Saturday, October 3, 2009

Classics: SG1 1:10 – Bloodlines

Plot Synopsis:

After Teal’c abruptly proposes that SG1 go back to Chulak to recover a Goa’uld larva for study, coaxing from Jack convinces Teal’c to reveal that he left a family behind when he betrayed Apophis – and that his son Rya'c has reached the age at which he will receive his Gou'ald larva. Teal'c is determined to stop the process that would make Rya’c a slave to the Gou'ald – so determined, in fact, that when Hammond declines to authorize the mission, Teal’c commandeers the gateroom and prepares to go himself. At this, Hammond relents; SG1, disguised as monks, heads through the Stargate to Chulak with orders to retrieve a Goa’uld symbiote. There, they discover that Teal’c’s former home has been burned to the ground and his family cast out. With help from Teal'c's mentor, Bra'tac, they find the camp to which Teal’c’s wife and son fled, and Teal’c barges into the ceremonial tent and stops the Primta from taking place. Drey’auc, Teal’c’s wife, is outraged; as it turns out, Rya’c is ill and needs the Goa’uld larva to survive. Teal’c tries to take Rya’c back to Earth for medical treatment, but Rya’c does not make it as far as the gate before he begins to fade away. His options running out, Teal’c decides to give Rya’c his own symbiote. In the meantime, Daniel and Sam discover the place where the Goa’uld larva are kept. They steal one, and then Daniel, shockingly, destroys the rest. When they catch up with the rest of the group, the larva they stole is implanted into Teal’c. Bra’tac helps SG1 return home and, in the process, becomes shol’va himself.

The Ratings:

Overall: 8.3 – A solid character piece.

Writing: 8

I heart Bra’tac. In fact, I think the following rule should be officially declared valid: the amount of humorous content in a Jaffa episode is directly proportional to the amount of screen time Bra’tac gets. Such a rule seems to hold true in this episode at the very least.

But beyond the introduction of one of my favorite recurring characters, this episode also features some fantastic moments for the principals. The cohesion of SG1 was on full display here – particularly the bromance between Jack and Teal’c. We learn the extent of Teal’c’s willingness to sacrifice himself for those he loves. We are treated, once again, to a realistic reunion of lovers that acknowledges the inevitable resentment inherent in being left behind to face the consequences of your lover’s actions. And, in a terrific scene, Daniel is forced to recognize the depths of his own anger – his own desire to seek vengeance for Sha’re. All in all, this was a solid – even borderline excellent – script.

Acting: 9

I don’t think there was anyone in the guest cast this time around whom I didn’t like - and Chris Judge was fantastic.

Message: 8

This is not really a message-oriented episode, but it does get points for once again emphasizing the duty military men feel towards their brothers in arms and a bunch more points for allowing Daniel - the most pacific member of the team – to actually ignore the platitudes and murder some Goa’uld. I’m sorry, but the most bloodthirsty part of me was dancing a jig in front of the TV yelling, “YES! DIE, DIE, DIE! WRITHE AND SQUIRM AS YOUR LIFE FADES AWAY!”


CARTER: “Imagine the strategic advantage, sir, if we could undermine the loyalty of the very group the Goa'uld depend on to maintain their power.”
HAMMOND: “How many of these other jaffa can you be sure of?”
O'NEILL: “We're pretty sure of at least…one guy.”
DANIEL: “Yes, and, and where there's one there has to be more than… one.” – Somehow, I don’t think that sales pitch is going to work. Nice try, though.

O'NEILL: “General, Teal'c has a son.”
HAMMOND: “What did you say?”
O'NEILL: “Back on Chulak. His kid's about to be implanted with one of those larva things, at a ceremony, and Teal'c wants to stop it.”
O'NEILL: “Why, Sir?”
HAMMOND: “Teal'c was an enemy soldier. He's compromised.”
O'NEILL: “General, he was afraid we wouldn't trust him if we knew he had a family back there. Was he right? When Teal'c saved our lives on Chulak, he gave up his family, Sir. Don't you think we owe him something?” – Another nice display of fidelity. Long live the bromance!

BRA'TAC: “You challenge me, hashack?”
O'NEILL: “Ah, no. I don't think we came to fight you.”
BRA'TAC: “A shame.”
[He turns and swings back around to knock O'Neill with his staff weapon. O'Neill grabs the weapon and knocks Bra'tac to the ground, ending with the staff poised pointed at Bra'tac's head.]
O'NEILL: “We're here on a mission. If you don't want to be a part of it, just say so.”
[Bra'tac laughs.]
BRA'TAC: “You choose your friends well, Teal'c. Though were I a hundred years younger, it might not have been quite so easy.”
O'NEILL: “You're over a hundred years old? God, I'm sorry.”
[O'Neill reaches down to help him up but Bra'tac grabs him and throws him to the ground.]
BRA'TAC: “A hundred and thirty three.”
O'NEILL: “You must work out.” - LOL!

TEAL'C: “If we are discovered, you will be brought before Apophis along with us.”
O'NEILL: “Well, we'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”
BRA'TAC: “No. The bridge is too well guarded.” – I love it when the Jaffa take things too literally.

CARTER: “Daniel? What are you thinking?”
DANIEL: “Just that every single one of these infant Goa'ulds will one day take a human life. And all I have to do is…”
CARTER: “If we kill them when they are as vulnerable as they are right now, we'd be no better than the Goa'uld. Let's go.”
[Daniel moves to go – then turns and shoots the vat containing the Goa’uld larva.] – Come on – you know you totally cheered.

O'NEILL: “All right, here's the plan.”
BRA'TAC: “You will do as I say.”
O'NEILL: “Right.” – Hee!

BRA'TAC: “I am to present my prisoners to Apophis himself.”
PRIEST #1: “You cannot pass, Bra'tac.”
BRA'TAC: “You know of me?”
PRIEST #1: “Of course, Master. You were once the greatest Jaffa warrior of all. But no one may pass until the palace guard arrives.”
BRA'TAC: “I understand. Then we wait.”
[Bra'tac turns and fires his staff at their feet, igniting the ground. O'Neill and Carter draw their weapons to help but Teal'c stops them. Bra'tac knocks down the Jaffa and both priests. One priest comes up behind him and he knocks him out again.]
BRA'TAC: “Not bad for a man of a hundred and thirty-three.” – Nope – not bad at all.

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