Synopsis: Lt. Colonel Mitchell has taken over the command of SG-1. The problem is: There is no SG-1 anymore. Teal’c is council member on Dakara, Sam has been reassigned to Area 51 and Daniel is about to leave to Atlantis.
But then Vala Mal Doran comes to Earth and brings an enrycpted tablet, written in Ancient. It points to a secret location on Earth that is supposed to contain treasures. Vala binds Daniel to herself with a special set of “hand cuffs” and they go off on the search for Avalon, the resting place of King Arthur.
My Opinion: In an early episode of the eight season Sam asked how people like her are ever going to have a family. If she would become pregnant could she simply take maternity leave? The absence of Sam in this and the following episodes is exactly for this reason: Amanda Tapping is on maternity leave.
But the chemistry between Daniel and Vala works very well again. The attempts of Mitchell (Ben Browder, John Crichton in Farscape) “to bring the band back together” are honourable but (so far) in vain.
O’Neill was promoted to Major General and has turned the command over to Major General Landry (Beau Bridges). This marks the end of Richard Dean Anderson as regular cast.
Avalon, Part 2
Synopsis: After they’ve successfully solved the puzzles in the cave, Daniel discovers a device of the Ancient’s that stands in relation to the stones Joe Spencer and Jack have been using for years. They suspect that it is a means of communication. Since Daniel and Vala are still “bound” to each other they try it together – and land in a remote place in foreign bodies. They don’t find the Ancients there but worshippers of the Ori.
In the meantime the situation in the newly found Jaffa council develops differently than Bra’tac and Teal’c had hoped.
My Opinion: I liked the fact that they’ve established a permanent doctor again (Lexa Doig, “Rommie” in Andromeda). They haven’t had one since the death of Dr. Frasier.
But I didn’t understand how the First Prime of a backwater Goa’uld could gather that many followers. A Jaffa (it hadn’t to be the First Prime) of a System Lord would have been more believable.
Synopsis: Daniel and Vala have been brought to the “City of the Gods” by the Prior. There he meets the leader of the Priors and he learns that the Ori are Ancients, too. But the Ori believe that the mortals should worship them. Anyone who doesn’t follow the “path of enlightenment” will be destroyed. Through the arrival of Daniel and Vala the Ori have learned of our galaxy and they have sent their first Priors.
My Opinion: As if by magic a new enemy emerges that is more powerful than Anubis or the Replicators. The fact that the Ori cannot come here themselves makes this war winnable. In terms of Dragonball, we have reached the Buu Saga.
The Ties That Bind
Synopsis: Although the “hand cuffs” have been removed, Daniel and Vala still cannot part without collapsing. They try to find out why that is and how to undo it. But for this they have to “retrieve” a few items.
My Opinion: The story and the looks of this episode felt like a mixture of Farscape and Firefly. This is no critizism, since Mitchell shouldn’t be a simple copy of Jack and Vala isn’t an ordinary SG team member. I liked it a lot.
The Powers That Be
Synopsis: Vala returns to a planet that she has ruled as a Goa’uld and as herself. She tries to warn the people of the Ori by retaking her role as Qetesh. The plan doesn’t work out and Vala is being put on trial. But then a Prior arrives and Daniel tries to convince the people that the Ori are false gods just as the Goa’ulds have been.
My Opinion: That’s the problem when you tell people over thousands of years that there are living gods. This idea is then hard to kill, especially when you have such “convincing arguments” as the Priors have. But I liked this episode because it showed that Vala is not completely egoistic – only a great part of her. The discussion between Daniel and the Prior was also very well written.
Synopsis: A Prior comes to a planet of the free Jaffa but when they don’t bow to him he enables an expanding force field around the Stargate. The Ori try to establish a beachhead in our galaxy and the Prometheus is dispatched to prevent exactly that.
My Opinion: The best part was the face of the Goa’uld fatso when he was thinking about his future. The destruction of the Supergate looked really cool but I am afraid that it won’t be the last. And while I like the fact that Sam has returned, it’s sad that Vala has gone missing. She has brought a lot of pep into the show. But many people have returned and she isn’t even definitivly dead (and not even that has stopped some people).
Ex Deus Machina
Synopsis: As it turns out, Ba’al is hiding on Earth. He has been here since his defeat over Dakara and he has used the Trust organization to help him. Gerak from the Jaffa High Council has learned of this and he wants to be the one who catches him. But Ba’al has a reinsurance that could cost the lives of many people.
