Overall Rating: 6.0
Nice try, writers...ncie try.
The full details can be found at the Stargate Wiki page (here).
I get what they were trying to do with this episode...let me summarize it for you in bullet-point outline form:
-------> Introduce a wonder drug that comes with a price (you rely on it forever)
-------> Reveal that it's made possible by the Goa'uld queen they've imprisoned cruelly and forced to produce blank children for their research
-------> Let us make a decision on the moral issue of whether it's OK to use the Goa'uld like they would use us...as farm animals...if it saves lives
-------> Reveal that the queen is actually...the mother of all Tok'ra! OH SNAP! How's your moral decision looking NOW?!
Basically...they tried to catch us, the viewers, in the mindset that using the enemy as a pharmaseutical manufacturing plant is OK because...hey...they'd do it to us and we have a right to defend ourselves. It doesn't work because (a) it's telegraphed badly and (b) I doubt many viewers were actually thinking that making the Goa'uld into science slaves was kosher. Oh and (c) the Tok'ra suck almost as much as the Goa'uld, so they don't elicit all that much sympathy (sorry, but I share Jack's view that the only difference between the Tok'ra and the Goa'uld is that the Tok'ra tell you they're going to use you before they do it). To be honest, what this does, for me, is bore me.
It's not a BAD episode...but I don't generally love being morally scolded for faults I don't possess and I can't say I'm much of a fan of the moral equivocating that the writers frequently do when in the presence of the Tok'ra ad the rebel Jaffa. It often comes down to the idea that their cultures are different and we should respect those differences, rather than questioning their moral legitimacy. Militarilly, this makes sense (we need them as allies), but philosophically, I don't buy it. Would Hollywood lefties really be cozy living in a Jaffa encampment where women are treated as a second class and where the only way to advance in life is to defeat the others in a battle to the death? Would they be fine with sharing their bodies with an intelligent snake which could take control whenever it desired? And don't tell me that the Tok'ra never do this...we've seen that they do. When it suits them, they will dominate their host for an entire discussion with the SGC personnel and their mating partnerships tend to be based on the desires of the symbiote more than the host. At least as far as what's been shown on screen.
So...on the whole, I ave to say...this episode was a nice try at a tough moral dilemma, but it wussed out in the end when the center of the controversy simply DIES...in other words...they don't even make a call. Which is...well...lame. And even if they did...they rather missed an opportunity to emotionally impact the viewers by scolding us rather than letting us debate amongst ourselves.
A for effort, D for results.
The cast, by in large, plays this at their usual level of professional competence, but none stand out.
They rather wussed out in the end...and their method of delivering their message seemed heavy-handed.