Stargate SG-1

Season 10 Episode 20


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jun 22, 2007 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (100)

out of 10
651 votes
  • The final episode of one of the longest running sci-fi shows in history.

    Why can science fiction writers never come up with satisfactory endings to shows these days. This was an awful way to wrap up Stargate SG-1, regardless of their planning to release a couple of movies in the future.

    The previous episode in which Valla's daughter died and was forced to Ascend left a perfect opening for the writers to wrap up the whole Auri storyline.

    Having finally become an Ascended being herself, Valla's daughter would have finally learned the truth about the other Auri if they still existed, or would have had total control of their power if they had been destroyed by Merlin's weapon.

    She had the power to strip the Priors of their own powers and call off the war, if she was indeed the last Auri, or she could have told her followers the truth if she witnessed the Auri practicing their lies to their followers. Either way, the war would have ended.

    Instead, the Asgard, a benevolent race whom we have come to know and respect, suffered a horrible and meaningless end. I had hoped that with the knowledge of the Asgard at their disposal, SG-1 could at least have saved the Asgard race. It would have made for a much more interesting and significant ending to the series.

    This was one of the worst series finales I have ever seen, right up there with the finale of Star Trek Enterprise when they ended the show with the pointless death of Cmdr. Trip Tucker.

    Stargate SG-1 left the air with loose end, after loose end, and even worse, the extinction of the Asgard people. What was the point?
  • Oh my GOD that was dull!!! I would have preferred a good 'ol cliffhanger to take us into the DVD releases later in the year. What a waste of a perfectly good ending!!!

    Oh my GOD that was dull!!! I would have preferred a good 'ol cliffhanger to take us into the DVD releases later in the year. What a waste of a perfectly good ending!!!

    The problem is they didn't want to give us closure. So they came up with this story that, basically, cancelled itself out the minute they went back in time. SO we're left with a crew with some great technology, dead aliens (which BTW, WHY get rid of them from the story???) and a 160 year old alien working for the SGC.

    Were it me, this episode could have been used earlier in the season and not ended on it. Last weeks episode, when Adria ascended, was the perfect way to end the show. Why didn't they leave it there?????
  • Trapped on board the Odyssey, the members of SG-1 must live out the rest of their lives together when Carter activates a time dilation field to save the ship from destruction.

    Well it was a hell of a ride for my most favorite scifi show, I live in Ontario canada and the last episode was on Thursday, June, 21,2007 on Space at 10:00pm. Well this was the end of the Sg-1 series and wow, they f@#k the series and the fans up the A$$. They had a cool start to the last show then left us at a climax to just wounder what happens to the team and there current enemy the Ori. Do the defeat the ori and in what means they have accomplished this victory. If the show was going to end they just should of left the last episode: "Threads" where they just defeated the Replicators and the Goa'ulds instead of they crappy ending to a great series. The series creators promised a great ending to a great series but they justed F@#ked up the series and they series and fans. The last thing I have to say is they better make a movie to finish the series the proper way instead of this crappy episode.
  • For a final ever episode this was nothing but a disappointment, it started off strong and slowly like the characters aged became weak.

    Well we certainly have an interesting beginning the asguard decide to finally help and low and behold it comes with a price, chased across the galaxy but now armed with the tech to win the team + Landry end up trapped. Enter another trapped Episode in which nothing really happens before they manage to escape from a semmingly inescapable fate (not my gripe)only to back to status quo.

    Now i love this series but this gutter trash is more deserving in the first series then the Final one ever, the hype was low and it's obivous why the season ended. Lack of idea's anyone.

    Starts strong finishes like a 40 stone man in a marathon, agnoishingly slow. ah well hopifully some will come out of this. in closing a bad end to a Beautiful series
  • Starts off good, everything is going great, then all of a sudden a time dilation field pops up and with that the writer shot the episode dead! And there was still 30 min to go!

    A week of feeling sorry that no more SG1 episodes will ever grace the screen again made me feel sad. But now I am more annoyed that sad.

    Again we have another Stargate episode that was disaster. O, it started off well with the Asguard giving the SG1 team all the their technology. Then the Ori coming out of no where and being able to track the team across the galaxy!

