Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sundays through the Stargate - SG1 Season 8

Sundays through the Stargate is a weekly series that I am doing on Stargate SG1 which you can learn more about in The Beginning post. It is mostly for my own dorky edification but if there are any other fans out there I'd love to hear your thoughts!
For a lot of fans of the show Season 8 is the last season and I have to say I kind of fall into that group, much to my chagrin.  I like to give things a chance and I am a huge Farscape fan so was initially super excited about Ben Browder and Claudia Black joining the cast.  I did watch season 9 and was  mostly just bored.  I hope to give it another chance at some point but for now consider Season 8 the final season in my dorky little world.

Honestly, it kind of feels like a final season.  I think they were a bit surprised to get approved for a ninth season so they went all out and wrapped everything up and gave the cast a rollicking send off with Moebius Parts I and II.  They did not, to my mind, do a great job wrapping up Sam and Jack's relationship but I have lots to say about that so will save it for an addendum post.

It also seems like they were perhaps working with a smaller budget?  The classic formula of the team traveling off world kind of falls by the wayside.  They spend a lot of time on earth grappling with The Trust and the team splits up a LOT to he point where when they are all out in the field together it feels like a treat.  Ba'al and RepliCarter are the big Off-world baddies and they do add some spice.  The episodes with them in it are certainly my favorites from the season.

The logistics to know are that Jack has been promoted and is now head of the SGC.  SG1 stays just Carter, Daniel and Teal'c - Jack does not force them to take on a fourth like General Hammond did with him in season 6 when Daniel was gone.  Carter is promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and is now the team leader but we rarely actually get to see her lead SG1 anywhere.

For me the overall impression of the season is that it struggles and is pretty lackluster but there are still some really great episodes.


✮ = Episode has significance in the Stargate universe.  Important episodes.
☺ = A favorite episode of mine
♥ = Episode that has some significance to the 'ship (Sam and Jack of course!)

✮☺♥Episode 8.1 and 8.2  New Order Part 1 and 2

SG1 is fighting to get access to and a solution for Jack who is in stasis in Antarctica and they go looking for the Asgard which gets them tangled up with the Replicators.  Because one crisis at a time is never enough. If you'll remember we last saw Jack as he was being frozen or put into stasis in the Ancient's weapons room in Antarctica.  He is apparently still there and some diplomatic wrangling is preventing SG1 from getting to and helping Jack but Sam convinces Dr. Weir to let her and Teal'c go to where they trapped the replicators (back in Season 6's Unnatural Selection) in hopes of finding the Asgard.  Daniel stays behind in case Sam and Teal'c fail so that he can be Jack's last hope.  When Teal'c and Sam get to the Replicators' time dilation prison all they discover is a black hole which proceeds to quickly pull their ship apart - thankfully Thor does show up and pulls them out just in time. Unfortunately the Replicators escape the black hole and board the Asgard ship and almost immediately Sam is beamed out and over to the Replicator's ship which heads to the Asgard home world.  Thor and Teal'c give chase while on the Replicator ship Sam is confronting Fifth again who is angry and upset that she tricked him and proceeds to torture her.  Thor warns his people in time and they are able to destroy the Replicator ship just as it comes out of hyperspace - Sam is presumed dead.  On Earth there are also some negotiations going on with the Goa'uld...blah blah blah...basically Ba'al is really powerful these days. Oh and Teal'c has hair.  Part II:  Some of the replicator blocks have rained down on the Asgard world (kind of a stupid plan for the Asgard to just blow the ship up?) and the Asgard are at a loss. Thor zips back to Earth and beams up Jack and then wakes him up just enough for his brain to interface with the ship, hoping that with his Ancient knowledge he'll be able to develop a weapon against the replicators.  Jack is adorable and awfully chipper and playful considering the circumstances and that at this point they think Sam is dead.  Jack develops a weapon and Thor cures him and wakes him.  Back on the Asgard homeworld, a life sign is detected near where the Replicators' base of action is and SG1 request to go down there and look for Sam.  Meanwhile Fifth has trapped Sam in a hallucination of her being married to Pete and living on a farm.  Fifth is playing Pete because he has decided he is in love with Sam and thinks this is what she wants.  She sees through it pretty much immediately.  She convinces Fifth to let her go and she is reunited with Jack and SG1.  Fifth escapes and the last image we have is of his new creation - a human form replicator that looks like Sam!  Oh and Jack is promoted to Brigadier General and given command of the SGC and he immediately promotes Sam to Lieutenant-Colonel. Phew!
THOUGHTS:  Even with Jack absent in part 1 and the team split up for almost the entire two episodes, this is a really satisfying arc.  It is definitely packed to the gills with action and conflict.  The replicators escaping, Ba'al taking over the Goa'uld, Sam kidnapped and tortured by Fifth  and then having a replicator made in her image, Jack being healed again by the Asgard with the last thing he remembers being his "getting his head sucked by that Ancient Head-sucky thing."  Then promotions all around.  I am very grateful that RDA sticks around through season 8 and there are some good moments this season but the whole tenor of the show really does change because he won't be hanging with SG1 all the tine anymore.  And why are these eps 'shippy?  Well, Sam is pretty emotional and desperate to rescue the Colonel and when the rest of SG1 find her on the Asgard planet she is very happy and enamored of seeing Jack alive and well.  But, and this is a big but,  Fifth concocts the whole hallucination with Pete on a farm based on what he has pulled out of Sam's mind.  This suggests that Pete is foremost in her mind and that she is truly smitten with him.  All I can say is, Yuck.  How about we just pretend that didn't happen?

RepliCarter is born!

