on May 21, 2004
Great sci-fi is a rarity these days, with too many TV shows (Andromeda, Farscape, the last three Star Trek series) boasting mediocre acting and writing, at best, to go along with admittedly impressive visuals and occasionally very intriguing concepts and plot strands. Stargate SG-1 is the exception, easily the best sci-fi television series since Star TreK: TNG, and possibly the best ever, period.
With its mixture of intelligent and engrossing stories, terrific acting, cool special effects, and thrilling action, no other show on TV comes close to the combination of quality episodes SG-1 delivers. Season six, in particular, is quite possibly the best season of the series, though admittedly, this is the only season of SG-1 that I've seen every episode of. Season six stood out with the addition of Corin Nemec's Jonas Quinn, whom I liked at least as much as Daniel Jackson, probably more. He was a fantastic addendum, adding much humor and enthusiasm to the show. It's too bad he was booted off the show by season seven.
Redemption (part I): B+, a terrific premiere episode that presents the first dangerous threat from Anubis. Drags when it focuses on Teal'c's personal life, but a necessary set-up.
Redemption (part II): A+, quite possibly the best episode of Stargate, period. It's as suspenseful and exciting as TV gets, and not even David Hewlett's annoying Dr. Mckay can mar it.
Descent: A, that's two absolute winners in a row with yet another one of the all-time best episodes; SG-1 investigates a seemingly empty Goa'uld mothership. This episode boasts the most in-depth and creepily atmospheric exploration of a spacecraft since Event Horizon.
Frozen: B+, intriguing episode focuses on the discovery of a human enclosed in Arctic ice.
Nightwalkers: B, Invasion of the Body Snatchers-inspired episode about a town that is possessed at night. Derivative, but entertaining and with a few nicely done eerie moments.
Abyss: B-, Jack O'Neill is captured when seemingly betrayed by the Tok'ra symbiote that healed him and has to deal with torture from Ba'al and discovers Daniel Jackson might actually still be alive. Nothing special plot-wise, but RD Anderson has great chemistry with Michael Shanks, and the prison cell is a cool design.
Shadow Play: B-, decent episode about possible world war on Jonas Quinn's home planet. The plot twist is quite reminiscent of a certain Best Picture Oscar winner a few years back.
The Other Guys: B+, very funny episode that introduces goofball Felger, who sets out to rescue SG-1 when they're captured by Anubis' forces. Surprisingly enough, this episode is funny without hampering the excitement.
Allegiance: B, an invisible killer stalks a refugee camp; a bit derivative of Forbidden Planet and Predator, but effective and suspenseful, nonetheless.
Cure: A, a miracle cure called Tretonin apparently has both a horrible side effect and an even more shocking discovery of its origin. This story presents one of the series' most compelling ethical questions and is one of the season's best.
Prometheus: A-, the spacecraft Prometheus is hijacked; another very exciting and suspenseful episode.
Unnatural Selection: B+, SG-1 arrives at a Replicator-overrun planet and discovers some strange inhabitants. The visit to the planet is atmospheric and the final scene is particularly memorable.
Sight Unseen: B-, a very lightweight episode reminiscent of From Beyond.
Smoke & Mirrors: A-, when Senator Kinsey is killed, all evidence points to Jack O'Neill as the assassin. Plot-wise, this is one of the most enthralling episodes of the season.
Paradise Lost: B-, an initially very intriguing premise about a hidden cache of weapons and a search for a society that lives in paradise doesn't really go anywhere, but it's still not bad.
Metamorphosis: B, experiments being performed by the Goa'uld Nirrti in search of the perfect host leads to some troubling discoveries on the inhabitants of a planet.
Disclosure: A-, ultimately little more than a clip show, but this episode does an excellent job of relating the history of the Stargate while also portraying the tensions between nations over the SG program.
Forsaken: B+, SG-1 arrives on a planet of stranded pilots that are being hunted by aliens in the forest, but the situation isn't quite as it seems. The plot twist is fairly obvious, but it's nonetheless a very exciting episode.
The Changeling: C+, probably my least favorite episode of the season, this is one of those "what is reality and what isn't?" episodes that's more than a little plodding and tiresome. It's a nice acting showcase for Christopher Judge, whose Teal'C is experiencing different lives and can't tell which is real, but little else.
Memento: B+, a test flight of the Prometheus results in an accident that strands the crew and SG-1 on the far side of the galaxy. To get the necessary supplies, they need to find a stargate, but they arrive on a planet that seems unwilling to help. The lack of trust from the aliens is an interesting twist on the usual "aliens who arrive on Earth, but are distrusted by humans" angle.
Prophecy: B, Jonas Quinn gains the ability to tell the future, and must prevent the deaths of Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c.
Full Circle: B+, the season finale features the return of Daniel Jackson, who warns SG-1 that Anubis is in search of an artifact that could make him virtually invincible. The episode boasts a nice return to Abydos (the planet that "started" it all, if you've seen the movie), a welcome guest star role from Alexis Cruz, and some first-rate action sequences.