Welcome back Stargate Universe fans!
The last episode of season 1 took us on a thrilling ride with what I think was the best cliffhanger of all the Stargate series, leaving so many storylines unresolved. Sure, we can do our best in speculating about who makes it or not next season based on what we think we know about the actors and actresses presently filming in season 2. There is still some wide territory that remains very open about who makes it and who does not.
On Friday, June 11, 2010, we were treated to two different chats. The first chat was on Syfy.com/Connect with the always-lovely Alaina Huffman and Jamil Walker Smith up close and personal with the fans. What a fun time that was. Thanks for Syfy for hosting. It remained 98% spoiler-free, although now I understand why Jamil is not allowed on Twitter. Jamil turned the tables on the fans and started asking us questions.
The World Cup and basketball were talked about quite a bit as well. I was lucky to have had several questions answered by Jamil. He asked us why ships are always named after women. I responded, “Because women can weather ANY STORM.” He said, “I like that! Cos I’m a momma’s boy with 3 sisters….but no girlfriend :9” Ladies? Can we remedy this situation for Jamil? Form a line, please; no pushing. By the way, Jamil is on Facebook; do a search for, “Make a Movie Like Spike.”
Superhero Alaina Huffman can now outlast even the Energizer Bunny. Not only did she spend 1-1/2 hours in the chat at Syfy, she also turned right around and joined the chat at SpaceCast in Canada. Ming-Na had already been in that chat for awhile before Alaina could join. Alaina then spent at least another hour and 15 minutes in there and then at 4:30 a.m. had a wake-up call to go to the convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Joining us in the SpaceCast chat was surprise-guest Louis Ferreira. David Blue and Andy Mikita were in the studio of Innerspace. That was something, however, to which the Canadians only had access.
If you missed the chat, it is still archived at http://www.syfy.com/connect. Then click on Stargate Universe. If you cannot access it because you live somewhere else, let me know (post a comment below) and I can get in there and summarize the comments for you with a post below. The chat on SpaceCast was not archived for the public.
The episode itself began with medical supplies being packed up. As a condition to the supplies being sent, Young (Louis Ferreira) had to be present. He plans to exchange Greer disguised as a medic for TJ. I loved the witty humor of the writers putting Greer in a red shirt. Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) appears very concerned for TJ before she heads off to the exchange. Dr. Brody (Peter Kelamis) is getting very good at pushing buttons with suspense. I think he could also be a hand model. I realize you may think that is a joke, but I am being totally serious. Take a look:
Kiva (Rhona Mitra) tells her to check the supplies first. TJ shakes her head “no” subtly to Young. Before the swap can happen, there is a power brown-out on Destiny. Suspicion flares, tensions escalate and Young’s plan fails. Kiva tells Young that her second in command, Dannic (Ian Butcher) has orders to shoot the hostages if she is killed (an important point for later in the episode). An angry Kiva walks back into the gate room and without blinking, shoots Rivers (Zak Santiago). Poor Rivers; we never got to know you. When I saw this scene in the previews, I was certain that Riley (Haig Sutherland) was going to be killed. I am glad I was wrong. Trivia: Jamil said Zak is a DJ in Vancouver on the Syfy chat.
One of the bigger complaints out in fandom this season has been the makeup issue of the women of Destiny. To be fair, we were told that people were able to bring some personal items and I’m sure Chloe (Elyse Levesque) had makeup in her purse that she took with her. Makeup sharing is a no-no because of cross-contamination. Also after about 3-6 months, makeup has to be thrown away because of the bacterium that accumulates on it. I do not think the shower mist will solve that problem. The makeup, or lack thereof, on Chloe this episode, as we see her to continue to deteriorate was SPOT ON. Her lips are getting chapped from the dehydration from volume loss (combination of blood loss and no fluid intake). I want to applaud the make-up artist and all the others involved in making this decision.
After chatting with Chloe about what the status of the crew and the invaders might be, Eli picks up Chloe to continue their journey to get help.
Obviously frustrated with not having this situation under control and a man being killed, Young explodes at an unsuspecting Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle), Dr. Brody, Dr. Volker (Patrick Gilmore) and Dr. Park (Jennifer Spence). He screams, “Screw analyze: FIX IT.” Dr. Park does not respond well to the yelling. I think this might be the first time they have ever seen Young, who has always been so calm, cool and collected, this tightly wound.
