6.01: Redemption Part one


It's very strange. I have watched Stargate with a very mild interest since they killed my favourite character off in Season 4, so I have no particularly strong feelings about the Daniel/Jonas issue at all. Based from a viewpoint of total impartiality therefore, this is what I personally felt:

Whatever I thought about the actor himself, who I do not rate at all.....I did think that the character of Daniel was well rounded and very visible. He seemed to act as the conscience of SG1 using childlike enthusiasm, expertise and diplomacy to offset the cold science of Sam and the horribly gung ho **** spouted by Jack on nearly every occasion. The mistake the producers made was to make that Daniel into gung ho, fit into the team, rooting tootin and shootin Daniel.

Enough about Daniel who has now gone. Suffice it to say that the show has lost an angle which was one of the cornerstones of the Stargate concept.

Jonas........Jonas is a 'non' personality. He's a bland, tea drinking, grinning young man who is desperately seeking approval. Whether or not he's a traitor or hurt Daniel or not.....pound of flesh per pound, he is less qualified to join SG1 as a permanent member than the little tech guy with the glasses who opens the iris (can't remember his name). Less qualified than poor Captain Hagen or whatever his name was who got shot with a dart at the beginning of the episode. He floated around on the periphery and even the shot of him standing staring ruminatively at the Stargate, books under his arm and large mug of tea in his hand seemed weird somehow. In fact the character made very little impact on me. McKay made more of an impact on me than Jonas did, if only for the fact that Stolid and Boring Sam loves to hate him.

The Redemption episodes were rushed. I dislike being hurried from one bit to another with few real explanations, but I do understand that they have limited time to show stuff. I like my stories to unfold not slap me in the face. Jack was supreme in this episode....lots of the eyebrow raising, facial twitching, jerky movements seen in other episodes which passes for McGyver's idea of method acting. Sam was........god.....she was BUTCH....where have her boobs gone? Why does her hair look like someone attacked it with a knife and fork? Someone wrote to me privately and said that they almost expected her to grunt, spit on the floor and adjust her package! And they were right. Sam is turning into a man. Surrounded by too much testosterone probably. Out of everybody, I thought Teal'c and Bra'tac were the best....in fact the scenes with the Jaffa were the best.

Jonas, poor little bland Jonas, stuck in the middle of all of that 'Oh no...the earth is under attack and Sam can't pull a solution out of her butt' he seemed lost....wandering around pleading with somebody.....anybody to recognise he existed.

So....they take him off base. "You've been here three months now, General Hammond thought it was time you should get off base ".

Okay, so what is with that? This is an alien from another planet whose loyalities are questionable without a doubt and three months is enough time for the authorities to have questioned and examined him and his motives, decide he's squeaky clean enough to see a HIGHLY CLASSIFIED PROJECT?

Is it just the military in me, or does anyone else have a problem with that? In the military in order to be allowed to handled classified Top Secret UK Eyes Only documentation, I had to go through years of training and then in depth examination of my life and my forebears up to three generations previously, including what my great grandmother's dog ate for breakfast on the day she died, before they would pass me as fit to see such things.

Yet there he is....toddling around with the gang, wide eyed, smiling while Jack does his usual monosyllabic acting
'No.....no.....no.......no......no......and in case anyone is in doubt about how I feel....no' because at a moment's glance at a highly technical piece of flying equipment, Jack is able to see that he won't like risking his life in it. Sam is busy doing her technobabble part accompanied in this season by a smile. (Something we didn't see her do much before) and Teal'c is his usual inscrutable, man of few words self.

The few light moments were the exchanges with McKay.

What I have heard from fans worldwide are the following:

"Is it just me or does Jonas make eating grapes look sexy?"

The answer to this last gem was:

"Hee hee......just wait until you check out his banana!"

"Wow, check Jonas out in that tight little tee shirt!"

"Wow what was with that smile Sam gave in the X203 when she and Jack were doing the checks? <sigh> that was such a Sam and Jack shippy moment!"

"That conversation Sam and Jack had about cake was so cool and SOOOOOO cute....." Cooed another few fans.

(Another moment in which people apparently seemed to see some sort of meaningful relationship in this. All I saw was two equally boring people going to eat cake because one finally couldn't pull a solution out of her butt, and the other wasn't going to even try because he was way out of his league in the situation!)

Not one fan has even mentioned or discussed the fact that earth was desperately in trouble and that this Goa'uld had technology which could possible win through against the God-given right handed to our fearless and god-fearing US military brethren to defend this planet (for 'this planet' read America, the rest of us would just be standing around picking our noses while the planet got annihilated of course!)

