Stargate: Season 3 Review

Episode #1: Into the Fire—Second part of Season 2 ender: one of those episodes where things become incredibly convenient (the Goa'uld can be removed that easily? really?).

Episode #2: Seth—Pretty good episode combining cults with the ATF and Sam's dad.

Episode #3: Fair Game—A fun episode that proves exactly how distrustful the Goa'uld are . . . of each other!

Episode #4: Legacy—One of my favorites in which Daniel is infected with a Goa'uld killing device that makes him temporarily crazy. This episode also contains two of my favorite lines by Jack: "Why don't we just put a little sign at the base of the ramp saying, 'Gate travel may be hazardous to your health'? I can live with that" and--when Daniel wants to know why he feels better--"I have a very calming effect on stressed-out people." (In this episode, Jack uses the word "ascribe," correctly. I think this is proof that Jack is way, way smarter than he presents himself.)

Episode #5: Learning Curve—Interesting episode that if I think about too hard doesn't make any sense (why would any culture, even one that learns through nanites, give up ordinary educational techniques?). However, I enjoy the episode's willingness to explore the issue (and it has a great scene about painting).

Episode #6: Point of View—Alternate reality episode with alternate reality fun!

Episode #7: Deadman Switch—This is one of those episodes that I should enjoy more. It has a wisecracking bounty hunter, for one thing. But I just find it boring.

Episode #8: Demons—One of Stargate's few forays into Christian territory. One of the really, really smart things about the Stargate writers is, no matter what they may think personally about religion, they go out of their way to make it clear that the Goa'uld impersonate all-ready extant gods. That is, "Ra" isn't really Ra; he impersonates Ra. I like this, not just for the Christian episodes but for all of them (ancient and otherwise). It maintains a respect for all the religions that SG-1 encounter. (The disrespectful folks are the Goa'uld who distort and play on people's beliefs.)

Episode #9: Rules of EngagementLord of the Flies, with guns! Not really, but it's an interesting episode about young warrior men abandoned by their instructors. It's one of those episodes that I'm surprised Stargate never did a follow-up on (maybe in Seasons 5-10?).

Episode #10: Forever in a Day—Great episode with alternative realities blending into dream states. Think of the Buffy dream episode "Restless" although, no offense to Whedon's creativity, I like "Forever in a Day" better. (Buffy is just a little bit too wisecracking-girl in "Restless.")

Episode #11: Past and Present—Remember Linea? Here she shows up again young. Great episode about the connection between memory and personality.

Episode #12 & 13: Jolinar's Memories and The Devil You Know—Pretty good two-parter where the team goes to "hell" to rescue Sam's dad. They are accompanied by two of those dark-haired, muscular but wiry young Tok'ra guys. I like the brutal logic of the Tok'ra; it makes them good antagonists to SG-1 (specifically to O'Neill's brand of heroism) but not bad guys.

And Apophis is still alive! Does he ever die? (In Seasons 5-10 maybe.)

Episode #14: Foothold—Fun episode with Maybourne; this episode prepares us for the later episode "Shades of Gray" by making Maybourne somewhat more approachable.

Episode #15: Pretense—Okay episode that takes care of the Skaara storyline. Nice pay-off at the end.

Episode #16: Urgo—Very funny episode although Urgo, played by Dom Deluise, is highly annoying. Consequently, not a very funny episode I watch very often.

Episode #17: A Hundred Days—This episode really annoys me, and I've decided it's a girl thing. This is one of those "our intrepid male hero goes to a planet where he falls in love with a woman and thinks he will spend the rest of his life with her, especially since he's been cut off from home, but then the people at home contact him, and he leaves her for a higher purpose."

Believe it or not, it isn't the higher purpose stuff that bugs me. When the writers redid this plotline in Stargate: Atlantis, I was pleased that Sheppard never settled into his new life. What bugs me is the "have my cake and eat it too" syndrome. Man gets to play at being a house husband for a few days except, guess what kids, duty calls. I just think the male heroes should be more Sheppardy and stick to their guns (literally).

Episode #18: Shades of Gray—Nice undercover spy episode. Maybourne's willingness to believe Jack is a bit abrupt. However, although Jack is acting out of character, he isn't acting so out of character to be unbelievable. And Maybourne is arrogant enough to think he can win people over.

Episode #19: New Ground—Pretty good adventure episode with a bit of theology/science thrown in.

Episode #20: Maternal Instinct—Pretty good episode with another "superior" alien race. I don't actually mind Oma Desala being superior because (1) she has a philosophy to go along with her superiority; (2) she doesn't rub it in; and (3) she's Mother Nature, and yeah, Mother Nature is more powerful than technology (think Hurricane Katrina, Mount Saint Helen's . . . ).

Episode #21: Crystal Skull—One of my all-time favorites. It has Daniel running around as a "ghost"; Asgard music; Jan Rubes . . .

It probably seems like I have a huge crush on Michael Shanks, and he is a handsome man. But I think I mostly prefer the Daniel episodes because they are the more human-interest/archeology/language episodes. I don't particularly mind episodes with guns, but human-interest/archeology/language is more interesting.

In any case, "Crystal Skull" has one of my favorite Jack lines. While everyone is oohing and awing about the immense pyramid, Jack goes, "Can you imagine what it takes to heat this place?"

Episode #22: Nemesis—Season ender. The Asgard and the mechanical bugs. Well, I like the Asgard, and the mechanical bugs are creepy, but I prefer bad guys that can talk back.

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