The Permanent Stargate: Universe Discussion Thread, Part II

This is the second part of the SG:U discussion thread; the first part is archived here.

As there is an interest in having an official comment thread here on Whatever for the discussion of Stargate: Universe episodes, themes and details, behold! This is it. Henceforth, let this be the place you come here to chat with other Whateverites (and occasionally its Creative Consultant as well) about what you see on the show. I’ll put a permanent link to it into the SG:U sidebar widget so it will always be easy to find.

NOTE: This thread will almost certainly contain spoilers of the most recent episode if you come to it during or after the first airing of the show in the US/Canada. Be warned.

All right, then. Discuss the show!

642 thoughts on “The Permanent Stargate: Universe Discussion Thread, Part II

  1. Thanks for the new thread, John.

    The difference between this time loop and most others is, thanks to Pilot Boy’s quick thinking, they have control over upcoming loops, and can pass characterization along to the next loop through the Kino video. We lost the character development in one loop, but now they can pass that information on.

    The only other case I can think of where an SF show did that was “Window of Opportunity” where the information moving forward was limited to O’Neill’s [1] less than stellar memory.

    I found it fascinating to watch the character’s reactions to the Kino tape.

    I don’t think Rush cut and ran. He was convinced that trying the wormhole would be suicidal. But he risked it anyway because it was clear their other option – fighting the chest drills – was doomed. And, as everyone keeps saying, he wasn’t much use with a gun.


    [1] And Teal’c, of course. I think they really missed a chance with Teal’c in this episode. Since they were just running up to the scene in the control room with O’Neill out of uniform…

  2. I am annoyed that the characters kept talking about how hot and sticky it was, while wearing multiple layers of clothing which never became soaked with sweat.

    I am also annoyed that there are so rarely deaths of recurring characters without some kind of “temporal loop” or “magic reset button” also happening to be in the story. The moment people started dropping I knew this was going to be a time travel story.

    Lastly, why is Chloe the weak and emotional one yet again? Her reaction to the Kino wasn’t objectionable in itself, but it’s part of a long and very tedious pattern. Why couldn’t she have been the one to be bitten, recover, and throw the device through the Stargate? Having Scott always be the hero is silly – reality doesn’t have defined character themes.

  3. On a slightly sillier note:

    it would be kinda a cool if they could put a bunch of kinos on the outside of a suit or uniform, thus enabling people to fly around,
    Baron Harkonnen style.

    I’m surprised Eli hasn’t thought about that, since it would enable wounded and otherwise immobilized individuals to move around Destiny quite easily.

  4. The premise of the science of the matrix is that you get power from human bodies.

    Well, the premise of this episode is that time travel works. Given that, the characters behaved perfectly reasonably, even brilliantly. If everyone around you were dead, and you had a chance to send back a message and change the past, wouldn’t you? Especially if you knew you were about to die yourself? Scott did exactly that…both times. And he saved everyone. (And of course the third loop had to send the second kino back in order to preserve the final timeline. Not sure how they’d do that, but I’m sure they could figure out a way.)

    Seems like a good story to me. And ruling out “twist” endings is just stupid IMO, but you know, this series is going to have them a lot. Sure you want to keep watching it?

  5. Can we please do away with comments like “don’t like it, stop watching”? There’s enough usage of that discussion killer on Gateworld, which is one of the reasons I don’t bother posting there. If there are flaws in the show they should merit honest discussion and rebuttal.

  6. So should the merits of the show, William. Some people here don’t seem to see anything BUT flaws. And it’s starting to feel like they’re in this to spoil the fun for those of us who DO enjoy the show.

  7. Window of Opportunity didn’t use the solar flares for the constant repeating. That was caused by some Ancient technology. 1969 and 2010 both used a solar flare for their storylines.

    Now that everyone now knows that I know too much about Stargate, I’ll leave now.

    P.S. I did enjoy Time but will have to watch it a couple more times to catch everything. Partcipating in the #sgudrinkinggame over on Twitter can make it hard to catch all the subtilties on the initial viewing of each episode. But that’s what DVR’s for.

  8. Glonn–Eli already built a hover dolly. They used it to bring back ice from Ice Planet Hoth. I doubt we’ll see it again, but it already exists and would no doubt work better than a sled team of Kinos.

    There may be good stuff on this show, but it’s hard to see past so much arrogantly stupid stuff. The blatant misuse of the stones, the characters being passively saved by the Deus Ex Machina–uh, Destiny, time and again, and so forth.

    I had no particular problem with the way the characters used time travel*, but Greg’s points about “gotcha!” storytelling are absolutely correct–and a valid complaint. The only halfway watchable episodes of ST Voyager were invariably the time travel/alternate universe/etc stories where the writers could actually DO things with and to the characters. They were only halfway watchable, of course, because we knew it would all be undone by the end of the episode. Just like this one.

    There’s a difference between a cliffhanger where the characters are placed in a seemingly insoluble predicament before you reveal how they cleverly contrive an escape…and showing us the characters trying and failing to survive, only to pull back and laugh at the viewers for falling for it and telling them, “No, that didn’t really happen. Suckers!”

    *I don’t like the whole “solar flares cause time travel” thing, but that ship sailed on SG-1 years ago.

  9. Greg: The premise of the science of the matrix is that you get power from human bodies.

    Xopher: Well, the premise of this episode is that time travel works.

    There’s a difference between premise (backstory) and science (tools characters can use to accomplish goals)

    That the Matrix got energy from human bodies was backstory. It didn’t provide the characters with any tools, any magic spells, any special powers, any “gotcha” clauses, or any “get out of death free” cards.

    That time travel works in SGU was part of the science of the story. It became a tool that Scot used at the end to reset the whole episode.

    Given that,

    You could write a story about a world that looks exactly like our world, the science is our science, and the audience watches the main character die, and then the main character wakes up. And you could argue given that the science in your story was completely logical science, then it is a completely valid story.

    And it isn’t. It doesn’t work that way.

    The science of SGU is pretty sloppy science. Any writer who invents a new element that is mined from the earth and stable yet generates orders of magnitude more power than fusion, more power than E=mc**2, is really junky science. That’s an example of junky science in SGU. “Wormholes that travel near a solar flare causes them to go back in time” is silly science. Superduper hyper advanced failsafe technology on everything but the water purification system, is silly science.

    And I said while SGU tries to have serious characters doing serious plots, it has silly science.

    And I said I couldnt’ think of a single movie or TV episode that had silly science but serious people with serious plots and was a good show or good movie. If you have some examples, I’d be curious to hear them. But that’s what I was talking about the “silly” science in SGU.

    What made the “Time” episode not work for me was seeing everything that happened and finding out at the end it didn’t happen. It won’t happen. It will un happen.

    And I mentioned this before about SGU: the writers have a tendancy to separate the viewers from the POV characters. In the earlier episodes, Young knows stuff about Rush, important stuff, but the writers withold that information from the viewers. Eli knows important stuff, but that information is withheld from the viewers. Even Rush knows important stuff, (did he or did he not talk to the general with the stones and be put in charge?) and that is withheld from the viewers.

    There is no point of view character that knows as much as the viewer.

    And in “Time”, the writers, once again, separate the audience from all the possible POV characters. Eli knew they were watching a kino recording, but the writers withheld that from us until later. Everyone knew they walked onto the planet and the first thing they found was a kino. But the viewer didn’t know that.

    And then after watching everything happen with Eli talking to Chloe, Chloe dying, then Young, Greer, Scot, and red shirt dying, we find out that we are yet again separated from everything that any possible POV character could know.

    The characters in the next episode won’t know everything that we know.

    Which is kind of a flip-flop from the norm. Normally, the characters know more than teh viewers, but the writers keep taht information from the viewers. This time, the viewers will know things about the characters that the characters won’t know about themselves.

    But either way, the viewers are distanced from the characters.

    Separating the viewers from the characters takes a chance on suspending the disbelief. it makes the viewers aware that they are watching a TV show, rather than letting them remain lost in the story.

    You seem to be defending the show based on the notion that the time-travel “science” in “Time” is consistent. You said that when “Time” started, you got the hint that you were watching a kino “recording”, and when things started goign wrong, you knew it would be a time-loop episode.

    Great. I’m glad you liked it. But that’s you watching the story as a “I wonder if I can figure out how the writers are trying to trick me” sort of way.

    Me, I was watching it for something meaty like Eli taking a risk and telling Chloe how he really felt, telling her she can’t die, and then she died. When that happened, I was actually sold on the show. I was watching Johansen crying as she listened to Eli talk and Johansen crying after Chloe dying and I’m thinking damn that’s some powerful stuff. Eli is taking a huge risk, and even though he loses, he had to have develop as a human being in going through that. And then the woman is trying to comfort Johansen and doesn’t know what to do.

    I was sold on the series at that point.

    Do you understand?

    At that point where the woman is trying to console Johansen, I’m thinking, damn this is good.

    And then the writers took it all away.

    Eli’s risk and however he would have overcome that situation, was taken away. Johansen grieving over the dead, the woman trying to consel her and not knowing what to do, was taken away. And the courage it would take to kill a major character in the middle of the season, gone.

    You asked me ONE thing I liked about the series. I told you. And you ignored it. My favorite moment of the series so far was right at the point where Johansen was grieving after Chloe died. It showed Eli growing as a human being and it showed Johansen as human too. And the writers took it away. If they had ended the episode with that being “real”, I would have given the series the benefit of the doubt probably for the rest of the season. They gave me the best scene of the season, and then they pulled the “Ha! fooled you!” trick on me.

    You seem to be watching the show from the point of view of trying to figure out how the writers are trying to trick you. What information are they witholding from you? Ah, we’re watching everything through a kino, must be a recording. Ah, somebody important died, must be a time-loop episode. It’s like a meta-mystery show. Instead of figuring out whodunnit, you’re trying to figure out what trick the writers will pull on the viewers this episode.

    Me, I was looking for a scene like Eli talking to Chloe and Johansen crying while he spoke. And they took it away. Do over.

    So, watching for different reasons, I suppose we’re going to have different reactions.

  10. It showed Eli growing as a human being and it showed Johansen as human too. And the writers took it away. If they had ended the episode with that being “real”, I would have given the series the benefit of the doubt probably for the rest of the season.

    It WAS real, Greg. It didn’t happen in the final version of the timeline, but it was a real moment of insight into those characters. They reacted exactly how they WOULD react, because it’s exactly how they DID react. It was undone by the time travel, but it really happened.

    And since solar flares don’t happen every day, they can’t just pull it out every time something happens they don’t like.

    There was no other way to tell that particular part of the story, give those particular character insights. This is the beauty of science fiction; it lets you explore aspects of humanity and human reactions to situations that can’t happen in the present-day real world.

  11. “There was no other way to tell that particular part of the story, give those particular character insights.”

    Sure there was. Let Chloe _actually_ die. Let Eli _actually_ voice his thoughts and feelings, and _actually_ grieve her death. Let TJ actually grieve over a lost patient.

    But that would have required actually changing the status quo. It would have required actually killing off a character the TPTB apparently think is all that and a bag of chips, though god knows why. It would have required actually allowing the consequences of exploring an unknown world to stand. And we can’t have that. Apparently.

    What we got instead was all the emotional impact of another Imaginary Story (tm DC Comics) in which Lois Lane learns Clark’s secret identity…again. Only it didn’t really happen and it won’t make any difference next issue.

    This is of a piece with the decision to include the magic bodyswitching stones so they could still allow these Wrong People ™ to interact with people back on earth, completely undermining the entire premise of the show. They want all the glory of writing a “dark, edgy, gritty, adult” show without being willing to man up and write it that way.

  12. Xopher: There was no other way to tell that particular part of the story, give those particular character insights.

    Mark pretty much nails it.

    Like I said, if the episode had wrapped up right after that scene where Eli talks to Chloe and then Chloe dies, Johansen bawls her eyes out and the other woman reaches out to her to console her, that would have been an awesome episode. An extremely powerful, extremely emotional, episode. An episode where we could see Eli grow as a human being and risk something of himself and then grow as a result of that not working out.

    Eli from that point forward would be a lot less sitting around and waiting for things to happen and a lot more proactive in his life. If he fancies himself a girl in a future episode, he’ll probabaly not be sitting on his ass not saying or doing anything about it. He’ll probably stand up to Rush and tell him to go fuck himself if that’s what Eli thought was needed.

    It was one of those moments where a character is permanently altered. That’s what character development is about. They go through some fundmental change, such that they can never go back to the way they were before.

    Except with the gimmick of time travel, the writers undid what would normally alter a character forever.

    it was a real moment of insight into those characters.

    I don’t want insight into their psychology so much as I want them to grow up, to alter, to change, to go after their goals, fail, try again, succeed, and be altered by the process, for good or bad.

    I don’t care why Rush is an asshole, I want him to grow up and stop being an asshole, or spiral downward into complete assholishness until he cracks. I don’t care why Eli is acting like a loser, I want him to grow up and start going after what’s important to him, and change as he tries adn fails and change as he tries and succeeds. I don’t care why Young cheated on his wife, I want him to either do whatever it takes to fix things with his wife or accept that she won’t take him back, and I want to see how that changes him. I don’t care if Scot used to be a priest or that he got a girl pregnant, I want to see how he has overcome that or how it will eventually ruin him. And I really don’t care what Greer did to get himself in prison, I want to see how he changes as he deals with other people holding that against him.

    I don’t care why Johansen wanted to leave the unit. I want to see her either further isolate herself as she keeps saying “she shouldn’t even be here” until she’s a hollow shell of a human being or I want to see her reintegrate herself back into the group and “belonging” and all the changes that it brings to her.

    Insight is static. It is nothing more than information. It is backstory.

    Insight into Harry Potter’s life is irrelevant without the ending to the final sequal where Harry finally grows up and changes after facing all the backstory and information and insight into who he had been.

    It wasn’t really important that Vader was Luke’s father. It’s information. What made it a story was that Luck finally became a Jedi and how it altered him from that farmboy on the desert to a man who could save the second most evil man in the galaxy. That his father was Vader was important only to the extent that it forced him to find a way to save his father rather than kill him like Yoda and Obi Wan pushed him towards.

    Any insight into Frodo’s psychology would be irrelevant if Frodo had returned to the Shire unaltered. The story was not in Frodo’s mentality when he left the shire, but the change he went through to survive teh story and return to the shire alive, if somehow permanently wounded, but somehow permanently altered.

    The story of Firefly is really nothing but how River finds her sanity by the end of the movie. The most powerful moment in the movie was when River said “I’m OK” or whatever the line was, and she really got that she was going to be OK, she wasn’t going to be crazy anymore. The battles with ships and lasers in space, and swords and guns and special agents on the ground, that was all icing on the cake to River finding her sanity.

    In Barfly, Mickey Rourke’s character ends up exactly the same way he started out as, with no money in a bar trying to forget himself. But he goes through some massive changes durign the movie.

    The story of most people’s lives would make boring fiction. To make anyone’s life an interesting story, you have to find a way to boil the story down to the changes the person goes through.

    Now, I get the characters on SGU have only been on the ship for maybe two weeks. And not a lot of character development normally happens to people in two weeks. But when Eli was confronted with Chloe’s death and all the things he had left unsaid, he changed who he was, and told her how he felt. That she died anyway would mean he would either completely shut down into loser mode or push out way beyond where he had gone with his speech.

    It was the first significant character change in the series. It was powerful. It was emotional. It felt real. And the writers took it away.

  13. This was the best episode so far. It still has problems – mostly with character motivations (writers taking short-cuts to move the plot in the direction they want) – but there were some excellent scenes.

    I think the best was Eli, again, annoying people with the film documentary thing, emphatically saying, again, how important it is to have a record. Then cut to everyone *watching* his documentary, and Eli seconds his alternate self: “See? See?!? This is what I’ve been saying!” Absolutely cracked me up.

    Also, something I’ve never seen in a time-travel episode … the idea that one could be embarrassed by revelations made in an alternate reality. Very cool. I really felt for the characters, and could see them thinking, “Geeze, what else am I going to reveal? How am I going to act? Everyone will judge me on stuff I didn’t actually do.” They want to stop watching, but at the same time they can’t stop watching. Brilliant.

    And the hand on Eli’s shoulder … no words, just brief human contact. Very nice.

    Has anyone else yet commented on the similarity between the microscopic parasites and the flying attack thingies? I suppose it was Rush jumping through into the distant past (and leaving his skull behind) that did it … ‘infected’ the planet with parasites that can grow quite large in a much warmer world. (It was Rush lying there dead, wasn’t it? I may have mixed it up.) I didn’t catch all the time-travel stuff, but it seems like they talked about both the direction and the ‘distance’ through time being variable, depending on the state of the solar flux.

    That would also explain why the creatures’ poison is also a cure, I reckon.

    I wonder … do you think the ship moved to a time-affected gate on purpose? That it knew this was needed somehow, to fix the infections that otherwise kill everyone? If Rush knows about this phenomena, then the Ancients did, too. Heck, maybe Rush nudged the computer in that direction, like he did for the air and the water. Maybe there is an even older “loop,” where most people are dead and Rush gets the computer to move towards the time-travel gate.

    At least that would explain the convenience of being able to travel through time right when it’s needed. Keeping it all straight, though, is hurting my head.

  14. GregLondon @629 (1st thread): If there is a “genre” of science fiction that is Serious-People/Silly-Science, I can’t think of any examples that did that. At least not good examples. I try to forget the bad ones.

    Well, leaving aside things like Star Wars, Outland, Fifth Element, and the like, how about BSG? There’s a lot of silly science in that one. FTL travel, for one. “Downloading” an entire set of memories into a new body, for another. (Think about it: it’s not really downloading, but uploading … a very large signal needs to be sent, immediately upon death, across vast distance. Not to mention the fact that viruses can also be uploaded, so it’s more than just information.)

    For that matter, Jurassic Park is full of silly science, but was an excellent movie. And 12 Monkeys. And hell, Stargate the movie.

    Maybe these don’t meet your criteria, since it’s sort of like Hamlet’s ghost … a suspension of disbelief for the sake of the story. But I don’t know any sci-fi that would have non-silly science. It’s just a matter of how it’s set up, and its purpose, and how seriously the writers/actors treat it.

    Or by “silly science” do you just mean internally inconsistent? I reckon I could think of lots of examples from BSG if that’s all you need. But it’s still the best damn sci-fi TV show ever done, IMO.

  15. Xopher, I didn’t hate Daniel Jacson, but there was a group of people that seemed to like it when he left to hang in Ascention Acres.

    I thought this ep was confusing. There’s a paradox forming and the only way out is to leave one Universe and end up in another. Once a time line has been established there is NO changing it. Conservation of Events is part of the neo-Platonian quantum physics.

    What do these little monsters on Jungle world normally kill? I mean, when they aren’t killing alien species? Most wild animals would shy away from all that loud gun-fire. So, maybe they aren’t so wild, or they don’t care. Maybe they’re more insect-like.

    Yes, put the untested “fruit” in your mouth. Very smart.

    I have reached the conclusion that this show is only good because I can come here and bitch about it.

  16. Ted said, “Downloading” an entire set of memories into a new body, for another. (Think about it: it’s not really downloading, but…”

    Ted, when the cylons upload they would need to send a very compressed data burst to the new body. Unless they are using some sort of entangled state technology. Otherwise they would need to fire out a laser (optical data) to the body-shoppe-ship, and that transmission would be restricted by light speed. Or they would need a skip drone of some sort to carry the uploaded persona. NOT good science, but then, most people watching this stuff don’t know good science from bad.

  17. I thought that the new episode was well written, and that the characters acted well within the norm based on what knowledge they had of how the world around them works.
    I think that given that Scott was under the impression that his actions could save lives, he did the only thing that he could. if you were in his position would you have done differently given the the knowledge that time travel works the way that the show says it does?

    as for the Matrix analogy, I think that it is highly ineffective. because you are arguing that even though the way machines harvest power is incredibly inaccurate seeing as how we know that people consume energy, they don’t give off excess, that it can’t be scrutinized, and isn’t seen as a flaw in the science of the show just because it is part of “the way things are.”

    Why then can’t this be said about Stargate and the way that they explain time travel? it isn’t as if they are just pulling their explanation out of a hat just for this situation. Not only is it the subject of at least 2 early episodes of SG-1, it is also part of the story for the SG-1 movie continuum. so it isn’t like they were diverting from what had already been said was possible within the Stargate universe.

    Also, as has been pointed out before, it isn’t as if solar flares happen every day, so they could explain why it happens, and why it can’t be this “save all” plot device for so called “gotcha” episodes.

    Also, seeing as how this is a science FICTION show, not everything is going to line up EXACTLY like you think, or I think, or anyone else thinks, that it should. because if it did, then it WOULDN’T BE SCIENCE FICTION, would it?

    The only thing that I am curious about is that given the knowledge that these aliens like to eat through people’s chests, why they didn’t think to have them use the space suits the second time around, to protect themselves?

    @ John. Pardon my asking, but what exactly do you DO for the show? What does Creative Consultant entail?
    also, really big fan of yours, love the Old man series. :)

  18. “# Mark Joneson 15 Nov 2009 at 6:56 pm
    Glonn–Eli already built a hover dolly. They used it to bring back ice from Ice Planet Hoth. I doubt we’ll see it again, but it already exists and would no doubt work better than a sled team of Kinos”

    Having a suit/uniform that would enable you to fly would be strategically more valuable, since you could have a soldier fly over an area before the rest of the crew stumbles in.

    But you’re right, it’s the same Star Trek “particle/technology of the week” phenomenon.

    “We can override the shields by flooding it with phase-shifted fullofshytons that we’ll never, ever, use again in another episode. Ever!”

  19. is Serious-People/Silly-Science, I can’t think of any examples that did that. At least not good examples. I try to forget the bad ones.

    Ted@14: Well, leaving aside things like Star Wars, Outland, Fifth Element,

    I don’t think you understand the concept of “serious people”. Fifth Element was not “serious people”. You don’t have bad guys in cheesy rubber head alien costumes, or bad guys with weird plastic hair pieces, or bad guys with tight black spandex pants, and call them “serious”. Fifth Element was what is called action comedy. It was campy and the tech was campy to go with it.

    Star Wars had serious people and serious plot. It also had fairly serious technology. (I’m talking about episodes 4,5,6, of course, since episodes 1,2, and 3 were never made.) The rules of science in the universe of Star Wars was fairly rigid. Lucas wasn’t generally making rules work one way in episode 4 and then changing those rules in episode 5. And no teleporters, which is a good sign. Teleporters are almost as arbitrary as time travel. Writers use teleporters and time travel to justify almost anything.

    Jurassic Park is full of silly science, but was an excellent movie.

    I wouldn’t consider Jurassic Park a serious movie, though. I thought it was a rather flat movie as far as plot goes: Scientist creates monster. Characters have to survive monster. Monster escapes for a sequel.

    Pretty standard setup for a shoot-em-up, survive the boogeyman, story.

    And 12 Monkeys.

    12 Monkeys actually worked for me. It was weird and it wasn’t what I would call one of my favorites, but it did the job. Of course, the movie establishes that Bruce Willis is bouncing around in time looking for a cure so that by the time the end arrives, it’s not a deux-ex-machina ending. It doesn’t end with “Oh, Bruce has been traveling in time all this time, that’s why Bruce as a kid sees Bruce as an adult.”

    And hell, Stargate the movie.

    Everything about the Stargate movie as far as Earth was concerned worked fairly well. Once they got on the other side and you’ve got this alien with super technology so super that he doesn’t need anything but he’s interested in oppressing some slaves, it got a little cheesy. But they needed a bad guy, and having someone enslaving human-looking people is a good way to mark “bad guy” as such.

    Or by “silly science” do you just mean internally inconsistent? I reckon I could think of lots of examples from BSG if that’s all you need.

    silly as in, if characters have this technology, they wouldn’t be acting the way they’re acting. Silly as in, you have a failsafe for everything, but can’t dial the gate back to earth. Silly as in, something that produces more energy than fusion. Silly as in, you charge your batteries from surfing a star, but you can’t get more than 40% power, and dialing the gate requires >40% power. Silly as in, a bag of dirt will work as a CO2 scrubber for 80 people for any length of time. Silly as in you have more power than fusion, and yet the ship can’t sanitize the water from microbes (hello? Boiling?) Silly as in, you’ve got communication stones to earth, but rather than having experts on the ship 24/7, you’re spending all the time sending people to earth to boink their wife, get drunk and fight with their girlfriend, etc.

  20. “silly as in, if characters have this technology, they wouldn’t be acting the way they’re acting. Silly as in, you have a failsafe for everything, but can’t dial the gate back to earth.”

    According to Rush, that is.

    “Silly as in, something that produces more energy than fusion. Silly as in, you charge your batteries from surfing a star, but you can’t get more than 40% power, and dialing the gate requires >40% power.”

    According to Rush, that is.

    “Silly as in, a bag of dirt will work as a CO2 scrubber for 80 people for any length of time.”

    Well, yeah, that’s Ancient technology so that gets a pass from me.

    “Silly as in you have more power than fusion, and yet the ship can’t sanitize the water from microbes (hello? Boiling?)”

    You’re sure they didn’t boil the water?

    “Silly as in, you’ve got communication stones to earth, but rather than having experts on the ship 24/7, you’re spending all the time sending people to earth to boink their wife, get drunk and fight with their girlfriend, etc.”

    Yeah, that’s just holodecky in its hokeyness.
    I wish they’d get rid of them, because that’s just a “suspension of belief” device.

  21. Has the show addressed why Carter, Jackson, McKay, or even Zelenka have not been stoned over to the Destiny yet? I understand that TPTB have relied too heavily on these characters pulling scientific miracles out of their asses at the last minute and that they don’t want to do that with SGU or else show over. But these people represent the best of the best when it comes to Ancient tech and to not even mention why they haven’t shown up yet is a huge logical failing. Have them too busy elsewhere or have something wrong with the stones or them, but at least explain why this obvious option has been overlooked.

    I’m not looking forward to the return of the Young-Telford-wifey triangle next week. Not at all.

  22. @ william.
    new show new cast. its that simple. they wanted to introduce a whole new set of characters, without the old ones taking a major part because then they would be relied on in all situations. it would be “help us sg-1 were in trouble again!” every episode. If they wanted people to see the same people that they have been watching the past ten years, they wouldn’t have made a NEW show.

  23. allochthon

    The difference between this time loop and most others is, thanks to Pilot Boy’s quick thinking, they have control over upcoming loops, and can pass characterization along to the next loop through the Kino video. We lost the character development in one loop, but now they can pass that information on.

    Actually I am fairly sure they lost all info from the first loop. Remember that the Keno memory was fulll. There would be no reason to send it back to the planet. The Keno that was sent back at the end was new and only recorded them arriving and getting attacked. That is why Scott had to quickly recount all the info they had learned so far before throwing it through the gate.

    Something else that occurs to me is that this gets around Mr. Scalzi’s bullet counting rule. They can waste bullets and medicine and even kill most of the main characters and then the clock resets and it never happened. Brilliant!

  24. @William 22
    They did mention that Carter was the one who came up with the theory of diving into the star to power the gate trip home, but why she was not there to implement the plan herself I don’t know. But I think at this point she is Captain of the Hammond. Not sure if that was a permanent or temporary assignment. Who knows about the rest. I would think Rodney would sell his own Mother to get a look at that ship.

  25. Kazzong, it’s not that simple. Your explanations are all from the external point of view of the writers and ignore the in-universe inconsistency. The writers don’t want to have the other Stargate heroes save the day, that’s perfectly fine. I actually don’t want those people on Universe anyway because they would take time away from characters who need development. But it’s a gaping hole to not at least give a sentence or two explaining why these other Stargate heroes, who routinely save everyone’s ass, haven’t been over trying to save the day now.

    GL2418, I agree that Carter would be busy with her ship or too remote to help and it’s likely that Jackson and the Atlantis people could have similar situations. All the writers had to do was mention that.

  26. “new show new cast. its that simple. they wanted to introduce a whole new set of characters, without the old ones taking a major part because then they would be relied on in all situations. it would be “help us sg-1 were in trouble again!” every episode. If they wanted people to see the same people that they have been watching the past ten years, they wouldn’t have made a NEW show.”

    And that would be a valid argument…if TPTB had had the courage of their convictions and _actually_ marooned these people far, far, far from home with no contact with Earth. There would be no way to get Carter, McKay, Jackson or anyone else onto the ship, so nobody would find it abysmally stupid that they aren’t doing just that.

    That’s not the situation, though. They DID introduce the stones. They DID show us that they’re in almost constant contact with the SGC. So the utter failure to make use of known assets (or, heck, even no-name second bananas with expertise in the necessary fields) stands out as gloriously stupid because it IS gloriously stupid.

    Heck, they could have scaled the stones back so that instead of a complete bodyswitch, they can simply communicate (like mental radio). Trying to have an expert on earth provide any real help through that kind of bottleneck would be unreasonably difficult, though I think they’d still try it. But the Destiny crowd wouldn’t look so moronic for not getting help.

    But then we couldn’t have vital and riveting scenes like Chloe and Eli at the sock hop. Or Col. Young making booty calls on his wife.

    If fans (a lot of fans, in my experience) are annoyed by this planet-sized plot hole, the writers have nobody but themselves to blame for it.

  27. @23 – yeah, and I think that’s a good decision. However, the issue of why they’re not using Earth expertise in general is a little problematic, esp when they have the stones. Makes very little sense to let them be used for casual visits but not to get help from talent at the SGC.

    @GregLondon – Several of the science points that bother you are part of SG canon for good or ill. I do think that you’re nitpicking the science too much – at some point you either accept it and set aside the improbability or you don’t and trying to excuse things like humans as batteries in the Matrix because it’s just backstory doesn’t fully work – it’s like you’re trying to accept silly crap in cases where you liked the work, but not in cases where you don’t. And yes, I get the difference between backstory and not. If you can’t set aside the science stuff, I don’t think you’ll like SGU or any of the SG series. The earlier series were less about the science and more about the characters, esp SG-1.

    At the same time, I agree with you on a lot of the story flaws… but that’s why I’m not watching it until mid-season. The first episodes (Air, Water, etc) left me cold because there wasn’t real tension – we knew they weren’t going to suffocate and die. I tuned into Time, but I just don’t like time loop episodes – they’re always more of the same, with people dying, etc. then resetting the timeline until they figure it out. Like you and unlike Xopher I do think it’s a problem that they had the characters take emotional risks and then negated them via the time loop and I turned it off after the “Eli gets emotional… RESET” scene.

    Someone in the other thread made a very good point – a big issue for SGU is that they’re on a ship with only survival and getting home to provide plot movement. Survival doesn’t provide tension from the audience perspective though, because we know they won’t kill everyone, which leaves getting home.

    Ultimately I think the success of SGU will depend on how well they can make getting home interesting without resorting to a lot of gimmicks (e.g. overusing the stones a lot) or dodging the question of ‘why not just stay on this nice planet?’

    Voyager has been brought up several times, but the thing about that is the ship in that series was 75,000 lightyears away – a VERY long distance, but surmountable (by Kes, by Q, by the technology that brought them there in the first place). Destiny is ‘a billion light years’ away. The SG fictional universe only provides one way for them to get home – find a gate with a power source large enough The question is whether they can make that search interesting or will they merely blunder about from place to place? I think the second half of the season will tell us.

  28. One of the reasons that the big brains from the earlier series are not stoned to the Destiny is that in the story world those people are all busy in the events of SGA: Extinction and SG-1: Revolution, while out here in the real world there is no money to produce either of those movies right now.

    I doubt I’ll be watching more of SGU; “Earth” totally turned off the Stargate fanboy at my house (as he’s in the prized 18-30 demographic, this news should disturb TPTB) and I’m just not sufficiently engaged by the characters or their situation to pay the kind of attention an episode like “Time” needed. I’m not going to be tested on this stuff, it’s not a job I’m being paid to do, and I prefer my entertainment have some immediate gratification component, given that I have plenty of not fun stuff going on as it is.

  29. One other note re: the com stones.
    Now that we have had the experience with the attempted take over of Destiny in “Earth”. Col Young and probably the rest of the crew will likely not be too trusting of help coming from Earth. So I can see any talk of sending “experts” to help would be meet with skepticism. Young went so far as to say something like “we have decided to continue communicating with you”, so the trust has been broken. Maybe that will limit the use of the stones for a while and allow the crew to find their way before injecting more “help” from home.

    If I were Young I would tell O’Neil to keep Telford away from his Destiny. Or I would have them give me a sedative every time I called home.

  30. Glonn: According to Rush, that is.

    I should add that “silly” includes having all these potentially life-altering bits of information all rely on someone who is demonstrably untrustworthy. Rush is a prick and can be trusted about as far as Eli could throw him (and Eli isn’t in good shape, so there you go)

    rick: it’s like you’re trying to accept silly crap in cases where you liked the work, but not in cases where you don’t.

    Matrix worked because Neo goes from “I’m not the chosen one” to “I am the chosen one”. Neo evolved as a character.

    The “human battery” thing was backstory. It didn’t give Neo any tools to become the One. Time travel via solar flare and worm holes gave teh SGU people some tools and they used them in “Time” to warn their past selves.

    And as far as the human battery concept went, when they announced the Matrix sequel was coming out, my hope was that Neo and company would find out that the “batteries” thing wasn’t true, that the machines had initially been designed by humans to save the human race from a human-launched nuclear war. Then the existence of the machines andn their relationship to humans would actually make sense. They weren’t using humans for power, humans had designed them as a self-maintaining environment chamber to keep the human race alive while other machines tried to clean the atmosphere and the planet from nuclear fallout.

    Then, Neo from the first movie would still have evolved to become “The One”. And then the second movie could have been about fixing the machines (maybe the machines lost their programming and turned into hal and need to be fixed, or they can’t keep people alive for some reason, or they can’t clean the atmosphere for some reason.)

    So, yeah, as backstory to Matrix1, the humans-as-batteries was stupid, but it did nothing to alter the plot of teh first movie. Neo still went from “I’m not the one” to “I AM the one.” As far as the first movie went, it was fine. I think they missed a great opportunity to fix that backstory in the sequel.

    In “Time”, time travel via a gate crossed with a solar flare is a tool the characters used to achieve their goals. That’s why it isn’t just backstory. it’s a tool. It’s a magic spell. It’s a lever the characters can pull. And when you provide a lever that can undo everything, you start getting into “it was all a dream” issues.

    Someone in the other thread made a very good point – a big issue for SGU is that they’re on a ship with only survival and getting home to provide plot movement.

    If you’re talking about the post that talked about movies like “Passenger 57″ and how the circumstances can get so “enclosed” that there isn’t enough room for the characters to move, then that was me.

    And maybe this “enclosed” setting, being stuck on Destiny, is why the characters don’t have a lot of room to actually develop. I don’t know. I suppose the writers basically have only two options in each episode. have someone die, or have them all live. If they have someone die (Chloe) and have someoen else (Eli) grow as a result of facing that person’s eminent death that’s great character development, but then they start runnign out of main characters. If this was taking place on earth, you could have a character die once in a while and you could always replace them with new charcaters. But they’ve got a finite supply of bullets and an even smaller supply of people. so, what happens is every once in a while, they lose a red shirt character, but none of the main cahracters ever really face death.

    It’s sort of the “Gilligan’s Island” problem. You’ve only got so many characters to work with that you don’t want to lose any. And if you can’t afford to lose any charcters, it’s hard to take the problem-of-the-day as a serious threat. So the only way to tell the story of a small group stranded in some small, finite space is to make it campy (Gilligan’s Island), make it a one-time movie where the guy could live or die (Castaway) or make it “edgy” where main characters are viable targets for dying (Lost).

    The way SGU presents itself, it has the “feel” of an edgy show. Dark. Foreboding. Ominous sounding music in the opening scene. Military guys running around with realistic military weapons. an alien invasion. A planet destroyed. A group of people stranded an infinite distance away. An important senator sacrifices his life to save the others.

    But after the pilot episode finished, after the premise was done to strand the people on Destiny, the individual episodes are more like “Gilligan’s Island”. None of the main characters are in any real danger. And in “Time”, we see a main character, Chloe, die not once, but twice, and even though that could have been an edgy outcome the writers hit the reset button back to the status quo.

    I’ll watch the next episode to see how they resolve the “Time” episode. Maybe it’s so dangerous of a situation that no amount of time-traveling kinos will save everyone’s life. Maybe a main character will die. At this point, after showing me Chloe die twice and then saying “Ha! Fooled you!” they’ve got to do something pretty drastic to make up for that.

  31. William at #22

    The people who have been saying that Telford was not raped by the Youngs have suggested that people who are going to be using the stones must have signed a waiver in advance giving permission for other people to use their bodies for sex. I can’t imagine Carter or Zelenka would sign such a thing, and Jennifer would never let Rodney sign one!
    :-)

  32. I don’t imagine Telford signed such a release either, and I’m pretty sure no one on Destiny did. People are really grasping at straws on that one.

    Telford certainly has a right to be angry over being raped. But I think he’s taking up with Young’s wife to punish Young for showing everyone what a coward Telford is.

  33. Mr. Mallozzi tried to argue that Telford would have signed a body release because he knew Young was going for a conjugal visit with his wife. That doesn’t make sense on many levels. Young and his wife were very estranged and I don’t think Young was initially even going to see her so I can’t see how anyone would have known that sex could happen. I also can’t see how there would be enough people who would consider having sex with someone else’s body to warrant putting a “yes you can use my genitals” disclaimer on a release. And I also can’t see how people would be fine with the use of their bodies in such a way, especially considering Telford and Young are antagonists. The writers are taking a very nonchalant attitude toward the ethical problems of using the stones.

