Stargate Universe episode 10 review

One or two spoilers if you've not seen the episode yet, but as Stargate Universe heads off on its break, it's in fine form...

10. Justice

We’ve had sci-fi, and we’ve had drama, and this week it’s time for a detective story.

When Sgt Spencer is found dead in his quarters from a gunshot to the head, each of the crew start to suspect each other. When an inquisition is held, the crew are put under the microscope, with Dr Rush getting a lot of the heat.

With this story, we get to see a lot of characters show a defensive side that we haven’t seen yet. We’ve been seeing a lot of emotional scenes, but not a lot of true conversational back and forth with this much ferocity. A lot of the writing in this episode is about that kind of conversation, coming to a head between various characters, and as a result some of the best moments of the season crop up.

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On the sci-fi side of things, Dr Rush pushes his research of the Ancient Repository forward, with differing results. As well as this, there’s a new alien planet for the crew to explore with some interesting plot threads that begin there. Obviously, to say any more would leave this review unreadable to folks that haven’t yet seen it, but let’s just say there are some hugely interesting plot developments here.

Justice is one of those episodes that will be a turning point, not only for the series, but for the viewers too. For the series, there are a lot of good things going on, that ramp up every plotline to exactly where they need to be for the mid-season break. For the viewers, it’s really the point where they decide not only if the series is worth watching more of, but also if they do, whose side they are on.

The tension between Col Young and Dr Rush really comes to a climax in the final scenes of the episode and it will most likely set the tone for the entire second half of the series’ run. There are rivalries cropping up all over the ship, too, and the amount of tension felt through the screen is immense.

The performances here are some of the best certain characters have put in yet. Elyse Levesque’s Chloe Armstrong has, unfortunately, been relatively forgettable up until now, but her few scenes in the inquisition are some of the strongest, not only of her work, but of the entire episode. I was quite surprised by the level of attitude she brings to the role, but Levesque shows that she is truly capable of better than how she was written previously, and hopefully, this will help her character bloom.

Of course, this episode turns out to be all about Rush and Young’s clashing egos and Robert Carlyle and Justin Louis hand in the best performances of the episode. It’s a testament not only to the quality of the actors, but also to the writing of their characters. Everything comes to a head so well and decisions are made that can never be unmade, leaving the series in an entirely different place from before. A place that will be interesting to pick up from when the series returns in the New Year.

I, for one, haven’t seen a series with this many ups and downs in quite a while, but I’m happy to conclude that the ups outweigh the downs by a considerable amount, and that those ups make this a series worth watching.

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Robert Carlyle has been an absolute dream pairing for the role of Dr Rush, and his work alone is well worth tuning in for.

This episode shows a series on a high, and hopefully, one that can continue for as long as is possible.

I am eagerly awaiting the conclusion to this cliff-hanger, and hope that the break will not be for too long.

Check out our review of episode 9 here.

Stargate Universe is showing in the UK on Sky1 and Sky1 HD every Tuesday.