AskDefine | Define unending

Dictionary Definition

unending adj : continuing forever or indefinitely; "the ageless themes of love and revenge"; "eternal truths"; "life everlasting"; "hell's perpetual fires"; "the unending bliss of heaven" [syn: ageless, eternal, everlasting, perpetual, unceasing]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Not ending; having no end.



Extensive Definition

"Unending" is the twentieth episode of season ten of the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1, as well as the series finale. The episode attracted approximately 2.2 million viewers on its American broadcast, a ratings success for the Sci Fi Channel.


SG-1 and General Landry are travelling on the USS Odyssey to the Asgard home world, Orilla, when Thor beams aboard and reveals that after millennia of genetic manipulation, the Asgard are very close to extinction. Thor offers the Asgard knowledge to be uploaded into the Odyssey, and the SG-1 accepts. However, the Odyssey is soon attacked by Ori warships. As the Ori fire a final energy beam upon the Odyssey, Col. Carter activates a localized time dilation field that should give them time to find a solution. Since this proves unsuccessful, a ZPM and the Asgard power core power the time dilation field and the new Asgard technology synthesizes food, supplies and oxygen.
During their initial months on board, Vala repeatedly tries to seduce Daniel. After three months, Daniel angrily confronts Vala for what he believes to be her insincerity, teasing, and mocking of him. Vala is greatly upset by his words, making him realize that she really does care for him and was sincere. They share a passionate embrace. Years pass, as each member of the team attempts to deal with their isolation. General Landry develops a gardening hobby; Carter learns how to play the cello; Daniel continues to work on translating information in the database; Mitchell and Teal'c train; and Daniel and Vala develop their relationship. Mitchell spends much time jogging through the ship, growing more frustrated and angry. After many years, General Landry succumbs to old age and dies.
After fifty years, with everybody besides Teal'c (who, as a Jaffa, has a much longer lifespan than the other members of the team) aging greatly, Sam finally figures out how to reverse time within a localized field, which requires the power of the Ori energy beam. However, this will mean the loss of any memories of the last fifty years. Teal'c volunteers to remain behind and perform the rescue, protected within a separate field. As the group prepares their plan, Vala and Daniel exchange a last embrace, assuring each other of their love. When everything is in place, they deactivate the time dilation field and Teal'c prevents Colonel Carter from activating the time dilation field. They leave before they are destroyed, saving themselves and the Asgard's legacy.
Back at the SGC, Teal'c refuses to reveal any of the events on the ship to the others, much to Vala's disappointment. However, Daniel jokes that Teal'c revealed to him several bits of good advice that Daniel read in the Asgard database in the alternate timeline (they're really just common aphorisms). SG-1 contemplates these words of wisdom—among them "good things come to those who wait"—as they prepare for another mission. As the episode—and the series—comes to a close, the team says "indeed" all at once, General Landry wishes the team God-speed, and SG-1 steps through the gate on their next mission.


