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

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Episode Information

Title: "Bounty"
Written by: Damian Kindler
Excerpts written by: Robert C. Cooper, Ron Wilkerson
Director: Peter DeLuise
Rating (out of 4 stars): *
Reviewed on: May 24, 2007. Revised January 5, 2008.

Synopsis from GateWorld


In the previous episode, "The Shroud", numerous Ori ships entered our galaxy, presumably not on peaceful missions. So what is SG-1 up to? A little help with the interstellar war on drugs: they are interdicting drugs being sold by the Lucian Alliance. I'll bet if the Ori take over the galaxy, there won't be a drug problem!

SG-1's efforts against drug dealings are apparently so successful that the Lucian Alliance has put a bounty on each of them, after conveniently marking them with distinctive radiation so they can be tracked. One wonders, if they are so easily tracked, why don't a few minions of the Alliance just go and kill them themselves, thereby saving the bounty money? Especially since as we discover in this episode, the bounty hunters of the galaxy are buffoons.

SG-1 is unaware of the bounty, and has split up for a little downtime. It is nice to get a look at the team on their day off, so to speak. Mitchell goes to his 20-year high school reunion in rural Kansas. Carter goes to a technology conference with other SGC members. Daniel does some research in a library. Teal'c goes off-world to visit Jaffa friends. Each of them has at least one bounty hunter that follows them to their various destinations.

Our look at the technology conference Crater attends is amusing. Dr. Lee is there as well, and is apparently a veteran of the conferences. We get a nice look at how the SGC is trying to introduce some of the advanced technology they have discovered to the public: they present it as an "innovation" with lots of flaws that have been introduced to make it believable. For example, Dr. Lee shows off some type of ray gun that has been "fixed" to not work in the demonstration. Carter then demonstrates a hologram generator, so the image the bounty hunter following her shoots is a hologram instead of the real thing. How convenient. Carter then fixes Dr. Lee's ray gun and shoots the bounty hunter - that has to be a fix in record time, even for her. As a side note, it's nice to see Carter acknowledging that the hologram generator was first publicly shown in her TV interview in season 8's "Covenant".

Teal'c is attacked off-world by an unknown assailant. Although he only suffers a flesh wound, his companions advertise that he is seriously injured in order to lure the bounty hunter back to finish the job. Teal'c successfully subdues the bounty hunter, and returns to Earth to report the attack.

Daniel is doing research in a library when a "hot chick from space" (sorry, that was in Dude, Where's My Car?) makes the moves on him. She is so unpolished in her suggestions that Daniel looks embarrassed for her. We know she's obviously another bounty hunter. She follows him outside the library, threatens him with some kind of miniature ray gun, and then... is flattened by a bus. What? This is a bizarre end to this plot thread, although I will say it's convenient. Given that the rest of the episode is not seemingly intended to be humorous, the bounty hunter's demise is just weird.

The attacks on Carter, Teal'c, and Daniel clue them and Landry into the fact that something sinister is going on. They try to contact Mitchell, but his hometown in Kansas doesn't believe in cell phones.

Most of the episode's attention is given to Mitchell's visit home to his 10-year reunion. Vala has talked him into letting her be his date, because she is going stir crazy at the SGC. Mitchell's interaction with his parents is pretty standard. It's obvious that his parents are going to mistake Vala as his girlfriend, but it's still a scream when she confirms it and says their relationship is all sex, sex, sex. Subtle Vala is not. But, she gets on the good side of Mitchell's mother by devouring her pies and asking for stories from the sixties.

At the reunion set-up, Mitchell runs into his would-be high school sweetheart, Amy. He's as tongue-tied around her now as he was in high school. Vala notices, of course, and teases him about it, which is a nice touch. Vala, meanwhile, dresses up in a fair imitation of Daisy Duke, catching the eye of Michell's old friend Darrell.

The reunion starts out pretty slow... I wasn't fond of high school the first time around, and the way this reunion goes reminds me of why I haven't gone to any of my reunions. Mitchell and Amy realize they both were interested in each other in high school, but didn't have the courage to act. Now's their chance! Except that Mitchell gets captured by the bounty hunter Ventrell. Ventrell wants Mitchell to keep acting normally at the reunion so that he can wait for the rest of SG-1 to arrive and capture them all.

Meanwhile, Vala is wowing Darrell over some drinks. However, she does keep him from going too far, revealing that she's married, even though her husband works for "people that want to subjugate all the races of the galaxy to a false religion" (or something like that). She recognizes Ventrell from her less-reputable days, and she has Darrell distract Ventrell while she unsuccessfully subdues him. While her plan didn't work, I will credit her with immediately trying to rescue Mitchell instead of just leaving him. Of course, she did think Ventrell was there for her.

The rest of SG-1 arrive. With some trickery involving the holographic projector and Ventrell's ship, they escape and capture Ventrell. They suggest to Ventrell that the bounty on them is a sign that the head of the Lucian Alliance is weak, and put him on course to take over the Alliance, which he does.

OK, what are the effects of this episode? The Lucian Alliance is still around, and we have no reason to believe Ventrell will stop their illegal activities. Why did they even let Ventrell go? After all, he did hold hostage a member of the US military. Don't we have some kind of prison that could handle him? How is Ventrell being in charge of the Lucian Alliance better for Earth than the previous leader? I suppose maybe they're hoping Netan's assassination will spark infighting throughout the Lucian Alliance and it will implode.

In addition, the people at the reunion witnessed a number of alien technologies, such as the holographic projector and the ring transporters. According to Amy, they signed non-disclosure agreements, but that's not going to stop the gossip. After all the lengths the characters have gone to to not reveal alien technology, this episode seems not to care.

Did we learn anything new about our characters? Not really. We found out that Carter isn't into the dating scene at technology conferences. (Does Dr. Lee really have groupies?) We hardly got a look at what Daniel and Teal'c were up to. We got more background on Mitchell, but unfortunately his life before the Air Force was pretty boring - I can see why he left!

Meanwhile, the Ori are rampaging throughout the galaxy... good thing they apparently don't know where Earth is, because I would think they'd want to get the human thorn out of their side first, or take revenge if SG-1 really did succeed in killing the Ori. On a more practical note, with the series almost over, why was this kind of stand-alone episode done? If it had something to say, or some interesting development for the characters, that would be worthwhile, but the mediocre mess this episode was was not worthwhile.

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