Episode Review of Stargate SG-1 Season 10: "200"

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Episode Information

Title: "200"
Written by: Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Carl Binder, Martin Gero, Alan McCullough
Director: ?
Rating (out of 4 stars): ** 1/2
Reviewed on: December 13, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


Well, I suppose Stargate SG-1 deserves to relax and have a bit of fun with their 200th episode. After all, how many TV series make it that far, especially science fiction series? This episode was a romp, but not all of the humor worked for me.

The premise of this episode is that the TV series "Wormhole X-Treme!" (seen in season 5's "Wormhole X-Treme!") has been canceled, but Martin Lloyd has managed to get it into production as a movie. The SGC is cooperating with him on writing a script in order to have more "plausible deniability" about the stargate program. SG-1 is less than thrilled to help out, because they find most of Martin's script ideas unbelievable.

They are scheduled to go on a reconnaissance mission off-world, which they are hoping will get them off the hook. Plus, Mitchell is psyched because it will be his 200th trip through the stargate - a good excuse for the characters to keep throwing "200" around. But, there is a strange malfunction with the stargate, so they are stuck on Earth helping Martin until Carter gets the problem figured out.

So they begin pitching different scenarios to Martin, which are presented to us as full-fledged scenes. Some are funnier than others. Mitchell pictures himself as an action hero, fighting off zombies in the gateroom. Vala puts herself as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, with her al'kesh accidentally landing on a Goa'uld and Mitchell, Daniel, and Teal'c playing the scarecrow, lion, and tin man. The visuals for this are pretty amusing. Martin wants more action, of course, so he conjures plots where Cheyenne Mountain is blown up, and then SG-1 goes into a Star Trek parody.

The writers take the opportunity to make a lot of in-jokes about fan reaction to the series, such as the new character Mitchell replacing O'Neill, and the perpetual indecision about whether the series will continue each season. There are a few too many obvious comments here that breaks my suspension of disbelief somewhat.

I did enjoy Carter recounting a supposedly real incident in which O'Neill was accidentally rendered invisible, but didn't want to be returned to visibility because he enjoyed being invisible too much. This was great, because it played so much on O'Neill's personality: O'Neill taking advantage of his invisibility to walk out on one of Carter's technobabble discussions, O'Neill leading attacks against the Goa'uld using his invisibility to surprise them, O'Neill potentially playing practical jokes on the others. This highlights a lot of the zest the show lost when O'Neill left.

Two of the most bizarre scenarios were Martin's vision of the movie with younger, edgier actors in the roles: the characters are all sleeping with each other apparently, but manage to fight the Goa'uld in between. In another scenario, the initial events of the series are played out with the characters replaced by marionettes, who suffer a cruel fate: when SG-1 uses the stargate for the first time, their strings are cut!

Finally, General O'Neill arrives for a cameo, and the last scenario is a sop to the fans: O'Neill and Carter getting married, complete with an Asgard to conduct the ceremony. But then Martin is told the movie is canceled, but the series has been continued, so the jam session comes to an end. (As Vala says, "I love jam!") The stargate is conveniently fixed, and SG-1, O'Neill, Landry, and even Sgt. Harriman go on the reconnaissance mission. The "closing credits" show the "actors" from "Wormhole X-Treme" after 10 years discussing the success of their show. Again, there are many references to real-life events with the real actors.

So this episode was cute, but had no substance. Congratulations, Stargate SG-1 for 200 episodes - now get back to the good stuff!

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