Friday, May 25, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Fallout"

Jonas returns in his one and only guest appearance. Corin Nemex also earns a story credit for “Fallout,” so one suspects the episode is meant to be a better send off for him than the goodbye, do not bother to write because Daniel’s back send off he got last season. One wonders just how monumental this second goodbye is supposed to be. It is quite obvious Nemec got the story by being one of the four people who saw The Core, then ran home to his laptop figuring the other three would never point out how similar the script for “Fallout” is.

Jonas returns to SGC requesting their aid. He has discovered naquadria is not a natural element. It is made from naquadah and the process is ongoing, digging deeper into the planet’s crust to the point it will eventually cause an explosion that will completely destroy Kelowna while the fallout will render the rest of the planet uninhabitable. Daniel and Jack, before Richard dean Anderson disappears for most of the episode to go play golf or something, handle the negotiations to evacuate as many of the people as possible, while Sam, Jonas, and his sweet pea Kianna operate a subterranean driving vehicle to deposit a nuke in order to keep the aquaria from hitting a fault line and kaboom.

They say that couples who stay together for a long time begin to look alike. Well, check this out:
Jonas and Kianna not only look alike, they look like Justin Bieber.

The twist here is that Kianna has a Goa’uld symbiote left over from Anubis’ invasion last year. This Goa’uld is loyal to Ba’al, who decided not to honor the agreement to leave Langara alone. Kianna worked to create the subterranean drilling device to get to the aquaria more easily. Right up until the climax, it appears she only wants to save the planet so she can have the naquadria for herself, but in the end, the symbiote sacrifices itself to set the nuke because she is equally impressed with Sam’s willingness to sacrifice herself to save Langara and Kianna’s love for Jonas. Conveniently, the symbiote dies for the sake of everyone living happily ever after.

The negotiations for evacuating Lanagara are played largely for comic relief. There is all the predictable, petty squabbling by politicians combined with Daniel and Jack--for as long as he is a part--hamming up their exasperation. The negotiations serve well in breaking up the tension of our heroes setting the nuke, but one wonders if even politicians could be so childish when faced with the decision to only save some of their people. Sadly enough, I imagine they probably would be that childish. Some eugenics inclinations would come storming to the surface when deciding who lives and who dies, too. Perhaps playing the negotiations for laughs is the wisest choice.

The naquadria bomb Kelowna set off in their war started the chain reaction that is about to destroy the planet, so there is a certain vibe early on “Fallout’ has an anti-nuke message. But considering the crisis is averted by the use of another nuke, maybe not.

I do not know if fans were clamoring for Jonas’ return, so expectations for how big a story “Fallout” is may vary. I could take or leave Jonas, so there is no high emotion present for me. With that in mind, I can and do enjoy “Fallout” as a disaster movie homage. I suppose bringing back Jonas rather than creating an all new guest character adds a certain something, but anyone else could have been used to similat effect. Hence, the two or three Jonas fans out there may feel short changed.

Sam yet again takes center stage as both a science nerd and team leader. It is part of a noticeable trend to put her front and center on the show. She has come a long way from those early seasons when the writers were struggling to find something for her to do. Now she is fast replacing Jack as top dog. I have no objections to the development, though Daniel and Teal’c are fading into the bsckground.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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