✮☺Episode 8.3 Lockdown

A new Russian is assigned to the SGC and soon after his arrival, he collapses causing the SGC to go into lockdown.  Anubis ain't dead y'all!  It turns out the Russian airman isn't sick, he is possessed by Anubis.  Anubis moves around from person to person trying to escape through the gate and it makes everyone a suspect. Tensions are high as the lockdown drags on for a week.  During that time all the members of SG1, except Teal'c are possessed and Jack even shoots Daniel.  Anubis finally uses a combination of Sam, Jack and then the original Russian airman to go through the gate though Sam manages to reroute him to a super cold planet.
THOUGHTS:  Hell of a first incident at the SGC for Jack to deal with.  The biggest significance of this episode is that Anubis isn't dead and he was saved by being an ascended being.  What is initially kind of a traumatic scene where Teal'c and then Jack have to zat/shoot Daniel turns into a funny little grumbly thing between Daniel and Jack  - Jack reluctant to admit that he was the one that shot Daniel.  I'm not sure why the dying Russian offers himself to Anubis unless he thinks that it is the lesser of two evils vs. Anubis taking Jack maybe?  It doesn't make a ton of sense. 

☺Episode 8.4 Zero Hour

Running the SGC ain't easy.  This is a mostly humorous episode about Jack's life as the SGC commander and how he is adjusting.  Dr. Lee brings back a plant to the SGC with explosive growth properties.  They are hosting a trade a negotiation between two bickering envoys (Jack locks them in a room together), SG1 goes missing and Ba'al insists he is holding them hostage.  Jack's also got a new assistant who may have a nefarious purpose.  Oh and the President is on his way for a visit.  Walter gets a slightly bigger role and is hilarious.  Throughout it all Jack is writing a letter to Hammond about how much being the commander sucks.  Just as he's about to resign, at the lowest point, things start to look up.  SG1 finally returns and turns out they had not been kidnapped by Ba'al.  They had just been trapped in a bunker the whole time.  Also turns out that his new assistant was actually there to make sure he was up to the job before the President came and endorsed him.  Of course he gives Jack sterling marks.
THOUGHTS:  There is a lot in this episode about how all the personnel revere General O'Neill and SG1 which is understandable because they are bad ass.  However, the Colonel of SG3 (again where the hell is SG2?) seems to question Sam's request that they stay and secure the gate while she, Daniel and Teal'c explore.  I didn't like it especially when SG1 does get into trouble.  There is also some nice character moments with Carter thinking perhaps the General doesn't trust her leadership capabilities (i.e. sending SG3 as back up on a recon mission).  When she asks him about it though, he reveals that he has every confidence in her abilities and thought she made the right call to leave SG3 at the gate.  So far season 8 is starting out strong!

♥Episode 8.7 Affinity

Teal'c moves off base for the first time and it all goes horribly wrong.  So I really kind of dislike this episode but it has one nice and important Sam and Jack moment so I'm including it.  I really should have put the previous episode (Teal'c gets stuck in a combat simulation) on here as it is one of the better episodes that focuses on Teal'c and has some nice character insights for him.  However, Teal'c is not my favorite and I can't bring myself to care by season 8 and holy god what is he wearing in the first scene?!? Ugh, Pete is so smarmy.  He asks Sam to marry him and this makes her all sorts of wackadoodle.  She goes on a rant about the pressure society places on people to pair off.    We have to sit through a seriously cringeworthy montage of Teal'c and his sexy young neighbor.  Ugh.  But then!  Jack stops by Sam's lab on a false pretense.  Apparently he's worried because she hasn't tried to confuse him with any scientific babble for a couple days.  This conversation deserves a transcription:

O'NEILL (interrupting): Because something's going on with you. You haven't tried to confuse me with any scientific babble for the last couple of days and that's a red flag to me.
(Sam sighs, then picks up the box containing the engagement ring and hands it to Jack.
CARTER: Pete gave me this.
(Jack takes the box, opens it and looks at the ring, then looks at Sam.)
O'NEILL: People normally wear these on their fingers.
CARTER: I haven't said yes.
O'NEILL: And yet -- you haven't said no. (He snaps the box shut.)
CARTER: I told him I needed to think about it.
O'NEILL: And? (He puts the box on the desk.)
CARTER: That was two weeks ago.
CARTER: Y'know, all these years I've been concentrating on work -- I just assumed that one day I would ...
O'NEILL: Have a life?
O'NEILL: Yeah.
CARTER: And now it comes down to it, I don't know. I mean, every time we go through the Gate, we risk not coming back. Is it fair to put somebody else through that?
O'NEILL: Pete is a cop -- I think he could handle it.
CARTER: What about kids?
O'NEILL: What about 'em?
CARTER: Do I take maternity leave and then come back? What, do I drop the baby off at daycare on my way to some unexplored planet on the edge of the Crab Nebula?
O'NEILL: Carter, there are people on this base who have families.
(Sam thinks for a moment, then looks into Jack's eyes.)
CARTER: What about you? If things had been different ... (she trails off.)
(Jack looks at her for a moment.)

O'NEILL: I wouldn't be here.

