Hey Stargate Universe Fans!
SGU S1x14 ‘Human’ is simply another outstanding episode in an epic saga of our age. With the tale in ‘Human’ all should by now definitely see the direction that Stargate Universe has been on all along in the “Road Taken”. All along it has been quite clear, and all Stargate fans should by now envision it as well. At least we at WHR hope that you do.
This is a full review with analysis so if you have not seen Stargate Universe “Human”, stop reading now. You have been advised. The WHR grade for Stargate Universe “Human”? An “A PLUS“. Read on and you will find out why.
Of interest is the fact that we are going to mix series with a cross-over discussion including an 18 year old video news clip that is auto playing (in the background). The WHR team has discussed these subjects at great length and strongly suggests that you watch and listen, several times. Thank you.
As reported in our post air date review from last week, the mythology in Stargate Universe returned in ‘Faith’ with the Obelisk sequences on the lush green planet. You will see and we will all learn much more about that in future episodes. Of that there is no doubt.
Stargate Universe episode 14 “Human” starts with a flash back of Dr. Rush gazing longingly at a beautiful woman. Do you know who the actress is? Is this a dream or is it real? It is both. Analysis on both a bit later as you will see when you read our theory on all of this and why it is critical to the plot line expanding in the future.
As we start the fantastic episode which is “Human”, we witness Dr. Rush in his bedroom looking longingly at his wife Gloria. It is at this point the “dream” sequence begins. But it is no dream. Instead it is a flashback which Dr. Rush and Dr. Brody are responsible for by tweaking the Ancient Chair technology on Destiny. Here we begin the back story filling in how the evil Lucian Alliance found Icarus base as seen and destroyed in the pilot episodes.
Next we are in the kitchen and we begin to understand the nature of Gloria Rush’s illness. It may seem subtle, but Louise Lombard ‘forgets’ where she has placed her glasses. Dr. Rush knowingly and off-handedly tells her. Coffee is brewing and we see a look of anguish on his face as he senses she is fading from humanity. Dr. Rush retires to his study and we get a look into the intensity of his character where what appears to be thousands of post it notes that are plastered all over virtually every square inch of the walls there. The set layout was a bit brilliant and beautiful, pun intended. The set design was much like that of Russell Crowe in his academy award winning performance from the movie ”A Beautiful Mind”. Very fitting to marry Dr. Rush (by visual metaphor) since we all know that Dr. Rush is indeed “brilliant” and perhaps beautiful, just like the real life character portrayed by Russell Crowe.
In the meantime, the fans of the Stargate franchise will experience a real treat with special guest stars including Louise Lombard (CSI – Miami Medical) as Mrs. Gloria Rush, Dr. Rush’s wife, Suleka Mathew (Stargate SG-1 – Battlestar Galactica) as a student at the university, Haig Sutherland (displayed later) in his recurring role as Sgt. Hunter Riley (Dead Like Me – Smallville), and Chad Krowchuk as the blond student in the classroom. Chad was first seen by Stargate fans as “Gordie Lowe ” in the Stargate SG-1 episode “Citizen Joe”. You remember, the kid with the broom in the barber shop!
Last but not least we witness the the return of a Stargate legend, Michael Shanks as the unforgettable and beloved Dr. Daniel Jackson! Shanks as he is often referred to has starred in over 200 episodes of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate Continuum! Stay tuned folks, you will see Dr. Jackson again this year in the Stargate Universe episode “Subversion“. Never we we ever get enough of Michael Shanks as Dr. Jackson, never. Once again this supremely talented actor delights Stargate fans the world over in the Stargate Universe episode “Human”.
Written by Jeff Vlaming, ‘Human’ is a special episode which fills in much of the back story about Dr. Rush when he and Dr. Brody (Peter Kelamis) experiment on the Destiny with the Ancient Chair. Caught in the act by Col. Young (Louis Ferreira aka Justin Louis) who calls in TJ to diagnose the situation.
