My trip down SG-1 memory lane is almost complete. 145 episodes down; 3 to go…
FAMILY TIES (1018)
The SG-1 family had officially learned its fate during production on Bad Guys so, at this point in the season, we already knew we were done. I’d already broken this story, a fun romp that offered up a little backstory into the Vala character (in addition some insight into to Landry and Lam’s past), and couldn’t really deviate – but since I was in the process of writing the script at the time, a little foresight did give me the opportunity to include a few subtle (?) references to the cancellation, in addition to one of my favorite endings in Stargate history. This episode was also memorable for the hilarious performance of guest star Fred Willard who played the part of Vala’s incorrigible father.
We open with Mitchell and Siler heading down the corridor, catching them in mid-conversation. The first words out of Mitchell’s mouth: “They cancelled it? Really? I didn’t even know the new season had started.” echoed the online comments of many a fan when they discovered SG-1 had been canceled. And, later in the episode, Jacek in conversation with Carter: “That’s too bad. Because after all your Stargate program has accomplished for this network – of planets, I would think the decision makers would show it the respect it deserves.” There were a couple of other references, but I was asked to lose them for the final draft.
Surprisingly, something that no one asked me to lose was the final scene in which Teal’c unwittingly attends a reading of the Vagina Monologues (Sorry. Virginia Dialogues.). I put it in the first draft, fully expecting to be told “Very funny, but you’ve got to lose it.” Surprisingly, nobody asked me to take it out. Oh, I’m sure some thought about it, or assumed I would make the decision to take it out myself before the episode went to camera, but the scene went over so well with everyone else that I elected to keep it.
Well before this episode aired, I had fans online asking: “What would happen if a goa’uld symbiote was implanted in an Ori?”. Well…close enough. This episode is packed with back-references (Adria, Baal, ascension, the memory altering device), jumps back and forth in time (between the present and a past that didn’t really happen), pays off long-standing storylines, and propels the show’s major arc in a bold new direction. Which, alas, we wouldn’t be able to pick up until the Ark of Truth movie. But that’s a reminiscence for another blog entry. It was a huge cliffhanger – Would Adria be back and under what circumstances? – but we took solace in the fact that the plan was to make two movies, at least one of which would allow us to close out the Ori arc. BTW, favorite line = “It’s the bad guy equivalent of cordon bleu!”.
Hmmm. My Snow Monkeys face another tough match-up this weekend against the Pigskin Pirates. My two top RB’s are out (Peterson and Best are on byes) and it looks like I’ll have to play perennially ineffectual NYG RB Jacobs, gimpy Daniel Thomas, or Denver’s NoShow Moreno. I’m starting Romo, who I believe should have a good day at home against the Seahawks, and am happy with my WR’s: Dez Bryant vs those same Seahawks and Roddy White vs. the Colts. Cleveland’s Ben Watson is my fill-in TE, Green Bay’s Crosby is my kicker, and I’m rolling with the Saints D that should lay a beatdown on the Bucs following their embarrassing showing in St. Louis. Now, here’s the BIG question: Who do I play in the flex? Do I bench one of my three RB’s in favor of Steve Breaston who’ll be up against a porous Dolphins secondary? Help a monkey out here.
26 thoughts on “November 5, 2011: Reflecting back on SG-1’s final episodes! Help a monkey out here!”
Joe, you know I’ll only help if you re-name your team the Sea Monkeys…so, yer on your own, son. 🙂
I’d help your monkey if I had any idea what you just said.
@ Das – 😆 (Rooney)
*Sigh!* Oh SG-1, how I miss you.
Happy Guy Fawkes Day!
Best of luck with that fantasy football stuff, Joe. That is totally outside my area of expertise.
@das: Sea Monkeys. *chuckle*
Sadly for me, I am sure no one else cares, but I think Fred Willard has about as much acting ability, charisma and ability to be funny as a tooth retainer. But the end with Teal’c is one of my fave humor moments in all of Stargate. 🙂 Baal and Adria? How can you go wrong!
