Stargate Universe episode 16 review

There's sabotage afoot in our latest Stargate Universe review...

Stargate Universe: Sabotage

There may be spoilers ahead, if you’ve not yet seen this episode.

16. Sabotage

Col Young starts this episode feeling pretty sorry for himself. No wonder, considering where we ended in the final moments of the last episode. Eli (David Blue), Chloe (Elyse Levesque) and Lt Scott (Brian Smith) were left stranded on an unknown alien planet at the end, as Destiny spooled up its FTL drive and flew off into the distance. With only Sgt Greer (Jamil Smith) saved from that mission, things are weighing heavy on Col Young’s mind.

To add to that, the ship has shut some systems down, as Dr Rush (Robert Carlyle) realises that Destiny is preparing to cross some barren space between two galaxies. However, the ship still does not have the power to complete the trip and drops out of FTL not long after, leaving the ship defenceless and dead in the water.

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The ancient communication stones are used to send Lt James (Julia Benson) in a swap with a hyperdrive genius back on Earth, but there’s a catch. The genius in question, Dr Amanda Perry (Kathleen Munroe) is wheelchair bound, with no feeling from the neck down, and on a respirator.

It’s too much for Lt James, and she backs out almost immediately, which can’t be good for her, as since she had to blow up the tunnel that trapped Eli and co, she feels that Col Young doubts her abilities.

Instead, Camile Wray (Ming-Na) takes her place, and goes off to see her partner Sharon (Reiko Aylesworth) leaving both struggling to come to terms with the transition.

It also doesn’t help that with Dr Perry’s helper Mary (Catherine Lough Haggquist) is always around as a constant third wheel. It would be a good chance to delve into the character of Camile a little more if Dr Perry’s situation wasn’t the bigger issue here.

When one of the twelve FTL drives on Destiny stops functioning and the ship becomes helpless, the team race to fix the problem, but it might take a while. During the event, Lt James and the comatose Dr Franklin experience something, and throughout the course of the episode, things becomes slightly clearer about what that is.

This unfortunate thing for most of Destiny’s crew turns into a win for Eli, Chloe and Lt Scott, as they are just in range to gate in. It’s good that they did too, otherwise they’d miss out on the efforts to get the FTL drive working again, and more importantly, the opening of Mr Brody’s (Peter Kelamis) still.

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Yes, everybody knows the one thing you need in a crisis is booze! It brings everyone together, and it’s also helpful if you’re about to die and you want to drain your sorrows, and these are both things that the Destiny crew need.

The conclusion of the episode is, again, brilliant. The showrunners and writers of SGU consistently deliver superb endings that mean a lot to the show, and while they may have skimped out on leaving last week’s final moment almost the same as the week before, they can definitely deliver great conclusions.

This week’s ending is mind-boggling, but I’m sure the theorists already have their ideas on what it could mean.

All in all, this was a great episode that brought the whole crew together pretty well. Background characters like Lt James, Adam Brody and Dr Franklin all came back into focus to varying degrees, and all were superb in their roles yet again.

Dr Rush has some wonderful scenes with his old friend Dr Perry, that really bring home the effect of the episode Human, which centred on his life prior to the Stargate. Dr Perry herself was a brilliant addition to the cast and she felt like she fit right from her first scene. Pretty much the entire cast for this episode brings something wonderful to the table and the whole thing is just great television.

If I had one qualm it was the all too quick resolution of last week’s cliffhanger. It’s the first time I’ve felt that maybe SGU has stunted its growth by only giving its first season the Stargate series’ now-standard 20 episodes. If it had a little more room, these plotlines could have been spread out a little more, with perhaps a two-part episode to give the story room to breathe.

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However, as it is, it’s still bloody good.

Check out our review of episode 15 here.

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