    Suddenly after the next jump the team are in a time dilation bubble. Now what happens next is so dam boring it makes my head spin with hatred! In fact, nothing really happens next, you see some idea's some talk, some emotional scenes then you have time reversed. Poor Teal'c even has to keep his years!

    The best way to describe this episode is shooting a dam good series in the foot. This was nothing short than a brutal murder by a dried up writer.

    I guess it's too late now to hire new writers, but one thing for sure. At least we will never have to see another filler episode!
  • I Feel that the writers really dropped the ball on this episode. There were just too many mistakes and inconsistancies for me and in away i wish this episode never happened. Eg. Teal'c older than Bra'tac now, inter-galactic Ori ships, and more

    This episode is incredably disapointing when you think about it. So many people rate it 10/10 merely beacause we get to kick some Ori arse or even worse purely because its the last 'Episode' ever. All i see is a group of writers who lowered their standards because they knew they couldn't possibly screw up future seasons. The following inaccurances just piss me off: Teal'c the 150 year old: What happened---Teal'c chooses to not get his age reversed because he's Jaffa and lives longer What bothers me---1.Teal'c is now older than Bra'tac now but has nothing to show for it other then some grey hairs 2.Teal'c spends 50 years with the members of SG-1 and then it all gets swept under the rug as if it never happen(I sencerely doubt it will be considered again)3.The first 212 episodes (213 if you count pilot as two) showed us ten years of teal'c's life 1 more episode and all of sudden there's another 50 years he's spent with the Tauri talk about a ridiculous figure 212 episodes for 16.7% of Teal'c's time with the Tauri 1 episode for the other 83.3%. Solution to original problem---Leave a note on the ship with the possible solution it might take a couple of weeks to find it but when they do theey can reverse time again, escape and make sure that at the end of the episode everything is tied up in a neat little package. Ori Ships chase them to the Asguard galaxy: What happened---After the Asguard blow themselves up our human friends are attacked by an Ori ship the has tracked the new asguard technology. What bothers me---The Ori can't travel inter-galacticly thats why they built the super gate. Asguard suicide: What hapened---Due to the genetic decline of the Asguard their race is doomed to death they dicide it will be best if they commit mass suicide and die together. What bothers me---Although i can understand why the writers killed off the Asguard i don't like how they did it. The Asguard have been a citical part of the show since the first season, they were a great race and deserved a better good-bye, instead all there was, was a "Hi!" a "Bye!" and a "Boom!" Possible solutions---Thor managed to upload his mind into Anubis' computer so you could also presume that it would be possible for an Asgaurd mind to be down loaded into a Android, the Asguard had Replicator technology and even excluding that if the race for the episode "Tin Man" had managed to create there own brand of android then i'm sure the Asguard could. I can see the appeal to most fans but afterreading this i hope people see the episode from a new point of view.
  • Was this the best the writers could come up with? Very disappointing. They should be ashamed of themselves. How could they treat the Asgard that way?!! And to waste the talent of this wonderful cast on such frivolousness.

    I'm Speechless. I really don't quite know what to say. You've let everyone of your fans down. The final episode could have been handled better. You could have used this episode to set up the movies, but instead you wasted the time of talented actors and demolished a most beloved people, the Asgard.
    Was there any thought in this at all?!! Because it doesn't look like there was.
    The Asgard finally admit that we are the 5th race and entrust us with all there knowledge and what do we do, destroy their legacy!!!
    The writers should be ashamed of themselves!
  • A severe letdown.

    I don't know what episode the other reviewers here were watching, but I found this episode to be tepid at best.

    The entire Asgard Race is wiped out, simply to form a plot point? How could they? It all happens practically before the opening titles.

    Then having the crew stuck in a time dilation field for the majority of the episode (approximately 40/50 years for them) felt like that length of time to me too.

    Where was Jack?

    Where were the epic battles?

    Apart from 3 scenes, where was the humour that made this show so appealing in the first place?

    OK, so it was a character piece. Fine, it worked for Babylon 5, ending with a poignant and beautiful character led episode, but it just didn't work here.

