Friday, February 3, 2012

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

When I guessed the Tok’ra symbiote Selmak would be blended with Jacob Carter in order to cure his terminal cancer, I did not realize that said blending would be the near entirety of the plot. Lo and behold, aside from jack rooting out the tok’ra traitor, thereby impressing another alien race besides the Asgard, that is what ’The Tok’ra, Part II” is all about. The story may sound thin, but it is quite engrossing.

The Tok’ra reveal the biggest reason they do not want to ally with earth is because humans were offered a chance to save the dying Selmak, but refused because no one wanted to host the symbiote. As far as the tok’ra are concerned, that means humans can more for themselves than others. Why should the Tok’ra ally with people with people who obviously value life so little? The SG-1 and SG-3 teams decide, on Sam’s suggestion, to offer up Jacob as a host.

Jack and Sam are allowed to go back to earth to retrieve Jacob. Once he has been filled in on everything from the stargate to the idea of placing a giant worm inside of him to gain another century of life, he jumps at the chance. I think he accepts the situation a little too quickly, but then again, the alternative is death, so go for it regardless, right?

In the interim, some Goa’uld mother ships have been alerted to the Tok’ra base and are on their way to destroy it. Jack identifies the traitor from a Goa’uld communications device he saw him using in part one. The traitor commits suicide rather than be captured, but is later revealed to have jumped hosts again. Luckily, jack is there to root him out a second time. Not much gets passed him.

The blending process between Jacob and Selmak lasts into the beginning of the Goa’uld attack, but they manage to escape through the stargate just in the nick of time. Now blended, Jacob/Selmak offers to serve as liaison between the Tok’ra and Earth. Thus begins their alliance.

I tried hard to like Jacob, but I am not sure that I do. I am certainly not a big fan of parents pushing their kids to conform to whatever vision the parents have for them. It is doubly bad when the parents turn a cold shoulder to their kids when they do not conform. However, I can appreciate the stiff upper lip Jacon demonstrates in the face of his illness. He has been a tough warrior his whole life, and now cancer, something he cannot physically fight, is causing him to rot away. I can see why a man like him would push everyone away under those circumstances. It is bittersweet how well sam understands his attitude, even if she does not like it. He is a tough guy who is not all that thrilled to see her when she visits, turns tender when he thinks he is definitely going to ddie and has nothing to lose, and then returns to his stoic, duty first self after the blending. Sam takes it all in stride because it satisfies him.

“The Tok’ra, Part II’ was not really a slam bang conclusion to the first part, but I liked it anyway. Rooting out the traitor felt like a frivolous addition to the story just to have some scene breaks, not to mention convenient for the betrayal to happen just as SG-1 arrives. That is television for you. There are no big flaws, including that one, so the two part story introducing the tok’ra is a solid effort.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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