Welcome back Stargate Universe fans!
The long weeks of waiting and wanting were finally over. As a prelude for the occasion, fans on Twitter began putting SGU into famous movie lines. The excitement was palpable for those of us in the United States, while our international friends began feeling like the SGU stepchild, having to wait until later in the week or even into next week before they would view the show, trying to avoid Twitter to avoid spoilers. I can only imagine the suffering. Had the shoe been on the other foot, I would have been majorly depressed.
Syfy Connect held a simultaneous chat with David Blue, our beloved Eli Wallace, and people were quite respectful not to post spoilers. David Blue, as always, was amazingly generous to the fans and answered as many questions as he possibly could, which included questions about Stargate Universe, his other roles, his opinions, and his likes and dislikes. If you missed out you can read the transcript here at Syfy.
You may also desire to visit SGU on MGM Studios website for a plethora of Stargate Universe interviews and fun detailed information! We also have an interview courtesy MGM Studios with David Blue here on WHR in case you may have missed it.
Please note that this recap is full of spoilers so if you do not want to read any, please come back another time. I thank you, as always, for taking time to reading this. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. It is more lengthy than usual because of this personal experience I wished to share.
When we last left Destiny, Eli was running to save Scott (Brian J. Smith) and Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) who were last seen running on the hull to an airlock to escape the next pulsar radiation wave. Colonel Young (Louis Ferreira) and the military personnel with him were about to be shot. There was a shoot-out in the infirmary that left some dead and many wounded, including TJ (Alaina Huffman) and her baby. Having been shot and bleeding out, Chloe (Elyse Levesque) was on death’s door. Rush (Robert Carlyle) and Brody (Peter Kelamis) went off to escape capture by the Lucian Alliance to give the Destiny crew another chance to take back the ship. A schism begins in the Lucian Alliance camp between Varro (Mike Dopud) and Dannic (Ian Butcher). Kiva (Rhona Mitra) and Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) shot each other. Drs. Volker (Patrick Gilmore) and Park (Jennifer Spence) were put into the civilian room. Lt. James (Julia Benson) and Pvt. Becker (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) were also captured. The destiny of the crew appeared uncertain.
As episode 1 of season 2 opens, TJ wakes to a warm cabin and is reunited with Dr. Caine (Tygh Runyan) who was last seen on the planet in the season 1 episode “Faith.” She gets to meet and hold her baby.
Just when it seemed that Scott and Greer had missed their date with the airlock, Scott radios the group that he went to plan B when it was obvious they were not going to make it. Varro tries to save the lives of the Destiny crew by intervening with Dannic, especially after Young goes ballistic upon hearing the TJ was injured, and suggests using the communication stones with some of the Destiny crew to get qualified doctors on board to treat the wounded.
An apparently healed Chloe walks into the airlock where Scott and Greer have joined Eli. TJ learns what happened to the crew left behind on the “Faith” planet and that the aliens from that planet brought her to this cabin to save her and the baby’s lives. Unable to save Kiva, Dr. Brightman (Alisen Down) informs Varro.
Scott and Greer go on a Kino recon mission of the enemy.
Eli, Chloe, Brody and Rush reunite and Rush has a plan. The only way to stop the ship jumping and to level the playing field was to manipulate the shields and force the Lucian Alliance into surrender.
Meanwhile, Varro tries to convince Dannic to just deposit the crew on a habitable planet as was originally planned. On the “Faith” planet, Dr. Caine shows TJ this beautiful nebula that appeared and asked if she understood the significance.
Telford wakes up and gets caught up on the situation. Simeon (Robert Knepper) is suspicious of the circumstances of Telford and Kiva being shot.
Most of the Destiny crew are sent through the gate to the planet, except for Rush, Brody, Eli, Scott, Greer, TJ and the crew whose bodies are being used with the communication stones for the doctors, Dr. Volker and Camile (Ming-Na), as well as two newly named characters, Kemp and Rider.
The Lucian Alliance finds Rush, Brody, Chloe and Eli. Dannic orders them to kill everyone except Rush, but Greer and Scott save the group. Lt. James has found shelter for the group on the planet as a storm moves in. There is a power struggle between Dannic and Varro, and in the end, Varro and those loyal to him were sent to the planet. Scott and Greer get to the infirmary and find out that TJ’s baby died. Dr. Caine informs TJ that the baby can stay, but she has to go back to the ship. Brody seals in the group in hydroponics to protect them from the next pulsar flare that is anticipated to kill everyone outside that room, thus allowing them to retake the ship. Scott orders them to seal the door, knowing that their lives will be sacrificed.
