without inserting adequate transitions.
The biggest effect I noticed was the episode tried to push the whole “O’Neill and Jackson are best fwiends” but didn’t exactly sell it. If someone were to watch this episode and only this episode of Stargate SG-1, they wouldn’t have fully understood the relationship between Jackson and O’Neill, which would make their fighting it out in a supply closet a lot less cathartic than what it was probably intended.
I enjoyed how the antagonist this episode was not the ruling king but his daughter. At some point, you learn that the king isn’t exactly in his right mind and that some of his decisions are made on a whim. His daughter, however, is fully capable of making decisions albeit rash decisions mostly done in the name of fear. Her decision to get Jackson addicted to the sarcophagus, for example, was made fully aware of the sarcophagus’s effects on a person. She described herself as still being young (to her father’s paltry 700 years) so I can only assume she’s supposed to be a teenager during all of this. But it’s okay, she’s played by an adult actress and her age is only vaguely referenced so Jackson kissing her is Kinda Sorta NOT Statutory Rape. Bonus points that Shaila was the one weilding the Jaffa weapon that destroyed the sarcophagus in the end though.
Finally, we see some ramifications of Carter being possessed by Jolinar. She starts having visions of the Tok’ra resistance, specifically that they don’t use the sarcophagus because it saps the soul of the host. Carter could also sense that the ruling family on the planet was not Goa’uld, which goes along with Jolinar’s statement in “In the Line of Duty” that they would only recognize their Goa’uld assassin in the moments before being tortured to death. Goa’uld have the ability to sense other Goa’uld. Now Carter can sense other Goa’uld. A handy ability, considering Stargate Command’s biggest enemy to date.
This episode’s adorable mascot is O’Neill and Jackson hugging it out in a supply closet.