At the end of this episode, all I could think of to say was 'why in hell did that child Ryac not pick his bloody feet up when he walked?' They had him in these huge fishing waders, he clumped along the corridors with his dad and Jack and all I could hear over the dialogue was this irritating drag and thump sound that children make when their shoes are too big for their feet. So....they couldn't get him a pair of fishing waders to fit? Or perhaps he was just being an irritating child. In fact, he was irritating all the way through, from his lip trembling tearful aggression at the beginning to his dragging feet at the end. If he'd been my kid pouting and whingeing to be allowed to prove himself, I'd have shoved him back, given him a knife to peel potatoes and told him to grow up a little first.

On the upside.......'What? There's an upside to all this?' I hear you gasp! The producers and writers have made a conscious effort to inject some life into the show, which was moaning and gasping to be allowed to die quietly at the end of last season. And there were some parts which were very good.. the interchanges with the Russian Colonel for instance, the scenes with the scientists and McKay and Bra'tac who is always an absolute delight to watch. Hopefully these positives will creep through and invade the rest of the episodes and build up.

But Jonas? Oh dear....he was okay, he would pass in the dark with a big push and a man on a galloping horse wouldn't even know he was there. And Jack only took him on the team because he was the lesser of two evils.....Hammond would have forced him to have one of those pesky darn Russkies, who are only second in the line of villains to the Goa'uld in our intrepid Jack's eyes. And the military/government would really allow him to have that choice? No wonder they're making decisions in real life which are going to get us all blown to smithereens!

My critique for what it's worth. But I think that many of those Daniel fans need to look at their reasons for liking a character, because in general, they seem to be all hormonally based..... Many seem to be switching loyalties based on Jonas' sexy grape eating, tea drinking, tee shirt wearing persona rather than whether he would be an asset to a first line fighting team!

Dear Anni :) I do hope you will continue with your critiques for the coming series. They're more entertaining, logical and intelligently written than the show, which, for the most part, I probably won't be watching, as TPTB have stretched credulity wa-ay past breaking point for me. Gung-ho 'Boy's Own' sci-fi was all very well in the '50s, but not in the 21st. century. Been there, done that and the T-shirt's far too small now...

Best wishes,
Hatshepsut - who does not consider the ability to eat grapes while watching television and reading other people's private diaries* suitable qualifications for someone involved with National Security - :wave:

*heinous sin in our house. We taught our children respect for other people's privacy.
Anni wrote:

So....they take him off base. "You've been here three months now, General Hammond thought it was time you should get off base ".

Okay, so what is with that? This is an alien from another planet whose loyalities are questionable without a doubt and three months is enough time for the authorities to have questioned and examined him and his motives, decide he's squeaky clean enough to see a HIGHLY CLASSIFIED PROJECT?

I've been saying that for MONTHS now. I'm glad someone finally agrees with me. I can't for the life of me think of a plausible reason for Jonas being allowed to: 1) roam around a top-secret military base at will, 2) memorize highly classified material, and 3) visit another top-secret military base to check on the status of a classified project.

Anni also wrote:

Sam was........god.....she was BUTCH....where have her boobs gone? Why does her hair look like someone attacked it with a knife and fork? . . . . Sam is turning into a man. Surrounded by too much testosterone probably.

Right again! I'll be damned if I can understand a certain segment of viewers who apparently are watching a different show than I am. Sam's been getting progressively butcher each season, and for that reason alone, I can't buy the ship. It's to the point now where I routinely mistake her for a guy whenever I see her from behind or from a distance of more than 20 feet.
keeping jonas on the base

well, where else are they gonna keep him?
The sgc's secret status isn't secret to him. He's already there. The base is secure and the key card system and video surveillance prevents anyone from going where they're not allowed. For all we know, Jonas spent most of those 3 months with an SF escort keeping an eye on him.
Keeping him on the base is no different than what they did with Teal'c in the beginning. In fact, Jonas was 'confined' to base longer than teal'c was. It was Cold Lazarus before he was let to go outside, and after 5 years, he apparently still needs a human escort.
Sorry Skydiver, I don't know if you misunderstood what we were saying. I don't think anyone was actually arguing about whether he should be kept on the base.....I think the discussion was about the fact that he was allowed *off* the base after only three months.

I say again, the positive security vetting procedures for a human being are very long and indepth, certainly here in the UK. It took six months for mine to come through so that I could be attached to the Special Forces. But what everyone is saying that it only took three months for Jonas to be accepted on a high security first line action team and to be allowed access to highly classified material.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Jonas would have had security following him about on the base, and yes, he does know about the project. This doesn't make him NOT a security risk. He is an alien from another planet whose flight to earth to ask for refugee status was under questionable circumstances. He stole a substance from his own kind in order to bargain for acceptance. Do we allow refugees to walk into our top secret establishments and take up posts which require an extremely high level of trust?