TJ rushes back to her baby in the cabin, refusing to be separated from her. The group on the planet shelter in a series of caves, but James is still struck by an intense lightning bolt.
The Lucian Alliance finds the hydroponics area, and orders the group to blow the door. Telford pleads to save Rush. Ginn (Julie McNiven) says it won’t matter because they only have 5 minutes. Rush orders Dannic to surrender. Dannic believes Rush is bluffing, but Telford reinforces that he is not. When Dannic goes to kill Telford, Ginn shoots him and offers their surrender.
TJ gives her baby a name: Carmen, after her mother. Dr. Caine tells TJ that if she shares what she experienced, no one will understand because they saw events differently. He shares that out on the edge of the universe who you are and what you believe are everything and with that TJ leaves the planet. She wakes up in the infirmary where Camile tells her the baby died. Everyone from the planet comes back to the ship, the Lucian Alliance members being separated as they embark.
Scott tells Young about TJ. He goes to the infirmary and holds her hand.
A video montage to the song by Mumford and Sons “After the Storm” plays as the crew settles back in. It is interrupted by Destiny coming out of FTL. TJ gets up and goes to the observation room where she sees the nebula she saw on the planet. Hopefully she saw what I saw in the nebula.
A warm welcome to two new production members: Executive Consultant, Remi Aubuchon, and Supervising Producer, Linda McGibney. The main writer was Paul Mullie, although as Joe Mallozzi points out on his blog, it is a group effort. And the Primetime-Emmy-nominated Mark Savela and team gave us some wondrous visual effects, my favorite the nebula because there is something special in that nebula if you look closely enough (more on that later). Andy Mikita never disappoints as a director and there were many new camera angles used in this episode that we have never seen before.
Disclaimer: WHR supports each person’s right to believe in a faith of their own choosing or for those who do not believe and their right to choose not to believe. WHR is neither comparing nor stating one is “better than the others.” Our only editorial purpose is to analyze the potential religious elements that are represented in this Stargate Universe episode.
The one-word title described exactly what was happened in this episode: Interventions. Varro intervened on behalf of the Destiny crew to minimize casualties. Rush intervened when Young could not make the tough decisions because of personal emotions. The aliens intervened on behalf of the Destiny crew. Perhaps Young said a prayer asking for help (the look up he gave at the end of the last episode). Perhaps the aliens implanted the idea in Scott to look for shelter on the underside of the Destiny to save his life and Greer. They healed Chloe. They brought TJ and her baby to a place where both their lives could be saved. We also had the SG medical personnel intervening to save lives of both the Lucian Alliance and the Destiny crew. Lt. James was hit by an intense lightning bolt but sustained no injury from it.
Before I get to the TJ storyline that deeply touched my soul because it practically mirrored my experience, let me comment on the rest of the story.
Throughout season 1 and now into season 2, we have seen Colonel Young evolve from this stoic, even-tempered commander to someone on the edge whose personal emotions cloud his command decisions. From the previews we got on the Syfy, it looks like he continues into the downward spiral for quite awhile. He will have to grieve the death of his child. Telford has to pretend to still be part of the Lucian Alliance. Camile is not quite ready for that leadership position. That places Rush at the head of the pack, especially after his decisions led to the successful return of Destiny to the SG crew.
Lt. Scott has had enormous personal growth since the beginning of season 1. Although he was always putting himself in harm’s way and performing heroic acts, I got the sense he was unsure of himself as a leader. In “Intervention” we see him making command and tactical decisions with great confidence. If it is as Dr. Caine told TJ that who they are and what they believe matters this far out here, with the great faith Scott has in God, I believe the aliens communicated this new idea to him on how to save their lives subconsciously, just as Dr. Caine and the group were told by these same aliens that TJ and the baby were coming.
Since season 1, Chloe has found a home on Destiny, acceptance of who she is, and not for things that her friendship can bring because of her father. She did not flinch when faced with a gun pointed at her, but hey, when you’ve been probed by aliens, I guess a gun is not so scary. I have a theory for her miraculous recovery (discussed below). Is it just me, or does her hair look darker?
Eli got to play the hero by taking care of Chloe and running to save Scott and Greer. “Just another day in outer space” will get a lot of playtime. I wonder if this is a new running gag they have embedded. Eli has to stop opening doors and getting the unexpected. In “Divided” he was greeted by a fellow crew member with a gun to which he said, “Irony.” Then in “Incursion”, he opened a door after being distracted by Chloe that was venting atmosphere. “Intervention” he went to the opening door expecting Greer and Scott, but got the Lucian Alliance instead. David Blue plays so well the “regular” guy. I love the subtle touches of his acting when he scrunches up when facing execution. I could see myself doing the exact same thing.