Cryptic, much? And then a lot of really annoying stuff happens  - Teal'c is accused of murder and kidnapping, his neighbor Krista has killed her boyfriend and then basically sets Teal'c up even if it is unwittingly.  Oh and the Trust is involved. Or something. Teal'c has to move back to base.
THOUGHTS:  Oddly, Jack actually seems to be more present this season than last.  I don't know if it's just because his absences make more sense this season or if he really is more present because he doesn't have to go anywhere but the SGC set so it's more efficient for RDA.  Anyhoo, I'm just going to ignore all the Teal'c, secret spy stuff and just talk about that little conversation above between Jack and Sam. Because of course I am.  What's up with that, huh?  First of all the conversation is much less awkward then I remembered it being,  I feel like all throughout seasons 7 and 8 that Sam is pushing and poking Jack, trying to figure out if he still feels the same way about her - trying to answer her doubts from Grace.  Meanwhile Jack is obfuscatory and awkward.  He's actually not too awkward here and tries to give Sam good advice though he seems to be urging her to accept Pete while his body language is a little frustrated.  Jack's closing sentiment also had me completely confused and sort of angry for like two days until it finally hit me.  What I think he is trying to say is things had to be how they were or he, in fact all of them, would likely be dead.  He and Sam (and Daniel and Teal'c) worked too well, were too successful as military teammates to be anything else.  What Sam really wants to know is how Jack feels now and about the future but she mistakenly asked about the past.  Jack chooses to answer her question literally and not speculate on what might be. And what about Sam's hemming and hawing? Why does she ask Jack about the what if?  Is she just scared or is it something more.  Fifth's hallucination from the second episode seems to suggest that romantically speaking, Pete is the prominent/only figure in her mind.  However something she says during her rant to the effect of society making us feel like that not only must we pair up but it needs to be with our most perfect mate, makes me think that her confusion is all about Jack.  Marrying Pete would mean truly putting the last nail in the coffin of any future chance she might have to be with Jack.  Also, she knows Pete is her second choice - she cares for him, may even loves him but Jack is first in her heart so is it fair to Pete or to herself to accept his proposal?  Or is she expecting too much from life?  In the end, why does she say yes?  Maybe it's as simple as seeing Pete do his job and be really good at it.  We know she finds men who are commanding and who know their business to be hot :0).  Maybe it's that Jack didn't throw her a bone when she begged him to?  Maybe it's a little of both.
Grade: C-

Episode 8.9 Sacrifices - So this is a Jaffa episode so predictably not a favorite of mine but it has the distinction of seeing Ry'ac married and there is actually a little discussion about how effed up Jaffa culture is about women.  It does also have some pretty humorous moments (horses in the SGC, Teal'c in a rage continually beaming Jack with a ping pong ball), and makes the point that the fight for Jaffa independence still has a long way to come.  It also makes the point, of Oh My God how do they even find shirts big enough to  fit over Christopher Judge's (Teal'c) muscles?  There are also a couple of very light and cute Sam/Jack moments as they are walking down a hall of the SGC sidestepping all the refugee Jaffa (Jack grabs Sam by the shoulders at one point and then self-consciously realizes it and quickly drops his hands. Also, when his eyes wander towards some scantily clad Jaffa ladies Sam jerks him back to face forward).

✮Episode 8.10 Endgame

The Trust steals the stargate and uses it to start killing a whole bunch of Jaffa.  Without the stargate the SGC are unable to get information from their off-world  buddies.  Thankfully they figure out that the thieves are the Trust.  Teal'c is off-world at the time of the gate's disappearance and he starts a plan to save Earth when he discovers that thousands of Jaffa have been murdered.  The trust has gotten their hands on a Goa'uld ship and the Tok'ra symbiote poison and are using the gate to send it through and kill millions of Jaffa.  Sam gets caught when she finds a way onto the ship and then Daniel figures out how to get on to rescue her and disable the ship.  Jack does very little except agonize in a strangely unmoving way about whether to give the Prometheus permission to shoot the Trust ship down, with Carter and Daniel on board, or to give his favorite team a little more time.  SG1 manages to save themselves (because somehow Teal'c ends up gating to the ship though I have no idea how he does this) and the gate BUT the trust still have the ship and some of the symbiote poison.  So they are not going away. Unfortunately.
THOUGHTS:  SG1 is spending too much time on domestic matters and this is a pretty lackluster episode.  RDA seems particularly bored and disengaged.  It's significant because the Trust are big players this season and this is one of their set pieces.  I did appreciate that the Goa'uld ship was Osiris' that was left cloaked in orbit after SG1 captured her last season.  Nice continuity once again!

Episode 8.11 Gemini

RepliCarter!  Fifth is like Anthony Michael Hall and Ian Mitchell Smith from Weird Science - he's made his own dream girl who looks just like Carter.  Unfortunately she's a traitorous little B or is she??  RepliCarter about being Carter: "There are two of us." Jack: "If Only." (then looks shifty and embarrassed).  Daniel is apparently off to see Atlantis so its just Carter and Teal'c who meet RepliCarter at the Alpha site.  RepliCarter has both Carter's memories and her thought patterns.  "Who I am and What I am are in contradiction."  She manipulates Carter like a pro.  RepliCarter reaches into Sam's mind to show her how Fifth has been training her - she comes through the wormhole into the gate room and mows down Daniel, Siler and a couple of random airman before being faced with Jack.  She hesitates and can't shoot.  Fifth must urge and push her to shoot which she finally does.  Teal'c is concerned about how Sam is being with her replica.  At this point RepliCarter reveals that she is playing the humans by have a little mind meld with Fifth, but the humans are none the wiser.  Sam gives RepliCarter access to the plans of the disruptor which seems incredibly risky but I guess they still believe they will be killing her.  You can tell the Jack is also quite concerned with how things are proceeding but he trusts Carter's judgment he finally breaks down and tells Teal'c to watch the situation and finish the mission.  However, then Teal'c flies off into orbit so he's not around to watch Carter's back.  Carter tries to argue with Teal'c about not killing RepliCarter and while they are distracted RepliCarter does something on the computer.  She fires the weapon to destroy Fifth's ship which has just entered orbit.  Because it's a double betrayal.  She gets rid of Fifth who is "pathetic" and also has had an opportunity to study the disruptor and make herself and now her brethren immune.  Hoo boy Sam REALLY screwed up this time.  RepliCarter to Sam: "You have untapped greatness inside of you Sam but you're limited by your fears.  You play by the rules, you do as you're told and you deny yourself your own desires."  RepliCarter is kind of awesome even if she is evil.  Sam: "Teal'c, what have I done."  Teal'c and Jack try to reassure her but she won't hear it.  "The fact is, she learned betrayal from Fifth.  And he learned it from me."  The ramifications of Jack's long ago command still echoing.
THOUGHTS:  I really like this episode a lot even knowing the second time around how gullible and frankly stupid Sam is being.  In fact, I think you can even pick that up on the first go round as Sam is acting so incredibly trusting and naive.  Jack really should have been the one interrogating the RepliCarter.  However, this episode starts Carter on a nice redemption arc trying to fix her mistake.  It's also a nice character piece for her.  Sam is, in fact, naturally pretty trusting though she has worked on curbing that.  She can't help but feel sympathy for her replicator self especially when that replicator can play her so well.  There are also some nice if somewhat indirect moments about her and Jack's relationship.  It's obvious that the Replicator at least has picked up on and uses Sam's feelings for Jack and even plays on the belief and trust Jack has in Carter.  Jack is obviously very worried about how Carter is handling the situation but he can not bring himself to shut her down as he suspects what that would do to her confidence.  Lots of complex stuff going on.  It's also nice to see Sam and Teal'c work together.

