Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Redemption, Part II"

“Redemption, Part II” is certainly an improvemen5t over its first half. Maybe the powers that be should have spread the material out over the two episodes a wee bit more liberally. There is much more action, the ticking clock is far more intense, and, lo and behold, the heroes of the story are minor and/or recurring characters.

The episode begins right where we left off yesterday. The stargate’s build up of energy thanks to Anubis’ new weapon will cause it to explode in a little over two days if no one can come up with a solution by then. With the X-302 unstable, they cannoy contact the Asgard for help. Meanwhile, Teal’c and Bra’tac have discovered the Jaffa controlled planet upon which the weapon is located. Rya’c, eager to prove he is a warrior, argues until he gets to come along.

Guess what? The planet upon which the rebel Jaffa are based and the planet upon which Anubis’ weapon is located look exactly like the forests outside Vancouver. I am not just beating a dead horse with that joke. There is no effort whatsoever to distinguish between the two environments. Vancouver has quarries, a desert-like environment, and a varied coastline. Heck, blue screen something in! film at night! Make a little bit of effort here. Space is like something out of Dante’s Inferno. After you die, you wind up in the forests outside Vancouver. No matter where you run or how far, you will always be in the forests outside Vancouver. Arrrggghh!

Rodney McKay is still around. He and Sam are even more at each other’s throats than ever until she is injured putting one of his brainstorms into action. It fails, and cuts the time left until the stargate explodes in half. His failure and the resulting injury to Sam humbles him to the poin the becomes a semi-likable character as he acknowledges his failure in such a shy schoolboy way that it is clear to Sam he has a genuine affection for her. This is the first time I have understood why so many Stargate: atlantis fans like him. He has some redeeming qualities.

It is Jonas who comes up with the idea of taking the stargate into space where it can safely explode. Jack will take it up in the stripped down X-302, eject because there is no landing gear, and wait for the kaboom. The initial plan does not work, but using the unstable hyper drive for one second is enough to get the stargate 3 million miles away from Earth so it can safely explode.

Meanwhile, teal’c and Bra’tac are captured by a Jaffa who is one day going to become a Cylon .(Aaron Douglas, who makes his second appearance as a Jaffa. Grace Park and Ron Worthy are the other two future Cylons.) Rya’c rescues the two and destroys Anubis’ weapon by using a stolen Death glider. In a bit of symmetry, it is assumed neither Jack, nor Rya’c escaped their respective craft upon completing their mission, but both manage to eject.

The Russkies offer to lease their stargate, which is the original, in exchange for cash, hyper drive plans, and a Russian officer on SG-1. Jack turns down the final request because he has decided to allow jonas to replace Daniel. It is only fair. It was Jonas’ idea that saved earth. Parker Lewis can’t lose, you know. I assume Jack’s suggestion to add a completely Russian SG team happens instead. With the international flare and Rodney becoming a more fleshed out character, one wonders if plans for the Stargate: Atlantis were percolating as early as 2002.

“Redemption, Part Ii’ is a big improvement over the first part. The ticking bomb aspect in the previous episode did not feel as ominus as it does here. Teal’c’s Jaffa drama was far more interesting, too. These Jaffa are warriors, not oversensitive beta males. Theyneed to handle their issues like cowboys, not soap opera divas. I am still not sure if I like Jonas. Even though he is the catalyst for saving Earth, he is still a blank slate. I appreciate he is motivated to help Earth because of his guilt for Daniel dying to save his planet when he feels as though it should have been him. It is a nice touch. Some nice touches all around. Part II definitely redeems part I.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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