Stargate Universe season 2 episode 7 review: The Greater Good

Stargate Universe goes from strength to strength, with an entry that ties numerous plot strands together in satisfying fashion. Here’s Carl’s review of episode 7...

Warning: the following contains spoilers.

2.7 The Greater Good

I wouldn’t want to fool anyone into reading this having not seen the episode, so be fair warned that I cannot discuss this episode without going into detail. If that means that you can’t read on, just know this – it’s really quite good.

This episode opens, and you could be mistaken for thinking that it was the same one that was on just a few weeks ago. Destiny stops within range of a ship, and a few of the crew are on the observation deck to see the ships come to a stop next to each other.

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Episode three of this season (Awakening) opened with almost exactly the same thing happening, only the ship was not of alien origin, but was in fact a seed ship. Now the tables have been turned, and the aliens who were encountered on the seed ship seem to be destined to make reappearance, as their pods are found when Col Young and Dr Rush use their suits to jump over and investigate.

Unfortunately, when they fire up the power on the alien vessel, propulsion kicks in, and it slowly drags the two ships further and further apart. There is no way for Col Young and Dr Rush to get back unless the two ships can realign, and since the only person who can drive the ship isn’t on board, it’s going to be a tough job. So, who you gonna call? Dr Amanda Perry, of course.

You may remember Perry from the season one episode Sabotage, in which we learned about her and Dr Rush’s relationship with her. She was a great character to have in the series, and it gave Rush’s character more credence to see someone who has known him for a long time. It’s brilliant to have her back on the show, and I can only hope that she returns again and again.

The scenes and sentences we have been hearing in the ‘previously’ at the start of every episode since what seems like forever finally make sense here, as the storylines come to a head.

For those of you who may not know them off by heart, it goes a little something like this:

Rush: “This is what Destiny intended from the moment it entered the star system”Young: “That ship is the best chance we have of getting home.”Young :“Are we done?”Rush: “We’ll never be done.”

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There are a few more, but those ones have been on the go for at least 17 episodes, and only now have they come back to it. You may think I’m annoyed here, but I actually think that it’s great that they can let a story like this fester and grow for a long time, as the inevitable moment when shit goes down is much more worthwhile.

Meanwhile, Dr Perry is tasked with keeping Dr Rush’s secrets via a series of coded messages that everyone else thinks are instructions for controlling the ship without having to find the bridge. With one more person now involved in the lie, it only gets trickier to keep it.

The other storyline we touch upon here is one that centres on Ginn, who has recently become involved with Eli. When Ginn exchanges bodies with Dr Perry, she is taken out of the story, but Simeon has something he wants to talk to her about, and he isn’t taking that as an excuse, which leaves us on a very interesting, if worrying ending.

This episode seems like the perfect little stepping stone from last week’s episode to the next. While the whole fact of finding an alien ship seems like a MacGuffin, everything that seems that way in this show finds some way of coming back to haunt the crew of Destiny somehow.

Even at that, it really is something to just drive the plot forward, to the point that Dr Rush may have to spill the beans. In fact, there are a few things here that can be classed as MacGuffins, including when Rush and Young are informed that they should take their suits off, as they “drain power”, when really it’s just so they can knock lumps out of each other. You could even argue that the engines firing up are purely just to drive the plot to the point that Dr Perry must use the bridge, and expose Rush’s secret.

The effects team are given some big jobs here, one of which is creating the two ships, and having the two suits worn by Rush and Young travel between the ships twice. It’s done brilliantly, and their team puts the effects of other shows on the air right now to shame. As well as this, they created an entirely new set design for the alien ship, and although it may only be one or two corridors it is brilliantly presented.

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The performances on show here are superb too. The focus is back on Dr Rush and I for one am very happy about it, as he proves himself yet again, to be the best character that has existed in the entire Stargate universe, and Robert Carlyle is part and parcel of the reason that he is that good. Col Young is especially great within the fight between him and Rush, as it seemed entirely possible for a moment that Rush wouldn’t return to Destiny ever again.

It all comes down to the two of them coming head to head again, and it’s great, but even Young knows that it can’t always be like this, and when he gives up, you can see the resolution on his face. He must keep Rush alive in order to get home, and he must play to Rush’s ego to make him believe his feelings are going to be taken into consideration. It’s a particularly good actor that can pull all that off in one look, and Louis Ferreira is just that good.

And then there’s the revelation that comes from the fight, and it is a biggie. It is so huge that I dare not say it out loud for fear that some reader thought they could handle spoilers. Well, sir/madam, you can’t handle this one. It’s such a bold move for the series, especially in light of last week’s revelation, and I cannot wait to see this all come to a head in the next three episodes.

So when it comes down to it, even though the plot may be torn to shreds quite easily, it still manages to leave a credible story with brilliant performances underneath it all. As an episode that links one massive episode with another that’s going to apparently be even bigger, I can only be impressed at how strong it is.

Read our review of episode 6, Trial And Error, here.

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