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  • fems
    replied
    I'm totally with iiradned here and also agree with hlndncr about Orlin's creepiness. I also don't think the actor is all that (in looks or talent) so that probably influences my opinion as well.

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  • iiradned
    replied
    Very review.

    I agree that Sam clings to her work because she finds it simpler and easier to deal with. As to her being emotional stunted, meh. I can see how she can come off as stunted but I see it as her being more gun-shy having been bitten too many times.

    Part of it is if one takes a couple of lines in The First Commandment at face value. The first that Sam is attracted to the lunatic fringe and the second what Jonas said that Sam likes to "fix" the broken ones.

    Sam said that she basically discovered the opposite sex at 15 in Meridian and we saw in 2001 that she accepted the meal invite from Faxon pretty readily. And she was humming after only a few dates with , also that she was making an effort to move on from Jack.

    I think that prior to Hanson many of her dates and/or boyfriends were basically pigs who she thought might improve as things progressed. When they didn't she dumped their sorry ass. Then Hanson came along and things went swimmingly enough that she accepted his proposal until whatever it was that broke the camel's back happened. Then she basically just stopped looking or refused anyone new for a while and concentrated on her work.

    Then Jack came along and we all know what happened next.

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  • hlndncr
    replied


    Ascension
    Summary
    This is the one where Sam has glowy sexy with a creepy stalker alien and the boys to battle in a ring of Jell-O. (I just wish we got to see that part!)

    Analysis
    I have mixed feelings about this episode. It was supposed to show us a different side of Sam - her life away from the SGC. What we learn is that she has no life away from the SGC and it's just little sad.

    The overall story is alright. SG-1 finds a big honkin' space gun instead of just dusty old carvings and ruins, which makes Jack happy. But Daniel gets his ruins and writings too; so double win. We see how nasty and vindictive the Ancients can be (although we don't know that's who they are yet). You have to wonder why Daniel wasn't taking notes here when he's given the chance to go glowy himself thinking he can do more good that way. Really Danny Boy you need to start listening in class!

    There are some moments in this episode that are really cute and amusing. We learn of T's love for Star Wars, which is totally awesome. (Methinks I feel a movie premiere fic coming on with the release of Episode VII.) And the fact the Simmons and the NID are looking for dirt to take down Carter (and probably the rest of SG-1 - did anyone sweep the rest of the team's places for bugs) is deliciously sinister. Nothing much comes of it here, but it's nice that they take up that thread again in the next episode.

    Then there is Orlin. :rollseyes: I know I'm probably supposed to think he's cute in a lost puppy sort of way, but he just really creeps me out. It also disturbs me that the PTB keep coming up with these guys for Sam. They must have terrible romantic lives to think any of these guys are even the least bit acceptable to Sam or their audience. It almost makes me feel sorry enough for them to offer my help with their profiles on 2desperate2date.com.

    And of course, everyone's treatment of Sam is supremely disappointing from Janet to Daniel to Hammond and finally (perhaps most especially) Jack. It's a good thing Sam is a tender hearted forgiving soul. They all owe her the biggest of all birthday presents after this.

    Sam/Jack
    I can't analyze the ship in the episode with out delving a little deeper into Orlin's character as well as Sam and Jack.

    At the risk of being gauche, I'm going to quote myself for a bit:

    Orlin: I will concede Orlin as an alien can't be expected to relate to Sam in the same way a normal human would. And SPF does a good job of becoming more relaxed and slightly more normal as the episode progresses. But honestly, did the guy only watch Lifetime TV (the victim/stalker network for abused and battered women) to learn how to relate with Sam?

    Looking for redeeming qualities in Orlin, but just not finding them. He says reading minds is a violation of privacy and then proceeds to tell Sam what he learned about her from touching her mind (or spirit if you will) when he first sees her. At the end on Velona, he says ascending again is the only way he can save her (and himself incidentally) but moments before he was more than willing to kill them all to stop them from firing the weapon. And if stopping the test was so important then why did he spend at least nine days trying to get Sam to play house with him, and leaving her hanging out on a limb, instead of coming forward?