  34. And now for something completely different:
    Joe Mallozzi is PO’d at you (and maybe me but I have been trying to be nice).

    http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/october-31-2009-that-long-overdue-rant-and-a-behind-the-scenes-vid-from-water/

    BTW
    @ William

    I also can’t see how there would be enough people who would consider having sex with someone else’s body to warrant putting a “yes you can use my genitals” disclaimer on a release.

    RFOL!! Quote of the day!

  35. William 36: Mr. Mallozzi tried to argue that Telford would have signed a body release because he knew Young was going for a conjugal visit with his wife. That doesn’t make sense on many levels.

    Not least of which is that Telford’s reaction to glitching back into his own body was surprise and shock. LDP did a good job of showing that. He might have been surprised by the glitch, but he was shocked.

    GL2418 37: Not really. He’s mostly POd at people who make rude comments on HIS blog, though he did mention other fora. He’s also pissed at people who are being morons one way or another: hypocrites and people who can’t distinguish between the actors and their roles. People have been very nasty to Brian J. Smith, apparently, which I don’t understand at all.

    He is mad at people like me who’ve been hoping for certain characters to be killed (in my case Rush and Telford), but I do think I’ve been careful to say that I have nothing against Robert Carlyle or Lou Diamond Phillips, and in fact think they’ve been doing a great job of playing their irredeemably despicable characters.

    Then he says this:

    Trust me when I say that there’s no better way to guarantee a character’s long and fruitful stay on a show than to insist we get rid of them.

    If I thought that would actually work, I’d start posting “Kill Scott!” every time I write anything! I mean, he’s in every episode, but they haven’t been giving him that much to do (compared to the, say, 80% screen time I’d like him to enjoy).

    People here haven’t been too pissy about the cast and crew. Greg has dissed the writers repeatedly, calling them sloppy and saying their writing is bad and accusing them of cheating the viewer and all like that. But that’s about it.

  36. Nah, I definitely don’t want Rush killed off. I mean, I don’t like him, but it would be bad writing to kill off only the characters people didn’t like. They’ve gotta make me love someone, and then kill them off all brutal like, out of nowhere, and make me cry.

  37. @Xopher
    I meant “you” as in “all you folks being asses” lest you thought I meant “you” as in “you John Scalzi with the gall to allow folks to post stuff on my interwebs”.

    And I agree Scott has not had a lot given to him yet, but they have certainly given him a somewhat complicated background with the religious beliefs but also a very active sex life. While I can’t say I am anxious to explore religion on the show, I suspect they did not go out of their to make him Christian just to drop it. Although if you think about it, SG1 was almost entirely based in religion, just not the religious beliefs of the main characters (except maybe Teal’c to a degree).

  38. GL2418, I thought you meant “you all posting comments critical of the series.”

    As for religion, one of the things I had to overlook to enjoy SG-1, actually, was the fact that they insulted the religions of the admittedly-tiny minority who actually worship gods with names like Ra, Anubis, and so forth. They were a little more careful with the Hindu pantheon, because they apparently realized that the world’s third most popular religion might have some skiffy fans in it!

    But I say a prayer to Ra—the real Ra—when I come forth by day each morning, and I don’t happen to think he’s an evil parasitic snake. I kept waiting for them to find the real gods who the Goa’uld were pretending to be (you know, Hephaistos working in a garage in Iowa or something) or confront the most cruel and vindictive of all the ancient gods: Yahweh. But they didn’t have the guts, of course.

    All that said, I’m delighted by Scott, and by the fact that when everyone on Destiny thought they were going to die, there was one group having a prayer meeting. I thought that was beautifully written (hear that Greg? BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN), and I also really liked it when Scott said he’d like to say a prayer, then recited the 23rd Psalm. My heart went out to him in that moment; wanting to pray, but feeling too awkward to pray spontaneously, and too unworthy to make an actual supplication (like, say, the Lord’s Prayer).

  39. Barstool Babe @7

    Window of Opportunity didn’t use the solar flares for the constant repeating.

    I didn’t say WoO was a flare episode. I was using it as an example of a time loop where the protags *could* send a fair bit of information through to the next loop. That’s not done very often, and it’s one of the things I liked about “Time.”
    __

    Mark Jones @8

    They used it to bring back ice from Ice Planet Hoth. I doubt we’ll see it again, but it already exists and would no doubt work better than a sled team of Kinos.

    The sled used to bring back the Hoth water *was* a kino-powered sled.
    __

    GregLondon @9

    Greg: The premise of the science of the matrix is that you get power from human bodies.

    Xopher: Well, the premise of this episode is that time travel works.

    There’s a difference between premise (backstory) and science (tools characters can use to accomplish goals)

    “Premise” was your word.

    The science in this episode was completely consistent with the previous science as established in the Stargate universe. That’s an assumption implicit in the show. You have a different assumption. Ok, fine, but we know that already. Let’s move on.

    re: silly science with serious characters.
    I will probably regret this, but new Doctor Who and its spinoffs. You can’t get more serious than “Midnight” or “Children of Earth.” Those episodes are as dark and serious as “Children of Men” or “Alien.”
    __

    Ted @13

    Also, something I’ve never seen in a time-travel episode … the idea that one could be embarrassed by revelations made in an alternate reality. Very cool.

    Excellent. I loved that too, but couldn’t figure out how to articulate it. And I love how Rush just shrugs off what could have embarrassed him. “It wasn’t me”
    __

    Another comment on Rush running away from the chest-drills. If he hadn’t, Rush-on-Destiny wouldn’t have recognized the time loop. Therefore Scott wouldn’t have known to send back another kino. Rush’s “desertion” saved them.
    __

    GL2418 (AKA Michael) @24

    Actually I am fairly sure they lost all info from the first loop. Remember that the Keno memory was fulll.

    True. But Scott’s recording is very clearly deliberate, and the only way he could have known about the loop is having experienced one.

    Now the people on Destiny will know a loop is happening when they find that kino, and will know that they can pass more information on to the next loop. That’s what I liked about this episode. Usually the characters can only pass on a few bits (literally, bits and not even bytes) of information.

  40. “Premise” was your word.

    So was “backstory

    The science in this episode was completely consistent with the previous science as established in the Stargate universe.

    Time travel is a tool the characters use in SGU. The human-battery thing in Matrix was dumb, but it didn’t provide anything for the characters to use to alter their path.

    If you don’t see the difference, then don’t blame me.

    silly science with serious characters: I will probably regret this, but new Doctor Who and its spinoffs.

    I haven’t seen the new Doctor Who. I have the first season on DVD. I’ll report back after I watch it. I imagine that some of Doctor Who’s silly science is based off the original series. And the original series is about as campy as anything else made back in the 70′s. The original StarTrek was pretty cheesy.

    But it did have the “City on the Edge of Forever” episode. Time traveling Kirk and Spock go back in time to fix the timeline. And Kirk realizes that Joan Collins has to die to keep time from being rewritten.

    That to me was a good way to use time travel. it showed some character development. Bones shouting he could have saved her. And Spock simply saying he knows, doctor, he knows. They didn’t use it as a reset button.

  41. it isn’t being used as a reset button here, they are atempting to alter the timeline, not putting it as if nothing happened.

  42. “Maybe you’ll want to retire there. Then again, why wait? Go there now!”
    Guess you slept through the Anbar Awakening.
    Pay my way and I’ll go, but Michael Totten’s already been. Look him up.

    “… a somewhat complicated background with the religious beliefs but also a very active sex life.”
    Oh the low-hanging forbidden fruit of a politically incorrect zinger … away temptation!

    “Don’t kill Rush!”
    Of course not! He’s the best part of the show.
    Did people watch Dallas because they loved JR? Did people love the ending of Reservoir Dogs because Mr. Pink was such a loyal Boy Scout? (Rush is a lot like Mr. Pink.)
    Most SG:A fans eventually fell in [brotherly] love with Rodney. That’s not going to happen with Rush — but we love to watch him.
    That doesn’t mean the crew should treat him unrealistically. If he keeps getting away with stuff that should get him spaced — especially since the resources of every Ancient expert on Earth are just a stone’s throw away — it will destroy suspension of disbelief. That means Rush has to be written so as to always know where the line is and not cross it.

    “… irredeemably despicable characters …”
    I find Telford a lot more despicable than Rush.

    The only explanation of the Young-Telford rape scenes that makes any sense is that Young committed rape and Telford is taking advantage of the opportunity that afforded him.
    Would you allow your body to be used for sex? Seriously, it would be so taboo it wouldn’t even come up for discussion.
    And someone would invariably break the rules — because in private people love to violate taboos — and terrible consequences would result, as is happening.
    THAT is the only explanation that makes any sense to me. The idea that anyone other than a swinger would work out a “conjugal body-sharing contract” is ridiculous — has the SGC been moved to Studio 54?
    But in private people are a lot more kinky — and in Young’s case desperate — so I totally buy that Young would use Telford’s body on the down-low.
    That makes Telford that much more potentially evil, because he can play the dastardly blackmail card if Young ever busts him.
    “You talk, I talk. Like it or not we’re even, pal.” Telford’s violation was greater, but he’s got the goods on Young. Young hates him with a passion but can’t do anything about it. Very good drama.
    “Telford violated the identity disclosure clause of his conjugal lease contract” is a lot less dramatic.

  43. “That’s not going to happen with Rush — but we love to watch him. That doesn’t mean the crew should treat him unrealistically. If he keeps getting away with stuff that should get him spaced — especially since the resources of every Ancient expert on Earth are just a stone’s throw away — it will destroy suspension of disbelief.”

    …WILL destroy WSOD?

    It’s already happened for me (and I’m not alone in this).

  44. Pay my way and I’ll go

    Oh, come now, if you really want to go, your local recruiting office will give you a free ticket.

    it isn’t being used as a reset button here, they are atempting to alter the timeline, not putting it as if nothing happened.

    My what a lovely argument you have there. To bad its full of holes.

    We watched through 48 minutes of “Time” to see Scot send a message to the crew to try and prevent them from screwing things up a third time. Chloe has already died twice. In one episode.

    And the version of Eli that finishes the next episode? What I will call Eli 3.0? He will not recall anything about that speech he gave to Chloe 2.0.

    Which means the Eli we watch for the rest of teh series, Eli 3.0, will never have developed what Eli 2.0 developed.

    That is, for all intents and purposes, a reset button. Eli 2.0 developed. And that development is taken away. We reset with Eli 3.0 and he continues the series.

    insight into the character is useless. It is meaningless. It is nothing but useless data.

    You want to tell me something about a character? Have him develop. If you take it away, then it didn’t happen. If you’re taking that development away, then all you’re giving me is insight which is about as interesting as a Playboy Bunny biography: loves to take long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and romance movies, blah, blah, blah.

    If all you want is insight then just read the Cliff notes on the characters. If you want a story then the characters have to develop

  45. just because the “new” characters will not have experienced the same events, they are aware of them now, which is an advantage that the others didn’t. so it isn’t a reset button.

    They have new information, vague as it is, so they are still forewarned, and thus have changed. what they are is different than what they would have been had Scott not done what he did. they aren’t identical to the “old” characters.

  46. Iteration 1: Away team goes to planet, everyone is killed. Kino sent back in time.

    Iteration 2: Away team finds kino, learn about It. 1 and try to do better. Chloe dies. Eli grows. Away team gets killed. Scott sends brief kino message through time tunnel.

    Iteration 3 (assumed): Away team finds kino message, capture critter, save everyone from disease. They know NOTHING of Iteration one, and only the barest outline of Iteration 2, the few words Scott spoke before sending the kino back in time.

    Any and all character growth is null and void. Erased from existence. RESET.

  47. “… a free ticket.”
    Yeah, to Afghanistan. That’s a clusterf**k.

    “If all you want is insight then just read the Cliff notes on the characters. If you want a story then the characters have to develop …”

    Maybe wait for pt.2 before jumping to conclusions?

  48. yeah, speculation is fine and dandy, but we should wait untilpart two is shown to really say whether it is acceptable or not.

  49. what would you have done differant?

    red herring. That the episode commits a complete reset by part 2 is irrelevant to how I would have written it.

    I’m claiming an issue about the writing. Rather than acknowledge that, you’re asking me how I would do it differently.

    My point, and I repeat it here because you’re so unable to acknowledge it, is that the writers reset all character development from an entire episode. Gone. Kaput.

    What survives to part two will be whatever reality-TV type stuff was on the Kino in the third iteration of time.

    Maybe wait for pt.2 before jumping to conclusions?

    Oh fer the luv of gawd.

    Here’s some conclusions we can say, with absolute certainty, about the “Time” episode.

    If you unravel the episode and put it into sequential order, you get two time loops. Rev1 and Rev2.

    Rev1: they show up on the planet, bumble their way around, everyoen but Scot dies, Scot sends kino through gate with the message “radio me if you get this so I know the gate is working”.

    Did you notice anything? When you unravel it, Rev1 timeline is a deus ex machina ending. They all die, and out of nowhere the cavalry shows up to save everyone. Nobody, including Scot, knew the kino was going to go back in time. Everyone had died. But because of that deus ex machina, they all get a do-over. They get to go to Rev2.

    And the writers start the episode in Rev2. But they don’t tell us that. What they show us is through the eyes of the kino, so we assume we’re in Rev 1. We’re not even aware that time travel is possible. Everyone dies. And then the big reveal, surprise it’s a time loop episode! Hooray!

    They start from Rev2, but they don’t tell us that. Meaning they purposely hid information about the cavalry so that we’d all think everyone was dead, but then the cavalry shows up to reset the timeline.

    Rev1 is a complete deus ex machina ending, and the writers hid that information from us on purpose just for the effect of “Hey! It’s the cavalry! We’re saved!”

    On top of this, everything that happend in Rev1 was reset, didn’t happen, was un-done, and all that remains of Rev1 is the kino recording. Chloe’s death is undone. The Doctor’s death is undone. Rush’s death is undone (though his skull may be laying around somewhere). Eli’s death is undone. Young’s death is undone. Greer’s death is undone.

    But the kino recording gives us Rev2. Which is where the “Time” episode started, even though they didn’t tell us. After Eli and company are done watching the tape, the writers insert a flashback to show Rev2 landing on the planet and finding the kino.

    Notice the writers fucked even with the basic sequential timeline of Rev2 to hide the fact that they were watching a kino. They showed them watching the recording (but hid that it was a recording) and then they show them finding the recording.

    At the end of Rev2, Eli has grown up as a man, Johansen has experienced some powerful emotions, the woman trying to comfort her has suddenly become important, but Chloe, Young, Greer, and RedShirtGuy are all dead. So Scot makes a recording on the kino that says “this is from the future”, and throws it through the gate in hopes of reseting the timeline,

    So, Rev1: Deus ex machina ending. And the writers purposely hid information to make it a deus ex machina ending. Everything is reset for Rev2. The deaths of most of the main characters are undone. It was just a dream. THe only thing that will survie of Rev1 is the kino recording. The rest didn’t happen.

    Rev2: at least its not deux ex machina, because by this time we know time travel is involved. But most of the main characters die, and Eli actually had some powerful character development, and if Scot is successful in throwing the kino back in time, all of that will be undone. Again. It was just a dream. No matter what, the only thing that will survive of Rev2 is the kino recording. Everything else will be undone.

    It might be that Rev3 will end up killing some characters and having some major development of the few remaining characters. But at this point, I seriously doubt it.

    But whether or not that happens, we can assert several facts about the last episode without seeing the next episode.

  50. Greg, major characters don’t die permanently on Stargate except a) at the end of a season or b) when the actor dies.

    OK? So stop expecting characters to die. If they’re major characters, their deaths will be undone in every case.

    People die temporarily all the time. Daniel Jackson dies even in the original movie. Death-undoing technology was part of this universe from its inception.

    I think it’s your expectations that are out of whack here. Those of us who have watched all the Stargate series knew they weren’t going to kill Chloe (I wasn’t so sure about James). We didn’t necessarily know how it would be done, but I for one said “wow, there’s going to be another loop here.”

    Adjust your expectations. And no, I don’t mean lower them; I mean stop expecting them to do things no one does in this kind of series. This isn’t a miniseries where everyone can die. This isn’t a one-season kill-them-one-by-one mystery series either.

    If you thought for a moment that they would really kill Chloe you were just being unrealistic. The fault is not in the series, but in your expectations.

  51. “Greg, major characters don’t die permanently on Stargate except a) at the end of a season or b) when the actor dies.”

    But…but…I thought This Isn’t Your Father’s Stargate! I thought…dark, edgy, gritty? I thought SG-1 and SGA were childish adventure shows with strong-jawed (i.e., heroic, i.e., unrealistic) characters, but SGU was going to be full of real people. The WRONG people, in fact.

    Real people die. Especially when they’re the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or, they do if the show is “realistic”.

    So what you’re saying is that we should watch this show knowing that none of the drama is or ever will be real? That we should laugh, and point, and mock, when they “kill” one of the main characters, because we know it will be undone by the shiny, candy-like red reset button by story’s end? That we should disregard all claims by the producers to be making a dark, edgy, realistic show?

    I’m pretty sure I’d already figured that out. I’m fairly sure Greg has, too.

  52. @ Doubting Thomas 46
    “Oh the low-hanging forbidden fruit of a politically incorrect zinger … away temptation!”

    Not sure what you are getting at exactly. I was not trying to start a religious debate. just saying that Scott seems contradictory in his strong religious beliefs, his previous experience with getting a girl pregnant, and his sleeping around. I don’t think it’s a bad observation.

  53. xopher: If you thought for a moment that they would really kill Chloe you were just being unrealistic. The fault is not in the series, but in your expectations.

    From http://www.syfy.com/universe/about.php:

    “Through the danger and adventures, some will be revealed as heroes, some will be shown as villains…and some won’t make it out at all.”

    So, allegedly, according to the StarGate website itself, people are going to die. Maybe they mean redshirts.

    From http://www.gateworld.net/interviews/an_expanding_universe3.shtml:

    “So, when we say “dark and edgy,” yes, there is death and there is jeopardy and danger and behavior that is probably unheroic. ”

    What was I supposed to take from the meaning of the word “death” there? or “jeopardy”? Or “danger”? Did I assume something that wasn’t there? By “death” did they mean “only for a little while”?

    http://www.gateworld.net/interviews/an_expanding_universe4.shtml

    “The producers have taken inspiration from “Cloverfield” for executing the look and feel of the new series.”

    Didn’t everyone die in “Cloverfield” and all that was left was a videotape? (I didn’t see that movie, so I don’t know)

    On the same page:

    “There was a sense of realism to that (Cloverfield) that was, I found, really effective.”

    Realism, people dying, etc, etc. Tell me where I got the wrong impression about the show. Tell me where the notion that Chloe could really die and stay dead was completely out of left field, something that I made up all on my own.

    “it gives you an immediacy and a sense of feeling like you are a part of what’s happening”

    Actually, no, the writers have repeatedly separated the audience from all thepoint of view characters. There are constant reminders to teh audience that they are not part of the action, they’re watching the action.

    Here: http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/september-18-2008-saying-goodbye-to-sga-looking-forward-to-sgu/

    “it’s a much more cerebral and mature addition to the franchise”

    A thinking man’s StarGate? A “mature” StarGate?

    “It’s a series that will delight veteran fans, but also appeal to newcomers who may not necessarily know the difference between an Alteran and an Asuran.”

    So, this guy is telling me that I don’t have to watch all the other series to watch this one. I don’t have to know what it is that “no one does in this kind of series” because they’re making a different kind of series. Cerebral for pete’s sake. Mature.

    So, I don’t think I made any assumptions.

    If I made a mistake, it was taking people’s word for it that this was going to be: real, dark, edgy, death, jeapordy, danger, inspired by Cloverfield, immediacy, the viewers are part of the action, cerebral, mature, and something a new fan could watch and understand without having to research all the previous series.

    These weren’t my assumptions, Xopher, this is what the people behind the show were saying about the show.

  54. I’ve been watching the “Kino” mini-movies at the MGM site, and I’m sad to say that they’re more interesting and have more character development that most of the episodes thus far.

    I’d be willing to watch an entire episode consisting of nothing but clips of Eli taking us through the ship, showing us stuff, and interacting casually with crew members. Before we care about the characters, we have to know them and entertaining things about them.

    The whole “Apple-Core” thing develops everyone involved, for example. In good ways.

    Alas, Chloe is still pointless in the Kinos.

  55. Greg: Hmm. Well, OK, then I was wrong about that. I make it a point not to read what people SAY about the show they’re making, because IME it lessens my enjoyment of the actual show. That’s why I didn’t know about the range limitations on the SGU stargates, for example (and I still think it was a mistake for them not to clarify that within the show).

    However (you knew there’d be a however), I think the way the characters behaved was realistic at all times. They were embarrassed by the embarrassing, saddened by the sad, crushed by the crushing. (Scott’s reaction to seeing that Eli was dead was particularly wonderful IMO.) They did the best they could with what they had, and valued saving their lives over developing their characters. This is exactly what real people would do if they were in that situation.

    I guess what I’m saying is that it wasn’t the writers who “took it away.” It was the priorities of the characters, which were entirely realistic. If you watched a friend die, and had an opportunity to undo that at the cost of losing the “growth as a person” that you gained as a result of the tragedy, wouldn’t you do that? I would, and I hope you would too.

    This isn’t like waking up from a dream. It’s realistically consequent from the world and the characters.

  56. Xopher: This is exactly what real people would do if they were in that situation.

    real people don’t always make for good fiction.

    I said before that most people’s lives would make for horrible fiction if you just plot it out in a linear fashion. It’s real, but it’d be boring as hell.

    In this particular case, a combination of writer-invented tools (time travel) and “realistic” character behaviour (resetting the timeline) does not get a “but it was realistic” get-out-of-bad-writing-jail-free card.

    One could equally argue that it is “realistic” that when confronted with a scary monster that a group of teenagers might send the token black kid down into the basement to investigate by himself, only to die. And that the class-whore who sleeps with all the guys ends up dying too. And the jock-who-is-arrogant ends up being arrogant and dying as a result of that arrogance. Certainly, the mechanics of monster-kills-teen is “realistic”. The monster has sharp claws and the teenagers are soft and squishy.

    But just because it is “realistic” (as in given the circumstances presented by the writer, the characters acted “realistically”), doesn’t mean it isn’t bad writing.

    Bad writing would have to take responsibility for the circumstances created by the writer, not just how the characters responded to those circumstances.

    So, yeah, if presented with a time machine, I’d go back and kill Hitler. If a character is presented with a time machine, it would be “realistic” if they were to go back and try to kill Hitler. But that’s still a dumb, cliched story, bad writing, and “realistic” doesn’t excuse it.

    If you watched a friend die, and had an opportunity to undo that at the cost of losing the “growth as a person”

    most stories need character development to work. that’s the writer’s responsibility. If the charcters don’t develop, that’s the writer’s fault. The writer decides whether or not the wormhole will go back in time or not. The writer decides whether there are Flying Chest Drills or not. The writer decides who lives and dies. Or not. Certainly whether or not the characters behave “realistically” is important, but the writers are responsible for the stories they write and the circumstances they present to the characters.

  57. “I guess what I’m saying is that it wasn’t the writers who “took it away.” It was the priorities of the characters, which were entirely realistic. If you watched a friend die, and had an opportunity to undo that at the cost of losing the “growth as a person” that you gained as a result of the tragedy, wouldn’t you do that? I would, and I hope you would too.”

    I think I’m seeing a misunderstanding here. When I complain (I won’t speak for Greg) about the fact that the character development is taken away, I’m not complaining about the characters’ behavior. Yes, of course, if I could send a message back in time to prevent the deaths of my comrades (and my own) by changing the past, I would certainly do so. I have no objection to that.

    I object to the writers inflicting real losses on the characters, causing the characters to suffer, to die, to grieve, to grow–and then taking it all away with a wave of their hands. It’s a cheap trick. It’s a bait-and-switch, in which they pretend to deliver real drama and real change only to take it back, leaving us with the status quo again.

    I won’t say that the other Stargate shows haven’t done it, because they have. I didn’t like it then, either. I will say I don’t like it any better here, and it certainly undermines any claim the writers have to be doing a darker, edgier, more “adult” show.

  58. Well, then I should throw up my hands. I don’t like doing that, because the thumbs get stuck in my throat I usually like to try to find common ground, but I think we’re just going from radically different aesthetic preferences and premises here.

    I thought “Time” was the best episode yet. The fact that the dead probably didn’t wind up dead at the end didn’t bother me. I got to see the drama, but James and Chloe are going to be in the next episode. That’s all good to me (I like James a lot better than Chloe, but Chloe has potential—nothing else, so far, but potential).

  59. But they did NOT take the alternative time-line experiences completely away. They left behind the Kino floating camera ball and half the episode was the crew seeing what their alternative destinies showed them and what they learned about surviving the experience. I agree it is not as rich as being there but to say it is completely removed from their new time-line doesn’t seem quite right.

  60. Bob, I’m pretty sure only Scott’s final message got through to the next loop. He summarized instead of giving them the unedited footage. The kino with the information from the first loop was still on the ship when Scott and the others went down to try to capture a chest drill.

    So the only thing they know in the final timeline is what Scott told them in the final moments of the show. It couldn’t have been the same one, unless they erased it (in which case it might as well have been a different one), because that one went through still activated, and recorded Rush’s body until its memory was full.

    Scott threw only one kino through the stargate. So the final timeline doesn’t know the details, and hasn’t seen the recording of the first expedition, the one where everyone died.

  61. “insight into the character is useless. It is meaningless. It is nothing but useless data.”

    I wouldn’t go that far. I would say that the stakes need to be higher or the payoff larger or – and to my mind this is the only thing that justifies the time travel UNDO plotline – show us something that you simply cannot show any other way AND which changes our perception of the character.

    Eli reacting emotionally to Chloe’s death? That’s not at all surprising or even all that interesting. Johansen being moved by it? Ditto. She’s been revealed to be a sympathetic character.

    If Rush was moved in an unusual way, or perhaps experienced total vapor lock? That might have been interesting.

    Along those lines, when things go all the hell in iteration one we see Rush… make a decision, then go off hell-bent to implement what he’s decided is the way to go without telling or involving anyone else. That’s not new or unusual. If we’d seen Rush realize that he knows what to do but someone else has to be the one to do it while he picks his hill to die on? That might be new.

    Or go back to reactions. We know Eli’s carrying a torch and his reaction to Chloe’s death is unsurprising. But what if Chloe, aware of her impending death, had reacted in a way that surprised us? Or she, say, reveals that she’s kept Eli at a distance out of fear and is only using Scott for comfort. When the situation resets we now know something new… and see that Eli doesn’t know it, and therefor continues to behave in a tragic manner.

    Or perhaps a character learns something and transforms in the crucible into someone better. Then after the reset fails to step up and live up to their potential. Tragedy. Or crumbles under some highly specific pressure in the time loop but narrowly avoids that stumbling block in the reset. I don’t think that’s fantastic fiction but it’s at least a somewhat interesting use of the setup.

    Instead we got the same old time travel story. Threat, pain, failure… and it’s undone. Everyone behaves the way you expect them to and they undergo some suffering that all gets wiped away. It’s acceptable fluff but it’s got a feel of playtime with the action figures.

    Atlantis managed to make some of the time travel/alt universe stuff a little interesting with the McKay-Keller romance. In that case we saw an alternate future with an outcome that felt pleasant to people invested in the character… then got to wonder whether they’d fuck it all up in the re-do. It was pretty minor suspense, but it had paired with it some minor joy of watching things evolve.

    There wasn’t even that in this time travel. It’s fine, but it amounts up to a “non-arc” kind of episode. It’s filler. It passes the test of being a kinda fun way to spend an hour but I think it’s fair to call it out for using such a big, odd additional complication (planet of the week and continued survival wasn’t enough??) to accomplish nothing but passing the time.

  62. “Bob, I’m pretty sure only Scott’s final message got through to the next loop. ”

    One of the Kino webisodes (18?) online is a post-mortem for Time, and in it Lt. Scott is holding both Kinos, and they specifically mention that both have full databanks – so they did get to see both Kinos worth of information (and, presumably, several of the character’s reactions to the data on Kino1 are similar, if not identical.

    (this is, AIR, in keeping with previous execution of semi-closed time loops invoked by the Stargate – the use of the loop into Egypt’s past, for example, left evidence from each loop that SG-1 passed through, because each iteration didn’t go back to *exactly* the same point in time/space).

    As for the rest of the discussion – meh. Greg and Mark (and others) want something out of the show they Aren’t Going To Get, in part because it is still a skiffy episodic TV drama, not Real Life, or even a semblance thereof.

  63. There’s a reason why I posted that kino webisode earlier (comment 26). As Scott Taylor (#67) says, *two kinos were found*.

    As for characters dying, there’s a fair amount of outside-the-show evidence that at least one ship-bound character won’t make it through the end of the season. I’m not sure enough of the protocols here whether to ROT-13 it or to stop here. Opinions?

  64. Sigh. I guess I have to watch the godsdamned webisodes. I hate that. I like shows to be more or less self-contained. When information you need to understand the show is available only outside the show itself…well, that’s one of my pet peeves.

  65. I think I missed it, but how did the final timeline Scott end up with both kinos? I thought Scott in the previous timeline only threw his timeline’s kino through?

  66. We know Eli’s carrying a torch and his reaction to Chloe’s death is unsurprising.

    Define “surprising”.

    Eli has been a flat character so far. flat. He has all this backstory, his mom has HIV, he’s a brainiac but spent all his time playing video games, he didn’t go to a job interview, yada, yada, yada. And so far, we’ve not see Eli change. We’ve not see him alter from “sit on my ass and mope” to “Alpha male geek”. He likes Chloe, but has done nothing about it. He is on the ship solely because they teleported him onto the ship without his permission. Eli has done nothing to generate anything for himself. Everythign that has happened to him has been a result of outside forces.

    He’s flat. Flat as a pancake. Actually, he’s so passive, he might actually be concave.

    That Eli actually went out on a limb and told Chloe how he felt was the first time Eli actually did anything significant in terms of pursuing what he wanted, rather than just floating along, reacting to whatever the world throws at him.

    Whether or not it was “surprising” is almost irrelevant. (but ifyou want to argue that, then I’d say his history shows that Eli normally wouldn’t take such a risk) But it was the first hint of significant development that Eli accomplished in the series so far.

    What would NOT be surprising would be if Eli had slunkered away without saying anything. Like he slunkered away after he realized that Chloe and Scot had sex. That’s what Eli has been like so far: A pushover. Eli always plays it safe. And his speech to Chloe, even in front of other people, was anythign but safe.

    And after he made that speech, and Chloe died, Eli could not possibly be the same person. He either would have turned even further inward, tryign to play it even more safe, or he would have turned outward and become more active in steering his own life, learning the lesson of waiting until its too late to say something.

    That is a character change in teh series. That is character development.

    As long as the characters remain the same but we simply find out more information about them, it’s still a flat character. Insight doesn’t change the character.

  67. Okay. Here’s my speculation about a character dying. Xopher will almost certainly not want to decode this.

    Guvf vf bayl fcrphyngvba, ohg tvira gung fbzr crbcyr *ernyyl* qba’g jnag gb xabj, V svtherq V fubhyq pbqr vg. V’z abg tbvat gb hfr gur npgerff’f anzr orpnhfr vg’f oyngnagyl boivbhf rira va EBG-13.

    Gur npgerff jub cynlf Pnzvyr vf yvfgrq nf fbzr fbeg bs thrfg fgne. Gung vzzrqvngryl fnlf gb zr–abg znxvat vg bhg bs gur frnfba nyvir.

    Ba VZQO fur’f bayl yvfgrq guebhtu gur rcvfbqr pnyyrq Cnva.

    Naq svanyyl, ng gur raq bs gur ivqrb bs gur Pbzvp*Pba cnary, fbzrbar fnlf gurl ubcr gur pnfg jvyy nyy pbzr onpx va n lrne; gur nsberzragvbarq npgerff fnlf “V jba’g or onpx” be jbeqf gb gung rssrpg. Guvf pbhyq, bs pbhefr, zrna fur’f abg n cynlre, ohg gnxra jvgu gur bgure fghss, V fhfcrpg fur’f abg tbvat gb or ba gur fubj va n lrne.

    How come ROT-13.com is suddenly adding backslashes and turning double quotes into codes (I forget the proper name for them)? Didn’t used to do that…

  68. William @ 71 –
    “I think I missed it, but how did the final timeline Scott end up with both kinos? I thought Scott in the previous timeline only threw his timeline’s kino through?”

    Paradox. Unfortunately, the Stargate system is capable of generating them.

    (dates are made up, obviously)

    On Sept 14, 2009, at 1150 hours, Scott1 throws Kino1 through the (unstable) event horizon of the gate – causing the Kino to fly back out through the gate on Dec 17, 1989, at 0945, where it lands next to the corpse of Dr. Rush (who had transited through earlier, exited possibly months earlier than the Kino, and died of the parasite). Kino1now exists from Dec 17 1989 forward – regardless of what else happens.

    On September 13, 2009, at 0537 hours, Scott2 throws Kino2 through the gate, just as the Stargate’s path passes through a star’s major solar flare, twisting the gate back on itself. Kino2 transits the gate loop, and comes out on July 18, 2003, bouncing to a stop a couple of meters farther than the other kino did. Kino2 now exists from July 18 2003 – regardless of what else happens.

    On September 12, 2009, Scott3 finds Kino1 and Kino2, and brings them back to Destiny. Both Kinos exist because the loop never actually enclosed them – they were sent outside its immediate impact area, so to speak.

  69. “Sigh. I guess I have to watch the godsdamned webisodes. I hate that. I like shows to be more or less self-contained. When information you need to understand the show is available only outside the show itself…well, that’s one of my pet peeves.”

    Ditto on the pet peeve. But I won’t be watching the damn webisodes. If they can’t be bothered to put allegedly important information into the show–the actual story–itself, I’m not going to care what they say in a webisode. There’s no logical reason why they’d have both kinos–so they don’t. Not until and unless they say so on screen. (It still won’t make a lick of sense, but at least it would have been said.)

    Plus, frankly, I don’t trust them. For all we know the webisode was slapped together at some point as damage control–like TPTB speaking ex cathedra about conjugal bodyswap permission slips (like Telford would ever sign one for Young even if they existed).

  70. My take on the end of Earth is that Telford’s been shtupping Young’s wife, and that he’s there to confront her about cheating on him with her husband.

    I found myself wondering during Time if Destiny deliberately maneuvered itself around a wormhole in order to give the crew a do-over.

  71. Mark: The conjugal body-swap permission slips are BULLSHIT. Pure and simple. I don’t care who says it or how “PO’d” they get at me for saying so, that’s just. plain. bullshit.

    MikeT, my take on it is that Telford went to see Young’s wife because having tasted being with her, he wanted more. More righteously, he could have gone to her to confront her for raping him, but the writers don’t seem to have the whole “body-without-permission-from-the-owner-is-rape” thing, even after the furor that erupted over a leaked episode some time back. I think Telford is partly just wanting a longer taste of Young’s wife’s “favors,” and partly getting revenge on Young for being shown up as a heartless coward.

  72. Just wanted to point out that Eli (and therefore, the actor who plays him) is getting thinner as the episodes go by, which has been a subtle thing so far, and very well done. He is also slowly becoming more confident as the eps go by, which is cool to see.

    Rush is after one thing, and one thing only – Serving the Greater Good. Risk sacrificing X number of people on a shuttle that may or may not be recoverable, because you are not 100% that the ship will survive a dip in the sun? Yup. There is a planet for them if the destiny crashes, and if not, maybe we can recover them. Jump into a malfunctioning/solar flared ‘gate on the off chance you can get a message through? A greater good than dying here and now. Hate him all you want, he’s consistent.

  73. Ryan, I think you buy his presentation too much. It may even be his self-image, but it’s not supported by the facts.

    He dialed Destiny during an evacuation under fire. The “greater good,” as seen by anyone but him, would have been to get those people to Earth.

    Of course, he reasoned that the “greater good” was making sure humankind (namely Rush) got to find out all about Destiny. Funny how the greater good just happened to line up with his own narrow self-interest in that situation.

    It was Young’s idea to put some people on the shuttle. Rush refused to join them; he’s only interested in Destiny, and he had a pretty good idea what chance the people on the shuttle had. At least on Destiny it’d be quick. IIRC he argued against trying to retrieve the shuttle as well.

    And he didn’t try to “send a message” by jumping through the flared gate. He was taking a last-minute suicidal gamble (emphasized by his movie quote) as the best alternative to certain death by chest-borer. He was saving his own skin (or trying to and failing), not serving the “greater good.” And it was Scott who sent the kino through.

    You’re right about one thing: he’s consistent. Where we part company is in the fact that you buy his “greater good” bullshit, while I’d point out that perfect selfishness accounts for the data equally well, and is more consistent with what we’ve seen of his character.

  74. Thanks Scott, that makes as much sense as a paradox can, I suppose.

    I would watch a webisode where Telford signs the My Penis is Fair Game waiver.

  75. Here’s a important question/comment: How is the blond keeping her complex hair style in place? I say Acient hair care products have been discovered! But they just don’t want to talk about it because hair care just isn’t that important.

