Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"The Tok'ra, Part I"

“The Tok’ra, Part I” offers us the first glimpse of the organized resistance against the System Lords. As such, the episode features reams of exposition about the who, what, and where of the Tok’ra. This Wikipedia entry of a story is broken up by emphasis on Sam, specifically about family and loss. Her father is in his final days of a losing cancer battle while she meets Jolinar’s mate on the Tok’ra world.

Sam has dream in which she believes she is reliving Jolinar’s memories of a Jaffa attack on the Tok’ra. In the dream, she witnesses the address to which the Tok’ra fled and convinces SG-1 to go there with the prospect of forming an alliance. Jack is skeptical--the Tok’ra are still Goa’uld--but he agrees based on his trust in Sam. Before departing, she calls to check in on her father. He is nearing the end, but is too prideful to let his daughter see him fade away in a hospital bed, so he pushes her away.

The SG-1 team discovers the Tok’ra on the planet dialed, but it takes Sam’s insight from Jolinar to end a Mexican stand off. Tensions do not ease much even after. Jack remains skeptical the Tok’ra are the good guys. For their part, the Tok’ra are arrogant and distant at the prospect of an alliance. They have a better coexistence with their symbiotes, so much so they cannot understand why SG-1 do not want to serve as hosts, too. The bottom line seems to be Earth has nothing to offer as allies other than to become hosts. Daniel argues they successfully destroyed Apophis’ invasion force, but unfortunately Tok’ra agents died when the ships exploded, so no dice there. When it rains, it pours.

The ruling council of the Tok’ra refuses an alliance. To make matters worse, SG-3 heads to the planet to retrieve sam when her father is literally on his death bed at the same time the Tok’ra decide SG-1 cannot leave because they know too much about the Tok’ra resistance.

As I said above, the episode is filled with exposition regarding who and what the Tok’ra are, how their symbiotic relationship works, the differences with the Goa’uld, and just about anything else you could possibly wonder about. There are some personal moment, such as Hammond trying to convince Jacob carter he needs to let his daughter see him before he dies and sharing Jolinar’s thought’s with the mate left behind. It amounts to an awful lot of set up. I have a nagging suspicion the symbiote the Tok’ra wanted to place in one of SG-1 is going to wind up in Sam’s father. That was telegraphed a mile away. An episode with this much set up requires a big pay off in the concluding chapter.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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