Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Rite of Passage"

“Rite of Passage” reminds us Cassandra is still around. She is now a surly teenager. Considering her first meeting with our heroes ended with them tossing her in an abandoned nuclear missile silo to explode safely and a further appearance involved being scared out of her mind by Sam possessed by the Tok’ra Jolinar, who can blame her for having a chip on her shoulder. But seriously, Stargate SG-1 generally does episodes centered around children far better than Star Trek. as a bonus, Frasier is a more intense, hands on character. Any episode featuring Teryl rothery more than normal is a good episode.

Cassandra falls ill on her sixteen birthday. Our heroes learn from SG-7, the team surveying her home planet, that the kids all fell ill at the age of sixteen. They would wander off into the woods and come back cured, so the parents let it happen rather than ending the miracle cure by interfering. Why no one ever mentioned this to Frasier as Cassandra neared the age of sixteen is a question for the ages. Oh, wait--no it is not. The script was written by Heather E. Ash. Identifying plot holes is part of the fun with her.

Frasier discovers Cassandra is suffering from a retrovirus that is rewriting her DNA. Figuring the Goa’uld were experimenting on children for some reason, the SG-1 team travels to Hanka to look for answers and stumble upon Nirrti’s old laboratory. Nirrti infected children with a virus in the hopes of eventually created an superhuman to serve a hosts for Goa’uld. She would snatch the sick children from the forest and cure them so their genes could pass on to the next generation in hopes of eventually creating this perfect host. The SG-1 team bring Nirrti’s research back to SGC for study and a possible cure. Inadvertently, they also bring back Nirrti, who is hidden by a cloak of invisibility. Did the SGC not set up some precautions so they could detect the invisible Reetou from sneaking through the stargate? Hello, Heather E. ash plot hole!

Nirrti is eventually captured when Cassandra senses her visiting the infirmary. Whatever happened to Sam being able to sense a Goa’uld because of her connection with Jolinar/ hello, Heather E. Ash pot--ah, heck. That is not even funny anymore, is it? Nirrti says she can cure Cassandra, but in return, she wants to be freed with a sample of the girl’s blood to take with her. Hammond is not inclined to let a Goa’uld go free, particularly with exactly what she needs to succeed in her experiment. In an interesting twist, teal’c agrees with Hammond that sacrificing Cassandra is better than the alternative with the others adamantly in favor of taking the deal. What is one more Goa’uld wandering about, anyway?

The conflict does not matter. As Cassandra worsens, Frasier grabs a gun and utilizes some aggressive negotiations to get Nirrti to save Cassandra. The miracle cure works after a false start drama just to tighten the screws. Nirrti is allowed to leave freely, but without any of Cassandra’s blood as part of the compromise in which Nirrti avoids digging a bullet out of her rear end. I really like Frasier beyond her medical know how. She should get more time out in the field.

“Rite of Passage” ignores a lot of continuity in order to work, but I am not going to be too harsh about it. The episode dwells on the underutilized Frasier, which I enjoy immensely, and an infrequently used character like Cassandra. I can take or leave Cassandra, but at least with her the show is broadening its scope beyond the regulars. The story is a good idea which could have been executed with more care, but is enjoyable nevertheless.

Rating; *** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment