Stargate SG-1: S01E08 “Brief Candle”

Computer, activate Pete Wells mode.

Dear Stargate SG-1:

Why, after the beautiful episode that is “The Nox,” did you do this to us?

Why did Alekos take his wife into the Stargate room to give birth, if her delivery was proceeding smoothly enough that a guy who was once friends with a midwife could successfully deliver the baby? Why did SG-1 try to deliver the baby themselves, when they were standing right next to a device that could deliver qualified medical professionals to them within ten minutes?

Why are Daniel and Thetys so clean after delivering a baby? Did they leave a giant pool of blood on the Gate room floor? And, again, why were they even in the Gate room? Argos may not be a literate or scientific civilization, and I guess they don’t have individual houses, but wouldn’t it be pretty simple to have a dedicated birthing place, if only so that they’re not constantly scrubbing blood off their holy temple?

If every Argosian is blessed with a hundred days of life, and one day ages them by approximately one Earth year, then why are all the visible villagers under forty? Is this a Logan’s Run situation?

O’Neill, why did you eat the marriage cake immediately after observing how “off” everything felt? Why did you keep eating it, even after your vision began to swim? I understand the ’90s were a simpler, more DARE-ing time, but have you never heard of roofies?

Does this make Kynthia a manic pixie ecstasy girl?

What is it with this “Surprise, now that you’ve eaten the cake/worn the flower crown, we’re married!” trope, anyway? Why is it the women in them are clearly attracted to the men because they’re outsiders, but don’t seem to understand that outsiders by definition won’t know their customs? Wouldn’t any actual person in this situation start off by asking the guy if he wants to get married, or whether he’s already married, or at the very least, whether he even likes women? Is this a metaphor for the frat-boy fear of getting “trapped” in a relationship after a one-night stand?

Also, legally speaking, did Jack sleep with someone who’s thirty-one years old, or someone who’s thirty-one days old? Why did the episode veer away from this question when it’s the most interesting part of this dull and mawkish mess?

Whoa, Teal’c can read Linear A? I mean, I believe it, because Teal’c can do anything, but isn’t Apophis an Egyptian god? Does being a First Prime involve learning lots of Goa’uld languages? Just how many ancient untranslated texts could Teal’c shed light on? Why isn’t this ever pursued further?

Why did Dr. Fraiser rig up this ridiculous flask contraption? Is she running an illicit still?

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Isn’t evolution usually driven by the need to adapt to a new environment? Don’t researchers do experiments on adaptation by changing some part of an animal’s environment, like diet or radiation levels or whatever? How did Pelops intend to test human evolution if their environment never changed? Is he just the dumbest researcher in the galaxy?

How large is the Argosian population, and how large a seed group did Pelops use? If there’s only enough of them to fill a village, and they’ve been through Pelops knows how many generations by now, shouldn’t they have some serious genetic diseases?

How do the Argosians have so much food, when they’re not allowed to leave their village and there’s no gardens in sight? Where is it all being grown? What about the animals they presumably slaughter for meat? If all the Argosians are constantly celebrating, then who’s cooking/drugging all the snacks? Wait, is this what all the older villagers do? Is that why we never see them?

Why are you trying so hard to make Kynthia happen, when she is clearly not going to happen?

Why was a shot this cool wasted on this episode?

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Daniel, why is it that Teal’c was the one who knew the combination to open the secret safe, use the stone thingy to work the Goa’uld Kindle, and actually read the records  contained therein, but you told everybody what he found out? And when Teal’c realized the frequency glyphs were numbers, how did “we” end up translating them? Have you ever considered that being a good teammate sometimes means shutting up?

How did Thetys recover so quickly after giving birth? Was it due to to the intervention of her nanites? Isn’t the big break of the episode the realization that they get turned on at night and shut off during the day? If their shut-off state involves doing tissue repair on their hosts, then what good are they in evolutionary experiments? Why didn’t Daniel contract the nanites while delivering the baby, a process I’ve been told involves a shit-ton of bodily fluids? Though, if these nanites cause ultra-clean childbirth and hasten recovery that much, can we start handing them out to everyone on Earth? Isn’t the SGC always being reprimanded for not bringing back enough technology?

While I applaud Alekos for his cultural vision of successive generations building on each other’s knowledge, what exactly has been stopping the Argosians from doing that already? If they’re capable of teaching each other about spoken language and the overwhelming importance of partying, then why can’t they teach each other anything else? I mean, they must do things that aren’t partying just to have something to talk about at the parties, right? Does Argos have no nerds?

The nanites only mimic age? What does that even mean? At the point where intelligent nanotechnology is causing cellular change that results in your body looking aged…isn’t that literally aging?

What timeframe is this episode taking place over, exactly? Is it all supposed to be one day, since we never see O’Neill fall asleep again? Or is it supposed to be multiple days, and he just passes out in the Gate room every night? Is that why he kept an absurd amount of cushions around his feet?

Seriously, why would anyone watch this episode?

Pete Wells mode is now deactivated.

Stray observations:

  • “Look at these people. Guess they’ve never heard the word ‘unattractive’ here.”
  • “From now on we stick to rations.”
  • Sarcasm aside, the makeup team did a great job of aging O’Neill. It looked very realistic.
  • Did they really not have a word for nanites in the ’90s? I guess not, since they spent the episode calling them “nanocytes.”
  • Hammond would definitely pass Starfleet captain training.