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GateWorld
July 28th, 2006, 07:33 PM
<DIV ALIGN="center"><TABLE WIDTH="450" BORDER="0" CELLSPACING="0" CELLPADDING="7"><TR><TD STYLE="border:0;"><DIV ALIGN="left"><FONT FACE="Verdana, Arial, san-serif" SIZE="2" COLOR="#000000"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/sg1/s10/1005.shtml"><IMG SRC="http://www.gateworld.net/sg1/graphics/1005.jpg" WIDTH="160" HEIGHT="120" ALIGN="right" HSPACE="10" VSPACE="2" BORDER="0" STYLE="border: 1px black solid" ALT="Visit the Episode Guide"></A><FONT SIZE="1" COLOR="#888888">SG-1 SEASON TEN</FONT>
<FONT SIZE="4"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/sg1/s10/1005.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">UNINVITED</A></FONT>
<FONT SIZE="1">EPISODE NUMBER - 1005</FONT>
<IMG SRC="/images/clear.gif" WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="10" ALT="">
Teal'c discovers a world where people are being savagely attacked by an elusive creature, leading SG-1 to a stunning discovery about its potential origin.

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entil2001
August 14th, 2006, 02:57 PM
Coming off of an episode covering one of the less popular plot threads for the series, namely the Baíal clone saga, the writers could have continued the downward slide. After all, this was clearly promoted as a stand-alone episode, and in recent seasons, the stand-alones have been of varying quality. So I was a little surprised when this turned out to be a continuity-driven transitional episode with a focus on character relationships. Who saw that coming?

The plot itself is an interesting follow-up on the Sodan technology from the ninth season. Much of the time, alien technology is utilized without much concern, and so itís always fun to see it come back and bite the SGC where it counts. They should point this one out to the NID and anyone else who wants to grab alien technology as soon as itís found. (Then again, SGC protocols are horribly underwhelming when it comes to protecting the planet!)

From my point of view, the plot was just a nice way to touch on past continuity while musing over the psychological issues of the SG-1 personnel. Take, as an example, the interaction between Sam and Vala. Vala is still trying to prove her worth, and in the process, she tries the patience of everyone within earshot. Sam, however, is the least likely to appreciate Vala and her point of view, and this episode gives her a reason to respect Valaís contributions, if only a little.

Frankly, this is the benefit of having Daniel ďout in the fieldĒ for a couple episodes. When Daniel is around, the writers tend to have Vala right at his side, as though they were joined at the hip. With Daniel out of the picture, the writers are forced to explore how the team dynamic has changed with Vala tagging along on the missions. Her interaction with Tealíc is priceless!

One interaction that was less obvious, but equally intriguing, was the relationship between Mitchell and Landry. I liked the idea of gathering at OíNeillís cabin, if only because it reminds the audience that OíNeill is still out there, alive and well, if off-screen. Landry is right: the team needs downtime, and that also means supporting each other on an emotional and psychological level. Mitchellís lack of confidence is an interesting twist, because itís not apparent in other episodes, yet it makes perfect sense.

Landryís issues are a bit harder to work out, but thatís more a symptom of thin characterization than anything else. Itís hard to know how to interpret his heart-to-heart with Mitchell when thereís very little to go on from earlier episodes. Landry is basically a mixture of OíNeill and Hammond, dedicated to defending the SGC politically and giving clear direction while tossing in one-liners where possible. In this episode, we see a little more of the pressure on his shoulders, which is not really surprising, but still nice to see in a different context.

It would have been easier to toss in a stand-alone episode with little or no connection to the season arc, but the writers took a more challenging approach. The result is a solid transitional episode, not unlike the episodes of ďBuffyĒ or ďAngelĒ that explored consequences while ensuring that the main plot was referenced. The ďStargateĒ franchise has struggled with that kind of storytelling in the past, so this was a pleasant surprise.

The Doctor
August 15th, 2006, 02:21 PM
Uninvited revisits an old plot friend thatís been used throughout time, the scary monster. But is also puts a twist to it that makes the whole episode both entertaining and has it offer more than just lots of shooting.

