Season 2 Episode 20 – Magical Child #3 of the series gets adopted by . . . (drumroll) Colonel O’Neill! (applause)
Synopsis: We start with an unauthorized activation of the stargate at Stargate Command. The iris is unable to remain closed which allows a small boy to walk through. The boy comes with a warning of an impending attack. Upon further questioning, it’s determined the attackers are a terrorist group of the Retu, a species that does not exist in the human visual spectrum. A friendly Retu is already on the base and overrode the commands to close the iris. The boy names himself Charlie after O’Neill’s son. The team verifies Charlie’s information with the help of Jacob Carter/Selmak of the Tok’ra. He provides a weapon that brings the Retu into the visual spectrum. Charlie’s mother, the friendly Retu, provides coordinates for the Retu rebel gathering. Teams SG-1, SG-12, and the Tok’ra go to the planet on a recon mission and discover an entire army. Upon returning, they realize a terrorist group of 5 Retu entered Stargate Command during the mission and they sweep the base. Charlie, who has been gravely sick, starts to die. Jacob/Selmak offers to take him and heal him as a Tok’ra host. The episode ends with Charlie saying good-bye to O’Neill with whom he developed a deep bond.
This is the third Magical Child of the series. First was Cassandra from the episode “Singularity” in season 1. Then there is Teal’c boy Ry’ak who I argue didn’t become a Magical Child until the season 2 episode “Family.” Finally, there’s Charlie, genetically modified so he can perceive Retu but has malfunctioning organs as a result. He has a mother but not a father and so asks O’Neill to be his father. O’Neill was hesitant about the idea, and rightfully so. Adopting a child is a huge responsibility, especially when the child is alien and legally required to sign a gag order so he doesn’t tell his new friends at school about the stargate.
Luckily those troubles are avoided by Charlie being taken in by the Tok’ra who have the ability to heal him. Albeit as a host for another Tok’ra, but at least this episode doesn’t end with the death of a redshirt child.
This episode introduces the Retu rebels who are also fighting against the Goa’uld but doing so by destroying possible Goa’uld hosts. Thus, once the Goa’uld no longer have hosts to sustain them, then they can die out. If you look at the long term effects, this would be an efficient way to destroy the Goa’uld once and for all. However, this means the destruction of the human race as a whole (not just on Earth) as well as the destruction of any other potential host races. This plan has so much genocide, it’s a wonder nobody likes it, not even the actual Retu authorities.
This episode gets bonus points for saying that it’s okay for boys to cry. O’Neill, a grown ass man with feelings, tells Charlie that is okay to cry (especially when your mom is leaving) and that it is okay to feel sad when saying goodbye. The idea that men shouldn’t show/feel emotions is a) preposterous and b) supports an idea called Toxic Masculinity. Toxic Masculinity is the notion that men should fit into a strict set of criterion in order to be called “Men.” The major criterion include not showing emotion and being the dominant force in every instance of their lives. Not showing emotion is dangerous because it’s one of the key traits of psychopaths. Being dominant in every instance of your life, to be quite honest, sounds exhausting. Why would you try to achieve that? Just no.
Finally, we have a new enemy on the block: the Retu rebellion. Made dangerous because Stargate Command can only perceive them via Teal’c since Junior is agitated every time one is nearby. SGC’s Tok’ra friends grow weak in their presence. Carter, former host of a Goa’uld, cannot sense or perceive the Retu.
This episode’s adorable mascot is Charlie because he looks like Van Diesel as a child.