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.


Lord Spanky said...

Episode legacy. Jack didn’t use ascribe correctly at all. He meant to use the word subscribe. Check the definitions. Peace :-)

Katherine Woodbury said...

"Subscribe" means to express agreement with--the connotation is acceptance: "I subscribe to Star Trek forums because I love Star Trek" or "I subscribe to that theory because I believe it is correct."

"Ascribe" means to attribute motive or cause to something--the connotation is less about endorsement and more about giving credit in a factual sense: "I ascribe these motives to that person. I don't personally support those motives, but I think they are the true motives."

Jack states the following: "All right, let's say for the sake of argument that it is the Stargate, a theory to which I do not ascribe, then why don't we just put a little sign at the base of the ramp that says 'Gate travel may be hazardous to your health.' I can live with that."

Both words could work in the sentence, but "ascribe" is more appropriate and more specific. The context and tone of the discussion already make clear that Jack doesn't support the theory (subscribe to it). He doesn't need to (redundantly) say so again. "Ascribe" clarifies that he additionally dismisses the so-called connection between the Stargate and people going crazy: Jack will not ascribe to or give credit to the theory not only because he doesn't support it but because he thinks it is factually unsound.

Definitions are never enough (so many things mean the same thing!). Connotations and context matter too :)

Lord Spanky said...

Wrong. Here is why. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning your intelligence, as you seem like a very intelligent person. Here goes. Say if jack were to say “I do not ascribe his condition to the Stargate”, then ascribe would be perfect. In this case, however, he was saying he did not agree with the noun, theory. You subscribe to a thing, in this case theory, or not subscribe, as the case may be. Ascribe is synonymous with saying that you attribute. Subscribe is synonymous with saying you agree with. I see what you mean about both being applicable, but it really isn’t so. They share the same suffix and possess similar yet definitively different grammatical usages. The way jack structured the sentence gives subscribe priority of use. As I presented above, jack could have articulated the same contextual meaning using the word ascribe with relatively minor grammatical changes. But subscribe is apprpriate here. Sorry if I’m dragging on, it’s late and I need to sleep. Peace.

Katherine Woodbury said...

I'll concede that a person cannot ascribe to a theory directly (or, rather, "should not").* However, I think the context still excuses "ascribe."

The issue is the pronoun: "to which I do not ascribe" refers back to "theory" but "theory" refers back to the phrase beginning with "it" ("Let's say it is the Stargate"). "It" is "craziness" or, rather, "the reason that people are going crazy."

So Jack is saying, "All right, let's say for the sake of argument that [people going nuts is connected directly to the Stargate], a theory to which I do not ascribe [their condition] . . . "

It probably should have been rewritten--although that would have thrown off the cadence. Vague pronouns do cause all sorts of problems!

*There is the common usage argument. John Zorn wrote, "I don't ascribe to the idea [or theory] of the ivory tower composer who sits alone in a room composing his masterpieces and then comes down from Mount Sinai with the tablets."

"Ascribe" still sounds better there than "subscribe," even if incorrect. ("Subscribe" immediately conjures up images of Publisher Clearing House forms.)

But then I favor the use of "they" as a substitute for "his/her"--not that I use it when editing or writing. I just think "they" makes good sense.

Lord Spanky said...

Well said and I can’t really disagree. I do understand your perspective. I was a bit persnickety to begin with. I feel less certain of myself now as well, to be honest. Glad to see you still monitor your blog. Do you like any other sci-fi shows or do you just have a thing for the Stargate universe? Have you ever watched Lexx or Farscape? I’m a Star Trek geek as well. When I was in highscool back in the 90s I would hide this fact from others to save myself the social stigma that such nerds suffered to endure back in the day. Kids got it easy now, it’s hip to be a sci-fi or comic geek. 🤓

Katherine Woodbury said...

Stargate SG-1 is probably my favorite--I have about six seasons. I approve of Star Trek: TOS but I have to admit I know Star Trek: The Next Generation the best. Oh, and I love 1990s Lois & Clark (whatever that counts as). I haven't seen Farscape although I have family members who swear by it. In truth, I've tried out a number of sci-fi television shows in the past few years but none completely measured up to "the classics."

My genre-of-choice is almost always mysteries, and I do like the combo-genres, such as Forever with Ioan Gruffudd.

I think we in the 21st century do live in a genre-friendly age. All the genres from mystery to "speculative" to romance are more acceptable now. In fact, they are the moneymakers! Which is very cool.

(Sorry for the belated reply--Blogger's comment notification broke down at the end of May.)