This review contains spoilers if you haven’t seen the episode yet.
In the last episode, Dr Rush (Robert Carlyle) and Col Young (Louis Ferreira) agreed to try and get along “for the sake of the crew”. It may have been nice to see them agree on something for once, but it may have just been a stall tactic, as this week’s episode begins to confirm.
Things kick off with a double header of a dream from the inner workings of Chloe Armstrong’s mind with accompanying music You Won’t Know by Brand New. It’s a brilliantly executed sequence, and it shows how well rock music like this can work effectively.
When Chloe (Elyse Levesque) and Dr Rush are experiencing the same dreams and nightmares, the conclusion is that the aliens must still have a connection to their former prisoners. An inspection of the outer hull of the ship reveals an alien vessel attached to the hull, which they promptly get rid of.
You may remember back in episode three, we saw something detach itself from the hull and fly off and it’s fair to say that it was the very same aliens back then as it is now. It’s safe to say there may be more than one. And if there isn’t? It’s safe to say that they’ll be coming back very soon.
Little do the folks in the military know, the civilian side of the crew has planned a coup d’état, and use this distraction to strike. They may think it’s the perfect time to cut the military off from essential parts of the ship, but it turns out they picked the worst time possible. That’s right, folks. The aliens are back, and in full force too, with three ships to blast Destiny out of the sky. While everyone argues about the best course of action and who should be in charge, another situation rears its ugly head.
Dr Rush, it would appear, has a tracking device implanted in his chest, and if he doesn’t get it out the Destiny will never be free of the aliens. Even if they make it through this battle alive, this very thing will continue to put them in harm’s way. Even at that, Rush believes that if they can fend off the aliens this one time, their stubborn un-killable attitude will ward off more attacks.
Wonderfully executed, this tiered story interweaves three plots to ramp up the stakes of the entire episode. It’s masterful, and it’s obvious that the Stargate Universe creators have been working in the world of TV for many, many years and have perfected the art. Every single moment is filled with brilliance, and when the show is this good, it’s unbeatable. Whereas last episode had the plot overtake the characters, this episode managed to find a keen balance between the two, giving the cast an ideal chance to shine throughout a well-plotted episode.
Chloe is given an unusual amount of depth in this episode and shows she can swim in the deep end with the rest of the cast. Camile Wray (Ming-Na) finally steps up to the plate and becomes a force to be reckoned with in the show.
David Blue’s Eli Wallace is just as good as ever, and continues to build on his already superb character. Even Lt Greer (Jamil Smith) gets a good few scenes to be his cocky and tough self, which is something that is missing from a fair few episodes so far. Of course, Robert Carlyle’s Dr Rush is as watchable as ever, which is especially good considering his involvement in each of the three sections of the plot. What’s interesting too is the burgeoning partnership between Dr Rush and Chloe, strengthened by their capture and subsequent escape from the alien ship last week.
The effects are as good as ever with the attack on the Destiny, and the detailed look at the outside hull being personal highlights. Inside the ship, too, we get to see a few new rooms that are well designed and fit snugly into the Destiny’s blueprints. The series continues to deliver the best quality graphics in every department, and I’m looking forward to seeing more space battles being tackled by this effects team.
Overall, the story remains constantly involving, and never overwhelms the characters. It never strays from its goal, however, which gives the story a very fast-paced and well-played out series of events. Along with the first half’s contribution, Time, this could well be the series on a high, and long may it continue.
Check out our review of episode 11 here.
Stargate Universe is showing in the UK on Sky1 and Sky1 HD every Tuesday.