Rush has obviously and quite deliberately set up a new experiment to gain access to the Ancient Knowledge he so desperately has been seeking from the earliest plot lines in Stargate Universe. Both Brody and TJ know that disconnecting Rush may prove fatal. TJ (Alaina Huffman) and Dr. Brody monitors Dr. Rush as Eli looks on knowing that data from the chair is flowing into his mind. Col. Young asks what it is Rush is experiencing. Dr. Body admits he “cannot even venture a guess”.
What I enjoyed is how the writers weave the real life pregnancy of the then lovely mother to be Alaina Huffman into the story. Alaina as TJ is always a delight to behold for a simple reason. She is a highly gifted actress capable of blending the real her into her portrayal of TJ. It goes without saying that this is the mark of a great actor or actress because as anyone with knowledge of acting knows, melding the written character with the real person is critical. Peter also has these skills. Well done Peter and Alaina. Very well done.
Before continuing, let us examine the character analysis with regard to Col. Young. Those who have studied this actor know that he is a light hearted individual filled with humor and joy. His acting skills come to the forefront because of his eloquently different characterization from his real life persona. This too is the mark of a fine actor. Great job Louis!
During these sequences with Robert Carlyle we observe the heart rending scenes with his wife to the music of “Vissi d’Arte” from Puccini’s Tosca we first heard in the Stargate Universe pilot episode “Air”. Gloria Rush is dying and the return on this music evokes memories from the eloquent artistry that is Stargate Universe.
Speaking of which, as you may recall in the pilot episode “Air’, Dr. Rush is seen crying to his wife’s picture after taking a Styrofoam dinner prepared by J Bower Chapman back to back to his room shortly before the Icarus Base comes under attack. These initial scenes caused many to feel emotions for Robert Carlyle’s portrayal of Dr. Rush. Until the fourteenth episode many fans have not done much but recall that Dr. Rush is driven to what appears to be evil machinations in his quest to control Destiny with his partner in crime Camile Wray played by the great actress MingNa.
MingNa is one of my favorite actresses, however I was disappointed not to see her in the broadcast of Stargate Universe “Human” on April 23, 2010 in the United States. Sadly, fans of MingNa will have to wait two long weeks before we see her return in “Sabotage” on May 07, 2010 and then“Pain”, the episode that will air on May 13, 2010. We know she will return in season two, but I was hoping the film research credits were wrong. We look forward to seeing you in the future again MingNa!
The answer to the Lucian Alliance is disclosed to Dr. Rush by the great Dr. Jackson. This effectively wraps the story arc back to when Amanda Tapping as Col. Carter asks in “Air” how they found the Icarus planet. There you have it and now you know!
As we continue we see a cool special effects sequence much like the flash sequences from “Chuck”, “The Matrix“, and “A Brilliant Mind” as Dr. Rush is reflecting in a classroom setting thinking about the equation needed for the previously elusive ninth chevron. In the classroom there are several other extra’s we have seen before in Stargate. Did you recognize them? One very notable example is the young man from Stargate SG-1 “Citizen Joe” shown above. We will have a quiz later so you can catch up. Dr. Rush has the “flashes” is a several sequences. Obviously something is happening related to the Ancient Chair.
Suddenly, Michael Shanks aka Dr. Daniel Jackson appears in the classroom then again at the home of Dr. Rush as he rants about the class and no one “getting it”. Dr. Rush is referring to the previous discussion regarding hidden encryption in the Ancient Equation. Rush needs to figure out not only how to activate the ninth chevron, this is a gateway to figuring out how to control Destiny! During the episode doctors Rush and Jackson discuss their wives. Dr. Jackson remarks about his wife Sha’re lost to Apophis and the impending fate of Dr. Rush’s wife Gloria.
On board Destiny the ship comes out of FTL with Patrick Gilmore and Col. Young at the controls. Sgt. Greer and Lt. Scott prepare for an away team to the planet.
