Stargate SG-1

Season 7 Episode 3

Fragile Balance

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jun 20, 2003 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
282 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

SG-1 discovers that Jack has apparently regressed to the age of a teenager, and there is some mysterious connection to alien abductees and the Asgard.

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  • Well, that was definitely one way to get around RDA's tight scheulde that year...

    Thankfully the writers decided against having mini-Jack stop aging, mentally and emotionally, at the age his body stopped at. Jack O'Neill as a teenager is something best left unexplored.

    I loved the way the characters reacted to their CO being a pimple-faced kid. And the interactions between Amanda, Christopher, Michael, and Michael Welch were amazing. The comic timing was impeccible and the dramatic wasn't overwrought, which it ran the risk of being.

    Other than the creepiness at the end where mini-Jack is checking out the high school girls (Jack's closer to fifty than fifteen; I don't care how old his body looks) this was, overall, a great episode.moreless
  • Really cute...

    I most say - this was really refreshing and one of those good take tension of and had a good laught episodes and I adore them. They really add so much color and I am sure we could not take all those too serious episodes on row. There is need for that kind of good humor this episode has.

    I most say, they had done perfect choice while picking that actor for little Jack - he really looked like him and managed well acting and being like him. That could have been the problem if that had not done believable enough.

    I really think it was very well succeeded episode.moreless
  • A great Season 7 episode. These are the kinds of stories that keep the comic relief always going in Stargate SG-1.

    When I saw the teaser for Fragile Balance, I was just watching it in awe. I wondered how this could possibly not be the funny episode that they do every year (the actual funny episode for Season 7 was Avenger 2.0). As I watched the episode, I began to realize that even though it starts off with a light humor that makes us laugh and just be amused by the Jack O'Neill character, the whole episode becomes darker and darker as it moves on. The light humor at the beginning amazingly turns into a sort of dark and intense episode later. Of course, like most Stargate, it regresses back to the light humor of the beginning of the episode at the very end.

    The thing that stands out the most of everything for this episode is of course not only the Young O’Neill character, but also the actor playing him. Michael Welch did an incredible job as Young O’Neill. The reality of it is an actor who was 15 years old at the time of this being filmed, managed to mimic the idiosyncrasies of Richard Dean Anderson. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Richard Dean Anderson WAS Michael Welch playing O’Neill only in a younger body. I know I may be overstating it a bit, but really. To actually correctly mimic Richard Dean Anderson like that requires such talent and at a young age too I would think that it was almost impossible.

    Now that I’ve finished basking over the actor, let’s move on to the plot. Of course, as I find with all episodes of any TV series, there were a few things that bothered me about this plot. Let me begin with the obvious one. How would Loki possibly know that one week after he had put the clone on Earth, that they would happen to be in the same bed as the time that they were taken from Earth. That is the least of the plot holes in the story. When Young Jack is taken from Jack’s house and Original Jack is put back, Original Jack doesn’t have any memory of what Young Jack did over the week. Now this would make sense. But the thing that doesn’t is that if Loki or some other Asgard abducted all of these people over the time, wouldn’t any other people around them find it odd that they’ve forgotten everything that happened to them in the week that they were abducted for. For instance, if the clone had some kind of operation within that week, that Loki wasn’t aware of, when the original was put back, the original wouldn’t have had the operation even if the clone had. I think SOME people at least would have found this the least bit odd.

    All right, now away from all of the plot holes etc, lets move on to the actual evaluation of the story. I know that this episode revolved around Jack, but it seemed that the other members of the SG-1 team barely had ANY significance. If perhaps there had been a little bit more going on than just Jack being a clone and such and some of the other characters were used a bit more, then I would have considered a higher mark. Overall, I give this episode a 7.2 because even though it wasn’t a horrible episode, I’ve seen much better.moreless
  • Brilliant

    This is one of "SG-1"'s all-time greats. Personally, it's my second favourite episode, second only to the brilliant "Window of Opportunity". This episode was supposed to made back in Season Four and I'm glad it wasn't because I doubt it could have been as good as this. The main reason, I think, that this episode is so good is Michael Welch. The whole episode depended on whether or not he could pull off a convincing imitation of Richard Dean Anderson. He not only does a good imitation but he practically makes the role his own, at least as much as he could. When you watch him, you are totally convinced that he is the "same" Jack O'Neill who had been with "SG-1" since the very beginning. Although RDA only appears in the last few minutes of this episode, it's hardly noticeable because of Welch's performance. He's a great actor and was brilliant in "Star Trek: Insurrection", "Joan of Arcadia" and "Frasier." I was pissed that he wasn't in Season Eight and I *will* be if he's not in Season Nine. He was one of the show's best guest stars and best characters for a long time. One of very few bad things about this episode is that Amanda Tapping got too much to do while Michael Shanks and Christopher Judge got too little.moreless
  • One of my favorite episodes, definitely one of the best of the season.

    One of my favorite episodes, definitely one of the best of the season.

    To quote Carter, the young O’Neill is kinda cute. He does create some very funny situations; him convincing them that he is he, him functioning in the SGC and of course SG-1 searching his house. And I didn’t even know they made SGC uniforms in his size.

    Micheal Welch acts great as the young O’Neill. His characteristics, the way he talks and moves, it’s all exactly Jack O’Neill. Even his frustrations match, frustrations that are very realistic. I thought it was a great scene when Young O’Neill thought he was going die and discovered he was a clone.

    I loved the point were grown O’Neill came back. Him having scenes with young O’Neil was great, fantastic even. The scenes on the ship and when he leaves for high school were great. Though I don’t think it’ll even happen, I hope they’ll bring young O’Neill back one day.

