Friday, February 17, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Legacy"

I was not clamoring to see Ma’chello return, nor did I particularly want to see another cure a fatal ailment in the span of an episode no one else has been able to cure ever stories, but ‘Legacy’ manages to be interesting nonetheless. Credit two reasons. One, it is creepy as all get out, and two, Michael Shanks does a good job of playing daniel as he slowly goes mad.

The SG-1 team is exploring some darkened tunnels when they come across a locked room with the corpses of nine Goa’uld. Daniel picks up a device with writing on it which he believes details plans for an attack of some sort. He claims to feel something brush passed him as he does. The SG-1 team leaves for SGC in order to investigate their findings. Shortly thereafter, Daniel begins hearing voices and hallucinating the dead Goa’uld walking about. The SGC’s resident psychologist diagnoses daniel with schizophrenia which may have been brought on by excessive stargate travel. Everyone wants to give Daniel the benefit of the doubt and claim he is overstressed, but after he attacks Jack believing he is being possessed by a symbiote, daniel is locked up in a sanitarium.

When his friends visit him, Daniel swears something jumped from his body into Teal’c’s. believing he has gone completely over the edge, they leave so he can be sedated. But Daniel is correct. Whatever brushed passed him on the alien planet entered his body and jumped into Teal’c the first chance got. He believes he heard ma’chello’s voice as it did, so he surmises it is a biological weapon meant to kill symbiotes. Daniel guesses right, because Teal’c’s symbiote is slowly dying and no one knows what to do.

In the meantime, Daniel has returned to normal, though it takes some convincing to get himself out of the padded room. He eventually convinces SG-1 his theory is correct. Ma’chello created the device Daniel originally picked up as a landmine of sorts for the biological agent. He did not have a symbiote to kill, so it affected his mind instead and sought out Teal’c when he got into close proximity. While examining the device, Frasier, Jack, and Sam are infected with the biological agent. Frasier and Jack show signs of schizophrenia almost immediately, but Sam if fine. In fact, the little buggers fall out her right ear dead. She figures out her connection with Jolinar is the key, and miraculously whips up a cure for all infected parties within a few minutes. Happy ending, that.

If the execution of the plot sounds like paint by numbers, that is because it is. There is a magic reset button coming no matter how deep a hole our heroes find themselves in. you can almost write the resolution yourself. But there are the two saving graces. The make up job on the corpses are fantastic. The work becomes even more effective when Daniel hallucinates the dead reanimated. The other good part is Shanks. He is not a great actor by any means. He got the part of daniel because he looked a lot like James Spader. But he is a good character actor who will do anything a script calls for--pretend to be a plane, complete with engine noises, for some albino natives, throw a foot stomping tantrum, fake a silly German accent, play other characters’ personality, play a senile old man, etc. He he plays a guy slowly losing his mind. You have to be amused by what shanks will do to play his character as written.

“Legacy” is not great. It is highly predictable, particularly with Jolinar being the salvation yet again. Daniel getting out of the loony bin so easily with a clean bill of health is also way too convenient. But “Legacy’ is worth seeing for the two reasons I keeping carrying on about. Just do not expect much passed them.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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