Stargate SG-1: Cold Lazarus

Episode seven, Cold Lazarus, seems to exist for one simple reason: to fill anyone who didn't see the movie in on Jack's backstory. There's a little bit more to it to keep it interesting for those who already know, but it doesn't tie in to the Goa'uld or have any real repercussions going forward.
The rest of the planet is even less interesting.
The episode begins with SG-1 already on an alien planet - a pretty strange one this time. Whereas most planets look pretty much like bits of Earth (which saves money on sets and locations) this one is all yellow and blue and everything looks all washed out (presumably because it actually is). I appreciate what they were going for, but it just looks cheap and dumb and I'm glad they don't try this sort of thing more often.

How does a crystal see the world? I dunno, blue?
There don't seem to be any people, plants or animals, just a bunch of blue crystals. The team split up to investigate, and we get a weird view of Jack from the perspective of one of the crystals. Next thing we know Jack's unconscious on the ground and another Jack is standing over him. It's pretty clear that this Jack, who returns to Earth with SG-1, is a fake.

That's probably not great.
It's also worth keeping tabs on the number of times a quarantine procedure for all returning travellers would be a good idea. I believe this is the second time an entire episode's plot would have been completely derailed by it.

Anyway, Carter sees notJack looking at some of Jack's stuff (including pictures of his son) in the locker room and asks him about it. He reacts weirdly but she doesn't seem to notice. She later mentions to Daniel that she didn't know Jack had a son, and Daniel tells her about how he died. They then head to the lab to do some science on the crystals they brought back with them.

Why does he even keep this stuff at work?
Meanwhile, notJack goes to visit Jack's ex-wife. Again, no one really seems to notice how weird he's being. They do notice that something's up, but the way he's acting seems like it should get a stronger reaction. Like taking him to a hospital, maybe, because he seems really confused and spaced out and doesn't seem to realise that his son's dead.

There's a lot of boring talking in this episode.
Back on the base, Teal'c watches some television but is quickly called to the lab where Sam and Daniel are fucking around with crystals. They're starting to figure out there's something weird about them, and that the Goa'uld may have been involved, when suddenly a face appears on one of them and talks to them. It looks goofy as hell.

It doesn't look any better in motion either.
Before they have a chance to get over this development though, the Stargate activates and it's someone sending through the ID code that tells them to open the iris. Fortunately they do, because it's Jack, wondering why they left him behind.

He does the "what the fuck, guys?" face rally well.
Of course, they immediately assume that he's the fake and put him in a cell, because these people are real dumb. They quickly realise their mistake though, and discover that notJack is actually some sort of projection or something from the blue crystals. They talk to the crystal in the lab again and find out that they need to get it and notJack back to their planet quickly or they could go radioactive or explode or something.

Amazingly, this is what convinces them it's really him.
They track notJack to the hospital - his ex-wife did eventually take him there - where he's kind of started to get a bit explodey, and real Jack has a bit of a chat with his ex-wife before they bring notJack and his crystal pals back to their own planet.

It's OK, he's only a little bit explodey.
Given the differences between the movie and the show, I'm not really sure that this episode was even necessary. Jack's dead son was a fairly important point in the movie, but this version of Jack is quite a different character and that backstory feels a bit out of place here. Plus, this episode does nothing to advance the ongoing plot and the alien beings encountered are basically never mentioned again and end up being fairly uninteresting. It's a pretty average episode by this season's standards, not one of the worst, but not notably good either. If you're watching just to get to the better seasons, you could certainly skip this one.

It's funny because it looks like a spiky penis.
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