    The production team cannot even use the excuse that they didn't know it was the last episode, or that they didn't know far enough in advance, I just cannot believe that this was the best they could come up with.

    I am sorely, and sadly, disappointed.
  • After 10 Seasons we end with a whimper. A final episode which promised much, but delivered little.

    So here was the final episode of one of the most exciting sci-fi series on TV. It was an opportunity to go out in a blaze of glory. Did it? Sorry but no way.

    It was not as though the writers didn't know that this was the last Season of SG1, so you would have thought that there would have been some sort of arc leading up to this episode. But they didn't. It was almost as though the writers were thinking so much about the forthcoming film versions that they handed the writing of most of Season 10's episodes to the tea boy - someone who had little or no knowledge of the history of the characters.

    This final episode might have been acceptable in Season 3, but not so in Season 10. We ended up with a 'time-dilation' story in which the main characters ended up cooped up together for 40 years or so. This could have developed into in interesting plot device, but the opportunity was squandered. The writers didn't really know what to do with the characters.

    Since General Landry hadn't ever really contributed much to the overall story line it was easy to kill him off. All that Cameron Mitchell appeared to do over the decades was to jog. Not much thought there! Daniel Jackson apparently had the complete Asgard database to study and what did he discover? Nothing! He did of course end up with Vala - but no surprise there. Teal'c didn't appear to do anything over the years - perhaps remaining in a permanent state of Kelnorim until he was needed at the end of the episode to help the team get back to normal 'with one bound'.

    That leaves Samantha Carter. You would have thought that after saving the Earth time and time again over the previous ten years, and forever losing out to the inordinate number of men who were in love with her or strongly attracted to her, the writers might have provided her with some final personal happiness. But no! What did she end up with? A cello! I could make an inappropriate remark about that, but I won't! There might have been some indication that she ended up with either Mitchell or Teal'c, but not even that.

    In my version of the plot I would have had have Mitchell suffering a heart attack on one of his early morning runs; Daniel discovering the Asgard cloning technique, with Samantha just happening to have a lock of Jack O'Neill's hair about her person. You get the picture?

    So the series ended with a damp squib. We now have to wait for the two forthcoming feature films to see if the magic can be recaptured.

    But we will see Samantha Carter again in Atlantis. I do hope they give her more to do than in most of the Season 10 episodes that had her just coming up with the odd bit of technobabble.
  • perhaps one of the worst episodes of stargate...

    season finale's of stargate are usually a blast. this one was not- quite literally. the crew get stranded on their ship after an asgard installed time dialation device activates moments before their destruction. the team then spend 50 years trying to figure out how to undo it, only to succeed. so nothing changes. except that teal'c is now 50 years older than he was. how pointless. i was at least expecting a two parter!

    i'd also like to point out that this is NOT the last episode of stargate SG-1! new episodes coming in April... check out the sci-fi website:
  • a very bad ending to an excellent series. the writers created a very abrupt ending to a show that has ran for ten years. the longest running sfi fi show in US history beating out star trek and xfiles. they did not do it justice.

    in ten years a show such as this one must end with at least trying to encompass some of the history, some of the best times and the worst. it should have had some of the memorable characters making a cameo and stirring up old feeling of love, sadness, joy, fear and loss. the loss i speak about is the loss of the series...indeed i did feel some but not as much as i thought i would.

    the storyline was basically the current sg1 team and their commander in chief being stuck on a ship for 50 years. i should think that in those fifty years they would have had some flashbacks of past battles, past victories and past characters. instead its six people getting old and senile.

    classic characters such as general o'neil, bra'tak, apophis, and others should have had at least the chance to say goodbye in one form or the other. and to think that they did not find a solution to the problem of the ori.

    i think the writers secretly or subconciously wrote this episode with the hopes that it wasnt the end of one of the greatest series of all time and are just saving their best ideas for a future season. they should also understand that to start a season generally, there is a two hour pilot. i was not looking forward to a 40 minute ending that im sure had a bigger audience than the first episode. they should have given that to us as a gift for our years of dedication.

