Stargate SG-1: Season 8, Episode 6

Avatar (13 Aug. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 317 users  
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Dr. Lee is adapting a virtual reality chair for use as a training device. Teal'c thinks its current scenario is all too easy and agrees to work with them to make it more realistic. He ... See full summary »

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Storyline

Dr. Lee is adapting a virtual reality chair for use as a training device. Teal'c thinks its current scenario is all too easy and agrees to work with them to make it more realistic. He enters the game scenario and is quickly "killed" at which point the chair shocks him. Lee says it must be part of its basic construct. As the scenario resets - it's an invasion of SGC by Goa'uld - Teal'c is repeatedly killed and shocked putting him in danger. The computer program is set up to learn after each scenario and the challenge for Teal'c increases at every turn. Daniel volunteers to enter the game as well to see if together they can find a way out. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

13 August 2004 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Near the end of the episode, the brightness of the overloading naquadah generator changes because the battery in the prop was dying. The prop had been shared with the Stargate: Atlantis (2004) set for half the day. (Per the DVD audio commentary.) See more »

Goofs

When Teal'c goes into the armory for the first time, the label on the door has it spelled "Armoury". The USAF would spell words, on their doors, in their bases, using American English not Canadian English. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Carmichael: [after injecting Teal'c's heart with adrenaline] That's not gonna work again.
Jack O'Neill: I don't wanna *see* that again!
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Connections

References The Matrix (1999) See more »

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Main Title
Written by Joel Goldsmith and David Arnold
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User Reviews

 
Same player, play again. And again. And again.
25 August 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This is a brilliant episode -you could see it as Teal'c version of O'Neill's "Abyss". There is no Stargate trip, no space ship and no alien menace, but I find it really riveting.

Part of its brilliance comes from the sheer simplicity of the plot. It digs up technology encountered years ago in "the Gamekeeper", which is a great example of continuity. R&D has created a simulation game that actually adapts to the player, so Teal'c gets to test it in order to improve it. Of course, something malfunctions and instead of releasing him when he wins, the IA just keeps creating more missions, practically keeping him prisoner inside a virtual SGC. So Teal'c ends up having to defeat again (and single-handedly) all the threats that have plagued Earth over the last few years.

The whole "game" environment is absolutely great. (I'll bet there's a real game based on this.) You can easily translate what happens in terms of "levels", "reset", "lives", "boss" (and even healing potions). As a real-life warrior, Teal'c is quite a formidable player: tackling every problem calmly and stubbornly, out-maneuvering the game's IA, getting NPCs to help, and even making statistics of previous "games".

But the "action" part, despite its real cleverness, is only the tip of the iceberg. The most interesting thing here is the insight it gives us into the characters' mind (mostly, Teal'c's) Because once again, when all is said and done, there is nothing wrong with the MACHINE. The bug actually comes from Teal'c, and the first explanation that comes to everybody's mind is that he is simply too stubborn to admit defeat. But it turns out that the problem is quite different, and much darker. It's actually *victory* that Teal'c can't believe in, even after (or especially after?) all those years of endless fighting. So this is the one and only time we'll ever see Teal'c beaten, exhausted and ready to give up: a really sobering thought, all things considered.

Despite the focus on Teal'c, however, there are several nice "team" moments. I particularly love how Sam, Jack and Daniel volunteer as one to save Teal'c; I like the fact that the whole team (players and NPCs) is there for the "final level"; and I find it deeply moving that once again it's Daniel who goes in to comfort his comrade(see "Abyss" and "the Changeling").

So in a nutshell, this is a very good, clever and well-conceived episode, with tons of action and technology and some really insightful character analysis.


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