Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Covenant"

I mentioned yesterday "Covenant,” which is supposed to introduce the Trust, is aired out of order with the "second’ appearance of the trust in syndication and on DVD. I decided to go along with the syndication and DVD order since the powers that be have made no effort to correct the sequencing aside from dropping in an expository scene in “Covenant.” After watching “covenant,’ it become painfully clear someone needed to correct the sequence order somewhere down the line. Not because it makes the trusy story arc clearer, but because the trust is the only interesting part in “Covenant.” I use the term interesting in the loosest possible meaning of the term.

Alec Colson is a brilliant engineer but a bad businessman. The government has been sending his company alien technology since the SGC became operational without revealing where the tech originated. Clever fellow that he is, Colson eventually put two and two together and discovered the truth. The government really blew it when they gave him Asgard DNA to sequence to help with their cloning problem. Colson uses the DNA to create a cloned Asgard.

The clone is not the big deal. It is about two fries short a Happy Meal, so Colson allows minimal media contact so it will not droll on reporters’ shoes during an interview. In fact, with the help of Thor, Sam goes on television to discredit Colson with her own “fake” Asgard. The real problem is Colson has photos of Anubis’ attack on Earth, the Prometheus etc. neither the government, who wages a public relations war, nor the trust, who wage an actual war, want him to reveal what he knows for their own reasons. Colson is finally sent to the Alpha site for his own protection.

Does all that sound boring? It should, because it is. There is no purpose to “Covenant” other than to introduce the Trust, and their introduction has already happen thanks to network scheduling. I will grant an effort is made to present Colson--the focal point of the episode--a sympathetic chater, but I do not buy into it. He was motivated to become an aerospace engineer because his wife and daughter died in a plane crash, but he is also on a holy crusade to reveal the existence of aliens even after he is warned other planets have descended into civil war once they learned what the stargate is. How do those two points combine to tell you anything about the guy? I do not know, but they are apparently supposed to do so. I could not even find my heartstrings tugged when his best friend committed suicide out of fear the Trust would kill him and his family in their vendetta against Colson.

In an episode that is devoid of action, one needs to become immerse in the drama. That just does not happen here. There is potential. What if the SGC was forced to kill Colson in order to keep him silent? They would have to struggle with the dilemma of committing an immoral act in for the greater good. For a moment, I thought sich what come to pass after sam introduced Colson to thor, the stargate, and the Alpha site without moving him at all towards the value of keeping all of it a secret from the public. Alas, they take him off world and that is the end of the problem. It is very unsatisfying.

I spent most of the episode attempting to come up with parallels between Alec Colson and Richard Branson, who I assume the character is loosely based upon. Both were born in England, both naturalized citizens of the united states, and bother have airlines. I had no choice but to come up with a game to amuse myself. “covenant’ is heavy on rambling dialogue and low on points of interest. Even the Teal’c wallpaper moment in which he comes in, speaks a line of dialogue that could have spoken by anyone or not all at, and disappears is even more conspicuous than usual.

“Covenant” is very unsatisfying. Those folks in the writers room are just phoning it in this season. The cast looks every bit as bored as I must. They must know this episode is not working from the get go.

Rating: * (out of 5)

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