Episode 8.12 Prometheus Unbound

Daniel and General Hammond head to Atlantis on a rescue mission in the Prometheus. This episode presumably happens concurrently with episode 8.11 which would explain why Daniel is not around for RepliCarter.  He was busy getting his hate!flirt on with Vala (Claudia Black!) for the first but definitely not the last, time.  Vala is a former Goa'uld host and she's on some sort of mission.  She transports all the crew but Daniel into a disabled Goa'uld ship while she steals the Prometheus. She spins a yarn to Daniel about saving her enslaved people but really she's just on a shady business deal.
THOUGHTS:  It's fun to see Daniel..well..having some fun with a lady friend.  Claudia Black is da bomb and Vala is fun if a bit over the top.  It's also really good to see General Hammond again and he even gets to do some actiony heroics! His departure from the show was apparently related to Don S. Davis' health and he in fact died of a heart attack not too far in the future but he looks really good here.  Because of the lack of the rest of the team, this episode isn't a favorite but it's significant because of the entrance of Vala.

Episode 8.13 It's Good to be King

Harry Maybourne has become the king of the planet where he was dropped off by the Tok'ra; life is good but the Goa'uld are coming.  The Tok'ra have warned SG1 that with Ba'al taking over, the Goa'uld are beginning to revisit worlds they had previously abandoned.  One of those is where Harry had been dropped off.  He's convinced the locals that he has magic because he was able to decipher some Ancient writing which predicts the future. Upon studying it Daniel decides that this means the Ancients could time travel and that the device is somewhere nearby.  A search turns up a small vehicle that can only be activated by someone with the Ancient gene. YAY, Jack gets to come in the field!  Jack does a good job manipulating Harry right off the bat.  There's a slick little maneuver in here when Jack, Daniel and Sam are taken by surprise by the villagers with weapons.  Sam doesn't have a weapon so she, in a blink and you'll miss it moment, grabs Jack's pistol from his leg holster.  Ahhh... It's good to have the team back together again.  Jack's face when the villagers decide to keep Harry as their leader even after he tells the truth is priceless.  The Jaffa show up at just the wrong moment, Teal'c and Daniel and all the villagers are held hostage as Sam tries to get the Ancient ship operational again.  She does so just in the nick of time and Jack gets the ship off the ground and they  destroy the Goa'uld mothership and save the day.
THOUGHTS:  Not much to say except that I MISS the team all being together having crazy off world adventures. Read that sentence with a distinct whiny wail.  I also really wanted Jack to give Sam the flowers that he's holding at the end of the episode.  Instead he gives Harry an appreciative growl for having multiple wives.  *exasperated sigh*

♥Episode 8.15 Citizen Joe

For 7 years a barber has been seeing SG1's adventures play out in his mind.  Every season, SG1 does these recap episodes - they give the actors most of an episode off and revisit important scenes from episodes back to season 1.  Normally they are a little dull though they have tried their best to make them creative.  They finally succeeded with Citizen Joe, even if it is a little far fetched.  To start off, Sam and Jack are talking on the phone as Jack gets home with some groceries.  In an odd little bit of foreshadowing Jack mentions he has a meeting a CIA agent, "Johnson something or other" which is a reference to his first meeting with Kerry who he will start to date.  Anyhoo, Jack and Sam are having an adorable, friendly conversation about their weekend plans, and Jack is mentioning that he makes a world famous omelet when a man walks into his kitchen with a gun pointed at him and tells Jack that he has ruined his life.  Turns out, 7 years earlier, barber Joe picked up a device at a yard sale and starting being able to see SG1 in his head.  He starts to tell people the stories like he is making them up.  It starts off harmlessly enough but much like us dear viewers, he becomes obsessed with SG1.  There are all sorts of slipped in commentary, criticisms from the audience, like the team dynamic doesn't seem the same as it was in the beginning etc.... Eventually Joe's wife leaves him, he loses his business, he loses his house and that's how he ends up in Jack's house.  He convinces Jack that he's not crazy and Jack takes him to the SGC.  Joe gets Jacks analogy of Burns from the Simpsons as Goa'uld and then says not to worry as he won't say a word about Jack's feelings for...and Carter walks in the door.  He does however try give Sam a talk about Pete before Jack stops him.  Turns out the device Joe had bought at the yard sale was a two way communication device and Jack has also been seeing flashes of Joe's life and he just hasn't bothered to mention it.  In the end, Jack meets with Joe's wife and clears things up with her so she knows her husband isn't crazy.
THOUGHTS:  At one point Joe's wife, after one of his stories, says that she liked it okay but she prefers stories about interpersonal relationships and less about blowing things up.  Do I detect a shipper vs. anti-shipper allusion?As I mentioned above they also mention the diminishing team dynamic interaction, the fact the Teal'c is no longer gold, that Jonah wasn't a bad guy but it sure is nice to have Daniel back etc...  It gets a smiley because it is definitely my favorite of the "recap" episodes throughout the shows history and it gets a heart because its got that little tiny bit of 'shippiness.