  76. Xopher –
    You are applying your POV to him – not his own. It’s what HE sees at the greater good, I should have said that initially, I do apologize.

    (from here)

    …Telford and his men are unable to keep the troop transport from landing. Young tells his men to dial the Stargate back to Earth and gets clear of the base entry just before a glider slams into it.

    The base personnel gather in the Gate chamber while Eli concludes that the ninth chevron has to be for Earth no matter what planet they’re on. Rush orders the gate technician to stop dialing, warning they can’t risk an open wormhole to Earth if the planet explodes. He starts dialing a new code.

    Rush dials the new address using Earth as the ninth chevron. The Stargate connects and in orbit, Carter tells Telford they can only spare two minutes before the Hammond has to retreat. Young arrives in the gate chamber and demands to know what’s happening. Rush explains what happened and Young insists they could have dialed some other planet. Young tells everyone to stay in place.

    Is it debatable as to what the greater good is there? Had the wormhole “vented” the planet’s energies into the Destiny, as Rush thought it might, it was less of a loss that it “venting” it back to Earth where it would destroy a portion of SG command. He’s working with the best theory he can formulate at the time.

    Retrieving the shuttle could have killed them all, damaged the Destiny further, or otherwise caused problems. Not good outcomes. Less Good outcomes. Do not try to retrieve.

    What’s better, running out of ammo here and dying, like everyone around me is, or taking a chance on the malfunctioning stargate? Is it selfless to stand still and die when you could live another day? There was no point to staying and facing certain death, why not take a chance?

  77. Mark Jones, @ 75 -

    “There’s no logical reason why they’d have both kinos–so they don’t. Not until and unless they say so on screen. (It still won’t make a lick of sense, but at least it would have been said.)”

    Doesn’t our normal Earth-logic tend to go out the window in conversations about time travel and related paradoxes anyway?

    But something similar has been shown before in Stargate, in SG-1′s ‘Moebius’.
    SG-1 from Timeline A travelled back in time and accidentally screwed everything up, creating Timeline B.
    When Timeline B SG-1 went back to try and fix everything, they found one of the Timeline A characters still there.
    Far as I can tell, this is the same basic thing.

  78. “Is it debatable as to what the greater good is there? Had the wormhole “vented” the planet’s energies into the Destiny, as Rush thought it might, it was less of a loss that it “venting” it back to Earth where it would destroy a portion of SG command. He’s working with the best theory he can formulate at the time.”

    No he isn’t. He’s either stupid, or lying. They could have dialed the Alpha Site. Or any of dozens of other worlds that a) aren’t earth, b) aren’t heavily inhabited (if at all), and c) were close enough that, assuming they -weren’t- vaporized by the exploding planet, they could then have dialed the SGC and asked for someone to come vet them (no goa’ulds, etc) before letting them come home.

    If he didn’t think of this, he’s stupid. If he did think of it, his claim that dialing Destiny was the only option was a lie. And it was a lie intended not to save anyone (going to some other, closer world would have done that)–it was a lie intended to get him to the object of his desire. The nine chevron address, wherever it was.

    The “greater good” was a convenient fiction for getting what HE wanted.

  79. Ryan: It’s what HE sees as the greater good, I should have said that initially, I do apologize.

    It’s what he claims he sees as the “greater good.”

    And I don’t know who wrote that episode recap, but the legal phrase “assumes facts not in evidence” would appear to apply. Rush never said anything about “risking an open wormhole to Earth if the planet explodes” in the actual episode (not in that sequence; he may have said it later, when justifying himself to Young). He said things like “it’s our last chance to try” and so on. That writeup sounds like another revisionist attempt to justify Rush’s rotten behavior ex post facto, and I discard it, along with the permission slips.

    And if you don’t think Rush would rather kill the entire population of Cheyenne Mountain (or even Colorado) than destroy Destiny, we’ve been watching different shows. Also, Young was right: they could have dialed any planet in the galaxy (say, one with no people) and dialed Earth from there after the danger of explosion along an open wormhole was past. Rush did that because he wanted to go to Destiny, not to save anyone or anything.

    The shuttle retrieval could be a real conflict of “don’t take unnecessary risks” vs. “don’t leave our own behind,” but that doesn’t speak much to Rush’s nature either way (except that on all other Stargate series the “good guys” are always on the “don’t leave our own behind” side). The same is true of jumping through the wonky puddle: it’s not evidence of base nature, particularly; it’s just not evidence of any higher purpose.

    Find me a case where Rush risks his own death for the “greater good” (as opposed to being willing to sacrifice others) and I’ll start to listen. It will never happen, because he’s either a) too selfish to give a flying frak about the “greater good” in reality, or b) too self-important to see himself as anything other than vital. Find me a case where he’s even willing to sacrifice an opportunity to learn something he wants to know, even to save lives. You won’t.

    You might hypothesize that he considers “the greater good” equivalent to his own self-interest. That’s the only sense in which he acts for “the greater good,” his self-serving protestations very much to the contrary.

  80. Actually, though I know I’m risking the MLC for posting three times in a row, I’m reminded of an acquaintance from college of whom I once said “She uses the phrase ‘most people’ as the first person singular pronoun.”

    Rush uses the phrase ‘the greater good’ as if it meant “what I want.”

  81. Xopher @85 said: Find me a case where Rush risks his own death for the “greater good” (as opposed to being willing to sacrifice others) and I’ll start to listen.

    When Rush jumped through the time loop, it was a pretty good example of this. Someone else said he was abandoning everyone. He wasn’t. Two points: 1) anyone else could have just as easily followed him, if so inclined. But it was incredibly risky, so they didn’t; 2) If he was being truly selfish, he would have taken the gate controller with him, giving him a way to come back if needed. But this would have stranded the others.

    As for the “two kino” problem, the webisode threw me off at first, too, showing them both together. Then I figured the “let’s talk directly to the audience” recap was just summarizing, saying two kinos go through the time-warp during the episode, and fail to mention they don’t end up together.

    But Scott @74′s explanation is a good one. I reckon one could say: in timeline B they never send the first kino back, so it won’t appear in timeline C. As Scott pointed out, there should still be a kino from timeline A, so I’m not sure about this explanation. Could go either way.

    Next episode speculation: Okay, I’m pretty convinced the ‘chest drillers’ (good term) are the parasites all grown up, from someone traveling back in time and dying on the jungle planet. But this presents a problem: how did they get there in the first place, when (in timeline A) there was no evidence of people being there yet?

    So, here’s what I think. Timeline A minus 1, everyone is dying from the parasites. Rush has shown to be one of the last to be affected, so he tells the ship to get him near a “time travelling” stargate and jumps through. Problem: now he has to communicate with the ship (in the past) remotely, and tell it to go to the time travelling gate sooner. I can only think of two ways this is done.

    1) He takes the stones with him to the planet, goes back in time, changes places with someone (himself, perhaps?) on the earlier version of the ship, and inputs the instructions … which necessarily have to come after the ship deals with air and water and power. But this is risky … if he goes back months instead of days, he’ll be dead before he can do anything.

    Also, he has no way of knowing the parasites will grow up and become useful for stopping the original infections. So, there’s some desperation involved here. Unless the plan is to prevent the infection in the first place but it goes wrong somehow.

    2) Rush – now a few days in the past – is the one who sends the mysterious shuttle launch from the first episode. This feels right, but I can’t figure out all the logistics of the thing. First of all, if Rush is months (years?) in the past, then he is communicating with the ship before anyone actually shows up on it. So why does the shuttle leave on the first day? And how far / fast can the shuttle go anyway? It can’t go FTL, right? Maybe it goes straight while destiny makes a big loop?

    Well, we’ll see. But I reckon the mysterious shuttle launch could come into play somehow. And it would be pretty cool if future-Rush changed places with his past self using the stones.

  82. I’ll just chime in with the others saying Rush’s “greater good” argument is bullshit.

    I’m not sure if it’s self-delusional bullshit or if he knows he’s full of shit. But it is bullshit. Rush claimed he dialed the 9th chevron address while the base was under attack because he didn’t want a base-explosion to vent through the gate back to earth. But as others have already pointed out, Rush could have dialed any number of “normal” addresses that would have minimized the damage from an explosion. Rush also argued that this was their “only chance” to dial the ninth-chevron address and find out what was on the other end, but at the time, there was no way of knowing anything even existed on the other end. Dialing a wrong number might have taken up all the time they would have needed to dial a safe, non-earth, address.

    Rush risked everyone’s lives because he wanted to get away from mankind, which apparently reminds him of his dead wife. And as he has repeatedly stated, he has earned the right not to deal with morons, which apparently is everyone but him.

    More recently, Rush revealed his interest in ascending or whatever it is the ancients do. Becoming immortal. He didn’t talk about it too much, so his motivations aren’t entirely clear, but it didn’t appear that he was really interested in the human race figuring out how to ascend. It seemed that he was interested in saving his own ass.

    Whicih means Rush dialed the 9th chevron address on a blind gamble that it would lead them somewhere safe, risking everyone’s lives because he hoped he’d find an Ancient answer about how to ascend so he could become immortal.

    And when he says its all about the “greater good”, that could either be he is deluding himself into believing that he hopes mankind follows him into immortality, or he really doesn’t care but he says that because he’s trying to hide the fact that he’s a psychopath.

    diagnostically speaking, Rush is either a sociopath who is deluding himself that he’s a nice guy, or he’s a psychopath who knows he’s a psychopath and is trying to hide that fact from everyone else around him so he can get what he wants.

  83. oh, and about Rush jumping through the gate while they were getting wiped out by flying chest drills:

    weirdly enough, I don’t think it reveals anything about whether Rush is a self-deluded sociopath or a psychopath trying to hide his nature. Either way, Rush could have made the simple calculation that the flying chest drills were certain death and an unknown chance of survival jumping through a wonky gate was better than zero chance of survival with the drills.

    Even Rush quoting “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is ambiguous. It could be that he said it as a kind of gallows humor for his own benefit, or he might actually have said it for Eli’s benefit as much as his own.

    It’s an ambiguous event. But then the writers seem to have made a point to keep everything about Rush as ambiguous as possible.

  84. Just as a data point: “Time” is the only episode that I’ve cared enough about to watch a second time. *We* got insight into the characters, even if they didn’t get the benefit of all the experiences their alt-timeline selves did.

    Eli made me cry the second time around, too.

  85. Greg London makes valid criticisms of SGU, particularly in light of the show runners’ claims to be new and edgy. Xopher says he likes it anyway. They are both right. The only problem for Xopher is that a lot of people who liked SG1 and SGA as carefree romps, don’t like SGU’s non-family stab at being gritty. And it does not help if it also fails at actually being a serious drama like BSG or the serious parts of Farscape. My wife and I have watched a lot of good SF TV, a lot of bad and a lot of mixed. She no longer wants to see it, despite being the kind of person who writes SG fanfic. I watch it mainly because my 11 yo son wants to see it and I have to fast forward through all the bad bits; you can imagine how fast “Earth” went by. If people like us are turning away, you might only get 2 seasons at most.

    The other reason I watch is Carlyle/Rush. I imagine that he will not turn out to be a complete psyco/sociopath and may actually have some redeeming qualities. I also think it is interesting that a lot of people think Rush is a hateful person, but have no problem with compartmentalizing Young/Scott/Eli’s failings/crimes and considering them as basically likeable, regular Joes. Personally, if James and the medic make it out, the rest of them can be red shirted as far as I care; almost all of the characters bug me one way or the other, including the “new” O’Neil. Though I would take a perverse joy if Rush ended up being the biggest hero before he died.

  86. Greg 91: But then the writers seem to have made a point to keep everything about Rush as ambiguous as possible.

    I agree (along with everything else in 91 and most of 90—I’m not qualified to diagnose his pathology), and may I add that it’s a distinct pleasure to be in agreement with you, Greg?

    Where I still think we disagree (and this is an aesthetic preference IMO) is that I think ambiguity is good in this case. Keeps us thinking and analyzing. I like drama that exercises my mind. I’m pretty convinced that Rush is an outright villain, but I’m willing to keep sampling data and see if it tends to confirm or disconfirm my hypothesis, or says nothing either way.

    I like being uncertain. It frees my mind.

    Kazzong 92: I don’t think that rush went back in time far enough for the parasites to grow that big.

    Well, I don’t think so either, but it was more than a few days. His body was a skeleton by the time the second loop got to it. Now the chest drills might have stripped the flesh from it, but I don’t think they’d have partially buried it (though, you know, mud…hard to be sure). The skull didn’t look like freshly stripped bone to me, but Temperance Brennan I’m not, so who knows?

    Besides, they were mostly concerned with making the audience say “a skull!” than with these details. I’m sure the exact forensics will be talked about on CSI: Universe, but I doubt they’re considered relevant in SGU!

  87. FYI – The “Greater Good” bit is from the ep “Water” where Johansen asks Rush and Eli (I think Eli was there) something along the lines of “What do I do now?” once she realizes she’s in charge.

    Rush replies* “Serve the Greater Good.” with a smile.

    When I saw that, to me, it revealed a lot about his character. He’s been granted the genie’s wish, if you will – Access to this huge riddle that has been plaguing him. Unfortunately, the prize is horribly broken and there’s no coffee or cigarettes and things keep breaking and these IDIOTS WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE, AND KEEP MESSING WITH MY TOY AND USING UP THE BATTERIES. Eli helped him figure it out, so he’s useful and needed. But Eli is also a bit of man-child who needs to grow up, and Rush doesn’t always have the patience to play father figure to him – So sometimes he’s almost caring and playful, other times he’s harsh. Depends on how busy things are, and how much time he can spend “coaching”.
    ————–
    Selfless act: In “Air” He tells Greer to leave him behind as he’s afraid he’s just going to slow them down. Now, is that because he’s telling the truth, or is it that he just wants to get back to the ship and forget this sandy mess? The ship, mind you, that is going to run out of air. G
    ————–
    When you look at the world from his POV – My life’s work is figuring out what is on the other side of this gate at the ninth chevron – and now I have to either send us all, or never, EVER know… What’s best? Go into the unknown.
    ————–
    Is he hiding behind that phrase inside his head? – probably. I am loving watching him, and watching how Carlyle is portraying a pretty complex character.

    *Not an exact quote

  88. a lot of people think Rush is a hateful person, but have no problem with compartmentalizing Young/Scott/Eli’s failings/crimes and considering them as basically likeable, regular Joes

    Negatives: Young apparently had sex with Johansen and is now trying to get back with his wife by having sex with her in Telford’s body. Whether Young was cheating on his wife or whether they were separated, and so technically “on a break”, I’m not sure. Young knows at least some of Rush’s issues and knows Rush might possibly have known that the ship was going to refuel in the sun, not crash into it, but as yet has done nothing to clarify that issue.

    Positives: Young risked his life to save Scott on Hoth. While Rush was pushing him to prioritize the ice over Scott and I think others were concerned he wouldn’t have time to get back, Young stayed with Scott until he got him free.

    Negatives: Scott has had sex with two different women in the span of five episodes? One was a military no-no, since he’s an officer she was enlisted. The other was just… weird. Scott apparently was on track to become a priest when he got a 16 year old pregnant. (was he of age? Statutory rape?)

    Positives: Scott has shown bravery on multiple occaissions. He kept going on Luke’s home planet until he found lime. and hauled a bag of lime (probably over a hundred pounds) across a desert at a good clip, to get back in time before the gate closed. He’s often first through the gate to a new planet. And he’s smart on his feet in a way that reflects an understanding of the “greater good” far more than Rush has demonstrated so far.

    Negatives: Eli is a drop out. He dropped out of MIT. He spent his time playing video games and avoiding job interviews. He lived with his mom and was basically a bum. The only reason he got on SGU was because Rush had planted an Ancient puzzle in a video game and Eli wanted to solve it. When presented with the opportunity to go to space, he passed on it, and was teleported without consent. He has some sort of “thing” for Chloe. What exactly it is, I’m not sure. I don’t think he knows either. When Scot and Chloe had sex, Eli was snarky towards Chloe even though she didn’t deserve it since she had done nothing wrong. Eli plays it safe. Eli doesn’t stand up to much.

    Positives: In his defense, Eli’s mom got HIV as a nurse and I’m not entirely sure if he went home to take care of her or to be with her or what. So he may have dropped out for “noble” reasons. Or maybe not. By joining SGU, he got his mother some medical care that apparently she couldn’t get on her own. He is book/math/linguistics smart and fairly smart and that helped save the shuttle crew when that whole slingshot thingy happened.

    Negatives: When the base was about to explode, Rush dialed the 9 chevron address rather than dialing a remote, but safe, address that could let people get back to earth. And his concerns were wrong, since the exploding planet didn’t actually vent through the gate and destry Destiny. When Scott was trapped on Hoth, Rush tried to persuade Young to leave Rush there. And again, his concern turned out to be wrong, since Young managed to save Scott and get back on time. (sure it was luck, but hey, most military operations involve at least some luck.) Rush made a pointless declaration that he was “in charge” in the pilot which was never actually confirmed. Rush is unable to make a sentence in the form of a request. When the crew is exploring Destiny, he angrily tells Young to have peopel stop pushing buttons, rather than presenting Young with the fact that pushing buttons is going to consume power, and trust that Young will do the right thing. Young thinks he’s “earned the right” not to have to explain himself to “the likes of people like you”. Apparently growing up with poor parents gave him this right. Greer, I’m sure, had poor parents, but Rush doesn’t give him the same rights. Rush didn’t want Greer on the team. Rush reviews everyone’s personel records and recommended against Greer coming on board. And Rush had the wonderful personal skills to tell Greer this while Rush and Greer are stranded alone, and Greer has a gun. Rush keeps making “Captain America” type snide remarks whenever the military gets in his way. While preparing for the “surf a star to dial earth” experiment, two people in space suits exploring a part of the ship under Rush’s direction find a bad power coupling. One person is injured as a result of Rush not managing the situation he created. Rush may or may not have stopped everyone from getting home because he created a fake crisis as they tried to dial earth. Rush was unable to solve the flying dust devil on the ship problem (maybe because he couldn’t make it leave from his condescension). Johansen figured it out. Rush was all about finding water for the ship, even abandoning Scott to get one more trailer of ice, and then allowed microbes to infect the entire crew. Rush was unable to solve the flying chest drill jungle planet issue, through two iterations. Scot saved them by accident the first iteration, and then Scott will probably save them on purpose the second iteration. When Rush found out that he and Young both liked “Butch Cassidy”, Rush was still a bit of a prick about it. Rush ordered Greer to shoot one of the scientists in the desert, then when he got back to the ship said “Greer shot him”. (Not that Greer would blindly follow any order Rush gave him, but still)

    Postives: ??? so far, Rush hasn’t saved anyone’s life that I can think of. He has been wrong on his predictions more than once. People working for him have gotten injured. If anyone would be responsible for putting the ice into the ship’s system and sanitizing it, Rush, chief science officer, probably would be, and that failed. He may know more about the ship than he’s telling anyone. And he’s an ass. Of all the people who have “earned the right” for a little slack, Rush is probably lowest on the list.

  89. Negatives: Young raped Telford or committed swap body sexual misconduct, whatever the young people are calling it these days.

    Making unrealistic choices and then having them turn out OK doesn’t mean you were right, just that you are lucky and a lead in a TV show.

    Eli: drank with someone else’s body. Used valuable time and resources to peep more than one woman.

    All the things you list as negatives for Rush are really ambiguous. For example, the ice wasn’t for Rush’s bubble bath; it was for the survival of the entire ship. Losing Young as well as Scott served no purpose for anybody.

    Rush might have saved everyone from blowing up, instead of preventing from getting home. In fact Young and all the “good guys” on the show were also either uncertain or against using the people on Destiny for guinea pigs.

    Young was being kind of dick in the way he said you liked that movie too and Rush had every right to respond in kind. Young is so paranoid that Rush can make him think he is an evil genius about the life boat when it seems more likely he did not know what would happen anymore than anyone else.

    You can see Rush as trying to connect with Eli’s desert movie comment in that Butch Cassidy farewell. He often makes thoughtful, even compassionate responses to hard questions when he has time to be normal. His remarks on ascension seemed to indicate he did not expect it to benefit him directly.

    Does he have problems, emotional and otherwise? Hell yeah. But all of your blanket comments seem to rely on assuming he is a jack off; so anything that seems good is really serving his ulterior purpose. This probably stems from your first impression of his one glaring mistake/failure of judgement, dialing to Destiny instead of an empty site in the Milky Way. The rest of your antipathy probably comes from how the crew views him from the start. However, think about how Rodney McKay would probably have been viewed by a less “with it” command on Atlantis. Look at how that one starship commander treated Rodney, with some reason. Rush is aloof, self absorbed, not suffering fools, bad at communicating and yeah, a bit of a smart ass sometimes. This allows people to think the worst of him, but it does not necessarily follow that they are right. To Young’s credit, I think he sometimes sees halfway to gaining some understanding for Rush, but then he backs off.

    As some have commented here, it would be interesting to know exactly what happened when Rush first used the stones. It would also be interesting to know how much of Telford’s dickness is personally him and how much is following an agenda set by the IOA and/or Stargate Command. How much of Young’s uncertainty/paranoia comes from knowing that the people back home might/do think he is unstable/unfit.

  90. I’ll probably regret sticking my nose in this conversation, but I can’t quite agree with some of those “negatives” for Rush.

    Dialing the 9th chevron – if the explosion vented through the gate, it would kill everyone either way. If it didn’t, this was the only chance they had of finding out what the ancients had left a path to. If you’re convinced the ancients had a vested interest in what’s on the other side of that address, “the greater good” would seem to support Rush’s actions. On the other hand, it was far from the being in the best interests of the group. That makes it a bit of a viewpoint issue, and easy to taint with hindsight.

    Hoth – in cold calculation (pun not intended), resources for the group take precedence over a single person. Though it does take a real jerk (putting it mildly) to push that point the way he did, and to write off that single person so readily.

    Greer – has a real attitude problem, though he’s starting to flesh out a bit. Rush didn’t “give him the same rights” because Greer was treating him a lot more like a slimeball than he felt he deserved, especially from someone he didn’t like to start with. Hardheaded people get into that sort of conflict all the time.

    I’m still not sure how Rush was (entirely) responsible for the injury during the power coupling issue, unless Rush actually created the deadly issue. Taking Rush at face value (dangerous as that is), I thought it showed that he had a point in needing to check things thoroughly before taking a huge risk.

    And, as they mentioned, they did check the water. Unfortunately, they missed something.

    I still think Rush seems to be mostly honest about looking towards “the greater good”. I also think he tends to be a cold-hearted, arrogant jerk who has a serious problem focusing on individual people as anything but tools. He actually shares a lot with the characterizations of a lot of the Ancients in other SG series.

  91. “Not sure what you are getting at exactly.”
    Listen to Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” for the punchline.

    “My take on the end of Earth is that Telford’s been shtupping Young’s wife, and that he’s there to confront her about cheating on him with her husband.”
    How clever! Wish I’d thought of that!

    “I think Telford is partly just wanting a longer taste of Young’s wife’s favors,”
    And assuming the “permission slip” explanation is bogus he can blackmail Young into silence if he ever gets caught.

    “A greater good than dying here and now. Hate him all you want, he’s consistent.”
    He’s also very much into preserving his own life. I think, like with politicians, the “Greater Good” goes out the window when personal sacrifice is required.

    “Ryan, I think you buy his presentation too much. It may even be his self-image, but it’s not supported by the facts. ”
    Good point. Rush probably believes his own B.S.

    “Here’s a important question/comment: How is the blond keeping her complex hair style in place?”
    There’s Something About Mary …

    “Time travel … paradox …”
    Time travel means whatever the writer needs it to mean to make the story happen. Were time travel possible nobody really knows how it would relate to causality.

    “… the parasites all grown up, from someone traveling back in time and dying on the jungle planet.”
    That fixes the improbable coincidence that the lampreys just happen to cure a disease from another planet. (Chest-drillers is the sexier term, isn’t it?)

    “I don’t think that Rush went back in time far enough for the parasites to grow that big.”
    Depends on their life-cycle and food source I guess. If their larval form needs a human host they shouldn’t kill humans — they should cocoon them and inject them with eggs or something.

    “…so far, Rush hasn’t saved anyone’s life that I can think of.”
    He might’ve saved the ship, which would’ve also saved himself, so it wouldn’t earn him a check-plus on your report card. Still, he did save the ship … if it needed saving …

  92. I still think Rush seems to be mostly honest about looking towards “the greater good”. I also think he tends to be a cold-hearted, arrogant jerk who has a serious problem focusing on individual people as anything but tools.

    Um, that’s what a “sociopath” is, as far as I know. And I don’t see how you can say that about the greater good.

    Test question 1: If I decided the universe would be better off without humans, and therefore that it served the greater good to blow up the planet, would you say that I was honest about serving the greater good? (My answer: I’d say I was honest, but insane.)

    Test question 2: If I decided it would be valuable to know the exact temperature at which a human dies of hypothermia, and happened to have some useless and/or evil people around, would I be honest in serving the greater good if I immersed them in ice water until they died, to find out the number? (My answer: I’d say I’m a self-serving psychopath who values that bit of knowledge over human life.)

    The second test question situation is essentially what Rush did when he dialed the nine-chevron address instead of a known site in the Milky Way. He put all those people’s lives at risk for the scientific knowledge he wanted; this is exacerbated by the fact that Rush knew full well that some gates are in vacuum, or underwater, or close to black holes. If it served the greater good at all, it was in a very abstract sense of “scientific knowledge trumps all,” which only seriously disturbed or downright evil people believe. It certainly wasn’t for the greater good of the people he was sending to what might very well have been their deaths.

    So Rush is either crazy, so selfish he might as well be crazy, or just really evil. Sorry, but any way you cut it he’s a seriously bad guy.

    He actually shares a lot with the characterizations of a lot of the Ancients in other SG series.

    More like an Ori, methinks.

  93. Sorry, Xopher, I don’t agree that your second question covers things. You seem to be focusing on the smaller group in your estimation of “the greater good”, which wouldn’t be a logical thing to do until *after* the group had been split off from the rest of humanity.

    I certainly agree that there can be serious moral problems with concentrating on “the greater good” to the exclusion of all else, but it can also be the proper viewpoint in survival situations. I don’t agree that it’s inherently evil, and I would point out that it can certainly be a catalyst for self-sacrifice.

    Yes, Rush put the group at risk. Yes, it was a gamble, and had an uncertain benefit. That was an extremely nasty thing to do for anyone in the group, no question, and from a personal standpoint I don’t like it one bit. But, I think you’re leaving out of your calculation that it was the one and only chance of discovering something that appeared to have importance to the Ancients, and the benefits that previous ancient knowledge had brought or had pointed to. It doesn’t take a complete sociopath to decide (under pressure, no less) that the risks are worthwhile.

    As for the Ori.. Rush doesn’t strike me as nearly that self-adulating. It was just the renegade Ancients, in general, who would skew the “greater good” calculation towards smaller groups and individuals.

  94. I also think he tends to be a cold-hearted, arrogant jerk who has a serious problem focusing on individual people as anything but tools.

    He might’ve saved the ship, which would’ve also saved himself, so it wouldn’t earn him a check-plus on your report card. Still, he did save the ship … if it needed saving …

    Except that he rolled the dice hoping the gate wasn’t in a vacuum, or as xopher mentioned underwater.

    He could have saved the ship without risking everyone’s life. But that would have required that he give up his life’s work. Rush would have to give up ever finding out what was on the other side of that gate.

    So, dial some known desolate planet that would let them get back to earth without risking the earth, or dial the 9 chevron address and risk the entire crew on the chance that Rush gets his wet dream.

    Rush’s most important decision was a selfish decision, it was not for the “greater good”, it was for Rush’s own goals. Rush wanted whatever was on the other side of that gate. Rush calling that the “greater good” is either Rush deluding himself that his own motives were not involved or Rush knowing he did it for selfish reasons but trying to pretend he isn’t a sociopath or a psychopath.

    As for the difference (if there is one) between sociopath and psychopath, wikipedia has a good paragraph. I think the difference comes down to a sociopath can be “functional” in some way, where a psychopath can’t stop himself at some point.

    traits for a sociopath/psychopath:

    1 Glibness/superficial charm (glib, check)

    2 Grandiose sense of self-worth (double check, duh)

    3 Pathological lying (possible check)

    4 Cunning/manipulative (check (Greer shot him?))

    5 Lack of remorse or guilt (triple check, it’s always someone else’s fault)

    6 Emotionally shallow (triple check, i’ve earned the right not to have to explain myself to the likes of you)

    7 Callous/lack of empathy (triple check, Leave Scott and bring the ice)

    8 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions (triple check, the only thing Rush has admitted to being wrong about is minor stuff compared to risking the lives of the entire team in the first place.)

    The only thing about Rush that is really ambiguous is whether or not he gets a check for lying. If he’s been chronically lying, about stuff that he could get caught about (i.e. who is in charge) then he’s in the realm of psychopath. If he hasn’t been pathologically lying (and this would mean that he really was put in charge, the star really couldn’t power the gate, and every other claim of his is true) then he’s still some manner of sociopath.

    Rush wants what Rush wants and he uses people as tools for his goals and he doesn’t really care about them other than how they could serve his goals. Even if he’s been honest, he’s still using people. And if he’s been repeatedly dishonest (and there are a lot of ambiguous situations so far), if he’s a pathological liar on top fo everything else, then he’s a psychopath who can’t really control himself.

    Rush’s potential for harming the crew makes him far more dangerous than Greer. Greer is functional. Whatever Greer did, he felt sorry for letting Young down. He knows he screwed something up. He doesn’t think he’s better than anyone else. Greer risked his life to go looking for Scott on teh desert planet. When Telford put Greer in the “brig”, Greer accepted it.

    looking at the psychology, Rush is far more dangerous than Greer.

  95. “which wouldn’t be a logical thing to do until *after* the group had been split off from the rest of humanity.”

    Sorry for replying to myself, but just to clarify that.. I’m not arguing that this isn’t the *good* thing to do, and I’m not trying to say Rush is a good guy by what he did. I’m just saying I see a logic behind it, and (under the circumstances when the decision was made) I certainly can’t classify it as the completely sociopathic and evil act you seem to see it as.

  96. It doesn’t take a complete sociopath to decide (under pressure, no less) that the risks are worthwhile.

    As far as I can recall, there was never any mention about what might be at the other end of the gate in the pilot until they got there. The military may have created a team of people with a barracks for defense because they wanted to find out, but that doesn’t mean that the military told Young or Rush “Whatever it takes, do it”.

    Of course, the US military is somewhat infamous for doing things like the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, or Project SHAD, and MKULTRA, but these caused the nation to rewrite laws generally to prevent something like that from happening again.

    But given that the military and the scientists like Rush appeared to have no idea what might be on the other end of that gate, I don’t think they would have standing orders to “do whatever it takes” to get Americans on the other end of the gate, including risking everyone’s lives in an uninformed consent situation like that.

    Anyone who dies on the other side of that gate will likely see their heirs receive some kind of lump sum payment for their deaths, like previous examples of people dying from nonconsensual experiments in the military.

    It was wrong then. It’s still wrong now.

    If people want to enjoy the show, by all means, go for it. But what Rush did was immoral. And even if he had the blessings of the military commanders above him, that doesn’t make it any less immoral than project SHAD or any other similar project.

    It is only morally defensible if one invokes a “24″ (Kiefer Sutherland) type argument that defends torture. Which is to say, it is only defensible if one ignores the law, cases that establish precedent to the contrary, and invokes a “ticking time bomb” fantasy.

    Which is to say, it is not defensible in any reality based situation. “24″ is only defensible in the world of “24″ and the neocons who think they’re watching a documentary. What Rush did is defensible only in the world of SGU because the writers declared it to be so.

  97. Now wait a minute, Greg. The “writers” didn’t declare what Rush did defensible. The fact that no one has tried to kill Rush might suggest that they think he was right, or just that they’re scared.

    Is there anyone (references only within the show please) who thinks Rush did the right thing by dialing the nine chevrons, other than Rush himself? Even the other sort-of villain, Telford, doesn’t seem to believe that. I don’t even see any evidence in the show that O’Neill, much as he’s become a hidebound authoritarian bozo, thinks so.

    I think Rush is a well-written (and therefore somewhat ambiguous) villain, not a badly-written hero.

  98. *cough*

    “What Rush did is defensible only in the world of SGU because the writers declared it to be so.”

    Those darn writers, creating worlds and sequences of events where the decisions of their characters are defensible. For shame. Also, I’m not sure “defensible” has such a black-and-white meaning in reality.

    I was going to reply to how the rest of that missed my point completely, but I guess I’ll bow back out here, because apparently by disagreeing I’m supporting a “neocon”, “ticking time bomb” school of thought. I don’t agree, but, well. Thanks for that.

  99. Nonentity, I don’t agree with Greg on that either. I think Jack Bauer is the hero of 24, whereas he’s clearly an evil person, as all torturers are. But Rush is a) considerably less gaudily evil than Bauer and b) NOT the hero of SGU.

    If you were justifying Bauer, I’d remonstrate with you about what you’re condoning. I’m willing to do that a little bit about Rush, but even Greg didn’t call you a neocon for defending him. (I agree that he seems to be implying that, but I’ll take him to task (even more than I already have) if he actually says that.)

  100. Also…what was your point, then, if not that dialing the nine-chevron address was defensible? I think it was clearly and unambiguously (for once) wrong.

  101. Just watched Time. I wasn’t aware of the whole ‘solar flares cause time travel’ backstory on SG1–I was only a sometime viewer of SG1 and SGA. I think it’s dumb, but if it was already in canon then I guess it’s fare game. BUT Rush should have figured out how to send the warning to his past self, not Scott.

    I had another thought, though. Destiny is a long way from Earth. They juiced up the ship in the Earth episode and tried to dial Earth. It was too far. Two problems:

    As long as they are right there refueling straight off of a sun there is no such thing as requiring too much power. The all-knowing ship should be able to just keep skimming the sun until it does have enough power.

    How many stargates are there? Statistically speaking, Earth cannot possibly be the nearest friendly stargate. Surely they have some map on Earth of the relative positions of all known (friendly) stargates. They should pick the most extreme stargates and retry the dial while in the sun’s corona experiment with those gates.

    I’m glad there wasn’t any body-swapping to visit relatives in this episode. The previews look like there will be more of it coming up. That’s too bad.

  102. If I were in Young’s position, I’d treat Rush much the same way. Rush’s actions were indefensible, but his skills and knowledge are key to their surviving their current predicament.

    As far as GregLondon goes, though, I’m having trouble getting past his describing Star Wars as having “fairly serious technology”. I mean, I love Star Wars, but the tech there is built entirely from handwavium.

  103. Randy, they can’t use the sun to power the gate because Destiny is too decrepit and can’t channel the power that way…the conduits would explode. If you believe Rush, that is. They tried this in an earlier episode.

    As for Earth not being the closest gate…good idea, but I suspect that they’re so far out that the difference between any two gates in the Milky Way would be trivial. Remember, dialing from Earth to another galaxy is only an eight-chevron address (like dialing an area code). This is a nine-chevron address (like dialing a different country).

    If you don’t have enough power to make it to Australia at all, it doesn’t matter if Perth is slightly closer than Sydney.

    MikeT: I love Star Wars, but the tech there is built entirely from handwavium.

    Oh, come now, you know better than that! There was a strong admixture of unobtanium, too.

    You should hear SW geeks defending the Kessel Run line, too. It’s really unbelievable.

  104. Xopher, perhaps it’s more that Greg seems to have jumped to a conclusion about my reasons that doesn’t follow, and possibly tried to go ahead on a track I wouldn’t have gone down.

    No, I don’t believe it was completely indefensible. I think it was wrong, yes, and I think I’ve stated such a couple of times. But I think that there were some reasons in the “do it” column, and that it wouldn’t necessarily take a complete sociopath or an obsession to tip the scales in the heat of the moment. I’d like to think that most people would tally the weights the other way, but I think it’s a closer decision than has been argued, based on the (admittedly unrealistic) scenario.

    Now, Rush could be a sociopathic (or psychopathic) lunatic who is only out for his own aims. I definitely agree with you that he currently is no hero. He clearly put people at risk, and even at best it was for an extreme gamble. I just don’t think even the dialed gate address fully informs about that part of his character, and I don’t think it’s good to assume it based on that action and filter all his later actions through that.

    And, Greg, I apologize if I misread the intent. The last thing I want after coming out of lurking, however, is to spark an argument along the lines that seemed to be going.

  105. Xopher: Rush is a) considerably less gaudily evil than Bauer and b) NOT the hero of SGU.

    The writers have kept Rush ambiguous as much as possible so far. They may very well spin him as a hero when the season finale comes around. They’ve definitely worked hard to keep that option open.

    If a writer wants evil, they just make him evil, no ambiguity. They’re either attempting to maintain false mystery, because they’ve had enough time for Young to find out if Rush was really “put in charge” on the pilot episode or not. If not, Rush is evil. But the writers never show anything like that. So, maybe they want Rush to turn out to be a grossly misunderstood good guy at some point. Maybe they’re saving up for a big plot twist.

    Mike: Star Wars as having “fairly serious technology”. I mean, I love Star Wars, but the tech there is built entirely from handwavium.