Camile (Ming-Na) suggests to Young that surrender is an option. Being a military man, surrender at this point is still unacceptable, that Kiva would kill everyone except a few who would be of value. Kiva calls for Camile to go through with the prisoner exchange but also requests food and water. Camile agrees on the condition that the hostages be fed and hydrated as well.
Kiva says to Telford, “Next time, we take food and supplies in the first wave.” Next time? Does this mean more Lucian Alliance people will try to board Destiny at some future point? I think it is time Rush finds a shield for that gate!
Back in the make-shift infirmary, Koz (Primo Allon) of the Lucian Alliance comes in to help TJ with Varro’s (Mike Dopud) surgery. When the lights brown out, Koz asks TJ what was wrong and TJ came back with a snarky comment, “I don’t KNOW Koz, I’m up to my wrists in someone’s body right now.”
Rush, Brody, Volker and Park have some answers for Colonel Young. Each event is exactly 46 minutes 37.4 seconds apart. The culprit — gamma radiation –a white dwarf — an accretion disk, which was accurately guessed by Joe Mallozzi blog follower Darren Duncan (kudos for him!) before the show aired. Volker goes into a great explanation about what this is. Patrick Gilmore, as Volker, does a wonderful job with the dialogue. It must be very difficult to not only memorize the lines, but to try to get the words to sound right when it isn’t your particular field of expertise. I bought it.
This is what an artist’s conception of a binary star system with one black hole and one main sequence star.
Here is our scene from SGU:
The second problem is that Destiny’s FTL has been compromised. I loved when Young seems to talk and Park yells at him, “Don’t yell.” Sooner or later the shield is going to fail and when it does…. Camile communicates the problem to Kiva. They can withstand two more bursts.
Telford volunteers to visit TJ instead of Kiva’s second-in-command to see how Varro’s surgery is progressing. Telford uses TJ to divide the Lucian Alliance’s loyalties with the young and impressionable ones, like Koz.
Pvt. Becker (Jeffrey Bower-Chapman) loads up food in preparation for the prisoner exchange and food/water supplies. Can someone please write some more lines for this young man?
TJ reports Varro’s status to Kiva and asks to treat the others. I love how TJ is so fearless in this whole process even though she has another life to worry about within her.
Even though Young told Scott (Brian J. Smith) she would not take it, the always-kind Scott offers Camile a flak jacket. She turns him down.
Greer asks Young if he is sure about this “exchange” and Young says, “No.” Greer: “Good enough for me.” Greer always follows commands; he never strays.
Kiva brings three, living prisoners out. Camile is surprised because they thought Eli and Chloe were there. The 4th prisoner was the dead body of Rivers. In the game of hostage negotiation, semantics is the key (see Stargate Atlantis: Common Ground with the Kolya/McKay exchange). Camile never said all four bodies had to be alive; I imagine this is her first hostage negotiation, however, she will know better for next time. Camile tries to find a compromise; Kiva is not a talker.
Back to Eli and Chloe, Eli is bumping poor Chloe’s leg into everything he possibly can snare it on. He jokes that carrying her is exercise he could actually like. Good times! Chloe and Eli had a talk about their relationship. She never knew what a real friend was until she met him. Eli makes a pop-culture joke about Facebook and talks about people who friend everyone with no discernment.
I love the conversation between Greer and Scott about Eli and Chloe. It reminded me a great deal of Kino 25 where the two of them have a heart-to-heart and at the end, Scott asks Greer how many officers he has trained. He responded, “Only the ones I like.” In this sequence, he tells Scott to keep the faith. Eli will protect Chloe. You have to believe that 100%.
Varro is awake. He appears to be a very polite bad-guy; he even says “thank you.”
A very emotional Chloe and Eli talk about what they feel for each other. Chloe says she knows how he feels about her and she berates him for thinking that it is second prize when she says he is the best friend she has ever had. Then he is about to tell her that he loves her and she says, “I know.” This was one of my favorite scenes of the episode. After the exchange, he looks over and sees a console and tries to send a message.
