If anyone were in doubt that Stargate Universe is a show worth watching, this week’s effort may change your mind.
It kicks right off, with an interesting premise, based around the ancient communication stones, which swap the consciousnesses of two people, even across galaxies. Chloe, Eli and Col Young have some emotional rides on Earth, while Lou Diamond Phillips’ Col Telford leads a two-man science team to Destiny to attempt a risky mission to bring the crew back home.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I fear it won’t work. We are only seven episodes in, remember, and that would surely be the death sentence for a show this early on. However, it gives a good balance between the two sides of the show that will regularly come head to head. What’s important is that neither wins out, and that both get a fair chance to shine.
On the dramatic, emotional side of things, Eli gets the biggest chance to shine yet, in a reunion with his mother. As his mother is unaware that she is actually talking to her son, Eli uses the body swap experience to talk to her as an observer. Not only does he distance himself from his own feelings, but also that of his mother, as the situation may have been a little too much for either of them to handle. David Blue gets an ample opportunity to make the character of Eli bloom into a more rounded character, instead of just the wise-cracking genius we’ve seen thus far. His talents shine through here and I can’t wait to see more of just what he can do.
Col Young has the most to gain in his trip home, though, as he uses the time to great effect, using the majority of it to reconcile with his wife. His story will probably become the most complicated by far, with events in this episode playing heavily on the rest of the series. It’ll be interesting to see what happens here, and the ending of this episode pretty much confirms the knock on effect that this will have in future episodes.
Meanwhile, on the ship, Dr Rush and Col Telford bang heads as they disagree on absolutely everything. While Col Telford has the entirely dumb idea to shoot into space until the battery runs down, Dr Rush can barely hold himself back from making a confused face. As silly as it sounds, there may be method to Telford’s madness.
By running down the battery, the ship will seek out a sun to gather energy from, which the crew will then use to fire up the Stargate to get back home. Dr Rush, however, tells him that he’s a nutter, and that the ship will most likely blow up. The dramatic conclusion is worth the wait, and it plays off the brilliant acting skills that Robert Carlyle continues to show in every episode.
What’s good too is that Richard Dean Anderson is back, and in the big chair. The scenes which he appears in give an idea of how the IOA is still trying to control every aspect of the Stargate Program, and to a degree, succeeding. Of course, O’Neill knows when to say no, and shows that the rebel we knew and loved for eight seasons is still around, ready to come back at the drop of a hat.
In short, this episode is what Stargate Universe is probably going to be like from week to week, and it shows a series that knows what it wants to do. It set out to channel the main elements, but change a lot of things from the first two series into a viably darker and grittier show.
With this episode, I can confirm that they are definitely going along the right path, and even if they still have some groundwork to cover along the way, I’m more than happy to walk this road with them.