    Jack: In contrast to Orlin (and most of Sam's other men), Jack would never push her. Which is admirable, but also means he nearly loses her completely to another pushy, emotionally manipulative man (who I feel no need to name) later on down the road. In this episode, I think he is truly concerned about her. I don't think he believes there is an alien until the very end. And I think he is very conflicted and it comes through in his interactions with everyone.

    Sam: Oh, Sam--scientifically brilliant, emotionally stunted Sam. One reason I think Sam clings so tightly to her work is because work makes sense to her. Even the wackiness that is traveling to other planets and fighting over-the-top alien bad guys has greater mathmatical precision than intimate relationships in her mind. She just handles them all so badly. But I also think with Orlin she sort of lets her curiosity get the better of her at some point. He is a very old, super powerful alien who knows how to build a stargate in her basement.

    As for the Sam/Jack implications:

    For me this is where their relationship comes apart (at least temporarily). They go from being on the same page to being in different libraries (actually Jack is fishing--alone, Sam's at the library--also alone).

    There are sad, sad ship times ahead for the rest of the season. Excuse me while I weep and die a little inside.

    Ratings
    For entertainment value I give this episode a 6/10. It's solid but there is too much damage done to all my beloved characters for me to really embrace even the fun and the good in this episode. Shippy-wise it's a lot harder to gage. This is a pivitol, albeit disappointing, down turn in Sam and Jack's relationship. And it does have both highs (Jack sounding a little jealous about Sam having a date) and lows (Jack telling Sam she's nuts). So I'm torn on how to rate the ship in this episode. I guess I would have to go with a 4/10. Even the cave dweller that I am I can't bring myself to call this a good kind of hurt.

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  • Everlovin
    replied
    It could be my absolute love for Teal'c, but imo, all the "Teal'c" eps are more feely than many of the others.

    Tony Amendola is epic as Bra'tac. I think it's fascinating the contrast between Bra'tac's roiling boil of emotions and Tea'c's low simmer of them.

    Leave a comment:


  • SaraBahama
    replied
    Watching T struggle and suffer -and not recognize his friends (and I mean the depth of those friendships) is REALLY difficult for me.

    He's had everything stripped from him, and truth has been made out to be a lie and the lies have become truth in his mind. *guh*

    I do love the additional character development as far as more history that we've not seen (so cool)...but I shy away from this ep. Every. d**m. time.

    It's just so painful for me to watch.

    Great review, Everlovin! Really well thought out.


    PS: I love, love, love Tony Amendola as this character. We got to enjoy AMAZING actors in secondary roles in this show, and they just *felt* SO REAL!

    PPS: I can't wait to see what story Pol's Campfires will tease out of this episode!!


    Last edited by SaraBahama; 24 June 2014, 07:50 PM.

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  • Everlovin
    replied
    Speaking of PDL's artistic flair, I didn't mention he literally signed one of the scenes. The candles are set up so that in the window of the observation room, you can see "PDL" Cracks me up when I see these little inside jokes.

    I sort of agree. How many times can Teal'c be tortured? Endless amounts. I'm not a huge fan of S10's Stronghold, just because it's a "let's torture Teal'c" episode; rather than a "let's delve into Teal'c's character some" episode. (I do have the episode name right? I haven't watched in a long time) And unfortunately, the easiest way for the writers to explore Teal'c seems to be through torture - Serpents Grasp, in a way Changeling, and in another way, Avatar.

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  • hlndncr
    replied
    Great review Everlovin. I am a fan of Teal'c as a character, but I often find T centric episodes tedious and derivative. How many times have we seen T tortured for his beliefs? How many times do I need to be told that T values freedom and the Goa'uld are false gods?

    That said I do enjoy some of the unique aspects of this story. We get more background on T in this ep than we have on any if the other characters combined. We see his whole journey from eager young warrior to dedicated freedom fighter. And the lighting and cinematography are superb. A real step up in artistry from PDL's usual fare. And all the supporting players, which in this case includes the rest of SG-1, are a delight as usual.

    Definitely lacking on the ship. It is appropriate that S & J's focus is on T and not each other. But the total lack of interaction is a sad foreshadowing of events to come.

    I'd give the ep a solid 7/10 for entertainment value and a 1/10 for ship. (I'm saving my zeros for eps that actively attack the ship. In this one the ship is merely absent not offensive.)