    a slight look back on memorable episodes... the day tealc started fighting for the good guys. i can still remember the look on general oneil's face when he asked tealc for help. the episode tealc had to kill daniel jacksons wife... the love in his eyes was too close to real. the time major carter and geneal oneil spent in the cave in antartica... for a minute there i thought they were gonna hook up. the day the goulds lost the war...bitter sweet. i could go on and on with memorable episodes but one thing is for sure i know i will not miss any of them because they will be in syndication for years to come.

    and in finale... we (i) have lost a show that i have so loved and it shall be missed...INDEED.
  • No, no, no. When writers loose their minds is what this should have been called! Or save the best for the films. This is a filler episode at best with the blindingly obvious errors left in the story. In a rush were we!!

    That was possibly one of the worse series finales I've ever watched. I love SG as much as everyone on here but as it has been pointed out has the person who wrote the screenplay actually watched SG before?

    It was painful and shameful to see the Asgard commit mass suicide within the first 5 mins. It's like the writer said "you're all dead" ... Thor "why"... Writer "it was the Salmon moose" I mean come on. To add insult to injury the next scene Ori ships are being taken out with Asgard upgraded weapons on the Oddessy. Hang on, were there not a couple of Asgard ships in Camelot that got wiped out with the first wave of Ori Ships. And when did Asgard use beam weapons!

    The fact is the Asgard were to powerful for the Ori so mass suicide was the only way to clear the way for more story lines. The Asgard dying was to be expected but this was not respectful or truthful to the SG universe.

    I could go on but most reviews here have mentioned the other flaws through out this episode. I have yet to see Ark of Truth and by all accounts it sounds like this should have been the finale so hopefully my faith will be restored.
  • What the............

    What the, Did I sleep through some of this. How could they end the show in this manner. Not only was it a little boring but it didn't have the umph that made the star gate series what it is today, shame on them. It's almost as if they just ran out of ideas and thought ahh forget it, lets save something for the direct to video films.

    I can't believe how close it was to being absolute rubbish. I have religiously folled SG1 on its adventrures through the stars since the film came out. My loyalty is rewarded not by making the best damned ending they could but rather making an episode, as it seems to me, slapped together at the last moment with no real thought behind it.
  • This episode is entitled "Unending" and thats exactly what it is... The Unending. Although this episode is the last TV episode with the title "Stargate SG1" it is far from being the last episode in the Stargate Saga.

    This episode didn't have much for a high rating but we have to remember when watching this episode that there is a movie or two in the making and there is still the Stargate Atlantis spinoff. Characters from SG1 will make apearances in the episodes and I hear Amanda Tapping is going to be a recurring character. Hopefully Daniel Jackson does too. I loved him in "The Pegasus Project". Also fans on thew show dont under estimate The power of DVD sales. Buy enough DVDs and they'll make more episodes. Dont be put off by the absence of Jack O'Neill. He's only one character. Rumour has it that he's going to be in the movie anyway. If your like me and just love the show then WATCH THIS EPISODE!!!!! P.S. this episode has nothing to do with the main plot but the futre seasons of Atlantis and the movie will be based around stuff from this episode.
  • The series ends with the Asgard giving their technology and knowledge to the SG-1 team.

    This was an OK episode on it's own, but no way to end the series. It had no real wrap up of either the current season, or the series as a whole.

    To me, if you watch a series finale, you should know that it is the end. This episode could have passed as any average filler episode...if no one told you it was the finale, you might tune in next week expecting to see a new episode.
  • Painful for 2 reason: is the final episode of my favourite serie! & 'cause is a low average epidose...the Asgard issue was the best in this episode...

    in the beginin we have a very emotional moment with thor.... he say good bye and pass us the asgard legacy!

    then we have masive action!!!: Orilla was destroyed, and the new "fasers" of the updated starship were awesome!!!!

    and later of all that exating moments comes the boooring part..... if i didnt like sooo much the characters (excepting vala and cam... i hate that 2) and the serie.. i didnt watch completly this episode....

