Friday, June 22, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Moebius, Part II"

“Moebius, Part II” is not only the eighth season finale, but the end of a era. It is the last time we will ever seen the Fab Four in action in the series. I definitely want to like it for sentimental reasons. It is fortunate part II is faster paced and more enjoyable than “Moebius, Part I“, but it is unfortunate the execution does not feel as epic as one would hope.

If there is one really good aspect to “Moebius, Part II,” it is the nod to fans who have hung with the series from the beginning. Maybe even fans who have been there since the original film. There has to be a few. There is the return of old characters like Kowalski, whose participation in traveling through th stargate for the first time is the plausible reason a reluctant Jack decides to give up his Jimmy Buffett routine and join the mission. Kowalski is killed on Chulak, in a nod to his Goa’uld implantation in the premiere episode. Apophis returns as the major villain for the first time since he was killed a few seasons ago. There are nods to running gags, such as Alternate Daniel being killed on Chulak, but the real Daniel being the only surviving member of the SG-1 team in 3000 BC. Alt Sam and Alt Jack make the beast with two backs at the star of the rebellion that overthrows Ra, so the shippers get their moment. In a nod to new fans, Rodney McKay makes an appearance as his usual obnoxious self.

There is one bit that has me puzzled. Alt Jack expresses surprise upon hearing Alt Sam speak technical jargon because he is not used to hearing such things from someone so hot. She blushes and says guys like Alt Daniel are more her type. That I understand. Daniel/Sam shipping is not as popular as Jack/Sam, but it has been around. Even I am inclined to think the knots in Daniel’s head fit the grooves in Sam’s. Alt Jack’s response is to insinuate Alt Daniel is gay. Maybe that is just the quick response of a guy trying to get into Alt Sam’s pants, but considering the winks to themes from the show’s past, is there a segment of the fan base who think Daniel is gay? If so, I have missed it beyond the occasional stay Jack/Daniel shipper on one of websites, blogs, and forums I have visited since beginning these reviews. Danirl has frequently brought bad luck to the women he has fallen for, but I do not think that makes him gay.

The story itself is fairly straightforward. Alt Jack returns to lead a team through the stargate to Chulak. He is convinced to allow alt Daniel and Alt Sam go along out of an unexplained sense of destiny. They are captured by Apophis. While imprisoned, Daniel is secretly implanted with a symbiote and the rest are about to convince teal’c to help them escape by showing him the video in which his true self reveals the Jaffa are free in the real timeline. As mentioned above, both Daniel and Kowalski are killed. In order to escape recapture, our alt heroes use the time travel mode to go back to 3000BC Egypt. There they discover Jack and Teal’c plotted a rebellion against ra which failed. Daniel is the only one to survive. He is plotting another rebellion--the one that will succeed--but Ra will take the stargate with him when he flees. Alt SG-1’s arrival makes a difference in the timeline, causing the rebellion to succeed, but Ra leaving the stargate behind.

If there is any big issue with “Moebius, Part II,” aside from why the Alt SG-1 team left through the Antarctica stargate, but returned to Earth through the Giza stargate, is how abruptly the episode ends. The rebellion begins earlier than originally planned in order to save Alt Jack and Alt Sam from the Jaffa . Once they are safe and safely nodding and gendering like frogs in a cistern while the slaves rise up, we cut to the present day wherein we learn everything just turned out all right. The real Daniel packed away the ZPM, so they never had to travel to the past in the first place--*cough* Grandfather Paradox *cough*--so none of these events should have actually happened, but apparently they did since Jack’s pond now has fish in it. What is worse, the final scene is a repeat, dialogue and all, of the ending to “Threads,” which makes one wonder if that really happened before. What is the point to casting doubt on pivotal events in the series’ history?

Th bottom line is the episode has many issues, both in logic and scope. Considering the episode is the major send off for the team as it has been for years, the latter is more disappointing. Nevertheless, sentimentality wins out over problems. We are never going to se the original team in action again in a good or bad story, so this adventure has to be graded on a curve. The curve is still not enough to merit four or five stars, but “Moebius, Part II’ is still a cannot miss. It constitutes the end of an era. The episodes from here on out feel more like a spin off than part of the series as it has been for the last eight years.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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