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

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Episode Information

Title: "Endgame"
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Director: Peter DeLuise
Rating (out of 4 stars): ***
Reviewed on: August 7, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


The situation with the Trust comes to a head, causing catastrophic losses for the Jaffa rebellion and the Goa'uld.

The episode starts with a bang: the stargate is beamed out of the SGC. This is a major blow for the SGC, and all of Earth, since they can no longer communicate with their off-world teams, the Alpha Site, or allies and operatives, besides the obvious fact that they cannot leave Earth. In other words, Earth is "blind" and defenseless. The Prometheus provides some options, but it is currently being refitted and cannot use its hyperdrive.

Carter and Daniel quickly figure out what must have happened, although exactly how it was all implemented takes some investigating. An agent of the Trust planted a beacon on the stargate so that a Goa'uld version of the Asgard transporter could beam it away. What Goa'uld did we see most recently with this technology? Osiris, in season 7's "Chimera"; although Osiris was apprehended, his ship was never found, and is still probably orbiting Earth under cloak. Apparently the Trust has somehow figured out how to access it.

During their investigations, they find a supply of Tok'ra symbiote poison (the new, improved version) and rockets. They realize that the Trust is planning to use the Stargate as a portal to attack Goa'uld worlds with the rocket-borne symbiote poison.

Meanwhile, Teal'c was offworld and now cannot get back to Earth. Following protocol, he goes to the Alpha Site, where Colonel Pierce confirms they can't reach Earth. Teal'c returns to the rebel Jaffa planet he had been visiting in hopes of acquiring a ship to reach Earth - only to find that they are all dead, except M'Zel, who had arrived just prior to Teal'c. From our view, it appears that at least hundreds of Jaffa are dead, but we don't know how many were on that particular planet. Upon returning to the Alpha Site, Teal'c and M'Zel learn that three more Goa'uld planets have been attacked in the same way, causing millions of Jaffa death. The Alpha Site confirms their suspicion that the symbiote poison is the cause of death. Ignorant of the events on Earth and believing that the Tok'ra are the cause of the Jaffa massacres, Teal'c and M'Zel head to a planet run by the Tok'ra operative Zaren, posing as a Goa'uld working for Baal.

Carter and Daniel uncover evidence that an Area 51 scientist, Dr. Bricksdale, may be working for the Trust. They follow him to a meeting with one of the Trust's operatives. The operative makes an attempt to escape, and in the confusion, Carter gets herself beamed aboard the Osiris's ship; the operative also escapes to the ship. On board the ship, Carter is imprisoned and discovers the horrible truth: the Trust has already begun their plan. They have sent the symbiote poison to a number of worlds already. Carter tries to persuade them to stop by reminding them of all the innocent Jaffa that are dying, but they are undeterred. They plan to wipe out as many of the Goa'uld system lords and other Goa'uld as possible until they are stopped or run out of poison. I think someone needs to remind them about the old proverb warning you not to become like your enemy in order to defeat your enemy.

Daniel has been interrogating Dr. Bricksdale to find out as much about the ship and the Trust as possible. He is having little luck, because Bricksdale is afraid for his life. Until Daniel mentions that Bricksdale might be able to keep the two million dollars the Trust bribed him with if he cooperates - the look of greed on Bricksdale's face is pretty sickening. But, he does give Daniel an idea of how he might be able to get himself beamed aboard the ship.

In the meantime, Teal'c and M'Zel have let themselves be captured by Zaren's Jaffa. She is very angry that they have come to her, because her position could be exposed. However, she does deny that the Tok'ra could be behind the attacks. In fact, immediately afterward the Trust attacks her world, and she, her Jaffa, and M'Zel die. Teal'c is OK, since he no longer has a symbiote.

Daniel devises a plan to beam aboard the ship, turn off the invisibility cloak, and sabotage the hyperdrive. Once the cloak is off, the Prometheus will be able to use its sub-light engines and weapons to capture the ship. O'Neill doesn't much like this plan, but doesn't have any alternatives. If they only realized that the Trust is currently killing millions, I don't think they would've hesitated at all!

Daniel beams onto the ship and quickly destroys the crystals for the invisibility cloak. However, he is captured before he can disable the hyperdrive. As soon as the Prometheus can see the ship, its commander asks for permission to attack and neutralize it before it can escape. O'Neill hesitates, since there's no guarantee the attack will not destroy the ship. Teal'c dials into the stargate on the ship, distracting the Trust operatives enough for Carter and Daniel to overpower them. But one operative is still on the bridge and is smart enough to power up the ship's hyperdrive to escape at the first sign of trouble. Fortunately, Carter, Daniel, and Teal'c signal the Prometheus to beam them and the stargate aboard before the ship enters hyperspace. In the end, O'Neill is glad he waited and trusted in SG-1.

This episode should have some pretty far-reaching effects. Exactly how many Goa'uld planets did the Trust manage to wipe out? Which Goa'uld were killed? The Trust operatives said they were concentrating on Baal's domain first - did they succeed in cutting Baal down to size and making him vulnerable to the other system lords?

The Jaffa people suffered horrible losses. We don't know what proportion of the slaughtered Jaffa were rebels, but a huge number of them were killed. The indifference of the Trust operatives to the value of Jaffa lives was foreshadowed in "Affinity", where they distrusted Teal'c just because he was alien. How will the Jaffa react to their losses? Teal'c knows that the Tok'ra were not to blame, but will that knowledge be shared? If the Jaffa believe they were victims of Goa'uld attacks, could this cause more of them to join the rebellion?

What is the status of the Trust now? Several of its operatives have been captured or killed, but the SGC believes their organization is extensive, so presumably there are many more of them. The also now have a spaceship equipped with hyperdrive and an Asgard transporter, plus a limited supply of symbiote poison. Certainly they will be able to use these resources to continue their attacks, although not from a remote site like they could via the stargate.

I also have to wonder about the Trust's motives in stealing the stargate in the first place. Surely they realized that the SGC would not rest until the gate was recovered and that they only had a limited amount of time to use it. Did they really think they could kill all the Goa'uld in that amount of time?

Teal'c's decision to dial to the stargate on the ship was extremely fortuitous timing. Plus, he did not just transmit an IDC signal, but also tried radio communications. What made him think that this would be successful? Did he actually piece together what was going on? This is a very convenient bit of plot.

The millions of deaths in this episode made it very hard-hitting, but this number is so large that it becomes abstract and hard to imagine. What was really needed to bring home the urgency of the situation was some physical danger for SG-1. The episode was weak in this however, since I never felt like any of them were in danger. Teal'c is impervious to the symbiote poison. Carter and Daniel's capture by the trust was about as polite as it could be - the Trust operatives tried to verbally persuade Carter to help them choose the most effective targets, but that's it. They didn't even slap her around. I don't really want that to happen, but for bad guys that are willing to murder millions, you'd think they wouldn't be so nice.

It was nice to see the Jaffa M'Zel again (from season 7's "Death Knell"), and too bad that he was killed off. In fact, I'm not sure what the purpose of his presence was in the episode, except to give Teal'c a friend to watch die from the symbiote poison.

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