Episode 8.16 and 8.17 Reckoning Part I and II

Ba'al has brought the system lords to their knees but he's in for a little surprise of his own from RepliCarter and her minions.  RepliCarter kills Lord Yu in the most awesome way possible!  I can't help it.  I love RepliCarter.  SG1 is teamed up with the Jaffa for an attack on a Goa'uld but they in turn get attacked by replicators and Daniel is beamed away.  Meanwhile Jacob (Jacob!) shows up at the SGC to inform Jack that Replicaters are quickly taking out all the Goa'uld and if not stopped, they will take over the galaxy in a matter of weeks.  To add insult to injury, the Replicators invasion has actually weakened the Jaffa rebellion as well.  Teal'c and Bra'tac hatch a plan to take some big important temple (Dakara) that should convince the Jaffa once and for all that the Goa'uld are not gods.  Carter teams up with Thor to try and fix the weapon against the replicators.  Sigh.... The team is split up again.  RepliCarter took Daniel because she wants his Ascended knowledge.  Turns out Ba'al is actually working for Anubis who isn't dead - Suprise!  Sam and Thor are successful in fixing the replicator weapon but when they test it, it works but only briefly and then Thor's ship is boarded and it all goes horribly wrong.  Meanwhile RepliCarter has managed to weasel out of Daniel's mind that there is a weapon powerful enough to defeat her at the big important temple the Jaffa are trying to defend.  Ba'al also swings by the SGC to tell Jack and Jacob that he and Anubis also know about it and not only is it powerful enough to kill the replicators but it will also wipe out all the life in the galaxy. END PART 1.  Jacob/Selmak and Carter convince Jack that they need to go to Dakara, find the weapon and blow it up.  Teal'c and the rebel Jaffa are preparing to meet and at least stall Baal who's on his way somewhat reluctantly to face them.  RepliCarter is still rummaging around in Daniel's mind.  Jacob and Carter find the weapon and discover that they may be able to modify to kill all the replicators everywhere IF they can figure out how to dial all the gates simultaneously.  Sam thinks she knows someone who can do that  - Ba'al (remember back a couple season ago when he infected the entire gate system with a virus?).  In the meantime, the replicators show up at the SGC and are quickly out of control.  Jack and a few others are stuck in SGC fighting for their lives and are getting ready to be nuked.  Daniel has pulled a fast one on RepliCarter and while she's been rummaging in his mind, he's been rummaging in hers.  Things are getting very dire, the replicators have attacked everywhere and it is at this point that Daniel is able to take control of them just for a few precious seconds and freeze the replicators giving Sam and Jacob/Selmak enough time to get the weapon on line (with the help of Ba'al who I kinda love).  They deploy the weapon and we have some nice imagery of many of the Stargates all being activated and then the replicators are all disintegrating.  Unfortunately, it is too late for Daniel who has been killed by RepliCarter.  Also Selmak/Jacob appears to be weak and close to collapse.  This still leaves the problem of Ba'al but the Jaffa quickly subdue his fleet though Ba'al escapes.  Regardless it is a positive turning point for the rebellion.  At the end Jack seems irritated with Sam and dismisses her pretty rudely probably because he doesn't want to deal with the fact that Daniel is missing.  Or something else?  After she leaves, he looks after her with a pained look on his face. 
THOUGHTS:  So what I really want to to see is a show down between Jack and RepliCarter but we're not going to get it - boo hiss!  This feels very much like a season if not a series finale, so much is going on but there are still some loose ends to tie up - the Goa'uld, Daniel, Sam and Jack.... I don't like that once again the team is completely split up.  I have assumed all season that this was to give the actors more down time and decrease their work load but it is almost every single episode.  It begs the question, why have a team at all?  Regardless it works all right in this episode with everybody doing their part:  Teal'c and the Jaffa take possession of Dakara, Daniel distracts and then manipulates RepliCarter giving his friends crucial seconds, Carter (with the assistance of Selmak and Ba'al) takes out the replicators for good and Jack protects Earth.  The scene between Jack and Sam in the end is interesting and as with all their interactions can be interpreted MANY ways.  Jack's rude dismissal of her could be his way of sticking his fingers in his ears and humming, not wanting to face Daniel's disappearance and knowing that she wants to talk about it.  OR if you put your 'ship glasses on and have a little knowledge of the future.... Next episode we will learn that Jack at this point has started dating Kerry Johnson, a CIA agent he mentioned he had a meeting with a couple episodes ago and we will also learn that Sam's marriage is imminent.  His dismissal could also be a new attempt to push her away and put a wall between them. What do you think?

