Mark Watches ‘Stargate SG-1’: The Tok’ra, Part 1


Thanks to SIR ANDREW for commissioning this two-parter because WHAT. The video file for “The Tok’ra, Part 1” is located here!

  • Seriously, I expected none of this. And that’s the brilliance of this first half of the Tok’ra arc. I went into this anticipating something fairly common, and the writers laugh in my face.
  • I kind of love that the SG-1 team goes to a distant planet based solely on the fact that Carter sees herself on said planet in a dream. Like, it has virtually no basis in science or reality, and they’re like, “WELL, SHIT. We might as well go.”
  • I apologize for constantly saying JR Bourne looks like Michael Trucco whilst watching this. IT GOT IN MY HEAD AND I COULDN’T GET IT OUT.
  • I was surprised that this show was addressing how military culture intersects with social concepts of masculinity through Jacob Carter’s story. My father was in the Army, and that helped shape his idea of what it meant to be a man. He was convinced that men should show any serious form of emotion, which OF COURSE completely clashed with my over-emotional self. But my dad acted just like Jacob Carter did in this episode in the months before he passed away. He felt it was insulting for any of us to see him get sick because it emasculated him. Which was absurd to us, because that wasn’t even close to what we were thinking about in those days. But to him, it made perfect sense.
  • The actress playing Garshaw, Sarah Douglas, was totally channeling some Sigourney Weaver. I’m convinced of it. She was great!
  • And that’s precisely where this episode becomes so fascinating and satisfying. I brought it up yesterday, but I’ve never seen a sci-fi show deal with a parasite that inherently respects the consent of its host. This is not a trick, either. I mean, I understand why O’Neill is so hesitant to trust these people/creatures because his interaction with the Goa’uld has been universally negative. However, I really enjoy how much this episode imparts the importance of the distinction between these groups, especially when you consider how vital the idea of consent is to the Tok’ra. And I don’t think that this show is saying that O’Neill is a bigot, either! All of the members of the team are extremely reluctant to provide their own bodies as hosts to Selmak. Yeah, Carter already knows what this feels like, so I’m not going to fault her for rejecting the chance for Selmak to continue on.
  • THEN THIS EPISODE BECOMES EVEN MORE FASCINATING BECAUSE THE TOK’RA HAVE TO JUDGE THE HUMANS FOR THEIR WORTH. Oh my god, I am so impressed that this show is de-centering the human race like this. So many sci-fi shows always make sure to make humans the most important race in the galaxy, and the Tok’ra are like, “Yeah, no, you’re kind of useless to us. You have nothing to offer us.” Sure, it’s disappointing and one hell of a cliffhanger, but it’s ENDLESSING INTRIGUING.
  • Oh god, and then all the stuff with Carter being part of Jolinar and vice versa is so goddamn amazing. Like, Martouf was deeply in love with Jolinar, some part of Jolinar is within Carter, and now she has all these conflicting, inhuman feelings within her. Y’all, this shit is done so well and couldn’t have been easy to write. I cannot wait for the resolution of this.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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