Review – Stargate:SG-1’s ‘Morpheus Keeps the SG-1 Team Feeling Awake’

When you ask fans and viewers of Stargate: SG-1 what kind of moments in an episode they enjoy most, many of them will answer that it’s team interaction that draws them in. This Friday’s episode of ‘Stargate: SG-1’, titled ‘Morpheus’ is well… teeming with team moments.

In ‘Morpheus’, SG-1 goes off-world in search of an Ancient weapon that Dr. Daniel Jackson [Michael Shanks] believes is the key to defeating the Ori. They arrive on the planet, only to find that all the inhabitants have died from a virus that sends its victims into a sleep for which they do not awaken. Concerned about the risk of exposing Earth to another deadly plague, SG-1 isolates themselves off-world, along with the members of another SG team. While Carter [Amanda Tapping], Mitchell [Ben Browder] and Teal’c [Christopher Judge] search for a cure to the illness, Jackson investigates the local library looking for clues to finding the weapon and for what may have caused of the virus.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, General Landry [Beau Bridges] takes on the task of making sure that Vala [Claudia Black] follows orders. He has ordered her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if she is fit to join SG-1 as the fifth team member.

‘Stargate: SG-1’ writers Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie and director Andy Mikita have crafted a tightly woven story in which the team of SG-1 must work together to solve the issues at hand. It is this team centric heart of the episode that makes it one, in this reviewers estimation, worth tuning in for.

There is a Daniel scene in the opening sequence that is so endearingly classic early seasons Daniel Jackson [and played to perfection by the talented Michael Shanks] that it makes you almost expect early season Jack O’Neill [Richard Dean Anderson] to be there too.

Jack isn’t there of course, but once again Ben Browder’s Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell comes through with the same team player attitude he had in Flesh and Blood rather than the ‘lone wolf’ thing we saw so much of in season 9. Now that Cameron Mitchell has had his ‘baptism by fire’ and is more of a ‘seasoned hand’ at this, it puts him on a more equal footing with the others. In Morpheus, he has firmly become the team leader and at the same time a real team member as well.

‘Morpheus’ is a continuation of the search for a weapon that Daniel Jackson discovered that the Ancinet known as Merlin had hidden away from both the Ori and the Ancients. It is also about the dangers of off world travel, but most of all it is a story of a cohesive team that is working together to save each other’s lives. There are strong and solid bonding moments between all the team.

Claudia Black’s character of Vala Mal Doran is not yet on the team. She has been left behind at the SGC to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. While this is a subplot to the episode, it is also tour de force of Black’s talent (she can do and project so much with just a change in hairstyle). The character growth witnessed for Vala in ‘Morpheus’ is done in such a way that it is both amusing and touching. She is at once sassy and witty and at the same time vulnerable and earnest. There is a real bonding going on between Vala and General Landry with a strong father/daughter feel to.

In a recent EM interview with Robert Picardo, he says there is a funny scene in this episode where his character of Richard Woolsey gets accused of ‘improper behavior’. He didn’t exaggerate.

The ‘Stargate: SG-1 episode ‘Morpheus’ airs this Friday, July 21st on The SCIFI Channel at 9PM EST.

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