Can’t help you with your Snow Monkeys, but maybe you can help me: is it time to cut my losses and drop Chris Johnson? I keep hoping he’ll produce, but I hear he will be splitting time more and more, making him even less productive (if that is possible). And who would I pick up to replace him?
comment allez vous? ça fait longtemps 😉 J’ai eu pleins de choses à faire cette semaine. J’ai passer un super Week end avec quelques acteurs de stargate, j’ai même gagné un petit déjeuné avec Dan Payne! 🙂 Tellement gentil, en plus il parle très bien français…Dan est beau, drôle,impossant, charismatique je ne comprend toujours pas pourquoi on ne voyait pas son visage dans Stargate? Je pense que qu’il merite une carrière bien meilleure que celle qu’il a actuallement, vous ne croyez pas?
Whatever you decide on the monkeys will be a hoot, do they have food trucks at the fantasy league,hmm,yum. thanks for the sg memories, still a great show.
I fished out the dvd so I could watch the end of “Family Ties” again. The fact that it’s Teal’c, of all people, who shows up at the show, makes it even more hilarious. His reaction is priceless. Well played, sir.
Family Ties was a good episode. I laughed all the way through it! I’ve seen Fred Willard in other shows and find him hilarious. I believe that I’ve heard his voice in some cartoons also.
Joe, remember that look that O’Neill would give Carter whenever she started the technical talk? That’s me with football! I’m sure you said something important there, I just have no idea what it is. I do love the sad monkey pic, though.
Totally agree about the Teal’c moment being the highlight of that show. You could actually FEEL the awkwardness!
I was going to describe Fred Willard as ‘about as funny as leprosy’ but I think your description better captures his pain-inducing ‘performance’. I had put my total inability to be amused by the guy down to cultural differences; glad to find I am not alone! 🙂
‘Family Ties’ was a real disappointment for me, I’m afraid. Going by previous allusions and Claudia’s performances in past episodes, I had assumed her background (before her terrible time as a Goauld host) was quite dark: abuse of some kind, perhaps, or life as a refugee or orphan, or something tragic like that. A life that had taught Vala how to survive using her wits; that had made her distrustful of others. Something harsh, anyway.
And what do we get? An absentee father. Who is a con artist. Played by an ‘actor’ who, apparently, is meant to be funny.
Yeah, I was disappointed. Better, in my opinion, to have left Vala’s background up to the viewer’s imagination, rather than serve the unappetising (and irritatingly sentimental) fare that was dished up. But that’s just my opinion. Perhaps this episode had everyone else (except me & Debra ;-)) rolling in the aisles.
The sly references to SG1’s cancellation, though, were hilarious. 😀
And I still can’t believe it was cancelled. Why, oh why??? There were still so
many stories to tell, and it was as fresh as ever – after 10 years, no mean feat.
I would like to say, after delivering a brickbat to ‘Family Ties’, that I offer many bouquets to the SG production team for going places most other dramas, SF or not, would not go.
For example, in SG1, with the Goauld pretty much defeated, there were not only vast armies of Jaffa left leaderless throughout the galaxy (spending their time eating Jaffa Cakes & Jaffa sweets, presumably…*laughs hysterically at own lame joke*) but an obvious power vacuum. Most shows would find this too difficult to deal with, storywise, and would quietly pretend that neither existed. And I would be shouting at the telly, “But what about all those Jaffa? What do they do now?” It’s kind of insulting when shows ignore the fate of the ‘minor’ characters, as if ordinary people are just worthless. (Or perhaps that’s just my opinion…)
So I think it’s terrific that SG1 turned what other shows see as a problem into fertile ground for interesting new story-lines: examining the effect of the ‘new order’ on Jaffa society, exploring the creation of the Lucian Alliance – answering all those questions about ‘what would happen if this was a real situation’ that generally get overlooked in SF.
Which is one of the reasons I fell for SGU. I loved how the drama came from the situation on Destiny as much as from external forces; how the early episodes especially were all about simply surviving, getting the basics of life: air, water, food. Most shows simply don’t go there.
All three SG shows were brilliant; like three different flavours of ice-cream, they catered to different tastes or moods you might have, but were all delicious.
And I miss them. Why oh why etc. etc.
Thanks for reading. Or ignoring me. Y’know. whatever. 😉
‘Remember, remember the 5th of November –
Gunpowder, treason & plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.’ 😉
Im glad you were able to slip in a few jabs at the cancellation. Certainly I find the decision to cancel both shows inexplicable to this day. And yes, Teal’c and the Vag…Virginia Diaries will stand as one of the funniest and memerable moments of the series.
As for the Snow Monkies, you’re on your own. Just don’t follow pro ball enough right now to steer you in such a critical direction. Best of luck though.