    What happen with Richard DA!!!!! why he couldn't be there??? they can invite him to other episode in this season but for the final he doesn t show up???

    i was waiting watch all the current charts in this episode master b for example and some others....

    i know the fact of the movie but if it didnt happen???? this was the real final of stargate sg1?....

    its hard say good bye to this show.... but its good to know that ill could see some of my favourite actors and charts in SG atlantis!

    now its time to wait for a movie!!! (hope soo)
  • It was used on FARSCAPE, where Crichton and Aeryn found themselves stranded on a planet with a faster rate of time than on Moya. And, to a certain extent, on STAR TREK: TNG, where Picard was put into a brief coma by an ancient satellite.

    And, frankly, I found both those versions more poignant than this one. I mean; I felt little (if any) empathy for the characters, whatsoever. Not even during the death of the "elderly" General Landry, or the implied miscarriage of Daniel and Vala's "child!" Which is the true tragedy, here. Maybe if the writers had used this one, for the 200th episode, and used the good-natured self-parody for the series finale, I might have felt different. I might have enjoyed both a lot more. But, they didn't. So, I'm afraid I didn't. And, that's a sad way to cap off ten otherwise good years.
  • This is becoming a cliché for SF series finales

    Damn, I'm hating Star Trek: The Next Generation more with each passing year. It's not just that show was overrated (you couldn't pay me enough to watch most of the episodes today), but it introduced some things that have since become routine for science fiction shows today. For one thing, all season finales must be cliffhangers with the characters on the brink of death, facing an impossible situation. For another, series finales seem to desperately need time travel of some kind, thanks to "All Good Things..." In that, Picard went bouncing around time, trying to save the universe from an "anti-time" rift that supposedly grew bigger as he went back in time yet was still plenty big in the future. And they all died trying to plug the rift, but were all resurrected. After that came Voyager, where Future Janeway goes back in time to save present Janeway. Oh, did I mention Future Janeway died and Future Seven and Future Chakotay died, but they were saved in the new timeline? Deep Space Nine didn't have time travel, but Sisko died. Maybe. The execrable Enterprise finale didn't have anyone dying, but there was time travel of a sort with Riker watching the "old" stories on the holodeck. And now this. General Landry dies. Later SG-1 dies, but only for an instant. Then everyone gets resurrected. And Carter pulls out a magic solution to their problem. Not something she ever knew how to do before, but something all new. That's cheap. Really, really cheap, like most of the ST: TNG "miraculous subatomic particle" deus ex machina stories. Writers who make up this kind of resolution are cheating in the worst sense of the word. It comes completely out of the blue and of course, because it's future science, the viewers can't say, "but that won't work!"

    Once, just once, I'd like to see a finale where if a character dies, they stay dead.
  • Week ending to an amazing show.

    I think the classification says it all. Ok so the Azgard gave the SG team all there knowledge...which apparently all fits onto there little ship. They end up trapped in a time bubble....for the entire show!! No O'neal, no closure. Its bad enough they decide to cancel the best show on TV, they decide to end it like that. The entire Episode was a waste. Vala and Daniel "hook-up" but dont really, Daniel studies and learns a ton of Azgard knowledge....but doesnt really. The Ori are still alive and well. The Azgard are dead, and tealc is now in his hundreds. They didnt even lead into Carter going over to Atlantis.....I guess that will come in the next Atlantis episode.
  • I wanted this to be very good

    I rushed home to see this because I loved this shoe alot, but this was disappointing. The movies better be good, I was looking for a battle something to leave me in the balance, something for me to go oh man but it it did not. However what I did like was Vala and Daniel finally getting together that was a very good fit. Now it is up to Atlantis to keep me going.
  • What a disappointing way to end a possible groundbreaking series and might be used by future series creators!

    What a disappointing way to end a possible groundbreaking series and might be used by future series creators! I was quite dispointed at what they cook up for this finale, with all of the build up that SF Channel had for it.

    This episode didn’t feel like a series final nor even a season finale, it like it was an episode that was meant to full up the episode quota that TV series have. Because a good majority of the series finales that I have seen in my years of watching TV, they end the series in a big send off and set the slate for the possiably of movies for the series, this didn't happen with this episode of Stargate SG-1.