Richard Dean Anderson

Richard Dean Anderson

Colonel/Brigadier General Jonathan J. "Jack" O'Neill

Christopher Judge

Christopher Judge


Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Dr. Daniel Jackson

Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping

Captain/Major/ Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter

Don S. Davis

Don S. Davis

Major General George S. Hammond

Peter DeLuise

Peter DeLuise

Loki (voice)

Guest Star

Noah Beggs

Noah Beggs

Security Force Officer

Guest Star

Michael Welch

Michael Welch

Young Jack

Guest Star

Carmen Argenziano

Carmen Argenziano

Jacob Carter/Sel'mac

Recurring Role

Dan Payne

Dan Payne

SF #2

Recurring Role

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Thor (voice)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Trivia: The high school young Jack goes to in the end is "Mountain Springs High School."

    • When the abductees were telling the stories, one of the things said was that they couldn't move a muscle despite being wide awake. However, when we are shown the abductees, the Chinese one in particular, he moves his head to and sees Loki. And, when young Jack is transferred back, he can freely move his arms and use the zat gun.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Young Jack: General, no offense, but you're not the one who went to bed watching CNN and woke up as part of the MTV generation.

    • Hammond: In the meantime, I suggest we try to make him as comfortable as possible.
      Sam: I'll go set up a Play Station.

    • Sam: How are you doin'?
      Young Jack: Well, I think I'm gettin' another zit, and, uh, oh, yeah, I'm still a kid. Uh, but beyond that I'm doin' just peachy, thanks!

    • (examining some Chinese take-out food)
      Sam: We'll have this stuff sent back to the lab for analysis.
      Young Jack: Well, if they find MSG, I will never order from them again!

    • Daniel: Jack's account sounds like a number of UFO abduction case files I've read.
      Young Jack: This you remember, my birthday you forget.
      Daniel: Looks like you'll have a lot more!

    • Young Jack: I don't plan on staying this way.
      Sam: In the meantime, try enjoying this as much as we are. Sir.

    • Daniel: Look, we're not here to take you to the Tok'ra. There may not be much time.
      Duplicate Jack: Never is, is there?
      Daniel: Okay, well, uh--there's no easy way to tell you this, so, Sam's just gonna come right out and say it.

    • Loki: I was stripped of my stature after I was caught performing unsanctioned experiments on humans.
      Jack: What? You've got sanctioned ones?!?

    • Jack: (to Loki) Hey! We just saved your flat little white asses from the Replicators. This is the thanks we get?
      Young Jack: Hey, at least you're gonna live.
      Jack: What?
      Young Jack: Maybe you're a little put out, but this guy didn't hit all the right buttons on the Xerox. This body is gonna fall apart if he doesn't fix me.

    • Teal'c: It would appear that a great many of the Tau'ri have encountered beings from other worlds.
      Daniel: Yep, hmm. Little do they know how close they are to the truth.

    • (about his older self)
      Young Jack: Wow, I'm really much taller than I think.

    • (In Jack's bedroom at the end)
      Sam: Colonel?
      Daniel: Jack?
      Teal'c: O'Neill?
      Jack: What are you all doing in my bedroom?!

    • Young Jack: You know, uh, I think the two of you are enjoying this just a little too much.
      Sam: Well, you are kinda cute.
      Young Jack: That's "Sir" to you.

    • Jack: Carter, I should be irked currently, yes?

    • Jack: I'll tell you what's wrong. I just woke up, I haven't had coffee, let alone a pee in seven days, and I find out you stole my ass and made a... "Mini Me"!

    • Daniel: (describing alien abduction cases) All of this sounds familiar - cliched, even, if you watch enough TV.

    • Teal'c: (looking in Jack's refrigerator) Are you conducting some sort of scientific experiment, O'Neill?
      Young Jack: Hey, that salsa's still good!

    • Daniel: Sounds like [Jack] – at least, the loud grating parts.

    • Young Jack: Would you tell them who I am?
      Daniel: Love to. Who are you?

    • Daniel: Stranger things have happened.
      Teal'c: Name but one.
      Daniel: Well, there was this time he got really old, the time he became a cave man, the time we all swapped bodies...
      Hammond: Why don't we move on to the testing portion of this exercise?

  • NOTES (5)


    • Magazine
      When Young Jack is in his room acting as bait, he is reading Cracked. Cracked was founded in 1958, is one of America's oldest surviving national satire and humor magazines. Its publication was reduced in the 1990s, was erratic in the 2000s, and in 2006, the magazine was revived with a new editorial formula.

    • Young Jack: ...and woke up as part of the MTV generation.
      MTV (Music Television) is an American cable television network based in New York City. It was launched on August 1, 1981, with the purpose of showing music videos, as well as other music news and events. Today, MTV broadcasts a variety of music, pop culture, youth culture, and reality television shows aimed at adolescents and young adults.

    • Young Jack: General, no offense, but you're not the one that went to bed watching CNN...
      The Cable News Network was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. It is a division of the Turner Broadcasting System, owned by Time Warner. CNN offers 24-hour television news coverage, and is America's number one cable news network.

    • Jack O'Neill: You stole my ass and made a mini-me!
      Jack refers to his clone as "mini-me."
      This is a reference to a character from Austin Powers.

    • Young Jack: Seems he's been playing Dr. Moreau behind your back.
      Reference to the H.G. Wells novel "Island of Dr. Moreau" - Moreau is a geneticist who created a race of animal-men on an isolated island. Has been made into a movie several times, most (in)famously with a white-clad heavily-powdered overweight Marlon Brando in the title role.