Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Nemesis"

“Nemesis” is the third season finale and the best season ending cliffhanger thus far. After years of comic book geekness, I am jaded when it comes to cliffhangers. I have seen them all, so very few make me anxious to find out what comes next. Every now and then, some creative doomsday scenario comes along that can still grab me. “Nemesis” has done a good job--an unresolved narrow escape, the risk of an intelligent spider infestation on Earth, and one of those spiders surviving combine for a nifty cliffhanger.

The SG-1 team enjoys some down time while Daniel recovers from an appendectomy. Jack plans to go fishing, but is transported out of SGC by Thor to his ship in orbit. Jack immediately encounters a swarm of mechanical spiders before discovering a severely wounded Thor in an uninfected part of the ship. The spiders are called Replicators. The Asgard discovered them on a planet and took one to study. Unfortunately, the Repicators sole purpose is to live up to their name and they learn quickly to adapt to methods in order to create more of themselves. Replicators took over Thor’s ship, learned about Earth, and headed there.

Thor needs to destroy the ship before the replicators have created enough of themselves to be a threat to Earth. They have stymied his efforts, so he recruited Jack to help. Jack’s solution is to lay out explosives and kablooey in a suicide mission, but Sam and teal’c beam aboard with the explosives because they do not want Jack to go alone. Good thing, too, because Asgard technology prevent explosives from going off on their ships. Thor was hoping jack ’I Like to Blow Stuff Up’ O’Neill would have some insight.

Well, he does not. But Sam does. The shields on the outside off the ship will have a difficult time withstanding the heat of entering orbit, so timing the explosives on the outer hull of the ship will destroy it. So we get a spacewalk by teal’c that is nearly sabotaged by the Replicators, teleporting the stargate from the SGC for what will hopefully a last minute escape, and lots and lots of ammo fired at at an army of CGI spiders. The ship blows up over the Pacific Ocean. How SG-1 survives is not clear, but at least one Replicator is drifting safely on a piece of ship debris. Oh, dear.

I despise spiders, folks. That eight-legged creepy walk of theirs, the multiple eyes, the fangs, the trapping in a web and being liquefied for a meal--all of that creeps me the heck out. Yet spiders are also morbidly fascinating. For me, the Replicators are a fantastic antagonist because of my mixed feelings about spiders. It is also pretty cool the mighty Asgard are being brought down by a bunch of bugs. Inspired all around.

In addition to the creative villains, “Nemesis” is good all around. It creates an epic atmosphere of tension that has not been around since Apophis attempted to destroy earth back in the first season. The episode hit’s the right balance between exposition, of which there is reams, and action, of which there is also reams. Shippers take note jack invited sam to his fishing cabin in Minnesota. Also note that Michael shank’s really did have an appendectomy, so his few scenes were filmed after everyone Slse’s. Daniel never encounters Replicators. Considering Shanks is arachnophobia, did he induce appendicitis in order to avoid them? Inquiring minds want to know.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

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