Stargate Universe has been back for several weeks now as the second season, and sadly the series, winds to a close. Though the episodes have been pretty awesome, the ratings have been far from exemplary, so it’s time for this long time Stargate fan to contribute her two cents!
Warning: There are minor spoilers, but the entire episodes are not revealed in detail.
The episode starts right where we left off. Destinyhas been double-crossed by Telford’s alien buddies – big surprise, right? – and now they are far more worried about getting away alive than they are about taking out the drone command ship. Escape involves a crazy cool plan ala Eli. Things get a bit more complicated when those awesome-but-none-too-friendly blue aliens from the other galaxy show up.
Space battles are all well and good, and this episode was not exception, but the best part about this episode was watching the crew actually work as a team, perhaps even a family. It never really struck me until now, but there’s been so much inner conflict that it was really refreshing and fun to see everyone really working together and in tune with each other. I absolutely loved how they got themselves out of this mess. The plan was pure genius, and implementing it was a team effort. It seems to me that, whether they believe there’s something to Destiny‘s mission or not, they feel a new sense of purpose. Also, for the first time in my memory, we hear someone refer to Destinyas home. To me, that says a lot about how the crew has come to view their existence, and I think it’s helping to change the tone of the series for the better.
2.12 – “Twin Destinies”
Rush keeps trying to poke holes in Eli’s plan to dial Earth from inside a star, but ultimately Young decides that they are going to try it. At the eleventh hour the plan is cancelled when another Nicolas Rush hails the Destiny, claiming to be the only survivor of the experiment.
I LOVED this episode. This was only the second time we had one of the three classic science fiction staples: time travel, alternate realities, and alternate timelines. In the season one episode “Time”, which was a big hit with fans, we had an interesting twist on the time travel storyline. “Twin Destinies” used the solar flare time travel trick with very interesting consequences. Not only do we wind up with two Destinies, but also two Rush’s! Depending on your view of the character that could either be wonderful of scary, but in either case it was still extremely entertaining to watch! It’s still hard to know what goes on in Rush’s head. In some ways he seems reformed, but in other ways he’s just begging for Young to kick his butt again.
Camille and Greer, the two least likely characters on the ship to get along besides Rush and Young, are sent to Earth using the communication stones while visitors from Earth come to evaluate Destiny and her crew. While at Homeworld Command, the long anticipated Lucian Alliance attack takes place, and Camille and Greer are the only ones who can keep a real mess from turning into a horrific tragedy.
It came as some surprise to me that this episode was written by Linda McGibney, not Brad Wright. Brad was known on Outer Limits for being able to stick two characters in a room for an entire episode and keep it interesting. He kept up that reputation in writing “Solitudes” for SG-1‘s first season. “Alliances” was similar in many ways, but it was the differences that made it a great episode. The tone was more dire, as it usually is in SGU,but the use of subtle humor in the series is growing, and I think fans are going appreciate it in this episode. For instance, Volker and Brody have some great scenes in this one. They kind of reminded me of Hawkeye and BJ Honeycut from M*A*S*H, only without the pranks. Wait, does that mean Rush is Winchester?
2.14 – “Hope”
While manning the communication stones to learn of the fate of those threatened by the Lucian Alliance’s attack, Chloe’s body as borrowed by an unexpected visitor. Two, actually. Gin and Amanda Perry, thought dead, have been in communication stone limbo and finally found their way to the Destiny. Meanwhile Volker’s life is in danger as his kidneys start to fail. Greer volunteers a kidney for transplant, and TJ is the only one who can perform the surgery. No pressure.