    This episode felt like it could have been used in an earlier episode and it would of set up a lot of plot points in the series that could of explored by the writers of the series in later episodes, but the powers at be didn't take this course of action and I wish that they did.
  • What a disappointing way to end a possible groundbreaking series and might be used by future series creators!

    What a disappointing way to end a possible groundbreaking series and might be used by future series creators! I was quite dispointed at what they cook up for this finale, with all of the build up that SF Channel had for it.

    This episode didn’t feel like a series final nor even a season finale, it like it was an episode that was meant to full up the episode quota that TV series have. Because a good majority of the series finales that I have seen in my years of watching TV, they end the series in a big send off and set the slate for the possiably of movies for the series, this didn't happen with this episode of Stargate SG-1.

    This episode felt like it could have been used in an earlier episode and it would of set up a lot of plot points in the series that could of explored by the writers of the series in later episodes, but the powers at be didn't take this course of action and I wish that they did.
  • The last one ever?

    That was a huge disappointment. I was expecting closure after ten seasons and I was wrong. The Asguard all gone, SG1 get all their goodies and we don't see them really do anything with it.I would of expected some battle, if not an epic, but this was all character driven. And the actual ending leaves it wide open for a feature film or possibly another series. Having Tea'lc age much slower than the others so that he can still take part in the missions when time goes backward, come on. End of term report try harder next time.
  • Would have been pissed if there were no movies and this was a real 'final ep' because this is at best -a mid season final.

    The ONLY things that actually matter in this "finale" (giving of the the tech/database and the death of the Asgard) happens in the first 6min, the rest is just filler that never, ever comes up again.

    So they didn't just use the time dilation function the moment they realized that they needed a significant amount of time to bypass the core-hyperdive, because?

    Oh right because then the characters would have shown actual intelligence and would not have spent decades to not only recreate the tech used in Merlin's Mantle but to figure out how to pull of a 'Superman 1' and. . .turn back. . .time. . .
  • The longest continually running SF show in history, after a great season, ends with a bit of a clunker.

    May I say, ignoring the rushed plot at the beginning, ie the death of the Asgard, which ideally would've taken centre stage in Season 11, and the Deus Ex Machina ending, this episode is not too badly written. The character dialogue and team dynamic are sharp as ever, and the story is actually engaging and rather touching as we see long standing tensions (sexual and otherwise) boil over as the team are resigned to spend the rest of their lives on the Odyssey.

    Where this episode fails is as a finale, it seems the show burned out its action and FX budget earlier in the season as we are left with a bottle episode with little or no scenes filmed outside existing sets, which gives what should have been an astounding finale a somewhat claustrophobic feel.

    As an episode it was good, above average, but as a finale it fails, bringing a disappointing and boring end to the series, almost as if the producers still had one more epsiode to do but didn't want to start off any major plot threads and thus leave the movies open to casual viewers.
  • I feel robbed. (Spoilers)

    This "ending" didn't feel like much of an ending. I guess we got to see what would have happened if everyone got to live (somewhat) happily ever after, but then still get the "bonus" of seeing that SG1 gets to keep doing what they're doing. Come on, though, no ori war conclusion. That would have been the least that they could have done.

    Oh and on the no kids for Daniel and Vala, did you notice the one scene where we see Vala crying her eyes out and Daniel comforting her. My guess would be that was just after she found out that she couldn't have kids, or just had some other sort of issue with her baby making parts.

    Good series, but give me some closure!
  • All good things must come to an end.

    Was a little disappointed with this episode but at times like these we have to look back and see what the show has achieved.

    Was a great show had lots of great episodes the time travel ones are my favourites, characters I actually cared about (thank god they drought Daniel back) and also wasn’t afraid to poke fun at its self. The end of an era I would say and I bet most other people would agree. The team of SG1 will be missed as the show was by far one of the best on TV.

    On a personal note my favourite race …… the Furlings.
  • Kinda disappointed. *SPOILERS*

    I love stargate and the last season was brilliant, but I was a little disappointed with the last episode. As episodes go it was a great one, but as a series finale it left me wanting something more. It didn't really finish off the story. And some of the events seemed to be a little rushed. Like the destruction of the Asgard race. One moment a ship appears and the next a planet it blowing up. I would have loved to see a final battle with the Ori, and their destruction. I hope that they will finish the story properly with a movie.
  • Just hit the reset button..

