Season 3 Episode 1 – Or, as I like to call it, season 2’s official conclusion.
Synopsis: Colonel Makepeace runs through the gate to deliver a map to General Hammond. The map, says Makepeace, is from a Tok’ra spy in Hathor’s ranks which is where SG-1 is. Hammond rounds up about 4 teams which is the highest number of available teams at the time. On Hathor’s planet, the mature Goa’uld symbiote chooses to possess O’Neill but he struggles, preventing the blending from happening in the fake gate room. Hathor drags him to the stasis chamber where he woke up and the Goa’uld infects him there. Reilly, the doctor and Tok’ra spy, puts O’Neill into stasis to kill the symbiote but is knocked unconscious by Hathor. Meanwhile, Makepeace and company infiltrate Hathor’s base and rescue Carter and Jackson. Before they can make it to the gate, Hathor’s men appear and block the way. The stargate teams retreat into underground Tok’ra tunnels. Carter volunteers to find and disable the power source for the shield around the stargate. On Chulak, Teal’c rallies a super small fighting force of Jaffa warriors. He is joined by Hammond who needs more men to save SG-1. Teal’c and Hammond pilot a needle threader, a small two-person fighter that can fit through the stargate. Back in Hathor’s base, Carter discovers Reilly who instructs her on resurrecting O’Neill from stasis. Hathor discovers this and O’Neill throws her into the stasis pit, killing her. O’Neill and Carter set charges on the power generator and head outside where they find their team and Jackson have been captured. O’Neill attempts to feign being a Goa’uld but his cover is easily blown. The stargate activates as Carter blows the power generator and the needle threader piloted by Teal’c and Hammond emerges, taking out tower cannons. A small team of Jaffa warriors led by Bra’tac takes care of Hathor’s soldiers. Once the battle is over, everyone returns home.
Season 3’s conclusion to Season 2’s cliffhanger ending beats Season 2’s conclusion to Season 1’s cliffhanger ending. Season 1’s finale suggested that aliens and the stargate program might become widely known in the aftermath of the battle. However, SG-1 managing to defeat Apophos’s army while keeping their government secret seemed a bit too convenient for my tastes. This time, however, the scope is smaller. SG-1 is once again behind enemy lines but as prisoners not saboteurs. There is no lingering threat of an immediate Goa’uld invasion. Instead, the threat is on the lives of SG-1. The narrower scope keeps the finale’s narrative themes more in line with the rest of the season. Thus the more satisfying conclusion at the end.
This episode also united several stargate teams in an operation to save SG-1. This is the first time we’ve seen more than two stargate teams work together on a single mission. I wish we could have seen more of these other stargate teams, but the series is called Stargate SG-1 for a reason of some sort. Not positive what it could possibly be though.
Major General Hammond goes through the gate a second time in show memory. He visits Chulak where he witnesses Teal’c speak meaningfully to his fellow Jaffa warriors, then joins Teal’c in an alien fighter jet. They have a sweet moment shortly after destroying the tower cannons where Hammond gives a hearty “Yee-haw!” I’d like to see Hammond in more field missions, but I doubt it will happen. He’s probably loaded with paperwork on managing the stargate program as it is.
We also see Makepeace, who I think we’ve seen before. I don’t remember the team he leads, and this episode didn’t clarify. But he might be a recurring character going forward.
This episode’s adorable mascot is Reilly. May she live to fight another day.