Episode Review of Stargate SG-1 Season 8: "Affinity"

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Episode Information

Title: "Affinity"
Written by: Peter DeLuise
Director: Peter DeLuise
Rating (out of 4 stars): ***
Reviewed on: August 2, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


This episode takes a look at Teal'c's and Carter's life when they aren't working, and more effectively looks at Teal'c's character than the previous episode, "Avatar".

As mentioned previously in "Lockdown", Teal'c has moved into an apartment in Colorado Springs. Presumably the SGC is paying for it...and apparently they aren't springing for much, because it's located in a bad neighborhood. Although the buildings, streets, and interiors seem decent and clean, it seems that crime is everywhere: purse snatchings, muggings, abusive boyfriends. Whenever Teal'c sees a crime or injustice in progress, he wastes no time stepping in and subduing the perpetrator(s).

He has quickly become a hero to his neighbors, but is drawing publicity to himself, which is upsetting the internal affairs people at the SGC. O'Neill is under pressure to encourage Teal'c to be less visible, so he gets Daniel to talk to him. It's a sad comment on our society that Daniel has to convince Teal'c not to intervene in small crimes, since that's that "normal" people would do. (That point is proven at the beginning of the episode when three large men are about to beat up one wimpy guy in full view of bystanders, and no one even seems to have called the police, let alone try to stop it.) Teal'c tries to take Daniel's advice, but finds that he cannot do it.

Things become more involved when Teal'c befriends his neighbor, Krista, who is quite young and cute. He helps her with noisy pipes and begins teaching her Jaffa martial arts; she bakes him cookies. The problem is that Krista's boyfriend has just lost his job, and so has begun drinking and beating her up. Obviously, Teal'c will not tolerate this situation, and threatens the boyfriend.

Meanwhile, we get an update on Carter's relationship with Pete Shanahan. Pete has put in for a transfer from the Denver police to Colorado Springs, and he proposes to Carter. She tells him she needs time to think about it...and takes two weeks!

Krista ends up killing her boyfriend accidentally (using Teal'c's training) while defending herself from his abuse. She doesn't tell Teal'c, but convinces him to take her out of town for the weekend. Rogue NID agents, who have been spying on Teal'c, arrange the body so that it appears that Teal'c committed the murder; when police find it, they and SGC internal affairs officers are hot on Teal'c's trail. The rogue NID agents kidnap Krista while Teal'c is asleep in their hotel room, and then notify the police about Teal'c's location, so he is taken into custody and returned to the SGC.

The evidence against Teal'c appears damning, and since Krista is missing, he faces charges of kidnapping and possibly murdering her as well. Carter enlists Pete and his police contacts to examine the crime scene; they start tracking down the agents who were following Teal'c.

Daniel receives a demand via computer by the rogue agents that he translate an Ancient message. In exchange, the agents will give him video footage exonerating Teal'c and showing the murder was self-defense. Daniel secretly meets with the rogue agents, but resists giving them the translation, so they take him hostage. Once the agents threaten Krista's life in front of him, he gives them the translated message. At that point, the agents zat him and Krista and disappear, just before Carter, Pete, and SGC personnel arrive after tracking the agents down. Once the excitement is over, Carter accepts Pete's marriage proposal.

In the end, although Teal'c is cleared of any wrongdoing, he gives up his department and returns back to the SGC to live. It's not clear whether this was an order, or if he realized it was what he should do.

This episode was a nice look into the personal lives of Teal'c (especially) and Carter, although we knew some kind of complication had to come up. Can't these people live in peace?

It's very ironic that Teal'c's sense of justice and moral code are what are getting him into hot water, since its precisely those qualities that originally compelled him to forsake Apophis and join the SGC. It was also amusing to watch Daniel try to explain how "normal" people don't act on those kinds of feelings. After all, if a person has Teal'c's skills and physical capabilities, shouldn't he intercede in a crime? When it's said plainly like that, most people would say yes, but yet, that's not what usually happens.

Teal'c continues to be a hot babe magnet, but at least his crime-fighting is equal opportunity, as he helps an older lady with a purse snatching and a single guy with a mugging. It's clear that Teal'c's concert for fairness extends to individuals, as he counsels Krista about her abusive boyfriend. She clearly finds this very attractive, and I can't fault that. I think Teal'c has been learning from the Daniel Jackson school of sensitivity toward women. Teal'c is still a little naive and too trusting, as he sees nothing strange in Krista's behavior when she suddenly wants to leave town.

Teal'c may be a little to quick to get involved in a relationship, but Carter, on the other hand, can't seem to follow through in a good relationship that is beating her over the head. What took her so long to decide to accept Pete's proposal? Had she really never considered the possibility and its ramifications until he popped the question? After all, she had decided in "Grace" last season to open herself to possible relationships. Pete is pretty much perfect for her. They obviously get along well and care about each other. Plus, he actually knows the truth about her job, as a consequence of last season's episode "Chimera". How many men that Carter might meet would be able to be told this? Because he knows the truth, he can be more understanding about the stress she's under and the long hours; he has similar problems with his own job. He obviously already considers her job to be very important, since he's willing to change his to be with her.

Interestingly, while Carter mulls over Pete's proposal for two weeks, she apparently doesn't mention it to Daniel or Teal'c. She only brings it up to O'Neill, and makes one of the most direct comments so far about the possibility of a relationship with him. Was she really hoping he'd get jealous of Pete and make her some kind of "counter offer"? Fortunately, he essentially rebuffs her.

I am glad in the end that she says yes to Pete. However, I can't help but feel that something is going to come up to stop the marriage. Will she have second thoughts? Or will Pete suffer the fate of past Carter beaux and die?

The crisis in the episode feels a little manufactured, as the rogue NID agents turn up again. Will the SGC and the good NID ever track them all down? What was the Ancient message translation for? The agents disappear very neatly at the end of the episode; presumably we'll be hearing from them again.

I much preferred this episode's look at Teal'c's life and character much more than the previous episode's, because I feel that the plot flowed much more naturally from Teal'c's situation and personality.

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