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Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Stargate SG-1 seasons 9 and 10

I'm sitting here, still full of endorphins after SNL's Presidential Bash, watching a rerun of Stargate SG-1--"Line in the Sand," one of the final nine episodes of the series. And watching it, I'm coming to this realization that I may have given the final two seasons of Stargate SG-1 shorter shrift than they deserve.

I mean, yes, the storyline sucked and the themes were flimsy and transparent. The injection of two actors from Farscape as series regulars was suspicious and also somewhat funny. But let's back up for a moment. This is Stargate SG-1. It's always vacillated between the absurd realm of Farscape and the lecturing tones of Star Trek, erring to the side of humour wherever possible. That's what made it a great show. So to criticize the last two seasons on those grounds is rather hypocritical.

So rather than criticizing the last two seasons and harping on how much they jumped the shark, here's a couple of things about seasons 9 and 10 (especially 10) that I love:

t: Daniel and Vala. d: Need I say more? These two have great chemistry. Both Claudia Black and Ben Browder (more so Black than Browder, however) demonstrate that they are versatile enough to transcend their former Farscape characters and inhabit new ones. t: Ba'al. d: As his performance in Stargate: Continuum demonstrates, Cliff Simon plays a great megalomaniacal villain who shows us why every evil overlord should follow the Evil Overlord list. Ba'al's ability to adapt makes him the most enduring Goa'uld (and most enduring villain in the series), even more so than Anubis (who seemed to think everyone else should adapt to him, i.e., he was going to destroy all life in the universe and redesign it to his wants). More than anyone, Ba'al carries the show over from season 8 to season 9, and then continues to be an excellent guest character in season 10, serving as a link to Stargate past and a source of comic relief. t: "200" d: This episode captures the spirit of Stargate SG-1. Throughout its entire run, the show was never afraid to make fun of itself or engage in meta-references. t: "Bad Guys" d: Similar to "200", this show temporarily suspends the threat of the Ori to bring us some "SG-1 Classic": SG-1 gates to a planet without a working DHD, where the Stargate is in a museum, and get mistaken for rebels who have taken everyone at a museum gala hostages. t: The Ori arc. d: No, seriously. The story itself may not have been Stargate SG-1's best; however, the arc itself is enjoyable to watch now that I know how it turns out. Taking a second look at the development of some of the recurring characters (like Tomin and Adria) and anticipating that twists and turns is what made me re-evaluate my opinion of these two seasons.

So there you have it. Stargate SG-1's television run is over, and maybe its last two seasons weren't the best. But they had their good moments, so I think I'll focus on those.