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by Morjana Coffman

With the end of its fifth season, Stargate SG-1 broke its tradition of cliffhanger finales. Instead of being trapped aboard a ship in space as in the cliffhangers of Seasons One ("Within the Serpent's Grasp"), Three ("Nemesis") and Four ("Exodus"); or taken prisoner as in Season Two's cliffhanger ("Out of Mind"); in "Revelations" SG-1 is called upon once again by the Asgard to take on a rescue mission -- and completes the mission in time to go to out for dinner.

While the episode did provide answers to some prior questions, it produced several new questions that hopefully will be answered during Season Six. And a wonderful, emotional scene between General Hammond and Major Carter illustrated the fact that in life some time there are no answers, and we must learn to live with the mystery of not knowing.

"Revelations" was a fascinating episode, with some remarkable performances by our SG-1 cast, a complex script (which touched on episodes from every season in tying up plot threads), captivating special effects, a beautiful new interior look to the Goa'uld ships, a hint of the smoldering Jaffa rebellion against their Goa'uld false gods, and finally our first glimpse of the evil Anubis.

I liked the new interior look of the Goa'uld ship. The torches have been replaced by new light panels along the walls, the color scheme has included a deeper (and more of it) shade of purple, and the hieroglyphs on the doors seemed to be missing. I also noticed that Osiris' hand device (gold in "The Curse") is now silver -- but maybe Osiris donned a silver hand device to match that charming silver cloth thrown over his throne.

We were also introduced to a new Asgard -- Heimdall (voice provided by Teryl Rothery, who plays Dr. Fraiser on the show). I rather enjoyed Heimdall, who has a more quirky personality than the other Asgard we've met. Heimdall's voice inflection and body movements, particularly the tilting of her head, reminded me of the late Nancy Kulp (Miss Jane Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies).

There are five stages in the grieving process (a concept introduced in 1969 by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross) -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. O'Neill, Carter and Teal'c all appear to be at different stages in their attempts to cope with the loss of Daniel Jackson. O'Neill, however, was the only one who had the opportunity to converse with Daniel in the ethereal gate room ("Meridian"). And now, added to their grief for Daniel Jackson, was the apparent loss of Thor.

Their actions aboard the cargo ship while in route to the Adara System to rescue Heimdall were telling. O'Neill finds refuge in duty; he cleans his P-90 apart from the others. But his suppressed emotion is betrayed by his cough. Carter doesn't understand how she feels, and looks for support from her team. Teal'c takes solace that Daniel Jackson has achieved something that all Jaffa aspire to in ascending to a higher plane of existence ("Maternal Instinct").

What an emotional roller coaster SG-1 goes through during this episode! Once they arrive at the Adara System and are beamed down into the Asgard laboratory, SG-1 discovers that Thor is not dead, but held prisoner by the Goa'uld. O'Neill and Teal'c mount a rescue mission, while Carter remains with Heimdall to guide them and to assist Heimdall in preparing to leave with the Asgard research.

It seems that, for the past 1,000 years, the Asgard have only been able to reproduce by cellular mitosis (cloning). And as clones, they are a dying race due to genetic degradation. But the Asgard research project turns out to be the 30,000-year-old Asgard ancestor who may be the key to their survival.

Aboard the Goa'uld ship, O'Neill and Teal'c are taken prisoner. Thor, however, is able to free them from their cell. As O'Neill and Teal'c look on helplessly, they see Carter zatted by Osiris' Jaffa. I marveled that Teal'c reached out to catch the falling Carter hologram. And then SG-1 is rescued by Heimdall, and all four are later rescued at the last second by the arrival of Freyr and friends.

I was intrigued by the interaction between Osiris and her Jaffa. By questioning her orders, it seemed to me that the Jaffa were also questioning their belief in Osiris as their god. And what is Lord Yu up to now? He let Teal'c escape ("The Warrior"), and now has mounted an offensive against the powerful Anubis that is going so well that Osiris has to dispatch reinforcements.

And who, or what, has Anubis taken as a host? Was that a black event horizon in place of his face? What significance was there that his Jaffa had a tattoo on each temple instead of his forehead? And at the end of the episode, when advised that Thor had escaped, and Anubis points towards his Jaffa -- is that Jaffa a bounty hunter like Aris Boch ("Deadman Switch"), or Boba Fett ("Star Wars")? Did Anubis get any information from Thor?

And why did Anubis retreat so quickly? Were the Jaffa unable to repair the damage to the ship caused by O'Neill? Were they bluffed by Freyr's assertion that the O'Neill class Asgard ships were superior, and could defeat the new Goa'uld shields and weapons? And if the Asgard ships are superior, why let Anubis escape? Or can the Asgard not afford a two-front war against the Replicators and the Goa'uld?

And the final question -- was that Daniel Jackson that caused the slight breeze in the SGC tunnel? Or was it a ventilation system malfunction?

Hopefully, these, and other questions, will be explored in Season Six.

Rating: * * * *

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