Citizen Joe

| Analysis | Notes | Characters | Questions | Production | Transcript | Review

A barber from Indiana confronts Jack O'Neill, claiming that he has been seeing visions of SG-1's missions over the last seven years.

RATINGS SCORECARD
OUR RATING -
FAN RATING - 6.59 
NIELSEN - 1.7 
EPISODE #815
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 02.18.05
DVD DISC: Season 8, Disc 4
STORY BY: Robert C. Cooper
TELEPLAY BY: Damian Kindler
EXCERPTS WRITTEN BY: Robert C. Cooper, James Crocker, Peter DeLuise, Jonathan Glassner, V.C. James, Damian Kindler, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Brad Wright
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
GUEST STARS:

Dan Castellaneta (Joe Spencer), Deborah Theaker (Charlene Spencer), Eric Keenleyside (Fred), Louis Chirillo (Bert Simmons), Chad Krowchuk (Gordie Lowe), Alex Ferris (Andy Spencer), Mark Hansen (Older Andy Spencer), Andy Thompson (Calvin), Beatrice Zeilinger (Cindy)

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ANALYSIS

  • The calendar on Joe’s barbershop wall the day he sees a vision of the events of the Season One finale shows August 1997. If he’s kept his calendar current then it suggests the events of SG-1‘s first season do not line up neatly with the calendar year in which they were broadcast. The series premiered in July 1997, and “Within the Serpent’s Grasp” aired in March of 1998.

    The premise of the episode suggests that Joe was exposed to these events only as Jack O’Neill was recalling them while writing his mission reports. That would put this day into early Season Two, after the events of “The Serpent’s Lair.”

  • It’s unlikely that Joe’s calendars are anywhere close to accurate, and so should not be used to gauge the timeline of the events of the series. The scene just before Joe closes his barbershop mid-way through the episode takes place just after Joe has learned of the death of Daniel Jackson (Season Five’s “Meridian,” broadcast in the spring of 2002). His son Andy is also now clearly a pre-teen or teenager. But Joe’s calendar shows June of 1999 — less than two years after he acquired the stone.

    SG-1 established the canonical date as 1999 back in the second season episode “Out of Mind,” which aired in 1999. The on-screen indicators “Seven Years Ago,” “Three Years Ago,” etc. also line up properly with the idea that one season of the show equals approximately one year of time.

  • “Citizen Joe” is filled not only with clips from the past eight years of Stargate SG-1, but also allusions. The line “A giant fireball in the night sky!” is a quote from “The Serpent’s Lair,” where MSgt. Walter Harriman said it after the destruction of Apophis’s two motherships in Earth orbit.

    “Jack O’Neill … two L’s!” comes from Season Two’s “Secrets,” when Jack was speaking with reporter Armin Selig.