I’m not sure I have ever laughed so hard watching Stargate as I did the first time I saw Teal’c watching the Vagina Monologues.It was so out of the blue but so PERFECT and there were tears of laughter.
When I first saw Fred Willard in the role, it temporarily took me out of the story, much as did with Dom DeLuis, but that can happen with any notable or unusual guest star. As the story went on, however, it became pure delight to watch the world turned on its head with Vala put in the role of providing a (somewhat) moral compass for her father’s more outlandish behavior.
Any episode with Baal and/or Adria is a good one.
Fred Willard? Really? Meh. I really couldn’t buy into the whole “family” idea with him as the father. That said, I loved the bit with the styrofoam peanuts and the Vagina Monologues – brilliant!
I loved the episodes with Fred Willard! Family Ties was among my favorite episodes of the last season. It was refreshingly … different.
As for the football, I wish your Snow Monkeys luck, but I have never much cared for the NFL, which is weird, having grown up in the Midwest where football is talked about at least as much as the weather. This is what the blog entries about fantasy football read like to me:
Blah blah blah snow monkeys blah blah blah colts blah monkeys blah blah. Blah blah monkey blah blah.
I only scan them to see what kind of snacks were eaten.
@Sparrow Hawk and Zed of the Earth:
I missed sending Guy Fawkes Best Wishes to my british friends (not that they needed it really), but you’ve got to love a holiday that commemorates an attempt to blow up parliment with a day of fireworks and bonfires 🙂
I should have remembered but I got tied up in my son’s birthday preparations. He’s turning 13 and requested a Chocolate Cheesecake decorated with American football players (I think he may have overestimated my food related artistic abilities!)
Sorry, can’t help on the Snow Monkies (probably too late anyway), but Aaron Rodgers is doing well. Who in your FFL has him?
@Zed of Earth: 😀
So how did your Snow Monkeys do? This was a depressing football weekend for me. My two favorite college teams, Alabama and Michigan, both lost. And the Lions had a bye week so nothing to get too excited about today.
i agree with you Debra & Zed of Earth, fred willard isn’t funny at all. i actually groan out loud whenever he shows up in something. he’s the reason i skip family ties on my rewatches.
Hey, hey, hey now, people! Fred Willard is hillarious! I loved him as (Ray’s brother) Robert’s father in-law, in Everybody Loves Raymond. He was perfectly cast and very very funny. He played the husband to Georgia Engel, and together they were a hoot!!
I loved this episode! I find Fred Willard really funny. I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him on Fernwood Tonight with Martin Mull.
Plus both endings (Teal’c and packing peanuts) had me rolling with laughter. Well done, sir!
@JeffW …’you’ve got to love a holiday that commemorates an attempt to blow up parliment with a day of fireworks and bonfires.’
‘I should have remembered but I got tied up in my son’s birthday preparations. He’s turning 13 and requested a Chocolate Cheesecake decorated with American football players (I think he may have overestimated my food related artistic abilities!’
What a cunning plan by your son – it would have to be a pretty BIG cake to fit all those players on!!! 😉
And, Chocolate Cheesecake…mmm. Pop a piece on a plate, I’ll be round for dessert! 😀
Hope your son has a great birthday & best wishes for those difficult teenage years!
‘Remember, remember’ is an old rhyme, of course. I realise I forgot to add, ‘by Anonymous.’ 🙂
Guy Fawkes popped up in two of my favourite childhood books. In Nicholas Stuart Gray’s ‘The Apple Stone,’ a guy the children made is brought to life by the touch of the magical golden apple they found in their orchard.
And in Diana Wynne Jones’ (Fantasy GODDESS, seriously) ‘Witch Week,’ it is Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up Parliament that splinters reality and creates a world where magic is extremely common but outlawed.
This book introduced me to the concept of alternative realities & parallel worlds. Diana Wynne Jones is a fantastic writer, and though she writes mostly for children, her books are so multi-layered, I find that I can reread them over and over and get something different out of them every time. She’s also very funny! Her book ‘Tough Guide To Fantasyland,’ for example, is a witty examination of fantasy cliches. 🙂
I’ve only seen Fred Willard in ‘Family Ties’, thankfully, so I’ve been spared any further horror. 😉
Fred Willard was great at his dead pan humor. It was a great take on how some people are just so gullible. In good humor lies a degree of truth. In the end I was squirming in my seat as much as Teal’c was.