Welcome back Stargate Universe fans!
This week’s episode “Trial and Error” was written by Paul Mullie and directed once again by Andy Mikita. It had the great sense of suspense combined with some equal wonderful moments of humor that we love so much in the Stargate franchise. It also expanded the previous traditional since season 1 episode 1 of one-word episode titles.
It had a lovely balance of action, suspense, drama, and humor. With the first run-through of the battle scenario, you thought it was actually occurring. During the second run-through, one might have thought Destiny was caught in some time-dilation loop similar to Stargate SG-1’s episode “Window of Opportunity” or Star Trek TNG’s episode “Cause and Effect.” However, the ultimate resolution was uniquely linked to Stargate Universe (Destiny) alone.
As the title infers, Colonel Young (Louis Ferreira) goes through mental trial-and-error processes as the Destiny syncs to his brain wavelengths, proposing different battle scenarios, as he spiral towards rock bottom. It was the perfect time to resolve the psychological toll of Young’s command. If it was stretched out any longer, the audience would have gotten frustrated (according to posts in fandom, they were already there). In our own world of great stressors, we often tune into TV to see heroes, people better than ourselves, characters we can look up when our own leaders are failing us. I do so love the dark tone of SGU, making the characters a little more real but also showing the consequences of decisions that are made, for better or worse. However, while one individual may be having a psychological breakdown on this show, there are many other heroes within the cast to whom one can look to for that role model.
Young still has lessons to learn. His marriage has failed because of a lack of communication of his intimate feelings which then led to his infidelity. Emily has filed for divorce, yet he still cannot communicate with TJ (Alaina Huffman) about his feelings of loss of his baby. From personal experience, my emotional journey through my grieving process after the death of my child was a much different one from my husband. It generally ends a marriage or makes it stronger. For us, it made ours stronger; for TJ and Young, the chasm could not be any bigger. This will solidify her draw towards Varro (Mike Dopud) who embraces both warrior and chivalry, a true knight.
As I had hoped, Lt. Matthew Scott (Brian Jacob Smith) grew from the experiences in Cloverdale. He loves Chloe (Elyse Levesque) and will stand by her regardless of what is happening to her on a genetic level. Scott has grown a great deal since Air, Part 1, in terms of believing in the capacity of his own leadership skills. When Camile (MingNa) and Rush (Robert Carlyle) want him to step up into command, Scott instead heads straight for Young. Drawn perhaps to Scott’s priestly nature, Young confessed his sins of command. A nonjudgmental Scott listens and gives him a great speech that seems to finally get through to him, something that even General O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) was not able to accomplish. It was a great student-becomes-teacher moment and a highlight of this episode.
Other highlights were the brotherly bonding between Eli (David Blue) and Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) and the love blossoming between Eli and Ginn (Julie McNiven). When Camile first brought Ginn to meet Eli, I am guessing, judging from her face, that she knew Ginn had a crush on Eli and could not resist an opportunity to bring some more happiness into Eli’s life.
It was fun to see Greer and Eli planning some afternoon delight for Eli. Who helps Greer pull off this plan? Greer’s lover, Dr. Lisa Park (Jennifer Spence), calls Greer away so Eli and Ginn can be alone. When Eli gets cold feet and goes out for a pep talk from Greer, Ginn stumbles across the emotionally touching video from Eli about his mother. Ginn is thinking not only do I love his mathematical brilliance, but he also has an emotional depth that is so sexy.
Inquiring minds want to know, Ms. McNiven? Are David Blue’s lips as soft as they appear to be when he was kissing you? Fan girls all over the world are awaiting your reply.
Later on, it is adorable again when the lines of business and casual blur for Eli, letting everyone in the room know that they may have a thing going on. I especially loved Dr. Park’s smile she flashed him.
As always, I appreciate that our other guest starring cast which includes Dr. Park, Dr. Adam Brody (Peter Kelamis) and Dr. Volker (Patrick Gilmore) are being given more dialogue lines. I am looking forward to seeing some back story on them some day, especially regarding Dr. Brody and Dr. Volker.
Rush is al ways the voice that speaks the truth no matter how difficult it is to hear. When Chloe is in her room still quarantined from the rest of the crew, he reminds Chloe that there are advantages to what is happening to her, including the fact that she saved Matt’s life. Rush shares with her that he is closing in on what Destiny’s true mission was/is and thinks Chloe can help him by filling in the missing links.
TJ takes the opportunity at Brody’s still to share her concern for Young and to talk to him about the baby. TJ shares her dream with Young. I thought this was an interesting writing parallel since Young was now also having dreams he felt were like they were actually happening to him (at this point, TJ did not know this). I wonder if this is just Destiny or if Destiny and the aliens from the “Faith” planet have a symbiotic relationship with each other? We are going to find out before the midpoint season finale. She is hoping that perhaps this information will snap him out of his impending crash.
This episode allowed Camile to play a leader once again. Distraught by his dreams, Young confides in her. This later helps to form a hypothesis that Destiny is communicating with Young. It appeared to me that Camile has gained some credibility in the eyes of Young as a leader, definitely representing the leader of the civilians versus Rush whom he still does not trust. They also believe that once Young resumes a commanding role, Destiny will jump back into FTL.
Lt. Vanessa James (Julia Benson) beamed with pride seeing Colonel Young take his commanding role once again. She has a deep respect for her Young.
It was also nice to see Becker (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) once again, even if ever so brief. I’m happy to see that they are expanding his role as a soldier so he is not just molded into just a cook. He is a character of many talents: Chef, hairstylist, and warrior. Perhaps he would win Top Chef: Destiny and go on to take the double crown of Shear Genius.
The viewer, however, finds out at the end that it was Rush who actually jumped the ship. For what exactly then was Destiny waiting? This question is formulated with the help of the apparition of Franklin (Mark Burgess).
My Favorite Visual Effects Shots
1. Scott getting blown out of the observation deck. And kudos to James Bamford and his stunt team for bringing us these wonderful stunt moments.
2. The Destiny blowing up.
3. Brief return of the blueberry alien.
4. Destiny in FTL.
My Favorite Lines
1. Young to TJ regarding his pending divorce: “Is it even legal to sign papers in someone else’s body?” (It continues to ask the moral and ethical parameters of the communication stones. Would that indeed hold up in a court of law? )
2. Greer to Eli in the mess hall (with regards to a potential relationship with Ginn): “Time to man-up.”
3. Brody on his Kino episode on Eli’s console: “Ancient toilets! Here we go!” (This better be on the BluRay extra content; inquiring minds really want to know).
4. Greer to Eli (during the pep talk): “I guess I’m supposed to tell you to be yourself but in your case…”
5. The Greer/Eli exchange during the pep talk:
Eli: “Okay, I’ve got this.”
Greer: “You’ve got this?”
Eli: “How long are you gonna be?”
Greer: “How long you gonna need?”
Greer: “I’ll take my time.”
6. The whole Scott pep talk to Young.
7. Park to Eli in the mess (with Ginn sitting there) when Eli thought it might be creepy that Destiny might be in his head: “Well what have you been dreaming about?” and Eli looks at Ginn and Ginn looks at Eli. So sweet.
Looking forward to next week’s episode of Stargate Universe. Remember: We need to watch it live or live+same day. I know it being on Tuesday has made things very difficult with the popular shows it is up against on other channels, but decisions will be made regarding season 3 based on the first half of season 2. Let’s show our support for the franchise.
It is worth a second look. Spread the word throughout the land. Leave a comment, or find me on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you again for taking the time to read my point of view.
Hilda Bowen (PBMom)