Window of Opportunity
Stargate SG-1's version of Groundhog Day was thoroughly entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud frequently. Yet this episode was not the comic book that "Upgrades" was. A recurring loop of time is at least more plausible than the superhuman powers experienced by the team in "Upgrades." And the various ways in which that loop was utilized were also plausible.
Certainly, one of Jack's moments-sans-consequences will have fans talking -- again. A fervor of Internet activity resulted from last week's "Divide and Conquer," an episode which, as at least one fan phrased it, managed to divide and conquer the fans. Those encouraged by the possibility of a Sam and Jack relationship were delighted. Others who fear that such a relationship would destroy the show were appalled.
I found myself part of an entirely other contingent of fans who believe the situation is being handled appropriately. SG-1 can continue to operate as a team, with Jack as Sam's C.O., as long as these two maintain the working relationship they have already developed rather than acting on the mutual attraction which has now been admitted.
Of course, this week Jack did finally act on that attraction by first tendering his resignation then swooping Sam into his arms for a mega-kiss. Some fans will surely insist this will irreparably alter the course of the show. I disagree.
Jack was forced to endure the same moments over and over again. Daniel gave him the option to take a little vacation now and then -- to do things without ever having to face the consequences. Hence the wormhole-golf, bicycling through the halls of the S.G.C., and even calling the good General "George."
If Jack O'Neill was acting on impulses, why wouldn't he also act on his interest in Sam? The only thing preventing a relationship between them is consequences. Here, with an endless loop of time erasing all consequences, the kiss just makes sense. In fact, I would have found the story less plausible had he not done something to acknowledge his feelings for Sam, now that those feelings have been substantiated.
I did find Jack to be a bit cruel in allowing Daniel to get bulldozed in the hallway on several occasions before finally taking action to alter that particular loop.
I also would have liked to have seen more of how Teal'c made use of his opportunities. It was good to see Teal'c finally slam the door back on the guy who had been continuously smacking him with it on each recurring loop. The Jaffa also had a pretty nice golf swing, as well as being a pretty good juggler. But these two activities were prompted by Colonel O'Neill. What would Teal'c have done on his own? What opportunities was he so eager to make use of as he dropped his chalk and hurried from the room as soon as he was made to consider them? The writers could have made use of this story to build greater character development in our beloved but little-understood Jaffa.
Despite the humor throughout "Window of Opportunity," the moment of truth at the end is a poignant one. Malakai simply wants to see his dead wife one more time. That he's caught 14 planets in an endless loop of time as he attempts to go back 12 years to achieve this reunion is of no matter to him -- at least not until Jack gets him to realize that success would only force him to watch her die yet again. It might seem odd that Malakai would not have come to that realization on his own; yet grief can make us all lose focus sometimes.
In addition to the psychological studies this episode provides, we're also given another glimpse into the existence of "the Ancients," the original builders of the Stargate system. Those people created an incredible time machine, but the invention was a failure. It could not be made to work as it had been intended. Thus the Ancients were not perfect. Not only did the time machine fail, they also lost a colony to some unnamed calamity. They could build "roads" to other worlds, but they could not play god.
The special effects in this episode were outstanding, giving us an interesting planet and a glimpse of great ruins which would have seemed like a smorgasbord to the likes of Dr. Daniel Jackson. I was also impressed with the use of music which accompanied the more humorous scenes.
All in all, "Window of Opportunity" was wonderfully done. Though I was never much of a fan of the original Groundhog Day movie starring Bill Murray, I will count this so-called "remake" among my favorite Stargate episodes to date.
Now, I wonder how well Jack will remember the translations he'd had to learn. And will we ever find out what Daniel had been talking about so fervently over Jack's morning Fruit Loops?Rating: * * * 1/2