♥Episode 8.18 Threads
We start the episode right off with Sam coming to see Jack in his office and witnessing him saying goodbye to a woman.  There is nothing PDA about the moment but its obvious that it is a goodbye between two people who are into each other.  It hits Sam in the gut and she immediately looks away and obviously wants to run away but too late, Jack sees her. She tries and doesn't quite manage, to ask nonchalantly who that was and Jack says it is Kerry Johnson with the CIA.  Sam wants to talk about Daniel and potentially having a memorial service.  Jack doesn't want to hear it.  The next moment we see Daniel walking into a diner, seeming very confused.  Oma Desala is his waitress.  Next scene, Pete is showing up at the SGC to meet Sam's Dad.  He proceeds to make a GIGANTIC ass of himself asking Jacob if he really has "one of those things in his head" and "doesn't that freak him right out sometimes." How can Sam be marrying this moron?  Seems Jacob is kind of agreeing with me and Sam is embarrassed.  After Pete leaves, Sam and Jacob have a meal and its clear that Jacob is trying to be supportive and that Sam is kind of picking up on the vibe that her Dad isn't totally on board the Pete train.  Teal'c and Bra'tac come by the SGC and it turns out that the Jaffa now have control of the weapon and Jack really thinks they need to destroy it.  The Jaffa council is not willing to do this.  Throughout all of this Daniel is hanging out at this diner have conversations with Oma Desala and this other slightly obnoxious salesman type.  Next scene on Earth and Pete is taking Sam as a surprise to the house he's bought for them.  Sam is a little freaked out and not exactly happy and directly after she heads to Jack's house where he is BBQing very poorly in his back yard.  Both of them, are really nervous and awkward.  Sam says she's been sitting in his driveway for 10 minutes trying to work up the nerve to come talk to him, and actually she's been working up the nerve for a lot longer than that.  Jack is no help, making one word answers.  Sam tells him that Pete put a down payment on a house, Jack thinks this is great but obviously Sam does not think its great and she admits she is having second thoughts about the wedding.  She's on the verge of tears and is looking at him hopefully as she says that as the wedding gets closer she has started to feel like she is making a huge mistake.  Jack seems to want to be out of the conversation, looking down and saying "Look, Carter..." before she charges forth with an "I'm sorry to bother you but there's actually a very good reason I'm bothering you with this and if I don't tell you now I might never..." And Kerry walks out of Jack's house and Sam's face falls.  And then it gets REALLY awkward.  Kerry invites Sam to stay but you can tell Sam is elated when her phone goes off.  It's the SGC.  Something has happened with her dad and she runs off with Jack and Kerry looking concerned.  Turns out Selmak is dying and has been for awhile - Jacob wouldn't let him go because he thought they needed him to fight the replicators and now Selmak is too weak to die while allowing Jacob to live so Jacob will die too.  Sam is devastated.  Back in the diner, Daniel is figuring out that Oma was the one that helped Anubis ascend.  And back to the SGC, where Jacob is telling Sam that he hates doing this to her but he just wants to know she will be happy.  She says she is, to which he replies, "Don't let rules stand in your way." Jacob is a Sam and Jack 'shipper!  Sam ask what he's talking about (as if she doesn't know) and Jacob gives her his awesome - don't be coy with me young lady look - and says that she joined the Air Force because of him.  Sam says she loves her job.  He touches her face and meaningfully looks her in the eye and says "You can still have everything you want."  To which she assures him that she does have everything she wants.  Jacob is trying so hard to get through to her but she is not willing to let him think she is unhappy in any way.  Then Kerry is walking into Jack's office as he kind of stares into space. She's come to give him the old heave ho and I think it deserves a transcription:
JOHNSON: How's Colonel Carter's father? 
O'NEILL: Doesn't look good. 
JOHNSON: Sorry to hear that. (She comes into the office and closes the door.) 
O'NEILL (suspiciously): Closing the door. 
JOHNSON: Yeah. Deeply symbolic. 
O'NEILL: Really? 
(Kerry smiles at him awkwardly.) 
JOHNSON: I really like you. We're good together. 
(Jack stands up.) 
O'NEILL: Yes. We are. But? 
JOHNSON: You have issues. It's OK -- we all do. There's just one big one in particular that I don't think I can love with. (Jack raises his eyebrows. Kerry flinches and corrects herself.) Live with. I need to get out before I get more involved. We can still work together, can't we? I'd hate to have to ask for reassignment. This is really important to me. We agreed this would never affect the job. 
O'NEILL: We did. 
JOHNSON: Good. (She smiles and walks towards the door, then turns and puts her hands on her hips.) You know, there's just one thing I don't understand. 
O'NEILL: Just one? 
JOHNSON: Is the Air Force the only thing keeping you two apart? Rules and regulations? Cos if it is, you're making a very big mistake. 
O'NEILL: And you know what I should do? 
JOHNSON: Retire. 
O'NEILL: Again. 
JOHNSON: Don't get me wrong -- you are considered invaluable to the program by the Pentagon, but the President has appointed a civilian to run the S.G.C. before. (Jack nods.) Just a thought. (She leaves the room, leaving Jack looking pensive and bothered by what she's made him think about.)

