Stuff We Love: Stargate SG-1’s unforgettable time loop episode “Window of Opportunity”

Contributed by
Jul 28, 2017, 5:50 PM EDT

July marks 20 years since Stargate SG-1 premiered in 1997. Looking back at the series, there were a lot of great episodes during its 10-season run, but the one that has always remained a particular favorite of mine through the years has been “Window of Opportunity.”

The plot of this fourth-season episode revolves around a time loop that only Colonel Jack O’Neill and Teal’c are aware is happening after a mission. It keeps bringing them back to the start of their day, where Jack is eating Froot Loops and Teal’c is walking down the hall getting hit by an opening door. While everyone eventually believes them about the loop, as they recount events that are going to happen and then do, the two unfortunately have to keep catching everyone up every time the loop restarts, and must learn what they need to in order to break the cycle, since everyone else forgets previous loops.

As they go through more of these, Jack and Teal’c start to use their time for other things. They decide to take advantage of the whole time-reset idea once Daniel puts the idea in their heads that they can do anything without worrying about consequences. This leads to my favorite parts of the episode, as we see what these two decide to do with that idea. Jack learns to make pottery, they hit golf balls through the Stargate, and Teal’c decides to not be so nice to the guy who hits him with the door.

Ultimately, they find out the man responsible was doing this to find a way to go back in time and see his wife again. They tell him how his work has impacted so many others, and Jack tells him he understands, having lost his son. And the man eventually stops the loop.

It’s easy to see why “Window of Opportunity” has remained a fan-favorite episode. It has an interesting plot with a character who, in the end, may have been doing something wrong but with a motivation you can relate to: the desire to be with someone you love who you’ve lost. It had just the right amount of humor to go along with a fascinating mystery, and offered a welcome focus on Jack and Teal’c as a team. This episode is a great example of why Stargate SG-1 will always be remembered as one of the best science fiction series on TV!