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

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Episode Information

Title: "Morpheus"
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Director: Andy Mikita
Rating (out of 4 stars): **
Reviewed on: December 4, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


Michell's "new plan" (as mentioned in the previous episode) apparently involves doing nothing spectacular, which was illustrated in this episode.

Daniel believes he has found the gate address for one of the worlds Arthur visited on his quest for the sangraal (as mentioned last season in "Camelot"). Since they hope that Merlin's anti-Ori weapon might be there, SG-1 heads off for the planet straight away. They are in desperate need of something to use against the Ori, since recent reports are that six more Jaffa worlds have been conquered. Teal'c speculates that the Ori are avoiding Earth for the time being because of the Ancient outpost in Antarctica.

Vala does not go with SG-1, because she is not yet approved for off-world missions. This is a little strange, given all her escapades last season with SG-1. At any rate, in order to be officially approved, she has to under go a psychiatric test. This provides a bit of humor throughout the episode, because Vala takes the idea of a "test" to mean that there are correct answers, and she begins studying.

On the planet, SG-1 finds a village whose inhabitants, and apparently all other animal life, are long dead. Most of the villagers seem to have died in bed. SG-1 calls in a medical team to figure out what killed the villagers. They then explore more, but don't find anything that seems useful.

At the end of the day, one of the redshirts is found sleeping and cannot be awakened. The doctor examines him and finds some unusual symptoms. Everyone else in the expedition also has the same chemical signs in their blood, so whatever the redshirt has, they all have it. They quickly realize that their affliction is probably what killed the villagers. They radio their situation and test results to Earth, but do not return so they don't spread the infection.

Everyone begins working on finding the cause of their affliction, but they are already tired, so they are having trouble just staying awake. The SGC sends supplies and stimulants, but they can only work for so long. Daniel tries finding information about the illness in village records. The doctor begins working on blood tests. Teal'c, Carter, and Mitchell return to a cave that they previously explored on the suspicion that the infection might have been picked up there.

At the cave, Teal'c and Mitchell decide to explore a secret underground passage they discovered. Carter returns samples from the cave to the doctor; under a microscope the samples show tiny parasites. The first redshirt has died, and the second redshirt falls asleep. An autopsy of the first reveals a much larger version of the parasite embedded in his brain. The doctor and Carter hypothesize that the introduction of the parasites into the body encourages the body to sleep, and then the parasites feed on some of the chemical by-products of sleep. The doctor dies, even though he didn't fall asleep - it's not clear if this was still caused by the parasites, or if it was from the overuse of stimulants.

Daniel finds evidence that Morgan Le Fey visited the village and potentially stole Merlin's weapon. The villagers believe she cursed them, so she might also have engineered the parasites that killed them.

In the cave, Mitchell and Teal'c encounter a living animal: some kind of reptile. They become convinced that if this creature was captured and studied, they might find a cure for their affliction. They chase down the animal, despite their exhausted states. In the end, Teal'c leaves Mitchell in order to return the reptile to the village.

Abruptly, SGC personnel in hazmat suits arrive in the village. They quickly locate SG-1, place them in isolation pods, and return them to the SGC.

During all of this, at the SGC, Vala has been going through the psychiatric evaluation. The evaluator doesn't like her obviously prepared answers during the interview. Mr. Woolsey visits Vala and offers to ensure that she gets a pass on the tests if she's willing to be an informant for him on SGC events; Vala does not commit. Then the polygraph test does not go so well. Vala is crushed.

In the end, SG-1 is suddenly well: apparently, the information that was sent back to the SGC allowed the doctors at the SGC to come up with a cure. They are relaxing together, when they are told that Vala is making a scene in the gate room. She's decided that she's not wanted at the SGC, so she wants to use the stargate to another planet. General Landry reveals that she passed her psychiatric evaluation, so she's welcome to stay - for once, Vala is surprised. Mr. Woolsey enters, and it's revealed that his proposition to Vala was another test, which Vala passed by rejecting it. So now Vala is a part of the SGC, but still only a probationary member.

Well, that's it. There really wasn't much to this episode one way or another. The plot involving Vala was the high point, I thought. It did a good job illustrating the fact that even though Vala is human, she's alien to a lot of our culture. She didn't really understand the motivation behind the psychiatric evaluation, just as she doesn't understand the motivations of a lot of the characters in the series. She also had the best scenes: first, claiming that Mr. Woolsey had made "sexual advances" toward her - Woolsey's look of shock was great! - and second, demanding her share of the loot SG-1 finds during their exploration. I think she's in for a disappointment there.

The plot on the alien planet was pretty pointless. As far as I can tell, the only useful item to come from it is the knowledge that Morgan Le Fey may have had possession of Merlin's anti-Ori weapon. Otherwise, the whole sleeping sickness plot didn't really go anywhere. It killed off everyone that wasn't SG-1, predictably. In fact, a lot of what happened on the planet was inconsequential, even regarding the medical research into saving themselves, since ultimately the SGC saved them. So us watching SG-1 bumble around in exhaustion was pretty much a waste of time.

The SGC needs a new strategy to fight the Ori. They didn't help themselves here. I suppose it's realistic that great advances are not made quickly, but it doesn't make for interesting viewing.

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