Season 3 Episode 2: The team hunts a Goa’uld System Lord lying low on Earth for 2,000 years.
Synopsis: General Carter/Selmak come through the gate with news of a Goa’uld System Lord that has been hiding on Earth since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Jackson does some research into historical documents and finds a trail of cults with Gao’uld-like reports. He finds one such cult in the pacific northwest, so SG-1 sets out to disband the cult. The cult is already under observation by the ATF who are annoyed by the classified nature of SG-1’s interest in the cult. O’Neill gets some bureaucratic help from the president and takes charge of the operation. Carter modifies their ear pieces to execute a small electric shock from a remote location. O’Neill, Jackson, and Carter infiltrate the cult leaving General Carter/Selmak and Teal’c to listen in on the radio. Cult leader/Goa’uld System Lord Seth discovers SG-1’s secret from sensing the legacy of Jolinar in Carter. He orders them executed but as soon as they’re able, they steal zat guns and shoot everyone in sight. Seth attempts to sneak out during the evacuation of his compound but Carter confronts him with Selmak’s hand device and kills him.
The theme for this episode is rectifying parent-child relationships. Selmak admits to volunteering for this mission from the Tok’ra so that General Carter can have a chance at amending his relationship with his son and Carter’s brother, Mark. Later, SG-1 encounters a father whose son is in the cult who had heard of his son’s brainwashing/kidnapping from the college roommate because of a dispute. Teal’c questions the conditions parents require to love their children. In the end, General Carter does amend his relationship with Mark. Assumeably. That part wasn’t given a lot of focus but we did see them smiling together in the same shot so it’s strongly implied.
This episode seems a return to the good-natured humor that has been missing at the end of season 2. O’Neill has some pretty good one-liners. He’s even able to give lip to the ATF Agent running the observation. At this point, we know O’Neill well enough to know that he probably enjoyed every minute of it. I mean, who doesn’t like poking superior officers knowing they can’t do anything about it?
This is another episode where the focus was turned back on Earth instead of in space. I enjoy the banter given to civilians and civilian organizations to keep the stargate program under lock and key, but if we’re going to keep having missions on Earth I would like some creativity in the stories SG-1 tells. Like their story to Michael and Jenny in the episode “1969” which was close enough to be true if anyone would bother to believe them. Well, Michael and Jenny believed them. But no one would believe Michael and Jenny.
This episode’s adorable mascot is the Jaffa joke about the Setesh guards.