Once again, the episode starts of with SG1 divided. Mitchell is up in the mountains with Gen. Landry and the rest of the team is back at the SGC and P9J-333. Danielís still out looking for clues that will lead him to the Sangraal. Only this time, the end of the episode brings everyone together for one major hunting trip, which is always a good way to relax.

In the mountains, Mitchell and Landry gave the episode some comedic relief. Throughout their scenes I was cracking smiles, with the two best moment being Landryís impression of Ďthe duck that whistlesí and Mitchell joke about the vice-presidential hunting party. The rest of their scenes were nice to watch as well, Iím very glad that Beau Bridges got some more screen time. He always manages to keep him character being both the boss, the person who makes the rest a bit uncomfortable, and a nice guy at the same time.
The one thing that didnít really come across was the fact that they were being spied upon. I know it was only a minor plot point, but I do believe it could have been more than it was.

The other part of the episode, the scenes at the SGC and P9J-333, also made for nice watching. We see Carter in command of the SGC and that role seems to come quite easy for her. Of course, we know she was also in command at Area 51 for a time, but itís still nice to see her actively taking command and giving out orders.
Tealíc didnít have a great deal of lines, but he was once again the strong, silent warrior we all know and love.
And then thereís Vala... Itís quite clear she wants to earn the respect of everyone at the SGC and fit in with the rest. Iím sure this will happen in the future, but for now sheís trying to hard to prove herself and itís not really working. As usual, very good acting from Claudia Black, I do believe Iím falling in love all over again.

One thing I also really liked, was the light on P9J-333. Normally when SG1 goes offworld, itís quite clear theyíre running around in the woods of Canada. This was still the case for this episode, but by doing as simple as making the sun a bit more bright and yellow, the whole thing does feel a bit alien. Very subtlely done, with great effect.

Another thing that pleases me is that the problems are caused by the Tauri and not by the Ori or Baíal. Weíve seen so much of that recently and itís actually nice to see that the humans arenít perfect either and have to clean up after their own mess.
Thereís just one thing that bothers me. As someone who knows a thing or two about DNA and mutations, the worm that mutates innocent, furry, little creatures into big, violent monsters in just over the top. Any animal that recieves so much radiation and so much DNA damage, would simply die and not turn into a big monster. Plus, at least two completely different animals turned into monsters that looked remarkably similar. Itís just not possible. But Stargate is science fiction, so Iíll just file it under the fiction part and try not to let in bother me too much.

But overall, this episode is just as much about the characters as it is about the action. We get to see Mitchell and Landry get to know eachother better, hopefully making their work relation better as well.
We see some nice chemistry between Vala and Tealíc, who are clearly going to become good friends. Itís also very nice to see that Vala has those more personal moments with anyone other than Daniel.
Like I said, we see Carter in command. But thereís also something else going on with Carter this season. She just seems more relaxed, more at ease with her role in the big picture. I donít know if itís writen that way or itís because Amandaís a mommy now, but I like it. She also had a quick moment with Tealíc, like we seen before with other characters.

We also see in this episode that the Trust is once again planning something, since weíve been hearing more of them recently. So letís hope that comes up in a future episode and letís hope itís big!

So, at the end of all that, what do I think of Uninvited? Well, itís a good episode. I donít really have any problems with it, it has action, humour, characters moments. Everything I want in a good episode. Thereís just one problem: at no point did I get excited about what I saw. I just sat back and saw everything happen. If this were a great episode, I should have laughed really hard, be shocked or simply got very excited about something I saw. That didnít happen, so although Uninvited is good, it isnít great. Iíll give it 7.5 mutant monsters out of a possible 10.

Rachel500
November 17th, 2006, 02:56 AM
Battling creepy monsters or spending time with the boss? This is the question posed in Uninvited which juxtaposes the surreal horror of monsters against the real horror of forced team bonding sessions. It ends up as a decent, solid story but with a poor attention to detail and no deep character development.

The story is divided into two threads; one following the members of the team back at base, and one following General Landry and Mitchell at Jack OíNeillís cabin with both threads coming together at the end. The latter deals with the situation everyone would prefer to avoid; getting stranded somewhere with their boss, while the former deals with the monsters.

