Stargate SG-1: Brief Candle

Brief Candle (episode nine) is the second in a row that feels like it should have been a Star Trek episode. There's a little bit to tie it to the ongoing plot, but only in a tangential way, and as we approach the halfway point of season one it feels like we haven't really made any progress since the show began.

Pelops. Look him up.
SG-1 arrive on this week's planet in what appears to be a temple to Pelops where a pregnant woman and her husband are for some reason. The woman is literally going into labour as they arrive, and of course everyone looks to Carter as the only other woman present to help but settle for some reason on Daniel to be in charge. It's not clear why these two are here by themselves with no idea of what to do, but how else are we going to get the "hilarious" scene where a bunch of idiots are called on to help deliver a baby? I'm just glad no one called for boiling water.

This show is so fucking '90s.
Afterwards they all go to the nearby village where they notice that the locals all seem to young and healthy. No sick people, no old people. They have to point that out because the only time you see old or sick people on the show is when they're there for a specific purpose, so if the characters didn't mention it the audience wouldn't know there was supposed to be anything different about this place.

Suspiciously attractive locals.
One of the local women comes and gives Jack some kind of food item (it looks like bread with flowers on it, like a flower pizza) which she says is "only for him". It's kind of like that episode of Firefly where Mal accidentally got married, but in this case she's just trying to get him intoxicated and sleep with him rather than steal his ship and kill him. She succeeds in that goal shortly before she and all the other villagers fall into a deep sleep. The rest of SG-1 come to find him only for him to fall asleep too. They conclude that it must be something in the food, specifically whatever drug was on the pizza. But the next morning everyone wakes up, apparently fine. Turns out the locals are used to this since it happens every day.

Actually they kind of heavily imply sex without really confirming it.
Back in the temple, Teal'c finds a hidden compartment in the statue of Pelops in which he finds an ancient Goa'uld document. He can't read it immediately but is confident that he will be able to translate it. Reminder: Daniel's only job is translator and interpreter and Teal'c is far, far better at it than he is.

There's also a gem that "turns the pages" to show more text.
Back in the village, Carter finds a shell with something stuck in it that she decides would make a great toy for a baby, so she asks after the boy she and Daniel helped deliver the day before, only to discover that the baby has grown into a toddler in a single night. Turns out the people of this planet grow to adulthood incredibly rapidly and live only about 100 days. Simultaneously, Teal'c is discovering the same information from the ancient documents. Daniel's helping. The idea is that the accelerated aging makes the people here better lab rats (for the same reason we experiment on creatures with short life spans that reach breeding age quickly).

Fearing that the rapid aging is caused by a virus and linked to the weird sleeping patterns exhibited by the locals and now Jack, Carter takes some of his blood back to Earth for testing. Turns out its full of nanites, which I guess must have been the cool new sci-fi concept at the time because this is far from the last time we're going to encounter them.

They kind of look like glass pyramids. Or salt crystals.
Back on the planet, Jack is starting to look old. I wonder if Richard Dean Anderson's volunteered to have this kind of thing keep happening to his character or if someone just thought it was funny to put him in all sorts of weird makeup and wigs? Anyway, he decides he's staying on the planet until/unless they can find a cure, to make sure he doesn't infect anyone on Earth. Still no quarantine procedures implemented or suggested.

His hair and makeup actually change several times.
And on Earth, Carter and Fraiser work on studying the nanites. The nanites, however, begin to multiply and adapt, trying to escape containment. But it's OK, Carter briefly ran her hands under the tap after some of them got on her, so she's in the clear. Meanwhile Jack is just getting older and older, and occasionally inspiring rebellious thoughts in the locals. Also he has sex with the woman who infected him again, but consensually this time. It's still creepy.

Even ignoring his rapid aging, she's technically a baby.
He inspires the villagers to knock down the statue of Pelops, and takes his girlfriend camping outside the village. Up to this point no one has left the village as Pelops forbade it, and as night falls and they remain awake they realise the reason; whatever triggers the nanites to knock the locals out must have a limited range and be centred on the village. Returning home they also discover that the rest of the locals have not woken up at dawn as they usually do.

Take that, dude who disappeared centuries ago!
Jack investigates the fallen statue and finds a weird glowy thing. How no one noticed it before is a mystery, since it's right there in the open should have been obvious even if it wasn't glowing at the time. But he pulls it out and dials Earth to let them know. So they show up in their hazmat suits. But then they take the hazmat suits off for some reason. I don't get it.

Seriously, how'd they miss this?
Of course, the glowy thing controls the nanites, so they turn them off, allowing the villagers to age (and sleep) normally, and as an added bonus it also means Jack will return to normal somehow. They handwave that away with some nonsense about the nanites only simulating aging in him because he was already so old but the whole thing makes very little sense anyway.

Like I said at the start, this episode has absolutely no ramifications or impact going forward. It's fine for what it is, but it doesn't get us anywhere. There's no particular reason to skip it, but if you did then you would miss nothing. At least The Nox will gain some significance later that it didn't have on first viewing, but this one is just pointless.

Keep in mind, she's never even seen an old person before.
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