Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Revelations"

“Revelations” serves as the fifth season finale. It is the first season ender that does not feature a cliffhanger. That is a little disappointing when one expects to eagerly anticipate an exciting resolution to begin the next season. Truth be told, the episode does not have a particularly epic feel. It does, however, feature a nifty adventure with some heavy emotional undertones and many…well, revelations which make it engaging.

The episode begins with Osiris about to attack a planet protected under the Asgard treaty when Thor shows up. Anubis has enhanced his fleet’s weapons, so Thor is no longer a match and he is quickly captured. Freyr travels to SGC to inform SG-1 the Goa’uld now have weapons capable of defeating the Asgard and requests they recover a geneticist from a hidden lab before the Goa’uld find her. It is of vital importance to the future of the Asgard.

The mood is somber around SGC. No one is quite certain what to make of daniel’s fate. I he dead? Will he return some day? They do not even have a memorial for him because of the confusion. Jack is eager to continue off world missions without a fourth member instead of waiting for a replacement. He is also the one who quickly accepts Freyr’s request even though he and Freyr have had it out with each other on two separate occasions because Freyr would not help him. There is a certain feeling that Jack is hoping for a suicide mission and Freyr’s request is as likely as any. He does not even wait for Hammond’s go ahead before agreeing to take it on. Sam is more distraught in her grief, but is at least not thinking rashly.

The SG-1 team is set to rescue Heimdall, a scientist who has been working on an issue the Asgard have been keeping a secret--they are a dying race. They lost the ability to reproduce the old fashioned way thousands of years ago. Since then, they have been placing their consciousness in cloned bodies. They have been cloned so many, they is now severely deteriorated. Heimdall needs to escape under the Goa’uld’s noses with one of the Asgard ancestors in suspended animation in order to continue her studies.

The SG-1 team agrees to help, but when Jack learns thor is still alive on Osiris’ ship and about to be tortured by Anubis, he insists on rescuing him. Getting in and out of a Goa’uld mother ship is, as one might expect, a suicide mission. Nevertheless, our heroes pull off both missions in style with a little help from Freyr and the asgard cavalry, though it is noted Thor has lapsed into a coma upon the removal of a torture device from his brain.

“Revelations” is an unusual season finale in its small scope. It is the SG-1 team, shaken by its recent intimate loss, rescuing Thor. Anubis shows up for the first time, but only posses the promise of menace. He does not do much more than act ominous and sadistic. Osiris is the bigger villain here, not that I am complaining. I like her. There is much exposition on the Asgard’s predicament, too. It is odd for there to be so much information to absorb which does not have immediately implications.

Nevertheless, there are some high points. For one, I cig a straightforward men on a mission story every now and then, and “Revelations” delivers. There are a few quieter moments that are great. Jack is alone cleaning his gun when he nearly has an outburst of grief over Daniel, but stops himself. Even though he is alone, he still cannot let his emotions out. Sam’s sorrow shows what close friends she and Daniel were. It is a nice touch to have Hammond console her with a story from his own life about losing a friend in Vietnam.

On a lighter note, I love Heimdal. She is much friendlier and more animated than the other Asgard. It is probably because she is voiced by Teryl Rothery and reflects some of her personality. Then there is this:Rothery appeared on set to deliver her lines to cast members interacting with Heimbal. she had a light for the other actors to focus on when talking to Heimdal. Unfortunately, the light was strategicall placed on her chest. Richard Dean Anderson and Christopher Judge had a difficult time keeping a straight face while delivering lines. Their difficulty shows even in the final takes. I cannot blame them Rothery is one nice looking lady.

Michael Shanks provides the voice of Thor for the final time until he returns to the series during the seventh season.

I like “Revelations” even if it is on a smaller scale than most season finales we have seen thus far. It fits in with how the fifth season has felt all along--good, but not really anything special. The season does end on an up tick with recent episodes, but mostly because characterization is emphasized over plot. Not a bad thing, mind you, but the series has done a better balancing act in previous seasons.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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