Overall Rating: 7.5
Severely mixed feelings for this episode abound for me - culminating in a deep desire to pull a John Sheridan and tell our supposedly superior races to GET THE HELL OUT OF OUR GALAXY. :)
The Stargate Wiki rescues us as usual - a good summary of the events of this episode can be found within.
At the end of the 6th season of Gate, the writers were aware that Michael Shanks wanted to get back into the game, that the fans weren't thrilled with Jonas Quinn's evolution (especially his lack of clever banter with the rest of the team) and that fans were starting to get bored with ordinary Goa'uld threats and desire bigger stories. The pitch sessi9on for how to launch the 7th season obviously included a search for ways to make the bad guys scarier, the good guys more powerful (and yet more endangered), and the plots more involved. The remainder of the SG-1 canon will grow in scale and thematic oomph (much to my great satisfaction) as we progress from battling a half-ascended Goa'uld to battling hostile human-form replicators in our own galaxy to battling with evil ascended beings to convincing evil Gods austensibly on our side to get into the fight...all while we surpass the other ancient races in technological supremacy and galactic influence (!). But that sort of escallation requires careful thought. And the writers certainly didn't fail us on that front.
This episode is easily the best "new season vehicle" the gate-writers ever pulled off with the exception of the one that will conclude season 7. It opens up three major new plot threads - the end of Daniel's romance with the Ancients (and the beginning of his journey to truly understanding the plight of Oma Desala), the lesser morality of superior races and their role in our ongoing struggles with Anubis, and the quest for Atlantis that will launch a whole new series (a series we will cover here at RightFans as soon as we get to that part of the timeline). The dialogue, plot and pacing i this episode are all at nearly top levels for this franchise...I really want to love it. All of the old dynamics are back...Jack and Daniel bantering impatiently, Sam and Jack and their UST, and the nearly LOSE-LOSE nature of most situations involving the Goa'uld.
But...I come away from this episode profoundly sorry and uneasy. The writers will eventually give us a reason to cheer regarding Oma Desala and the moral bankruptcy of the Ancients, but right at this moment, I want to reach through my TV screen and slap Oma upside her energy-cloud head...and then do the same to Daniel at least ten times for being a complete idiot. Let's see...Anubis is one eye away from completing a super-weapon that could wind up destroying the System Lords and threatening the entire galaxy...we have that eye...and you've gotten the System Lords to surround Anubis's ship. We could either do what you did - gamble the Abydonians' lives, the lives of SG-1 and the fate of the entire galaxy on testing whether Oma Desala would stop you from erasing Anubis fro existance...or we could...um...tell the other System Lords that Anubis is about to get his final eye and they might want to consider blowing him to kingdom come RIGHT F***ING NOW!!! before they get all blowed up themselves...(the risk being that Anubis' ship is powerful enough to win that fight even without the eye...but...Daniel himself didn't even believer that). Which is the bigger gamble with the most downside, you f***iong idiot?!?! Is Atlantis REALLY so important that you would want to risk Abydos, the Galaxy, and who knows what else and let Anubis get his eye?? The worst that happens if Anubis wins the fight with the System Lords is that Daniel is THEN forced to try to stop Anubis while Jack is forced to blow himself up to prevent Anubis from getting the eye. I know we love Jack, but c'mon! Jack and his compatriots dead vs. the WHOLE GALAXY IS F**KED!!! Jesus tap-dancing CHRIST!! It's not even a hard decision, Danny-boy. You completely f***ed this one up.
*sigh* - /rant
On the merits...this is a solid episode with a HUMONGOUS plot hole that is nonetheless a good watch and a good set-up for more fun to come...but I can't like it as much as fandom seems to. I just can't.
It's a feature-worthy script if they don't produce a plot with a hole the size of the sun and a billion times more wind-suckingly painful.
On the other hand...the entire cast is in top form this week...with the possible exception of Ha'rak...he's kind of the comedy relief when it comes to Anubis...but...it doesn't really work when the guy playing that relief is not a very good actor.
A significant hit to the score comes from my extreme desire to go Hulk-smash on the Ancients and their "Prime Directive on Steroids" actions here and in other episodes.