Monday, July 16, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Insiders"

“Insiders” features the return of Ba’al and/or his clones. In all honesty, I do not believe it is ever established the real Ba’al is in the episode. The episode is notable for Vala becoming an active part of the team rather than serving as Daniel’s shadow and a prominent, geeky reference to the second season episode “The Fifth Race” for all the continuity buffs among us.

A Goa’uld ship is shot down on it way to Cheyenne Mountain. The pilot, Ba’al, is captured relatively unharmed. He reveals his clones have gotten out of hand, so he wants the SG-1 team to help eliminate them. In exchange, he offers to help them narrow down their search for Merlin’s weapon. Since their efforts to find the weapon are at a dead end, they decide to go along with it at least until they can determine the real Ba’al game.

I am sorry about that one. I do not know what came over me.

“Insiders” takes a humorous turn as SG teams run a competition to see how many Ba’al clones each can capture. NID agent Malcolm Barrett shows up as the clones pile up with a request to take one himself for the investigation of what is left of The Trust. Landry refuses, claiming the search for Merlin’s weapon is more important. Barrett takes it upon himself to interrogate a Ba’al unauthorized, and his blunder allows the ba’al clones to all escape. Their plan all along was to download the download the stargate addresses placed into the computer the first time jack had all the ancient knowledge inplanted in his brain. With the addresses, ba’al hopes to find Merlin’s weapon himself. They all escape scot free.

You have to swallow a lot in order to buy Ba’al’s plan. He has to assume that his clone will survive being shot down. The SG-1 team has to agree to capture a bunch of ba’al clones. Barrett has been through the mind control device, but there is still the assumption the guard to Ba’al’s cell will let Barrett in. He does, but it is hard to imagine an airman would unquestionably allow a civilian NID agent in without clearing it with the chain of command first. There are clever plans that require lots of luck, and then there is this nearly impossible plan that works anyway.

The implausibility of Ba’al’s plan still being true, it really does not kill the episode. It is a fun, fast paced action story. The poison gas bit which ends the climactic shoot out by killing a whole bunch of Ba’al’s is committed so callously, it is almost funny. The casual mention Vala as qetesh has committed genocide is also dropped rather matter of factly. Sometimes it amazes how this show can drop some extremely dark elements into an otherwise lighthearted adventure and keep on trucking as though it means next to nothing. It is not a problem, mind you. It actually tickles my cynical nature.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment