As Stargate Universe climbs to its inevitable cliffhanger finale, fans should be downright terrified of the fate that awaits the crew of the Destiny. Because of SyFy’s untimely and unwarrented cancellation of the series, which gave the producers no opporunity to end on a better note because the film was already in the can, we may never find out what happens. In true Stargate tradition, the finale is going to be one heck of a dousey.
Warning! There are spoilers ahead!
A team from the Destiny gates down to a planet to gather supplies. Instead they run into humans! That’s right! The first friendly, English speaking beings they have ever run into! But wait, it gets better! These people claim that their civilization was founded by Destiny‘s crew 2,000 years ago! They are their decendents! Turns out the decendents were stranded, unable to dail the gate to their original homeworld, Novis. When those stupid drones show up and start destroying everything, everyone flees to the Destiny, and a course is laid in for Novis.
This story filled a scientific hole from “Twin Destinies” that had me very concerned. When Telford was the only one to manage to make it to Earth through the Stargate, it was assumed that the rest were dead. This didn’t compute to me. Not once in 16 seasons of Stargate has anyone ever died because they didn’t make it through the gate on the other side. We’ve had gates jump and wind up on different planets. We’ve had people get disintigrated by the Kawhoosh. We’ve even had someone get stuck inside the gate’s crystal buffer. We’ve never had anyone just disapear in transit! The Ancients built a crazy number of safety protocols into their technology. Sometimes they just cause a lot more trouble than they prevent, but they still have never let a gate traveler down when it really mattered. So when it was assumed that everyone but Telford was dead, I was confused and totally in denial.
“Common Decent” corrected that problem with such elegance I can hardly praise it enough. Eli explained it perfectly, but even before he’d figured it out I was already grinning and clapping at the pure genius of it. The crew didn’t die! After Telford went though, a solar flare from the sun they were taking energy from got in the way of the wormhole! It sent them back in time, and the wormhole, unable to loop back to Destiny‘s gate, connected to the nearest Stargate and spat them out! Brilliant! And 100% Stargate canon!
“Common Decent” is also just the beginning of what would have been a long and truly facinating story arch. These decendents of the crew used their knowledge of the gate system to colonize the nearest plants, and then the next, and the next, and the next, spreading their people who knows how far. The intention was obviously that the Destiny‘s crew would keep finding these people and interacting with them. This brings the series a lot closer to its SG-1 roots. Each planet will have developed a little differently and encountered unique challenges, just as the people taken from Earth by the Goa’uld did. The show would become as much a study of the humans on these plants as it is a study of the crew. It would have been beautiful.
A team from the Destiny arrives on Novis via shuttle. They find a highly advanced and completely abandoned city slowly being buried in volcanic ash and demolished by earthquakes. In a repository of the decendent’s history and knowledge, the crew of the Destiny find keno recordings of their alternate lives.
This is alternate realities at its best, folks. I mean you don’t get much better than this. This isn’t like in SG-1’s “There but for the Grace of God”, where everything’s turned on its head. This is the same people living out completely different lives, while still having the exact same origins. Each of our main characters learned how they lived, who they eventually married, their children, and how they died. They see how a bunch of very different people who at one time faught and hated one another, grew into one big happy family. Well, happy except for Brody! The method of showing these events varied from seeing it as raw keno footage, to being there with the alternate crew in their timeline. However, it always came back to how it affected our crew as they watched, and how seeing that will change them. For some it’s a sign of hope for the future. For others, the news is not so promising.
Those pesky drones remind me of the Replicators. They seem nearly unstopable. Even worse, they’re smart. They are so determined to destroy the Destiny that they wait for it to drop out of FTL (Faster Than Light) to charge up at a star. Their goal is to attack while the ship is vulnerable and unable to jump right back into FTL without shredding the engines. Destiny gets lucky the first time and escapes, but when it happens again, the crew realizes that it’s a blockade. All the stars in their path are guarded and Destiny is running out of power. So, Eli comes up with another daring plan. They pilot Destiny to a different, much hotter type of star, the kind they would normally never dare to try and charge from. Meanwhile, most of the crew evacuates the ship to a nearby planet and finds a city, once again built and then abandoned by the decendents. They take the opportunity to search for supplies, and run into some unwanted visitors.
There is a new sense of comraderie among the crew while they are on the planet. There’s no more fighting. They joke good-naturedly with eachother. There is a common sense of purpose that we haven’t often seen. That squeemish jerk Morrison gets what he deserves, and no one disagrees! It was really fun and refreshing. It was also in stark contrast with Eli and Rush on the Destiny having a posturing battle with poor Dr. Park stuck in the middle.
At the end of the episode, the crew isn’t all that much better off for their efforts. Eventually the Destiny will need to charge up again, and those damn drones will be waiting.