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  • Everlovin
    replied
    Threshold -




    Original Air Date: 6 July 2001
    Syndication Date: 16 September 2002

    Written by: Brad Wright
    Directed by: Peter DeLouise
    Guest Stars: Tony Amendola (Bra’tac), Brook Parker (Drey’ac),
    Peter Williams (Apophis), David Lovgren (Va’lar)
    Teryl Rothery (Janet) {Why oh why did she never become an official part of the cast?}



    Disclaimer here - I feel like I need to say that I’m a fan of the characters first (Teal’c especially) and any Ship second. So, I’m going to gush through this episode. Be warned.

    Summary:

    They’ve managed to get Teal’c back to the SGC where apparently Teal’c has been in some counseling sessions with our least favorite Dr MacKenzie. T has managed to buffalo MacKenzie into thinking that the brainwashing he was subjected to by Apophis is gone and again thinks he’s fighting for freedom with the Taur’i.

    T turns a corner and runs into Bra’tac. Bra’tac must have some super cool powers as he just looks deeply into Teal’c’s eyes and sees that he’s lying. Teal’c tries to escape, but Jack being Jack had Sam and Daniel ready for him and Sam zatted T. Bra’tac takes Junior out of the pouch and so begins the Rite of M’al Sharran. Daniel translates this as “The Last Rite”.

    Bra’tac explains the rite to a skeptical SG-1 and Gen. Hammond. He must remember his true path to come become the Teal’c we love again. We see a younger Teal’c who has first come to the attention to Apophis. It’s during this conversation that Bra’tac states T’s brainwashing was the result of him being in the sarcophogus.

    Bra’tac encourages the team - T’s friends - to talk to him. Encourage him to remember the man he was. Jack and Daniel have first shift. It’s here that Jack and Daniel state that Apophis is a “dead false god” Sam tries to explain to Bra’tac how foreign the Rite is to the Taur’i and tries to explain Janet’s objections to him. Bra’tac councils them to be strong for him.

    We see the first time Teal’c is brought to Apophis’ attention. He’s fought with valor and won the victory for Apophis. Teal’c at this point sees the capriciousness of Apophis in particular but reaffirms that trait in goa’ulds in general when he mentions his father and how he was killed by Cronus and subsequently is punished for questioning the ‘gods’. We meet Teal’c’s friend Va’lar. Va’lar apparently isn’t one to question his beliefs because he defends Apophis for in indefensible.

    Back in the present day, we see Janet’s frustration with not being allowed to treat Teal’c’s worsening condition and Hammond’s honoring of who Teal’c truly is. He states that the NID would lock Teal’c up until dies if he’s not returned to being the T we all know and love. He knows in his heart that isn’t what Teal’c would really want.

    The next memory Teal’c lives through is a training session with Bra’tac in which Bra’tac demands he be more than a mindless soldier. He must think and make his own way. No one else will protect him - especially not Apophis like Teal’c zealously, naively believes.

    Teal’c tries to appeal to Sam’s emotions. He’s convinced they’re killing him simply because he ‘loves’ his ‘god’. A teary Sam tries her best to convince him otherwise.

    Teal’c first turning point comes when Va’lar loses a battle against Ra and subsequently fails to die ‘honorably’ on the battlefield. Apophis demands that Teal’c take Va’lar down to the planet and remove his symbiot. Apparently, the seeds of doubt had been well planted in Teal’c as he spared Va’lar’s life and took another symbiot as proof to Apophis. Teal’c’s moment of realization that Apophis was not all knowing is rather startling.

    Time passed and Teal’c was made First Prime. He runs to Bra’tac to tell him of the honor bestowed by Apophis but Bra’tac lays an impossible responsibility on him. There will be black stains on his conscience. Sins that he will never be able to forgive himself for. But there will be instances where he can bend Apophis’ will to save people.

    Time passed again and Apophis and Ra again battle over the planet where Teal’c let his friend Va’lar free. This time, because he is afraid of being found out, he destroys the village his friend had been living in.

    Through these remembrances, we see the relationship between Teal’c and Drey’ac. It is interesting to note that he has had just the two confessors at the time. Drey’ac and Bra’tac. Drey’ac doesn’t see that the goa’uld aren’t gods as yet but keeps Teal’c’s confidences. It is about the time of Va’lar’s death that we know she is expecting Rya’c.

