Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Secrets"

“Secrets” deals with the subject of family far better than the previous episode which was actually entitled “Family.” the episode has many interesting touches, among them Sam’s struggle that she can never please her father, Daniel’s willingness to risk everything in the near hopeless cause of recovering Sha’re, and talc’s loyalty to daniel being so strong, he will take the risks right along beside him. My inner X-Phile also appreciates the appearance and conspiratorial fate of Armin Selig, played by Jeffery Spender’s Chris Owens.

Exactly one year to the day Daniel promised to return to Abydos with the rescued Sha’re, he feels compelled to return anyway to explain to her father he has not given up the search. Teal’c agrees to go with him as back up. Jack and Sam are due in Washington to be awarded medals for their meroism in destroying Apophis’ ship, though the cover story is they are being awarded for research efforts. On Abydos, Daniel and teal’c discover sha’re has returned some time ago expecting apophis’ child. In Washington, sam is confronted with her cancer ridden father who is trying to guilt her into joining NASA so he can die knowing she is an astronaut. Jack is confronted by a journalist who knows all about Stargate Command and what has transpired there over the last year.

Two Goa’uld are forbidden from having a child together because the child would inherit the genetic memory of all Goa’uld, so Apophis incapacitated Sha’re’s symbiote in order for her to have a child. Apophis’ hid her away on Abydos to keep his rivals from taking the child. Daniel is devastated, but eventually comes to decide he should take Sha’re and the child back to Earth. Once Sha’re gives birth, she will revert back to Amaunet and have to be imprisoned so as not to harm anyone, but both she and her child will be free from Spophis’ grasp.

In Washington, Sam is surprised to see her major general father attending her ceremony. There is a definite vibe that he wanted a boy to be just like him, and nothing sam has ever accomplished has satisfied him. He reveals that he has pulled some strings to get her into the astronaut program, but she refuses. Her father drops the bomb on her that he is dying of cancer and wants to know she is going into space before he passes on. He leaves her with that guilt trip. The bitter part being if he knew what role she really played in top secret SG-1, he would think a career as an astronaut is child’s play. Or not. There probably is no real way to please him.

Meanwhile, jack encounters a journalist named Armin Selig who knows all about the stargate program. Selig is played by Chris Owens, who had been playing the young Cigarette smoking Man on The X-Files for a couple years and had just begun playing Jeffrey Spender a few months before “secrets.” Selig has shades of Fox Mulder. He is a guy who has stumbled across a government conspiracy involving aliens that he is determined to unravel even though no one would likely believe the truth. Selig is killed by a hit and run driver after confronting for the second time. It is unclear whether selig’s death was an accident or someone murdering him to keep the stargate a secret. Nifty homage there, but I cannot help but think it was thrown in for the sake of giving Jack something to do in the episode. He is the only main character who does not have emotionally difficult decisions to make regarding someone he cares about.

Sha’re gives birth. Her Goa’uld reemerges just as Heru’ur arrives to kidnap the child in order to spite Apophis. Daniel gives the child to Sha’re’s father to spirit away, and the rest of SG-1 arrive just in time to rescue Daniel and Teal’c from Heru’ur. Apophis arrives after his defeat to “learn” the child has been stolen by Heru’ur. She does not reveal SG-1 is hiding in the pyramid from Apophis, thereby proving she is fighting against Goa’uld control.

“Secrets’ is a solid episode. It is packed with great character moments which also further the overall story arc while including an action oriented ending. If there is any flaw, it is the inclusion of Selig feels forced. Either the threat of the stargate’s exposure is thrown in to give Jack a more pivotal role in the episode, which still does not exactly measure up, or it was meant to be an wink to The X-Files and nothing more, it is still the episode’s weak spot. But not weak enough to be considered a serious detriment.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

No comments: