Man oh man oh man, did they knock it out of the park tonight, or what? This is the first unquestionably great episode of the series, and obviously if they submit one for awards this year, this’ll be the one they choose. We’ve all had our misgivings with the show. Even I - and I really do like the show - have had some misgivings here and there, not so much with the premise or the cast or whatever, but just that it seemed to be taking so long to get going in the first few episodes. Not a deal breaker, but I can certainly see where the heft the more deliberate pace gives the show comes across as simple ponderousness to a lot of people. But tonight, boy, it all paid off, and we finally get to see exactly what the show can - and presumably will - be.
PLAY BY PLAY
A team comes through the gate on to a Fake Jungle Planet. It’s a fake soundstage planet that’s supposed to look all jungly and foreboding, but mostly just looks like Gilligan’s Island. We follow the team along as they gather food to supplement the supplies on the ship, and then stupidly decide to take turns testing out some local fruits and such. They get sick, and since they’ve got 30 hours to kill and are in no rush, they decide to quarantine themselves on the planet for a bit just to make sure it’s nothing they can spread to the Destiny. This is all seen by us as part of the ongoing documentary that Eli is making.
That night they’re attacked by bug/snake things, which bite Scott, kill Chloe, and several others as well. A firefight ensues, and everyone’s in a bad way. They try to dial out, but the gate is working wonky, and they can’t get a stable wormhole.
The next morning, with a lot of dead and wounded and little ammo, and Scott in a coma, Greer decides to find a more survivable location. Eli and Rush talk a bit, and we get an interesting window in to both of their lives and backstories. Eli and TJ talk, too. Greer teaches Eli how to use a weapon, and they go out bug snake hunting during the day, discovering they live in sulfurous volcanic vents they use as nests. Rush tries to get the gate to work, but it’s unstable, and again, nothing comes of it. That night, the bugsnakes attack again, and Rush runs for the gate, says he’ll radio back if it’s stable, and dives through giving a last line that makes it pretty clear he knows he’s probably gonna’ die. The bugsnakes overun the camp, and everyone dies. Eli, TJ, Lt. James the Hot Chick, Greer, all the civilians, everyone.
Except Scott, who wakes up the next morning feeling fine. Everyone else is dead, so he records all the info they’ve got on the Kino along with Eli’s documentary and throws it through the wonky gate as a message to the people on the other side to come and get him if they receive it. The ship is 45 minutes away from FTL at this point, but for some reason the Kino just comes back out again, and lays on the jungle floor.
The Destiny comes out of FTL, and sends a team through to the Fake Jungle Planet, where they find a lot of skeletons and a kino that’s obviously from their ship, but that they didn’t send through. It’s memory is full. They take it back to the ship and watch it in abject horror as they all see themselves die. Since this party has been to the planet too, and they’re showing signs of sickness, they quarantine themselves in the gate room, apart from the others and watch the film, trying to figure out what’s going on.
TJ discovers that the disease isn’t from the planet, it’s a microorganism that was in the ice water they got from “The Hoth System” a few weeks back which is infecting them. It’s universally fatal, but was so small they missed it when they got the ice, for whatever reason. It will kill all of them.
Rush, meanwhile, reasons that the kino they found was there because the trajectory of the Stargate took it through a solar flare. Thus the interference with the gate, and also the reason that when Scott (Sub 1) through the kino through at the end of the previous take,