Monday, June 4, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"New Order, Part II"

My suspicions are confirmed about the manner in which ‘New order” should be viewed. Hindsight 20/20, it plays better as a two hour movie rather than separate episodes. Live and learn, folks. There is only one issues regarding the cliffhanger that compels me to think that. Any other problems can easily be overlooked because part II is a highly entertaining conclusion to the story. Enough so that all minor transgressions are forgiven.

The issue to which I am referring in regards to the cliffhanger hip arriving to attack Earth. Towards the middle of the first act, Daniel almost casually mentions ba’al has destroyed the ship en route. The System Lords are ordered arrested by Weird, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief the bluff regarding the Ancient weapon was never called. Daniel is then beamed up to Tor’s ship along with the in stasis jack so we can begin the real story. The Replicators have invaded Orilla even though Fith’s ship was destroyed.

Thor connects jack’s mind to the ship’s computer in order to pick his brain for Ancient ideas on how to defeat the Replicators. In response, Jack builds a hand held device that no oner, not even he, knows how to use until Thor transports a Human Replicator aboard the ship and jack is force to use the weapon with the bugger escapes. In a humorous nod to Screen actors guild rules, the human Replicator is given no lines of dialogue, so the poor guy got paid as an extra. At least he has the distinction of being disentrigrated by Jack. That is something. Thor can adapt the weapon into a WMD in order to destroy all Replicators on the new asgard homeworld. While he does that, our heroes have discovered sam is still alive and are transported down to rescue her.

Sam is trapped in a fantasy word created by Fifth wherein he creates an ideal life for her on a Montanas farm with Pete Shanahan. Fifth is pretending to be pete in the hopes sam will accept the illusion, but she refuses to do so. I like hoe disturbing the concept is. Fifth freely admits he was torturing sam in the previous episode because he hated her for abandoning him, but in forcibly reading her mind, he learned about the true her and fell in love. There is that thin line between love and hate, no? In his emotionally retarded way, he thinks he can make her love him, too, by posing as Pete. The question of whether he really does or even can love Sam if left up in the air, but agrees to let her go before Thor can set off the WMD because she says she will never love him, but if he really cares for her, he will free her. So fifth at the very least gets a lesson in feminine manipulation--”If you truly loved me, you would do this”--this being run off to pursue romance with another man. Sam does not even bother with the we can still be friends bit. Pete is probably naïve enough to fall for that one, too. Sam missed a golden opportunity.

Fifth creates a Human Replicator version of Sam to end the episode. She is naked, from the get go, so presumably she is going to be his ideal woman. Maybe he is a faster learner than I give him credit. Oh, and not just in reference to what is likely a body double for the nude scene, but Amanda Tapping is particularly attractive in this episode. She has that Gillian Anderson/Dana Scully thing going on in which she ages like fine wine and does not have to show off her bare body in order to be attractive.

“New Order, Part II’ features some stand out CGI work. Our heroes beam down into the middle of a forest in order to rescue Sam and are beset by an army of Replicators. First they are on the attack, but then retreat in a mass defection before Thor’s WMD goes off. The Teplicators escape in a space ship shaped like a giant spider. Spiders creep me the heck out with that eight legged gait of theirs, but I am also fascinated by them. The design of their ship left an impression. As a comic book buff, I am reminded of Brainiac’s tentacled skull ship design. Whether Brainiac is a direct inspiration--please tell me Arliss Loveless’ steam punk tarantula from Wimm smith’s The Wild Wild West is not it--but it has been a while since I have seen any comic book homage on Stargate SG-1, so I am grasping onto it.

Did you sense that silent wail that came from all corners of the Earth when Pete turned out to be the one with whom Sam is living her ideal fantasy life/ that was the sound of Jack/Sam, shippers crying out in anguish. Fifth read Sam’s mind and came up with Pete instead of Jack as her true love. Therapists are standing by for any and all who require counseling. I am sure you are all still reeling from finding out Kinsey is a Jack/Sam shipper, too. Talk about running it up the flagpole and seeing who salutes, huh? It must be quite a blow to hear from Sam herself it ain’t so.

In the end, weir departs for Antarctica and eventually Stargate: Atlantis. Jack is promoted to Brigadier General and placed in charge at SGC. His first act is to promote sam to lt. Colonel. That would be a questionable decision in the real military given hints of feelings for her, but this is telesion, so we are going to go with it. At leat now Jack has a desk job, so there is a more plausible excuse for him to disappear for long stretches of time.

‘New Order, Part II” is great in spite of the blink and you will miss it resolution to the Goa’uld attack on Earth cliffhanger. There is a lot of action, some interesting character developments, and set up for the future, both prmising and ominous. It is a fine start to the eighth season.

Rating; **** (out of 5)

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