My Opinion: I think Cliff Simon (Ba’al) has an interesting voice. I believe we have heard it for the first time. I also liked the idea of beaming an entire building or the multiple Ba’al clones. I am quite sure we will see them again.
The sad thing about this episode is that Earth can’t find lasting and true allies. Among the Tollans and Tok’ra have never been more than one or two reliable persons. Even during the war against the Goa’ulds the alliance with the rebel Jaffa had been fragile. What did Earth do to deserve that ingratitude?
Synopsis: The Sodan are Jaffa who have parted ways with the other Jaffa 5000 years ago. Since then they’ve never served any Goa’uld. When SG-1 wants to meet them there is a incident during which a Sodan is badly wounded and Mitchell is captured. And the Priors have found their way to this planet, too.
My Opinion: The village of the Sodans and their way of life had a japanese touch although Tony Todd isn’t the typical japanese. I have to confess I am fascinated by the Samurai culture. I am well aware of the fact that the image Hollywood shows has nothing to do with the reality in those times. Still I am a fan of the “noble warrior” image. It’s quite sad that words like “honour” have no meaning at all anymore. And I am definitively not talking about the “honour” as in “honour killings”, they have nothing to do with “honour”.
I liked the episode a lot.
Synopsis: On a specially shielded planet SG-1 finds a person in stasis who has been experimented on. They take him back to Earth but then they find out, who and what and how dangerous he is. He is Anubis’s “son”.
My Opinion: The episode was ok even though they again proclaimed the urban legend that Humans use only 3% of their brain. Robert Picardo played the Woolsey very well again. I just failed to see why the writers decided to make Daniel the advocate of the “Kill him!” fraction.
The Fourth Horseman
Synopsis: Another SG team returns from a planet that has just “gone Ori”. But unknowingly they brought back the disease that the Priors spread if a planet does not bow to them.
Additionally Gerak has entered the path of enlightenment and he tries to convince the other Jaffa to do the same.
My Opinion: When I read the episode name I actually waited for the horseman to arrive. This was a result of my experience with Highlander where Methos was one of the four riders. This time they meant it symbolically (the fourth rider represents fear, sickness, downfall and death).
Again I liked the “never give up, never surrender” attitude of both Humans and the Jaffa around Teal’c. The story about Orlin was not so interesting.
The Fourth Horseman, Part 2
Synopsis: To stop the disease, SGC needs a blood sample of the Prior who has spread it. SG-1 sets up a trap for him on the planet of the Sodan.
Gut Gerak is a Prior now and by the doctrine of the Ori everyone who does not want to follow has to die. The Jaffa nation is on the brink of a cicil war.
My Opinion: I really liked the fact that the Sodan stood up to the Ori. This is what I mean with “having honour”: not simply slaughtering innocent peasants just because someone said so. I also liked the sacrifice of Gerak and that he died as a free Jaffa (Shal’kek nem’ron).
The advantage of Orlin’s presence was that it wasn’t Sam again who’s found the solution, still I didn’t care much for this part of the story.
Synopsis: The Galarans have developed a device that can implant memories. This could become an easy way to train new pilots in a matter of weeks. But then Mitchell is accused of murder and he can remember doing it. Due to his immunity there will be no trial but he insists on clearing his name.
My Opinion: It was nice to learn something about Cameron’s background an his life before the Antarctica battle. And they made me suspect the wrong person. But the Galarans made the wrong choice at the end of the episode. If I can avoid being punished just because I can’t remember what I did – what would stop me of doing it again and make me forget again?
Synopsis: SG-1 returns from a mission but in the debriefing they insist that Selmak is still alive. But then SG-1 returns from a mission. And another SG-1 returns from a mission. And another SG-1…
My Opinion: Great episode. I liked it a lot, especially to see some characters again (Martouf, Dr. Frasier). I also liked the Asgard, he (she?) was really funny. Too bad, they didn’t make an expanded version of the episode, with all the materials they had to cut out.
Synopsis: Strange things happen within the Jaffa High Council. A motion for more democracy is voted down by members who have been in favour of it just recently. Teal’c wants to get to the bottom of things and disappears.
Meanwhile an old friend of Cameron’s who should have been on the F-302 program is dying and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
My Opinion: A very emotional episode which I also liked. Both parts of the story worked very well. I even had to admit that Ba’al may have a point when he proposed his plan to Teal’c.
