Because it's all about the writing

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Friday Night Stargate reviews

A dear friend, whose judgment I trust, tells me that at this point she’s only watching SG-1 for the eye candy, because there’s nothing else left. Well, with all due respect, I’m going to have to disagree. If there are more eps like tonight’s in the "final ten," I’ll be a very happy camper. Six months is a long time to wait for a half-finished season to return, so I had a lot of expectations built up. 'The Quest, Part 2" met all of them.

This was very much a "classic" SG-1 episode, even without the Jack/Daniel banter I love so dearly. It had me riveted to the screen, which is not easy to accomplish. Every aspect, from the writing, to the pacing, to the performances, was spot on. Humor appeared in all the right places, and we had suspense/tension galore. I really didn’t know what was going to happen, and as a writer myself, that always gives me warm fuzzies.

Even Sam, whom I’m not very fond of these days, acquitted herself well. I can’t believe she actually punched Ba’al, but boy, did he deserve it. (Actually, I was waiting for her to say "That felt good," because I’m sure it did.)

Most of all, though, I was thrilled that the writers finally gave me something I’ve wanted to see for years -- Daniel downloading Ancient information into his own head. It’s not that I have a problem with "The Fifth Race" -- in fact, it’s my favorite. After Daniel’s ascension and return, though, I figured that if any brain could digest the info, it would be his. That’s why I was so disappointed in "The Lost City"... but, thankfully, the writers have redeemed themselves with this move.

In fact, the focus on Daniel in this ep was what worked best, and not just because I love the character. Months ago, I said that, rather than a full-scale battle, what I really wanted was something on a smaller, more intense scale. That’s exactly what seems to be shaping up between Adria and Daniel. She knows that, as a former Ascended, he represents the most danger to her plans; better than anyone, he understands the threat she and the Ori pose to all members of the "lower planes." It seems to me that she is becoming obsessed with him, and he in turn is increasingly willing to do whatever is necessary to stop her. This holds great promise for future episodes.

I’d also like to mention something I found very intriguing, and that’s Mitchell’s decision to let Daniel go ahead and take the risk of trying to build Merlin’s device, despite evidence of what it was doing to him. Although I called this a classic episode, I’m not at all sure Jack would have reacted the same way. In fact, I rather suspect he would have cut Daniel’s legs off before he would have let him use that database. In direct contradiction to his casual manner, Mitchell keeps a more professional distance, especially from the team’s linguist. I used to think this was what Daniel wanted; now, I’m wondering if Mitchell wants it just as much. His little speech to Vala chilled me, too. Maybe he’s right, maybe it’s necessary to toughen yourself up so you can step back and watch your teammates do dangerous things. Somehow, though, I never got that vibe from any member of the original team.

Overall, this was a great episode, with lots of tasty things for the brain to munch on. More, please?

Bored now.

Seriously, this episode bored me silly. No suspense, way too talky, heaping failure upon failure until they pull a rabbit out of a hat in the last five minutes. I’m not saying it’s substantially different from many other eps; I’m saying that by midway through its third season, a series should be better than this, especially when returning from a six-month hiatus.

The only good thing about it was Jack. Yes, his trademark cosmic giddiness was present, but in this case, it actually worked, providing the ep’s only humorous moments. He was the Jack we know and love, and he was entertaining. That’s more than I can say for the rest of this mess.

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I too was quite happy with this SG1 episode. Most of this season I've barely watched each episode, usually doing something else while I'm watching it just because I'm so bored. But this episode I did nothing but watch. Good ep.

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