    But most of Star Wars isn’t arbitrary tech. We can’t explain hyperdrives, but Star Wars doesn’t start mumbo jumbo about “modulating the frequencies” so they can fiddle with someone else’s hyperdrive. Star Wars doesn’t get into mumbo jumbo about “modulating the frequencies” of their shields. The technology is established pretty much as you see it within the first half hour of Episode 4.

    I don’t mean serious as in based on today’s physics, I mean serious as in, they came up with a set of rules, they spelled most of those rules out for the audience up front, and then they played within those rules till the end. It’s logically consistent within its own set of rules.

    Rev1 of the “Time” timeline was a deus ex machina ending. The gate which had been a normal gate for the entire series, was now suddenly a time-traveling gate. It was an arbitrary addition.

    Star Trek is notorious for arbitrary technology. They don’t establish a set of rules and then play inside those rules, they send out a memo of understanding of what the rules might be, and then they change it at the first instance they become inconvenient for an episode, but then they don’t have the changes ripple through the entire world. Prime example, the Star Trek:TNG where Picard and some other crewmember teleport onto the ship and something wonky happened to the teleporter, and they’re all 14 years old or something. It was a “concept” episode, but then once they figured out how to fix it, you think maybe some people would use that to stay young? Not in that universe. Arbitrary tech is introduced all the time, completely altering the way the world works, but is forgotten by next episode.

    Having a power source that makes more power than fusion, more power than e=mc**2, but is based off of an as-yet-undiscovered element that undergoes some kind of “stable” fission, is just plain silly. It’s like building a time machine inside a delorean. Good for a comedy, silly for something trying to be “edgey”.

    Destiny has “failsafes” everywhere the writers need a way to save the characters, and no “failsafes” everywhere the writers need the characters to get into trouble.

    You’re telling me the entire ship, from the gate room all the way to the shuttle didn’t have a single goddamn airlock? Something intended to be in space for hundreds of thousands of years, and the entire space the characters are in is a single air chamber? The “failsafe” on the shuttle prevents the door beign closed from outside? But the “failsafe” on the gate lets you stick an arm through it to keep it open a bit longer? Are you kidding me? That’s arbitrary, silly, and verging on stupid.

    weight would be the only reason to avoid lots of airlocks, and weight would only be an issue if you have limited power, a chemical rocket or something. The Destiny has enough power to bounce around between star systems with plenty energy to spare. a 40% tank will still let you visit several solar systems before needing refueling. And refueling is a minor process that takes a few minutes. It takes full service gas station attendents longer to fill your Suburban than it took to go from 0% to 40% on Destiny. Fuel isn’t a problem. Therefore weight isn’t a problem. There should be airlocks every fifty feet. US nuclear submarines have more airlocks than Destiny has and Destiny is several miles long. US submarines have better water purification than Destiny.

    Sure, something like FTL and traveling through gates is completely made up handwavium. But that can be done either by coming up with a set of rules and sticking to those rules, or coming up with a set of guidelines and then changing the rules if you think it’ll make the episode mroe interesting.

    But when you’re doing something basic, like airlocks, water purification, or power generation using fissionable materials, you sort of have to stick with the rules we have today. You certainly don’t want to make things worse than what we’ve got now.

  106. Um, guys, If Rush hadn’t dialed the 9th chevron, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    I just saying, is all. :)

  107. xopher: Is there anyone (references only within the show please) who thinks Rush did the right thing by dialing the nine chevrons, other than Rush himself?

    Telford put Greer in a makeshift brig. No one has done anything to Rush. And if he is a villain like you say, then the entire rest of the cast are idiots letting Rush run around with access to the ship.

    There is a little sniping here and there, but no one has called Rush to task for making a bad call and sending everyone to Destiny. No one has ever given him a decent chewing out deserving of such a boneheaded move.

    In all the episodes so far, what real consequences has Rush felt as a result of anyone “punishing” him? None.

  108. Greg 118: If a writer wants evil, they just make him evil, no ambiguity.

    OK, Greg, now you’re advocating “black hats and white hats” writing. That is a type of BAD writing. Making your villain morally ambiguous is good storytelling, just as making your hero morally ambiguous is. No one is all bad or all good. You want absolute clarity, read a comic book (and I mean one meant for kids, not a sophisticated graphic novel). I can’t believe you think he should just be unambiguous and easy to categorize! That’s rotten drama. The writers on this show are better than that.

    Remember Farscape? Remember Scorpius in the last season? We knew he was ruthless from his prior actions, and vindictive, and pretty much evil beyond imagining…but then he became an ally against the Scarrans, because he hated them even more. You were never sure whose side he was on, and Emperor Staleek thought he was HIS spy! He was gaudily evil, like Jack Bauer, but ambiguously motivated. He had his good points, like really wanting to keep the Scarrans from taking over the galaxy.

    I think Rush is like that. We know he’s not a good person; we know he’s ruthless and unfeeling and possibly mentally ill. But he’s an ally for survival, even though he certainly cannot be entirely trusted. And only an idiot like Telford locks up useful personnel in this kind of crisis.

    That said, I do think Young could be a little more proactive in keeping Rush in check. I think he should find someone with a spine to go in and “help” Rush until the latter yells himself completely hoarse, and then the former should keep asking him questions until he gets the idea that he has NOT “earned the right not to explain [himself] to the likes of you.” And never will, because no such right exists. Or, of course, he can have a fucking stroke, and frankly I don’t care which.

    Ryan 119: If Rush hadn’t dialed the 9th chevron, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Absolutely correct. And if Dr. Smith hadn’t sneaked on board and messed with things, the Space Family Robinson wouldn’t have been Lost in Space. (The world would have been a better place, but that’s beside the point.) Rush’s selfish behavior is what set up the scenario of the series, to be sure. But that doesn’t mean it was a good or morally correct thing to do.

  109. The writers have kept Rush ambiguous as much as possible so far. They may very well spin him as a hero when the season finale comes around. They’ve definitely worked hard to keep that option open.

    If they try to make him a complete hero, wiping out the fact that he put everyone at risk and is at least partially responsible for any deaths that happen, then I’ll be very upset.

    One of the things I find interesting about that first decision, and the ambiguity afterwards, is that any unambiguous heroics will be tainted. Even if they found the answers to the mysteries of the universe and made it home alive, there should still be the fact that he gambled on whether they *could*.

    Rev1 of the “Time” timeline was a deus ex machina ending. The gate which had been a normal gate for the entire series, was now suddenly a time-traveling gate.

    I apologize if I’m missing your point on this, but as others have noted, this does follow established rules in the setting. At this point, the deus ex machina part is mainly in the timing rather than the technology, unfortunately. (although I think they’ve done some interesting things with it, I think that facet was probably added just to add one of the basic usual tropes to the stories and it’s been used rather a few times more than it should)

    Ditto on the gate failsafes, though they may not have been as consistent. Those actually make some sense, since you wouldn’t want to chop people’s arms off without at least some warning.

    And, uh… midichlorians. (no, you can put down the pitchforks, I’ll go hang myself now)

    But yes, airlocks. Yeesh. The Ancients seem to have been overconfident in general, but that’s just silly.

  110. Nonentity, I just remembered what I was going to say to you!

    I’m hoping, not for Rush to turn out to be a hero as Greg fears, but for a moment that reveals that he’s actually tormented with guilt about trapping all these people on Destiny, and that he’s misguidedly thinking that because he’s responsible, that automatically means he’s in charge. Not so, of course, thus all his lies and subterfuge. Maybe he takes being hated as his just punishment, and the price of doing his best to save as many of them as possible.

    Hey, it could happen. No evidence of any feelings of guilt so far though.

    I spent the first few episodes expecting to see him humanized somehow. I’m still waiting…but I’m not waiting underwater, if you know what I mean.

  111. Nonentity…just a gentle reminder. There are THREE Star Wars movies. Only three. All Star Wars movies have Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford in them. There are no exceptions.

    If you pledge to remember this and behave accordingly, we will put away the pitchforks, and you needn’t hang yourself. If you continue to blaspheme, however…well, the pitchforks are waiting in the closet.

  112. Ryan 119: Yes, as Xopher pointed out, if Rush hadn’t dialed the 9 chevron address the castaways wouldn’t be stuck on the island. That doesn’t mean it was a good or moral thing to do. But that’s not my problem with the set-up. There _are_ people who will say, “You know what? Screw it! I’m going for it, and if we all die in the process, well, sucks to be us!” I can believe Rush would do that.

    What I can’t believe is that a) the soldiers would disobey a direct order–dial EARTH–from their superiors because Rush said so, or that b) they would let HIM abort the ordered dialing sequence to do it his way, or that c) Rush has suffered no consequences for doing so. Nobody seems to _care_ that he marooned them far from home when there was another option. Either they’re all too stupid to have noticed, or they’re too cowed to make waves.

    Even now it could be addressed. It’s not like the vast majority of this crowd have anything to do but sit and talk. Surely it would have come out by now. I can’t imagine Greer (among others) not confronting Rush about it, and maybe punching him in the face for stranding them on this ship when there were other options. (Though I still favor scattering his teeth across the deck with a pipe wrench.) This is supposed to be dark and edgy, right? Wouldn’t a schism in the group between those who want to string Rush up and those who (however reluctantly) feel the need to keep him alive so he can, they hope, help get them home again be “dark and edgy”?

    But no. Nobody notices or nobody cares. We’ve got more important plot points, like remote control booty calls and clubbing in DC.

  113. now you’re advocating “black hats and white hats” writing. That is a type of BAD writing.

    No, I’m advocating that Young follow through on his concerns about Rush, rather than sitting on his ass and letting a possible psychopath play with the ship, while mumbling “that man needs a lot of work. Lot of work.”

    The characters are acting nonchalant about the possibility that Rush is a psycho, which is bad writing.

    And with five stones and 50 or so red shirts not doing anything, you could easily have people on the ship stone out to earth and swap in half a dozen Ancient experts. Rush can’t be so smart that the crew is better off leaving the fate of their lives in the hands of a possible psycho rather than confine him to quarters and get a bunch of experts on board instead.

    That’s what is called plot-driven characters. The characters act in a way that allows the plot to continue, rather than acting in a way that would be normal for a person in their circumstances to act. That’s bad writing.

    The writers want Rush to be ambiguous so the characters allow a possible psychopath push the buttons on the ship. The writers created a situation where ambiguity would not be tolerated by the characters because the characters lives are on the line. But because the writers want “ambiguity” about Rush, claiming that “ambiguous bad guys” is “good writing”, they end up writing Plot-Driven characters who do moronic things so that the writers get the outcome they want.

    They committed bad writing with the otehr characters trying to get good writing with “ambiguous bad guys”.

    And I have a problem with “othering” the bad guy. But Rush is human, so that’s not othering him. Vader and the storm troopers, they’re seriously othered into non-humans. The trolls on Fifth Element, they’re serious othered into non-humans. Othering makes it easier to kill the bad guys as entertainment without the sticky moral issues that comes with real killing.

    If they want “edgey”, they could have Rush be a bad guy who manages to hide it from the rest of the crew. Or Rush could be a good guy, but an asshole, and get chewed out as needed on occaission. But maintaining this false mystery about Rush’s allegiance for an entire series is just too damn contrived.

    If you were locked up in a room with someone who could be a psycopathic killer, you’d take whatever measures you could to protect yourself and find out if he is a psycho or not. You wouldn’t shake your head at him every once in a while and say “he needs a lot of work. A lot of work.” and then sit and have supper with him or put yourself in a situation where your life depends on him.

    You’re not a moron, Xopher. So why are the characters on Destiny acting like complete morons? Stone Rush back to earth and put him under psychological screening, lie detectors, therapy, get some military interrogators (not the torture kind, but real interrogators who can actually find out information), and sort out whether Rush is psycho or not.

    Rush doesn’t have to be all-black or all-white. He can be a complete raving asshole and still be generally “sane” and someone the people can trust to function under “normal” parameters. Or he could be polite as mary poppins and as evil as Dexter.

    It’s the fact taht the characters don’t mind leaving that question ambiguous when it could get them killed that’s stupid.

  114. Mark, what can I say, you’re right about that. I think it’s a kind of plot-stupid. Or maybe they’ve just concluded that he’s their only hope of getting out alive.

    But still, somebody had to be cold-cocked by Greer in the Golden Apples of the Sun episode. There should be SOMEONE who wants to kill Rush for what he’s done to them. Next time someone dies, maybe?

    Or maybe there’s a conspiracy afoot already, and we just don’t know about it. The guy Greer slugged might be one to watch.

    Like I said, wait for it, but not underwater.

  115. pipewrench? Naw, that’s not edgey. If you want edgey, have someone try to frag Rush while he’s sleeping. Toss a little improvised explosive devise into his room, but it’s improvised, so not a good kill radius. But it shakes Rush up, maybe put a knick in his arm, and have a real mystery on the ship.

    Then at least Rush would have a reason to be a raging asshole. Someone on the ship is trying to kill him.

    Just don’t have Young suddenly start getting all investigative on shit. He’s been sloppy with Rush for the last five or six episodes, Rush may have endangered the lives of the entire crew and Young hasn’t done a damn thing about it, so Young really shouldn’t get too worked up about an attempt on Rush’s life.

    Maybe just shake his head and say “that bomber guy sure needs a lot of work, lot of work.”

  116. I like Rush more than apparently anyone else here, so I will try to make some arguments in his favor. First, the decision to dial the ninth chevron. A couple of you have stated that Rush did this selfishly because he wanted to find out where it would go. Yeah, he did. But if he also thought that the chance of finding something worthwhile to humanity outweighed the risks of killing a few measly humans (including himself) then he made the right decision.

    And I think a lot of people on the show would sympathize with that decision, because almost everyone there was working on the project. They all wanted to see what was on the other side. They all hoped it would be something wonderful and earth shaking. I think the people followed Rush’s orders to redial because it made some sense to them.

    These people don’t feel that saving their own skins always and everywhere outweighs every other objective. This at least has to be true of the people in the military – it’s practically the definition of military service.

    As far as who has he saved? Everyone. They would all have died of oxygen depletion if he hadn’t figured out the sand trick. As far as I can tell he is the only one who has been able to communicate with the ship enough to tell it what they need. Eli knows the language a bit because of playing the video game. Does anyone else?

    Rush explained his philosophy during the last episode. We are all going to die, so what matters is what you accomplish with whatever time you have. Avoiding dying is only a priority if it allows you to accomplish more.

  117. I spent the first few episodes expecting to see him humanized somehow.

    I felt like a little humanization happened in “Time”. But, it’s still ambiguous. I seem to think it’s less ambiguous than others, but I’ve been wrong before.

    I also felt as though he’s shown that he’ll even beat himself up for mistakes, which is a step along the way. But, if one takes the other side, that looks like an act.

    Either he’s a complete scumbag, or the taint I mentioned is working rather well. I admit I don’t know.

    On Star Wars: trust me, I keep telling myself that. Then some random person startsa talkinga likea thisa and (unless it’s in the concept of Mario Bros) all that’s left is the nightmares and darkness.

    But if we stick closer to sanity.. giant space worms living in asteroids? With an atmosphere inside?

  118. But if he also thought that the chance of finding something worthwhile to humanity outweighed the risks of killing a few measly humans (including himself) then he made the right decision.

    That’s a big “but if”. his “greater good” comment is the only thing that might possibly support that interpretation, but he was being an asshole to Johansen while he was saying it. Sort of puts a hole in what little “maybe he was thinking of humanity” evidence there is.

    And on the kino recording on planet Degobah, rev2, Rush talks about the “afterlife” and “ascending” the way the ancients did. When coupled with his one and only tearful scene where he cries over a picture of his dead wife, one might assume that he’s looking to “ascend” to either join his wife or because since his wife died he’s become terrified of his own mortality. Not exactly a “maybe he was thinking of humanity” notion there.

    Also, it seems everyone defending Rush on these grounds is missing the gist of their own argument: if he also thought that the chance of finding something worthwhile to humanity outweighed the risks of killing a few measly humans (including himself) then he made the right decision.

    It wasn’t Rush’s choice to play with other people’s lives. Unless all the people signed up for some kind of super-insane, super-gungho, ultra-black military project where everyone effectively is signing their life away (for a real life example, see Operation Whitecoat), and just because it’s black doesn’t mean it’s “you’d rather die than fail”, then it wasn’t Rush’s decision to make.

    What you and anyone making this argument is saying is that you can morally murder individuals who’ve done nothing wrong and who have not consented to die so that you may forward your own cause.

    If God tells you to kill someone as part of his great plan to save the world, you need to seek medication, not bullets.

    Then again, if you’re Francis Gary Powers, you have a suicide pill, and you’re supposed to take it rather than be part of a major international embarrassment. And if Powers had a copilot who forced him to take it, it would be at least partly morally defensible because Powers had agreed to the circumstances of the mission.

    But unless every single person on the base signed a “your life is forfeit” contract with the government, Rush’s actions were immoral.

    And I find it highly unlikely that that many people, including a bunch of civilians, were under that sort of condition.

    Hitler was going to create a perfect world by wiping out the Jews. Every religious war wants to create heaven on earth by killing the nonbelievers. The argument of every political madman is that they will create a perfect world by exterminating someone else. This is the basis of your argument, that it was morally acceptable for Rush to take a chance on creating a perfect world by sacrificing the lives of someone else.

    If a madman came to you and said they will create a perfect world if you would just let him kill you, and you agred to that, then that’d be your choice, but if the madman does it against your will, and doesn’t even have the manners to ask, then he’s committing murder, plain and simple.

    So, I’d really, really, really appreciate it if people would stop defending Rush using teh argument of genocidal maniacs. It’s one thing to find the show “Dexter” interesting (I don’t, but I will allow that some poeple could), its an entirely other thing to start defending the homicidal psychopath as anything other than a homicidal psychopath.

    Your arguing one of the most basic war handwavium arguments of all time. And I have a serious problem with war handwavium.

  119. giant space worms living in asteroids? With an atmosphere inside?

    meh, the space worm didn’t alter the plot arc in any way.

    If they were flying through the asteroid field and the worm jumped out and swallowed the last Tie fighter, and the worm had never been mentioned before in the movie, then that would have been deus ex machina. As it was, it was kind of a “strange world pit stop”.

    There are a couple of things I grant waivers for:

    (1) Space ships that have artificial gravity after they’ve lost all power. Every time they try to make actors weightless, it always comes across as more cheesy than just pretending they’ve got artificial gravity with their own batteries.

    Btw, Apollo 13 was awesome in that they shot a lot of space scenes in the vomit comet, which I think only gives them like a half minute of weightlessness at a time. A logistical nightmare for filmmaking (they had to make 500 arcs) but awesome results.

    (2) atmospheres on planets that can be easily worked around to be breathable. Because most pressure suits in the movies are stupid looking.

    (3) universal translators. Because real interactions with a new race would take forever to learn teh language and train people to be translators. (forever compared to a 48 minute long episode) and because conversations with translators in the real world suck.

    (5) aliens that look suspiciously like humans with forehead prosthesis. Mostly because it’s hard to have actors portray anything other than something with two-arms and two-legs, and CGI can still look cheesy enough to be a turnoff.

  120. What you and anyone making this argument is saying is that you can morally murder individuals who’ve done nothing wrong and who have not consented to die so that you may forward your own cause.

    I see. Well, I think I’ll take my psychopathic self off then.

  121. What you and anyone making this argument is saying is that you can morally murder individuals who’ve done nothing wrong and who have not consented to die so that you may forward your own cause.

    I won’t speak for anyone else, but I have not argued this. I have taken (I think) great pains to make it clear that I am not arguing this. And I’m not sure how much more clear I can make it.

    Reality isn’t that black-and-white. Actions aren’t either morally right or morally wrong, with nothing inbetween. I won’t demand my fiction be that way, either. You’re free to, but then we’ll have to agree to disagree. Some things are defensible, and sometimes even correct, without being *right*… and it’s how you deal with those things (and deal with human failings amid all that) that really shows your moral structure.

    Sometimes the results are ambiguous, even when they seem clean-cut.

    So if you’re going to argue that Rush didn’t do the *moral* thing (with regards to the rest of the small group), then I’ll absolutely agree. But if you’re going to use that to cast everything Rush does in an *amoral* light, then I’m afraid I’ll say that doesn’t necessarily follow, and yes, my friends do call me maddening at times, why do you ask?

    meh, the space worm didn’t alter the plot arc in any way.

    Ok, ridiculous science is fine, so long as it doesn’t cross the nebulous “too ridiculous” line and is a side plot or is needed to make things not be boring or doesn’t affect any future part of the setting.

  122. Ok, ridiculous science is fine, so long as it doesn’t cross the nebulous “too ridiculous” line and is a side plot or is needed to make things not be boring or doesn’t affect any future part of the setting.

    If I remember correctly, one of the model makers for E.T. put, among other things, an R2D2 on the side of one of the alien spaceships. It didn’t affect the plot in any way. I’m not going to get upset about it.

    When “science” affects the plot, then it needs to be consistent. If force fields protect against teleporting, but then they need to teleport through a force field so they start “modulating frequencies” or “teching the tech”, then deus ex machina issues and other plot issues start coming up.

    When the science of Destiny is such that there is not a single airlock to isolate the leak in the shuttle, but the shuttle has a “failsafe” that prevents anyone from shutting the door from outside, that is stupid science that affects the plot and does so in a stupid way. Ultra safe when the writers need it, moronically dangerous when the writers need it. Completely nonsensical from a science, engineering, logical consistency perspective.

    The ship becomes the writer’s excuse for every plot twist. We need to keep the gate open for just a bit longer? Oh, the ship has a failsafe to do that. We need an airleak that can’t be sealed off? Oh, the ship doesn’t have a single airlock in the affected area. We need a shuttle that is setup so that a person has to push a button to close the door, not a kino? Oh, they have a failsafe that requires that.

    The “Air” episode completely turned on those two completely illogical design components of the ship. There were no airlocks to isolate the leak. But the shuttle was so failsafe that someone had to die to stop the leak.

    The space slug was window dressing to the plot, it was orthogonal to the plot. It didn’t make much sense, but Luke becoming a Jedi didn’t hinge on this unlikely space creature existing.

    And like I said, if the slug had jumped out and destroyed the last tie fighter, then I’d call that a deus ex machina problem. A solution out of nowhere. But it didn’t affect the plot.

    so, yeah. Meh.

  123. So if you’re going to argue that Rush didn’t do the *moral* thing … then I’ll absolutely agree. But if you’re going to use that to cast everything Rush does in an *amoral* light, then I’m afraid I’ll say that doesn’t necessarily follow

    I’ve read this several times and have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Rush dialing the 9 chevron address instead of an isolated but near earth address, Rush risking the lives of 80 people on teh chance that the 9 chevron address didn’t go into empty space or underwater, was immoral. Those 80 people didn’t sign a release forfitting their lives and Rush didn’t have the authority to gamble with their lives for his personal quest.

    Almost everything Rush has done has been ambiguous as far as his intentions go. The writers have been careful to show Rush claiming the general put him in charge but not show the general actually tell him that. So we don’t know for certain if he’s an ass or reporting the truth.

    Much of Rush’s personality fits that of a sociopath or psychopath. That means that Rush doesn’t care about people. They are simply a means to his ends. If he needs Eli to stick his arm through the gate and risk amputation, he’ll ask Eli to do that. Rush has not demonstrated much in teh way of selfless actions or helping others or holding himself as an equal to others. To the contrary he exhibits most of the signs of a psychopath. Egomaniac, indifferent to others, refuses to take blame for his wrongs, refuses to take responsibility for his actions, blames others for everything, and so on.

    Given that the writers have made a point of keeping Rush’s morality as ambiguous as possible, adn given that Rush’s personality that we have seen fits the classic sociopath/psychopath, I think that’s sufficient to expect Young and the others to treat Rush as a potential threat and deal with him accordingly until there is no longer any ambiguity about his morality.

    Rush could be operating on a completely amoral process. He might be strivign for his own immortality and willing to send others to their deaths to get their. Or he might just be a complete asshole, but at least has a sense of morality when it comes to actively murdering people. We just don’t know with any certainty.

    I haven’t “cast everything Rush does in an *amoral* light”. What I’ve said is the writers have gone to great lengths to maintain that as one viable possibility. So the characters, like Young, who are potentially at risk with Rush running around, would normally, in any sane setting, be expected to settle the issue and find out Rush’s personality.

    But they don’t. So the characters are acting in a manner that is NOT in their best interest, but in a manner that achieves the result the writer’s want. And what the writers want is ambiguity about Rush.

  124. Greg, you’re overplaying your hand. Put more bluntly, you’re crossing the line between forcefully disagreeing with people and making unfair personal accusations against them.

    Your reply to Tazistan Jen, for example, was out of line, specifically the part she quoted back to you. You could have said “don’t you see where that argument leads” or “before we talk about this argument, are you really saying that…” and avoided offense.

    I know YOU find “war handwavium” and war porn offensively distasteful. But you can’t have the discussion you want to have if you insult people. They will stop listening to you or replying to you, as we have with wassisnym.

    Even if you’re absolutely certain that Tazistan Jen meant what you claimed…well, if you were you wouldn’t talk to her, would you? You were trying to communicate what her argument boiled down to in your opinion, but you missed the mark and wound up insulting her instead. This is not a way to be convincing.

    You and I have been friends for a long time, Greg. I’ve seen this before, usually when it involves war, death, and the military. You get worked up in righteous (and I mean righteous, not self-righteous) indignation, and start making accusations. Your point gets lost in the rant; your words get in the way of communication.

    I think you owe Jen an apology. And try again; the argument is deeply flawed, but you don’t seriously think Jen is a psychopathic murderer, do you? Please.

  125. Agreed that people need to be careful in making their arguments that they don’t just sort of casually start attacking other people in the discussion as a discussion tactic.

    And GregLondon, I’ve noted to you before that you fall into ad hominem argument with some regularity, and you need to learn not to do it, because it makes discussions here unpleasant and also suggests that you don’t know how to argue without making a cheap shot or two at others. To be sure, you’re not the only one I have to say this to. But it’s something I’ve had to say to you more than once. Do better, please.

  126. I’ve read this several times and have no idea what you’re talking about.

    I understand that. I may have jumped to my own conclusions, but you seemed to be basing a lot of your opinion of Rush on your moral outlook on the initial gate dialing.

    Those 80 people didn’t sign a release forfitting their lives and Rush didn’t have the authority to gamble with their lives for his personal quest.

    It’s been pointed out that there are other factors than “his personal quest”. I can understand if you don’t think they’re important enough to change the absolute morality of what he did in terms of the group (I don’t either), but I’m afraid I can’t understand ignoring them completely in order to cast the whole thing as being done on a whim.

    If he needs Eli to stick his arm through the gate and risk amputation, he’ll ask Eli to do that.

    (Yes, I’m nitpicking on this point. I apologize, and I’ll try to pick up the larger point afterwards)

    As I mentioned earlier, this is a typical functioning of the gates. It may have been a gamble for older tech, but I’d argue it’s a small one… as you’ve pointed out with the airlock issue, failsafes are generally an expected thing.

    And what other option was there? There was an incoming wormhole, with Eli the only one near enough to interact with it in any way. If it didn’t work, everyone was likely dead.

    This is my problem, I think.. you seem to be casting any action Rush does in the worst possible light, and expecting the characters to do the same. For instance:

    Rush is either a sociopath who is deluding himself that he’s a nice guy, or he’s a psychopath who knows he’s a psychopath and is trying to hide that fact from everyone else around him so he can get what he wants.

    But then, I can’t see how people can look at everything Rush does as a sign of psychopathy/sociopathy. Personally, I thought the whole “or maybe you DID know” bit in “Light” was just stupid, since that assumption would mean Rush made more and larger gambles than he would have otherwise. As I mentioned, there’s other things I wouldn’t agree with your interpretation on.

    Of course, the very fact that it’s ambiguous is why we’re having this conversation in the first place, so it’s not surprising that we’d come to a point where we just have differing interpretations of the same things. I just think there’s more interpretations than you’re allowing for, and that some of the ones you’ve discarded have some merit (possibly small, but some).

  127. Rush is a simple creature:

    He wants to Ascend like the Ancients because he thinks he can save/recreate/magicfuck his now deceased wife.

    Just dangle that carrot in front of him and he’ll get in line with the rest of them.

  128. 1) Everyone who is there more than likely signed a combo NDA and waiver form, in essence signing their lives away as a condition of employment.

    2) I doubt highly that people being dropped onto another planet for high end research like this are not put through some pretty thorough psychological screening/testing. Admittedly, Eli went through clearance like (a thing) through a(nother thing) so I may well be wrong here. Then again, his crash course with the explanation vids and the other stuff before he arrived could have been a part of the screening process. On the gripping hand, they could have been monitoring the people who were trying to solve the in game puzzle, and starting to build profiles of them “just in case”. They sure knew a lot about him when Rush and General Whotsisname showed up.

    My Point: If Rush is a nutter, they’d know already, and would have dealt with him. Did he crack under stress? Maybe. Is he a threat to everyone? In my opinion, I don’t think so. Needs to be monitored, needs to bond with the team a LOT more, but he’ll be OK.

    Now Greer, that’s a guy I am learning to like a lot more. His reaction to seeing people dying on his watch was great. He has either never lost someone before, and can’t deal with it, or has, and vowed “never again”. I am genuinely curious as to just how hard he hit Telford* and why.

    I don’t have a problem with time travel episodes, and I thought that this one was well done. Did they get to hit the cosmic reset button twice? Yup. But the people still died in those timelines, _and_ they got to see their own reactions to the situations via the kinos. Just about the best way to handle those situations, IMO.

    *I’m guessing here.

  129. Glonn #141 – I think he said something about “Maybe our grandchildren could ascend” IIRC. I don’t think he is holding out for it personally.

  130. Based on Greg’s suggestion of sending Rush back via the stones for psychological testing, I’m suddenly wondering about actual psychiatric illnesses with a physiological basis and wondering how that would be affected by occupying another body. Clearly they’re affected by alcohol when body swapping, but what about more subtle flibbertygibits of neurochemistry?

  131. Xopher: You could have said “don’t you see where that argument leads”

    I started by talking about “the gist of their own argument”, which I think has the same intention.

    Rush had two options (1) dial a known isolated gate or (2) dial the unknown 9 chevron gate. The possible outcomes ranged anywhere from (2A) everyone dies to (2B) they find a cure for cancer. The cure for cancer is the “greater good” payoff.

    But if you make that same argument with cancer research itself, you get doctors exposing people to carcinogens without their knowledge or consent in the hopes of possibly getting (2B) a cure for cancer. A la the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, or Project SHAD, and MKULTRA.

    All of which have been deemed immoral.

    People are defending Rush using the exact same moral argument used for SHAD and used in Tuskegee, the “greater good” allows Rush (or the experimenters) to endanger people without their knowledge or consent.

    That is “the gist of their own argument” (or “where it leads to” if you prefer.) When you take “Rush followed the greater good dialing the 9th chevron gate” to its real world conclusion, you get Tuskegee.

    That doesn’t mean I’m saying Jen is a “psychopathic murderer”. I never said that. I said her argument has exactly the same moral implications as the arguments that were used to justify the Tuskegee experiment, SHAD, MKULTRA, and so on. That’s the moral gist of her argument. That’s where her argument “leads”, if you prefer that wording. Nowhere does that say she’s a murderer.

    But I didn’t mean to chase Jen off the thread either. And in case she’s lurking:

    Jen, I’m sorry. I’ve got issues. I’ll try to do better.

  132. Well, I hope Jen comes back. Jen, if you’re still reading, please come back!

    I’m not sure why other people think Rush’s wife died. He cried over her picture, but that doesn’t mean she died. Given his character she could have left him for someone less selfish and personally abusive.

    In fact, in my experience people who are verbally abusive in public are physically abusive in private. She may have a restraining order against him. Given his obvious personality problems, this seems more likely than her being dead. He’d be more likely to hate everyone, too, if he sees her absence as a “betrayal” than if he sees it as a tragedy.

  133. This discussion is much-fun and thank you for light encryption of the semi-spoiler since I don’t want to see it.

  134. Or maybe he killed her to advance scientific knowledge! And got pulled out of prison by the SGC! That must be it!

    (I’m kidding about this bit. Self-parody, actually. But I really do think it’s more likely that she left him than that she died.)

  135. xopher: I’m not sure why other people think Rush’s wife died.

    Because Young didn’t cry over a picture of his ex-wife or wife-who-wants-divorce or whatever she is.

    And Rush doesn’t seem the type to cry over a broken relationship. If she left him and is still alive, Rush would probably be blaming her for ruining their marriage.

    Rush’s comment about the “afterlife” to Eli made me think he wanted to ascend to join his wife. But if Rush is hoping that their grandchildren will be able to ascend, then that sort of suggests that Rush does not himself believe in an afterlife, and his pursuit of Ancient technology is driven because his wife died and he doesn’t think she has a soul. So when she died, that was the end for her. When anyone dies, it’s the end.

    So Rush is not trying to rejoin his wife, he views humans as living on this planet for a short time, and then they die and that’s it. And he’s tryign to save mankind from a death with no afterlife.

    He’s an atheist trying to cheat death.

    Oh no. I hope this isn’t a long version of “Flatliners” where the atheist comes to believe in God after having a near death experience. Or in this case a near-ascension experience.

    Did anyone else catch Rush saying they probably wouldn’t be able to ascend but their grandchildren might?

  136. Bob McGwier: You’re welcome.

    GregLondon: One of Malcolm Gladwell’s books talks about how, during stress, the focus narrows enormously. This can be a good thing, but it can also be disastrous.

    The fact that Rush chose what he did may not represent what Rush would have chosen had he had time and leisure to think about the issues that you’re bringing up. Which is to say, *in the moment* he may have made a psychopath’s choice, but given time enough to process better, he may not have.

    Having made the choice, he’s hardly the type to go around angsting about it to all and sundry.

    I’ve been in the kind of narrowing of focus situation Gladwell talks about (car accident, another time when my sister fell from a height and I caught her), and you really truly don’t have your whole brain available. In that moment, I can well believe I might make a psychopathic choice; it doesn’t make me a psychopath. Just *really* narrowly focused in that moment.

    Maybe Rush is a psychopath, maybe not. I think it might be useful to wait a few more episodes and see whether there’s further information on that score.

  137. El: Rush also seems to have real difficultly admitting fault, so he may be doubling down on what he did partly because he knows it was the wrong decision. I know I tend to do that when I’ve made a mistake, and have to work very hard to compensate for that tendency.

  138. Ok, I think I mis-heard the grandkids bit (can’t watch the ep right now/find a transcript). Looking here just above “Notes” they cover the phrase I mis-remembered/heard. Still it appears to me that he is not expecting to ascend himself.

    Xopher (149) – HA! Here I thought he had a stash of babies he was eating to keep himself going.
    ——
    Rush has been a lot more pleasant since he’s finished his one-two punch of caffeine and nicotine withdrawal. Honestly, I’ve had worse bosses than him in my day, and we weren’t trapped on a ship far, far from home.

  139. El: The fact that Rush chose what he did may not represent what Rush would have chosen had he had time and leisure to think about the issues that you’re bringing up.

    It might be that Rush would do things differently if he could hit the reset button on that episode.

    But that’s different than saying what Rush did was morally right, for the greater good, etc, which is what I disagreed with.

  140. MikeT, what you have as a personal issue Rush has as the defining trait of his whole personality. I don’t think good scientists have this trait IRL, because people who can’t admit they were wrong don’t tend to become good scientists. They can acquire the problem late in life (like Fred Hoyle), though, so maybe that’s what happened to Rush.

    Greg, that’s why I’m hoping for it to be discovered that Rush is tormented by guilt for dragging all those people along on his obsessional mission. It would indicate that he actually has a conscience, which so far is not in evidence.

  141. GregLondon:

    True, “If I had a reset button I wouldn’t have chosen this way” is different.

    Still, I’m reluctant to think “psychopath” even if Rush still believes it’s for the greater good. Selfish, hell yeah–but psychopath seems to go too far for me. Because there *is* good in going through–finding a whole new “universe” and exploring it is not a bad thing. Dragging people along *is*, but if you were to put the choice on a continuum with “pure good” on one side and “pure bad” on the other, I’d probably put it about 3/4 toward bad. Especially given that, except for Eli, every single one of those people is assumed to be on that base voluntarily. And they *have* to have known Bad Things Could Happen There.

  142. El, Eli wasn’t completely shanghaied. He agreed after they showed him the starship and told him the job. They did beam him up without permission, but that was to convince him they weren’t crazy. Remember he told his mother that he was doing important work and that he felt really good about it?

    At that stage, I’m pretty sure they would have put him back (with severe threats of bodily harm if he blabbed) had he not agreed. Rush would have wanted to keep him chained up “for the greater good” but O’Neill would have vetoed that.

    Also, the opportunity for his mother to have the best health care (and remember, that potentially includes Goa’uld technology) would have been irresistable to him even if it hadn’t been the coolest! Job! In! The! World!

    Like everyone else, he didn’t agree to be marooned on a leaky boat in eel-infested waters (essentially what Rush did to them), but he DID agree to work at Icarus Base.

  143. I just want to chime in (again) to point out that while I tend to agree that Rush looks like a psycho/sociopath to me, that’s not what sticks in my craw. What destroys my suspension of disbelief is that nobody seems to care, or at least not enough to do more than sigh and shake their heads and maybe grumble a little.