Synopsis: Jared Kane comes through the Stargate to aks for SG-1’s help. One year after the Rand Protectorate and the Caledonian Federation have been at war (caused by the arrival of SG-1), the Ori have given the Rands a weapon (a satellite) that could wipe out the Caledonians. Kane wants to end the hostilities that have lasted for centuries. Prometheus is dispatched to destroy the satellite.
My Opinion: I always try to find out why an episode is called the way it is called. But I didn’t find any connection and thus Wikipedia had to help out. And I was delighted to find out that they’ve once again made an effort to find an appropriate title.
The end of the episode was especially shattering because I already went into “SG-1 has saved the day” mode. But episodes like this are important to show that you simply can’t always win.
Off the Grid
Synopsis: SG-1 investigates in a case of chemically modified crop that makes people addicted to it. But then they get captured by the Lucian Alliance and the Stargate is beamed away. The new battle cruiser Odyssey saves them but more Stargates are disappearing and Ba’al seems to be the one who is responsible.
My Opinion: In my opinion the new BC-304 “Daedalus” class is not as pretty as the old Prometheus. Additionally the form reminds me of already existing ships in other Sci-Fi universes. Anyway, that’s not the point.
The way the Lucian Alliance was presented wasn’t really convincing to me. I didn’t understand how they were able to track down Ba’al and how they managed to get a hand on that many Ha’taks. It’s unlikely that the Jaffa parked them somewhere after their “god” had died.
Synopsis: SG-1 accompanies some members of the International Oversight Committee to the Gamma Site, on a “Sightseeing Tour” so to speak. But then some bugs escape from a lab and these bugs were made by the Priors and they spread fast – and they are flesh-eating.
My Opinion: I like Cameron a lot and they HK G36 is much for fitting for him than the FN P90. I liked the episode especially because of the symbolism at the end, when SG-1 is standing side by side defending the civilians. I also liked that Woolsey realises that some things can go wrong and that there’s nothing anyone could have done to prevent it.
But the best thing was Cameron’s line, that they would watch Starship Troopers this evening. 😀
Synopsis: Sam is still working on one of the devices they’ve found in “Avalon”. But then she activates it – and Cameron and she are getting “out of phase”.
Additionally the Sodan have been attacked and the SGC sends help.
My Opinion: Too bad the story of the Sodan has come to an end so soon, I liked it a lot. And even though they used the “out of phase” theme again, they’ve incorporated it very well into the story without denying that they’ve used it before.
Synopsis: Vala is suddenly in the body of Daniel and back in our galaxy. Sam has built a device that is compatible to the destroyed communication device of the Ancients. But she is the bearer of bad news: She is pregnant and thousands and thousands of men are preparing for the holy war. And they are builing ships to come here.
My Opinion: There’s only one story where a mother has given birth to a child that has no father. Teal’c answers: Darth Vader. Cameron answers: King Arthur. Great. I liked this episode and the fact to see Michael Ironside (Captain Hudson, SeaQuest DSV) again, the role was perfect for him.
Synopsis: The Stargate adress Daniel got out of the Ancients’s device lead directly to Camelot. There they find Merlin’s library and Daniel is hoping to find the weapon that could kill the Ori.
But then the free Jaffa discover a new Supergate and everyone is gathering their forces to stop the Ori: the Tau’ri, the Jaffa, the Tok’ra, the Asgard and even the Lucian Alliance. The great war begins.
My Opinion: “No greater sacrifice has ever been asked of a people, but I ask you now. To step forward one last time, one last battle to hold the line against the night. May god go with you all.” (President of the Earth Alliance, Babylon 5: In the Beginning) I love brilliantly portrayed battles. Pelennor. Endor. Coriana 6. Chin’toka. When so many different parties (who may even be antagonized to one another) unite I am certain no one can beat them, not even the Ori. The price may be high, but he can’t be too high if one does not want to give up the freedom of the galaxy.
The Season – My Opinion: Cameron has been very well integrated into the team. I never had the feeling to have an O’Neill copy in front of me. Sometimes he reminded me of his character John Crichton in Farscape.
While I am still not convinced of the Ori storyarc it isn’t as bad as I had feared. All things considered I liked this season and I am now beginning to regret again that there’s only one season left.