Episode Review of Stargate SG-1 Season 7: "Chimera"

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Episode Information

Title: "Chimera"
Story by: Robert C. Cooper
Teleplay by: Damian Kindler
Director: William Waring
Rating (out of 4 stars): ***
Reviewed on: June 19, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


This episode follows up on Carter's new outlook on life from the events in "Grace" and provides a look at Daniel's past, plus moving the overall plot of the season forward. What more could we ask for?

Over a period of days (possibly a couple weeks), Daniel begins having dreams about his research before the Stargate program, which was when he met Sarah Gardner (introduced in season 4's "The Curse"). Over the course of these dreams, he replays his memories of that time. However, those memories are being subtly changed and directed by Osiris (who took over Sarah), who is secretly visiting Daniel every night and using a memory device like that used in season 3's "Jolinar's Memories". In the dreams, we see Daniel and Sarah's relationship progress, with Sarah being extremely supportive of Daniel's research.

When Daniel is awake, he discusses these dreams with Carter and Teal'c. We are given the impression that in real life, Sarah was not quite so happy with Daniel's obsession with his research and that's why they eventually broke up. Now, Daniel is trying to decide if there is any meaning to the dreams. This leads to a great scene with Teal'c: since Teal'c now has to sleep (and so dreams), he has been researching the meaning of dreams and is happy to share is knowledge. This is a logical but funny bit of character development. (I especially liked Teal'c observation that if dreams are the mind's way of working through past traumatic issues, then he doesn't know how Daniel can ever sleep!)

Meanwhile, Carter is being romanced by a visiting policeman from Denver, Pete Shanahan. It's great to see Carter following through with her decision to give love a chance after her re-examination of her life in "Grace". Pete is funny, decent, and sweet. He and Carter have very natural chemistry, and they obviously start falling for each other.

The big problem between them is that Pete doesn't believe Carter's "deep-space telemetry" cover story and resents the fact that Carter says she can't tell him what she really does. Frankly, I've always thought that cover story was really weak - why not just put her under "special ops" or something? Although then I suppose someone might wonder why a world-class astrophysicist is in special ops.

Carter and O'Neill have two conversations that typify their relationship and their characters. First, they run into each other when Carter is bubbly and happy over her new relationship with Pete, and O'Neill teases her about humming. Later, Carter admits that she and Pete are on the rocks because he doesn't like her cover story - as she says, O'Neill understands that problem. This is a painful scene, because it's hard to see Carter's hopes dashed, since she assumes at this point the relationship with Pete is over.

Pete eventually calls up a friend in the FBI and gets a background check on Carter to try to find out what she's up to. I will say that it's a little disturbing for him to use his connections this way, it's the type of small bending of the rules that we see SG-1 do all the time. However, once Pete finds out that Carter is into something very secret, probably akin to special ops, he then begins to follow her. That's definitely not good.

The discussion between Daniel, Teal'c, and Carter regarding Daniel's dreams eventually leads Teal'c to realize that the dreams may be being manipulated by a Goa'uld. Daniel realizes that Osiris must be trying to get him to figure out the location of the Lost City in his dreams. They deduce that since he doesn't consciously know the location, he can't simply be captured and tortured for it - Osiris must try to get his subconscious working on the problem. This is a nice bit of logic as they piece together the use of the memory device, Osiris's involvement as a minion of Anubis, and the fact that Goa'uld assimilation of Asgard technology (from the mind probe of Thor) would allow Osiris to easily get in and out of Daniel's house unseen.

They decide to set up a trap for Osiris. After Daniel's next night of dreaming (when he thinks he will finally find the location of the Lost City), they will tranquilize Osiris. They hope to remove the Goa'uld and free the host, Sarah. After a night of dreaming, they spring the trap at dawn. Osiris temporarily neutralizes O'Neill and Teal'c, so Carter attacks as backup. Pete, who has been following Carter, shows up and gets quite an eyeful of Goa'uld and alien technology. Osiris is tranquilized, but not until after Pete is seriously injured.

The Goa'uld Osiris is successfully removed from the body of Sarah Gardner, presumably by the Tok'ra, although we aren't shown that. Pete survives, and Carter tells him about the Stargate program and what her real job is.

This episode has a major difference in the love lives of some of our team members: the love interests live! How will events progress from here for Daniel and Carter?

Daniel lost his wife, Sha're, because she was taken over by a Goa'uld and he could not save her (season 3's "Forever in a Day"), then he lost another budding love interest, Ke'ra (season 3's "Past and Present"). How will his relationship with Sarah progress now?

From a more practical point of view, it seems like the SGC should recruit Sarah. She is obviously a talented archaeologist. She knows about the Stargate program. She has personal knowledge of the Goa'uld. Plus, one would imagine she would be motivated to fight the Goa'uld. However, after the SGC failed to take advantage of the cloned O'Neill in "Fragile Balance" earlier this season, I don't know that I expect them to be this sensible.

I am a little sad about the lost of the recurring villain Osiris. While this Goa'uld was a little over-the-top (like all of them), I always enjoyed watching him/her played by the actress Sarah-Louise Plowman. Plus, it was interesting to see a lower-rank Goa'uld manipulating his way toward the top.

What will happen between Carter and Pete? Carter seemed to think Pete might actually be able to handle the truth about her job. After all their jobs are pretty similar: saving people from harm. Carter's job is just on a bit of a bigger scale. But will he be able to handle it? There are plenty of other pitfalls in a developing relationship, so there's the possibility that something else could break them up. For that reason, I do find it hard to believe that the SGC allowed Carter to tell him about the Stargate. At any rate, it was great to be able to see Carter relax and be happy.

What are the long term effects of this episode? Osiris is dead, and neither he nor Anubis got the location of the Lost City from Daniel. In Daniel's last dream, he claimed that he didn't know the location and that he never knew the location. Was he just saying this to get Osiris to stop the dream? Did he actually figure out the location and just want the dream to end so he didn't accidentally give it away? We don't know, but hopefully we'll find out.

Finally, the title of the episode is illustrative of the events inside: a chimera is a monster made of parts of other monsters. I see that as applying to both Osiris/Sarah and Carter. Osiris/Sarah is a monster made up of the Goa'uld and the human. From Pete's point of view, Carter is the woman he is falling in love with but also has a deep secret, which he finds monstrous. In the end, both of these chimeras are destroyed.

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