We then observe Chloe and Eli (DavidBlue) . Chloe (Elyse Levesque) comes over to Eli and is obviously feeling guilt for her role in the failed insurrection attempt by the civilians. It is obvious by Eli’s flippant response that he has not really forgiven Chloe for not confiding in him, for betraying Lt. Scott and going along with the failed scheme.
A bit later we see Chloe in a military outfit as she is selected for the away mission to a planet reminiscent of several episodes of Stargate SG-1 notably “Lost Planet”. It was nice to see Chloe contribute and see her in camo BDU’s. With a 225 year history of having family in the military, I always love seeing a talented lady in uniform!
Here the mythology of Stargate looks us starkly in the face from Stargate Universe. This reviewer is convinced if only the people who “do not get it” with Stargate Universe would take their blinders off, they would be able to envision where the creative genius of Mallozzi, Cooper and Wright are taking us in this latest incarnation of Stargate. Oh well. As I mentioned in several previous reviews about Stargate Universe, some people have long forgotten how long it took to weave the pattern that was revealed in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Remember people that great things take time. On the planet scattered with Ancient ruins, the mythology becomes self evident as the away team begins to explore the ruins.
A geeky moment is experienced by Chloe while she is on away team. It clearly shows the character is brilliant. Some have criticized the characterization of Chloe by the writers, but we must point out that you missed it. The Chloe character was originally described as a highly educated individual. Some have identified her as a damsel in distress.Wrong!
Well folks, this was deliberate misdirection in the opinion of this reviewer. You were supposed to be taken left, when in fact Elyse was preparing all the while under the direction of the episodes writer that she would go “right”. Simply another example of the excellence of the character development by the Stargate Universe creators!
Next up worth reflecting on shortly after, we see Dr. Rush in his Ancient Chair “dreaming’ as he is monitored by TJ and Dr. Brody. In his dream Dr. Rush is discussing the significant nature of numbers so crucial to his quest.
As all Stargate fans know, such things as Ancient Codes have been relevant for a very long time in Stargate. To the journey Dr. Rush has undertaken to flesh out the secrets of Destiny, the numbers are critical. A bit later, Dr. Jackson makes a totally hilarious comment on the number “42” from “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. Most appropriate. As they continue Rush keeps seeing the number 46 everywhere he looks within the dream. We will revisit the significant nature of the number 46 near the end of this review.
One of the most enjoyable sequences is that in which Eli “loses” a Kino in the underground tomb while undertaking standard procedure to investigate the nature of the find on the planet that Destiny has brought them to. These is a very humorous sequence with Brian J. Smith when Lt. Scott says “You lost a Kino”. As I have stated many times both of these actors are outstanding in their portrayals. For anyone who takes a moment to see the depth of their characters, you will see their genius.
Eli tries to recover from the “Kino Loss” with one of his famous comedic ‘back at you” type of comments. He explains that “I took a wrong turn”. Poor Eli! Lt. Scott is not impressed and this forces the team to enter the underground tomb to investigate the old fashioned way as seen most often in Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. It is all here Stargate fans, just like the olden days. Truly enjoyable is the double take from the entire away team and by Sgt. Greer. It is a “say what” moment with a nod as he removes his sunglasses. Great stuff from Jamil Walker Smith as he always is. Not only extremely talented, Jamil is rather a handsome devil according to my lady friends! They are quite correct in their assessment.
I must agree in this regard, Greer rocks! Although I must reiterate that I do favor the ladies. Specifically MingNa, Elyse Levesque, Julia Benson, Jennifer Spence, and the then mother to be Alaina do a simply wonderful job in Stargate Universe! It’s a guy thing.
As the away team soon finds out, disaster awaits. We observe huge spider webs that bring back memories of the Lord of the Rings and Shelob. On Twitter one astute friend immediately picked up on the reference the second it happened. I must admit that I did not get it until that comment by DannysGirlSG1 (Pip) was made. I simply saw spider webs! What is it? Why of course a perfect “Shelob” from LOTR! During the encounter, Sgt. Greer fires at the ugly creature and the away team finds itself trapped. Can anyone say “The Tomb” from Stargate SG-1?
