Episode Review of Stargate SG-1 Season 7: "Heroes, Part 1"

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Episode Information

Title: "Heroes, Part 1"
Written by: Robert C. Cooper
Director: Andy Mikita
Rating (out of 4 stars): **
Reviewed on:June 26, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


This episode could have given us a different point of view from which to see the SGC, but it doesn't quite manage to do so. The President sends a reporter, Emmett Bregman, to do a video documentary of the SGC program. Predictably, no one at the SGC is particularly happy about this. General Hammond must follow his orders and allow Bregman to proceed, but does not allow him to see any active missions.

First, there are definitely some unanswered questions with the whole premise. We are told that the President, who is about to finish his second term, wants to essentially document this huge American endeavor that he undertook during his term. The idea is that while the SGC may be secret now, eventually it will be revealed and this will document it. I can understand these intentions.

What's missing is: why did the President choose Emmett Bregman? Bregman seems to be excessively ingratiating and light-hearted. His smarmy attitude may be typical of Hollywood, but does nothing to impress Hammond or the other SGC personnel. So why choose him? Bregman makes several references to the reporters that have followed soldiers into war (which is a very valid and relevant point in his favor), but apparently he was not such a reporter, since he doesn't say so. Has he done other work with the military in the past? Are his views overall favorable to the military? Is he well known by the public? We hear nothing about this, not even incidental comments by the other characters. For all we know, he might be the President's best friend's cousin or something. The result is that we have little reason to give Bregman much credibility or sympathy.

There is a nice reference back to the SGC's bad experience with a reporter in season 6's "Prometheus", the result of which has Bregman's camera crew being composed of military personnel.

General Hammond's dissatisfaction with Bregman and his "mission" sets the tone for the rest of the SGC personnel. The personnel, especially SG-1, are supposed to be interviewed by Bregman. O'Neill, however, spends the episode avoiding Bregman and letting him get "shots of my ass". Frankly, I think O'Neill is acting the ass here - I don't expect him to cooperate, but I don't think there's any reason to be so rude and abusive. The only good thing O'Neill gets out of the episode is the chance to call Senator Kinsey a hypocrite on camera when Kinsey shows up to record a speech about how he's always supported the Stargate program.

Carter cooperates with Bregman, but Bregman isn't too thrilled with her excessive technical terms and nerdy subject matter. She also goes a little over the top when describing the sacrifices O'Neill has made for the SGC.

Daniel also appears to cooperate with Bregman and give interviews, but I feel like he may be employing some passive resistance here. Bregman has read SG-1's mission reports and naturally asks Daniel about what it was like to die, ascend, and then return to being human. Daniel pleads lack of memory to much of this - how true is this? He also plays a prank on Bregman: when his beeper goes off telling him that a fax has arrived, he runs off to his office without explanation, so that Bregman will chase after him. Then he confesses he just wanted to see if Bregman would follow him. This seems a little mean-spirited for our usually empathetic Daniel. However, Bregman later pays him back by telling Daniel his video footage of ruins and inscriptions is boring, and he should try to film some action.

Teal'c sits down to an interview with Bregman as ordered by Hammond, but Hammond fails to order Teal'c to actually answer questions, so Teal'c sits in stony silence. I will give Bregman credit for withstanding Teal'c's glare.

The interviews with some of the supporting personnel are in some ways more interesting and definitely more humorous. Dr. Lee is excited to show off some of the new technology he is working on, including some staff-weapon-resistant armor. Sgt. Siler volunteers to try out the armor, so Teal'c shoots him, and his clothes promptly go up in flames, although he survives the shot. We see him later in the background in the infirmary. Poor Siler.

We also get to talk with Sgt. Harriman, who is in charge of dialing the stargate and to open and close the iris. Obviously his job is important, but it's so simply stated that his interview is pretty funny. I also enjoyed the looks the personnel in the background kept giving him.

Meanwhile, SG-13 is on a mission to a new planet. SG-13 is lead by Colonel Dixon (played by Adam Baldwin from Firefly). They are clearly a team who is very experienced and comfortable with each other. When the arrive at the planet, they follow what is obviously their standard procedure: make bets on what they'll find on the planet. During the mission, they talk at length about Dixon's experiences with his kid and another member's wife's impending childbirth. Their interaction is very natural.

They eventually find some ruins (so one of them wins the bet). They encounter an Imperial Probe Droid (sorry, I just watched The Empire Strikes Back), or rather just some type of probe, which attacks them. They defeat the probe and ship its remains back to the SGC while they continue to study the ruins.

Back at the SGC, Bregman is interviewing Dr. Frasier. She is apparently more sympathetic to Bregman, and he is obviously a bit smitten with her. They get coffee, and reveal that they are each single. Frasier says she has an adopted daughter...from another planet. I laughed at that! Bregman and Frasier seem to hit it off.

Carter and Daniel have discovered that the probe signaled back to its Goa'uld master before it was destroyed, so the Goa'uld could be on the way. On the planet, SG-13 is just coming under fire from Goa'uld forces. Hammond orders SG-1 to take SG-5, SG-7, and Dr. Frasier to rescue SG-13. Frasier quickly leaves Bregman stranded. The episode ends with SG-1 filing into the gateroom with Carter and Daniel lamenting their possible responsibility for SG-13's plight, and O'Neill's ominous statement that "none of that matters now"... and off they go to the rescue.

This episode really seemed to lack focus. I realize that Bregman's goal was to make the documentary, but the episode itself didn't seem to have a goal. I realize it is a two-part episode, but this part seemed to flounder. Bits of the interviews were amusing, but none of it was very illuminating, either about the characters, the plot, or the world the SGC lives in. While Bregman had some valid complaints and issues, I found the character too annoying to be sympathetic. Maybe he was just trying too hard.

There were some nice character touches, like always. Daniel's indignation that Bregman found his videos of ruins boring was amusing, as was Carter's reaction. The on-going gag of Siler getting injured was good. Dr. Frasier was positively glowing, and a treat to watch. She must have appreciated the chance to vent a little bit of her frustration (with people dying) to Bregman, plus the budding possibility of romance.

The end of the episode was effective, showing how SG-1 can toss aside their anti-reporter attitudes and quickly get down to serious business. It also goes to show how a threat can be lurking on even the most innocuous worlds.

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