    The man risked all their lives on a) a selfish desire for personal satisfaction or b) “the greater good” without so much as a second thought, marooning them on this leaky ship. They’re facing constant threats of horrible death as a direct result of Rush’s high handed actions…and there’s no reaction. Given the trouble TPTB have taken to make sure Rush’s motives remain ambiguous, it’s even more appalling that none of them has tried to find out his real agenda.

    Quite aside from issues of revenge, I’d sure as **** want to know whether the guy we’re all depending on can be trusted or whether we’d be better off locking him in a room somewhere and letting experts from the SGC do the job instead.

  144. Mark, I’ve known some folks who work in high-adrenaline professions, and some military folk (there’s some overlap there), and they’re generally not gripers. You give them a lousy situation to deal with, and they say, “What needs doing, and where’s the chow line?”

    That’s what I see a lot of folks on the ship doing, and then every once in a while, somebody gets in Rush’s face and screams, “If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t even be here!”

  145. Mark, I agree. I think the people involved with this show thought we’d think of Rush like a Rodney—abrasive but goodhearted, slightly funny. Nothing funny about Rush, not at all. Laughing at him would be a good thing to do if you were a character on the ship, because it would infuriate him, but as a viewer I’m not inclined. Nothing goodhearted about him either. Abrasive he’s got down pat.

    I’ve already expressed astonishment in another venue that the creators of this show were shocked at how much we hate Rush (those of us who do, I mean). If he wasn’t supposed to be “the man you love to hate,” why did they write him so hatefully?

    Even John was a little shocked when I started calling him “the villain” during the liveblog of the premiere. He’s still the closest thing to a villain this show has (you could argue for Telford, but he’s been pretty ineffective at getting his way).

    Even if you don’t hate Rush, you could hardly blame the people on the ship for hating him. I do find it unrealistic that not ONE person of the 80-odd on that ship has tried to assault him yet. I haven’t noticed him being guarded 24/7, have you? I mean, those people who threatened Eli…not ONE of them has tried to threaten Rush? Or even tried to punch him in the nose? Or even CONFRONT him?

    It’s like they’re afraid of him, and I mean for their lives, like he’s a Goa’uld with Jaffa all around him instead of a skinny little scientist. I’m hoping there’ll be some plausible justification for it, but so far it’s just weird.

  146. …every once in a while, somebody gets in Rush’s face and screams, “If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t even be here!”

    Except nobody does. Unless I missed something, and I watch it on DVR and pause it when I need to look away. When did someone do that?

  147. “It’s like they’re afraid of him, and I mean for their lives, like he’s a Goa’uld with Jaffa all around him instead of a skinny little scientist. I’m hoping there’ll be some plausible justification for it, but so far it’s just weird.”

    I take it you haven’t seen “Trainspotting” then…

  148. “Rush’s comment about the “afterlife” to Eli made me think he wanted to ascend to join his wife. But if Rush is hoping that their grandchildren will be able to ascend, then that sort of suggests that Rush does not himself believe in an afterlife, and his pursuit of Ancient technology is driven because his wife died and he doesn’t think she has a soul. So when she died, that was the end for her. When anyone dies, it’s the end.”

    We don’t know how she died, so he might’ve deluded himself into thinking that he can somehow rescue her when he Ascends.

    And the grandchildren comment was just to cover up how much he covets Ascension/Nerd Rapture.

  149. The more I see from inside sources like Joe Mallozzi’s blog, the impression I get is of a deep, rich ensemble cast they’ve built up in their story bible. The problem is, it’s not making it to screen. We’ve seen so little of the female crew members, and disjointed fragments of Young, Rush, Telford and Eli.

    I know, you’re reading this and thinking, yeah, we know…but I’m not trying to point out the obvious, I think it’s the critical flaw. That, plus the lack of empathetic characters. We really don’t know what’s going on in these character’s heads, and mostly don’t care.

    Reading the speculations on Rush and his motivations, and my own gut instinct is that many of you are giving him way too much credit. I think he’s smart, also clever, but he’s flying by the seat of his pants pretty much all the time. Because, really, I haven’t seen much else to suggest otherwise.

    It could be a clever writing gambit…making us, the viewer, learn more about these people the way we do in real life. Watching, learning and guessing, instead of handing it to us on a platter. Except, for me at least, it’s failing. I don’t find Rush or the other “leads” that interesting to want to learn their motivations. I don’t find the any of the secondary characters interesting enough to want to understand Rush, et. al., for their sake either.

    Even worse, I perceive a disconnect between the writers (namely, Joe M.) and their audience over this – why they don’t seem to understand why we feel the female characters are being marginalized, why we’re not rooting for characters they think we’d root for.

    Every time I hear Joe say, “this isn’t SG1, there are no square-jawed heroes here.” I think to myself, “then why have you dropped Lt. Scott into that mold?” I can see the hint of character depth there, in Joe’s blog. The idea that there’s much more. But on the TV show, he’s just a bad parody of the original Capt. Kirk. Saving the universe for lovely ladies everywhere.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, I have a distinct feeling they’re holding back on us and don’t realize it. And they really need to step it up.

  150. “Mark, I’ve known some folks who work in high-adrenaline professions, and some military folk (there’s some overlap there), and they’re generally not gripers. You give them a lousy situation to deal with, and they say, ‘What needs doing, and where’s the chow line?’”

    Alas, that kind of behavior is noticeably absent as well. Besides, I thought these were “The Wrong People” and all, so why would they fit the mold you bring up? It just destroys any credibility the writers have (with me, obviously, ymmv) that they’ve gone to such trouble make Rush such a ticking time bomb of a character–and nobody on the ship, nobody whose life could well depend on the answer, tries to find out what his real motives are.

    I’d think finding out whether the guy who (allegedly) is their last, best hope is really on their side. or whether he’ll sell them out–again–next time he gets an opportunity to pursue his goals at their expense. When Young says to Rush, “…unless you knew the ship would survive…” I’m sure I was supposed to get chills. Oooh, Rush might’ve known all along and not told anyone. How deliciously ambiguous!

    What I got instead was furious. That’s not the sort of thing you just shrug and walk away from. You FIND OUT. Or, if you can’t, you lock Rush in a room somewhere and summon up some SGC experts you CAN trust to do the job Rush was doing.

  151. The SGU series is terrific. One thing I really like is that it is character driven. This series is about people in a tough situation that in many respects is out of their control. How the people react to the situations and to each other is powerful drama. The characters are all real to me. I disagree with the comment that some of the characters are not interesting. They are all different and cover a wide range of expected behaviors. After all, they have in effect a very small city on the ship.

    I have read all your books John, and the one thing I notice in the series is that, so far at least, (I am only up to “Earth”) there is none of the great humor I enjoyed in your books. It would be a nice add to have some humor with all the tension.

    Gavin Craig

  152. I see from the preview that tonight’s ep is going to be about sex. Oh, sorry, I mean “human relationships.” Or the Sex Drive behind the Character Driven story. Ho hum. Perhaps I’m not meant to like this show enough to bother. After all, for as much as I loved Amanda Tapping on SG1 and Atlantis, I can not stand her new show, whatever it’s called. Or maybe I’ll keep watching just so I have an excuse to quasi-critique the thing. I think this show must be enjoyed by those who like dreary stuff. The lighting is so depressing on SGU; it reminds me of a day like this in Michigan: leaden, gray, cool, almost-dead.

    If nothing else, sf of this sort, offers us a good explaination for how people buy into ideas like God, or gods. In the multiverse, anything is possible. It’s really a platform for cosmology, or magical thinking, more than sciece. Scalzi uses a multiverse with some strange implications, so perhaps that’s one reason they have tried to use him in some way. But I think they are not using him enough, because Scalzi writes well and uses a lot of logic. SGU doesn’t seem as logical as it should be.

  153. Glonn 163: I take it you haven’t seen “Trainspotting” then…

    Well, no, I haven’t, but then neither have they. Or if they did, it didn’t star HIM in that universe!

  154. 168:
    “I see from the preview that tonight’s ep is going to be about sex. Oh, sorry, I mean “human relationships.” Or the Sex Drive behind the Character Driven story. Ho hum. Perhaps I’m not meant to like this show enough to bother. After all, for as much as I loved Amanda Tapping on SG1 and Atlantis, I can not stand her new show, whatever it’s called.”

    Just press mute and enjoy the wiggling of her magnificently toned ass.

  155. It still is taking me a while to get used to SGU after years of enjoying SG1 and Atlantis plus BSG. The tones between the three plus some other space-age tv series and novels continues to make me wonder about SGU.

    Currently, I have no solid lock on what I think. There’s been episodes that I’ve applauded the darker tones and plot choices so it sets SGU differently from his predecessors. Other times, I’m iffy regarding the casting. Or it may simply be a dislike for the dialogue with some characters. And with Mr. Diamond, it’s my own fault that I’m stuck on Miss Congeniality and La Bamba. It’s made it difficult for me to take him seriously. Hmm. That may be a hook – Mr. Diamond SING & DANCE! However, I like the conflict between the two senior officers. It has the tones of NCOs vs Officers. Officer walks in without knowing what is going on. Etc etc. Mil vs civilian.

    I’m still going to watch. Time threw me off but I LOVE the evil critters. Bwahaha. The instant shocking deaths, to me, are essential with this darker series. Waiting to see more PTSD since noticing some signs in characters. Expect the political espionage to happen. Wondering if they’ll come across a rogue Ancient that was abandoned on a planet as punishment for heinous acts.

  156. I’m sick of the stories featuring stoning back to Earth. Maybe it’s because they’re the setup for the Young/Telford/wifey triangle or because they’ve been used for rape, complete with nonchalant handwavium from the writers, or because many of the bits so far have been so damn shallow and boring. I don’t care about Chloe’s friends being friends-in-name-only. I don’t care about Young’s marital problems. I don’t care about whoever Scott is boffing now. I want to see what’s going on in the Destiny and what the SGC is doing to try and help.

  157. What annoys me most about the stones is that, by failing to show whether a wide-reaching consent was given by both parties involved in their use, the writers have left the viewers uncertain as to whether main characters have committed rape against others.

    I’m sure there was some kind of consent as to “Yes, you can use my body”, otherwise the stones wouldn’t be triggered. But sexual activity just isn’t something that we would implicitly assume would be covered.

    I’m giving the show this last episode. If it’s as bad as I think it’s going to be…

  158. “Wondering if they’ll come across a rogue Ancient that was abandoned on a planet as punishment for heinous acts.” Since the Ancients never came out that far, it seems rather unlikely.

  159. William, the one thing about Chloe’s friends not being good friends is that it edges her toward the “make the best of it on Destiny” camp and away from the “get back to Earth at all costs” camp. So far everyone but Rush wants to get back to Earth (which is why he has to keep tricking them), but I predict that as the series goes on there will be some (not everyone) who want to stay on Destiny.

  160. 169:
    “Well, no, I haven’t, but then neither have they. Or if they did, it didn’t star HIM in that universe!”

    Watch Trainspotting and you’ll realize that Robert Carlyle is quite capable of portraying really, really, really scary characters who you don’t want to cross swords with.

    So, yeah, I believe that he’s capable of standing up to people.

    That’s why breaking his legs or otherwise disabling him is the best option for dealing with him.

  161. Oh geeze. I apologize for injecting a bunch of drama into the thread. Usually I am pretty thick skinned. It won’t happen again.

    I am mostly liking this show and the characters on the ship (except for Chloe, but perhaps she will grow up and stop being so annoying and useless. I don’t think she is stupid – just self centered).

    I do agree with several commenters above – I am hoping the female characters step up more (TJ being by far the best thus far), and the stone/soap-opera bits are my least favorite. Not looking forward to tonight’s episode, but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised since my expectations are so low.

  162. Watch Trainspotting and you’ll realize that Robert Carlyle is quite capable of portraying really, really, really scary characters who you don’t want to cross swords with.

    But he’s not doing that here. His SGU character yells a lot and acts like an asshole, but there’s nothing that makes me think he’d become violent if you yelled back.

    So, yeah, I believe that he’s capable of standing up to people.

    Oh, hell, there was never any doubt of that. The question in my mind is “Why isn’t anyone capable of standing up to him?” Don’t have a good answer yet.

  163. (all quotes from Greg)
    <>

    If they had wanted, they could have done it quite unambiguously. In four steps and a bonus:

    1) Everyone evacs, including Young.
    2) they stare at the gate, thinking, “Oh . Our remote isn’t working because the electronics got blasted — and no one’s left behind to close off the gate”
    3) planet explodes, throwing a couple tons of hot rock dust at them.
    4) they (eventually?) figure out that the long trip wore down the energy contained in the blast to a survivable level, via adiabatic cooling. A shorter trip would not have done this enough, so that if they had gone anywhere nearby – anywhere in the Milky Way – they would have been dead, hit by a torrent of boiling rock. It was only coming through such a long wormhole that saved them at all.
    bonus)All that dust would explain why the air filters get gummed up. A little beyond their design parameters.

    And that’s just *one* solution.
    The writers wanted Rush to do this for bad reasons, though, so…

    <>

    It could be that it takes energy to set up but not maintain, and it isn’t easily extracted either so it’d make a lousy battery. After all, it takes zero power for the Earth to maintain its G-field.

    <>

    the Falcon could have taken one TIE (it dealt with 4 in the previous movie, recall, and quite a few more than 4 in the next). Help from a worm would have been kind of gratuitous at that point.

  164. Umm. Oops. Didn’t occur to me that using would trigger HTML. Writing on the web must be confusing for Germans.

    Quote 1 was:
    And his concerns were wrong, since the exploding planet didn’t actually vent through the gate and destry Destiny.

    Quote 2 was how Greg gives as a freebie artificial gravity in ships with no power. I was rationalizing it.

    Quote 3 should be obvious.

  165. Luke, if you want < and > to appear in your post, write them as &lt; and &gt; respectively (and of course *I* had to write them as &amp;lt; and &amp;gt, which I had to…well, you get the point).

  166. Oh, and the angle quotes « and » are &laquo; and &raquo; respectively.

    Or you could just italicize (with <em> before the text and </em> after) or use regular quote marks. But you don’t seem to want to.

  167. The simple story would have been that the gate on the base/planet only dials the one 9 chevron address. Dial anything else and it doesn’t do anything. The gate is nonstandard.

    And they know it needs 9 chevrons because of some instructions in Ancient, and they know it needs 9 chevrons because when they dial 9 chevrons there is a power spike, but then it discharges.

    Then, either set up the premise so that the only way to get to the base/planet is by ship (I believe they took a ship to get Eli there, didn’t they?) Or set up the premise that there is a “normal” gate somewhere else on the base/planet.

    The alien attack commences. Young orders an evactuation.

    Either they can’t get the crew to shuttles to evacuate by air, or they can’t get the crew to the “normal” gate to evacuate by dialing. There’s a direct hit on the shuttle hanger, or there’s a direct hit on the “normal” gate from enemy fire. Either way, that option is destroyed.

    Meanwhile, Eli figures out the secret-sauce needed to get the 9 chevron gate to dial out. They dial out, and the gate activates.

    At that point, it’s either stay on the planet that is about to explode, stay at the base that is being pounded from orbit by gigantic space ships that is melting your defenses, or step through the gate and hope you live.

    about 80 people step through the gate, and then it shuts off. And then the planet goes splewy. Actually, you could remove the whole “unstable planet” nonsense and simply say that the aliens must have detected the second gate and concentrated their fire on that, destroying that gate too.

    So, now they’re stuck on Destiny, and Rush didn’t commit moral evilness to get them there. Young didn’t order them to dial earth and then Rush overrides it against everyone’s will. Young orders an evacuation via the “normal” gate, but that gate is destroyed. They all think they’re goign to die (the aliens have ignored “surrender” signals from other ships or whatever), when Eli and Rush save the day. dun-duhn-DUHN!

    The fact that the writers set up the entire series based off of Rush committing moral evil could stem from them not seeing the evilness of Rush’s actions, or because they couldn’t think of any other way to create the circumstances to strand them on the ship, or they did it on purpose to establish that Rush is evil.

    I’m not entirely sure what they’re doing. I think they want Rush to look evil, so I think they did it on purpose.

    But regardless of why they did it, it’s a fairly straightforward rewrite to have made the pilot episode strand them on Destiny without Rush committing evil.

  168. Greg, I’m assuming they know what they’re doing, and that making Rush a really bad guy was intentional. The only thing that worries me about that is that John seemed shocked when I called Rush a “villain,” and Joe Malozzi seemed genuinely surprised and annoyed that so many of us hate him so much.

  169. Just checking in. Had a bad week and I don’t know when I’ll be ready to put my head in the vise again for another unsettling episode in this prelude to SG:U hopefully becoming tolerable. Maybe after next week’s episode -shrugs- I am using my precious little spare time reading recommended books meanwhile.

    I was just wondering if anybody knows if it is not extremely unlikely for a U.S. military officer to be promoted from 1 star to 3 stars in only five years?

    General O’neil of the SGC under The Air Force Space Command (The AFSPC exists IRL BTW) got his 0-7 promotion in Season 8 (2004). Here in 2009, he shows up as an O-9 (USAF Lt General). That would mean that he would have had about 18 months time in grade each as Brigadier and Major General, assuming he just got promoted before the season opened. Federal Law only prescribes minimum time in grade requirements for officers O-6 (Col in AF, Marine Corps & Army; Captain in Navy and Star Trek Starfleet) and below. 3 years minimum time in grade is required for Maj, LtC & Col.

    Carter on the other hand has been holding as a Colonel for how many years now? I mean, I know there is a lot of sexism in the military. But Carter is so valuable, i digress… Sci-Fi politics -shrugs-

    I’m beginning to Like Lt James better now tho.

    In “Earth”, which really appears to be a last minute (bad) idea insertion as an episode between “Water” & “Time”, General Oneil tries to convince Col Young that it was not a reckless idea to try and open a worm hole from the interior of a star inside the shields of Destiny.

    In SG:1, Carter figured out how to override the Ancient security protocol that prevented a worm hole from ever passing through a star (and presumably close enough to pass through a solar flare as well, to prevent time travel). The results were almost disastrous to an entire solar system with a pre-industrial human population on one of it’s planets, and probably was only prevented by a bit of Asgard assistance, even though that was against their treaty with the Goa’uld.

    Granted McKay, in his first major part in SG-1 as a scientist from Area 51 sent to try and help Carter rescue Teal’c from being trapped inside a crystal of the SGC’s Stargate with a 48 hour deadline imposed by an NID officer collaborating with the Goa’uld (Played by John De Lancie – the guy who was “Q” on ST:TNG), called Carter “reckless” back then. [Note: the major differences in story content - resistance is futile -]

    . . And McKay was a real jerk and I hated him at first too. Still, I would adapt a whole lot easier if I felt it was OK for teens to be watching SG:U.

    In “Earth”, Oneil explains to Young that Carter was always coming up with crazy sounding scientific plans that he never understood and they turned out fine, etc. However, Carter had nothing to do with the plan in “Earth”. Carter is commanding an Earth-built Spaceship with Asgard (and presumably some new Pegasus Galaxy) Technology battle cruiser somewhere.

    I’m sorry, but Oneil just doesn’t seem OK at all in the Pentagon. WTF is he doing there? He sure doesn’t seem to be helping save our Galaxy. And our hero Oneil must have changed his values if he is only hanging around to improve his retirement pay. Besides, it costs a lot more to live around DC than in Colorado or Wyoming, where I’m sure he would rather be, fishing.

    Chloe from “24″‘s ex-husband looks like a Goa’uld to me.

    One thing I do like somewhat is the Ancient dirty film around the edges of the screen thing instead of someone from the cast saying, “Previously on SG:U”. It works in the alternate time reality recorded on the Kino too.

    Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to catch up with posts either here or the previous thread. Maybe somebody already commented on the time in grade issues for Carter vis a vis Oneil.

    If they would put an “in character” commentary track by all of the characters of SG:1 and SG:A on the blue-rays when they come out, I would definitely be interested in buying them. Good thing for Hulu is all I can say, for now. No way am I going to risk another majorly unresolved episode. Not this week anyway. And no way are teenagers going to watch SG:U in this house ever.

  170. OK, I was going to tivo quick run this seeming soap opera straining body swap episode. But then…Flogging Molly’s sweet, laugh-along, bad day extended “The Worst Day Since Yesterday…” snagged me. Well done. I’ll put up with anything now, for perhaps another irishpunk fiddle somewhere, or another planet. And if you missed it, TIVO it up again lads. You’ll feel better for it.

    Slainte o’ Dhia duit

  171. @186 paddiepoidog,

    I have to admit that I hated last week’s episode but they made up for it tonight including Flogging Molly!! Sweet is the Word.

  172. Man alive, I LOVED this ep. Holding off on commentary for a day while I digest it all and wait for it to play everywhere. Good stuff!

  173. I’ll just say one thing: if anyone can still defend Rush after watching this episode, I’ll laugh in their face.

    I loved this episode.

  174. @189 Xopher, I will defend Rush. He is just doing what’s in the best interest of science and moral. Didn’t you get the memo?

  175. John seemed shocked when I called Rush a “villain,” and Joe Malozzi seemed genuinely surprised and annoyed that so many of us hate him so much.

    I remember you mentioning that before, which is why I’m not 100% convinced that their choices for Rush’s actions were completey and totally though through.

  176. Green: I was just wondering if anybody knows if it is not extremely unlikely for a U.S. military officer to be promoted from 1 star to 3 stars in only five years?

    I doubt the writers checked a chart.

    Here’s my question: Is Greer and all the cammie-wearing enlisted people marines? If so, it looks like Scot and Young and Johansen are all air force. Where the hell are the marine officers?

    I ask this because in the last episode, I noticed that Greer is wearing what appears to be a very sloppy looking 8-point cover. A marine “hat”.

    If so, whoever is in charge of wardrobe needs to check out the pictures of marine covers and get some starch. From wikipedia: “It is worn “blocked”, that is, creased and peaked, for a sharper appearance.” 8 distinct points and a flat top.

    And how the hell did they have so many enlisted Marines under the command of Air Force officers??? And no marine officers?

    And while I’m at it, where is the inter-service rivalry? They all act the same.

  177. Green Tekkie, the episode you referenced, “Red Sky”, DID NOT HAPPEN. Do get me, soldier! It. Did. Not. Happen!

    That was, hands down, the most arrogantly, aggressively, abysmally stupid episode they ever did on SG-1.

    In short: Wormhole transits a sun, drops some few grams of…Substance A in a star. This substance screws up the star, so it turns red. Oh noes! Now everyone on the planet will die. Until the SGC sends a wormhole thru the star again and dumps Transuranic Element Cough-Cough into the star. Where it will (somehow, in all the vast volume of a star) find and bond CHEMICALLY with the minute amount of offending substance A, thereby rendering it CHEMICALLY inert. Yay! We’re saved.

    (Well, actually it didn’t work, but the attempt provided cover for the Asgard to fix the problem.)

    I’ve seen bad science an technobabble in my day, but good god almighty! That made Trek science sound plausible by comparison.

    ….end rant.

  178. Wormhole transits a sun

    You know, with all the issues that arise from wormholes coming too close to a star, you think the Ancients would have realized they needed to redesign their wormhole-routing software to stay several hundread AU’s away from stars.

    And when you finally route the wormhole to a planet with a gate, make sure you go around to the other side of teh solar system and approach the planet from the dark side of the planet.

    It’d be like low flying airplanes occaisionally strike towers and buildings at night and not figuring out, hey, maybe we ought to put blinky lights on anything over a couple hundred feet tall.

    “wormhole transits a star” is StarGate equivalent translation of StarTrek “Modulate the Frequency”.

  179. I’m pretty sure that in the Stargate ‘verse you don’t get to control the path a wormhole takes once you’ve chosen the endpoints–there are quite a few of episodes of SG-1 where they’ve apparently calculated that path from first principles. I also seem to recall them having explicitly jury-rigged a way around safety warnings in that particular episode, so presumably that wormhole wasn’t supposed to have opened at all.

    I won’t defend its resolution, though. That was just dumb.

  180. My wife and I, being fairly intelligent but simple people, enjoy the show. We liked all the episodes so far. I happen to really like Rush – the way I like Simon on American Idol. He says what needs to be said and doesn’t really care what you think about it.

    John@139 I’ve stopped reading Greg’s posts completely and it makes these threads much more palatable.

  181. inre; Promotion:
    IIRC You can get promotions based off of experience in the field. O’Neill certainly had a lot of that compared to his peers, and if they needed a commanding officer with experience in this particular area, I cannot think of one more qualified. As such: Boot him up the ladder. A handy page.

    General officers are nominated for promotion by the President of the United States, and confirmed by the Senate. You can’t get more “political” than that.

    ——–
    I don’t think that here is a lot of starch on the Destiny, so they are probably going to let the issues of dress go a little loose.

    It’s a cross branch mission – So while we haven’t seen a lot of the good natured ribbing that usually occurs, lets face it: these folks are more concerned with survival than kidding around.

  182. Last night, while I watched Scott find out he has a son, Wray get domestic, and Young try to find out if his wife was sleeping with Telford, I found myself wondering something. Back in the Atlantis days (and maybe SG1 too), I frequently heard positive comments from fans about the personal character moments in the series. Now, it may not be your cup of tea, but I could relate to the sentiment. I loved the little scenes, the brief but revealing conversations you got in between the action. Sheppard and McKay on the pier, Woolsey getting dressed up in a suit to unwind at the end of the day.

    Now, fast-forward to SGU, I’m getting all KINDS of character-focused story, in fact last night was almost entirely devoted to it…and my reaction is “eh.” Scott’s story was just depressing. Wray hung out with her partner. And the more the writers focus on Young/wife/Telford, the less I like Young. So what’s the deal, is this a classic example of why you give the audience what they need and not what they want? Is it the way its being written? I really don’t know.

    Either way, I’m starting to really dislike those communication stones. Lots of personal drama there, but I’m still seeing no signs that the show will ever deal with the deeper implications of body and consciousness swapping.

  183. Well, I think I’m done.

    That they set up the entire previous episode as two timeloops that got reset, and didn’t even bother to show what finally, actually, happened, cheesed me off right off the bat.

    Rush’s lie about the planet a year away was obvious the moment the scientist guy was having his psych eval with Johansen and he said it was a good thing they found it because he was reachign the end of his rope.

    Rush finds planet. Guy says good, because he would have gone postal. Pretty obvious that the timing was too perfect, and a year was just enough to do all the setup.

    And if Rush really believed the “greater good”, then he’d be sitting his ass in that chair when Young offered him the chance. Obviously, Young is willing to sacrifice for the greater good as long as it’s someone else.

    Ugh.

  184. “That they set up the entire previous episode as two timeloops that got reset, and didn’t even bother to show what finally, actually, happened, cheesed me off right off the bat.”

    It didn’t even cross my mind that they might do such a thing. I thought “Time” was a solidly self contained episode. Whether they managed to obtain the cure on the next iteration or the hundredth, we knew it would happen. Once it is obvious what is going to eventually happen, there isn’t much point in showing it. I think this is a fairly common technique. I vaguely recall SG1 doing something *very* similar, but can’t recall the specific episode off the top of my head.

    “Rush’s lie about the planet a year away was obvious the moment the scientist guy was having his psych eval with Johansen and he said it was a good thing they found it because he was reachign the end of his rope.”

    So… Rush lying *was* a good thing, in terms of keeping morale up. This is why I still love Rush (as a character – he’s undoubtedly an ass as a person). To the best of my recollection, every reason he’s verbally given for his actions has at least been plausible. Yes, they also conveniently serve what we assume are his own selfish interests – but nothing he’s done has been blatantly, inarguably detrimental to the group as a whole.

    He is a coward, and his sense of self-preservation is very high. But I certainly do not think he’s evil, or completely amoral. Not every “good guy” has to be a pinnacle of virtue. I know if I was on that ship, I’d want someone to try sitting in the chair. I also know I wouldn’t want it to be me. Does that make me a coward? maybe. Does it make me evil? I would hope not.

  185. Liz, I wonder if the difference is how the characters have been presented. The Atlantis characters had their flaws but overall were written to be likable people. I’d wager that the majority of Atlantis fans liked those characters and therefore wanted to get to know them better. The show didn’t provide as many character moments, which may explain the huge amount of fanfic that filled in the characters.

    In contrast, it feels like the Universe characters have their flaws more front and center with not as much effort toward making them likable. So Universe has more character moments, but it seems like a good chunk of fans don’t really care because they find the characters uninteresting at best, annoying as hell at worst.

  186. Also (apologies for the double post), a lot of the character moments on Universe revolve around sex – who’s having sex with whom, who wants to have sex with whom. That wears thin really fast.

  187. The description that showed up in my email alert from Hulu was, “While Scott and Wray visit loved ones on Earth, the crew’s explorations turn up a startling disco…”

    Startling would not even begin to cover it, but I’m looking forward to seeing Rush in a leisure suit.

  188. So I’m still waiting before dipping back in and was about to check this ep out when I saw the advert for it – oh, good, they’re back on Earth… /sigh.

    Since I’ve not been watching a question to those who have – has anyone addressed the fact that the people on Earth are NOT seeing the face and body of their loved one? I know we see the body of the person whose consciousness is present, but in fact the body image doesn’t really change – other characters would see the body of the person who’s on Earth.

    It seems unrealistic that all of the loved ones of the people on Destiny would be nonchalant about the fact that some person is showing up claiming to have the consciousness of their loved one inside. It also seems unrealistic that all of these people would have the security clearance to make sense of this – that the stargates exist at all, that their loved ones are out in space, etc.

  189. GregLondon:
    You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that Rush is being portrayed sympathetically.
    I don’t get that the writers wanted us to think Rush’s decision to launch the SG:U series was anything other than a self-serving decision he “justified” with obviously fishy arguments … hardly a sympathetic portrayal.
    The comparison with Jack Bauer is supercilious political grandstanding — Bauer really does act for the “greater good” as he sees it, and would readily risk his own life if he believed it would save the lives of others.
    The Bauer dialectic is not one of the greater good versus self-serving justifications but of greater good versus zealotry, whether the ends justify the means or Nietzsche’s dragonslayer has turned dragon. Bauer is an honest vehicle for that conflict. Rush isn’t even close.
    But if that’s what it takes to get you to your goal of injecting political buzzwords like “neocon” into a “man-versus-nature” themed science fiction story set in another galaxy, the ends always justify the means …

  190. I loved this episode. It showed Rush once and for all to be the lying, cheating, cowardly piece of shit I’ve always known he was.

    He didn’t lie to “boost morale.” That’s typical Rush bullshit. He lied to try to get Young to put someone in the chair. Someone who was not Rush, that is. Rush is all “noble sacrifice” talk as long as it’s not HIS ass on the line. He did a similar false play of nobility when he gave Scott his water on the desert planet, then tried to “share” Greer’s.

    I don’t see how anyone can go on defending Rush as any kind of good guy after this episode. He’s a villain who they have to deal with because he knows things they can’t get out of him. (Much as I’d like someone to beat him senseless, that still wouldn’t get him to teach others what he knows. It would be just for the fun of watching him get his just deserts, like with Telford.) If he has any redeeming features other than his knowledge of the Ancients and their technology, I don’t see them. Time to start showing them soon if they want him to be at all ambiguous.

    Farscape fans, doesn’t he remind you of Scorpius? Always protesting that he’s motivated by the greater good, yet always acting against the interests of the people around him. Only Scorpius really DID have a greater purpose in mind, seldom lied, and kept his promises. He also tortured and murdered people just for fun, so he’s still not a good guy.

    I particularly liked Eli in this episode. There he was being goofy and good-hearted and socially awkward, saying exactly the wrong thing to Scott in the most lovable imaginable way. David Blue perfectly played the slow realization that he was saying exactly what he was saying he shouldn’t say…been there, done that! Poor Scott, of course, but you could tell his reaction to Eli was affectionately annoyed. I love the understated way Brian J. Smith plays him.

    I loved the home visit scenes this time, especially the one where Telford finally gets what he’s deserved throughout the show, and Wray’s. I think, however, that it’s clearly implied that Wray had sex with her wife in the borrowed body. That’s rape too. Remember that when she’s the victim later in the season (doesn’t make it any better, of course, but she’s bought into the “it’s OK to use a borrowed body for sex” idea that the people in this alternate universe seem to accept without question).

    By the way, if IMDB is accurate (and they aren’t 100% dependable), we won’t be seeing Telford again this season. All his episodes have aired. I’ll miss LDP’s playing of him, but the absence of the character will be welcome to Young and the others. We’ll see what happens.

  191. Just find a way to get rid of the stones, please.
    They turn everything they touch into soap opera.

    Oh, and Rush’s hard-on for all things Ancient will make him sit in that chair and all Hell will break loose.

    Just in time for that end-of-season cliffhanger.

  192. William – yes, good points there. Particularly about the fanfic. For me, the characters don’t even have to be “likable”, but they do need to be compelling. Almost to the midseason finale and so far…eh, not so much.

    Rick – the use of the communication devices does seem too easy. And aside from a few lines like “Is it really you?”, we don’t get a sense that families and spouses have any kind of difficulty in adjusting to this. Are the writers trying to say that this technology is already old hat to everyone, so much so that no one bats an eye at having sex with a person who says they are your lover but actually looks like a complete stranger?

    I do want to like the show. I really enjoyed the hell out of the previous incarnations of Stargate. I just want SGU to be more than it is right now.

  193. Xopher:
    “… get his just deserts, like with Telford.”
    Pwned! Loved that scene.
    Telford probably succeeded in breaking up Young and his wife, but I don’t think he’s going to be getting any more of that, either.

    Ditto what you said on Eli. Eli is us. We’ve all had a moment like that. And Scott is growing up, too, or at least facing up for the first time to the consequences of not using protection or keeping your pants on. Will the lack of [replenishable] birth control aboard ship affect his relationship with Chloe, or has he not really learned his lesson?

    Rush is going to be sorely tempted to take the chair … curiosity versus cowardice, Rush fans place your bets!

    The stones give the writers a chance to let the story breathe a little. Destiny without the stones would be Das Boot. They still haven’t explained why they haven’t sicced Rodney on the Destiny problem. What, he’s too busy to help a ship in need? It’s not like he’s needed on Atlantis — it’s floating in San Francisco bay.

    And why is that angry dude leading the morning exercises? He’s not psychologically ready for that responsibility.

  194. I’m really enjoying it just the way it is, much as there are things I’d like to see happen, and much as I think it needs touchups here and there.

    I’m thoroughly hooked.

  195. NB: I have not seen the latest episode, so this is based on “old” information.

    It seems my husband and I are some of the few people who actually find Rush perfectly understandable. The clue is that he has not got a normative thinking structure; he’s not Asperger’s, but he’s not reacting the way that you’d think a normal person would.

    In other words, he’s not normally socialized, he’s not ever going to BE normally socialized, he is probably incapable of being normally socialized.

    He’s good at what he does and knows it. And people WILL NOT GET OFF HIS BACK. When social interaction is a chore, even if you can do it in a perfectly acceptable manner, it just ratchets up the tension.

    Rush sees a lot of things as obvious that other people are not seeing as obvious, if at all. This disconnect means he’s going to tell people to do things that they think are wrong, or mean, and he’s going to get upset when they argue. Nice little feedback loop there. And he doesn’t care if he comes off as a jerk if it enables him to get things done the way he feels they need to be done.

    Rush is very bright, very arrogant, and close enough to normal to pass. But I know someone very well who fits that mental type*. And I bet he’d come across as just a big a jerk in the same situation.

    *”Arrogance” is not necessarily unwarranted, just unattractive.

  196. But I know someone very well who fits that mental type.

    My sympathies. If I knew someone like that in real life, I’d make every possible effort to cease knowing them as soon as possible. Some people just need to be cut out of your* life.
    ____
    *generic

  197. Liz – that’s precisely the issue I have with the stones. I mean, show me the inherent psychological issues involved in dealing with the fact that the person you are talking to claims to house the consciousness of someone you care about. Come on, that calls into question identity, various religious beliefs and then, when you have sex with them…. I don’t care how convinced you are that it’s really the loved one inside, you’re being incredibly intimate with a different body.

    Part of the problem is that we see this from a godlike perspective since we see the person inside, we don’t see the person that the people on Earth see. That distances us from them.

    As a dramatic device I think we’re going to see this used cheaply – to get away from the very real fact that 80 people are trapped very far from home. A lot of the situations that would arise dramatically and psychologically from that premise simply won’t happen since we have the easy out. I also fear that we’ll see the series use the stones much like Star Trek TNG used the holodeck – when they couldn’t think of anything in the ST universe to create they’d have the command crew go play dressup and something would go wrong….

    Finally, it’s beyond silly that they’re not using the stones consistently to bring Earth expertise on Ancient tech to Destiny. Early on you could excuse this because it was only a few days of subjective time and they had crises of survival (Air, Water…). Even though those crises were bogus threats from our perspective since we knew they wouldn’t all die, they were real from the characters’ perspective and you could understand why they weren’t doing this. But now? It doesn’t need to be Rodney or anyone known, but come on, SGC is using these for booty calls but not to fracking save the people up there and understand Destiny?

  198. Curiously, we know Rush isn’t a coward – his rerouting of the escape from Icarus and his jump into the malfunctioning wormhole indicate that. But he’s afraid of the chair.

    Perhaps it’s because the chair, if hazardous, would specifically destroy his mind? Everything else would kill him, but a failed Ancient-knowledge download would slowly erase everything that makes Rush himself while leaving his body alive, if only for a while.

