Stargate SG-1

Season 3 Episode 5

Learning Curve

4
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jul 23, 1999 on Syfy
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
267 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
In the pursuit of knowledge, Jack O'Neill, Teal'c, and Daniel Jackson travel to the planet Orban as part of an exchange program. Daniel and Teal'c remain on the planet -- Daniel to study an ancient mosaic pattern on the floor of their Stargate room that he hopes will explain the origin of the Orbanian people, and Teal'c to prepare the Orbanians, should they ever encounter the Goa'uld, by sharing his knowledge with them. O'Neill travels back to Earth with a young Orbanian girl, Merrin, and her chaperone, Kalan, to present the SGC with a valuable Naquadah reactor. All are surprised when it is the young Merrin who volunteers to stay at the SGC and teach Samantha Carter how to build such a complicated technical device. As Carter and O'Neill spend more time with Merrin, they become aware that she is not a typical eleven-year-old. She is incredibly knowledgeable, but has no understanding of fun or play. O'Neill and the rest of SG-1 uncover the truth behind Merrin's intelligence, and how it will affect her and the other children of Orban. He defies orders and sets out to change Merrin's fate by taking her off base, to show her the value of what her childhood could be like and what she has been missing.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Jack makes a new friend, then loses her, but in doing so changes a civilization...

    9.0
    This was an emotional episode. I'm a guy and normally don't speak about being moved, but I truly thought that this episode was a little moving. And what truly made this episode moving was how in the end the girl didn't "live", her mind was wiped, but in doing so she gave her people what they needed to return to learning the normal way. I really like when Jack gets real determined and feels strongly about something, and this episode showed the more passionate side of Jack where he'll disobey orders on principle. It really made the episode feel real to me.moreless
  • Learning to be a kid..

    9.6
    I loved this episode. First it was very important episode for O'Neill but more than that, I was amazed by the storyline - ok, it was not action of motion storyline or anything like that - it was very emotional and somehow different thing what you do not see on this serie often, maybe that's why I even enjoyed it more.



    The way those people understand things so different, the way it was shown and how hard it was to humans to understand and respect their way of things and what came out - sometimes there can be happy endings and those are even more enjoyable.



    So beautiful episode.moreless
  • Good O'Neill development

    8.1
    This is what I refer to as a "purpose episode". It introduced one of the most important pieces of technology in the Naqahdah generator. It will come into play heavily in the later seasons and especially in Atlantis. The plot was a little weak and it was a little boring. There was some decent humor in here mostly from Jack. I guess there was another point to the episode that not all planets do not do things as we would like and that we have to try to accept it. Overall an important episode that is not one of my favorites.moreless
  • What a great episode...

    9.6
    This was a very good episode, mainly becuase we got to see the 'nicer' side to Jack O'Neill. At the start of the episode i thought it would be very simple but the story grew more intresting and planned as the episode went on. I liked the idea about a society not teaching their children, or rather leaving them to get by on their own. Considering that this is a 'filler' episode i really liked the story. The writing was well written and the charactor proformaces were good. The only thing that i wonder about is why have we never seen this race again? Considering the are so advanced? and why has Tel'c lately being left out of the major stories?moreless
  • An important episode for O'Neill's character and a fascinating science fiction story.

    8.0
    First off I must say my memories of this episode were not too fond before I watched it again recently, but after watching it I have come to appreciate it so much more.



    The story is a very interesting piece of science fiction: children with nanite in their brains that have them basically harvested at the age of 12. Obviously we would see this treatment of children as inhumane, none more so than O'Neill. Indeed, the side effects of the treatment and the attitude of the citizens towards it as a great honour (especially how the children look at it) are quite strange and scary.



    I usually judge the performance of child actors on how much they irritate me. I can happily say that none of the child actors annoyed me in the slightest, which is quite impressive. I also must praise the performance of Andrew Airlie as Kalan. His performance is very convincing and only makes the whole concept that a culture could have this attitude all the more realistic, adding to the quality of the episode.



    But in my opinion the core of this episode is the impact this alien culture and their customs has on O'Neill. This situation and clash of ideals shows an important side to O'Neill's character. It shows his strength in his beliefs, and is in my opinion made all the more realistic how they never once make a reference to O'Neill's son. The dialogue between O'Neill and Hammond after he returns Merrin does seem a little forced and sentimental, but it's effective nonetheless. On top of that, the very last scene between O'Neill and Merrin is a truly great bittersweet moment in the best Stargate tradition.



    All in all, this is an above-average episode. It may milk the sentimentality a bit, but it's an important piece for O'Neill's character and a great piece of science fiction.moreless
Richard Dean Anderson

Richard Dean Anderson

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

Christopher Judge

Christopher Judge

Teal'c

Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping

Captain/Major/ Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter

Don S. Davis

Don S. Davis

Major General George S. Hammond

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Dr. Daniel Jackson

Britt Irvin

Britt Irvin

Merrin

Guest Star

Andrew Airlie

Andrew Airlie

Kalan

Guest Star

Lachlan Murdoch

Lachlan Murdoch

Tomin

Guest Star

Teryl Rothery

Teryl Rothery

Dr. Janet Fraiser

Recurring Role

Laara Sadiq

Laara Sadiq

Technician

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The first time Merrin asked O'Neill for paper, the dimensions requested were 48 centimeters by 23 centimeters. The second time she asks, Merrin requests paper 43 centimeters by 28 centimeters.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Sam: Ok, so karasa. That's the converter, right?
      Merrin: The heating element.
      Sam: What? When did we talk about the heating element?
      Merrin: In the very beginning when I described the foldnar.

    • Jack: Hello, children. Daniel, no child labour laws here on Orban.

    • Merrin: Urrone children require little sleep.
      Sam: Okay, now I am jealous.

    • Jack: Daniel, have fun. I know you will. Teal'c... make friends. As always.

    • Kalan: Colonel O'Neill. You are most punctual. Merrin and I are eager to participate in this exchange between our worlds.
      Jack: Major Carter is eager as well. She's really looking forward to it. So is Teal'c.
      Teal'c: I will share my knowledge of the Goa'uld freely.
      Jack: Teal'c's eager on the inside.

    • Jack: Uh...fun is, what you do to make yourself happy... like music, games. It's whatever you do when you're not learning to be a rocket scientist.
      Merrin: I am here to teach Major Carter about the reactor.
      Sam: Sounds like fun to me.
      Jack: Whatever.

    • Jack: So, Merrin, I understand you're a reactor expert.
      Merrin: Yes.
      Jack: How old are you?
      Merrin: I'm 11. How old are you?
      Jack: So, Merrin, I understand you're a reactor expert.

    • (Tomin circles Teal'c)
      Teal'c: What is your purpose?
      Tomin: I am making an observation of your physical characteristics.
      (Teal'c turns to face him, but says nothing)
      Tomin: Dr. Jackson tells us you were once a warrior in the service of the Goa'uld.
      Teal'c: That is correct.
      Tomin: I think I understand now why the Goa'uld are so feared.
      (Teal'c raises an eyebrow)

    • General Hammond: In the future, Major, before you activate any device that includes the word "reactor" in its name, I'd appreciate it if you'd notify me first.

    • Sam: Merrin, you're only eleven! Half the interesting things in my life didn't happen until I turned fifteen!
      Merrin: What kind of interesting things?
      Sam: Oh uh... just... stuff.

    • Merrin: You're not a scientist?
      Jack: Oh no!
      Merrin: Then you are not as smart as Major Carter and Dr. Fraiser?
      Jack: Well, that depends on what you mean by... okay, no I'm not.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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