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

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Episode Information

Title: "Gemini"
Written by: Peter DeLuise
Director: William Waring
Rating (out of 4 stars): ***1/2
Reviewed on: August 8, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


The Replicators are back in an episode filled with double-crosses.

Carter and O'Neill get a surprise when they are contacted by the Replicator version of Carter created by Fifth (I will call her "RepliCarter"). RepliCarter wants the SGC to destroy her with the anti-replicator weapon, because she has left Fifth but knows that he'll come after her.

The implications of RepliCarter's appearance are deadly: it means the Replicators are in our galaxy. If they follow their typical patterns, then they will not stop until they have assimilated all advanced technology, basically wiping out the galaxy. Carter believes that before they destroy RepliCarter, they should talk to her and try to gain information about Fifth's plans. O'Neill very reluctantly agrees.

Carter and Teal'c arrange to have RepliCarter gate into the Alpha Site (at least they aren't completely crazy and bring her to Earth). The interrogation starts off with Teal'c guarding RepliCarter with the anti-replicator disruptor in a small room, while Carter watches via video camera and communicates by radio. RepliCarter tells her story: Fifth created her to be a companion, he even conditioned her against SG-1, but he made her too much like Carter, and so she also rejected him. She wants to be destroyed because she really has no where to go and no way to resolve the contradiction of being Carter and a Replicator. Plus, she claims that Fifth will soon dominate the galaxy, since he has devised a way to alter the Replicators' structure to be immune to the anti-replicator weapon. He did not make her immune, however.

Carter relays this crucial information to O'Neill, who will talk to Thor about what they can do to alter the anti-replicator weapon to make it effective again. Despite O'Neill's misgivings, Carter convinces him to let her keep RepliCarter around for further questioning regarding this development.

Carter begins to show some sympathy for how Fifth must have treated RepliCarter. She allows RepliCarter to do the Replicator mind probe thingy, during which RepliCarter shows her some of Fifth's brainwashing programs. She was forced to attack the SGC and murder SG-1 and O'Neill. When the probe is finished, Carter is convinced that RepliCarter sincerely has left Fifth. She tries to convince RepliCarter to help them, in exchange for a new life, presumably with the SGC somehow. Private, however, she assures a worried Teal'c that she is still committed to eventually destroying RepliCarter.

We learn that RepliCarter is secretly communicating with Fifth. Apparently they are not actually immune to the weapon, but have devised this plan for RepliCarter to "defect" to the SGC in order to study the weapon, learn its effects, and thereby figure out how to make themselves immune.

Carter has fallen for this trap completely. She begins working with RepliCarter to study just how the anti-replicator disruptor works, ostensibly to figure out how to modify it to counter the Replicators' alleged immunity. RepliCarter uses the test results to calculate modifications, supposedly. In reality, she is calculating how to make herself immune.

The Asgard drop off an anti-replicator disruptor satellite for Teal'c to put into orbit around the Alpha Site planet. There is little time, because Fifth has "discovered" RepliCarter's location and is approaching rapidly. Although RepliCarter has supposedly finished calculating the modifications, it appears that the modifications will not be uploaded into the satellite in time to be ready for Fifth's arrival. Carter doesn't want to abandon the Alpha Site until the last possible moment in the hope that they will be able to stop Fifth - otherwise, he will be at large in our galaxy.

Fifth arrives and the satellite is not ready. RepliCarter reveals her true plan: she fires the unmodified satellite at Fifth's ship, apparently destroying Fifth and all the Replicators aboard. She has used her study of the weapon to make herself immune, so she easily fights her way to the stargate. She tells Carter that Carter is limiting herself by obeying the rules, and that Carter could be powerful like her - she is now going to take over the Replicators. At the end of the episode, she uses the stargate to go to an unknown destination.

I believe that SG-1's and the other SGC personnel's compassion are generally one of their strengths. But sometimes that compassion really comes back to bite them in the ass. The first notable occasion of this was in season 2's "Prisoners", where they let the psychopathic Linea escape with information stolen from the SGC. This episode showcases the latest occurrence. RepliCarter's knowledge of Carter's feelings and motivations allow her to manipulate Carter with ease. RepliCarter initially plays up her similarities to Carter, especially in their mutual rejection of Fifth. RepliCarter's initial request to be destroyed mirrors Carter's assertion in "New Order, Part 2" that she'd rather be dead than capitulate to Fifth.

However, RepliCarter is strikingly different from Carter in her current motivations. How did she become so power-hungry? Was it an inadvertent result of Fifth's conditioning? Did Fifth program it in for some reason? Is it because RepliCarter was "born" with Carter's lifetime of knowledge, somewhat akin to the genetic memory of the Goa'uld that makes them evil on birth? Whatever the reason for her thirst for power, she uses Carter and Fifth to achieve her goal with no remorse.

What will Carter get from this experience? Although I do think compassion and empathy are generally strengths, I hope that she'll temper those traits with just a little suspicion in the future. Admittedly, this case was unusual, since RepliCarter was such a perfect copy of her - how could she not empathize with herself?

O'Neill's distrust of all things Replicator is confirmed again; he's kind enough not to rub that in at the end of the episode. I question his decision to allow RepliCarter to be brought to the Alpha Site, because now its location has been compromised. In the original plan, RepliCarter would have been destroyed so it's location would still be secret - but how often does the original plan go as planned. So will they move the Alpha Site? We have seen that the SGC has a lot of time and materiel invested in it.

The end of the episode is particularly ironic. Despite O'Neill and Teal'c's protestations, she feels guilty for the events that occurred. Frankly, I agree: she shouldn't have allowed herself to become close to RepliCarter, thus making herself vulnerable to deception. But this isn't Carter's logic for her guilt. She says that RepliCarter learned betrayal from Fifth, who learned it from her, when she lied to Fifth in season 6's "Unnatural Selection". I find this ironic because Carter's intentions at that time were not to betray Fifth, but O'Neill ordered her to. The chain of events caused by that decision has led directly to their current situation.

Daniel is absent after the beginning of the episode; he and Carter are discussing the possibility of one of them visiting Atlantis in the Pegasus galaxy on the Prometheus. Then we don't see him again - apparently he either left for that mission, or is preparing. However, it's a little odd that this isn't mentioned.

What are the consequences of this episode? Fifth and some Replicator minions are dead, but apparently this was not the whole of the Replicator civilization. RepliCarter has gone to take control of them. They are in our galaxy, and now RepliCarter has the knowledge to make them immune to the anti-replicator weapon. They could present a huge threat to our galaxy, although as Carter points out, they will probably focus on the advanced Goa'uld technology first. Will the Replicators wipe out the Goa'uld? Of course, that doesn't necessarily leave Earth and its friends in any better position than they are now.

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