  199. “The stones give the writers a chance to let the story breathe a little. Destiny without the stones would be Das Boot.”

    And yet, “Das Boot–in space!” is what TPTB proclaimed it would be. It’s what they claimed they WANTED it to be.

    The stones represent a complete failure of imagination. They apparently suspected they didn’t have the chops to make this the show they wanted it to be (unless, god help us, it IS what they were aiming for), so they left themselves an escape hatch. The stones let them write bad soap opera based on earth. But they refuse to follow up the implications of having those stones available–the moral and ethic issues, as well as the breathtakingly stupid issue of not using them to get expert help aboard Destiny (except, of course, for Very Special Episodes).

    I also haven’t seen evidence for anything close to the level of brightness that would justify Rush’s arrogance. Eli managed to work out the math and make the intuitive leaps Rush couldn’t–and that’s while a) Eli was playing video games, and b) Rush was working full time on the project. If either of them deserves to be arrogant, it’s Eli.

    Plus, Rush has demonstrated no knowledge or understanding of Ancient tech or language that hasn’t been equalled or surprised by Carter, McKay, Zelenka, even Col. O’Neill (on occasion) for cryin’ out loud! Carter, McKay or Zelenka would have hacked the Destiny’s controls had the ship under control in two episodes max.

    Rush looks to me more like a man who isn’t as smart as he’d like to pretend he is, and he knows it. So he takes refuge in arrogant announcements that he doesn’t have to explain himself to anyone–because if he did, others might be able to equal or surpass him. He hoards what knowledge he does have so he can continue to feel special.

  200. “Curiously, we know Rush isn’t a coward – his rerouting of the escape from Icarus and his jump into the malfunctioning wormhole indicate that. But he’s afraid of the chair.”

    I don’t think that proves Rush isn’t a coward. Rerouting the stargate may only suggest that he was convinced it would lead somewhere really cool. If he’d really thought it would kill him, perhaps he wouldn’t have done it. As for the jungle planet, that only proves he’s a coward who can calculate the odds. Stay on Jungle world, die horribly. Jump through the flickering stargate and maybe survive. If he did die in the attempt, at least it would be instantaneous and painless–as opposed to dying the way Chloe did. Two almost certain routes to death, but only one has a chance of survival. Of course he took it.

  201. “My sympathies. If I knew someone like that in real life, I’d make every possible effort to cease knowing them as soon as possible. Some people just need to be cut out of your life.”

    *giggles*

    Dude, I’m married to him. Which means that sometimes you see very different sides of people while knowing that the side where people see “jerk” also exists.

    (FWIW, he’s very well-respected and even liked at work. But he knows very well that he can come across as a jerk in certain situations, and he doesn’t care if that fixes the problem.)

  202. (FWIW, he’s very well-respected and even liked at work. But he knows very well that he can come across as a jerk in certain situations, and he doesn’t care if that fixes the problem.)

    Let me guess – INTJ?

  203. OK, as I was engaged in the highly exciting project of ripping apart and rearranging my home office I thought of something that I don’t think I’ve seen asked in this or the earlier thread (apologies if I’m wrong) – has anyone even mentioned asking the Asgaard for help? I bailed on SGA midway through the series, but as far as I know they’re still out there, right? And their tech level seemed to be roughly on par with the Ancients – or at least much closer to them than to us. So….

  204. INTJ— sounds about right.

    And I wasn’t kidding about non-normative. He tests a lot closer to autism than most socially functional people.

  205. rick, the Asgard are dead. They were completely wiped out in the last season of SG-1. There were some relatives of theirs in SGA, but they were long-sundered kindreds, and the SGA ones were not helpful types at all…in fact they were pretty evil.

  206. B., does he think Rush was right to lie, to dial the nine chevrons, to try to get someone else to sit in the chair, to…act like a piece of shit all the time?

    If your husband is really like Rush, I feel doubly sorry for you. Rush is a heartless abusive bastard, and I don’t think being on the Autism spectrum is enough to explain his behavior. If your husband treats you like Rush treats people, I’m wondering why you haven’t left him…so I suspect he doesn’t.

  207. The stones are a cop-out, as stated by others here.

    Without the stones, SG:U would have to be more about existentialism, isolation and everyone questioning the purpose of trying to remain civilized or even to survive (Soundtrack by the Cure.)

    Writing about the crew turning to a “survival of the cruelest” leadership and resource management, with women, being physically weaker, being subservient and sexually abused on a regular basis is a lot more difficult to pull off.

    Instead, the writers have the Ancient stones so now they can write about how Eli went disco dancing on Earth with his bestest galpal!

  208. sooooooooooooooooo. . . .

    did i miss an episode in here somewhere? wtf happened on the other planet? how did they escape? how did all those people come back to life? how did they get free of the looping? god i hate because it’s in the script resolutions.

    as soon as i opened this episode on hulu (right before coming here) and saw chloe i thought, “okay, i’m done”.

    *sigh* i had such high hopes for this. *sigh*

  209. Turtlesong, apparently the ending of “Time” was a rorschach inkblot. You see what you want to see. Either Scott’s plan worked, or they went through god only knows how many more iterations before they finally got it right.

  210. I’m getting intentionally out-of-phase, but hopefully not OT. Maybe I’ll be able to walk through walls soon :)

    Greg@195: “Here’s my question: Are Greer and all the cammie-wearing enlisted people marines? If so, it looks like Scot and Young and Johansen are all air force. Where the hell are the marine officers?”

    1Lt James is also Air Force, and special forces according to Wikipedia. If that is correct, then some of the enlisted grade are probably Air Force. Since they went to subdued rank ensignia, it’s hard to tell the difference in rank of anybody from a distance. Marine Corps ranks are the same as Air Force. Everything in SG:U is so jumbled up, nobody has had a chance to show inter-service rivalry yet. Although maybe Greer did before the season opened, which is why he had charges against him?

    I am assuming that it must be possible to attach Marine Corps units to other commands IRL. They are always assigned to security of US Embassies around the globe IRL.

    In SG:A when a USMC officer, Colonel Marshall Sumner, played by Robert Patrick of X-files and Terminator II fame, was first put in charge of the Atlantis expedition, he boldly yet unwillingly informed the first enemy encountered in that galaxy of the rich new feeding ground of his home planet in SG:A “Rising”, Season 1 (2004). Then he was food. Apparently it could be something of a downgrade to be a recurring character on a Cable series (:

    The USMC command of Atlantis also came pretty close to ruining the rescue operation in SG:A “The Siege” part 3, Season 2. However, Stargate Command seems to like having lower ranking USMC officers around, like 1Lt Aiden Ford, then USAF Major John Sheppard’s second in command and his trusted & amiable colleague.

    It is likely the “right people” intended to be aboard Destiny included a USMC Officer for the very reasons you mentioned. One of the first things that USAF Col Telford did when he assumed command of Destiny back in the awful “Earth” episode was to lock up Sgt Greer (Im not sure if Greer has 3-up-2-down or 3-up-3-down stripes yet). Who knows why he was locked up at Icarus base!

    The producers of Stargate seem to like USMC officers, just not first in command. One loose end still hanging is what happened to Rush’s conscious-swapped counterpart with his purported first use of the stones, after which he proclaimed that Lt Gen Oneil put him, Rush, in charge of Destiny.

    Too many loose ends, even for the mature-only audience this series has targeted. I find it difficult not to continue to complain about the mature-only audience thing for the former geeky-nerdy genre that parents used to be able to watch with their younger teenage kids. I must say, for anyone who has responsibly raised any of their kids 24/7,365/year for 18 years, I doubt they would disagree. Nobody under thirty could possibly say they’ve been there.

    I’m sure the SG:U producers et. al. have done the market analyses to justify exclusion of appropriately supervised younger viewers. My question: Is it a sign of the times to forget about the next generation IRL?

  211. Mark@197 said:”“Red Sky”, DID NOT HAPPEN. Do get me, soldier! It. Did. Not. Happen!”
    With all due respect, I wonder if pulling rank is sometimes connected to solar flare activity, possibly in a Noetic Science kind of way. If so, maybe that would be a good new government experiment for treating PTSD {:

    hope

    “Dr Who” definitely led the way in our shared time-line. And in SG:1, there was definitely the creation of alternate realities within the series itself. We really don’t know which one we are ever watching (: Got to give it to Brad Wright and Robert Cooper for incorporating that into the franchise before the recent Star Trek movie used it!

    In that light, perhaps those of us hating parts of SG:U will later find those things did not happen as well.

    Heading towards OT here, but does anybody know if the gently rippling circular pool that is part of the infamous Kryptos sculpture has been determined to refer to an actual stargate like event horizon controlled secretly by the US government IRL? Maybe Eli would know. It was dedicated in 1990 and has yet to be completely deciphered. Perhaps it has no meaning at all (:

  212. Melendwyr and B. Durbin – I think you are on to something. I am an INTJ too, and while I don’t always like Rush all that much, I do understand him. Xopher, I am going to guess you aren’t an engineer? This personality type is common enough in engineering that we engineers don’t recoil in horror the way you are.

    Unintegrated INTJs are pretty much stone cold assholes, and even those of us who have worked hard on being more integrated and sensitive are still on occasion arrogant and impatient with people we perceive as being unworthy (that is: not as smart as we are).

    I do think the show is going to have to put Rush’s butt in that chair if they are going swing him back to ambiguous, though. I kind of get his lie about the planet, but wanting someone else to risk frying their brain while being unwilling to do it himself is too lame on top of his other flaws.

  213. Green Tekkie: “Dr Who” definitely led the way in our shared time-line.

    It was Terry Pratchett who got me comfortable with the concept, with his trouser legs of time. :-)

  214. I quit watching after “Earth”. But my son is still watching and “makes” me talk to him about the series. :-)

    He now calls it Stargate:ATWT

    Stargate: As The World Turns.

    Several people have mentioned that this is supposed to be a “mature” Stargate. HuH? Then give us “mature” story lines. People having sex doesn’t make a show “mature” or “gritty”. Let’s face it folks, this show is aimed at teens and twenty-somethings. It’s 90210 in space.

  215. —Xopher: Part of my point is that my husband (who first came up with the theory) only reacts that particular way in certain situations— which the show is dealing out in spades. Area of expertise, check. Nobody else an expert, check. High stress situation where the wrong answer or not getting the right answer quickly enough is deadly, check.

    People who don’t know what they’re talking about telling you how to do your job or actively working against you, check.

    —This brings up another side note: I’m sure people are wondering what woman in her right mind would wed Rush. The answer is that people are complex beings and I bet nobody on the ship would recognize Rush the husband as the same person.

    —I have no idea what Evil* thinks about the nine chevrons. But yes on the engineering thing. I was raised by an engineer (not an INTJ, though) and some of it rubs off, especially the part where you understand that there is a time to shut up and do what you’re told— when the person in charge goes into Expert mode. But the shift is really subtle and I’m not sure most people can read it. (To give you an idea, in several of the episodes I’ve been yelling at the people to just shut up and do the job. For some reason, I think when survival is the first priority, falling in line can really help.)

    *He acquired this nickname for being a procedural demon at a particular job, and it was given in admiration.

  216. Hello, I’m seriously off topic here (#178) but Please tell me you have seen Mr. Carlyle in “Ravenous” Wow ! …in reference to little guys being well…too little to worry about…Gulp !
    (sorry so punny, hard to …control…must…stop)

  217. B. Durbin–shutting up and letting the expert do his thing works a lot better if you can reasonably assume that his goal is, in fact, your goal. For all his crankiness and high maintenance issues, McKay never made people think he was a possible sociopath who would kill them all if it served his own ends. When you don’t trust the expert–when you CAN’T trust the expert–his expecting carte blanche to do what he will is beyond arrogant. It’s fantasy. (And only in badly written shows like this one does it actually happen.)

  218. I test as an ENTJ (very close to the border on the J though), for what it’s worth.

    I agree with Mark, in part. They’d shut up and let the expert do his thing IF they had any reason to trust the expert. Instead he’s given them every reason to think he does NOT have their best interests at heart. Why on Earth should they follow him without justification for every single thing he wants them to do?

  219. 236:
    “Let’s face it folks, this show is aimed at teens and twenty-somethings. It’s 90210 in space.”

    Interesting.
    I really should look up how SG:U is faring amongst those demographics.

  220. I started watching SG:U on a whim, after checking in with our host’s blog and the frequent “Big Idea” posts. I’m enjoying it, and I continue to enjoy it. I find the wobbly camera (as in 24 and BSG) a little annoying sometimes, but I think the actors are doing very well for episodic television and the writing is different enough from anything else I’ve seen to follow it for a while longer.

    I found the original movie boring – but maybe I was a little too young to get it. That’s why I ignored the SG tv series (along with never having cable tv). Because these episodes are only coming out once a week, and because SG-1 is all on Hulu, I’ve started watching the original series from the beginning, and enjoying that as well. The wide-open storytelling possibilities provided by the stargate are enough like Doctor Who to have me hopeful about each episode.

    To begin digging into the Big Ideas of the present show: I think the ambiguity of Rush’s actions makes me more interested in watching. To me, the 9-Chevron kick-off to the series was not an obviously evil choice by Rush (I should probably watch the pilot one more time before I say this, but who knows if I’ll ever do that) because the existence of the 9-Chevron gate indicates that it must lead somewhere useful and habitable. One doesn’t hire I.M. Pei to create the entrance to grandpa’s stamp collection, and an alien culture doesn’t create the epitome of their technology to link to Mercury. I don’t know the Stargate mythos, but because SG-1 survived the first ten gate jumps leads me to believe that gates either connect to a place humans can live or the gates can’t connect at all. The iris in SG-1 appeared to be a unique defense, since the Goa’uld splattered against it a few times. If I’m correct about all this, (and I easily could be just whistling in the dark) then Rush took the option with the best chance of survival, not the worst. Was it established in the pilot of SG:U that they had linked the 9-chevron gate to known 6-chevron gates? I got the feeling that’d be like trying to play Halo on an Apple IIe.

    I’m also getting the impression from SG-U that Rush is the foremost authority on Ancient technology and that Carter and whomever MacKay is would be totally lost on Destiny. Perhaps Rush was the Daniel Jackson of one of the other 8 SG units that never got air time because the original show was only about SG-1. Maybe Rush has been in on this since the beginning, just not on-camera. After all, wouldn’t the scientific head of the Icarus project be the best person, not just the available person? Motives aside, it appears to me that Rush is almost always right about the ship, and everyone on Earth is always wrong about the ship. That gets him a lot of social leeway, in my book. I like that in the current episode, Eli proved Rush was right that Earth’s plan would have destroyed them all. I agree with Young but I understand why Rush would try to manipulate someone else to sit in the chair. The chair had better end up being something dramatically interesting in the rest of the season, and not just this week’s tension between Rush/Young, however.

    Agree the Big Idea of the communication stones needs some ethical investigation, and would like the characters to see that need. Are the stones completely new to SG? I had assumed they were one of those things in the 15+ seasons I hadn’t seen.

  221. sfHealth: “I don’t know the Stargate mythos, but because SG-1 survived the first ten gate jumps leads me to believe that gates either connect to a place humans can live or the gates can’t connect at all.”

    Alas, you would be wrong. SGC protocol was to send a MALP (probe) to all new addresses dialed for just that reason. To make sure they wouldn’t be stepping into vacuum, or a toxic atmosphere, or extremes of temperature, or be blasted to pieces by hostiles, etc. A lot of addresses turned out to be useless–we just didn’t see them most of the time.

    For all Rush knew, the 9 chevron address could have led to a gate on a destroyed world, or to one drifting through space because the ship it was on had disinegrated or been destroyed ages ago.

  222. Part of what I like about the stones is that it keeps dragging the folks on Destiny into Earth-bound problems, a bit like soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan being able to video conference home regularly has led to additional stress about school issues, the mortgage, the busted sump pump, etc.

    As Le Guin has written, science fiction is generally about the present more than the future, and being stuck far away while being forced to stew about issues back home is a very powerful contemporary problem.

  223. I know that criticizing science-fiction shows as not being realistic is a bit stupid, but I have a question:

    Where do the women on “Destiny” get their makeup from?

    Shouldn’t the women start to look a bit less caked-on and more “plain” by now, since they’re bound to run out of makeup?

    Or is there an Ancient L’Oreal machine somewhere on Destiny?

  224. sfHeath: I also started watching SGU because of John’s involvement, and am now watching SG1. Furthermore, I thought the original movie was pretty dumb. We can be the non-experts here.

  225. I’ve lurked through most of this thread and watched all the episodes. I, too, really wanted to find a show to become engaged with, but SGU is failing. The writing—and only the writing—is to blame.

    The biggest problem: the show has no point. I’m talking about narrative thrust—an over-arcing premise that the episodes live inside (which, individually, can be an adventure, a mystery, a thriller or anything else). SG-1 was about exploring new worlds in the context of dealing with the G’aould and then the Ori; SG-A was about (intentionally) being far from home with no hope of help at least initially and figuring out how to survive in a new environment. SG-U has no such overall point. After they get food, water, air and the ship systems running—which has been the sole plot focus to date, what is this show about? So far, nothing. It doesn’t give viewers any greater goal to look forward to resolving. That doesn’t mean it needs to resolve—just being interesting in the attempt. We know they’re not going to get home. So what will compel us to watch in the mean time?

    And that’s the next problem: nothing about the show is compelling, and it not because the viewers know the characters won’t all die but the characters don’t. A writer’s job is to make the process the characters go thru to achieve their goal interesting. Walking around in the desert with nothing but pointless bickering and accidentally finding lime (which we know they will find) isn’t. Walking around in a snowstorm with nothing but lame male-bonding and accidentally finding water (which they know they will find) isn’t. Walking around a jungle with no safety protocols and accidentally getting killed (which we know they aren’t) isn’t. Having the characters run around with their hands in the air because they’re going to die and then have the ship fix their problem without them is not interesting.

    It all comes down to the writing. Frankly, I don’t think this set of writers is up to the task. The show is supposed to be about the Wrong People in the Wrong Place. Right now, it’s about the Wrong Writers on the Wrong Show.

  226. The nine-chevron address could have lead to a hostile environment, or not gone anywhere at all. For all Rush knew, he was aborting the escape of everyone else to head into a complete unknown.

    That’s a tremendous gamble. Maybe a worthy one, but dubious at best. And Rush has repeatedly shown that he’s willing to gamble with lives – other people’s when he can, his own if he has to. But nobody’s going to be happy about Rush being in charge.

    Curiously, everyone immediately recognizes Eli as being the moral-ethical one. I wonder how much of the flak he caught about spying on Lt. James was purely teasing?

  227. Thing is, Eli has repeatedly maintained that Riley was driving the Kino when Lt. James got spied on–no one seems to be listening to that. ‘Cause he’s an easy target as a nerdy guy? Dunno….

  228. Jen: :)

    Mark & Melandwyr: Thanks for that. Didn’t catch the mention of probes on SG-1. That explains (at least for me) why Scott was the first through the gate and everyone else took so much time to start coming through. Presumably, some kind of radio signal let Icarus base know that Scott had survived the trip. I have to say, that first scene of Scott rolling through the gate, coming up gun first, and then a while later the influx of refugees was a great start for the series. I like that they didn’t take any time to explain for a while. However, I had other reasons for suspecting Rush made a reasonable (for the circumstances) gamble.

    I’m sorry, I can’t check for myself now that Air is no longer on Hulu, but was it established in the show that the Icarus gate had successfully connected to any of the known stargates? I’m presuming not, since Eli and the Senator had to get there by spaceship. If it couldn’t, then taking the time to dial Earth and fail would have eaten up all their escape time. Using the 9-chevron gate for its intended purpose – whatever that purpose happened to be – seemed to me to be the best chance of survival. Again, I’m not talking about Rush’s motivations, which may or may not be worthy – only whether or not his choice was obviously amoral. And since he was right, even if he _could_ have been wrong (that is, since everybody survived the evacuation) he gets to *not* be strung up from the nearest bulkhead.

    At least not then, and not yet. I really like that he’s always on the edge of getting attacked, though.

  229. I would love an episode that explored the Stones, the morality of them, and more. Like what if Telford’s wife (if he has one) finds out his body was used by Young with Young’s wife, KWIM? What if Camille’s body double is really a homophobe, then finds out what her body was used for?

    And why the heck AREN’T they using the stones for things like continuing education for TJ? Or why couldn’t they have a real psychologist Stone up and help her with the psych evals? And why didn’t TJ ask the other girl what, exactly, she was “reading” to pass the time since the crew is limited to what they brought through the gates – it’s not like she has access to Barnes and Noble.

    Can Chloe please have a long, protracted illness that makes her not available for a few episodes? Pretty please? And maybe we can meet some of the others on board the Destiny?

    And finally, WTH happened between last episode and this week’s? We leave Matt on the planet, desperately flinging Kino through the gate to save the crew… then the next week there’s not even a mention of things.

  230. @Milehimama
    I think the continued use of the stones already is an exploration of the morality behind them. The fact that we are all asking these questions is better than if they tried to talk it through on screen. Kind of like the monster you can’t see being scarier than the one they can show you in horror films.

    The illogical use of the stone (i.e. continued training and use of experts) will no doubt be a big plot hole. Although I can see the Destiny crew not trusting anyone very much after ‘Earth’.

    “WTH happened between last episode and this week’s?”

    I don’t think any mention is needed. We are to assume that the second Kino was found, they took better precautions and managed to capture a chest drill without any casualties.

  231. Since the chest drills were dormant during the day, all they had to do was capture one right away instead of waiting for nightfall. The first loop never figured it out until Scott didn’t die of the disease; the second loop figured it out after nightfall (near the Stargate), but the third loop had plenty of time to go down and get a chest drill before nightfall…or a lot of chest drills, and just shoot people up with their venom.

    As GL2418 said, no mention needed. It was pretty clear what would happen. This was pretty much a standalone episode (i.e. it doesn’t affect the plot arc of the season much, and isn’t affected by it…one of the things Greg London hated about it).

  232. So is it only me or were the stones not all too annoying in this week’s ep? Maybe I am just getting used to it or maybe I just didn’t like the Col Young estranged wife storyline, but it seemed fine to me.

    I very much liked that we saw more of life on Destiny though. I am wondering how long it will be before people rebel against the military rule concept though. “The colonel wants everyone to get in shape”. Were I a civilian I’m not so sure I’d be happy about that.

  233. Wouldn’t it be possible for the less moral amongst the Destiny crew to do the following:

    Do an Ancient stone transfer.

    Take the stones that are in the Pentagon with you. By stealth or by bluffing or by force, whatever.

    Get some of your friends on Destiny to kidnap whoever’s occupying your body and hide him/her.

    Get your friends to take the Ancient stones that are on Destiny.

    Find some gullible fools (UFO freaks, new age weirdos, etc.) and tell them that you can swap bodies with people in another galaxy.

    Have them do the swap and your friends on Destiny are now semi-permanently on Earth.

    Have one or two people stick around to take care of business until it’s their turn to go back to Earth.

  234. I notice that no one here seems to know about (or maybe just doesn’t bother mentioning) the 2-3 minute clip that was posted on hulu about what happened after TIME was over. it resolved things very well I thought.

    I agree that they should explore the ethics of using the stones in the way that they are right now instead of people just brushing it off like it wasn’t a big deal.

  235. Isn’t it explicitly stated that you die if your stone-partner is killed? Given how dangerous it seems to be on Destiny, you’re probably better off with your life in your own hands than in the hands of some random gullible fool.

  236. Yeah, I could very well see how the Ancient stones could become quite addictive and how people would do anything just to stay on Earth instead of on that miserable hull that is Destiny.

  237. “# micahon 23 Nov 2009 at 12:58 pm”
    Isn’t it explicitly stated that you die if your stone-partner is killed? Given how dangerous it seems to be on Destiny, you’re probably better off with your life in your own hands than in the hands of some random gullible fool.”

    No, the random gullible fool who’s now on Destiny will be tied up and put “under wraps” by the other co-conspirators to prevent him from doing anything stupid.

  238. sfHeath @ 242

    I’m also getting the impression from SG-U that Rush is the foremost authority on Ancient technology and that Carter and whomever MacKay is would be totally lost on Destiny.

    I think it’s safe to say that Daniel & Sam are the foremost authorities on Ancient tech at this point. McKay is a close 3rd. Rush is definitely not in either of their league (at least by anything we’ve seen to this point).

  239. re: 202 Ryan Greene – yeah, no starch on Destiny, but apparently someone packed the Icarus base laundry so that everyone has gym shorts, and all the men have no problem shaving with the ample supply of razors on board.

    C’mon, little things like that drive me nuts. Everyone should be looking haggard, hairy, and surely it shouldn’t be too long before some of the women who are shacking up get pregnant, or will they ignore the obvious consequences of all the sex too?

    All that being said, I love the show overall. Just pay attention to the details, please!

  240. @Glonn Bock
    I believe that the stone needs to stay in contact with the base device to work. Plus the room is guarded plus the base is guarded. I doubt anyone could steal the stones.

    “Isn’t it explicitly stated that you die if your stone-partner is killed?”

    I think that is still theory. There is no precedent. Which leaves open an interesting possibility or two for future stories.

    Something else occurs to me based on Wray’s statement about things not tasting right. What happens when you put a right-handed person in a left-handed body? can they still write with their right hand or is it suddenly hard to do? I could go further with that concept but I’ll stop there for now.

  241. GL @ 263 I was thinking some of the same things. Would you write in your own handwriting? Would mental illnesses stay with the body or the mind?

  242. I don’t think that they would let someone with a mental illness use the stones in the first place, but yeah it would be interesting to know how that would work.

  243. 263:
    “I believe that the stone needs to stay in contact with the base device to work. Plus the room is guarded plus the base is guarded. I doubt anyone could steal the stones.”

    Yeah, but all you need is a buddy of yours nearby to help you.

    A grunt or two guarding the room might be enough to get away with it.

    Look at the Fort Hood terrorist act/act of treason.

    A single guy kills 13 people on a military base and nobody bothered to search him beforehand because he was wearing a uniform and people recognized him.

    The military is great at dealing with external threats, but they’re not as good when dealing with threats from within.

    Do you really think they’d stop “Colonel Telford” from walking out of the base with the Ancient stones?

    I could very well see “skinhead boy” trying to get away from Destiny by taking control of the stones with the help of his violent friends in low places now that he’s run out of brain medicine.

  244. WTF?? Last week’s episode was a cliffhanger, and we’re supposed to just say, “Oh, well, they solved it … no need to go though all that?” What about the dramatic ending, the dramatic music? “Act now, or you are all … going … to die!” Aaaand cut. That’s a wrap, end of episode. No logic, you say? Logic is for sissies. This series isn’t about logic … it’s about cool scenes and intense acting. [Waves hands, everything works out fine.]

    This episode was thoroughly ridiculous. Part of that was probably waiting through half of it wondering how they were going to resolve last week’s situation. I finally realized they weren’t. Of course, that just ensured I watched the damn thing “on hold.” Give them time, I told myself, they’ll get to it soon. Crap.

    I suppose with this episode they wanted to do a “One day in the life” sort of thing. Of course, the faux-drama tradition of SGU requires they shorten the title to just one word: “Let’s call it [dramatic pause] ‘Life.’ And by the way, the characters aren’t ill-conceived, ill-defined, and inconsistent … they’re Ambiguous.”

    Markdf @247 nailed it … I just don’t care about these characters and these plots. Too many surprising revelations, too many loose threads, too much unconvincing drama. There’s nothing to latch onto.

    Okay, the “planet we can use is about a year away” thing was good. We can get invested in that. We’ve got a goal, we’ve got a plan. Oh, wait … Rush was lying! That crazy guy! Hahaha. Now for some more pointless bickering.

    I have to say I did thoroughly enjoy the beating Telford got. No one plays a prick better than Lou Diamond Philips. So that was fun.

  245. @ted. there is a clip posted on hulu called “a new kind of crazy” It wraps up last the “time” episode ratherwell I thought. I seem to be the only one here to have seen it though… :(

  246. Kazzong @270. Yeah, I saw that … just watched it again to review. My default assumption is that a TV episode (or series of episodes) will make sense without resorting to unmentioned ‘extras’ on another forum. I guess with SGU that’s not the case. So, I agree … it did wrap it up. But doing it this way is IMO kind of a farce.

    Probably what happened was, some of the writers had the story completely mapped out and explained. Then other writers had other ideas, and what we got, when all was said and done, was the disjointed mush of “too many cooks.” The webisode was probably put together to placate the writers who were trying to hold out on wrapping things up properly.

    My feeling now is, whoever is in charge of the final cut just doesn’t care about the show. Which frankly makes it hard for me to care.

  247. Question for Mr. Scalzi: John, I just read on Malozzi’s blog that the UK broadcaster isn’t doing the weird mid-season gap that SyFy does with their shows, and also that up until now SyFy has been broadcasting substantially ahead of the UK (I may have been dimly aware of that last part). Apparently we’ve been posting spoilers for the UK folks in these threads, if only by a week or two (not sure about the schedule).

    So: we’re about to get wayyy behind the UK. If I want to avoid spoilers for eps I haven’t seen, will I have to just stop reading and participating in this thread until the season is over here, too? I’d hate to do that, but I avoid spoilers whenever possible (I think I’m going to stop reading Malozzi’s blog for that reason).

    To be honest I can’t imagine what you can do about it. Have separate “US” and “UK” threads? (That would be a shame, for obvious reasons.) Have a new thread each week with spoilers beyond the named episode banned? (That would be a huge pain for you.)

    So I expect your answer to my question above will be Yes (that is, this thread will contain spoilers beyond the mid-season finale), and that I’ll have to stop reading it, but I thought I’d ask in case you have some non-PITA better answer.

  248. Xopher, I think we’ll have to take our medicine just like the Brits have been doing. Yin/Yang and all that.

  249. @Kazzong 270
    I think many of us are “old school” and like the concept of cannon. If it did not happen on the show then it did not happen. But this “new direction for a younger audience” in SGU also includes the relatively new concept of online content.

    As much as I love the interwebs, I am not a fan of having to go to multiple sources to enjoy my shows. Maybe I am just getting grumpy in my somewhat less than middle age, but I can’t say I am going to run to the website every week for the added extras.

    Of course I come here and read / post almost daily so I am confusing even myself with this attitude.

  250. LizrdGizrd, as I said, I don’t see a solution either, but it’s up to John, not you or me.

    GL, hear hear. Webisodes are not canonical! (I think we’re going to lose on this one, but it sure irritates me.)

  251. Xopher it’s good that it’s up to John ’cause I’d totally lock the forum until the US started showing new eps. :D

  252. I feel as if I’ve disqualified myself from commenting since I didn’t watch the last episode (and it’s the only draw-back to that choice, so far) but I must interject that Webisodes (or “Kinosodes”) were a planned and announced part of the SGU series as far back as early spring of this year, and were always intended as canon.

    And about the British broadcast plans: one of the long-running grudges I have against TPTB at the entity formerly known as SciFi is these mid-season breaks. The reality of instantaneous global communications is that people will get spoiled, no matter what the rules on any posting board or comments thread. The worst example of this was the last episode of Farscape, which was broadcast in Britain months before the US, and which was spoiled by a Brit with a grudge, who pasted spoilers in every thread of the old Dominion board and Save Farscape within a few minutes of the episode being shown.

  253. JESR, doesn’t matter. Shows should be self-contained. If they’re not, that’s a crime of the creators. Bad creators! *wags finger sternly*

    As for the Farscape-spoiling Brit…how is s/he living, now that no decent person will speak to hir?

  254. Xopher, I can only assume he’s still under whatever bridge he calls home, unless last week’s floods have washed him out to sea.

  255. # MikeT on 23 Nov 2009 at 2:41 pm
    Plus, with Scott having flashes of Telford’s memory, I think it won’t be long before the Stones become a tool of last resort.

    Yeah, this was the most interesting thing to come out of this week’s episode IMO. If everyone’s memories can leak into any later stone user, the concept of privacy is seriously compromised. Obviously *bodily* integrity isn’t considered to be important, but a person’s mind is another matter.

    I haven’t been as incensed by the uses of people’s bodies as some here. I think that if I knew that the Destiny person I was swapping with was visiting his or her spouse I would figure my body would be used for romantic purposes. But I gather the mind leakage wasn’t known before?

  256. I’m not too angsty about the body-swap-romance. They’re soldiers, their bodies are more or less property of the US government.

    I am angsty about mid-season hiati. Hate ‘em! Great way to lose an audience.

  257. JESR
    When were the kinosodes announced exactly? I have not seen one add that I can recall about them. Were they perhaps announced online? That just compounds the issue at hand.

  258. Liz, soldiers don’t take orders to have sex with someone. That’s an illegal order. And not all the people whose bodies have been or will be abused are military anyway.

  259. GL2418 et ‘c,

    I heard about them on the SciFi/SyFy site and forums; I think they were also discussed at Comicon. I believe that there’s been promos mentioning them during the broadcasts, although it may be that it’s been in the form of “for more go to syfy.com.”

    I think there’s a disconnect, here: it’s been said, pretty explicitly, that SGU is not just for people who were fans of SG-1 and SGA, but it’s those people who are most likely to know about the web episodes which, with “Time” become necessary in understanding the denoument of aired material.

  260. I snarl in the general direction of SyFy and whoever decided to put essential information in the godsdamned kinosodes. I bite my thumb at thee, sir!

  261. “Finally, it’s beyond silly that they’re not using the stones consistently to bring Earth expertise on Ancient tech to Destiny.”
    Agreed … but the writers appear to be sarcophagizing the stones, making them cause long-term brain damage or at the very least flashbacks reminiscent of long-term use of LSD. Schizophrenia Syd Barrett style would pretty well shelve the pet rocks.

    “Shows should be self-contained.”
    I’m a fan of long-term story arcs that develop the characters, plot, situation, and especially for science fiction stories civilization and technology.
    The SG franchise’s most ridiculous conceit is that after decades of constant space travel, technology transfer, and even interstellar war the bulk of humanity are still in the dark.
    Think what losers all those rocket scientists at NASA will feel like once they inevitably learn all their efforts have simply been a pretense to hide the real space program. The joke’s on them, isn’t it?

  262. I didn’t say each episode should be self-contained, nor do I think so. I just think everything I need to know to understand SGU should be contained within the bits they actually broadcast.

  263. 289:
    “Schizophrenia Syd Barrett style would pretty well shelve the pet rocks.”

    What are you talking about?
    I love drinking tea with my mom!

  264. @JESR
    So you see, by exclusively airing “important” content only on the web and also only advertising that content in an off-air fashion, you alienate a core group of viewers. Would it really be so hard to throw in a little “see what happens next. Go to SyFy.com”?

    @Xopher
    Amen brother.

  265. JESR 282: Xopher, I can only assume he’s still under whatever bridge he calls home, unless last week’s floods have washed him out to sea.

    Well, in that case I think we should let it go.

    Water under the bridge, you know.

  266. Re: Life, and the Drama That Is Supposed To Flesh Out The Characters And Be All Dramatic and Stuff.

    I am sadly wondering if we aren’t giving the writers too much credit — I am sadly suspicious that they didn’t sit around coming up with (sadly misguided) bits of sturm und drang as a creative way to flesh out the characters. I think it was for a baser, cliched, calculated, hackneyed reason: to wit, “how do we make these unlikeable characters sympathetic to the audience, quickly? I know, we’ll arrange for something bad to happen to them, to make the audience feel sorry for them!” Because being stranded millions of light years away from Earth on a junker of a spaceship with a narcissistic (not to mention humorless) jackass in charge of their fates just Isn’t Punishment Enough, apparently. No no. Have to tack on faithless boyfriends and gullible wives and irresponsible babymamas and sick mothers.

    Sadly, nobody even remembers that Chloe watched her beloved father die right in front of her eyes, which, let’s face it, should have earned her buckets of sympathy. And yet, not. Folks are forming alt.chloe.die.die.die even as we speak. But where would the sympathy for Eli come from, if he didn’t have Clueless Chloe around to break his heart on a weekly basis? So she does serve as a useful plot device in that sense, give her that much.
    (See also Woobies via tvtropes.org.)

  267. Btw, Chloe was already broken up with her BF before she went to Icarus. In “Earth” she finds out that the real reason her BF dumped her is that her so-called best friend was sleeping with him behind her back (actually that’s not 100% clear but that’s what she thinks). She’s angry over her friend’s betrayal and her ex’s cheating during their former relationship.

    So she may be clueless but she’s not a hypocrite. She wasn’t cheating on anyone when she slept with the delicious Lt. Scott.

    I don’t think that will change any minds among the Chloe-haters, but I just wanted to point that out.

  268. They may well be using the stones for bringing expertise from earth – it just may be that it has not been relevant to the survival based stories that have been told so far. If they have been and have not told us, then it’s going to look like a retcon.

    I went back and watched Water the other night – Rush is really dependent on Eli as a sounding board, and knows that he needs the insight that Eli brings. At the same time, he is trying to force Eli to grow up a bit, and I don’t think Eli is quite ready to. Maybe the Kinos from the planet of the chest drillers will help him along.

    Rush said something interesting back in Air (Tattooine) about how he worked his way through college in kitchens washing dishes, among other crappy jobs. I’ve worked similar jobs myself, and that may be where he learned his “management style” of asking then yelling when he doesn’t get what he wants, right. NOW!

    Also – He helped pick the team who went to Icarus, so he is probably the top civilian on the project. On arrival to Destiny, it is entirely likely that O’Neill would have put him in charge since Young was KO’ed at the time.

