season three, episode three -
fair game

SUMMARY:

In the middle of Carter's promotion to Major, O'Neill suddenly disappears and finds himself on a ship orbiting Earth - Thor's ship. Thor has come to Earth because he had heard of Earth's defeat of Apophis and the more recent triumph over Hathor. He knows that because of this Earth has proven how big a threat it is, and many of the other System Lords will join together to attack Earth with an assault a hundred times more powerful than any they've seen before.

Thor doesn't want this to happen. He wants to negotiate a treaty between the System Lords and the Asgard so that Earth will become one of the Asgard protected planets and won't he harmed. The Goa'uld fear the Asgard, so are at least likely to turn up for the negotiations.

O'Neill reports in back on Earth, when Thor appears in the SGC to let them know that the System Lords have agreed to meet for talks. In four days three representatives for the Goa'uld will arrive via Stargate for the talks. O'Neill - much to his own surprise - is chosen to represent Earth at the talks.

The three Goa'uld System Lords they're expecting are Nierti (last heard of in season one's 'Singularity'), Kronos, and Yu. A great deal of preparation needs to be done. No weapons of any kind are allowed, and the base is closed off from the outside world. Teal'c is asked to see to the personal needs of the Goa'uld, but when he objects - loudly - Daniel volunteers.

The day arrives, and so do the Goa'uld. They're settled into their quarters when Nierti and Yu immediately complain about the 'spying devices' poorly hidden in their rooms. Daniel explains that they're security cameras and they're for their own protection. However, he says that he'll remove them from their quarters but he'd like to keep them in the corridors. They agree, but not before Daniel witnesses some serious anger sparking between Teal'c and Kronos.

Teal'c confesses to Daniel that his father was once First Prime of Kronos, and Kronos sent him into a hopeless battle. When he inevitably lost Kronos killed Teal'c's father as punishment. Teal'c and his mother fled to Chulak, where Teal'c swore he would become the strongest, proudest Jaffa he could be - good enough to become First Prime of Apophis, sworn enemy of Kronos.

The talks begin, but not for long. O'Neill almost immediately insults them and the System Lords storm out. Thor admits that this was to be expected and apologises for letting the Goa'uld become as powerful as they have, but there are other concerns for the Asgard - including an enemy in their home galaxy far worse than the Goa'uld. They spare what resources they can to enforce the treaties, and Jack realises the Asgard are only keeping the Goa'uld in line by bluffing.

After the System Lords accept O'Neill's apology - written in Goa'uld by Daniel - the talks resume. The outcome is that the System Lords will agree not to attack Earth, but only if the Tau'ri surrender their Stargates - both of them.

Jack isn't sure what to do, and consults Thor up on his ship. Thor very carefully doesn't give him any advice - or does he? - and after Jack returns to Earth the President makes up his mind: they will hand over the Stargates. Daniel goes to assemble the Goa'uld when the alarm sounds. He discovers Kronos and Teal'c lying on the floor of Kronos' quarters, both covered in blood.

Teal'c is unconscious but will recover; Kronos is in far worse shape. The natural healing abilities of the Goa'uld aren't enough to save him, and Fraiser believes he won't last longer than a few hours. Teal'c was caught on video camera going into Kronos' quarters, but there's no proof that he actually started the fight.

Jack tells the System Lords what they know - and despite the System Lords anger - he asks them if they can heal Kronos with a Goa'uld healing device (the one recovered in 'Thor's Chariot'). Nierti tries but with no success - the only way they can hope to heal him is with a sarcophagus. The System Lords must take him with them through the Stargate, and the treaty will be called off.

Teal'c wakes, and tells them that he was summoned to Kronos' quarters. When he arrived Kronos didn't know what he was talking about, and they were attacked by an invisible force - not a Reetou.

Jack isn't pleased. They haven't let the System Lords leave yet, so they can expect an attack from their forces and there's nothing they can do to stop it.

Until Sam thinks of something.

She tries using the healing device on Kronos herself. At first it doesn't work, and Jack suggests that maybe it's because she believes Kronos sent the Ashrack to kill Jolinar. Sam keeps at it and eventually…heals him. When Kronos wakes, Jack asks that if he could prove that one of the other System Lords did this to him, what would it be worth…?

Sam points out that they don't know for sure who attacked Kronos - they only know that Nierti lied about not being able to heal Kronos. Jack suggests they take a page out of the Asgard's books: bluff.

Jack tells Nierti that he knows she's been experimenting with phase shifting to battle the Reetou. Yu is immediately angered, demanding to know why she wouldn't share this technology with other System Lords. He attacks her and she suddenly vanishes and tries to escape - almost killing Yu in the process, but Jack saves his life. Sam tracks Nierti with a TER (last seen in 'Show and Tell') and forces her to surrender.