I think this is my favorite episode of the second season thusfar. SGU has a lot of heart. Appreciation for that among fans has been slow to develop. “Hope” has a perfect balance of heart and action. You really can’t help but feel heartache for Eli as he finds Gin again, and for Rush as he discovers that Amanda is, in a way, still alive too. Then you have poor Scott who’s worried about Chloe. Watching these three men hovering around one woman, never knowing which personality was going to emerge next, was interesting partially because of how awkward it was for them! Then you have Volker looking like the living dead, and TJ scared that she’s going to be the death of him, or Greer, or both! There’s something for every fan to identify with. “Hope” is also probably the first time where we’ve seen a number of the crew actually laughing. If you can keep yourself from laughing along with them, I’ll eat my computer mouse!!
The much anticipated Atlantis cast crossover episode did not fail to deliver! After discovering that our old friends on Langara would technically be able to use their Stargate to dial the Destiny because of their planet’s naquadria-rich core, Richard Woolsey (Robert Picardo) and Rodney McKay (David Hewlett) are sent in to convince the Langaran’s that it would be safe to make a connection. “Safe” as in, “we promise, we won’t blow up your planet!” When the Langarans refuse, a plot is devised that is worthy of SG-1. Meanwhile, Rush takes a little trip into the world of an AI to be with Amanda and gets stuck there.
The opening scene had me clapping and giggling just because I was just so darn pleased to see Woolsey and McKay back again. I think it’s wonderful how both actors started on SG-1, starred on Atlantis, and now have guest starred on SGU. Both Hewlett and Picardo rolled right back into their roles. It was good too that the question of what’s going on with Atlantis was left very much open. You can either assume it’s still sitting in San Francisco Bay, or you can assume that it is back in the Pegasus galaxy. Either way, it still makes sense for Woolsey and McKay to be helping here. This is likely designed to keep SGU from stepping on the toes of either an Atlantis movie or the currently available Atlantis Legacy novels. As for why Rush isn’t helping to make the connection, he may be a genius but he’s also a stupid selfish jerk. As for the rest, let me just say that I really really didn’t need to see that, Rush.
There was one blaring omission in this episode. Where the heck is Jonas Quinn?! What’s the matter, did they think that having three old faces come back in one episode would overwhelm the SGU cast? Pft! This is Jonas’ planet! He’s supposed to still be at the top of the food chain in the Langaran government. We’ve been stuck wondering what happened to him ever since it was said in SG-1that the planet had fallen to the Ori. Goodness knows that Jonas would have been among the first to stand up in the Ori’s way, but there’s no way in heck they would have killed him because it never happens that way, period! Having him come back would have settled that question, and it would have been interesting to see where he would have stood on the issue in question. Would you let other people come in and risk blowing up your planet to reach some of their people stuck millions of light years away?
A foraging team is attacked by a huge and pretty ferocious creature, and it takes TJ and Corporal Reynolds to save for midnight snacks. An inexpert hunting team goes after them until it’s decided that Varro and some of his people can be trusted enough to go help. At the same time something is making Greer’s trigger finger hesitate, and that can only mean something is very wrong.
This wasn’t as disappointing as the preview made it look, which is bad because I have a feeling many fans thought as I did. “Uninvited” was not among SG-1‘s best episodes, and this bore a close resemblance, at least at first glance. “Uninvited” was pretty cut and dry. There was actually way more to “The Hunt”. We get to see TJ’s soldier side, which was very interesting because up until now, aside from having to obey orders from her superior officers, I never thought of her as military. Probably it is because she does such a good job of relating to both officers and civilians. This time, however, she found herself in a position where she was the superior officer, and you could see her have to dig deep to bring her military side to bear. Meanwhile, we learn that Greer is actually afraid of something, which is wonderful because lets face it, Greer has been fairly one-dimensional and easy to predict. It was a real shock when he didn’t shoot the creature on sight.
Stargate Universe has done nothing but improve this season. There’s a better sense of humor, a wider scope in the plot, and characters that were rather flat before are becoming more rounded, and more likable because of it. It’s a cryin’ shame that the series is almost over, with still no indications of how the story might be allowed to finish.
Make sure you tune into the last four episodes of Stargate Universe, Monday nights on SyFy!