We're back in the diner and Oma is trying to explain why and how she came to help Anubis ascend.  Turns out the other Ascended are letting Anubis wreak havoc to punish Oma for her mistake.  Daniel doesn't think it is fair and that is why he went back to being human the first time he ascended.  Then we're back with Sam observing her father as other Tok'ra say goodbye.  Jack comes in and sits close to her.  He asks if she's all right and she says she's really good actually.  That she's been closer to her dad the last four years than ever before.  He does his famous C'mere and puts his arm around her - she presses his hand to her face and strokes it with her finger and says thank you sir. He asks for what and she says for being there for her.  He looks at her and, with feeling and meaning, says "Always"  - she turns to look at him briefly and then she squeezes his hand again.  Then Jacob is going and she must go in to say her final goodbye.  Jack watches her, them, with a thoughtful face.  Back at the diner, turns out obnoxious salesman guy is Anubis.  Back on Earth, Sam is breaking up with Pete and he is actually really great about it saying he knew from the beginning that things were likely not going to work but that she was worth the risk.  Then Anubis has captured Dakara and has the weapon and is attacking Earth but on the ascended plane Oma finally decides to tackle Anubis even if the other ascended won't.  The attack on the Earth abruptly stops and later Teal'c, Bra'tac Jack and Sam are all speculating that the still missing Daniel had something to do with it.  Suddenly Daniel's voice calls out from Jack's office - he's back!  Next scene is the dock at Jack's cabin with Jack and Sam sitting together fishing.  Sam: "This is Great!... I can't believe we didn't do this years ago." Jack: Yes, well, lets not dwell."  Then Daniel and Teal'c come around the corner with a cooler and a couple more chairs. 
THOUGHTS:  So this really feels like everything is wrapped up nicely (well as nicely as we're gonna get) but there is still another two-parter.  If this wasn't such a crucial Sam and Jack episode, I'd probably hate it.  There is little action though a lot is happening.  Sam's engagement is falling apart, Jack's girlfriend is breaking up with him, Jacob/Selmak is dying, we're finally finding out how Anubis became ascended and why they haven't smacked his ass before now.  And as a minor note, the Jaffa lose the most powerful weapon in the universe to Anubis.  The episode is far too unfocused and all over the place.  But of course I love it and kind of hate it for all the Sam and Jack angst.  It is THE Sam and Jack shipper episode where The Powers That Be, at least in their minds, resolve and conclude the 8 season long story of their relationship.  The things is there are still a lot of questions and it is all just so darn vague and open to interpretation and questions. I probably should have started a whole post about this.  First of all Sam and Jack never openly in this episode or beyond express their feelings for one another though I did forget how close Sam gets to telling Jack how she feels at is house. There is so much that we are missing.  How does Kerry figure out that Jack is in love with Sam?  She is a CIA agent, and thus presumably very observant but the scene at Jack's house seems to be all about Sam's feelings being sloshed out all over on the floor.  Jack just seems uncomfortable and nervous which would be a pretty natural reaction to one's long time subordinate telling you she loves you.  So is there a scene we missed where Jack is hugely distracted through dinner and then ditches Kerry to run into work and check on Sam?  Did Kerry call up and interrogate General Hammond?  Kerry seems very certain that she knows the situation.  And then there is THE scene where as they observe Jacob dying, nothing is said between Sam and Jack that wouldn't be said between old friends but this is meant to be the clincher scene.  The scene that says that Sam and Jack will, in the near future, be making out and perhaps even looking for china patterns.  The meaning of the scene of course rests in how it is played.  The way Sam strokes Jack's hand and the way Jack says "always" looking at her intently as if willing her to see his true meaning.  She picks up on his intensity and it makes her turn to him briefly.  He then watches her as she goes into her father and appears very thoughtful.  Then there is the fishing.  Fishing is the code word TPTB use for Sam and Jack having a relationship.  Throughout the years Jack has asked her to go fishing a few times, which she has always turned down.  That she has finally said yes is symbolic and the conversation they have about doing it years ago is not really supposed to be about the fishing.  This is all clever and fun  - I like subtle interactions but I do have some major issues with how and if they have wrapped things up which I'll go into more probably in another post.

