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Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘Upgrades’ (S04E03)

(Programming note: Joseph Mallozzi will be answering questions for SF Signal readers. If you’d like to ask him a question, please visit this post and place your question!)

Description: Anise, a new Tok’ra representative to Earth, approaches Stargate Command for help in testing a mysterious armband device discovered amid the ruins of a distant planet. Anise believes the devices could be a powerful weapon in their war against the Goa’uld.

If the actress who plays Anise seems familiar (she did to me) that’s probably because she (Vanessa Angel) played ‘Lisa’ in the TV series version of Weird Science, or even further back, she was a Russian spy in Spies Like Us. Here, though, the story could be “beware of Tok’ra bearing gifts.” I do find it strains credibility bit that the armbands confer super strength, dark vision, super reading and comprehension and super appetite, but then again, they are alien so I suppose we can run with that. What else I’m not sure I buy is how easily SGC allows three of their best people to be human guinea pigs. True, without them there’s not story, but I’m not sure the SGC would let that fly.


Frasier and Hammond come to their sense late though as the armbands don’t want to come off and they start messing with Carter’s, O’Neill’s and Jackson’s heads. But the nits here are just me, I notice these things. I do have to say that this episode is pretty good for a stand alone: it has a nice balance of humor and seriousness with several ‘LOL’ moments for me. Again, the writers show they can ‘do’ humor well and mix it up with other elements to make a fun episode.

Wait, they left the armbands behind? Let’s hope that doesn’t come back to haunt them later. So, while the science here is really iffy, the humor and byplay between the characters elevates this one above a typical SG-1 episode. It’s akin to a Eureka episode where the science is outlandish but the characters are great.

Best Lines:

[SG-1 meets the new Tok’ra representative.]

Anise – “You may call me Anise.”

Jackson – “Anise?”

Anise – “It means “noble strength”.”

Jackson – “Um, I’m Daniel. It means, uh, “God is my judge”.”

O’Neill – “I’m Jack. It means…[gestures at the box] what’s in the box?”

[SG-1 escapes to O’Malley’s for steaks.]

Waitress – “What can I get you?”

O’Neill – “Um, three of the biggest steaks you’ve got, with everything, rare, and baked potato.”

Waitress – “You got it!” [She starts to walk off]

O’Neill – “Excuse me… That was for me!”

Jackson – “Yeah, I’m gonna have three as well.”

O’Neill – “Four?”

Jackson – “Four… Four is good, yeah.”

Carter – “Me too, and French fries with mine… oh and a diet soda!”

[A tad bit later]

Carter – “So, has it occurred to anyone that we’re defying a direct order?”

Jackson – “Well, it’s not like we haven’t defied orders before.”

Carter – “Well, yeah, but that was to save Earth.”

O’Neill – “Earth. Steaks. There’s a difference?”

[SG-1 returns to SGC after blowing up Apophis’ ship.]

O’Neill – “Uh, General, sir? About the obviously impending court-martials, I’d like…”

Hammond – “You were all under the influence of an alien technology, Colonel. That’s a pretty solid defense.”

O’Neill – “Even so, I… I’m sorry.”

Carter – “Me too.”

Jackson – “Me three.”

Teal’c – “I have no need to apologize.”

Hammond – “Teal’c was actually following orders.”

O’Neill – “Of course he was.”

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

1 Comment on Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘Upgrades’ (S04E03)

  1. In a process that was to be repeated several times over the course of the series, an originally straight and far more somber story is revised and played for humor – with wonderful results.  The first draft of this script was actually quite serious but, by the time Executive Producer Robert Cooper finished his rewrite, it had been transformed into this funny – occasionally over-the-top – adventure episode.  And, incidentally, one of my favorites from season 4.  To my recollection, the first “humorous” episode of the series.  Yes, Emancipation was all sorts of hilarious as well – but unintentionally so.

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