Season 3 Episode 22 – SG-1 sans Jackson are beamed aboard Thor’s spaceship the Billiskner to help destroy a new enemy called Replicators.

O’Neill, in his search for fishing partners, is beamed mid-sentence aboard the Billiskner and encounters small spider-like robots of a mysterious nature. Thor leads him to the medical bay where Thor is in a medical pod but had recorded videos with instructions on how to run the ship. O’Neill sends a communicae to Stargate Command asking for explosives with the subtext that this mission is a suicide mission for the Greater Good.  Except when the goods are sent, Teal’c and Carter are beamed as well (Jackson still recovering from a burst appendix). A possible escape plan is to board one of the shuttles currently sitting on a NASA launch pad before the Asgardian ship blows with everyone inside. Thor explains the spider-like robots are called replicators and have been eating away at the ship and learning the ship’s technologies as it does so. Through a series of convoluted complications, the final plan is to set a charge on the outside of the Asgardian ship, send it into Earth’s atmosphere, and blow it up. SG-1 beams aboard the stargate in Stargate Command as their escape route. Teal’c sets the charge and there is a tense moment where he has to push away from the ship in order to get beamed back aboard. Also, Thor is gravely ill and Carter suspends him to save his life. As SG-1 activates the stargate to escape, the replicators start a huge attack. On Earth, Jackson sits in Stargate Command feeling hopeless as he watches the Asgardian ship enter the atmosphere and explode over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. The episode ends with a single replicator emerging from the oceanic wreckage.

Teal’c floating in space after being locked off the ship with a blown oxygen tank.

The final episode of Season 3 manages to boost itself up from the slag that was “Maternal Instinct” and, to a lesser extent, “Crystal Skull.” This episode was entertaining and introduced a new enemy to the stargate lore: replicators.

We also have the first instance where the Asgard, a race with ridiculous advanced technology like teleport beams and faster-than-light travel, turns to humanity for help. Though this is a bit of a lessor task what with the mission being limited to a single Asgardian ship and all. And Carter is not alone in figuring out the technology and how it works since Thor, though incapacitated, is still able to offer assistance through instructions and explanations.

One thing I realized when watching this episode was that Colonel O’Neill probably has a reputation among the stars. Not only is he the leader of SG-1, he is the one other races turn to when they ask for help from Earth. For instance, this is the second time this season that he was beamed aboard an Asgard ship. O’Neill was also behind the discovery of the rogue NID team working off-planet in “Shades of Grey.” So while Stargate Command in general has been building diplomatic relations within the galaxy, O’Neill personally has been earning a reputation in the same intergalactic circles.

This also begs the question of the reputations of the rest of SG-1. Carter is notable among the Tok’ra for carrying Jolinar for a short period. But what about Jackson and Teal’c? What kinds of intergalactic reputations do they have?

I have two criticisms against this episode. One, the plan to destroy the Replicators changes about three times within a fifteen minute timeframe. This made it hard to keep track of the current plan and what everyone’s contribution to it was. Two, O’Neill’s super awkward attempt to get Carter to go fishing with him. The show’s narrative obviously ships O’Neill and Carter together, though I do not understand why since O’Neill shuts Carter up every time she wants to talk about her passion (science!). I also see Carter as a too-easy love interest since she’s the only female on the team. So their romance, when it does finally blossom (it’s a disappointing inevitability at this point), is just a romance of convenience.

It took me half the episode before I realized Jackson wasn’t part of the main action, which means he’s getting a bigger role in Part 2.

This episode’s adorable mascot is brooding Jackson in the command center of Stargate Command. Your friends are totally alive, man. Search past narratives, you know this to be true.