Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Disclosure"

Ah, a budget saving clip show…the dreaded, but necessary evil for expensive cable shows, overworked actors, and strike shortened seasons. I am guessing “Disclosure” is a result of the first two reasons. It is difficult to review a clip show. They are usually there to fill out the episode order cheaply so more money can be allocated for slam bang episodes to come. Such episodes have to be judged how little the audience feels cheated out of a story. I have traditionally been harsh on clip shows, but the powers that be did much with very little here.

The entirety of “Disclosure” takes place in a conference room at the Pentagon wherein Gen. Hammond and Maj. Davis are prepared to reveal the existence of the Stargate Program to ambassadors frtom the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. They believe it is time to do so because the cover stories for incidents like the attack by Apophis, Thor’s ship crashing, the submarine infested by Replicators, and the crash of Anubis’ ship are becoming too numerous for the major world governments to believe. Davis lays out the story of the stargate and relates the truth behind the incidents I just described via clips from appropriate episodes. It is a lot of info dump for new Sci Fi Channel viewers who may not be up to date with the Showtime era.

The dramatic twist is that Sen. Kinsey shows up to make a power play. He uses incidents in which stargate use has put Earyh directly in danger in order to push for military control of the stargate to be handed over to the NID. The ambassadors all have their own misgivings over what to do. To settle the matter, Hammond requests thor show up to state his preference the stargate remain under the control of the SGC. Because aliens know it is the american military that needs to take point on such things. The ambassadors are so stunned by thor, they agree to keep the status quo, both in secrecy and in american control of the stargate.

I appreciated the subtle humor involved in the ambassadors’ reactions throughout the episode. Russia has far less influence in the world these days than it has in decades, yet still pretends to be a huge player. The stiff upper lip British ambassador is hurt the United states never took them along for the ride. The Chinese ambassador, who is played by Lost‘s Fracous Chau much to by geeky happiness, demands the stargate’s existence be revealed to his people because China never suppresses its people. No how, no way. The French ambassador is my favorite. He goes from asking why the Goa’uld cannot be compromised with to agreeing the NID should take over the stargate to accepting Thor’s proposition. In other words, he wants to give in to whomever appears to have the most power at any given moment even if it is the opposite side he was on a few minutes before. Typical Frenchman. He probably smells awful cooped up in that conference room all day, too.

Are there any French stereotypes I have missed? I want to make sure I touch on all of them. I have some Belgian jokes, too, but they come mostly from my newfound admiration for Nigel Farage and his crusade against the European Union’s more undemocratic tendencies. Woo…now there is a tangent for you. This is all a degree in political science is good for, folks.

Back to the point--”Disclosure” is entertaining for a clip show. There is a plausible excuse to relive old adventures instead of the characters reminiscing for some dubious reason. It makes sense the stargate would have to be revealed at some point. Adding Kinsey’s power play is a twist in keeping with the character’s agenda. Thor appearing at the end to put on end to Kinsey--by correcting him that it is Supreme Commander Thor, thank you very much--was an amusing resolution. The Asgard are my favorite aliens from Stargate SG-1.

The highest compliment a clip show can be given is that it is not a waste of time. “disclosure” is not a waste of time. It does not even eel small considering the entirety of the episode takes place in one room. I have often though Hammond should take a more prominent role in episodes. He does have the most plum job in the Air Force. He ought to have a lot of influence. He gets to shine here, as does Davis. Even with the absence of the rest of the cast, “Disclosure” is an interesting view.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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