Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Point of View"

I am a sucker for alternate reality stories. (Yeah, I know I did nothing but complain about the mirror universe stuff in Star Trek. bear with me here.) “Point of View" has all the elements: radically different character divergence, some no longer alive, some on the opposite side of our reality, an apocalyptic setting, and, of course, the brief question of why any decision matters when all possible outcomes are played out somewhere. ’Point of View’ does not quite make it to the top of alternate reality stories I have seen, but it is decent.

Sam and Kowalski from an alternate universe in which the Jaffa have taken over Earth escape through a quantum mirror in to our universe to request asylum. It is granted to them with more ease than one would suspect, but since that is not a big part of the plot, no big deal. What is a big deal is alternate versions of a person cannot exist in the same reality. That is not a problem for Alternate since his counterpart died in the first season, but Alternate Sam quickly suffers..uh…cellular degradation? Something about the same matter occupying the same universe. Teachnobabble stuff. Regardless of the science, she cannot stay or she will die. However, if she goes back to her reality, the Jaffa will kill her.

Daniel suggests traveling to the alternate reality with the device Jack built while possessed with the knowledge of the Ancients to contact the Asgard for help liberating the alternate earth from the Jaffa. Even though sam could not get the device to work again, two heads must be better than one, because together with alternate sam, they figure it out. The SG-1 team, plus Kowalski, but minus our sam, travel to the alternate Earth. They are promptly captured after sending alternate sam through the stargate to the Asgard homeworld, but the Asgard ride in like the cavalry to save the day. With the alternate earth saved, the SG-1 team leaves for home.

Shippers take note: Alternate Sam, who never joined the Air Force, was free to pursue a romance with Jack. They wrre married until the invasion. Her Jack was killed by the Jaffa a few days prior to her and Kowalski’s escape to our Earth. The tension between Alternate Sam and jack is thick. Our Jack and hers are apparently identical. Our Jack, who has allowed regulations forbidding romantic relationships between personnel to stand with the real Sam, is not so strong at resisting his feelings for alternate Sam. The two smooch before he leaves. Unbeknownst to both parties, the real sam saw it happen.

There are two issues with “Point of View.” One, it does things on the cheap. In order to present the Alternate SGC has having been all but destroyed by the Jaffa, the lights are cut off so the set does not have to simulate a whole lot of damage. The warship over Cheyenne Mountain is a stock footage reuse. We never get to see the Asggard or their ship. They just beam away all the remaining Jaffa without a word. The other part is how clever the episode tries to be. Kowalski returns yet again even though he has been dead since the second episode. One wonders if that is going to become a running gag. The second is the Star Trek references. The quantum mirror itself is a nod to the mirror universe, as is Alternate Apophis and Alternate Teal’c sporting goatees like Mirror Spock. The quantum mirror itself looks like the Guardian of Forever. Maybe I am just desperate to get away from Star Trek, but that was a bit much.

Neither of those points is enough to do serious damage to “Point of View.” it is an entertaining episode. Some points are glossed over too quickly, such as asylum offered fast, the Sams figuring out the ancient’s device in an hour, and the meeting between alternate Sam and the Asgard, as well as their journey to Earth, taking about five minutes, are tough to swallow, but I get the impression “Pint of View’ is for the shippers and not the nitpickers. Whatever the case, I liked the episode well enough.

Rating; *** (out of 5)

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