    The next memory is the scene from CotG. We see Teal’c’s admiration of the Taur’i because it was so obvious they knew freedom. He even brings them to Bra’tac’s attention.

    In the climactic moment, Teal’c remembers choosing to free SG-1 and his struggle to free his people and fight the goa’uld.. “I choose freedom!”

    Analysis:

    In my opinion, this is the penultimate Teal’c episode. We see glimpses of just how much he has gone through knowing that Apophis is a false god, but having to serve him anyway. We’ve seen glimpses of that before - Cor’ai, Bloodlines, others, but here we see it.

    Bra’tac is as epic as ever. The team stands by their own just as they always do. Each of the characters is so “them” in this episode to the Nth degree. (This could just be my total love for this episode talking.)

    There’s been some proof that the sarcophagus can lead to mental suggestion. In 205's Need, Daniel was led astray by Shyla’s suggestions and the narcotic effects of the sarcophagus. It’s also established that Apophis used the sarcophagus on Rya’c in Family (208)

    We see justification for Rya’c’s later assertion: “You are Teal’c. There is no greater warrior.” in that he alone has lived through the Rite. I think this is a testament (him living) to both his strength, Janet’s skill and determination to heal him, and the team pulling for him.

    Further, how discouraging it must have been for Bra’tac to have sewn the seeds of doubt with two other acolytes, have to have them go through the Rite and have them not survive.

    Favorite line -

    Be quiet, woman!

    Did he just call me a woman?

    Shippiness - Unfortunately this episode doesn’t rate terribly high on the shippy scale. There’s a moment of eye speaking, and that makes the shipper in me squee to the high heavens, it’s fleeting. So, 2/5 shippy stars?

    Overall enjoyment - one of my favorites and a go to episode. The team is at their best trying to look out for one of their own. 5/5 stars.

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  • Everlovin
    replied
    It's here! Sorry this is so late, but crazy weekend in the area. See next post for review.

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  • hlndncr
    replied
    Got a review for Threshold Everlovin?

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  • SaraBahama
    replied
    ^^

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  • AmberLM
    replied
    Originally posted by Everlovin View Post
    Included in all you said, Sara, what I love about that scene is that Jacob and Sam are in a subtle way including Jack in their family. It's sort of a "Here's what you can expect from your future Father-in-Law" sort of thing.
    Agreed! There's a really good fic (one of Pol's Campfires for "Secrets" I think) where the team are discussing "meeting the father in law" after Jack meets Jacob for the first time. Daniel says "what about you, Jack?" after talking about Kasuf and Jack flounders thinking he meant Jacob not Sara's father and Sam has to point out that he meant Sara's father not her own. It's hilarious but, given that he calls him "Dad" pretty much from the start, quite believable too

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  • Everlovin
    replied
    Included in all you said, Sara, what I love about that scene is that Jacob and Sam are in a subtle way including Jack in their family. It's sort of a "Here's what you can expect from your future Father-in-Law" sort of thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • SaraBahama
    replied
    Nicely done, IDK!

    I like the action of this ep, as well (aren't the Replicators good for prompting lots of action?!). My favorite...FAVORITE part is that snarky exchange:

    Jack: Excuse me. I distinctly remember someone saying …we're not going to make it. I think we made it.
    Jacob: I'm sorry, I over reacted. At the time, it looked very much like we weren't going to make it.
    Jack: Yes, well, maybe next time you'll just wait and see.
    Jacob: And blow the last chance I might ever have to be right?
    Jack: What?!
    Sam: Welcome to my life.
    Jack: What?!
    I know it's a reflection of Jacob's prickly side, but I always chuckle when he gets like this. Perhaps it reminds me of my dad. Jack being the recipient of the remarks is just priceless.

    Jacob SO knows.

    He's being a good parent and keeping himself from meddling, but he KNOWS.

    I do believe that by this time, he is certain that Jack loves her enough to not jeopardize her career. I watch this and think of what's coming on his deathbed -when he finally speaks his mind on the subject.

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  • iiradned
    replied
    Good review Scully.

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