Stargate Universe season 2 episode 13 review: Alliances

We're going to miss Stargate Universe when it's gone, even if Alliances isn't one of the show's best episodes...

This review contains spoilers.

2.13 Alliances

If you’ll remember, the last episode had that big scene in which everybody chose whether they were staying with Dr Rush and continuing Destiny’s true mission, or trying to go home in Eli’s experimental dialling within a star.

The first person to make his decision was Sgt Greer, who immediately chose to stay, and that decision shows us just how committed to being a soldier he is. Even without that knowledge, Camile Wray has noticed, and takes him with her on a communication stones visit to Earth.

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The reason is to give the new head of off-world spending committee, Senator Michaels, and a scientist Rush used to work with, Dr Covel, a chance to visit Destiny and review recent events aboard the ship. Sgt Greer isn’t happy about being immediately taken off duty on arrival, especially since Homeworld command is expecting an attack from the Lucian Alliance.

While in the process of leaving the building, there’s an alarm and then some kind of explosion. It gives Sgt Greer enough time to throw Camile under a table, but not to save himself from the roof caving in on him. He comes out with a leg injury, but it won’t stop him from getting up and trying to walk out.

With only the two of them and a scared rookie left trapped inside the crumbling building, they have to find what caused the explosion, because it could go off again. It’s up to them to save, not only themselves, but also everybody else.

Back on Destiny, Michaels and Covel walk about the ship and pick holes in everything that Dr Rush and Col Young have had a hand in. They have to assess the viability of the continuing of Destiny’s mission, and whether they focus on getting home or finding the source of the signal.

If it’s been too long since I’ve mentioned it, the signal is one of the most intriguing things about season two, as it’s a pattern sent out by the oldest living race in space. Dr Rush wants to head toward the source of the signal, like any scientist would, but the will of people wanting to return home has been a little too strong for that to go unchallenged.

Kathleen Quinlan and French Stewart play the visiting Michaels and Covel, respectively, and you may remember Stewart from the very first outing through the Stargate in the 1994 film. Both are good in their roles, and Stewart, especially, has a good few scenes discussing how lucky Dr Rush is to be on Destiny permanently.

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I’ve always thought Stewart could do more than his previous roles have allowed, and here we get to see a little of why. There is a great scene, for instance, where Dr Covel meets ‘the boy wonder’ Eli, and the other guys Dale Volker and Adam Brody, in which all involved shine brilliantly.

However, the big story takes over from these characters, and it’s the attack on Homeworld command that is at the heart of why. Camile and Greer’s relationship has been rocky in the past. It was always going to be interesting to put the two together in a life or death situation, and this was the perfect catalyst for their opposing views.

The reality of why Stargate Universe may not have worked for ‘viewers’ (don’t get me started on the Nielsen system) is highlighted here, when Chloe is asked by Senator Michaels why she hasn’t gone crazy being cooped up aboard Destiny. Her reply is simple, but ultimately wrong. “It’s not like we never get outside. We gate to planets all the time.” It’s simply untrue, and a line that doesn’t make much sense, as in season two’s thirteen episode run, so far the crew have visited three planets on screen. And one of those wasn’t even their choice.

I would like it if it were the other way around, but as it happens, some of Stargate Universe‘s best episodes are the episodes where they stay onboard Destiny.

This, however, isn’t one of them. That isn’t to say it’s a bad episode. It just lacks that kick up the backside a good episode needs sometimes. Not to mention the fact that one plotline you can see coming a mile off, and it’s an oddity that the characters didn’t clue in before they did. Still, it furthers the plot nicely and creates a little bridge between the usually deathly opposed Camile and Greer.

Read our review of episode 12, Twin Destinies, here.

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