Stargate SG-1 season 3 continues the momentum of season 2 by solving a couple main plot events and showing the evolution of Stargate Command’s involvement in intergalactic affairs. There is also some development between team members of SG-1, particularly with Jackson/O’Neill but Teal’c gets closer with Carter and Jackson. The season ends with another cliffhanger involving a destroyed Asgardian ship and a new enemy. Let’s take a bigger look at season 3, shall we?

Intergalactic Travails

Season 3 started a trend of cold opening on alien planets instead of the embarkation chamber. Though we still spend a couple minutes warming up to the action, this does save the viewer from hearing SG-1 justify why this planet should be their next mission.

We also see Stargate Command take on a bigger role with intergalactic politics. Starting in “Fair Game” where SGC hosts a summit between the Goa’uld and the Asgard, and continuing in “Deadman Switch” which introduces intergalactic bounty hunters. “Pretense” gave us a closer look at the Tollan society first introduced in the season 1 episode “Enigma.” And “Shades of Grey” gave us a reason to dislike Colonel Maybourne again despite a potential redemption in “Foothold.” The episode “Crystal Skull” introduces yet another alien race to befriend.

With all the off-world politics, it’s a wonder we haven’t seen random aliens or intergalactic dignitaries wandering around Stargate Command yet. That’s something I am looking forward to in future seasons–random aliens in the background that casually say hello to SG-1 as they pass in the hallway.

screencap from season 3 episode 3 “Fair Game”

Plot Advancement

Season 3 puts to rest the rescue mission arcs for Shau’re and Skaara. While Skaara meets a better end than his sister (“Pretense“), Shau’re’s legacy continues with the search for the Harcesis, a child born of two Goa’uld hosts who possesses the knowledge of the Goa’uld (“Forever in a Day“). This child supposedly holds the key to the downfall of the Goa’uld System Lords. He is found in “Maternal Instinct” but then whisked away elsewhere by a being of light and telekinetic powers. So now Season 4 will be partially devoted to hunting down the Harcesis child without notifying the System Lords that the hunt continues among the Tau’ri of Earth.

I am still salty about Shau’re’s death and will forevermore be salty about it. Did Skaara know his sister’s fate when he was released from Klorel’s possession? Does he mourn her on Abydos? Does SG-1 ever visit Abydos just because? There have been hints that Carter still sees Cassandra from the season 1 episode “Singularity” but there are no hints that Jackson or O’Neill casually visit other planets where they have made friends. Off the top of my head, I can think of the people in the episode “Brief Candle” where O’Neill spent some time contemplating early-onset death by old age. In this season, there was the woman he befriended and I guess married in “A Hundred Days.” Are these women still important to O’Neill? We the viewers may never know.

This was also the season of Sokar, a Goa’uld System Lord of unspeakable power who was defeated with half a season. Introduced early in the season, Sokar is the reason behind the bounty hunter in “Deadman Switch” and eventually captures Jacob/Selmak of the Tok’ra which prompts the rescue mission of “Jolinar’s Memories” and “The Devil You Know.” However, since Sokar’s mothership is destroyed in the mid-season two-parter, we can conclude that Sokar is dead. For a System Lord of unspeakable power, he was taken out pretty quickly. Then again, I guess Apophos is the main antagonist working against SG-1, so he is the one stealing the villain spotlight whenever he can.

I noted earlier that if Sokar represents the Devil of Christian mythology then this show must eventually have someone represent Jesus of Christian mythology, despite the controversies that may accompany it. I did not expect this person to emerge in Season 3, but I will be waiting for them to appear in future seasons. Sokar is introduced in “Demons” and his reign of terror ends in “The Devil You Know.”

screenshot from season 3 episode 18 “Shades of Grey”

Team Development

We see more of the relationship between Jackson and O’Neill in season 3 which is nice. I had said that I wanted more of that on multiple occasions and it’s actually happening, which makes my little heart glow. Especially since the interactions between these two feature Strained Expressions of Friendship.

Teal’c and Carter team up during “Foothold.” Though they were separated most of that episode, I’m going to count it towards the Teal’c/Carter friendship because they spent several minutes figuring out a plan before splitting. Teal’c also has something of a bonding episode with Jackson in “Crystal Skull” which Teal’c sensing but not hearing or seeing Jackson on the alternate plane of existence.

The show continues to ship O’Neill and Carter, which continues to grind my gears for my own reasons. Though most prominent in “A Hundred Days” they also have a prolonged awkward moment at the beginning of “Nemesis” which made me cringe.

screenshot from season 3 episode 2 “Seth”

Stargate SG-1 has found its stride and walks at that pace without changing it much. Though this season put  to rest some plot arcs introduced in season 1, the pacing and flow of the show remains unchanged. Because of this continued flow, I am briefly setting this show aside for the next couple months. Nothing against Stargate SG-1, but I am itching to recap something else for this pet project of mine. Since I marked the end of season 3 as my starting point, it’s time to get to it!