Friday, May 11, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Full Circle"

“Full Circle” is the sixth season finale. It had to be both an introduction to a potential seventh season story arc and a wrap up to the series, as Stargate SG-1’s future was uncertain at the time the script was written. That deal got sorted out quickly, so “Full Circle” is far more a beginning than an ending.

A beginning with one major exception, that is. “Full Circle” is the last episode in which Corin Nemec is billed as a full cast member. Jonas will still appear in three more episodes, the two opening and a wrap up in the latter half of the season, but after that is never seen, heard from, or mentioned again. Enjoy the royalty checks, Nemec. It looks like that is all you will ever get from your time on Stargate SG-1.

Ascended Daniel visits Jack in a SGC elevator to warn him Anubis has into one of those paperback fantasy novel series those medieval fair cosplayer types enjoy so much. He has been gathering six jewels called Eyes in order to power an uverweapon. The final one is the Eye of Ra. Daniel says the Eye of ra is somewhere on Abydos. The SG-1 team has to find it before Abubis does. It takes surprisingly little nude for the rest of the SG-1 team to believe Jack, and they go off to Abydos in due haste.

It is clear that if “Full Circle” was to end the series, it was to be a bookend with the original film. With the exception of Daniel’s father-in-law not making an appearance, parallels abound. Jack revisits his friendship with Skaara. Daniel returns to help translate the pyramid’s writings in order to find the eye of Ra. There is a Goa’uld invasion by an “Egyptian” god/ jack does not have a nuke, but he does threaten to blow up the Eye of Ra to keep Anubis from getting it. Daniel renews his strong tie to Abydos, etc. making ‘full Circle“ so connected to Stargate is a bold move considering the expanded series mythology is far more recognizable and popular these days.

Perhaps the powers that be make up for the Stargate homage with a larger amount of Star Wars homage. There is a distinct JedI Knight v. Sith lord vibe in the confrontation between Daniel and Anubis. Daniel is even wearing a brown cloak to Anubis’ black, bringing to mind Obi-Wan Kenobi’s confrontation with Darth Vader in A New Hope. Once Anubis has the Eye of Ra,, he uses his new uberweapon to destroy Abydos in a similar manner as Alderaan. I will give “Full circle” some major kudos for showing the planet being destroyed by a ripple effect on the surface rather than being blown up from space. Seeing the planet literally rip apart is more dramatic.

Events do not go exactly as planned. Daniel offers to give Anubis the Eye of Ra in exchange for leaving Abydos alone. Oma pulls Daniel away before he can do anything about Anubis, however, so Abydos is destroyed anyway and Anubis is now the most powerful nemesis. So after 23 episodes, he finally shows up and actually does something! Woo hoo! The only hope in defeating Anubis now lies within finding the Lost City. It is name actually named at this point, but the Lost City refers to Atlantis and will be the basis for the first spin off series after its discovery.

At some point in the distant past, Anubis learned how to ascend, but has only been able to half do so. I assume that is a hugely pivotal revelation considering the dramatic music surrounding it, so I shall throw it out there.

“Full Circle” is an epic episode. It features the beginning of a long quest, a confrontation between higher beings, an entire planet’s destruction, and all with killer special effects for a relatively low budget cable show. I had a good time watching it. One suspects if I had fresher memories of the original film--I do not believe I have seen it in a over a decade--I might notice more touches. What is interesting is there is still no hint Daniel is coming back to replace Jonas, although, as usual, Jonas is just sort of there in the background. I have beaten that dead horse enough. The carcass should rest in peace over there with The X-Files references I keep making. “Full Circle” is a cannot miss.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

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