Saturday, June 23, 2007

Stargate Finale

Like many people I tuned into the series finale of Stargate SG1 today.

If you don’t follow the series, let me point out that I mean series finale, not season finale. The last episode ever.

I gotta say, I was pretty disappointed. It appeared the whole season was building to a massive confrontation between Earth and the Ori. I was expecting a huge space battle between the Ori Motherships, Earth ships and maybe a good few Jaffa and Asgard ships thrown in for good measure.

Instead…nothing was resolved. Three episodes ago, SG1 got the Ancient’s weapon to the Ori Galaxy and killed the main bad guys, but left the bulk of their forces untouched. Hence my expectation of a huge showdown.

Instead, it just sort of…petered out. I won’t go into detail in case you haven’t seen it, and to be clear, it was actually a good episode…just not a good finale.

SG1 was all about escalation. It started out with the Goa’uld being the ultimate badguys. One Goa’uld mothership could have decimated Earth with no problems. But then things escalated to the point where one mothership wasn’t a huge threat. In fact, it was hardly a threat at all. Every time the defeated the bad guy in a huge set-piece battle, a new enemy would take their place who was ten times as powerful.

To end the show’s run with such a weak ‘throwaway’ episode was disappointing. There was also a rushed feeling to a lot of it. The amount of time from the announcement of the impending doom of the Asgard to their actual demise was about 6 minutes. I felt like they got short changed… badly. It was like the skated over the top of the important stuff we cared about to make space for an incidental story, which if you saw the episode had absolutely no impact other than to give Teal’c a patch of grey hair.

Thor dies along with the whole Asgard race, and it was like “Oops, that’s a shame…nevermind.” Considering much of last season was about battling the Asgard’s worst enemy just made the whole ‘Death of the Asgard’ seem like a really badly thought out plot device.

“Why would the Asgard give all of their knowledge and technology to Stargate Command?”

“Ummmm, they’re all about to die from a genetic disease?”

“Yep, that’ll do”

…and all this despite the fact we’ve seen the Asgard can store their minds in computers over and over again.

I know you can’t completely resolve everything because Stargate Atlantis is still going, but they have their own badguys to worry about. It just seemed like a normal ‘middle of the season’ episode that left a bunch of unanswered questions.

However, what really pissed me off is that the promos for the next season of Stargate Atlantis ruined not only parts of the SG-1 finale, but huge chunks of the Atlantis Finale.

The best part about a season finale is that all bets are off. Mid season you always know the heroes are going to get out of a sticky situation. You know the bad guy is probably going to get defeated. In the last episode, however, it’s perfectly possible for a major character to die, or for something that would be unthinkable mid-season to happen.

The Atlantis finale ended up with the City itself in space with its power failing, with Dr. Weir in critical condition and her survival in the balance.

Which is why I was pissed off that in the first ad break during the SG-1 finale, the promo for the next season of Atlantis said that Samantha Carter from SG-1 was going to be taking over command of Atlantis.

So right away, I know that Carter will definitely survive and Weir probably won’t. I also know the huge cliff-hanger that Atlantis ended on will be resolved with no other casualties than Weir (Who even if she survives will leave the show anyway).

Look, if you’re watching the season and series finales, you’re obviously a fan of the show and will watch the next season anyway. The whole point of a cliff-hanger ending is so that the fans will be eagerly awaiting the resolution in the next season. So why ruin the whole damn thing by giving away the biggest surprises in the promos?

Speaking of that, why do they always give away the death of a character, or the arrival or return of a new one in the promos? The whole point is that “No freaking way!” moment when the character who left two seasons ago walks into frame…why give it away?

Bad TV Execs! Bad!


Joe said...

I've gotta agree with your comments. The creators really slapped us fans in the face with such a wasted episode. The episode wouldn't even be worthy of a regular season episode, much less a series finale. Particularly disappointing is that doing this whole "stuck in time" theory then reversing time basically wasted the entire episode since everything (including memories) was reversed back to "point A".

MC Etcher said...

Yeah. Given enough time, committees will always ruin a good franchise

oni_kin AT yahoo DOT com said...

From what I understand of it, SG1's contract has been renewed only on a year-to-year basis. No long contracts (except maybe these last two seasons). So that makes the writers contrive a "finale" every year on which the series can end on. Since they got the kill-order while filming that Vala Father episode or whatever, I can sympathize that they not only had to show such crap episodes in building to the climax, but also had a whimpering climax.
Ultimately, while Sci-Fi/USA Networks make some of the worst budgeting, scripting, and ad mistakes of anyone, its thankfully only sometimes.
Check out Daniel Jackson's new-ish blog too, it has some interesting commentary on all the final episodes.
Also remember that there are no less than 2 SG1 movies coming out which tie up loose ends the writers couldn't get to in time. And if they get more ratings than season 10, expect much more.