Episode Review of Stargate SG-1 Season 8: "Full Alert"

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Episode Information

Title: "Full Alert"
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Director: Andy Mikita
Rating (out of 4 stars): **1/2
Reviewed on: August 19, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


The Trust has returned, but they aren't feeling themselves.

At the beginning of the episode, O'Neill returns home from grocery shopping (apparently most of his diet consists of beer) to find that former Vice President Kinsey is waiting for him. Kinsey claims he has useful information for O'Neill, but O'Neill simply begins dialing the local sheriff to come pick up Kinsey for breaking and entering. (I love that when Kinsey disconnects the land-line phone, O'Neill shrugs and goes for his cell phone!)

Finally, O'Neill allows Kinsey to explain. Kinsey says that when he was forced to resign, the Trust abandoned him because he was no longer useful, but just recently they have renewed their association with him. They want Kinsey to use his political connections to get them a meeting with the Russian defense minister, General Kiselev. Kinsey believes they want to get control of Kiselev and use him to turn the Russians against the SGC and the US. Kinsey, being the righteous patriot that he is, doesn't want to help the Trust if they are working to such an end. (As O'Neill was probably thinking, "Oh, please.")

O'Neill and SG-1 discuss Kinsey's information. They decide to send Kinsey to the meeting with the Trust wearing a video and audio transmitter; in return, they will protect Kinsey from the Trust. This plan starts out well, but then the Trust jams the transmitter. By the time SG-1 moves in, the Trust members have beamed away with Kinsey. Apparently the Trust members that escaped with the al'kesh spaceship in "Endgame" have returned.

Now the goal shifts to locating the al'kesh. Since it hasn't yet been detected, its invisibility cloak must have been repaired. Teal'c joins the Prometheus to begin a search around Earth. Carter works up a program to help the Prometheus's sensors detect the al'kesh. And Daniel is heading to Moscow to try to head off the Trust's plan to get to Kiselev. These individual missions are very logical and follow characterization well. Obviously, Teal'c would be useful in any search and attack mission, and Carter would know how to augment the sensors. Daniel has played the diplomat in Russia on several occasions, the last being season 5's "48 Hours", so he should have some connections there. In addition, O'Neill has apparently developed a sufficiently amicable relationship with Colonel Chekov, the Russian liaison at the SGC, that the Colonel will arrange an escort for Daniel in Russia.

The situation deteriorates when Daniel arrives in Moscow. Although he does meet up with Colonel Chekov's assistant, Captain Voronokova, he is soon taken into custody, because an attempt has been made on General Kiselev's life. The attempted assassin? Kinsey, who has been taken over by a Goa'uld. Because Kinsey is a former Vice President, this leads the Russian president to believe that the US government has been compromised by the Goa'uld. The Russian military goes to a heightened state of readiness.

The Russians notify the SGC about Kinsey. Carter speculates that when the Trust agents on the al'kesh escaped at the end of "Endgame", they were captured by the Goa'uld. When they were taken as hosts, the Goa'uld quickly realized they had covert connections to many high-ranking Earth government officials. Now they have used Kinsey to sow suspicion between the US and Russia and are hoping these two countries will destroy themselves in a nuclear war, leaving the planet open for Goa'uld occupation, including occupation of the Ancient base in Antarctica. Now the Russian government wants the US president and other important people to undergo testing to see if they are Goa'uld. Naturally, the US will not agree to this, and mirror the Russians' readiness state, going to Defcon 3. The Chinese soon follow suit.

Colonel Chekov believes that the Russian president is being forced into military action by his top military personnel, including Kiselev. Chekov pledges to try to use his contacts in the Russian military to put up a united front in support of the president and against Kiselev. Meanwhile, the US military goes to Defcon 2.

Daniel manages to get to interrogate Kinsey to try to figure out what the Goa'uld plan is. The Goa'uld controlling Kinsey is mostly arrogant and unhelpful, but he does reveal that there is an ultimate goal. He also seems very unconcerned that if a nuclear war were to begin, he is at what would be ground zero in a first strike - meaning that he has some means of escape. Meanwhile, General Kiselev discovers Colonel Chekov's efforts, and sends forces to arrest Daniel. Daniel beams himself and Kinsey to the Prometheus. The Russians are fully ready for war, and the US goes to Defcon 1.

The Trust/Goa'uld agents on board the al'kesh attack the Prometheus in order to kill Kinsey and keep him from revealing information. During the fight, Kinsey escapes and uses the ring transporter to beam to the al'kesh. We see him handle some unknown Goa'uld devices, and then the Prometheus destroys the al'kesh.

Carter, O'Neill, and Chekov brainstorm and eventually realize that General Kiselev had prior associations with the Trust through a subordinate and is in fact already a Goa'uld. Kinsey's "assassination" attempt was purely to throw suspicion on the US government. They contact the Russian president and present him with this information to convince him to override Kiselev's efforts at all cost. Although they lose contact with the president, they apparently are successful, since the Russian military begins to stand down.

This episode had a lot going for it: the logical continuation of a number of plot lines, a dramatic escalation of military tensions, and a look at O'Neill under pressure. However, I didn't feel like the urgency of the episode really came through. After all, the US military was at Defcon 1, US and Russian bombers were en route, and a Russian missile silo was even opening for launch. Somehow, though, things seemed way too calm. I suppose it's good that the SGC personnel can take this situation in stride, but it detracted a lot from the episode for me.

What is the status of the Trust now? Even though some of the Goa'uld/Trust members were killed on the al'kesh, it seems like a logical assumption that some of the Goa'uld/Trust members had made contact with non-Goa'uld/Trust members on Earth in order to begin a complete takeover of that organization. Has that happened yet? Will any of the non-Goa'uld Trust agents realize what's happening in time to try to stop it? How far into the US and Russian governments has the Trust penetrated? We never figured out what system lord the minor Goa'uld in the episode were working for, so that is still an open issue.

Is Kinsey dead? It seems unlikely, given that we got a long look at him using some Goa'uld devices before his ship was destroyed. More likely he escaped in an escape pod somehow. I found it both ironic and very just for Kinsey to have been taken over by a Goa'uld. It seems very fitting for the SGC's opponent from the start to find his end as a Goa'uld host.

One character note: the interaction between Daniel and Captain Voronokova was a treat. Voronokova's superior attitude concerning all things Russian (from her ability to speak English to Russian food) was amusing, as was Daniel's bemusement at it. Unfortunately, not too much was done with Voronokova's character; she could be in some trouble for allowing Daniel to escape with Kinsey, although I hope not.

My last comment is about the episode's ending: it was way too abrupt. We get the observation that the Russian missile silo is closing and the bombers are reversing course, but is that it? I'm sure that the reduction of military readiness in all countries involved must be as mutual and simultaneous as the increase, otherwise a country would feel like it was open for attack. What about this touchy issue? Also, did the Russian president successfully apprehend Kiselev and confirm he was a Goa'uld? Would that really make the Russian president dispell his paranoia concerning the possible compromise of the US government? We needed a big of an epilog on this episode.

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