When is a series finale not a series finale? Well, when it's not a series finale. Like with Stargate SG-1, the, er, "series finale" of which aired on the Sci Fi Channel last Friday night. I've loved this show for a decade. I stuck with it even through its rough patches, like the season costarring Corin Nemec as an alien scientist who joins the explorers from earth, and who was an intriguing character the writers never really embraced. So, of course, I was there for the wrap-up.
And I was really quite moved by it, more even that I expected to be ... at first. Miring the team in a temporal bubble, with time stopped outside while the team ages decades within, so that they would be resigned to living out the rest of their lives in a kind of limbo that the universe outside the bubble would never know about? Wow, what a fantastic metaphor for what happens to beloved characters in our imaginations when a TV show we've followed for years ends, as they just sort of linger there but never really move on! What a fantastic way of looking at that fictional tragedy from the perspective of the characters. I was in tears, I swear. I know it's just a silly sci-fi show, but I'm a girl, and I sobbed like a baby.
Then I got mad. Because they ruined it! Everything got reversed and they got rescued. No, it was worse than that: time rewound and none of it ever happened, and all the changes they went through that we witnessed in those decades in the time bubble, and the relationships they developed, and the things they learned ... gone. (Oh, I know, Teal'c, as the one person who escaped the bubble with his memories intact, remembers, but he'll never tell.) It was a cheat and a cop-out, and I was pissed.
But I didn't know then what I know now: SG-1 ain't over. Two direct-to-DVD movies will be released in 2008, and it's in these movies that the major plot threads of late -- hello, the Ori who want to dominate the universe never even appear in the "series finale"? -- will be wrapped up. And new threads may even develop: we may get SG-1 DVD movies every year until who knows when.
I'm still mad, though. This "series finale" turned out to be just one more instance of the writers and producers trying to have it all. Like when Richard Dean Anderson, the original star of the show as well as one of its producers, wanted off the show, and they didn't have the guts to kill him off, but never wrapped up Jack's relationship with Amanda Tapping's Sam, either.
End the show! But don't end it! Damn, I'm furious.
But I'm waiting for those DVDs ...
MaryAnn Johanson (email me)
reviews, reviews, reviews! at FlickFilosopher.com