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URGO
 
RATINGS SCORECARD
GATEWORLD - * * *
FAN POLL - 6.63
SCI FI RATING - 3.3 / 3.5

Season Ratings
EPISODE NUMBER - 316
DVD DISC - Season 3, Disc 4
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE - 01.28.00
SYNDICATION AIR DATE - 02.26.01
WRITTEN BY - Tor Alexander Valenza
DIRECTED BY - Peter DeLuise
GUEST STARRING - Dom DeLuise (Urgo, Togar), Nickolas Baric (SF Guard), Bill Nikolai (Technician Alberts)
SG-1 receives alien brain implants that manifest themselves as a bizarre man, who tells them that they would not survive the procedure to remove him.

The S.G.C. sends a M.A.L.P. probe through to the planet designated P4X-884, and the image they receive back is that of a beautiful beach. The sky is blue, and a large palm tree blows gently in the wind. The planet appears to be an ideal candidate for an off-world research colony, and SG-1 departs to investigate.

O'Neill, Carter, Jackson, and Teal'c step through the Stargate, and appear instantaneously back in the gate room on Earth. Shocked, the team is told by General Hammond that they have been gone for 15 hours.

Dr. Frasier gives the team a clean bill of health, though they cannot remember a single moment from their mission. After scrutinizing the video sent back by the M.A.L.P., Carter discovers that the beach image was faked. Hidden on the video is a single frame of an alien room of some sort.

Frasier arrives with more startling news: more extensive scans have determined that a small implant -- smaller than the head of a pin -- has been placed in the brains of SG-1, all in precisely the same place in their brains. This provides a reason for some strange behavior from SG-1: their senses have been heightened, especially taste and smell. Teal'c downed an entire pot of steaming hot coffee during a briefing. O'Neill has taken to eating pieces of pie like they were potato chips.

SG-1 is confined to isolation quarantine, and soon "Urgo" reveals himself. A jovial, fun-loving mental projection, Urgo is the manifestation of the alien devices. Only SG-1 can see and hear him, leaving Hammond to wonder if the team is going insane.

Urgo wants to play, wants to eat, wants to learn and experience. That is, in fact, his mission: the implants exist to gather information for the aliens. It is the means by which they explore. Once SG-1 returns to the alien planet, Urgo warns, they will be killed so that the information can be harvested.

Urgo enjoys being with SG-1, and encourages them (verbally and subliminally) to show him new experiences. Meanwhile, they are trying to get rid of him. Carter theorizes that because the implants are electronic in nature, an electromagnetic pulse should disable them.

Urgo tries to distract Carter, but finally pleads for his life, asking Carter not to throw the switch. But she does, and Urgo vanishes. O'Neill rejoices that the annoying man is finally out of his head.

But the alien technology has a reset switch, and Urgo soon reappears. SG-1 decides to pursue the aliens back on the planet, rather than living with Urgo for the rest of their lives. They send the M.A.L.P. probe back through the gate, and use it to broadcast an audio message to the aliens.

A deep, terrifying voice booms back at them. It is that of Togar, who tells them that Urgo is "an error." Urgo was not suppose to reveal himself, and Togar invites SG-1 back to the planet to have the implants removed. Urgo will be destroyed.

The program appears genuinely fearful of his impending fate, and Carter begins to ask him questions. She and Daniel soon conclude that Urgo may be sentient -- that he may have become a living being. He is self-aware, he fears his own death, he is conscious, and he can think independently.

The team steps through the Stargate to the alien world, and is instantly transported away in a flash of light. Togar appears, and bears a striking resemblance to Urgo -- though not nearly as fun. He promises that they will not be harmed by the removal of the implants, and demonstrates the procedure on another alien life form.

But the team is not satisfied with simply having Urgo removed from their heads. They convince Togar of the possibility that Urgo is alive, and he agrees to transfer Urgo into himself.

With the implants removed and Urgo safe and sound, the team returns to Earth. But their memories have been erased again -- they have no memory of Togar or the alien world, though Hammond tells them that they have been gone for more than ten hours.

ANALYSIS
  • The S.G.C. is looking for a planet on which to establish a research colony.

  • The presense of armed guards in the gate room may indicate that no one sent a signal back to open the iris before SG-1 returned. If this is the case, why was the iris open to allow the team (and M.A.L.P.s) to return? Perhaps the arrival of the M.A.L.P.s before SG-1 made Hammond suspicious -- though he did tell them that he thought SG-1 sent them through. What is most likely is that SG-1 somehow sent the signal before their memories were wiped (or perhaps Togar sent it for them, sensitive to the fact that the Earth gate was protected).

  • Urgo could read the present thoughts of SG-1, but did not have full access to their minds and memories. He could also make subliminal suggestions.

  • Urgo asks Jack, "Who's Mary Steenburgen?" For one, she's an actress, well-known for such roles as Clara Clayton in the film "Back to the Future III." She has also appeared in "Noah's Ark," "Nixon," "Philadelphia" and "The Butcher's Wife." (Click here to view her profile at the Internet Movie Database.)

  • The activities that Teal'c, Jackson and O'Neill were doing in their respective rooms while singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" are characteristic of their personalities. Teal'c was meditating. Jackson was studying. O'Neill was pacing and bouncing a ball off the walls.

  • Daniel has a "dancing pharaohs" screensaver on his computer. The same screensaver appeared in "The Fifth Race."

  • SG-1 was on the alien world for more than ten hours during their second trip. What did they do that whole time? Presumably, the removal of the implant took longer than the few seconds shown -- but ten hours? It may be that Togar did more to (or with) SG-1 than was shown.

  • CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
    Samantha Carter Samantha Carter - Sam has an uncle named Irving, of whom Urgo reminded her.

    NOTES
  • The S.G.C. has isolation quarters located on Level 22 of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex.

  • UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
  • Who is Mary Steenburgen, if someone other than the actress? Someone from O'Neill's past? An old flame, perhaps?

  • Is Urgo really sentient?

  • If Urgo is alive, will he remain so? Can Togar put up with him for very long, or even find someone else willing to live with him? Togar has not even indicated that he believes Urgo to be sentient, and may eventually destroy him anyway.

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