Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Allegiance"

“Allegiance” brings together all three of the major forces fighting the Goa’uld in one place for the first time. The Sg-1 team suffers its usual bad luck as SGC have a difficult time keeping the peace between the Jaffa and Tok’ra when neither side fully buys into the enemy of my enemy is my friend school of thought. The situation grows far worse when a Jaffa and rok’ra are murdered and each side suspects the other.

The main Tok’ra base of operations comes under attack by Anubis’ forces. They have to evacuate to the off world base set up by SGC. The Jaffa have set up camp there as well, and are not too thrilled to see Tok’ra coming. The feeling is mutual. The Tok’ra have nearly been wiped out by armies of Jaffa loyal to Anubis. Who can blame them for being jumpy? Jack is in charge of keeping the peace. It is a difficult task for him because the memory of his recent betrayal by the Tok’ra he blended with to cure the ancient plague still burns.--and he did not much like the Tok’ra in the first place.

Tempers flare over some minor issues regarding cultural differences. Troubles escalate far worse when a Jaffa is killed and then a short time later a Jaffa is murdered as well. Each side is certain the other side is the culprit. But the two men were killed with the same stabbing method. It is one teal’c recognizes s being of the Ashrak master assassins. The forces split up into groups of three, each group consisting of an SG ember, a Tok’ra, and a Jaffa, in order to search the forests. While there, Bra’tac is attacked and dragged off by an invisible man. The tok’ra with him, Malek, does not pursue, which only adds to the uneasiness of the alliance.

Short story told even shorter--Jack uses a machine gun to plow every inch of space between him and the stargate in order to keep the invisible Ashrak from escaping. He has seriously gotten over his MacGyver aversion to guns in a very big way. Bra’tac shows up to strike the killing blow. He suggests that the Ashrak has shed blood of them all teamed up to stop him, then they are all comrades-in-arms. His speech was far better than a Picard lecture.

Mercy, mercy the references to past episodes. I have already mentioned Jack’s blending and betrayal. There is also appearances by every major Jaffa and Tok’ra character who were anywhere near Vancouver at the time of filming. Jack and Sam share an awkward moment when the Tok’ra lie detector is used and it brings back memories of Jack’s confession of feelings for her. Teal’c namedrops Apophis. Jacob talks about his cancer. So on and so on. All the new Sci Fi viewers should now be caught up to date with the Showtime years.

That is all well and geeky, but there are several weird spots. One, the lie detector says a Jaffa who was in an earlier altercation with the murdered Tok’ra is lying, but the killer turns out to be the Ashrak, not him. The problem is written off with Sam commenting the lie detector is not perfect. The result just means he is lying about something. Okay…what? Two, how did bra’tac survive? The Ashrak is a master assassin who is noted for using a knifing technique that kills both host and symbiote instantly. He did not use it on Bra’tac? It necessary for the sake of the story he did not, but it still stretches credulity. Three, Jonas is only given a cameo while he is stuck at SGC. Sure, he does not have much in the way of military skill, but leaving him out of the adventure just reinforces the idea he is not a true replacement for Daniel. I assume there is an upcoming episode in which Jonas is featured prominently, so his absence here is to give Corin Nemec a brather. Or maybe Jonas really is an afterthought at this point.

These are not huge issues, however. “Allegiance” is a very entertaining episode that finally draws together the major parties and makes the conflict with the Goa’uld look like a true war. I also liked that Frasier took a more active role in the episode. She is a field medic who helps identify the murder technique. I like when she is more proactive. "Allegiance” is a cool episode that actually made me interesting in the Jaffa rebellion. Quite an accomplishment, that.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment