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Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘Window Of Opportunity’ (S04E06)

(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: While exploring planet P4X-639, the SG-1 team meets Malikai, a human explorer from another world who shares Dr. Daniel Jackson’s interest in an alien computer covered in a strange Latin-like script.

Ooooh, looks like a time travel episode. I like time travel episodes if done right and this one has Teal’c and O’Neill stuck in a time loop, SG-1‘s version of Groundhog Dog.

Hands down, no doubt about it, my most favorite SG-1 episode by far, even beating out the ones that explore the show’s mythology. Which is saying something for a standalone episode. The writers are hitting on all cylinders here with a perfect mix of humor, drama, great lines and terrific character interaction, especially when Teal’c and Jack go into ‘no consequences’ mode. Awesome job!

And I’m really glad the technical details of how the time loop was created and sustained are somewhat glossed over without devolving into technobabble, which is what I was expecting. That they didn’t go there was a welcome outcome.

It occurs to me, after watching the first six episodes of season 4, that what seemed to be lacking from the first three seasons was a sense of fun and wonder. Instead we had serious episode after serious episode, with the rare break into humor. I think SG-1 works better when things aren’t taken as seriously, even when the situation calls for it. This episode is a perfect example: 14 planets stuck in a time loop is a serious matter, but dosed with liberal amounts of humor made it very enjoyable to watch. I hope this style of writing keeps up.

And if this mix of humor and seriousness was around in the first season, I’d probably have been a fan.

Best Lines:

[After the first flash, O’Neill find himself back in the commissary.]

O’Neill – “Weren’t we just somewhere else?”

Jackson – “Where?”

O’Neill – “Some planet.”

Jackson – “When?”

O’Neill – “Just now.”

Jackson – “No.”

O’Neill – “Sure?”

Jackson – “Yeah.”

[O’Neill and company are sitting in the briefing for the second time loop.]

Teal’c – “Events do appear to be repeating themselves.”

Jackson – “Since when?”

O’Neill – “Since we went to P4X-639.”

Carter – “We haven’t been to P4X-639.”

O’Neill – “Yes we have.”

[Looks at Daniel]

O’Neill – “”No we haven’t.” That’s what you were gonna say.”

Jackson – “Of course that’s what I was gonna say.”

O’Neill – “Okay, bad example.”

[SG-1 goes through the stargate on loop 2 and meets Malakai.]

O’Neill – “What kind of archaeologist carries a weapon?”

Jackson – “Uh, I do.”

O’Neill – “Bad example.”

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

6 Comments on Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘Window Of Opportunity’ (S04E06)

  1. While I’ve always liked the episode, I do think it’s the most overrated episode of the ten year span of the series.  Time and time again it wins polls for the best episode–I don’t get it.  While it’s a good episode, it’s far from the best of the series.  Hitting a golf ball through the gate doesn’t make this the best episode ever.

  2. This was actually the second episode Paul and I wrote for the show, but the first one to be produced. In its original inception, it was actually a much darker story concerning a civilization facing an apocalyptic event that continually reboots time in order to come up with a solution to the impending crisis. SG-1 Exec. Producer pitched out the Groundhog Day route and it turned out to be a great call.

    The whole mid-episode montage (O’Neill riding his bike through the base, O’Neill and Teal’c juggling, the golfing, etc.) wasn’t in the original script but added later when the episode came in short.

    Mini lightning rod fandom moment: Jack dipping and kissing Sam. Half of fandom rejoiced while the other half bayed for our blood. Heh. Good times.

  3. Martin Sommerfeld // September 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm //

    Surely among my top5 episodes of SG-1. I really love stories with time loops and mostly they are even better when some humor is brought into it.

    That goes for SG-1 storytelling in general as well, you are completely right with that analysis, JP!

  4. When the show was in its first run on Showtime, I stayed with it for about the first season and a half, but then somehow lost interest after “A Matter of Time” (which I loved, BTW).

    I’m very slowly trying to get caught up thanks to Hulu (currently only up to S01E12), but I had to jump ahead and watch this one, since JP is still mentioning it four episodes later.

    There have been plenty of moments in SG-1 that made me laugh out loud or at least made me smile hugely, but I never dreamed I could laugh so hard for so long! Definitely earned the top rank it has!

    Loved the interplay between O’Neill & Teal’c: Since everybody always mentions the golfing & juggling, I’ll just go with the tape recorder scene…

    Teal’c: Did I not say that your plan would be unsuccessful…

    [O’Neill whirls on Teal’c, with a raised finger of warning]

    O’Neill: Careful! Be careful.


    BTW, another great implementation of the Groundhog Day theme is the short-lived ABC show Day Break, which I just binge-watched on Hulu a few weeks ago…

    Hulu – Day Break

    Day Break – Wikipedia

    The 4-disc DVD set that was released last year was supposed to have been fantastic…

    DVD Verdict Review: Day Break: The Complete Series

    …but it was discontinued after BCI Eclipse went out of business.

    It’s going to be re-released as a 2-disc set through Mill Creek on Sept. 29th, but I doubt the quality is gonna be all that great.

  5. I agree with Chris about Day Break. I really liked it when it was first aired and was very perturbed they canned it before finishing the run. Luckily, they put the remaining episodes on so I could see how it ended (this was before Hulu, remember when that was? Internet time moves fast!)

    I’ve thought about putting it up here and I may do so later, but don’t let that stop you from watching if you’d like.

  6. Larry Kramer // September 23, 2009 at 7:14 pm //

    Tastes differ of course, but I think “Window of Opportunity” wins top rating in polls of SG-1 episodes for good reasons.  It takes the characters we have grown to know and enjoy and puts them in a very strange situation that produces alot of geniunely funny moments.  I liked “Groundhog Day” but I think this was even funnier, mostly because it was able to draw on interactions between well developed characters. 

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