Greer and Scott will need to go for a spacewalk to restore FTL. Camile informs Kiva and adds that they will need to access the corridor to get there the fastest. Kiva makes her power move: She wants total computer access and then she will let them in.
Telford sneaks off to talk to Young and tells him to surrender everyone except Brody and Rush. Then he will transfer control to Rush and Brody. The Lucian Alliance will herd everyone into one compartment and if they don’t, he will suggest it. Then Rush and Brody can vent the atmosphere in the surrounding area. Telford is acting more like the person in charge than Young right now, who appears to be falling apart at the seams.
Young issues a conditional surrender to Kiva. Volker receives Eli’s message. Dr. Rush and Dr. Brody venture off. Volker shields Dr. Lisa Park from the bad men of the Lucian Alliance. Was he just being noble? Is there is a Kino episode we haven’t seen being saved for the DVD release that shows the two of them a couple? Look how Dr. Park is touching him back. This could be intriguing with a Dr. Volker, Dr. Park and Dr. Brody love triangle.
None of the military are enjoying the surrender, including 2nd Lt. Vanessa James (the lovely Julia Benson).
Varro wants to make conversation with TJ. He understands TJ’s anger and says they are all going to have to get along. He offers the first hand of truce. A sensitive bad guy? I AM LOVING IT. Please WRITERS, PRODUCERS ON SGU, PLEASE KEEP MIKE DOPUD’S CHARACTER ON DESTINY!!! Varro is a sensitive, yet lethal killer. Every crew on a ship not knowing where it is going needs one of those.
Greer and Scott take a walk outside of the Destiny.
Telford sneaks away and shoots out a power relay. He relieves the guy at the control panel. He starts transferring control to Rush and Brody.
Jamil and Brian do a great acting job here, making it appear like they are walking in zero gravity with mag boots on. The camera view on this side is incredible.
Telford’s spidey-sense tingles. I did not expect a simultaneous gunshot. Exciting stuff. What I thought was additionally wonderful is when SGU comes back from the commercial, they do not immediately go back to that scene in the show that shows you what happens. They very smartly make you wait. The suspense was killing me! Great job whoever decided to edit it there. While Kiva is a ruthless female villain who you hate to love, I need Telford to stick around for season 2 of SGU.
After this segment, the commercial runs and when we come back, the last segment goes into hyperdrive: The transfer of controls stops. The Lucian Alliance thinks there are more soldiers hidden because Kiva and Telford are found shot. Scott and Greer are ready to come in, but the Lucian Alliance will not let them. Rush tells them to hoof it to a different section of the ship. Rush calls Eli to help.
Eli tells Chloe that no matter what happens she knows, then leans down to kiss her. After carrying Chloe all this time, now Eli has to run and run fast and climb.
Kiva and Telford are brought to TJ. Young has become the Lucian Alliance’s punching bag. They go and separate civilians from the military.
Varro calls the 2nd in command who is about to execute the military. TJ refuses to save Kiva. Another military man in the makeshift infirmary makes his move on the Lucian Alliance soldier. Gun fire erupts, turning in circles, hitting people on both sides. Varro shoots the soldier who initiated the offense. Koz is the only other Lucian Alliance soldier unhurt or dead (besides Varro). Varro spots TJ.
Greer and Scott are running. Chloe passes out or is dying (or both). Varro turns over an injured TJ and sees blood on her front where the baby is. The civilians are carted off. Eli runs.
The door opens on the military personnel who are told to kneel. Look carefully — Where is James? We know she was brought in by the Lucian Alliance at the surrender, but she is not in this group. I thought maybe she was in the sand-colored fatigues behind everyone, but once that person is shown, it is not her? Young looks up. Jamil joked on the Syfy chat, “Was he looking up at God, or his line/mark in the ceiling?” The power to Destiny goes off and the screen fades to black…..
TO WAIT FOR SEASON 2.
What an episode! October is such a long wait, but the DVD release of SGU 1.5 in July will help ease my pain until October while I peruse the special DVD content from Ivon Bartok and the wonderful commentaries. How do you all plan to occupy yourselves until SGU comes back? Leave comments!
I want to thank you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency and reading this extremely lengthy recap and my thoughts about certain scenes/elements. I have greatly enjoyed writing all these episodes from the second-half of season 1 and look forward to continuing for Season 2 in the fall.
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