The monsters thread is well-constructed and unfolds at a gentle pace. What it lacks in tension, it makes up for with intrigue as the team move from initial theories that the creatures are the latest Ori plot (a nod to the overall arc in what is otherwise a stand alone story) to the realisation that they are responsible because of the changes made to the Sodan cloaking device to accommodate human physiology. Sam, Vala and Tealíc carry this thread with the able assistance of SG3 leader, Colonel Reynolds and a guest specialist doctor (a nice performance from Keegan Connor Tracy).

Vala gets some real quality time with Tealíc and Sam. There is a nice chemistry between all three characters, and a realistic portrayal of what are still embryonic relationships between the experienced members of SG1 and the newest recruit. There is still a sense of Vala proving her worth to them. There are two good examples: firstly, Tealícís conversation with Vala in the woods where she complains how her experience is being disregarded and he makes the point that any plan is doomed to fail without support. It subtly makes the point that Vala is used to operating alone and needs to learn to be part of a team Ė not just SG1 but the wider SGC. Reynoldsí dry comment of Ďexcuse me, amateurs coming throughí after Valaís complaining to Tealíc nicely underlines this and is humorous to boot. The second example is Sam and Valaís discussion in Landryís office. Both Valaís pointed remark about how she helped to heal the members of SG25 and her quick compliance in removing her feet from the desk suggests that Vala certainly seeks Samís approval.

Sam being in charge of the SGC is nice development for the character and she appears calm and considered in leadership with due respect given to her by the others including Reynolds. Itís a far cry from the brand new Lieutenant Colonel who doubted herself in Zero Hour. However, although Sam is an experienced member of the SGC, given her rank, it is a little unrealistic that she would be left in charge Ė doesnít the SGC have any actual ĎColonelí Colonels anymore? Still, giving Sam this temporary SGC leadership gig deflects any negative reaction to the implied confirmation that Mitchell is the SG1 leader.

There is undoubtedly a debate in the fandom around the leadership of SG1 given the negative reaction from some at Samís removal as SG1 leader in a very weak back-story that failed to explain Samís choices and which was compounded by Mitchellís inexperience. There was a lack of clarity throughout S9 with Sam and Mitchell both being shown in charge at different times. Uninvited provides an attempt at clarification through a discussion between Mitchell and Landry.

Unfortunately, although the discussion implies Mitchell has the title of SG1 leader, it also suggests that there is no clear chain of command in the team and thatís OK (which is unbelievable given the military reality of a clear chain of command being essential). Itís a shame because fully exploring Mitchellís insecurity over leading SG1 would have been great character development and this feels like a missed opportunity. Equally, Landryís leadership is also not truly explored. Instead, the character development for both is small and rooted in their opposing approaches to their situation of being stranded alone together. There is a lot of inherent humour which provide some nice moments; the two of them almost shooting each other, Mitchellís reaction to the road being out, the birdcall exchange where both actors look about to burst into laughter. However, Mitchell and Landry have an established dynamic, and it might have been more interesting to have teamed the general with Tealíc, Sam or Daniel especially as Landry seems to have struggled to find a connection with SG1.

Strides are made with this aspect as Landry gets to fight with SG1 in the final battle with the monsters in the woods. This is an excellent continuation of the team-feel that is being exuded this season as is the poker game despite the absence of Daniel for the second episode running. The use of Jackís cabin is also a nice Ďteamyí touch and good use of canon. Unfortunately, Jackís cabin seems to have inexplicably moved from Minnesota to Colorado thanks to an unnecessary lack of attention to detail which peppers the episode along with the odd thing which comes across as unbelievable (Barrett recovering from brainwashing in the space of a week being one example). It could be argued the same is true of the special effects used for the monsters; theyíre not particularly believable but very in the spirit of old horror movies so perhaps this is forgiveable.

While Uninvited dips its toe into the horror genre, it certainly cannot be deemed as a horrific episode in any way. A little more attention to detail and a little more bravery with character development might have elevated this to something special but while this may be an opportunity missed, it remains a solid and enjoyable outing.