    So after 10 years and 212 episodes they decide to end the show with them growing older on the ship and of course changing time only to have Teal'c stay old. I mean why him? Why not Vala? I mean the least she could've done for them was to stay old as I really never liked her character much.

    And man, of all the races, why the Asgard? I mean if they were going to 'off' a race why not the unknown Furlings? Make it ironic that of all the episodes we finally see them only that they have to blow the planet up before the Ori destroys them or something. I love the Asgard, they were the only ones that actually did anything for the team and earth, not to mention share most of their technologies. The Nox, not like I cared much about them, but heck, I doubt anyone would care if they were all wiped out. Oh wow they can cloak and heal, but would they at least share some sort of technology or at least try to show they would help the humans over the Gouald. What's up with the whole pacifist thing? What good was their fancy floating city if they weren't going to use them to fight along with even their supposed ally in the Asgard?
    The acended Ancients are another story...
  • A series finale that's not really a finale

    And so it ends, the unlikely and impressive ten-year run of “Stargate SG-1”. Considering the fact that the series had been declared over after nearly every season since it’s initial Showtime cancellation after the fifth season, it’s hard to reconcile the fact that this series finale is relatively self-contained. No doubt some fans will wonder why the series didn’t wrap up the major plot threads before the end of the series.

    The answer, of course, is that the series is not really over in the traditional sense. The series is spinning off into at least two direct-to-DVD films, one of which will be the resolution of the Ori plot arc. In fact, that film (“The Ark of Truth”) will cover much of the ground originally intended for this season’s finale; plans were changed when the cancellation order and film offer came down. Knowing that they could just delay the resolution to the films, the producers felt no need to manufacture a final episode with true closure.

    On the one hand, this could be seen as slight to the fans, who may now be required to buy (or rent) a separate DVD just to see how the story ends. Since the decision to delay resolution was made by the producers, it could be interpreted as a marketing ploy. It’s a fair criticism, because not every fan out there is going to understand or know what the films represent. They’ll just see the series finale as a frustrating cop-out.

    On the other hand, any series with such a long history (and a distinct lack of planning) will struggle with a truly satisfying and all-encompassing finale. There’s always one more element that “should have been there”. Looming large over this finale is the memory of Jack O’Neill and the almost-perfect eighth season finale “Moebius”; a number of fans still consider that to be the true ending of the series. So this finale was never going to be universally satisfying with the weight of so much expectation.

    The result was an episode that could have run at any time, with very little in the way of closure. Perhaps that was for the best. Some might say that the episode provided emotional closure, but with the reset button firmly in place by the end, it’s elusive at best. If there’s a sense of anything in this series finale, it’s that the team carries on like they always have. There really is no end. The mission continues. It’s the kind of non-ending that only works because we know, as fans, that there’s more on the way. Who needs closure when the story isn’t over?

    Once has to wonder, though, if the character development (such as it is) will now disappear. Character has always been somewhat expendable in the “Stargate” franchise, with a simple set of quirks in place of true progression and growth. The films will be more about plot than delving into character depths. So we’re unlikely to get insight into Mitchell, for instance, which quite a shame, as it will feed into the impression that he was an unnecessary addition.

    The relationship between Daniel and Vala gets a tentative payoff, which was a nice touch. The two of them have been dancing around each other for a while, and this was a capable enough way to show that they could ultimately find a life together, The reset button keeps that from getting in the way in the future, of course, so the satisfaction is tenuous. (One might also find fault in Daniel’s harshness with Vala, which was not redeemed by his recognition of how badly he hurt her.)

    All in all, this just didn’t feel like a real series finale, because the elements that would have been present were shifted to the films and some of the characters (Carter, at least) will move to “Stargate: Atlantis” or the proposed new series. This just didn’t feel like the end of a ten-year saga; it was just another episode. And while that made sense from a certain perspective, I couldn’t help but feel that it send off the series with a bit of a whimper.
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