A couple of new plot threads and two great guest stars
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When last we left our heroes SG-1 was on a Goa'uld warship heading for Earth and with that rather dramatic cliffhanger we begin Season 2 of "Stargate SG-1." Adding insult to injury, the ship is commanded by Klorel, the "son" of Apophis, who possesses the body of Skaara (Alexis Cruz). By the end of the DVD it is clear that the series that had the best first season in the history of science fiction television is going to be even better:Episode 1, "The Serpent's Lair" (Written by Brad Wright, Aired June 26, 1998) the SG-1 team is now on a suicide mission having planted explosives on the warship. Unfortunately, there is more than one Goa'uld ship on its way to Earth. Then they are captured by Bra'tac (Tony Amendola), Teal'c's Jaffa mentor who also wants to free his people from the control of Apophis (Peter Williams). Bra'tac has a plan to stop both warships but the SG-1 crew will still end up just as dead and Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) still wants to free Skaara from Klorel's control. Meanwhile, back at Cheyenne Mountain there is a frantic effort to save part of American culture by sending people through the Stargate to an Alpha Site. General Hammond (Don S. Davis) is also preparing to defend the base as long as possible and is finding lots of subtle ways of telling Lt. Colonel Samuels (Robert Wisden), "I told you so, you arrogant jerk." Just because we have ever reason to believe the Earth is not going to be conquered at the end of the episode does not take away from the fun. 4.5 Stargates.
Episode 2, "In the Line of Duty" (Written by Robert C. Cooper, Aired July 3, 1998) introduces a major new element into the series. SG-1 is sent to Nasya to rescue survivors of a Goa'uld attack. When she resuscitates a wounded man Dr. Carter (Amanda Tapping) is taken over by a Goa'uld and the only one who notices when SG-1 gets back home in young Cassandra (Katie Stuart). Eventually O'Neill catches on and we learn that the Goa'uld in Carter is Jolinar of Malkshur, a leader of the Tok-ra Goa'ulds, a group in rebellion against the system lords. The threat, he tells them, comes not from himself but from an assassin who will kill him by killing Carter. Clearly in this second season there is an emphasis on expanding the show's roster of good Goa'ulds. An above average episode involving paranoia at Stargate Command with long-range implications for the season and the series. 4.5 Stargates.Episode 3, "Prisoners" (Written by Terry Curtis Fox, Aired July 10, 1998) are exploring a planet when a frantic fleeing man begs to be saved from his pursuers. However, the man turns out to be a murderer fleeing justice and by helping him the SG-1 team is judged guilty of the same crime and receives the same punishment: life imprisonment on the prison world Hadante. Oddly enough, the person who appears to be in charge in this brutal environment is Linea (Bonnie Barlett), an old woman who actually strikes fear into the hearts of the prisoners. Linea is a scientist and if she can power the Stargate with a cold fusion power source, then SG-1 will help her escape with them. This certainly sounds like a good deal, especially since General Hammond is making little progress in negotiating the team's release from their captors. However, things just do not add up and the question is whether SG-1 can rework the math in time. Hopefully down the road there will be a sequel to "Prisoners," but even if there is not it will remain a classic episode with a great payoff at the end. 5 Stargates.Episode 4 "The Gamekeeper" (Written by Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright, Teleplay by Glassner, Aired July 17, 1998) offers the comic relief on this volume with guest star Dwight Schultz who plays the Keeper. The SG-1 team travels to P7J989 where they find a beautiful garden and a dome containing metallic chambers housing unconscious humanoids. While inspecting some empty chambers the team is ensnared. The next thing we know O'Neil and Teal'c are reliving a mission Jack had in his younger days where he lost a man. One of the members of his team was Captain Kawalsky (Jay Acovone). Meanwhile, Dr. Jackson and Captain Carter relive the accident that killed his parents. As soon as each scenario ends it restarts as if nothing had happened. Both O'Neil and Jackson try to change "history," but nothing works and eventually they both decided they do not want to play this sick game anymore. That is when the Keeper (Schultz) shows up and explains they are being given a chance to make things right. But the more the Keeper explains the situation and the rules, the more it becomes clear he is hiding something. I can only imagine how many times they had to reshoot scenes because the cast was breaking up at Schultz's vocal affectation. Even the most innocent lines become a real hoot with that voice he created for this character. There is a slight hole in the episode in terms of the inability of O'Neill and Jackson to save these lives (O'Neill's soldiers apparently do not know how to do a standard reconnaissance of a building they want to attack), but Schultz's performance redeems such problems. 4.5 Stargates.One classic episode and three above average adventures is pretty good for a single volume of "Stargate SG-1" episodes, but if you have been working your way diligently through the first season and beyond then you should be completely hooked on this intelligently crafted science fiction series. I am most impressed by the effort to work in new elements right from the start of Season 2 to set up some important moments down the road. You also have a pair of excellent guest stars in Barlett and Schultz."
More Great Episodes From Season 2
bjshorses | Oklahoma | 04/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another great set of episodes from the 2nd season. The Serpent's Lair is of course the 2nd part to first season's cliff hanger finale. You'll love this episode even if you didn't see the first half of it. They also do a terrific job of filling you in on the previous episode so you don't feel lost.
In the Line of Duty is the introduction of the Tok'ra and specifically Jolinar who is mentioned repeatedly throughout the duration of the series. The episode itself it kind of thin, but it introduces and lays a foundation for later story lines.
Prisoners is more intense & will keep you guessing until the end. The crew is stranded on a prison planet because of crimes they unknowingly committed. They manage to rescue themselves by befriending another convict who was also seemingly misconvicted. Exciting end and lots of potential for future plots.
The Gamekeeper episode is rather shallow & not up to usual Stargate standards. Once again I felt like I was watching a take off on an old Star Trek episode. Still a couple of good episodes and one outstanding one make this DVD well worth the money!"