  • One of Joe’s friends says that the Furlings “sound cute — like Ewoks!” It’s a reference to the ancient species never seen on SG-1. After their name was dropped in “The Fifth Race” fans speculated about who they might be (and what they might look like). Are Furlings furry? A fantasy depiction in Season Ten’s “200” actually did have them look something like Ewoks.
  • Joe thinks that Martin Lloyd stole his ideas for the show Wormhole X-Treme! In fact, Martin had direct experience with SG-1 and the Stargate program but forgot about it, due to a drug that suppressed his memory (“Wormhole X-Treme!”).
  • “I saw the movie — it hits Paris.” Fred’s response to the meteor scenario is verbatim from Jack O’Neill’s in “Fail Safe.”
  • “It seems the team interaction isn’t what it used to be in the beginning.” Sharlene echoes
    the criticism of many fans in Stargate SG-1‘s later years.
  • Joe truly grieved for Daniel when he died in “Meridian.” The moment shows that by this time he had become convinced that SG-1 was real, living out these adventures somewhere.
  • Joe feared being too aggressive in proving that what he was seeing was true, believing that if the government didn’t make him disappear the N.I.D. would. He keenly remembered the murder of reporter Armin Selig (“Secrets”) — which to our knowledge was never connected to the N.I.D. As far as we know, the perpetrators were never discovered.
  • Joe makes a factual error while recounting to Sharlene how his stories line up with known history: he speaks of the loss of a Russian submarine that corresponded to the time when Anubis’s ship crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The event he was likely remembering was, in fact, the crashing of the Asgard Thor’s ship Beliskner (“Nemesis,” “Small Victories”). Anubis did have a ship that crashed into the ocean (“Descent”) — but it was not known to be connected to the loss of a Russian sub.
  • Joe agrees with Jack’s “Burns as Goa’uld” Simpsons connection. It’s an observation the Colonel made to his teammates in “Lost City, Part 1.” (Actor Dan Castellaneta, of course, stars in The Simpsons!)
  • This is the second week in a row someone has broken into Jack’s house, as Daniel observes — or rather entered through his unlocked door. Last week it was former Vice President Robert Kinsey (“Full Alert”).
  • Joe greets Teal’c in his native tongue: “Shal’kek nem’ron” — the Free Jaffa greeting meaning “I will die free.”
  • The Ancient stone wouldn’t work for just anyone. It only activates, connecting Joe’s mind to Colonel O’Neill’s, because both men possess the Ancient gene.
  • The stone held at the S.G.C. was acquired from P3R-233 — the same planet where SG-1 found the quantum mirror and a large collection of artifacts during their first year of operation (“There But For the Grace of God”). After Jack came into physical contact with it, the device was activated whenever he was in proximity to it. The location where he typically sat down to write his mission reports was close enough to do so. (Thus Joe was only seeing flashes from Jack’s memories — not the events as they were occurring, and not other times when Jack was off the base.)
  • Jack and Daniel’s flashback exchange — when the Colonel first picked up the Ancient stone and was connected with it — must have taken place not immediately after the events of “There But For the Grace of God” but some weeks later, early in Season Two of the show. Daniel references the fact that Apophis is presumed dead (following “The Serpent’s Lair”), but intel suggested he may not actually be so. This puts the scene sometime before Apophis was discovered alive on Chulak in “Family.”

    Since the discovery of the quantum mirror led to the panic surrounding a possible invasion of Earth, it’s likely that Stargate Command did not send teams to retrieve the artifacts from P3R-233 until after the crisis had been averted — explaining why Daniel wasn’t cataloging them until Season Two.

NOTES

  • Wormhole X-Treme! was cancelled after only one episode, due to poor ratings. (We’ll learn in “200,” however, that the show was revived and ran for a decade.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

  • Jack O'NeillJack O’Neill – Jack has been experiencing visions of the day-to-day life of a barber from Indiana for the last seven years, mainly while writing his mission reports. He didn’t think much of it, and found it actually to be relaxing compared to his extraordinary routine.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

  • How did Joe’s stone — an Ancient device — come to be on Earth, in ancient Egypt? Was it once in the possession of a Goa’uld who reigned there — such as Ra?
  • Was P3R-233 a colony of the Ancients, or did the inhabitants merely retrieve Ancient technology from other worlds? If they were Ancients themselves, did the Goa’uld defeat them?
  • Are there more than two stones that can be connected together?
  • What will become of Joe and Charlene? Will they reconcile? Will they be able to live out normal lives without being under the government’s constant scrutiny?

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • The garage sale owner counting his money when Joe asks “How much?” is played by Bruce Woloshyn, Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis‘s long-time digital effects supervisor at Rainmaker Digital.
  • “Richard Dean Anderson’s love for The Simpsons resulted in him being invited a table reading of the show — which resulted in him befriending Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson on the show — which resulted in Dan doing a brilliant guest spot for us in this episode — which resulted in Stargate getting a big shout-out in a later episode of The Simpsons guest-starring Richard Dean Anderson.

    “I remember meeting Dan Castellaneta for the first time. I was in the lunch line, standing behind a casually-attired fellow in a baseball cap who seemed distracted by something when it came his turn to order. ‘You’re up!’ I offered helpfully, assuming he was a new crew member. ‘Joe,’ said Robert Cooper, standing to my other side, ‘have you met Dan?’ Oh.” (Writer / producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)