    Yes, I am playing devil’s advocate for Rush here – he’s supposed to be a bit ambiguous as to his status. That’s one of the things I like about the show – there isn’t a villian per se – there are just a people acting in their own self interest, and then justifying it.

    Now, to the issue of faking data/the Icarus “class” planet: Not cool at all and really bad management. It is a short term gain with a very, very grim outcome when the truth comes out. I’ve seen managers promise bonuses and then not pay them when the goals were met: it destroyed the teams working for them, and wrecked any sense of trust between the manager and the crew. There is going to be trouble for that, in addition to no one trusting his pronouncements in future.

    The chair – Young put it best. The only way it’s going to happen is if Rush gets in it himself. Greer volunteered, and IIRC Young shot him down for it. Rush needs to hit his point of desperation where he is willing to get in the chair. I wonder what is going to get him to that point, and what it is going to cost him?

    It was great to see Young step up this last episode and take control. His handling of Telford was great, as was how he dealt with Rush. Telford himself was heading for trouble, should he have willingly “gone for it” with Mrs. Young, as the UCMJ seems to have pretty harsh penalties for Adultery.

    Having an ep without death hovering over everyone was good to see, even as it set up more threads for later.

  269. Re: The Chair
    I think Mr Anger Management is going to wind up in it (what’s his name?).

    His meds have run out. We still don’t know what he was taking, but we can see that he is getting violent without them. So is it a mental thing that he can’t live without or just a good old fashioned drug addiction that he now had to detox from? Only time will tell.

    So what if he is in imminent threat of mental meltdown and Rush comes up with the brilliant idea that the chair can stabilize him or something? Or better still he is going to die and nothing can be done about it so he simply volunteers?

  270. @289 Doubting Thomas: I’d imagine in the Stargate continuity NASA is made up of the almost-ran 2.0 GPA rocket scientists and all the really good ones are in on the secret. Joke’s on the schlubs though, that’s for sure. What the excuse for global recessions and all the resource scarcity we are going through right now when the Stargate people are sitting on the technology they are sitting on, I don’t know.

    @Other “Shows are Self Contained” people: Huh, I was unaware of the web stuff. I DVR the episodes, skip commercials and hit stop as soon as the credits start running. You are saying that the wrap-up to Time is in a part of the episode that didn’t make it to broadcast? You have 45 minutes to tell a story and you don’t pick the resolution to edit in? That is insane. I’m just watching a TV show here (I was following this website from before). I’m expected to do my homework on this stuff now? My relationship with Get Smart was much less high-maintenance.

  271. Personally, I think Time is the best episode so far, or at least the most fun. And it would have been even better if we didn’t have that excruciatingly painful scene in which Eli and a bunch of others watch Eli telling a few *select* people all kinds of intensely personal stuff.

    I really liked the way it ended–sort of “and the rest is left as an exercise for the reader.” But I’d already seen the “two kinos” webisode and read lots of comments. And for knowing how much the crew knows, you *need* to know how many kinos were found. All it would have taken is a brief mention in a later ep–say, TJ, when she’s doing Eli’s psych eval, could have brought up the stuff he said. I can’t think of any other webisode stuff that actually affects story.

  272. @298 Interesting option. I am unfamiliar with the chair and it’s side effects (I’m a new viewer to the SG, um, universe) so we will see… Reading up here tells me that the use will be limited to those who have an ATA gene. That is going to somewhat narrow down who can use it (Rush may not be able to even if he wants to, ditto for Greer).

    I don’t think that putting a mentally unstable rage prone person in the chair is a good idea, given that it looks to me like it is _the_ chair, if you will, allowing the seated person massive control over the ship. Young charged Rush with cracking the code, so that they could then use it safely. As Rush’s team pointed out: Failure with it is on Rush’s shoulders.

  273. 295:
    “I don’t think that will change any minds among the Chloe-haters, but I just wanted to point that out.”

    Chloe is hated because she won’t sleep with Eli and Eli’s the one most viewers identify with.

    Once she spreads her legs for Eli, she will be beloved by the comic book guys watching SG:U.

  274. Reading up here tells me that the use will be limited to those who have an ATA gene.

    Destiny predates the usage of that gene to activate Ancient technology. It’s not clear whether the gene is natural or engineered in origin, but either way it can’t be necessary to operate the chair.

  275. Glonn, I think you haven’t read these threads in their entirety. People complain about Chloe whining, and not doing anything, and being drunk in someone else’s body, and being a hypocrite about her cheating boyfriend (not true in that last case). If you think all that is a screen for their real motivation, fine. I don’t happen to.

    I don’t have any dislike for her, and I hope to Aphrodite and Eros she doesn’t have sex with Eli, as that would mess up their friendship. Note that in “Time” he was talking about having a best friend.

    Personally I’m hoping Scott sleeps with Eli, but I’m not gonna wait for that one underwater!

  276. 304,
    ” People complain about Chloe whining, and not doing anything.”

    Well, she’s a woman and that’s what women do best.

    “I don’t have any dislike for her, and I hope to Aphrodite and Eros she doesn’t have sex with Eli, as that would mess up their friendship.”

    There’s no real friendship there.

    Eli wants to have sex with her and he’s pretending to be her friend because he’s too much of a coward to actually tell her the truth.

    Chloe wants attention, to be fawned over, to have a lapdog, and to not have sex with a fat, insecure, and whiny fuck like Eli.

  277. Wow, Glonn, I’m beginning to think you must be a seriously unpleasant person to be around. “She’s a woman and that’s what women do best”? Good grief. What century do YOU call home?

    Just because you hate women doesn’t mean all the people who identify with Eli do. I identify with him to a certain extent, and I don’t have the misogyny you so casually declare. Of course, were I in Eli’s position I’d be hanging around Scott and trying to make my lust look like hero-worship, but hey.

  278. Taking a constructive tack here: What’s Chloe’s qualification on the ship? She’s the daughter of a Senator, so she is used to dealing with people in power, and would likely make a good administrator helping to run the ship/crew.

    Administration is part politics, part evaluation of peoples skills and abilities, and a good bit of leadership. She’s utterly lost here, as she was effectively studying under Dad’s wing, and in his estimation coming along well as a result.

    It would be great to see her show off her skills, once they get into more of a routine on the ship, which it looks like we have just about hit.

    Haven’t seen much direct evidence of her skills as yet, but maybe the break will give the crew on the show a chance to retool a bit and address fans concerns. Or not! It’s their show, I’m just enjoying watching and discussing it.

    Glonn, come on, you’re better than that. And if that’s your real opinion, think twice before posting that kind of trash in future.

  279. Xopher, c’mon!

    Why else would a geeky, out-of-shape, brainiac guy like Eli voluntarily do yoga with Chloe?

    It ain’t to stay in shape, because he’s avoiding the regular “gym classes” like the plague.

    I’m not saying that men-women friendships are impossible.

    They exist, but only if the man is gay.

    “I identify with him to a certain extent, and I don’t have the misogyny you so casually declare.”

    Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.
    –H. L. Mencken

  280. Glonn Bock:

    Quoting a misogynistic comment doesn’t make your comments less misogynistic.

    Please drop the women bashing.

  281. Ryan 308: I agree with this whole post (especially the last paragraph) except this:

    Haven’t seen much direct evidence of her skills as yet, but maybe the break will give the crew on the show a chance to retool a bit and address fans’ concerns. Or not!

    Not, I think. I believe all the episodes for the season have been shot and edited. I have the impression that they’re working on writing the second season.

    Glonn 309: You know, I checked back, and my memory was correct: you are the one who had a comment deleted because it contained a “homophobic slur.” I’m not sure how one of those would fit into this discussion at all, unless it was about Wray and her partner, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at your misogyny, which IME is a close companion to homophobia.

    Why else would a geeky, out-of-shape, brainiac guy like Eli voluntarily do yoga with Chloe? It ain’t to stay in shape, because he’s avoiding the regular “gym classes” like the plague.

    My, you have a simplistic view of human nature and human motivations! Haven’t you noticed that doing something for only one reason is sufficiently unusual that people call attention to it when it happens? “The only reason I did that…”

    First, the “regular gym classes” were being run by a fascist psycho who’s on the verge of completely cracking, and who made another guy (in better shape than Eli) vomit, and still didn’t want him to stop. I would avoid those classes too, and I’m in better shape than most of those people.

    Second, that sure looked more like T’ai Chi to me, and T’ai Chi is a gentle form of exercise that concentrates the mind.

    Third, having lost some weight and tried on a thinner body, Eli is developing the notion that being in better shape might be a good idea.

    Fourth, he gets to be close to Chloe. Trust me when I say I know this turf quite well: someone you want to be with but know full well you don’t have a chance with, who you still enjoy being around. Since you can’t be their lover, you try your best to be their friend. Sometimes you convince yourself that’s all you want; sometimes it really changes so that’s ultimately all you do want. Been there, done that, got the (XL) t-shirt.

    Fifth…well, I could go on and on, with the fact that being in better shape might actually give Eli a CHANCE with Chloe, and that he actually genuinely likes her, and she’s lonely doing T’ai Chi all by herself, and so on. But the point is, you can’t boil down everything Eli does to a simple dick-pointer. Maybe your dick is YOUR sole guide, but most men really are more complex than that…especially geeky ones.

    I’m not saying that men-women friendships are impossible.

    No, but you did say that what women do best is whine and do nothing. Which, I should think, explains why YOU don’t have a lot of friendships with them.

    They exist, but only if the man is gay.

    Lovely. Exemplary, in fact. Now if I give you counterexamples you’ll just say “well, that guy must really be gay” or some such nonsense. I know plenty of counterexamples, let’s just leave it at that.

  282. Xopher… what do you expect from someone whose nom de post is Glenn Beck with one letter artfully changed so that we mere mortals will not notice that he identifies with a raving fascist looney?

  283. Well, but since the e/o alternation in Indo-European languages is a remnant of IE tone, I thought maybe he was saying he was the opposite of Glenn Beck…or something. Bock is also a beer.

  284. soldiers don’t take orders to have sex with someone. That’s an illegal order.

    Okay, true. But I’m sure a CIA agent or two has had to close their eyes and think of England America. ;)

    Maybe I’m just less attached to my body. As long as my consciousness wasn’t around, I don’t think it would bother me. Just take good care of my parts otherwise, don’t eat anything I wouldn’t (especially right before I get back!), and don’t commit any crimes, like get sushi and not pay. My body better be recovered from that hangover before I get back, miss Chloe! You’d better have used a condom with your wife, Col. Young!

  285. # Ryan Greene on 24 Nov 2009 at 1:44 pm
    Taking a constructive tack here: What’s Chloe’s qualification on the ship?

    She may grow up and become interesting. John said something along the lines of all the women on Destiny being impressive (or intelligent – can’t remember). She was in favor of funding SG – that’s a good thing.

    Xopher, it does help my attitude a bit that she was broken up with her boyfriend. Having a tantrum because her boyfriend was cheating at the same time she was cheating was just too self centered.

  286. @Ryan Greene 301
    I don’t believe this chair is a control device the way that it is on Atlantis. Rush said it was a teaching device which is more like the funky ancient View Master that “grabs” your head and downloads knowledge into your brain.

    If this chair has any control systems it was not mentioned in the show.

    @ Xopher 304 & 306
    Scott and Eli? Maybe in an alternate universe? A goateed Scott pops through the gate and makes advances on our resident geek?

  287. No, the goateed Rush pops through the gate and patiently teaches everyone everything he knows about Ancient tech, Destiny, and how to be loving and compassionate (meanwhile, of course, our universe’s Rush is screaming in horror).

    The alt-Rush teaches Scott to be more in touch with his feelings, and he realizes that he loves Eli. They have knock-down, drag-out, balls-to-the-wall passionate sex. Scott then trains Eli to be a commando. They become the core of an “army of lovers” that efficiently runs the ship.

    Rush has apoplexy and dies. The alt-Rush takes his place, and everyone lives happily ever after.

  288. Xoph: “I didn’t say each episode should be self-contained … everything I need to know … should be contained within the bits they actually broadcast.”

    If a “previously, on SG:U” blurb is sufficient, then yeah, I don’t begrudge you that.
    It wouldn’t even really bother me if they did a “previously:” and showed bits of SG:A or SG1, though I’m sure that would really bug a lot of people.

    GlonBo: “‘Schizophrenia Syd Barrett style would pretty well shelve the pet rocks.’

    What are you talking about?
    I love drinking tea with my mom!”

    Clever! /salute

    “I’m not saying that men-women friendships are impossible. They exist, but only if the man is gay.”
    A self-defeating belief. Unless you’re some kind of expert pickup artist — or gay, I suppose — you desperately need female friends. The more the better.

    Leslie: “But where would the sympathy for Eli come from, if he didn’t have Clueless Chloe around to break his heart on a weekly basis?”

    Eli as fan service … not the “squeaky-voiced anime chick with big boobs” kind but the “hey, he’s just like me” kind? So NOT getting the girl is fan service?
    Eli as the Nerd Everyman … Rodney was affable but had mental problems most of us don’t. But almost all of us have been Eli at one point in our lives.
    And we’ve all pined after a girl with whom we were “just friends”.

    Xoph: “Personally I’m hoping Scott sleeps with Eli …”

    Umm … well … that does solve the birth control issue, doesn’t it?

    Ninjasuperspy: “What the excuse for global recessions and all the resource scarcity we are going through right now when the Stargate people are sitting on the technology …”

    What’s the excuse for teaching obsolete physics at top schools like MIT?
    Or if they’re teaching real [Stargate-canon] physics, why haven’t enterprising students applied the new understanding to breaking the FTL barrier? It’s the bloodiest knife in all of physics, and if everything we knew didn’t tell us it was impossible it would be the Holy Grail, Unification Theory be damned.
    Any new piece of knowledge about physics that suggested FTL was possible would send physicists into a frenzy.
    Keeping FTL physics a secret after 10 years would have the effect of segregating scientists into the “overclass” whose knowledge included advanced alien physics and the “underclass” with obsolete knowledge whose contribution to science is effectively reduced to unwittingly helping keep the world’s biggest secret. Top scientists would mysteriously disappear John Galt-like right after their most important discoveries or breakthroughs as they were inducted into the “overclass”.
    The Nobel prize would be a meaningless sham. (Hmm, come to think of it …)

    “My relationship with Get Smart was much less high-maintenance.”
    That was before the iShoe had internet.
    Heh, things sure have changed for me. The exceptional quality of my computer monitor when shows first started coming out in HD is what originally drew me. Now I don’t even have a working TV.
    Webisode, episode, whatever, as long as I have the right search terms who cares? I can see where webisodes would make using DVR’s a real pain, though.

    A-Liz: “As long as my consciousness wasn’t around, I don’t think it would bother me.”
    Wake up with AIDS? F’k that.

  289. DT 319: I don’t even need a previously-on most of the time, since I have a pretty good memory, but yeah, it’s more than sufficient. If they want to bring in something from elsewhere, they should have a flashback or have someone say something in the ep. “Doesn’t close transition to a solar flare cause a Carter/Jackson temporal distortion to form?” would be adequate (and in fact I think they handled that perfectly well in “Time”).

    Umm … well … that does solve the birth control issue, doesn’t it?

    Aha! That’s it! Young should issue a total ban on heterosex. As discussed earlier, he can’t ORDER people to have homosex, but he could say “Because we have no birth control here, there will be no sex on this ship between people of different sexes. If you want to do any other kind of sex, we won’t ask if you don’t tell.” Then he could announce prevention measures; different regions (“dorms”) of the ship to be inhabited by males and females, the entrance to each guarded by a heavily armed marine or air(wo)man of the appropriate gender, and no one allowed outside the segregated regions in a group of fewer than three.

    Draconian, but effective. Can’t have the wimmins gettin’ preggers, can we? And may I add a “Bwah hah hah” to that?

    Note for the humor-impaired: I am not serious. I don’t even really want Scott and Eli to have sex. I would like to see a Jack/Daniel* kind of friendship develop between them—it wouldn’t replay that relationship, because the SGU characters are very different from their SG-1 counterparts, but the military guy and the geek being friends makes for good comedy and good drama IMO.
    ___
    *Not to be mistaken for a Jack Daniels friendship, which tends to involve getting drunk together a lot.

  290. GL @ 298

    Re: The Chair
    I think Mr Anger Management is going to wind up in it (what’s his name?).

    His meds have run out. We still don’t know what he was taking, but we can see that he is getting violent without them. So is it a mental thing that he can’t live without or just a good old fashioned drug addiction that he now had to detox from? Only time will tell.

    MAM is another problem that should have been seen by now. The SGC has the records of all the personnel that are on Destiny and should have already pointed out to the chief medical officer and Col. Young those people who are on medications that will run out and what the likely outcomes of that situation are. It’s been weeks now, they should know that MAM has mental health issues and no more or very few happy pills. Another ball dropped by the writers.

  291. Xopher 318 – You owe me a new keyboard :-)

    I sense fan-fic in your future (if not already in your present)

  292. LizrdGizrd @ 321
    Well if we are dealing with an addiction there would not be a record. But I agree that with all the concerns over the limited supply of antibiotics and such you would think someone would have thought to do a basic health survey by now.

    At least Col Young is trying to do the psych evals so maybe he will get around to medical checkups soon.

  293. GL @ 323

    Well, I can see how Young is just now getting around to the psych evals, but basic medical treatment things should have been covered already by Johansen. Not to mention the SGC should have gone through the medical records of everyone on board to see what likely problems were going to come up. The senator’s heart medication would have been a prime issue and was already touched on in an episode. The writers seem to be using this as a tension builder, but professional crisis management folks (of which I’m sure at least someone in the SGC would qualify) would look at this basic stuff to start with before psych evals.

  294. Initial note: Interesting that they thought the last cycle would be so easy as to be not worth mentioning.

    Comments as watching:
    One thing that gave WSOD a major bump occurred at 7:13. Not necessarily broke, but grabbed my attention and made me think considerably.

    Look at Johansen’s left. There are two squirt bottles, one yellow for isopropyl alcohol, one green for methanol. You shouldn’t have a squirt bottle of methanol sitting around like that, ready to fall over at the turn of an elbow in a room which doesn’t look like it’s set up as lab space.

    Also, their presence raises in my mind, ‘what sort of luggage were they bringing along, anyway?’ Apparently, this included solvent squirt bottles. What supplies do they have? Do they have a usable synthetic chemistry lab available?

    17:10 – What? SGC didn’t get the memo when they got people back drunk that chaperones should be watching a little more closely? Argh. Who the heck is going to consent under these conditions?

    21:17 I’m impressed at the Lt’s ability to remember to say ‘him’ while still exploding.

    30:30 If the Lt never met Young’s wife, how did he know it was her? Did the image come with meta-information? I guess that’d make sense, but it’d have been good to hear.

    37:00 Rush… you’re losing dimensions here. He’s smart enough to make the comeback, “Sure, as soon as I’ve figured out the same safety issues we’d both require of anyone who tried.” Whether or not he meant it. But now he’s coming across like Xykon

    38:00 >.< At least he realizes it.

    Young hitting Telford… now, wait. Wouldn't the chaperone be a mite suspicious about the destination? I know he said 'anywhere', but really.

    And… the visual effect at 41:16 was, well, wow. Blatant, much?

    Comments in response to above:

    Xopher @ 181: Ironically (I think this actually does count in one of the looser senses), I myself have written an article on the subject, but I'm used to using BBCode for things like this, and they always do the conversion for me. The second time, I was counting on the fact that most browsers that see a < with a space immediately after treats it as text. But, the tag-zapping form saw it wasn't permitted formatting and ba-blammo! It's not even showing up in the page source. I'm surprised it let the outer pair through.

    Greg @ 183: That'd do it too, sure.

    MikeT @ 207: LAWL

  295. Um Luke?….
    I don’t have an internal chronometer that allows me to know which scene you are talking about. Any chance we could get some English?

    Also, “WSOD”? Huh? What are you talking about?

  296. Xopfer@226 “rick, the Asgard are dead. They were completely wiped out in the last season of SG-1.”

    I’ve never been an every-episode viewer of anything. But, didn’t the Asgard self proclaim their death due to the re-cloning of their bodies being something like the millionth iteration of a photocopy turning out illegible? Or was their death more definite than that?

    The reason I’m mentioning it is because the Asgard may have simply gotten fed-up with protecting solar systems all over the Milky Way, and that faking their death may have also been a survival technique to get their enemies from seriously destroying them.

    It’s a pretty standard intel technique to misinform your allies in case they get compromised.

  297. There seems to be some misunderstanding about which meaning of the word, “mature” has been applied to the audience and target audience of SG:U.

    I may have misused the term myself previously, applying it in the way of an entertainment rating, “M for Mature” as is the case for zombie movies etc. On second thought, that appellation really does not even fit. My bad.

    For the benefit of those without the inclination to look up the meaning of words, I have included below the seven meanings for the word’s use as an adjective according to the 4th Edition of the American Heritage(R) Dictionary. Gratuitously, I have also included the aforementioned source’s subsequent listings of the word’s use as a verb, as well as the word’s etymology.

    Oddly, I think perhaps several of the meanings may refer to various portions of the audience, perhaps more so to those who are dropping out of the audience than those staying in.

    The absence of applicability of any of the adjectival meanings may pertain to the 1st eleven hour season-starter mini-series itself, as well as to many of those of the agreeable portion of the audience who have yet to acquire a taste for the previous millennia of literary development on our planet.

    For the series, i am deferring judgement until the mid-season cliffhanger. After which, I will watch the last four episodes I’ve been recording.

    As far as Chloe not doing anything about the mess they are in, I have to disagree. She has barfed in at least two separate episodes; probably the most pro-active thing accomplished so far.

    ma·ture (mM-tyKrZ, -tKrZ, -chKrZ)
    adj. ma·tur·er, ma·tur·est
    1.
    a. Having reached full natural growth or development: a mature cell.

    b. Having reached a desired or final condition; ripe: a mature cheese.

    2. Of, relating to, or characteristic of full development, either mental or physical: mature for her age.

    3.
    a. Suitable or intended for adults: mature subject matter.

    b. Composed of adults: a mature audience.

    4. Worked out fully by the mind; considered: a mature plan of action.

    5. Having reached the limit of its time; due: a mature bond.

    6. No longer subject to great expansion or development. Used of an industry, a market, or a product.

    7. Geology Having reached maximum development of form. Used of streams and landforms.

    v. ma·tured, ma·tur·ing, ma·tures
    v.tr.
    1. To bring to full development; ripen.

    2. To work out fully in the mind: “able to digest and mature my thoughts for my own mind only” (John Stuart Mill).

    v.intr.
    1. To evolve toward or reach full development: The child’s judgment matures as she grows older.

    2. To become due. Used of notes and bonds.

    [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin m"t?rus; see m"-1 in Indo-European roots.]
    ma·tureZly adv.
    ma·tureZness n.
    Synonyms: mature, age, develop, ripen
    These verbs mean to bring or come to full development or maximum excellence: maturing the wines in vats; aged the brandy for 100 years; developed the flavor slowly; fruits that were ripened on the vine.

  298. “… he can’t ORDER people to have homosex, but he could say ‘Because we have no birth control here, …’”

    Heteros have buhtseks too, y’know.
    And I think the show is going to end when Destiny, sensing the crew has run out of birth control, sacrifices itself Phoenixlike to open a gate back to Earth. (Anyone who’s ever lived in a small town and found themselves in need in the wee hours knows what I mean … and by the time you’ve finally got it she’s fallen asleep.)

    “What? SGC didn’t get the memo when they got people back drunk that chaperones should be watching a little more closely?”

    I got the distinct impression that after the first round of s-comm debauchery the chaperones WERE watching more closely. They seemed to be holding the reins a lot tighter.

    “If the Lt never met Young’s wife, how did he know it was her?”
    Young’s personnel file. If he’s married it’s a good guess the naked woman on top of him is his wife.

    “… faking their death …”
    Way more realistic than “cloning themselves to death.” The idea that over time the Asgard improve their genome until suddenly one day they all become non-viable and die out is ridiculous. Asexual reproduction is an evolutionary dead-end? Try this: make a billion clones per month of your top 1,000 individuals and clone the top 1,000 from that batch for the next generation. Repeat that process indefinitely. Problem solved. I shoulda gone to med school.

  299. El@329
    “WSOD = willing suspension of disbelief.”

    Thanks. I was wondering what the White Screen of Death had to do with anything.

    Green Tekkie@330
    The Asgard committed mass suicide taking all their tech with them, except for the knowledge repository given to Humanity. Yes, this was because their cloned bodies were failing and there was no way to fix it.

    However in the last season of Atlantis there was a small group of rouge Asgard found in Pegasus. So technically they are not all dead, but are likely still in the same boat in terms of the bad clones.

  300. Luke @326:
    “30:30 If the Lt never met Young’s wife, how did he know it was her? Did the image come with meta-information? I guess that’d make sense, but it’d have been good to hear.”

    He mentioned seeing a picture on Young’s old desk.

  301. But, didn’t the Asgard self proclaim their death due to the re-cloning of their bodies being something like the millionth iteration of a photocopy turning out illegible? Or was their death more definite than that?

    Well, the genetic disorder was supposedly more complex than that. It seems to have been something more like Huntington’s Disease – each iteration of copying worsens the underlying flaw – but much, much worse – and harder to fix.

    Given that Earth-derived genomes/biology are unusually simple in the Stargate universe (since both were artificially designed), the nature of the flaw is probably utterly beyond our ability to even metaphorically grasp. But if you’re familiar with the concept of transposons, it’s known that the artificially quickening process implemented by the Ancients involved making DNA self-modifying. The Asgard genome may have been similar in some ways, only the self-modification had some bugs – and they’d deleted all backups.

    As it seems they could not design suitable replacement biologies for their minds, and for whatever reason were not willing to download themselves into purely mechanical forms, the Asgard committed suicide and destroyed all artifacts and records save for those they turned over to Earth.

  302. DT 332: Heteros have buhtseks too, y’know.

    Yeah, but they can’t be trusted to have buhtseks. Heterosexuals are motivated by lust and have no self-control, as everyone knows.

    GL2418 333: However in the last season of Atlantis there was a small group of rouge Asgard found in Pegasus.

    LOL! GL, my friend, you’ve been reading too much about Sarah Palin! It’s rogue, sweet.

  303. “…the Asgard committed suicide and destroyed all artifacts and records save for those they turned over to Earth.”

    I guess that’s the thing I’ve got an issue with. They’ve met us an eye blink ago, we’re far younger than they are, we’re not even close to their level of power or maturity, they don’t want their knowledge falling into the wrong hands… and they give it to US? Not put it somewhere we can get at when we’re more mature, but just hand it over. Ummm….

    The other issues I’ve got with the Asgaard is that they were at one point touted as being on the same rough level as the Nox and Ancients way back when… yet they seem not to have advanced, in 10,000 years, to the technological level that the Ancients were at when they ascended. Consider the episodes when O’Neill took in the Ancient database. The Replicators are about to overwhelm the Asgaard and they retrieve O’Neill from Antartica… within minutes, he’s created a weapon that can obliterate the Replicators. Now, think about that. The Ancient knowledge is 10,000 years old. The ASgaard have, presumably, been advancing during the millenia since the Ancients created that database… but they can’t come close to an effective weapon? Bull.

    Oh and… The Asgaard can’t ascend because they took a technological path… yet they’re still not as technically advanced as the Ancients were when they ascended. And remember all of the other Ancient technologies we’ve seen (including Rodney destroying a solar system). Hmm…

    Let’s put it this way – this entire part of the canon was ill thought out and the team obviously just wanted to start with a clean slate. That’s fine, but the basic logic holes are pretty gaping.

  304. I’m still bitter about how the Asgard got screwed over in SG. The only advanced race willing to be helpful galactic citizens, good neighbours and clean up after themselves while those self righteous Ancients bugger off , leave all their crap lying around with messes they started still ongoing and then turn their backs on everyone. Then again if the Ancients hadn’t been littering dicks we wouldn’t have had 2 spin off series.

  305. “Heterosexuals are motivated by lust and have no self-control, as everyone knows.”

    Hey, now, just because I’m that way doesn’t mean you should stereotype …

    “Ancients vs. Asgard”

    Maybe the Asgard were just “too nice”. The Ancients were arrogant, effete, self-confident, and utterly convinced of their own cultural, intellectual, and aesthetic superiority over all other life in the universe.
    If they were nice to you it was strictly noblesse oblige.
    What is ascension, after all, but your ego swelling to the point it fills the entire universe? Only a true dickhead could master the mental discipline required to achieve such a state.

  306. “What is ascension, after all, but your ego swelling to the point it fills the entire universe? ”

    So Rush has something to look forward to after all.

  307. They’ve met us an eye blink ago, we’re far younger than they are, we’re not even close to their level of power or maturity, they don’t want their knowledge falling into the wrong hands… and they give it to US?

    They don’t want it falling into grossly wronger hands, and they want to preserve something of themselves. It’s a foolish desire, but one that most people have.

    The other issues I’ve got with the Asgaard is that they were at one point touted as being on the same rough level as the Nox and Ancients way back when… yet they seem not to have advanced, in 10,000 years, to the technological level that the Ancients were at when they ascended.

    Oh, no. They had advanced beyond the Ancients in certain fields.

    Consider the episodes when O’Neill took in the Ancient database. The Replicators are about to overwhelm the Asgaard and they retrieve O’Neill from Antartica… within minutes, he’s created a weapon that can obliterate the Replicators.

    The Replicators adapted themselves to every technology they encountered – but only once they’d encountered it. It’s well-established in Stargate that psychological factors determine how technology eventually progresses. The Replicators had spent centuries adapting to the most advanced Asgard approaches. Ancient approaches, while not being generally superior in any way, might have involved different methods that the Asgard wouldn’t have considered.

    Consider: the Ancients never developed a generalized ‘beaming’ technology. The Asgard did. What did the Ancients think of and create which the Asgard wouldn’t have?

    Oh and… The Asgaard can’t ascend because they took a technological path…

    There are some subtle indications that the problem lay in the nature of their mind-transfer technology and the requirements of unassisted Ascension. The correlations that Ascension seems to require could never be established because the specific bodies would burn out too quickly.

  308. ” Oh, no. They had advanced beyond the Ancients in certain fields.”

    First… which? Aside from the whole mind transfer thing. Second, consider that 5-7000 years ago we were just seeing the rise of civilizations. Now consider how far we’ve come in that time (heck look at how far we’ve advanced in the last 500 years). Now consider where we’ll be (presuming no huge asteroids, etc) in 5000 more years. 10,000 years is a LONG time. The Asgaard, if they started from a place that let them interact with the Ancients on anything close to even terms, should be FAR ahead of where the Ancients were 10,000 years ago.

    I take your point about the Replicators, but again, see above. The issue for me is that the advancement they should have seen isn’t borne out by the issues that they’ve had – with the Replicators, the genetic problems, etc. It’s also just a little too convenient to have them die out JUST as we become advanced enough to deal with them. Ten thousand years and they die out NOW? 200 years ago (an eyeblink compared to 10,000 years) and we’d not be close to ready.

  309. Gotta wonder about them Nox who can resurrect the dead with meditation who were also peers of the Ancients 10,000 years ago.

  310. rick @ 343: I think you’re making the assumption that there isn’t some limit to what one can know. There’s going to be a point at which you can’t advance any further because there isn’t anywhere further to advance, without some sort of sea-change. I don’t know if there’s anything like this that has happened in the canon, but it’s always possible that the Asgard hit a brick wall in terms of advancement – like some of the non-sublimed civilizations in Iain M Bank’s Culture novels, the only things they don’t know how to do are the things that are impossible to know unless you sublime / ascend.

  311. @344 – The Nox I can excuse for not being more technically advanced due to their outlook and cultural goals as put forth in the series.

    @345 – As a general rule I like to keep assumptions to a minimum, so you’re right, I don’t assume there’s a limit given a lack of evidence for one. Certainly a fictional world can postulate that you can only go so far before you transcend/ascend…. but the SG world didn’t make that argument. Ascension was a path taken, but we don’t really know why (as far as I can remember we have no information about how the Ancients even determined that ascension was possible) and there’s no evidence that they ascended because of technological limits being reached.

    it’s risky to equate one fictional world to another despite some similarities – Banks’ Culture isn’t SG and vice versa even though they have rough parallels.

  312. I’m pretty sure the Furlings were wiped out, but I always wanted to know what happened to them, as well as what they looked like. Were they furry, I wonder? Or flaglike, and spent much of their time furled?

  313. It’s also just a little too convenient to have them die out JUST as we become advanced enough to deal with them. Ten thousand years and they die out NOW? 200 years ago (an eyeblink compared to 10,000 years) and we’d not be close to ready.

    They killed themselves once they devoted enough research to the problem to demonstrate to their satisfaction that there was no solution. They could devote research to the problem only once the Replicators were destroyed. And destroying the Replicators required human assistance, because they’d adapted too well to Asgard technology and psychology.

    Ergo, the Asgard were almost certain to kill themselves only after we’d interacted with them.

  314. rick@343
    One of the reasons I think that Earth science has progressed so much is due to our limited life span. The desire to better our world and leave our mark on history.

    Imagine that you could live “forever: transferring your mind from body to body. Why rush to get something done? You have centuries ahead of you. Society would stagnate. No children, no new ideas, just the ongoing existence of a fixed number of Asgard. Yes, advances can be made as you study and learn new things, but I think that a certain level of creativity would be lost.

    The Asgard were so incapable of thinking outside the box they put themselves in that they had to ask for help from Earth to defeat the Replicators. The “primitive” thought process of a “child” race saved the mighty and evolved Asgard.

  315. @348,

    Yes, and the confluence of all of these factors seems just too neat to me. For example, the Replicators were close to overrunning the Asgaard – what if we’d not found our stargate and started using it for another century? Etc.. I think this is just something to deal with as a background item, but I’ve never liked the ‘everything comes together just SO after millenia’

    @349…. I think that’s plausible. It means they have similar motivations to us which is always iffy in an alien race, but writing truly alien aliens is hard… I think your explanation works.

  316. @350
    “but I’ve never liked the ‘everything comes together just SO after millenia’ ”

    If not for these wonderful coincidences story telling would suck big time.

    In the Stargate movie the day after we arrive on Abydos (sp?) Ra shows up so we can take him down and free the populace.

    In SG1 Daniel happens to go to a parallel Earth that is being attacked by Apophos (sp? again) and finds out all the details we need to stop the same thing from happening in our universe. Good thing the timing is off just enough for us to stop it.

    Good thing Luke’s uncle bought his secret twin sister’s lost droids hiding the Death Star plans in time to get them to the secret Jedi hiding in the desert so they could all go save the universe.

    Good thing Yoda stayed alive just long enough to train Luke before finally dying of old age.

    I think coincidence just goes with the territory, but if the writer(s) do things properly it should all seem natural and logical.

  317. But then I wouldn’t have gotten to show off! No fun.

    (I’m showing off my DEAFNESS. I have to watch with subtitles on, so I see the spelling every time anyone says it.)

  318. Well that is a whole lot easier than trying to spell it based on pronunciation. If not for the blantant spelling of Teal’c’s (OK thats weird with all the apostrophes) in one of the first eps of SG1 I would have thought it was “Tilk”

    Hammond of Texas just LOVED to pronounce everything differently than everyone else.

    So how much does it suck trying to watch live TV? I see the subtitles on at Doctor’s offices and stuff and am amazed at the number spelling errors, how far behind the typists get and the number of times they just give up and skip entire paragraphs because they are too far behind. It has to be frustrating as hell.

  319. Captions are actually pretty good for scripted TV, because they have plenty of time to do it. For live TV it sucks, but I usually don’t watch live TV. For some reason prerecorded “live” shows suck too (Colbert Report is atrocious), and I don’t understand why. If they get behind they should just rewind and go over it again.

    There are still errors. And some programs just aren’t captioned at all. But SGU has been pretty good.

    I know what you mean about Hammond. The “ghoul’d,” for example. One can see the association, but you’d think he’d see it written more often than hear it pronounced. I mean, how hard is it to tell someone “say ‘gold’ and ‘ahh-ooo!’ at the same time”? :-)

    (I hear they actually made up the word by putting ‘AU’ in the middle of ‘gold’, then splitting it with an apostrophe to make it look Egyptian.)

  320. So I broke down and watched all the “kinosodes” and many of the behind the scenes videos on the MGM website.

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this before, but in one of the videos it was confirmed that the mystery shuttle at the end of “Air” was in fact alien in origin and that we will be see them again.

    I just wish they weren’t waiting so long. Its a major tease to do something like that and then go 9 – 10 eps with no follow up.

  321. “‘What is ascension, after all, but your ego swelling to the point it fills the entire universe?’

    “So Rush has something to look forward to after all.”

    Ka-ching!

  322. Wow I’ve been missing some pretty interesting discussions! I shall have to stop by this Friday.

    Another fun word to mispronounce is “Jaffa” because there were three distinctly different ways to say it: the way Teal’c and most Jaffa said it (juh-fah’), the way some Earthlings said it (joff-uh), and the way O’Neill says it (jaff’-uh).
    If I ever write a TV show with cool words not native to English, I will be sure to spell them out phonetically and be present on set for the first couple days of shooting. :D

    I came here to see if anyone thinks the price for the DVD set is reasonable. (Asking $49 suggested retail = $27 on Amazon discount priced but only for HALF of the season) and if anyone will be buying it. I’m pretty psyched about the commentaries, but I think they only added those because they knew that they were the only way to get people like me to buy it at the prices they charge.