Jamil is displaying some excellent fighting skills. The quick-action take-down of the enemy, choreographed by none other than James “BamBam” Bamford and his team, reminds me of the “Bourne Identity” films, which according to a documentary is accurate on the training of real agents. I am not sure which my favorite is: GI Greer taking down the enemy or Smiling Greer. Look at those biceps!
I sobbed along with Ming-Na as she grieved over the death of the baby. Her performance was real, as if she were standing beside me giving me the same news (and not too far from my own reality). I thank her for the lovely performance.
Eli’s future girlfriend, Ginn, was a pleasant surprise. When one thinks of the Lucian Alliance, the images you conjure up are thugs, not scientists. I was startled when Dannic grabbed her by the throat and equally shocked when, in the end, she shot him to end the standoff. I send Julie McNiven a warm welcome to Stargate Universe fandom and am looking forward to her being weaved into the Destiny crew.
It is no secret that I am a big fan of Mike Dopud and I make no apologies for it! He has been in SG-1, Atlantis and now SGU. His Atlantis performance solidified my fan-girl state. Varro has a past, and I believe we are going to find out that perhaps he had a wife and child who maybe died, which is why he was drawn to TJ and his need to protect her, especially after she saved his life. Having seen the previews, I am 10000% in favor of a relationship between TJ and Varro. Alaina and Mike look great together on screen. Varro was both peacemaker and warrior in tonight’s episode. There was one thing missing from SGU and that was our big guys. In SG-1, we had Teal’c; in Atlantis, we had Ronon. Now in SGU, we have Varro. Yes we can have a sensitive bad-ass!
Dr. Brody looked like he needed a drink from his still after all the events that took place, but one could not help but notice the long pause that occurred at the end of the episode when Dr. Volker asked him if they were safe from radiation when they dropped out of FTL. Was he just bracing himself for yet another event, or did he see something on his screen?
I had wondered what happened to Lt. James since she was captured and then disappeared in the final sequences of Incursion with the military group. She had been rounded up with Becker, who we saw in the final scene, but I looked and she was not there. So either there was a scheduling conflict for that shot, a flick flub, or they had more military in another place (but I doubt that). She helps find the safe place for shelter on the planet. I have worked for a cardiologist before and we used to have several patients who had permanent heart arrhythmias from lightning strikes (usually via telephone, so that is no myth). She gets hit by this powerful lightning bolt in the cave, smoke from it can be scene, yet she is not hurt. Divine intervention (i.e., in this case the aliens) played a role. It is nice to see Lt. James becoming comfortable as a team leader, deftly crafted by Julia Benson, Leo Award Winner, for her role in last year’s episode, “Pain.”
We did not get to see much of Dr. Volker or Dr. Park, but this episode was so jammed packed, I’m sure we will be enjoying more of their exploits in the future. A Brody-Volker-Park love triangle would certainly be fun to explore.
Dr. Caine is back and seems to be more monk than scientist. After reading his Q&A on Joe Mallozzi’s blog, Tygh Runyan also has a very interesting personal life and I believe drew from his experiences for this role. I think his hair has gotten darker, too.
I continue to enjoy Riley’s (Haig Sutherland) humor. He is sounding less like Eeyore and more like a pseudo-optimist. Glad he made it into season 2 as did Becker (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman).
We all need to keep our eyes on Simeon. Robert Knepper excels at playing a bad guy, having enjoyed his performances in Transporter 3, Hitman, and Heroes. Although there was a schism with Dannic and Varro, I believe there is another brewing between Simeon and Varro in upcoming episodes.
He seems to have a good relationship with Telford, who is still playing the part of being with the Lucian Alliance. It would be wise for the Destiny crew to continue Telford in that role to keep an eye on their new detainees.
The portion of this episode that spoke to me the most was the storyline about TJ and the baby. Alaina Huffman was brilliant in this episode and I hope she is nominated for an award for her heart wrenching performance.
Although our universe was created with the big bang, the question of the involvement of “God” has neither been proven nor disproven. I believe that when there are things we just cannot understand yet, we have to give them a certain name or term for our minds to be capable of understanding. For example, the Bible says the world was created in 6 days, but one must think about the time period in which that part of scripture was written. No one of that time period could grab a concept of a billion or trillion years. For them, they understood what “a day” was.
