Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"A Hundred Days"

“A Hundred Days” is considered by many Gaters to be one of the best Jack-centric episodes, but I cannot fight off that been there, done that feeling. For one, the plot of stranding Jack on an alien planet with a woman to whom he is attracted has been done before, albeit with rapid aging in the first instance. I seem to recall an episode of MacGyver set in Afghanistan that is not too far separated from this story. How could the same thing happen to poor Richard dean Anderson twice? The plot will be done again in one of the few Stargate: Atlantis episodes I have seen. For any Trekkies suffering the DTs, there are quite a few similarities to “The Paradise Syndrome.” So, ho hum.

The SG-1 team stays on the planet Edora in order to watch what the natives call their annual fire rain. The fire rain is actually a meteor shower that appears dangerously close. A geological survey determines every 150 years, the meteor shower pounds the surface of the planet. As luck would have it, now is the time. The SG-1 team offers to evacuate the local population to earth for the duration. Not everyone wants to go, including the son of laira, a woman for whom Hack has developed the hots. The kid runs off to some caves under the assumption they will protect him. The search for him causes jack to miss the evacuation through the stargate. The stargate is subsequently buried under rock, trapping jack on edora with a bunch of townspeople angry for their losses.

As you must have guessed, Jack is stranded for a hundred day. He gives up on trying to dig up the stargate after a couple days. Though sullen at first, he slowly adjusts to a primitive life and falls in love with Laire. Back on earth, sam decides to spend three months building a device baed on Sokar’s technology which nearly penetrated the iris a few months ago which she hopes can allow a person to break through the rocks and tunnel out on edora. Because she is in love with jack, too. Naturally.

It works. Teal’c makes it through to the other side. The only way Jack knows Teal’c is tunneling his way out is because Laira, who is about to throw out all Jack’s SGC stuff, hears him on the walkie talkie. She is torn, but gives Jsck the walkie talkie knowing that in spite of his brave face, he wants to go home. She refuses to go back with him to earth. The way she is ginerly holding her stomach while gazing down at it implies she is pregnant with his child. Since Laira never appears again, I guess not.

“A Hundred Days” does not stand up to a whole lot of scrutiny. Jack gives up digging for the buried stargate after a day or so, but it only takes Teal’c four hours to dig his way to the surface. No one in the town appears to miss the 2/3 of the people who are now stranded on Earth after the initiation anger towards Jack wears off. In fact, they go back to having a good time like nothing ever happened. I have to mention how contrived it is for SG-1 to be on Edora at exactly the 150 year mark for the devastating meteor shower. In good episodes, I could forgive that as a convenient plot device, but in mediocre episodes, I feel compelled to throw it in as another flaw.

Even taken on its own merit without considering its unoriginality, “A Hundred Days” is bland and predictable. I do not buy into the Jack/Laira romance There is no chemistry between the two. I just do not buy jack falling for a widowed frontier woman. Since the two of them are the emotional focus--you know for sure Jack will be rescued, so there is no suspense there--the episodes fails to resonate. Fans who like it are stretching to find romance in the series. It is o surprise Laira was never seen again, even if there are strong hints she is having Jack’s child.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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