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

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Episode Information

Title: "Insiders"
Written by: Alan McCullough
Director: Peter F. Woeste
Rating (out of 4 stars): **
Reviewed on: December 10, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


The SGC learns once again that the Goa'uld will always find a way to double-cross them.

The SGC's search for Merlin's weapon is going nowhere. The two planets revealed by Moran Le Fey in the previous episode are dead ends. Daniel is away on Camelot for the entirety of this episode, trying to find more clues in Merlin's writings.

Baal crash lands a ship near the SGC and is immediately apprehended. He says he wants help: his clones are out to get him. In exchange for help, he will offer crucial information to finding Merlin's weapon, which he says is on one of the planets whose stargate addresses was contained in the Ancient database O'Neill downloaded into his head in season 2's "The Fifth Race". Baal is clever enough to offer a stick along with his carrot: if any of the Ori capture and interrogate one of his clones, they would reveal the fact that Earth has this database; the Ori would consider this to be a threat and would surely attack Earth immediately.

Landry and SG-1 are extremely dubious about Baal's story. They decide to try to verify it by using his ship to track the locator beacons in each clone. Sure enough, clones are on various worlds. SG-1 and other SG teams travel to these worlds and apprehend each Baal, returning them to the SGC. They accumulate nearly two dozen. However, DNA testing cannot reveal which Baal is the original - they all appear identical. So either all of them are clones, or the original cannot be distinguished in this way.

SG-1 begins questioning the Baals, but don't have much luck getting information out of them. Agent Barrett from the NID has been pestering General Landry to release at least one Baal to him in order to try to find out more about the Trust, but Landry has been resisting this pressure. Barrett wants to at least help in the interrogations, saying that that's what the NID is trained for; maybe his underlings are, but he certainly isn't - I commented in season 7's "Resurrection" about what an awful job Barrett (and Carter) did interrogating Dr. Keffler.

Barrett has an angry outburst at Carter, very uncharacteristic, and shortly afterward SG-1 witnesses Barrett on the cell monitors talking with one of the Baals, being overpowered, and then that Baal escaping with Barrett's gun. In short order, the freed Baal releases the other clones and they take over the levels of the base they were on. They take hostage Barrett, Carter, and a number of random airmen. The head Baal demands that Carter download the list of gate address from the Ancient database onto a portable device. Carter stalls, but gives in when Baal threatens to shoot Barrett and the other hostages. She figures that the Baals will never escape, anyway.

Landry and the other members of SG-1 scramble to set up symbiote poison gas to be released onto those levels. Mitchell, Teal'c, and Vala then lead teams of soldiers to infiltrate the levels and distract the Baals when the poison is released. Their plan appears to be going well, but then the Baals all gather in one room (minus a few who are overcome): their combined locator beacons somehow reinforce each other and a beaming signal is able to get through the base jamming. They beam onto a Goa'uld ship, with yet another Baal (the original?) on board. The ship heads into hyperspace.

Back at the SGC, Landry and SG-1 realize that Barrett must have been brainwashed by Baal (as seen in last season's "Stronghold") via someone in the Trust, and that's why Barrett acted so rashly. Barrett is led away, presumably to be unbrainwashed.

This episode was frustrating, because as events developed, I just knew the SGC was going to get screwed. Almost every time they have just one Goa'uld in the SGC, they pay for it, let alone when they have a couple dozen. And Baal has shown himself to be extremely clever; he obviously thought out this plan very thoroughly.

This episode was also frustrating because nothing progressed in the overall series. No information was gained concerning Merlin's weapon, except the fact that it's on a planet on a huge list of gate addresses. Not much help! In fact, this episode had a negative impact on their efforts against the Ori, because now Baal is competing with them to find Merlin's weapon.

I did enjoy Vala's "improvisations". She adds a bit of fresh air and uncertainty to the structured military approach of the others on SG-1. I also enjoyed Mitchell's comment to Landry that he knew a long time ago that he doesn't actually "command" SG-1; it's definitely true that since O'Neill left, SG-1 has operated more by consensus. It works for them because of how cohesive the team is and because Mitchell has worked hard to fit into it.

Otherwise, we didn't get to learn much about the characters, either, because they spent most of their time chasing down Baals. And that leaves me without much more to say.

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