Season 3 Episode 5 – SG-1 encounters the first society that actively rejects SG-1’s attempts to overthrow it. I’ve been waiting for this episode for a long time.
Synopsis: Jackson is leading an archaeological dig on the planet Orban when he is joined by O’Neill and Teal’c. O’Neill takes an adult Kalan, a child called Marrin, and an naquadah generator back to Earth. Teal’c and Jackson remain behind. On Earth, Marrin volunteers to stay behind and teach Carter about the naquadah generator. Kalan returns to Orban. Carter has difficulties learning the naquadah generator. Dr. Fraiser, however, discovers that Marrin’s brain is filled with nanites. O’Neill is creeped out that Marrin doesn’t understand the concept of “fun.” Back on Orban, Teal’c teaches a boy namedTomin about the Goa’uld. Tomin requests to have his Averium prematurely. When Jackson uncovers evidence of the Goa’uld presence on Orban, Kalan requests Teal’c teach another child how to defeat the Goa’uld. Jackson and Teal’c ask where Tomin went and visit him post-Averium. Jackson and Teal’c refuse to allow Kalan to return to Earth to pick up Mariin until Kalan explains that Marrin is the only one who knows anything about the naquadah reactor and it would take twelve years for another child to relearn everything. Jackson and Kalan return to Earth and explain the situation to Hammond. O’Neill is against this and steals Marrin away and takes her to the elementary school Cassandra attended. There, Marrin learns to paint and have fun. However, she is adamant that she return to Orban, so O’Neill takes her back. The episode ends when SG-1 visits Orban. Kalan shows them the children who have underwent the Averium who are now playing and having fun.
This show has a thing for magical children. In the case of this episode, an entire society decided that some children will be special and learn everything there is to know about a specific subject and then distribute the knowledge to the rest of the population. How the rest of the population works is a mystery, but the focus is on the children and the debatable maltreatment of them. I use the word maltreatment because, at least to O’Neill, it is the worst thing in the world when a kid doesn’t know how to have fun.
For me, this episode solidified the notion that every member of SG-1 is good with kids in some way. While we have yet to see Jackson directly interact with a child for the duration of an entire episode, we do have Teal’c, O’Neill, and Carter spending quality time with at least two other children. It’s cute. Maybe next time we’ll try to have a child actively save the day instead of passively doing so.
The theme for this episode is learning. SG-1 learns that they can’t push against everything they disagree with, and Kalan points out that it’s wrong of SG-1 to do just that. What is wrong for them is correct for others, in this case, having a select number of children learn everything there is to know about a particular subject and then distribute that information to the general population via the neuron nannites implanted in the child. I, for one, am glad we finally found a society that pushes back against SG-1’s attempts at reform. The beginning of the episode noted the technological advances the Orbanians have made within a matter of decades.
There is compromise on both sides. For SG-1, they allow the society to continue doing what they do without toppling what they dislike. For the Orbanians, they started allowing their post-Averium children the ability to play and have fun.
This episode’s adorable mascot is Sam’s self-portrait.