It was right then and there as Sgt. Greer spots the huge spider and fires to save Chloe is when disaster strikes! Two things in the story immediately became apparent as Sgt. Greer kills Shelob and the roof caves in, literally trapping the away team in the tomb.
First this will be a two part episode in the fine tradition from the creators at Bridge Studios and franchise owner MGM Studios. Second regards the subject of mythology of Stargate which has been a hallmark since the very earliest days of SG-1. Caves and tombs have long been the subject of archeology and this reviewer is certain that the team will find something Ancient in the tomb system. But not within this episode my friends, you will need to be patient. and simply have to tune in next week to witness the wonder for yourselves.
Now while some who have an axe to grind against Stargate Universe may complain about the similarity to “The Tomb” or the caves in England where the Ori saga begins, WHR asks that you bury the hatchet and get with the program for goodness sakes. Something wonderful is unfolding here and everyone needs to put everything Stargate into its proper place.
Back a touch in the time-line a bit, we then segue in ‘Human’ to where the second song featured. It is ‘English Rose’ by The Jam. A truly beautiful song that leads us back to Michael Shanks finding Dr. Rush asleep on the couch dreaming of more pleasant memories. It is here the initial numbers of (46) significance are discussed. These will play a important role in the closing moments of “Human” as Dr. Rush will experience an epiphany of a religious nature He knows that it is Gloria’s last day alive. Several touching memories and scenes unfold in flash back style as the reality of his life hits him squarely.
As the Destiny sends a second away team to rescue the trapped members, we witness a very touching set of moments with Louis Lombard and Robert Carlyle in her death. Both of these actors are a joy to behold. I suggest you watch this sequence several times to observe the artistry and Single Effect of the Dr. Rush character. The answers are here people for all to enjoy. Please remember that although different, Stargate Universe is Stargate. It is that pure and is that simple.
Despite the fact that Stargate Universe is what people asked for many years, more depth and more Stargate mythology, some are still dumbfounded. Well as the mythology in the tomb on the planet is revealed, and as we witness Doctors Jackson and Rush work on the equations to extract the Ancient code, all but a very few will “get the message”. Much like the old movie “Support Your Local Sheriff” with James Garner, all Stargate fans should “Support Their Local Stargate” if you want to see Stargate continue, and Atlantis and SG-1 return in “Extinction” and “Revolution”, work together just like Doctors Rush and Jackson have done as illustrated below.
Now before completing this review, we will touch upon to a couple of subjects that may be considered controversial. If WHR loses followers who take offense, our sincere apologies are offered in advance. Thank you for your consideration and your professional courtesy in this regard. Just as Dr. Rush and Dr. Daniel Jackson learned to do in the “Ancient Dream”, so must we all.
WHR enters this next aspect of analysis and discussion with complete respect for all parties involved. Our team requests that everyone engage in a little introspection about their own behaviors. Take a look in the mirror and see if you are the one that “cast the first stone”, the second, or even the third. Constructive criticism is one thing, but “throwing stones” at perceived adversaries in a non introspective manner is just plain wrong.
First, let us have a little discussion about the legendary MGM Studios. WHR keeps abreast of all such developments, but has no “skin in the game” financially. And we are not talking about Airlock Alpha or news outlets like that who have been reporting this fairly and accurately, as far as we can tell. We are currently a non commercial site that adheres to all laws in that regard. As I mentioned in my previous review, MGM is an historic company with perhaps the largest library of film credits to its name in the world. Some have recently been using yellow journalism, a sensationalized method of reporting to “stir up the pot”.
MGM is a company that has brought nearly 100 years of outstanding entertainment to the viewing public. Shame on any person for taking such a course… Doing so in such a manner is befitting the behavior of “junk yard dogs” fighting over a bone. This is also wrong. MGM is NOT a junk yard dog and deserves to be treated with the respect it deserves for Stargate and many other accomplishments.
