Friday, March 30, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Threshold"

Anything associated with science fiction entitled ‘Threshold” ought to make any geek wary. But as Brannon braga has nothing to do with the script, I bravely give it a shot. It is a Teal’c centric episode. I do not find teal’c all that compelling a character, but after my complaint in the preceding review his development as reached a dead end with his conversion back to blind faith for Aoophis, props must be given for the effort to deepen Tealc’s devotion to freeing Jaffa instead. Autocorrect keeps changing Teal’c to talc. This is going to be an annoying review to write.

Weeks have gone by since Teal’c returned to SGC. He is a prisoner under the care of a psychologist helping him work through his deprogramming. Teal’c pretends to be well, but it is a ruse in order to make an escape attempt. He is recaptured by SC-1 and Bra’tac. Bra’tac realizes teal’c is a near hopeless case, so he rips out Junior in the hopes when Teal’c sees his life flash before his eyes as he nears death, he will accept the truth about Apophis’ false godhood.

As his friends take turns keeping vigil, Teal’c remembers the past. He recalls the day he was introduced to Apophis by Bra’tac whereupon he challenges Apophis when his father is called a coward in his failure to kill Cronus. Later, Teal’c befriends Va’lar, a true believer in Apophis who is not being trained by Bra’tac to doubt Apophis’ divinity. When Va’lar is forced to retreat in a hopeless battle with the forces of Ra, Teal’c is charged with killing him because of his cowardice. He cannot, however, because of what happened to his father. He spares va’lar, directing him to a safe haven village, and takes a sybiote from a dead Jaffa as ’proof” he killed Va’lar. Apophis does not know the difference. Teal’c wonders about apophis’ omniscience.

Teal’c is eventually forced to raze the village to which he sent Va’lar. He makes certain va’lar is dead to cover up his deception. The selfish act weighs heavily on his conscience. When his victory prompts Apophis to make Teal’c his First Prime, Bra’tac reminds Teal’c what the Goa’uld are and what apophis will call upon him to do. He must try to make a difference the best he can. Which leads us to Teal’c in his death throes remembering how he betrayed apophis in order to join SG-1. The epiphany has him choosing freedom in the moment just before he should die. Ergo, everything is back to normal.

I have to mention again that I am not a big Teal’c fan. It bears repeating because if you are a fan, “Threshold” is probably one of your favorites. It is a well-crafted story that explores the characters motivations in what I am certain is a poignant way--assuming you are interested. I recognize the episode’s quality, but am on the outside looking in. At least they did not try shock therapy on Teal’c like they did with his brainwashed kid. I guess electroshock is reserved for bratty young ones.

Rating; *** (out of 5)

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