Stargate SG-1 Review: Thor’s Hammer
Whilst exploring Cimmeria, Teal’c and Colonel Jack O’Neill are transported to a labyrinth where any Goa’uld will die if they try to escape, leaving the host free. The two nevertheless attempt to find a way out, but are found by an unwanted visitor who will stop at nothing in killing them as it attempts to escape. Meanwhile, Captain Samantha Carter and Dr. Daniel Jackson use Kendra, a former Goa’uld host, to guide them to the labyrinth.
Good episode this! I forgot that we get (kind of) introduced to the Asgard this early on in the shows run. It’s actually great fun to see what they started out as in the franchise, giant Norse Gods with booming voices and a tendency to lean towards the dramatic. It’s ever so amusing considering what we know they actually look like. The importance of the Asgard is apparent right from the off to with the clearly impressive technology they have at their disposal. The Government kept saying that it was important to find a race with tech that can help them- they were on the right track here.
Onto Teal’c then as this is very much an episode that puts him in the spotlight. Christopher Judge does great work here and gets to show new sides to the character that we haven’t seen before. He actually looked scared at one point when he first saw the Unas and that’s not something we see very often. Through Teal’c we also learn more about the Goa’uld and in particular these first hosts. We go on to see the Unas several more times over the course of the show, but it’s interesting to note that for a long time they were considered to be nothing but a myth. I also appreciated that Teal’c’s actions as a first prime continue to haunt him. He points out that Daniel’s wife was taken with some help from him and he still feels as though he should pay the price for that. It must have been quite the relief for both Jack and Daniel to show that they don’t blame him. As for the Unas himself, he was actually quite effective. I loved the shadow he cast on the wall as he first appeared and he was a different type of foe to those we have seen thus far. It was always obvious how they were going to defeat him, but the predictable ending didn’t detract from how great it was.
Interesting one for Daniel too. He and Carter are searching for the others, but he wastes no time in finding out all he can about Kendra and how she was able to free herself from the Gao’uld. I actually really appreciated Daniel’s fixation on this. Quite often, it comes across like Shar’e is a mere afterthought, but here we see that she is still very much the main thing on his mind and he isn’t close to giving up on her. That makes his gesture to destroy the device that could save her even more impactful. It’s a clear indicator that he holds no resentment with Teal’c as to what happened and that he considers him to be a vital member of the team. We haven’t had a great deal of Teal’c and Daniel one on one moments yet, but this told me all I need to know about the respect between them.
So a good episode, but there are some things that didn’t make it quite as good as it could have been. Kendra was an interesting character but on the whole, she felt a bit flat. I was really waiting for this part of the story to spring to life and it never really did. The villagers of this world were a bit bland too and it really felt like I was just watching a bunch of extras rather than a new civilisation. Still, when the rest of the episode is so strong, small things like this can be easily forgiven.
Oh, side note. This episode was written by the same person who wrote Emancipation. Imagine my shock when I figured that out.
I Know That Face!
Well, actually it’s voice this time. The Unas is voiced by none other than James Earl Jones. He provided the voice of Darth Vader in a small series of movies called Star Wars.
Thor: This is your prison. Your technology will not function here. There are no luxuries, no worshipers, no slaves to do your bidding.
Jack: Teal’c, I think we just got the answering machine.
Thor: Only basic sustenance, and time.
Jack: Yeah, well, great. Thanks – thanks for the chat.
Jack: Water. Give it enough time and it’ll bring down walls, even walls just like them. So in a couple of hundred years, we’ll be free.
Jack: Teal’c’s here now.
Teal’c: And here I will remain. I was with those who took the ones you love.
Jack: No. You’re part of this family now. We’re not leaving you behind.
The best episode of the first season so far. It may not have seemed it at the time, but this is the most important one yet since the pilot. It also has a fascinating story and some brilliant character development for Teal’c and Daniel.