Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"The Devil You Know"

“The Devil You Know” is a worthy conclusion to part one. It is always nice for the set up to lead up to a good pay off. The episode does feel smaller than part one, at least until the end, but that can be chalked up to the focus on character moment. Not just the main characters, either, but Apophis as he continues to reclaim his status as a major villain after a few stumbles in recent episodes.

Now that Apophis has killed Bynarr and secured the loyalty of Netu’s denizens, he only has a short amount of time before Sokar arrives to restore order. Apophis plans to torture our heroes for useful information he can offer to Sokar, ostensibly to prove his usefulness, but in reality to lure Sokar near to assassinate him. The bulk of the episode is Apophis interrogating our heroes for their specialized knowledge by forcing them to drink the Blood of Sokar, an hallucinogenic narcotic. I made a connection in the review yesterday between Netu and Mola Rom’s realm in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. the Blood of Sokar is reminiscent enough of the blood that turned Indy into a mindless slave to warrant note.

Under the blood of Sokar’s influence, Apophis wants to know the Tok’ra’s location from Sam and Martouf, the location of the Asgard home world from Jack, and the location of the hacissus from Daniel. All mange to resist upon realizing what they are experiencing are hallucinations in spite of the extreme guilt trips they inspire. Jack is hurt by his son’s feelings his father ignores him, Sam’s father begs for her forgiveness over the accident that killed her mother, Martouf , and Martouf imagines Jolinar dying yet again because of his refusal to betray the Tok’ra. Daniel is the most interesting. He does not suffer any guilt trip. He just refuses to tell Jasck where the hacissus child is. It is intriguing Jack is part of his hallucination. Their relationship is one of loyalty rather than familial or romantic love like the others, yet that devotion to jack would theoretically be enough for Daniel to betray the child? Nah. The powers that be probably just could not bring Vaitiare Bandera back to play Sha’re. Daniel’s hallucination is interesting to think anout, though, in comparison to the others.

Martouf manages to resist the Blood of Sokar enough to lie convincingly about the location of the Tok’ra. The intelligence will have to do as an offering to Sokar. Unfortunately for Apophis, the planet Martouf named was recently conquered by Sokar with nary a Tok’ra found. Apophis winds up tortured himself for his failure. There is a running theme here.

In the interim, Teal’c returns to the Tok’ra with the intelligence about sokar’s impending attack on the System Lords. The Tok’ra decide to deploy a weapon that will drill into the core of Netu, blowing the planet up with Sokar’s ship in orbit. Teal’c is not happy about sacrificing his friends for the cause, but it is all right. They narrowly escape when Sam Macgyver’s an escape and Teal’c is able to intercept the transporter rings between Netu and Sokar’s ship in order to save them. Apophis kills Sokar before Netu gets blowed up good, blowed up real good. Apophis, however, survives somehow. Sokar does not. Drat.

Sokar held a lot more promise as a villain than Apophis, if you ask me. I am disappointed for this two part story to be his only in the flesh appearance. At least this is my assumption. Sokar actor David Palffy later plays Anubis. As blatantly as Stargate SG-1 recycles actors, I do not think the show would use the same actor for similar characters if they were both recurring. So thumbs down there. Sokar was effectively scary. He should have had a chance at revenge.

“The Devil You Know’ is quite good save for the disappointment of ending sokar’s too brief career as a villain. The episode features a good mix of personal moments and action. I am glad to see Teal’c play the hero after being relegated to chauffeur for the majority of the two part story. The production design is still impressive, though much smaller in scale this time around. Still, I cannot complain about much.

Rating: *** (out of )

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