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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

Stargate SG-1: The Complete Tenth Season (review)

It’s not really the series finale, since it doesn’t really wrap things up and we’ve got direct-to-DVD movies on the way, but still: This is really kinda sorta the last you’ll ever see of the SG-1 gang. For a while. The 10th and final batch of episodes, spread across five discs, is wildly hit or miss: the Ori and Merlin story arcs never really satisfy; the Lucian Alliance stories only hinted at the lost promise of the dramatic backdrop of a newly balkanized galaxy that was never capitalized upon; and the hints that Sam Carter (Amanda Tapping) and Cam Mitchell (Ben Browder) are on the verge of hooking up is totally uncalled for, particularly when all we true fans know perfectly well that Sam and the lamentably absent Jack O’Neill are carrying on a long-distance romance between Cheyenne Mountain and Area 51. Still, this season contains standalone episodes that rank with the series’ very best. “Insiders,” with all its multiple Baals (Cliff Simon), one of the show’s hottest, coolest Goa’uld baddies; “Memento Mori,” which takes the cliché of the stint with amnesia — in this case, Vala’s (Claudia Black) — in a bittersweet direction; “Bad Guys,” tweaking our heroes’ attitudes about themselves; “Family Ties,” with Fred Willard as Vala’s con-man father. But this entire set might be worth it for one episode alone: “200,” the series’ 200th episode, featuring the return of Wormhole Xtreme creator Martin Lloyd (Willie Garson) and a selection of sci-fi sendups that are as loving as they are hilarious. Best. Episode. Ever? Maybe. Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes, production design galleries, audio commentaries, and — oh ho! — an exclusive trailer for the first direct-to-DVD Stargate feature film, The Ark of Truth. [buy at Amazon]

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