My faith allows for evolution, but believes that the soul is eternal, thus given to us by “God.” People imagine God as being a man with a beard in the simplest terms. If one believes that God is an intelligent energy, then the Big Bang Theory and God might not conflict at all. But what if there is a group of beings who have been here a long, long time, who in the case of the planet “Faith” could create a solar system that was perfect to sustain the people on Destiny if they chose to remain, would they not seem like Gods to us? Perhaps these beings are on a higher plane of ascension than the Ancients, where intervention is allowed in certain cases?
Many fans found it frustrating that the Ancients in SG-1 and Atlantis had a noninterference policy. We saw the Ori develop, a group whose power was fed by those who worshipped them, but this is an area yet to be explored. Can there be some entity out there like the Ancients who have an interference policy with regards to those who are pure of heart, those who have faith in something greater than themselves?
I would like to share something deeply personal with you; some might think I’m off my rocker, but it was very real to me. Conception for me was going to be a difficult. My baby died in my second trimester in August of 1993. When we found out he was a boy on the autopsy, we gave him the name Matthew Joseph. Matthew means God’s gift and he certainly was to us, regardless of the loss. In May of 1994, I was traveling for work when I had a vivid, intense dream that was as real as my life. In this dream, I discovered my baby was alive (the hospital had made a mistake). There were all these locked doors to get to him and panic overwhelmed me, but I eventually got past all the barriers. I picked him up and he was about the age he would have been had he been born at his due date.
Holding him close, I rocked him back and forth, tears streaming from my eyes, telling him over and over again, “I am so sorry. I didn’t know you were alive. If I did, I would have come for you.” I actually felt like I was holding him, something I did not get to do because the medical personnel felt it would be too traumatic for me to see his remains. In my dream, I could even smell him. This went on for quite awhile. When I pulled him away from my chest, he said, “Mommy, I’m so glad you came.” I said to him, “Of course I would come. I would always come for you.” Mind you, no words were coming out of his mouth because he was a baby, but that was the message being translated to my mind as I lay sleeping.
They say that when you are in a dream state, you are more open to visits from the other side, for those who do believe in an afterlife.
I could have woken up and felt that it was a curse, but it was such a healing event for me. I was given a blessing. It didn’t matter how it happened, if it was God, or some part of my subconscious, but for a brief period of time I got to hold my child and know what that felt like.
After that point, I would get cute little reminders that his presence was around. I have a pose of Patrick that is an exact copy of how Matthew was in my dream. It is eerie. Several people would say Matthew instead of Patrick, not knowing the name of my first child. They would all say, too, “I don’t know why I said that, I don’t have any patients named Matthew” or “I don’t know any Matthews.” I would just chuckle. When a friend’s husband was dying, the last thing I said to him before he lost touch with reality was when he reached the other side, if he saw my son, to tell him his mother was looking for him. About 2 months later, not knowing his condition had deteriorated, I was typing one evening and I felt this familiar energy embrace me and whirl around me that started at my feet and moved to my head and then left. I woke up Jeff and I said, “Tom died.” Two days later, I found out he indeed had died and I asked his wife about what time it was.
The visitation I received was about 45 minutes after he passed. I told her the story and added, “I could just envision Tom saying, in his thick New York accent: Hey, your mother is looking for you!” At the worst moments of my life, I felt his presence. I got to “see” him again when my golden retriever died. As I lay there with my eyes closed, petting Sam’s coat, saying my goodbyes, the repetitive motion put me into what I think was some sort of meditative state. I saw a figure of a young boy and my sweet dog, Sam. Sam saw me and did his funny butt wiggle and barked at me, with his tail in full wag. I said to Jeff, “Sam is with Matthew.” Jeff exclaimed, “OF COURSE he is!” I said, “No, you don’t understand. I can SEE THEM!” The mist started to dim, and as it did, Sam got his last bark in, and Matthew put up his hand to say goodbye, my hand mirroring his. He was no longer a baby, but about the age he would have been had he’d been born.
This is not the only connection I’ve made. After my mother and father passed, I had similar healing-type dreams where I felt I got an opportunity to talk to them on this other plane of existence.
So here I was sitting, watching a mirror experience of my life being performed on Stargate Universe, reliving that part of my life. On the Destiny, I am certain Carmen’s body remains, yet she exists in this other state. Are the people on the Faith planet dead now, just remaining alive in this alternate plane of existence? I think so, but time will tell. The ending scene of the nebula was breath-taking. If you look hard enough, you can see an image in there. Look past my horrid art work in tracing the outline. I see a mother cradling her baby.
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Let’s have a conversation about the episode.
See you next time, Hilda (PBMom)