Well we don't here in the UK. Do they allow it in the US? Mind President Bush's family were partially responsible for the movement of Nazi scientists to the US and putting them in high security positions in various pharmaceutical and scientifically based companies last century, so perhaps I'm answering my own questions here. (These facts are freely available in documentation released under the FOIA - Freedom of Information Act and are not a matter of secrecy.)

So.....what are we saying here? That the US are prepared to do almost anything in order to fight the Goa'uld, including risking allowing what is, in actual fact, a traitor to his own planet, to fight on our behalf? The governments, scientists and specially trained troops which exist on the rest of our planet, not to mention the populations, including the general American population are not to be allowed to either know or fight or use their expertise in any way, but an alien from another planet who may or may not betray earth is? At least with Teal'c there was his knowledge of the Goa'uld and their methods which was at least invaluable.

Boy......US ethics are looking more frail every time I see them displayed, both in reality and in TV shows.

I certainly would not be happy for a country with such questionable ethical behaviour to act for me or mine when it came to first contact with alien species. I'm not particularly overjoyed that the US are sabre-rattling at the moment and I was there in the Gulf the first time.

well, as far as i can see he was allowed off the base only when he was escorted by two air force officers and a trusted alien. They no doubt were driven by staff car to peterson AFB, boarded a military plane, landed at Nellis and then were driven by military car to the hanger. To go home they reversed the process. Jonas' contact with the outside world would be minimal at best.

In fact, he was trusted less than Teal'c who was allowed off world weeks (?...whatever the time frame from COTG to Cold Lazarus was) in the company of two air force officers and a civilian...and teal'c got to go out into the public where one stray wind gust could let the tattoo out of the bag
Neither of them should have been allowed that much leeway under any circumstances! Teal'c would have been shown the way to an dissection table and Jonas straight to an internment cell! Or at the very least house arrest! After all, isn't that what's happening in the US right now to people of Middle Eastern origin, even if they have been in the US for a couple of generations?

Don't mistake me. I don't care particularly whether Jonas has taken over from Daniel or not. I never gave a toss about Daniel. I thought he was mildly interesting and added a very civilian touch to an otherwise horrifically gung ho military team. But considering that there have been some horrific arguments over the rights and wrongs of this show and how things are portrayed, people seem very swift to just fold and say.....oh what a lovely episode, Sam was funnier than she had been (i.e. she smiled), Jack was so funny and sarcastic (is he capable of doing anything else.....like actually acting for instance?), and Jonas looks sexy eating grapes and wearing a tight tee shirt (cue giggling from hormonal fans)??

It wasn't a terrible couple of episodes. I have problems with them explaining away stuff that bears greater scrutiny and Jack's idea of good acting has an active 'cringe' factor for me, but then it always did. I won't make excuses for his lack of acting ability by pretending that he does anything for me physically, because he doesn't. For me the star of the show has been and always will be the Stargate itself and what it would stand for if it existed for real.

And should there be such a thing as a 'trusted alien'??? Especially in America, the home of the 'alien abduction' theory, where the only thing an alien wants you for is to probe you with sharp objects and make you have their babies?

the back and forth of the argument of trusting Teal'c vs. Jonas faster just makes me think the SGC is being more advanced than the rest of the military in trusting people from other worlds. At some point it is adapt or die. What's sort of real is the friction the SGC makes with the officials from the Pentagon with the policy.

All I can say is don't mix apples and oranges. Your feelings for the actions of Dubbwa the last month shouldn't "leak" over to a TV show written and produced in Vancouver Canada, and vice versa. I've little clue who, if any, on the producing and writing group was ever in the Services (of any country). It would be cool to know. I imagine the show would be even more in tune with how things really work in real life if they had been... and were willing to put their 2 cents in. As this seems not the case, Stargate seems to play with the XFiles-like government where the red phone on the desk and one call solves all problems.
they're all valid points anni,
and there is the fact that in the 'real world' a colonel wouldn't be leading a field team, a woman and civilian wouldn't be on a first contact team, teal'c would be backstroking through some formaldehyde by now...and so might Jonas. Of course, also in the real world they'd have likely been broken up and not be going out into the field at all simply because they know too much, they're too valuable of a resource.
Sam would certainly have been considered 100% compromised by jolinar not to mention the entiy, jack too for that matter after his little latin problem.

I guess i just let things like that go the way of sound in space and all (or mostly all) of the planets having green grass. :)
Only just seen Redemption as I forgot to set the video (thanks Annette), so a bit late to this discussion.

I think you've covered everything I was going to say, and answered it, and more!

I see you're still unhappy with Jonas. For me, this is only the second episode he's appeared in, though it is obvious that a lot of fictional time has passed by. I think the way he was brought into SG-1 was handled the reasonably well. It could have been better, and they should have picked another person. I'd like to know what happened to the other six? But I'm happy for it to continue, I'm not switching off!

I noticed the personnel files left in the canteen too. :(

The shippy flight checks: Was it shippy? I thought it was a joke on Star Trek. I really never get these Shippy moments. The whole sequence goes:

Sam: Navigation!
Jack: Check!
Sam: Oxygen, pressure and temperature control?
Jack: All check!
Sam: Inertial dampeners?
Jack: Cool!.... and check!
Sam: Engines?
Jack: All check!.... ....Phasers?
Sam: Sorry Sir! All systems operational!

I didn't notice the earlier Chekov reference, but that would also seem to confim what you were saying, about the channel move and trying to prove it's not Star Trek. I don't think that they should do this kind of thing too much. Not in a serious episode anyway, it would be OK in a straight out and out comedy episode like 'Wormhole Xtreme'.

And this does indeed prove Jack is a pilot. But is he really the best Test pilot the USAF has?
And this does indeed prove Jack is a pilot. But is he really the best Test pilot the USAF has?


as to jack being a pilot. I recall brad wright saying somewhere that Jack's a pilot...because RDA says Jack's a pilot :)

and, well you could argue that jack knows how to fly death gliders, and the x-303 is part deathglider and they're using him to preserve the secrecy of the projece...course seeing as earth's destruction was pretty much imminant, what's the good in keeping a secret?
Originally posted by skydiver
And this does indeed prove Jack is a pilot. But is he really the best Test pilot the USAF has?
as to jack being a pilot. I recall brad wright saying somewhere that Jack's a pilot...because RDA says Jack's a pilot
Heh, that's just letting the actor get away with too much. Especially with a character who's background is so questionable. I can go with Jack learning piloting late in life and as part of his prep for promotion to colonel or as a sort of a "well I've been plunked into gliders, maybe flying is a good thing to learn" sort of thing. How "real" that is I have no clue.
Can I just say I loved the episode - the best bit having to be:

'How do I know what colour to wear?' -Jonas
'We call each other every morning!' -Sam

I love it!
And of course a classic Jack moment:

Sam: They're still analysing the flight data recorded, but it looks like a 605-3 error.
Gen. Hammond: Forgive me?
O'Neill: It's the one after 605-2, sir.
i loved sam and rodney's 'wonder twins' moment....when they're agruing...jonas butts in and they both turn with a dual 'what?'
Dave - no problem, glad to be of help.

Enjoyed the episodes. Glad Jonas is sort of fitting in, don't dislike him, he could never replace Daniel but at least hes trying to fit in.
Was funny when Samantha and Rodney were working out how to try and sort out the Stargate problem. Talk about being testy with each other.

annette :D
Just watched this again yesterday - still think it has one of the best Jack lines:

when Hammy is talking to him about having a Russian member of SG1 he says 'over my rotting corpse' and Hammy (with the Russian General in the room) says something like, well i told the general here would would think about it and Jack says ' yeah well, I'm pretty sure my reply would still be 'Bite Me'

Fantastic look on their faces - wonder how many takes that took!

Can I just say, in defence of Ry'ac, that I thought the kid did an excellent job in this one!

I am a strong supporter of Teen Stars and believe that they should at least be given a chance to use their good talents. So many children/teens in the world either commit crimes or are suffering in some way. Therefore, children/teens like Neil Denis should be liked because they're doing something worthwhile, that's good and have excellent talents which they're putting to good use!

Character-wise, Ry'ac has really grown (physically as well as mentally). He started off as a cute kid, then became an evil kid and is now a vengeful teen. I think out of all the episodes he's been in, this is the best. His scenes with Teal'c were among the best ever and were true to all father-son relationships.

Finally, let me say that I really loved that scene where Teal'c, Ry'ac and Bra'tac ring down to the planet and instantly leap into action. For some reason, I just LOVE that image of the three of them standing back to back on the ring platform, weapons ready (I should really find a screenshot of that!). I also LOVE the co-ordination of their battle movements on the surface of the planet. Bra'tac and Teal'c spin their staffs around in expert fashion, while Ry'ac proves an expert shot with his Zat (even if he was standing still all the time, resulting in him getting shot!).

Finally, I feel inclined to point out that on the DVD commentary, the director does mention Ry'ac dragging his feet along the ground and that he kept telling him to pick his feet up. But to be fair, like someone else said, they were probably both heavy and loose. I have boots that are heavy and loose and believe me, they are hard to keep off the ground!

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