Stargate SG-1: Season 6, Episode 6

Abyss (19 Jul. 2002)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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The Tok'ra Thoran arrives at SGC to advise that Col. O'Neill, who had been with the Tok'ra recovering from his illness, walked out of the Tok'ra base and now cannot be found. In fact, ... See full summary »

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Title: Abyss (19 Jul 2002)

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The Tok'ra Thoran arrives at SGC to advise that Col. O'Neill, who had been with the Tok'ra recovering from his illness, walked out of the Tok'ra base and now cannot be found. In fact, O'Neill is now a prisoner of the Goa'uld system lord Ba'al. While with the Tok'ra O'Neill had agreed to been implanted with a symbiote which would allow him to heal. Sam explains that that only the symbiote could have the base and O'Neill would know nothing of it. In fact, O'Neill doesn't know where he is, isn't aware of the information wants and seemingly will be tortured until he talks. O'Neill gets help from an unexpected source. Written by garykmcd

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19 July 2002 (USA)  »

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Goofs

When O'Neill first wakes up in the sarcophagus, his shirt is intact. In the close up, he already has a knife wound in his upper left chest that he hasn't received yet. See more »

Quotes

Ba'al: I am Ba'al.
Colonel Jack O'Neill: That's it? Just Ball? As in bocce?
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Featured in Stargate SG-1: Citizen Joe (2005) See more »

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Written by Joel Goldsmith
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This arc is starting to go Baalistic
16 August 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This is a very odd episode, which focuses a lot on dialogue at the expense of action. It follows up on the decision to blend O'Neill with a Tok'ra (Kanan). Unfortunately, Kanan then left on a mysterious mission. Part of the plot line therefore follows SGC's attempts to understand what might have happened to let O'Neill (sans symbiote) be captured by a Goa'uld named Ba'al.

So everybody, meet Ba'al. In years to come he will become Earth's most persistent pest. He may even start to grow on you --like fungus. Anyway, for now he's is just another Goa'uld, one who's busy torturing O'Neill in order to wring the truth out of him. (Cruelty apart, that gravity-altering device is brilliant!) Which is all the more cruel since O'Neill really has no idea what he's doing there. Initially, at least.

This is where the problems start: the plot line has a lot of potential, but all the action is cut out so that we have to guess at what happened. This is meant to put us in the character's shoes, but the result is frustrating at best. Meeting Kanan would have helped us understand him and sympathise; instead, we only hear about him second-hand (apart from the brief intro); it doesn't help that nobody ever wonders what happened to him after he deserted O'Neill. Presumably, he died for lack of a host, but nobody ever checks. I guess the Tok'ra do leave their own behind.

Anyway, the episode spends time on O'Neill's surprise visitor in jail. At first, I was afraid that "Daniel" might be another trick of Baal's -until he and Jack started bickering about Life, the Universe and the Rest. Only Daniel can be that touching and that annoying at the same time: he feels for Jack, but spends the whole episode sitting here while his best friend is being repeatedly tortured to death. Now, I am certain that Teal'c's brilliant idea, coming right when Daniel mysteriously disappears, is no coincidence; still, it is time to start wondering whether Ascension can really solve anything. (Btw, should "Abyss" be understood as the opposite of Ascension? Because there doesn't seem to be a connection with the movie.)

To sum up: Abyss marks another deterioration of the relations between Earth and the Tok'ra. It has some very touching moments, but on the whole I tend to think it could have been improved by balancing dialogue and action more equally. And frankly, delightful though it was, I am not sure that bringing Daniel back so early, even as a guest, was a good idea, as it really stole Jonas's thunder.


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