Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Gamekeeper

This episode mainly serves as giving a little (really, not much at all) backstory for Jack and Daniel, independently of each other, when the team are forced into virtual reality devices. The devices draw on the user's memories and imaginations to create completely believable virtual worlds in their heads.

For Jack and Teal'c, this means reliving a mission to infiltrate and East German compound and capture a soviet Russian agent. The mission is one apparently strong in Jack's memory, as it went horribly wrong and the commanding officer was killed. Daniel and Sam, meanwhile, are shown a pivotal moment in young Daniel's life - the moment his parents were killed. After a couple of iterations of each memory, everybody realises it's not real - in part due to the weird, shrouded crowd spectating - and the 'gamekeeper', a flamboyant, rather annoying character pops up to tell them what an amazing chance he's given them - a chance to change what happened. Everybody's annoyed at this misstatement, and the gamekeeper himself isn't helping matters, so he lets the team out of the machines and they return to Earth.

But of course, he didn't really. This leads to a GREAT scene where Jack is trying to "pull [general Hammond's] mask off", searching behind his ears and slapping his bald head. The rest of the episode revolves around the team and the natives of the planet leaving the machines to see the real planet, a lush garden kept by the gamekeeper.

Apart from the 'mask' moment I mentioned above, another nice thing is seeing Jay Acovone again, reprising his role as major Kawalsky. He obviously can't keep appearing too much or he may as well never have died, but I do enjoy seeing him whenever he has a guest appearance.

Something interesting the episode brings up is that while the keeper can't access Tealc's memory because of the naquahdah in his blood, neither can he access Carter's, due to her having been host to Jolinar. This is the first hint that the experience has had a lasting effect on her, something which will be explored more in the near future - a good thing, since it was disappointing not to have seen any of her past in the machines, or any of Teal'c's (although he never really gets good character development until much later in the show). At least his hair was better in this episode than in There But For the Grace Of God in season 1.

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