This review contains spoilers.
2.12 Twin Destinies
In the last episode, we were left with Destiny nearly broken, as it was travelling through hyperspace. We pick up with a chat between the crew on just how messed up the ship really is. They’re down to the last of everything and the ship is in dire straits. To put it bluntly, they’re buggered.
Eli brings up a lovely point that may have been forgotten. He and Gin had determined a way for the crew to dial home while travelling through a star. Of course, Dr Rush has worries about the many difficulties that could occur in not knowing what the variables might be. However, with his crew in mind, Col Young decides to forge ahead with Eli’s plan.
Dr Rush gets his wish, when a shuttle that has Dr Rush on board turns up between Destiny and the sun. He has a warning for Destiny’s crew, because he’s lived through Eli’s plan once and it did not go well. How exactly can you ignore a warning from yourself? Truth is, you can’t!
That bodes well for us, as we get to have not one, but two Robert Carlyles on screen for the majority of the episode. Considering that he’s quite possibly the finest thing about Stargate Universe, this is a great experience for any fan, although knowing the franchise as well as the next man, they were going to get around to this at some point. The amount of doppelgangers we’ve seen in the past is truly baffling, with clones, robots and alternate universes just some of the versions we’ve seen previously.
There are many great things about this episode, not least of which is the consequences of the ending, which will probably play a major role later in the season.
But of course, there’s always Lou Diamond Phillips being actually great for the first time in a long time. He’s been given a bit of a bum deal on the show, what with being the only character from Earth to come to Destiny after everyone else and then be abducted by aliens, before he becomes friends with them, then gets betrayed by them, until they apologise and kill themselves. Oh, and he was brainwashed and tortured too. It’s a bit of a roller coaster of events for Col Telford, who’s turned up in the least amount of episodes of the entire main cast.
Anyway, Phillips puts in a considerable effort here and proves himself worthy of being kept around a bit more. His arguments with both of the Dr Rushs are worth their salt and are almost as good as the scenes with the two Carlyles bantering with themselves.
However, it truly is Carlyle’s forty minutes, as Rush’s devotion to Destiny’s true mission is tested, and he passes not once, but twice. He revels in the chance to have big conversations with Telford and the other Dr Rush, both of whom are equally as potent in their jibes. He had somewhat of a reduced role in the first half of season two, mainly being confined to a secret mission in one part of the ship, but now that everybody knows what he’s been hiding, he’s right back in the mix, which is exactly where his cynicism thrives.
There’s also a little appearance from a Stargate favourite, Dr Bill Lee, who’s now been in all three of the series, which only further cements Universe in the story of the gate. Although, it’s small potatoes considering the appearances set to occur in the remaining episodes.
There’s a great scene in which Dr Rush tries to convince some of the crew to stay with him and continue Destiny’s mission, instead of attempting to gate home. It brought to mind a scene in the last season of Battlestar Galactica, in which Admiral Adama makes his case for what may turn out to be a suicide mission to the whole of his crew, with a line running down the middle of the deck.
The scene here may not be as grand, but it’s where characters choose to side that is important. Even though the decisions are made silently, you can tell that some choose to go with Rush, but not for the right reasons, and although the whole experience ended up not occurring, it’s interesting nonetheless.
All in all, the episode is a triumph, and if the second half of season two can keep up this kind of quality, I’ll only become more and more frustrated that this is the end of the Stargate franchise. Twin Destinies joins the list of the best Stargate Universe episodes so far, and I can only hope it’s not the last time that it happens.
Read our review of episode 11, Deliverance, here.