Stargate SG-1: The Broca Divide

Before I get into the plot of episode 5 (The Broca Divide) I just want to address a little point they make at the start of the episode about the gate addresses. The last symbol represents the point of origin. How does the destination take six symbols and the origin only one? Maybe there's some mathsy answer to this but it makes no sense to me. Anyway...

How is that still novel?
The refugees from the last episode have given them some new intel so they think they may have discovered Apophis's homeworld. Spoiler: They haven't. Daniel asks why they have to give the planets alphanumeric codes instead of memorable names, and no one is able to give a satisfactory answer. They don't switch to using names though.

The mission has an element of mystery to it though as the probe they sent through the gate sent back no images. Hammond says it's probably just dark there and the probe's lights were probably just damaged in transit. This is such an obviously bullshit explanation that I was sure it was going to be significant, but it isn't. Jack even asks why the probe doesn't have thermal imaging capabilities. No answer is given. It's not even that dark when they do get to the other side.

It's more "moonlit night" than "sunless cavern".
And while I'm complaining about meaningless technicalities, it's never sat right with me that they can send signals back through open gates like that anyway. If you want to go back through a stargate you have to close it and redial. Stargates are one-way. Except for the radio signals their probes use to transmit their videos back. Those can travel both ways, no problem. It's all made up nonsense, of course, but that detail bothers me.

On the other side of the gate, SG-1 is almost immediately set upon by a bunch of cavemen. They're quickly driven off by SG-3, and SG-1 set out to find out what's going on here. They discover a caveman camp, where Daniel Jackson proves his worth by completely failing to provide any useful information, and they notice that the cavemen appear to be holding a human woman prisoner. They really like their damsels in distress in this show.

The dark and movement made it hard to get a better screenshot.
Sam, of course, wants to rescue her, while Daniel believes that caveman sex was pretty much all rape so it's fine that this is happening? Christ, Daniel, even if that were true (and I believe that idea has been debunked), that still doesn't mean you shouldn't rescue this human from those cavemen.

Fortunately they're saved from having to act by the arrival of a group of rock-throwing humans who drive the cavemen off. These human call themselves the "untouched" and, as we'll come to expect, think the Earthers are gods. These "untouched" live in "the land of light", which is exactly what you think it is - the light side of the planet. The division is stark. You walk out of the trees and it's sunny. How trees (or cavemen) survive in perpetual darkness is never explained.

The whole light and dark thing is actually totally irrelevant.
Daniel claims the "untouched" civilisation looks "Minoan", presumably because they've got sculptures of bulls. Daniel is fucking terrible at his job. They quickly learn that the cavemen are actually humans who've been somehow transformed, the locals think that it's a curse that's somehow contagious, and also there have been no Goa'uld here for about a generation. So Jack declares that it's time to go, which seems reasonable. Daniel and Sam want to stay and learn about these people, but Jack's in charge so that's the end of the episode.

Bulls. Minotaur. Minoans. That's archaeology for you!
Of course it isn't. Back on Earth Daniel argues that they should be studying the people and worlds they encounter instead of just looking for Apophis - I guess he forgot this is a military endeavour - and brings up something he calls "the Broca Divide", the distinction between, I guess, levels of intelligence in primates? Sam knows all about it but it doesn't seem to be a thing in real life, although it's inventor is a real person who did study that kind of thing. His research was all about linking the size of the brain to the level of intelligence though, which has definitely been debunked since, so once again Daniel is fucking terrible at his job.

Hammond tells them that his arguments are a waste of time though since the higher-ups have already had the same thought and agree, but before the briefing can continue one of the members of SG-3 goes nuts and attacks Teal'c. They send him to the infirmary, but soon another member of SG-3 goes nus in similar fashion. This is followed by Sam sexually assaulting Jack in the locker room.

In the infirmary, Dr Fraiser tells Jack that whatever is causing this strange behaviour appears to be spreading. If you'd ever thought before now that they really should have some sort of quarantine procedure for people coming back from alien worlds, pat yourself on the back and prepare to be repeatedly disappointed as they never, ever learn.

Before long Jack's showing symptoms too, and attacks Daniel. Eventually Fraiser decides that it must be some sort of infection and Hammond orders the complex locked down so it can't spread to the outside world. Better late than never, I suppose. As the disease progresses, Jack starts screeching like a baby raptor and has to be sedated. It's weird.

We also learn that Teal'c is basically immune to disease because of his baby Goa'uld. Daniel also seems to be immune for some reason. So the two of them get sent back to the planet to get a blood sample from one of the uninfected people there, to see if there's something that makes them immune. There they discover the woman who they saw at the start of the episode has been abandoned on the dark side again, because it turns out she's infected. Daniel takes issue with this, but Teal'c points out that it's essentially the same as the quarantine back on Earth. Daniel disagrees, but Daniel is an idiot.

Back on Earth, Jack demands to be given more sedative. Fraiser initially refuses as he's already been given twice the safe dosage, but then relents for no apparent reason. For some reason this makes him more lucid. Fraiser speculates that "enough sedative must knock back the primitive mind" which is, of course, nonsense, but whatever. Jack demands to be experimented on, but raiser says no. Meanwhile Daniel Jackson's been kidnapped by cavemen, so Teal'c gets a blood sample from the Minoans.

Love that outfit though.
Fraiser tests the blood sample and discovers that the "untouched" have no histamine in their blood and speculates that the antihistamines she an Daniel take for their allergies explain why they also appear to be immune. They test it on Jack and it works so they head back to the planet to cure the Minoans.

We get a brief scene of Daniel as a caveman - I guess his allergy medication wore off - and they demonstrate to the "untouched" that the cure works, and all the cavemen come back home. Everyone's very happy. And Jack teases Sam about how sexy she was when she was assaulting him because this show is still garbage. And since it doesn't affect the main plot at all, this is the second episode in a row which you can and should skip.

Where did they all get the caveman outfits?
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