"Unending" is the series' tenth season finale, and the fifth that the show's writers thought might end up serving as Stargate SG-1's last episode. The writers originally planned to end with a cliffhanger finale as they anticipated another renewal. The Sci-Fi Channel however had announced the series' cancellation in August 2006, approximately one month before "Unending" was written. The network did not want a cliffhanger. The episode's name was chosen to give "a sense of ending without it being an ending." "To blow up the S.G.C. and kill everyone" was never intended. The buildup of the Ori arc in Seasons 9 and 10 will get a pay-off in Stargate: The Ark of Truth. According to Robert C. Cooper, "Unending" was intended as "an emotional tribute to the ten seasons that have come before" and "the last chapter in the book -- but not necessarily in the series of books. It was a chance to show, using science fiction, to show people one version of what the future might be like for these characters that they've spent so much time with and loved so much." and see the relationship develop and evolve. Claudia Black found that the prosthetics made her "look like a ghoul from Tales from the Crypt". Producer Brad Wright wanted all of the characters to get a last shot in the spotlight instead of focusing on only one character. Robert C. Cooper envisioned that in his mind, the scene of Daniel holding a crying Vala was caused by Vala having gotten pregnant and losing the baby. Although the cast and crew were tired and emotional at the ending to the shooting of the episode, they knew at this point that more films would be produced, which made their parting easier for them.
On its first airing in the US on the Sci Fi Channel on June 22, 2007, "Unending" attracted approximately 2.2 million viewers on its American broadcast, the best performance for SG-1 since the September 22, 2006 mid-season finale. Maureen Ryan of The Chicago Tribune said, "It's sort of a strange note to go out on, though the episode itself passes painlessly enough, thanks to the skills of the able cast and the goodwill their characters have built up over the years. And I can understand the desire on the part of the show’s creative team to try to make the last outing with the Stargate characters “Unending”. [...] Still, it’s a little disappointing that the final exchange of dialogue on the show is a string of banal clichés. I think “SG-1” deserved something more in its closing minutes as a TV show."
Mary McNamara of Multichannel News stated that "Unending" was "unheralded for the most part and Sci Fi appears to be letting go quietly." Unlike the Sopranos finale, McNamara called the SG-1 finale "a poignant and satisfying conclusion" and "a true ensemble/team piece." She lauded Cooper's direction, lighting, costuming, the "haunting" music and sound, the production values and special effects. However, she felt the "Vala/Daniel argument [was] a tad overwrought but the motivation is clear." Finally, she admitted that "this unsung episode may not be a top-ten ranked series finale, but it certainly ranks as one that's very good - and as one that respects and rewards the ten year commitment viewers have made to the series."
Jason Van Horn of IGN found that "The episode was a great symbol of the show itself, in how the show will always truly be 'unending'" as long as it stays in the public mind via re-runs and DVDs. Also mentioning the humor in the episode, "it is the amount of heart and pure emotion running rampant this episode, that really seals the deal and reminded us why we care so much about this show, and that we will truly miss it from being on the airwaves. The two most heart wrenching moments was Vala's seduction of Daniel and Mitchell's breakdown. [...] The subsequent tears that flow from Vala's eyes are the icing on the cake, which really got us and Daniel as well, as it soon signaled the beginning of a very long lasting and loving relationship. When the two say their final goodbyes as this long couple before time gets rewound, though they don't ever come out and say they love each other, you just know it. Watching the cool Mitchell go crazy with rage at the situation of being stuck in time, including the destruction of his quarters, was a powerful moment of energy, rage, and loss. Even the death of General Landry, though we never cared much about him during his run, hit us thanks to the acting by Amanda Tapping crying over him."
Richard Keller of TV Squad was "extremely sad to see it go", but described the series finale as "extremely predictable" and not "original enough" except for the resolution with Teal'c because "the premise of the episode has been done to death in nearly every single science-fiction series ever made." He noted an "extraordinarily similar[ity]" with the two-part episode of Star Trek: Voyager named "Year of Hell". He liked the team's reaction to the imprisonment on the ship, especially Mitchell, and Vala's emotional response to Daniel after he put her down. "With this episode you could tell that she had really grown as a character." He felt "It could have been better" and that "something a bit stronger should have been put on the screen. Instead, we got a mediocre finale that sort of plodded along to its conclusion. One can only hope that the DVD movies pick up the pace a bit in the storytelling field."
Ian Calcutt of found that Stargate SG-1 "certainly goes out with a bang, several of them in fact." "Stargate has shown that it can still pull off a clever, ground-breaking episode right at the end of its run; though by spanning the years it is, perhaps suitably, reminiscent of Star Trek: The Next Generations finale "All Good Things". Apart from the lack of a cameo from Richard Dean Anderson, which would have been a nice gesture, Unending is a hugely satisfying conclusion to this ten-year show. Both epic and intimate, it gives an unimaginable piece of heroic character development for Teal'c and provides a fitting series finale, while leaving the way wide open for the planned spin-offs."

Legacy and future of the series

With "Unending" as its 214th episode, Stargate SG-1 exited as the longest-running sci-fi series in American television history; The X-Files is second with 202 episodes. Doctor Who, a British sci-fi series, is leading world-wide television history with over 700 episodes, produced in four decades. Amanda Tapping's resumed her role as Col. Samantha Carter in a regular role in Season 4 of Stargate Atlantis. Christopher Judge (Teal'c) made two appearances in Season 4 of Atlantis, and Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks (Daniel) are confirmed to appear in Season 5 of Atlantis.
unending in Czech: Bez konce (Stargate SG-1)
unending in Hungarian: Unending (Csillagkapu)

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