Jack tells Yu that he's managed to talk Kronos into abiding by the treaty, but that they'll also be allowed to keep their Stargate…Yu agrees.

A recovered Kronos warns Jack that although they won't attack Earth, if the SGC insist on continuing to use the Stargate and they encounter them while they're exploring, the System Lords will not be lenient. After all, the treaty doesn't protect the people of Earth on other planets.

Kronos and Yu drag Nierti through the Stargate, no doubt to some place where she's about to be punished. Jack and Daniel, naturally, couldn't care less.

REVIEW:

Ah, I do like a good round of politics. I've said it before and I'll say it again: SG-1 does politics so damn well. They keep it entertaining and believable.

Episode as a whole is very watchable. Very glad to see Thor again (he's too cute), and even here we're left with the distinct notion that he's quite fond of humans - especially O'Neill. This will be given further proof in later episodes. Nice foreshadowing too, about the 'even worse' enemy.

The expression on Hammond's face when Thor arrives is hilarious. Great acting.

The System Lords themselves were nicely diverse, although as I'm writing this review (after season four finale) so far we've only seen/heard about Kronos again. I'm interested as to what they could do with Nierti and Yu…Nierti seems particularly nasty, while Yu appears not bad at all.

Jack as always is a joy. Lots of good lines, lots of good facial expressions - especially when he realises he has to represent Earth. Nice little friendship scenes between him and Sam at her promotion (woo hoo!) and when she wishes him luck. It's very cute when she obviously surprises the heck out of him and he tries to cover it up. I also LOVE the tiny little "Hello," Jack gives when he realises Kronos may have overheard him moaning about him. Hee.

Love Sam's smile in the briefing when Jack's confused with all the 'Yu', 'You', and 'Me' stuff.

Interesting to learn more about Teal'c's family - he's notoriously quiet about them. I can't help but think that Jack's complaint that Teal'c never tells them stuff like this is a reference to the first season episode 'Bloodlines' when it's revealed that Teal'c has a wife and son that he'd previously never talked about.

Worth mentioning again…Sam gets promoted to Major! Woo hoo! Did Jack seem proud or did Jack seem proud?

And, of course, I love the ending.

Best Sam kicking butt moment: Oh yeah! When she tracks down Nierti with the TER…wouldn't wanna mess with *her*!

BEST LINES:

O'Neill (for delivery alone): "Well done, Major."

O'Neill: "Normally I'm a man of very few words…" (he vanishes)

O'Neill (after appearing on Thor's ship): "…and in conclusion I'd like to say…"

Thor: "Greetings, Jack O'Neill."
O'Neill: "Greetings. Have we met?"

Jackson: "They helped Jack out when he got the Ancient's language downloaded into his brain."
O'Neill: "You gotta love 'em for that."

Thor: "We have chosen you, O'Neill, to represent your planet at the proceedings."
O'Neill: "Now, see, that could be a mistake."

Jackson: "The second Goa'uld representative we're expecting is…Yu."
O'Neill: "Me?"
Jackson: "Yu is the name of the Goa'uld."

Teal'c: "I will, however, not see to the petty needs of the Goa'uld."
Jackson: "I'll…see to the petty needs of the Goa'uld, sir."

Carter: "Sir."
O'Neill: "Captain…Major."

O'Neill (pathetically, to Kronos): "Hello…"

O'Neill: "Hello, Yu."

Thor: "You insulted them. By speaking out of turn."
O'Neill: "*I* insulted *them*?"

O'Neill: "Well apparently we met, insulted each other, then broke for recess."

O'Neill: "Fate of the world in my hands and I screw it up!"
Simms: "I take it you apologised?"
O'Neill: "Oh I tried. They wouldn't see me."
Hammond: "What now?"
O'Neill: "Well Daniel's written a letter - in Goa'uld - which I signed. That boy can really grovel when he has to."

O'Neill: "Was that a nod? For a nod you usually go down and up, but that just went down…"

O'Neill: "Oh for crying out loud! Why doesn't he tell us this stuff? Why didn't *you*?"
Jackson: "He confided in me."

Daniel: "Hathor had the ability to appear and disappear."
O'Neill: "Okay, she's dead. Right? *Please* tell me she's dead."

O'Neill: "Certainly not those lying, scheming, no good for nothing slimy overdressed…"
Carter: "Sir!"
O'Neill: "...style mongers."
Carter: "I'd like to try something."
O'Neill: "I wasn't finished."

Carter: "You ever seen one of these things work? 'Cause there's nothing more I'd like to do right now than demonstrate."

Jackson: "Boy is she gonna get it."
O'Neill: "My heart bleeds."

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