Episode 8.19 and 8.20 Moebius Parts I and II

SG1 plus General O'Neill travel back in time to Ancient Egypt in order to acquire a ZPM and then get stuck there and need some help from their alternative future selves.  There are two more seasons of Stargate SG1but you wouldn't know it.  With the last two episodes they have "wrapped up" most of the major storylines that were still active.  Then with Moebius I and II they decide to have some fun and seem to be bidding a fond farewell to the show.  The gang's back together for the trip back in time because they need Jack's Ancient gene abilities.  They go back in time to secure a ZPM and it goes off without a hitch until they are cut off from the ship.  Carter, who is the timeline dictator, insists that they can do nothing, that they just need to bide their time because anything they do may affect the timeline.  All the sudden we're back in modern times.  A VERY geeky Daniel Jackson is teaching an ESL class, when he is called out to meet with some Air Force officials.  A much geekier and non-military Sam is giving an indignant speech, accusing an empty desk of stealing her work and passing it off as its own.  She starts to say "Just because my reproductive organs are on the inside..." [from the very first ep] and then stops herself saying how stupid that is, lol.  Turns out she is just a proofreader of technical reports and she is way dorkier than her usual self - it is clear Amanda Tapping is having fun with this.  Jack it turns out is retired and the skipper of his own little boat (named Homer).  He refuses to go with Air Force officials that come to see him and boats off.  At the SGC, General Hammond (!) is briefing Sam and Daniel on why they are there.  A team of archeologists have unearthed a video camera in an Egyptian tomb and our Sam, Daniel and Jack are on the video tape.  The video tape's purpose is to ascertain whether the timeline has been changed and if it has (which it obviously has) how to go back in time and fix it.  The geeky Sam and Daniel are adorably determined to weasel their way into the action.  And Sam still is apparently attracted to blue jello.  They decide that the only way they will be allowed to stay involved is if they find Jack and convince him to come back with them. RDA brushes them off and really lets his Minnesota vibe fly.  Turns out Rodney McKay is the lead scientist investigating the time machine ship and he is immediately, obnoxiously and hilariously smitten with Sam as soon as they meet.  He loves the whole sexy librarian thing that she has going on ;0).  They finally find the stargate thanks to Sam's quick thinking but General Hammond intends to send them home.  END PART I. Turns out Jack has finally been lured in because Kawalsky has been given charge of the mission.  Carter and Daniel continue to try to argue for their inclusion in the mission to Jack and Kawalsky.  Sam  has the idea that they could use the Ancient ship to go through the Stargate (to look for Teal'c) so they are not so outmanned and gunned.  Jack is able to get the ship working and Daniel and Sam beg to go with and Jack relents.  They go through the gate and are pretty quickly captured.  Sam and Daniel are clueless.  Sam:  "Actually I don't really like guns." Jack (patronisingly/ sarcastically): "Neither do I. How do you feel about explosives?" Sam: "Those I like a little better."  They escape and on the way back Teal'c jumps out and shoots Daniel Jackson, because Apophis had implanted him with a Goa'uld.  Sam, Teal'c and Jack make their escape.  They are being attacked by gliders that they cannot fight or shake so Carter suggests they travel back in time which they do and go through the Stargate to Ancient Egypt where they find Daniel alive and the rest of their other selves dead.  Teal'c and Daniel work with the locals to plan the rebellion, while Sam and Jack go to figure out how to get the ship to work in order to take the gate and bury it.  Sam is working on repairing things and Jack is giving her a funny look.  This is the hilarious and adorable conversation that follows:
CARTER: I'm working on it. I think the power relay was overloaded. I may be able to reroute the circuit to the control interface ... (She looks up and sees Jack staring at her.) What?
O'NEILL: It's just a little weird hearin' that kind of stuff come out of someone so ...
(Sam turns and stares at him defensively.)
CARTER: So what?
O'NEILL: ... hot.
(Sam coughs.)
CARTER: Really?
O'NEILL: Yeah.
CARTER: Wow. Um, it's just you ... you're not the kind of guy that I usually attract.
CARTER: No. Huh. God. Wow! This is kinda awkward.
O'NEILL: Yeah, it's gettin' there.
CARTER: I'm kind of attracted to ... Daniel.
(Jack stares at her for a moment in disbelief.)
O'NEILL: What?! (Sam shrugs. Jack walks closer to her.) Really?!
CARTER: Sorry.
O'NEILL: No, that's OK, n-no problem there, I, it's just, you know ... first impressions, I kinda thought he was ... (He gestures vaguely as Sam raises her eyebrows at him.) Never mind.
(Sam nods. Jack blows out a breath and turns away from her. Sam turns back to her work, wincing.)
The ship is then discovered by a Jaffa patrol which starts shooting up the ship.  Things are looking grim so Sam says "in case we don't make it..." and grabs Jack and starts smooching him.  They break off and Jack is confused, he thought she liked Daniel.  She says she lied and starts to babble so he then grabs her and starts kissing her while sparks literally begin to fly:0).  Daniel and Teal'c and the rebellion show up in time to save the ship and suddenly we are back in the modern timeline with our SG1.  They are watching the video and all seems to be right in their world now.  Sam goes to take the ZPM to the lab and Jack stops her saying he'll take it because she has packing to do.  Final scene and we're back on the dock with Sam and Jack fishing again like at the end of Threads.  They have the same conversation but then a fish jumps (there aren't supposed to be any fish in Jack's pond).
THOUGHTS:  This episode is pure fun and to have one last hurrah with the team.  I'm not sure if they even knew they were going to be approved for a ninth season when they planned the episode.  Regardless it plays as a fond farewell.  It seems that in most timelines Sam and Jack are attracted to one another.


First of all, I have a LOT to say about how Sam and Jack's relationship is "resolved" in season 8 but think I will actually do an addendum post about it as these posts already get very long. 

Much like season 7 this season suffers quite a bit from "external forces" while also still putting out a few quality episodes.  There is even less going off world and they try to explain this by beefing up The Trust as a big bad.  It doesn't entirely work.

The last five episodes, the "goodbye" episodes are all pretty epic and send the show out with a bang.  And then surprise there is season 9 and 10. 

Top Five Episodes from this Season:

1) Episode 8.16 and 8.17 The Reckoning
2) Episode 8.11 Gemini
3) Episodes 8.1 and 8.2 New Order
4) Episode 8.19 and 8.20 Moebius
5) Episode 8.18 Threads

What are your favorite episodes from this season?

The Rabbit Hole 

The rabbit hole is where I point out other places on the web where you can waste spend a lot of time reading about Stargate SG1.

GateWorld  Everything you ever wanted to know about Stargate as well as discussion forums for each episode.

All the Sam and Jack moments from Season 8

More Episode Reviews 

Succinct review of all the Stargate shows by

Possible new trilogy of Stargate movies to be directed by Roland Emmerich

FAN FICTION: SG1 is pretty much the only show where I have extensively turned to fan fiction to try and deal with the frustration about how the actual writers of the show handled/"resolved" Jack and Sam's relationship.  I definitely have two favorite authors: Rachel500 and Annerb.  Both of them are talented writers whose stories could easily be imagined as actual SG1 episodes. They both write the characters spot on.   Also on a personal preference level - the things they imagine are exactly how I would have liked for things to go down and they both have an admiration and reverence for the character of Sam in particular.  I'm sure there are other good writers out there but after wading through a lot these two are my reliable go tos.   Basically, give them both a shot! Below is a recommendation for seasons 8. 

Down to the Bone by Annerb - A Threads re-working

A Pond with No Fish by Rachel500 - If you just want to stop here and not watch Season's 9 and 10 then this fic will help give you closure.  It's long and has a great story.

Infinitesimal Moments by Annerb

Alternative eps for season 8 -  As the Gate Turns by Annerb:  I actually haven't read this one yet but it sounds fun and I plan to.  

I Love it When a Plan comes Together A lovely fluffy little fic that takes place about 6 months after Threads, in a happier season 9.

Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4 
Season 5
Season 6
Season 7
The 'Ship Addendum 

Well that's it for the Stargate this week. Next week will like be a wrap up post, reflecting a little more on the show as a whole, perhaps some comments on seasons 9 and 10 and a run down of favorite seasons and all time favorite episodes and moments. 

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