Why? Because it is clear that some do not understand business. What is happening and what is about to happen cannot be explained if you do not understand the precepts of business. Patience is a virtue. Watch listen and learn. For those who inappropriately speak of MGM; Know this: MGM will continue!
Next is a discussion that the “Best Defense is a Strong Offense”. With regard to the fandoms, it simply does not work. While that may be true of military operations or football, it is not true for solving interpersonal conflict. In fact such a strategy is a recipe for disaster. Of what does WHR speak?
We are speaking of people on Twitter and Facebook as well as a few websites that have elected to participate in attacking Stargate Universe, the creators of Stargate, web sites they have a grudge against and including but not limited to WHR, Joe Mallozzi’s blog, Show Patrols blogs, and many others. Sadly it is only to their own detriment and each other. A specific scene from Stargate Universe “Human” may offer guidance.
To quote Vince Lombardi “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have”. It is not what people do against each other in their frustration when they cannot find a solution to a problem that does not please them. There are no real short-cuts in life. Here is the Single Effect of what Stargate and life is all about people: Only hard work, forthrightness, honesty and dedication to name but a few will reveal enlightenment and rewards there from.
Remember: “There are no problems, just solutions waiting to be found and appropriately executed for the benefit of all”. Unfortunately a few people have elected to not look in the mirror at their own actions, failing to live up to their promises and then holding grudges when they could not get “their own way”. Worse they have tried to short circuit the matrix rather than do the hard work to earn their status in life.
WHR supports and reports on many things including charities and volunteer activities. We support all flavors of Stargate as well. We do not take sides in a dispute even when our own reporters have been maligned for no good reason. Instead a few people have elected to throw gasoline on the fire and hand grenades with their keyboards rather than seek solutions. Several claim to “speak the truth” but refuse to enter into a “live and let live” solution. In fact a very few believe that no discussion is best because “they know they are right”! Right for whom?
Before concluding this review, a couple have stated “who the hell do you think you are”? The WHR answer is simple: “Who the hell do we have to be to get you all to behave like adults rather than like “junk yard dogs” fighting over the “bone”. Forget the bone people, get along and enjoy the ride that always has been Stargate.
Enjoy the news video if you can tear yourself away from holding grudges. Think about it. In the video you will see a truly enlightened individual who pays the ultimate price. Although not from Stargate the scene is poignant to all who may finally realize the cost of the price that was paid. Let us not pay such a price. Dr. Jackson gets it. Can all Stargate fans say the same?
In concluding this review a bit more analysis. As I suspected early on in “Human”, this was to be a two part episode. The number 46 is the secret to unraveling the mystery on Destiny, the code of life, genetics. As we have observed previously in The Ancients behavior, this has been their secret to controlling their technology. So it will be with Destiny in Stargate Universe. It is most fitting that it is Michael Shanks as Dr. Daniel Jackson who talks the numbers (the Ancient code), and helps Dr. Rush finally see the light.
We must recall that Dr. Jackson was once an Ascended Ancient. So a few thought provoking questions for all to ponder.
- Could it be that when Dr. Rush hooked himself into the Ancient Chair that the reason he dreamed of Dr. Jackson was related to Daniels time as an Ancient?
- Could some of Dr. Jackson’s knowledge as well as that of other Ancients been transferred to Dr. Rush?
- Will this knowledge help Dr. Rush activate enough systems to help the civilians and crew before the aliens return?
- Will Dr. Rush he be able “fix” Destiny to go back and rescue Eli, Lt. Scott Chloe and Sgt. Greer?
- Will the away team trapped on the planet be taken hostage before the Stargate mythology is discovered?
As stated in the beginning, Stargate Universe “Human” receives an A PLUS grade.
Tune in next week, same time same station as the saga continues its epic voyage. Team WHR will continue our post air date review series.
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