Stargate Universe season 2 episode 11 review: Deliverance

The back end of Stargate Universe's final season arrives in the UK at last. Carl prepares to see the Destiny off...

This review contains spoilers.

2.11 Deliverance

When we last saw Stargate Universe, they had just been led to a firefight between two alien races we barely know anything about. The aliens named the Ursini, whom Col Telford has been with for the last few weeks and has come to trust, suddenly tell them to fire on their enemies’ command ship. Was it a breakdown in communication, or a ruse to use Destiny’s superior firepower to their own ends?

Needless to say, it has been dealt with by ten minutes into the episode, and the rest of the episode focuses on whether they can trust the Ursini, and what they can learn about the other aliens, all the while trying to fix Destiny’s FTL drive.

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There is one thing that’s infuriating about this whole situation, and that’s that the other two alien races still don’t have names. So, for the foreseeable future, we’ll call the aliens who abducted Chloe traliens, because they look fairly traditional, and the newer more robotic alien race, roliens.

While they’re stuck in this situation, Eli feels the best use of their extended stay would be to examine the roliens closer, by bringing one of their smaller ships on board and poking and prodding it until it they learn something. When they do get it aboard Destiny, it’s a little like Neanderthals examining a wheel at first, but soon they get it cracked open and start fiddling with the base code of it.

To bring in a distraction during the battle, Chloe rings up the traliens and attracts them to Destiny’s whereabouts. However, when the last remaining ship in the battle is the traliens, Col Young strikes up a deal, and Chloe is offered up to them in exchange for not killing them. The idea comes from Dr Rush, who insists it might be the only way to help her become human again.

The idea of coming back after a break is to wrap up the storylines that were left open at the last episode, and begin new ones that will take us through to the conclusion. While it’s true that we learn a bit about all three alien races in this episode, it’s better that we don’t learn too much.

The crew of Destiny still have no idea if they can trust any of the three when it comes to the end, and it seems as if one alien is being branded the most evil of the three, when in reality, I think they might not be as bad as all that. I think the writers’ intentions are to make you think you know what’s going on, only to pull the rug from under you, and in true Stargate Universe fashion, it’ll still be surprising.

The cast are as solid as they ever were, but here, no one member of the crew stands out, as this episode is more of an ensemble. However, a special note should be made of the ‘other guys’, Adam Brody, Dale Volker, and Lisa Park, who are given as much focus in Deliverance as the main cast. Brody, Volker and Eli are responsible for the poking and prodding of the roliens ship, which is a brilliant scene, with perfect and natural reactions from all three, and Park is the first of the other guys’ to be put into the spacesuit.

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However, with huge space battles, explosions in space and the roliens ship being brought on board the shuttle, it’s really the effects team who shine here. They had a massive job, and in every single respect they make it believable and interesting. One effects shot, in particular, which follows Destiny through the battlefield and an explosion, is inspired, and really shows the power they wield. 

Physical effects like models are rare in a show set in space, so when Stargate Universe tries its hand at it, it’s a treat. When they bring the roliens ship on board, it looks really convincing and of such a high standard that seeing it up close doesn’t ruin the effect.

While this episode may not be a series defining moment, it is a pure example of what Stargate Universe is at its heart. It’s a deftly crafted sci-fi epic that not only deals with the emotions of its crew, but also delivers on an aesthetic level. To lose a show like this is only to the detriment of the Syfy channel (shudder) and sci-fi in general on television.

Read our review of episode 10, Resurgence, here.

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