Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Dominion"

“Dominion” revisits both the Adria and Ba’al dangling plot threads in order to give them a sense of closure. Not that I completely does so. The resolution is open to interpretation, which leads one to suspect the powers that be were either uncertain there would be any subsequent movies or had no idea what they were going to do with the movies as this point and wanted to keep their options open. Whichever, the case, the result is “dominion” feeling anemic.

Our heroes hatch a plan to capture Adria by implanting false memories in Vala of her being booted from Sgc as a potential threat in order to convince her to go along with Vala’s plan to find this mythical treasure that everyone seems interested in finding. The SG-1 team has set up an ambush, but Ba’al’s forces get the drop on them. He kidnaps Adria and plans to put his symbiote within her in order to take over the ori forces.

Adria is rescued by the SG-1 team. When they discover Ba’al is within her, they hatch another plan to switch him out with a tok’ra and have her order the Ori forces to stand down. See, placing a symbiote into a person unwillingly in order to control her power is bad when the villain does it, but fantastic when the heroes do. Many shades of grey here, folks.

The procedure does not work. The symbiote fatally poisons adria as it is being removed. Our heroes decide to euthanize her, but she recovers enough to fight them off and ascend. To make matters worse, the symbiote may have escaped. Or maybe not. As I said above, no one knows what it means for adria to have ascended or the symbiote’s fate. The deal is if we never see them again, they are kaput. If movies are made featuring Adria and Ba’al, then they are fine. It is well known now they do reappear in the subsequent films, so what is the re-watch value of ‘Dominion.” There is definitely some entertaining elements, but a better sense of closure would have been advised. Just in case, you know?

“Dominion” is especially gruesome. Vala is given false memories of her friends betraying and threatening to lock her up in Area 51 forever. It is part of a plot to capture and kill Adria, whom I remind you is her daughter. When cam confronts Vala over how she feels about killing Adria, she expresses no emotions about killing her child. Indeed, Vala attempts to shoot her before she can ascend. Ba’al mass murders his clones and Jaffa before carrying out his plan to blend adria with his symbiote. Cam kills a Ba’al by shooting him multiple times in the chest. The blood splatter is unusually grotesque for this show. When the surgery fails, the Tok’ra symbiote dies without Adria as a host. Its death is almost an afterthought as far as the characters are concerned. “Dominion” takes Stargate SG-1 for a serious turn towards the dark side.

It is definitely a dark episode, but there are enough interesting twists, good action sequences, and occasional jokes to make it entertaining. Alex Levine drafted an extremely angry script, but at least the penultimate episode of the series is about something rather than filler before the final episode.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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