  323. ytimynona@360
    Are you looking to buy SG Universe? It is not out on DVD yet. I see seasons of SG1 on deep discount as well as Atlantis on Amazon, but thats it. (by the way those are totally worth buying in my opinion, but I am a big fan so…grain of salt).

  324. Wait. I found it thanks to Gateworld. Amazon only brings it up if you search “Stargate SGU” of just “SGU”. If you search on “Stargate Universe” you won’t see it. That is REALLY annoying, especially for someone like me who gets to test enhancements to my companies’ search engine.

    $27.00 for half a season is a little step, but if memory serves, the SG1 Season DVDs originally started in the $60-$90.

    If your main reason for buying is the extra stuff, I would recommend waiting. The first release of something is rarely the last (George Lucas is the undisputed king of this). There will probably be a full season release that has even more stuff than the half season release and you’ll kick yourself for jumping the gun.

    Just my 2 cents.

  325. Woah! That’s impressive, and slightly scary. I’d like to poke fun but I suspect if I had the money and time I’d probably do something similar.

    Mine would spin though. :-)

  326. Does the Stargate-themed TV voice a frantic warning of an impending commercial break?

    “Unscheduled offworld activation!”

  327. OK, I don’t think they need to know anything more about the ship. They don’t need Rush anymore. And he’s clearly the murderer (not a spoiler, just a first-act suspicion), so they should strand him on the next planet that has a breathable atmosphere…preferably one with chest drills.

  328. OK, these are real spoilers: TB LBHAT! Svanyyl ur qvq jung unq gb or qbar! Ehfu svanyyl trgf jung ur qrfreirq nyy nybat, naq vf vapbagebiregvoyl GUR ONQ THL va guvf fubj! Ur’f abj gur Tnvhf Onygne bs Fgnetngr.

    I loved this episode. I bet a bunch of people who gave up would have thought differently after seeing it. Oh well, their loss.

  329. Wow. Great episode. Did not see that ending coming. I did have a feeling about the solution to the mystery. As for the chair. Saw that coming too. Still, a great episode. Best yet. Great writing. Acting was pretty good too.

  330. Xopher, what’s the site to interpret your post #370?? I can’t remember it. (Loooved the ending tonight!)

  331. http://www.rot13.com gives me an error message; I’ve been using rot-13.com instead.

    Will be interested to see who I agree with about this ep (been reading here and a couple other places) once Hulu has it. (I prefer spoilers, which drives lots of people nuts.)

  332. Predictions: Ehfu jvyy trg vagb gur nyvra fcnprfuvc, naq pbzr nsgre Qrfgval jvgu eriratr va zvaq. Ur’yy or ernql gb xvyy gurz nyy naq gnxr gur fuvc sebz gurz. Ur’yy grnz hc jvgu gur nyvraf jub syrj gur fuhggyr njnl sebz Qrfgval va gung rneyl rcvfbqr naq orpbzr gur Ovt Onq sbe guvf frevrf. Znlor gurl’yy erpncgher uvz, ohg ur’f pyrneyl gur ivyynva bs guvf frevrf naq jvyy erznva fb sbe n juvyr.

    I could be wrong, of course. That’s what makes it exciting.

    Just discovered something cool about Leetkey that I hadn’t known. It leaves HTML intact, so you don’t have to change your <em>s to <rz>s before ROT13ing them. Cool.

  333. You know… people are warned in the main post that this might be spoilery and, honestly, anyone coming here who’s not seen the episodes and then proceeds to whine about spoilers is, well, an idiot. So just post in clear. Having to go elsewhere is rather silly with the context John gives the thread in the OP.

  334. LOVED this ep. Wonderful work, a true cliff-hanger break. Hats (and helmets) off to the behind the scenes crew. Kudos to the actors, take an encore, you deserve it.

  335. Xopher: I’m actually hoping that things start to go seriously wrong on Destiny from this point forward, because being an arrogant, scheming bastard does not preclude someone from being right. Or necessary.

  336. Watched the latest episode.
    Not as bad as feared.

    As long as they can keep the 90210-ish “fat, shy, socially awkward nerd pining for shallow, vapid, and haughty bitch who’ll schtup anything except the fat, shy, and socially awkward nerd” moments, then it’s somewhat watchable.

    My guess on what happens next?

    Rush will jump through a bunch of stargates, find the local evil imperial aliens, and become the Baltar of SG:U.

    Not the crying, re-imagined evil bastard, but the original evil bastard.

  337. I came, I saw, I Hulu’d….

    Eli’s was instructed to erase the evidence against Rush from his hard drive, but he knows how to copy it to something else first, or leave traces behind. Hope he does.

    Rush has no conscience and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, but that doesn’t make what Young did okay. Downward spiral in the offing? Sure looks like it.

    :sigh:

  338. “383.# El
    Rush has no conscience and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, but that doesn’t make what Young did okay. Downward spiral in the offing? Sure looks like it.”

    It seems, to someone of a cynical bent, that the SG:U writers tried to copy as much as possible from Battlestar Galactica (Old and New), almost like a cargo cult of sorts.

    Colonel Young is the poor man’s Edward James Olmos leading a ragtag crew and Rush being the poor man’s Baltar working with the weird aliens that are chasing “Destiny.”

    Meh, anything that gets rid of the crybaby drama is good.

  339. I was SOOOO expecting Young to come through the gate dragging an unconscious Rush with him.

    What I want to know is whether or not Eli knows what happened and knew what Young planned to do.

    Since the files weren’t corrupted Eli must have seen the entire recording of Rush picking up the gun. And he might have put 2 and 2 together after Rush “accidentally” got left behind.

    How is he going to deal with that info? Is he no longer the innocent of the show? The guy that does the right thing?

    And yes it’s obvious that Rush is going to be the main baddie of what’s left of the season at least. And that the space shuttle is going to be a big part of his escape.

    Also, anyone think that TJ can’t distinguish between wounds caused by a brawl and wounds caused by a rockslide? Do doctors believe people that have been beat up that they fell down a stair? How she deals with her suspicions might become interesting as well.

  340. rick 378: Today, I agree. Last night, when it hadn’t been broadcast on the West Coast yet, not so much.

    Mike 379: LOVED this ep. Wonderful work, a true cliff-hanger break.

    I loved it too, but I didn’t think it was that much of a cliff-hanger. That would require the stranded character to be someone the audience wants alive. If Rush dies, he brought it on himself. Also there’s this whole alien ship there…we pretty much know what’s going to happen.

    B. Durbin 380: I’m actually hoping that things start to go seriously wrong on Destiny from this point forward, because being an arrogant, scheming bastard does not preclude someone from being right. Or necessary.

    If anything Rush had done was essential to the ship or in any way contributed to their survival, I might agree. But all the decisions he made were to their detriment, as far as I can tell. Not to mention the fact that he’s too dangerous—don’t tell me that Evil is willing to frame someone for murder if it gets him closer to his goals—to keep on board. Some sources of knowledge are too bloody dangerous to have around. Also, he effectively murdered that other scientist IMO.

    Also, if they kept Rush on the ship, how do you propose that they get anything useful out of him? Letting him continue to run loose on the ship would clearly be wrong; he’s not just an arrogant, scheming bastard, he’s a ruthless criminal. Can you imagine that he’ll work with two armed guards watching him at all times, with every single one of his instructions vetted by Young before implementation, and with his cabin locked from the outside every night? Those are the minimal security measures needed for someone like him.

    Glonn 382: Rush will jump through a bunch of stargates, find the local evil imperial aliens, and become the Baltar of SG:U. Not the crying, re-imagined evil bastard, but the original evil bastard.

    Could be. My bet, as I said last night, is on him using the crashed alien ship to very much the same end. Chekhov’s Law.

    El 383: Rush has no conscience and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, but that doesn’t make what Young did okay.

    No, but the absolute necessity of getting rid of Rush so that the rest of them can survive does. Well, maybe not “okay,” but the least evil alternative. Allowing Rush to keep up his criminal activity on the ship would be flagrantly irresponsible.

    OK, maybe he should have shown everyone the additional footage showing Rush framing him, reported the conversation they had, and had a trial resulting in Rush being locked up permanently. But he was giving Rush more of a chance to change his ways the way he did it. “We’ll never be done” was Rush’s way of saying he would never, ever change his ways, which the rest of us already knew. But Young is always giving people undeserved second chances. Sometimes it works out (Greer), sometimes it doesn’t (Rush).

  341. I don’t see a lot of reviews of ‘Justice’ here, so maybe a lot of people haven’t see it. I just watched it and wow, i *liked*.

    I do love twisty, untrustworthy, blunt and ‘good of the many’ Rush. He is a bit evil, but he’s also committed to the mission and the ship. Sure, that means he does things that he shouldn’t but…gotta love his dedication.

    *plus, he’s damn hot*
    *cough*

    I loved that Eli wasn’t right up there on the ‘Young is totally innocent!!’ bandwagon. He *questions*, and he reserves his judgment, and that’s good. Unswerving loyalty isn’t always good, and i think that Young’s actions at the end showed why.

    He didn’t think twice about abandoning the one man who really is the *expert* on the ship. He put the ship and the crew in jeopardy, all so he could get his satisfaction and ‘win’. And i think Eli knows what’s going on, if his last looks were anything to go by. I think Young just fell down quite far in Eli’s estimation of him.

    I really hope Eli does *not* erase the footage. He would dumb to do that.

    I wish that Wray didn’t hop so much to the IOA’s tune. She’s a smart, driven woman, but she’s letting them control her too much, and drive wedges. The civilians and the military contingents *have* to coexist, or they’re never going to make it home alive.

    Nice to see Franklin in his blood-stained, gun-shot shirt, and Chloe, among others, starting to look a little frazzled. C’mon, SG:U – take the leap! Have all the make up run out *and* some fuzzy underarms appear! And bristly chins!! And longer hair on the military guys! What i wouldn’t give for that sort of realism!

    I think – pure speculation – that Rush will get the alien ship running and somehow catch up to/find the Destiny. And he’ll not say what happened, but hold it secretly and gloatingly over Young’s head, and make him dance to his tune a bit. Which will be awesome and scary.

    Young needs to stop resorting to violence and *think*. Rush is right – he’s not the man for the job.

  342. “386 Xopher,
    Could be. My bet, as I said last night, is on him using the crashed alien ship to very much the same end. Chekhov’s Law.”

    Yeah, except that Rush understands the Ancient tongue and the alien ship is, well, alien.

    It would make more sense to him to go through a stargate, since he actually knows how they work and knows how to dial out.

    Trying to fix a starship that he doesn’t understand and where the instructions are written in a language he doesn’t understand seems a bit futile.

  343. Tabaqui 387: He is a bit evil, but he’s also committed to the mission and the ship.

    Only if you define the mission as “make sure Rush finds out as much about Destiny as possible.” If you define it as “make sure as many people as possible survive,” not so much.

    *plus, he’s damn hot*

    O my gods. You really think so? I sure don’t, and I’m usually into short arrogant guys. In fact he makes me a little queasy because he’s just soooo rotten.

    [Young] put the ship and the crew in jeopardy, all so he could get his satisfaction and ‘win’.

    Wow, I really disagree. I think he did what was absolutely necessary. I can’t think of any time when Rush actually saved the ship, or any lives, by doing his thing as opposed to what Young wanted. In fact, if you believe he knew what would happen when they dipped into the star, he tried to kill the people who were going on the shuttle, just to increase, marginally, his own chances of survival.

    I will never, til I die, understand the Rush fans here. I think he’s an excellent villain, as things are shaping up, but I can’t imagine how anyone can like him.

    But then, I live in a country that elected George W. Bush as President. Clearly my perception of pure evil is not mainstream.

  344. @385 – actually, the one good hit Rush got in on Young was with a rock, so the ‘rockslide’ excuse works. No need for TJ to think anything of it other than him getting hit in the face by a rock. It just had a little ‘help’ hitting him!

    Personally, I don’t think Rush has the ‘greater good’ of anyone but HIS greater good in mind. Leaving him behind on that planet might not have been the best option for Young to take, but I can see why he did it.

    Oh, and Eli is just too bright to delete that kind of evidence – he HAS to have saved it somewhere! Glad he’s not blindly trusting of anyone, but thinks and withholds judgement.

  345. Glonn 388: But there’s no DHD on these gates. He’d have to dial it by hand, which he’s pretty ill-suited to do. He doesn’t have one of the hand-held dialer doohickeys they’ve been using.

    Or maybe he carries one all the time. Wouldn’t be surprised.

    But still…I bet he gets into the alien ship and does SOMETHING that lets him get somewhere. Maybe just activating something that makes the aliens come look. I bet his escape from the barren planet will involve that alien ship in some way.

  346. John,

    I’m thinking that we might all be better off with a comment thread per episode….

    Just watched ‘Justice’ on Hulu. Best episode yet. Not a single call to Earth (that we had to watch). Yeah! I was proud of Chloe standing her ground against Wray in the inquisition.

    One gripe. Rush deleted the footage from the Keno. Then he had to know that when they recovered the footage that it would have included him. He should have been nervous as hell watching that footage with the group. And he should have speculated that Eli suppressed that part on Young’s order. Rush is too smart to have assumed that he got lucky like that.

    Now Rush has to do these things in this order:
    1. Find water.
    2. Find food.
    3. Find a way to dial the stargate. (He can’t dial manually, even if that were possible. He doesn’t know the address of any nearby gate.)
    4. Decide how much time he will spend playing with the starship before he starts gatehopping to find a civilization.

    The ship might have water, food, and a gate controlling device. They didn’t show anything else on the planet, so that is probably where Rush will go. But the big question is whether or not they continue to follow Rush’s story line. I’m betting that they do and that Rush manages to stargate across a few planets and catch up with the ship–maybe for the season finale.

    The ship does need a civilian leader, even if that person only has control of a smal amount of stuff. The civilians need some structure, and a buffer between them and Young. Wray is not the right leader. The decision she made to inject that drug into the comatose patient was made wrong. She jumped to conclusions when there was no need to. This was a perfect time for them to use the stones and get a second opinion from Earth. That sort of short-sighted decision-making should disqualify her.

    The guy who sat in the chair. How long before he wakes up? What new information will he have? I’m betting he wakes up right after Rush shows back up. That will give Rush the ammo he needs to justify what he did.

    I really like the fact that the leaders of the ship don’t like each other, and it’s not just for petty reasons. Good tension.

    If they don’t follow the Rush storyline then he will show up again much later as the leader of a new super-race determined to wipe out the crew of the Destiny. One way or another, Rush will be back.

  347. IMO, Young wasn’t all that before this episode–his approach to the Emily/Telford stuff sucked, and he had Eli spying on Rush before this episode.

    Now he’s got Eli acting as accessory after the fact to whatever crime he turns out to have committed. SO not good.

    If he really felt Rush needed to be off the ship, he should have owned up to what he did and taken the consequences. Given that there’s a highly improbable dearth of people able to take charge (that many people and all they’ve got are people too junior, too much the follower, or too incompetent?) he’d probably keep command.

    Yes, something had to be done. I’d even accept abandonment on the planet as the something, because Rush is waaaaaaay out of control.

    But *own up to it*.

  348. “392 Randy,
    3. Find a way to dial the stargate. (He can’t dial manually, even if that were possible. He doesn’t know the address of any nearby gate.)”

    Didn’t some members of the away team in the “Air:3″ episode have a list of other possible stargate coordinates that “Destiny” rejected?

    It would be fairly easy for someone like Rush to memorize or write down the rejected dial-in chevron coordinates and try them out.

  349. Are we assuming that if Rush gets into the ship, he can’t use it to catch up to Destiny? In Stargate, unknown alien tech is always better than what we got (except guns), so it could be that the ship is even faster than Destiny.

  350. Wow, that episode was a bit of a surprise, and I’m still trying to think through it all. I thought Young finally started acting like a true leader for the first time this episode, actually showed a little integrity, gave respect to the other people on board, but then threw it all away right at the end by leaving Rush behind. Glad that Rush finally told him who the “wrong person for the job” really was. That has needed saying to Young for a *really long time*, and not just through O’Neill’s exasperated rejoinder way back in episode 2 or 3 that “…none of us were the right people”. Or maybe I’m just sick of Scott’s hero worship. Only problem was that Rush did it after making a really stupid decision, and that makes his valid point a little too easy to ignore IMO.

    I really do hope they get Rush back as soon as possible, because that will be a very interesting homecoming I’m sure.

    You know, my guess was that Chloe would be the one in the chair, because that would have given her a very solid role in future episodes, but I’m relieved they didn’t do that. Now she may get to grow up a little more naturally within the situation, and if they continue to write her as well as they did this episode — with a bit of a backbone — I may forget about the “afraid of the dark” shower scene and the whole drunk, whiny dialog.

    Ah well, none of us have ever had to write a show where we worry about ratings and how to catch viewer’s attention, now have we? :-)

    The Greer – Wray confrontation was a clear reenactment of their first scene together where Greer had to be stopped from physically assaulting her, and I thought this interaction was very well done. Her reactions afterward were a superb bit of acting too…I really felt her fear of him driving her every move as she walked away. Also reminded me of why Greer is such a perfect drone…pejoratively speaking of course.

    Tabaqui, I must admit that your speculation of Rush returning and going along with the rock slide story has really got me optimistic about loving this show even more. It seems like a very reasonable next step, in character for both Young and Rush, and should make for some great drama. And on that idea of drama…I spoke with a friend about the show a few weeks ago, and he passed along an interesting idea: he suggested that I view the Rush/Young conflict as the embodiment of the sharp divide that inherently exists between the science and military mindsets. I really like that perspective. Unlike previous Stargates where the two worlds are always shown in an impossibly peaceful coexistence, SGU finally admits to the real life difficulties of communication, misunderstandings, and the conflict that military personnel and scientists would have when working in close proximity to each other. Made me re-watch the first few episodes, and I’m glad that I did, because unlike Eli — who has an instinctual and healthy distrust of authority — I had blindly fallen for a couple of Young’s manipulative tricks in this regard.

    Again, very much looking forward to next week!

  351. “395, joten,
    Are we assuming that if Rush gets into the ship, he can’t use it to catch up to Destiny? In Stargate, unknown alien tech is always better than what we got (except guns), so it could be that the ship is even faster than Destiny.”

    Imagine you speak Mandarin Chinese and you have a fairly good understanding of Chinese culture and history and you find yourself dumped in the middle of nowhere.

    There’s something that vaguely resembles a fighter jet in a muddy field nearby.

    The writings on the “fighter jet” are in an alphabet you cannot identify.

    You don’t even know if it is a fighter jet or not and, while you understand the underlying principle, you don’t know how to fly one.

    There’s also a train station nearby with signs in Mandarin Chinese that say “Next city, 100 kilometers” and you can hear a train approaching in the distance.

    Do you:

    a) wallow in the muddy field, trying to get a potential death trap of a “fighter jet” where all the writings cannot be understood by you to work while slowly starving to death.

    or

    b) take the train to the nearest city and try to figure things out from there, since they could be someone who understands Mandarin Chinese there.

    But you’re probably right, the SG:U writers are hacks, so Rush will be able to fly the speedy non-Ancient spaceship back to “Destiny” in time for tea (mud and water.)

  352. RoryTate:

    As I understand it, the next ep is in several months, not next week. I thought this might be frustrating, but it turns out not to be, for me anyway. Hmm….

  353. One thing the Rush haters here maybe don’t see is that he is one of the few characters (maybe the only lead) whose point of view is not directly shown, but often perceived through the eyes of the other characters (i.e., Rush is rarely “followed” by the camera in first person, and shown doing things when he is alone; the biggest exception being the photo scene in Air). It is easier to identify with the other characters because they actually put you inside their shoes from time to time. On the other hand, unlike in fiction, in the real world all people except yourself are unknowns.

    Hence, the wild speculations about his motives. And, imho, the unknown quantity he represents is perceived as distasteful and villain. I for one like Rush and I think I understand his reasoning, because I so happen to like the “greater good” topic in science-fiction stories and the dilemmas they pose between reason and morality, science and humanities.

    I agree with 396 that the writers are showing a more realistic divide between the science and military mindsets here than in previous SG series. And instead of having good guys and bad guys, we get more complex characterizations. As a scientist myself, I find the conflict well played, even if a bit stereotyped. Military brave but tight and short-sighted, prone to physical violence (Young resorting to punching every time can get boring pretty fast). Science brilliant but unempathetic and cold.

    I found Young beating and leaving Rush like that very distasteful, and the decisions he is taking more and more objectionable. Rush was right during the confrontation, the past episodes showed us clearly a Young whose only stabilizers are the command duty (who he wanted to relinquish in the prologue) and the “stoning” to his wife. Without those, he just does not care what happens on Destiny.

  354. Irony is fun. Rush tries to frame Young by implying that he “did what was needed” by getting rid of a problem, only to have him actually do it to HIM at the end of the ep. Very nice.

    Glonn Bock@397
    Sorry dude but I think you are going to be very disappointed when we see how Rush gets out of his situation. He COULD gate hop, but there are a huge number of assumptions that would have to be made. He would need gate addresses. He would need to know which gates to use to get on Destiny’s flight path. He would need a dialing device. I will bet hard currency that he will figure out enough of the alien tech to either fly the ship or make contact with the aliens.

  355. the gates on the planets cant dial they have not enough power… anyways even more irony is that Young was framed for murder and ended up doing it ;)

  356. 401, GL2418
    Sorry dude but I think you are going to be very disappointed when we see how Rush gets out of his situation. He COULD gate hop, but there are a huge number of assumptions that would have to be made. He would need gate addresses. He would need to know which gates to use to get on Destiny’s flight path. He would need a dialing device. I will bet hard currency that he will figure out enough of the alien tech to either fly the ship or make contact with the aliens.”

    I agree with you that it’ll probably happen the way you’ve described.

    But it’s still lazy writing and highly improbable.

    Think about it:
    The “Destiny” has experts in Ancient everything and access to additional Ancient experts back on Earth and they can’t even change the course or hardly do anything with “Destiny”, but Rush will have this entirely foreign spaceship-that-might-not-even-be-a-spaceship up and running by “reversing the polarity of the neutron flow” and he’ll be able to find “Destiny” using magic FTL-stargate-spaceship radar.

    So finding “Destiny” by jumping stargates or by using the alien spaceship are equally improbable.

    At least there’s a possibility that Rush has some coordinates that Destiny rejected available to him (memorized or written down) so that he might jump to a planet where there’s been some Ancient influence and move from there.

  357. After watching ten episodes of SGU, the verdict of my viewing group (me, DH, and our 2 good friends) is:

    Painfully boring.

    It is sad and disappointing and bewildering. Robert Carlisle in the new SGU should have been funny and made of awesome. But that’s not what we saw.

    We kept waiting to like RC’s character, but couldn’t get there. We’re not loving to hate him, either.

    SGU needs more exploration! They are on the far side of the universe, but we haven’t seen much of it. The camera is always focused (not too well focused — jiggle, jiggle, play peek-a-boo with the bed frame) on the bickering people in the poorly lit tin can. Or angsting on Earth.

    I have watched shows centered on character drama, such as West Wing and BSG. I can’t pinpoint why SGU’s character drama is so uninteresting compared to those shows. All I can say is that these people are not likable and don’t seem very real to me. I don’t care if the colonel repairs his relationship with his wife or if Eli gets Chloe. I would have preferred getting to know these characters by watching them take action and have adventures.

    The stones drain the show of all tension and jeopardy. On the one hand, we’re supposed to believe that these people are acting badly because they are the wrong people, stuck on the other side of the universe. On the other hand, Chloe and Eli go nightclubbing in DC. It’s impossible to feel too sorry for them, or be on the edge of my seat hoping they can get home someday. And every episode we wonder why they don’t bring qualified experts on board to help — a doctor, a psycologist, an Ancient expert. The stones continually create the mother of all plot holes.

    Dividing the characters into factions on the Destiny is utterly absurd, from my perspective. Why does Wray’s boss think this is a good idea? What possible benefit to himself can he be pursuing? Clearly, all the people on board (except for Rush) want to survive and get home. Rush doesn’t want to go home, and he has lied to everyone repeatedly — and they know it. So, why would anyone join Rush’s faction? What could Wary possibly offer to cause people to join her faction? It’s all very contrived for the sake of drama and conflict and not believable to me.

    SGU needed more exploration and humor to have kept our interest; we like to have fun watching sci-fi. Failing that, it needed to be GOOD character drama, with believable characters acting in plausible ways.

    I continue to be very grateful for the 15 great seasons of SG1 and SGA. It’s been lots of fun having dinner and Stargate with our good friends. We are now going to move onto Sanctuary and Warehouse13 and Legend of the Seeker for our sci-fi Fridays.

    We hope MGM will make the Jack-centered SG1 movie! We’ll buy it as soon as available for a night of good fun.

    Sadly, we are done with SGU.

  358. And having Rush return as a king of the space pirates to board “Destiny” would be so much cooler than him docking with a shitty little spaceship.

    Therefore I hope Rush’ll contact some civilization and turn all Baltar on “Destiny.”

  359. “402, Rora
    the gates on the planets cant dial they have not enough power”

    Well, then how did the other scientists in “Air:3″ dial out to the stargates rejected by the “Destiny” computer?

  360. I have to admit that I rather liked this one.

    More than the previous episodes.

    I am an admitted Rush Hater.

    Like previously stated, I too, was expecting Young to be dragging a bloodied Rush through the gate at the end.

    They’d said what needed saying to each other, showed each other heaps of contempt and battered & bruised each other. Each would be more cautious in the future.

    Scott: “My, god! What happened to you two?”

    Young: “I slipped and tripped us both down a hill.”

    Rush: “What he said.”

    Abandoning him, while satisfying, was the wrong thing to do. Some leader Young is.

    -

    I was massively disappointed in Eli’s lack of response to Young at the end. He should have at least questioned the ‘official story.’

    “What really happened out there? Who else ‘won’t make it back to the gate’ in time when they cross you?”

    -

    As for Rush and the alien ride, I think we’re all forgetting some minor detail: it crashed.

    OK, that was how they were describing it, but I suppose it could have been landed, then never returned to… fully functional but abandoned.

    As people have been saying, Rush needs to board it, learn an entirely alien language, interpret it’s systems & controls, reactivate it and then fly it off after a ship whose location and FTL vector is unknown.

    Without tools. Without food. Without water.

    If we take for granted the presumption of it having crashed, you also have to allow for the fact that: IT CRASHED.

    Rush would have to do all of the above AND repair it, before he could do anything else. Before dieing of thirst in a few days.

    Presumably, it had a crew. A crew that knew its systems. Knew how to fly it. Should have known at least basic repair. And /they/ crashed it.

    Now one alien is going to get it spaceworthy before his supplies run out. Wait… what supplies?

    While the whole ‘reactivate the wreck & catch up with Destiny’ is likely how they intend to go with this, I’d find it the most unlikely way to succeed.

    Another scenario is reactivating its systems in such a way as to learn how to traverse the gate network to leapfrog Destiny’s unknown relative course. Similarly implausible.

  361. “407 Dahak,
    Another scenario is reactivating its systems in such a way as to learn how to traverse the gate network to leapfrog Destiny’s unknown relative course. Similarly implausible.”

    You’re right, but if Rush were to ignore getting back on “Destiny” for now and focus on surviving, I’d say that traversing the Stargates for food, water, and other civilizations is a better alternative.

    If Rush has an “Ancient” remote control or “Kino PlayStation Portable” that is so much beloved by Eli then he can control the Stargates without the need of a DHD.

  362. Here’s a simple solution to Rush’s “what do I do with this ship” problem if the writers want him to get the ship back into space – the pilot died of something, but the ship is intact, and has a distress beacon he can activate. He gets picked up, and, uh, something plotlike happens.

  363. For example, if the people on the ship died of some horrible disease (like the one from the ice planet), their ship might have crashed on the planet with minimal damage.

  364. “410 Xopheron 06 Dec 2009 at 8:41 pm

    For example, if the people on the ship died of some horrible disease (like the one from the ice planet), their ship might have crashed on the planet with minimal damage.”

    -

    Unless you want to preface that with the added unlikelihood of the pilot expiring within about 10 meters of the surface during a well-controlled landing, I’d recommend rethinking the whole idea of mating the concepts ‘starship crash’ and ‘minimal damage.’

  365. Glonn Bock@406
    We really don’t know how the gates are powered without a DHD, I am not really on board with the idea that the gates have no native power source, however, one thing I do remember from SG1 is that an incoming wormhole leaves a residual energy charge in the gate and can then be used to dial out if the primary power source is lost. But then there is the question of how do you dial out more than once on a single charge so I don’t think that is the answer.

    @403
    SG1 at least tried in season one to have non English speaking aliens, but then eventually dropped it all and just had everyone suddenly speaking English everywhere they went. I have no doubt that this alien ship will be surprisingly easy to pilot. Maybe a nice neural interface that just happens to be compatible with human brains? Who knows. I’m sure it will either be very creative or incredibly, frustratingly improbable.

  366. Well. I like Greer.

    But that’s not enough to keep me watching SGU. I know what “Justice” was supposed to be. There were certainly a couple dramatic moments. But the plot holes and character inconsistencies undercut them too much.

    Dammit, I really wanted to like this show, too. Maybe Caprica will be something to see when it starts up. I miss my scifi fix.

  367. @413:

    While you are correct that aliens speak English in Stargate series, their written languages are never understood in the same way, and that is a concrete rule of the universe.

    And I’m pretty sure Rush does have one of those dialing remotes, since he is a paranoid maniac and Young left Rush’s pack behind. He can travel the stargate network, but I’d question how many addresses he knows. He might use it to get food from one of their prior destinations, but he probably will come back to the spaceship, since he doesn’t know the addresses of any planets ahead of them, and it’s his best shot of getting to the Destiny.

  368. Well, Dahak,

    1. They could have intentionally landed on the planet when they noticed they were getting sick, or

    2. The ship could have landed them on autopilot, as I mentioned above, or

    3. The ship could have jump capability (a new thing in the SG universe), and have ended up on the planet in such a way that it killed the entire crew, or

    Any number of other things.

  369. Or the ship has a neural interface chair akin to destiny’s.

    It’s not out of the realm of possibility that an advanced civilisation creates options to make all tools usable by all. A decreasing time frame would force Rush to make the decision to use the chair.

    How this would help I’m not sure, but the derelict was at most 50 minutes walk from the gate, who knows what the rest of the planet might hold.

    If the premise of the gates in this show is Destiny only stops at planets that are required by those currently on board, then that ship, or something on that planet is critical.

    Of course this begs the question as to why the first question when dropping out of FTL is not “what the ^&$@ do we need now”? Heck, Destiny may very well hit that planet again simply because the crew “need” Rush.

    As for Young request, wanting the only piece of evidence that pretty much convicts him of leaving Rush behind seems pretty plausible to me.

  370. “417 Xopheron 06 Dec 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Well, Dahak,

    1. They could have intentionally landed on the planet when they noticed they were getting sick, or”
    -
    I could almost believe that one, but the landing seems to have been a pretty poor one, in that case.

    The ship either crashed or has been there so long, without maintenance or support, that it LOOKS like a crash site.

    While we’ve seen Ancient technology being abandoned on planetary surfaces and being completely serviceable after tens of thousands of years, it’s kind of tough to assume everone’s tech is so… robust.

    -
    “2. The ship could have landed them on autopilot, as I mentioned above, or”
    -
    A supposed autopilot that either crashed or did a really bad job landing itself.
    -
    “3. The ship could have jump capability (a new thing in the SG universe), and have ended up on the planet in such a way that it killed the entire crew,”
    -
    ‘Killed the crew’ while remaining fully spaceworthy… ‘So easy, even a caveman could do it!’
    -
    “or

    Any number of other things.”
    -
    No doubt.

  371. I agree getting the alien ship off the ground is the biggest challenge. Catching up to Destiny, might not be as bad. Rush spends all his time studying the ships systems, trying to hack the navigation program. There’s a likelihood he’s got a fair idea of where Destiny is going the next two jumps, at least (not being sure how often Destiny course corrects). Plus, if he can get the ship going, he might be able to track Destiny through the old-fashioned sci-fi memes of engine exhaust, radiation signature, some such gobbledygoo.

    But that’s the easy part. As noted, first Rush has to open the ship, then get it working. Given how it landed, it seems to have been a controlled crash landing, so it might be flyable depending on if the cause of the crash was mechanical failure or pilot (biological) failure.

    We’re also assuming, with no evidence, that the owners aren’t still around somewhere.

    On the separate topic of gate hopping: while it’s not been spelled out, it’s seems strongly implied that these primitive gates only reach intrasystem – although I suspect that’s based on power consumption, not a design limitation. Destiny’s gate received a wormhole from earth, and could dial back, except for the power systems in the ship not being up to it.

    So, another option for Rush is, if he can power up the alien vessel – even if it isn’t spaceworthy, it could possibly power the local gate for a long-distance wormhole, at least as far as Destiny.

    From the writer’s viewpoint, that’d be my option. Rush resurrecting the ship and flying back is a) too obvious and b) too SG-1 (which they seem to hate), so using the car battery to jump start the gate seems more realistic and less obvious.

  372. So this is spoiler-ish for anyone who is not watching the Kinosodes / Behind the Scenes videos on the MGM site, but there was a video in which one of the writers/producers mentions the mystery shuttle from “Air” and says that there is an alien race that has been watching Destiny. I assume that this new ship is from the same race. Who’s to say that they have not learned things from the ship and incorporated that knowledge into their own ships? They could have been following Destiny for generations studying it and learning how to duplicate it’s systems. For all we know Rush could open it up and find Ancient writing or similar systems on board.

    I am more curious to find out how human these aliens are going to be and how long it will take them to be fluent in English.

  373. Ok, I think ‘Justice’ was definitely the best SGU episode yet. It was good to see Chloe do something other than whine, and the tension between Wray and Greer continues to simmer. As a bonus, no communication stone scenes!

    I absolutely did not suspect Rush, and was quite certain Wray was the guilty party. Seeing Rush finally get what he deserved was great. BTW, having seen the actor who plays Young in ‘Durham County’, I seem to suspect him of always being sneaky and prone to violence.

    For Rush, I’ll agree with Richard that Rush will somehow get the gate working. Either he has a DHD/remote in his bag, or he’ll find one (and other necessities) in the alien ship.

  374. If I recall correctly from SG1, the gates can be powered with just about anything. I believe that one line from Carter in SG1 was that “they can be powered by anything…” then a list of things, one of which was solar.

    Rush has been my favorite character thus far because he is exactly that, too much of SG1 and Atlantis was comprised of brilliant and brave individuals who were heros. Yes the SG program recruited from the best and brightest (including, apparently, through online video games) but I just don’t buy into everyone being that selfless. Great shows but this one feels more like it is populated with “real” characters.

  375. Good story telling (finally), good pace, great cliff-hanger. Talk about a wonderful use of payback.

    I really want the Dirty Destiny to make it to a space port so it can have its windows cleaned. Filthy looking thang.

  376. One note for sticklers and metaphor hunters: the ship is called Destiny, not “the Destiny.”

    For sticklers, it’s always used that way on the show, so let’s get it right, shall we?

    For metaphor hunters, it’s called Destiny because it is Destiny itself. They’re tugged along by it; they can’t escape it; it brings them to places where they have life-changing encounters, and the only choice they have is how they handle those encounters.

    It’s a ship, yes. But it’s not JUST a ship. The Hammond always gets an article; the Prometheus did sometimes. But not Destiny. I think that means something.

  377. “421, GL2418
    So this is spoiler-ish for anyone who is not watching the Kinosodes / Behind the Scenes videos on the MGM site, but there was a video in which one of the writers/producers mentions the mystery shuttle from “Air” and says that there is an alien race that has been watching Destiny. I assume that this new ship is from the same race. Who’s to say that they have not learned things from the ship and incorporated that knowledge into their own ships? They could have been following Destiny for generations studying it and learning how to duplicate it’s systems.”

    Fascinating.

    A cargo cult on the “Destiny”, trying to reverse engineer Ancient technology.

    So why haven’t the crew on the “Destiny” noticed them yet?

    Are they space ninjas?

  378. Xopher@425: Actually, I think as far as the ship names go, the Hammond, Prometheus, and Destiny are all in the same category, i.e., the article is optional. If I’m beginning a sentence, I’ll use an article for all three (The Destiny, having come out of warp…), but otherwise it’s a matter of how it fits the sentance (SG-1 then beamed back aboard Prometheus right before the Goa’uld Mothership exploded).

  379. “427, Richard
    If I’m beginning a sentence, I’ll use an article for all three (The Destiny, having come out of warp…), but otherwise it’s a matter of how it fits the sentance (SG-1 then beamed back aboard Prometheus right before the Goa’uld Mothership exploded).”

    Well, you’ve convinced me!
    I’ll be using “The Destiny” as the ship’s name from now on!

    I’ve actually thought about the return of Rush and there’s a remote possibility that the Rush who went through the unstable Stargate in “Time” survived and will be the one coming back to “The Destiny” now.

    Which should be mindfuckingly funny/awkward for all concerned.

    Multiple Rushes on the loose.
    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaahaha!

  380. Yes, well, Glonn, we know YOU never turn down an opportunity to be annoying. I really didn’t expect you to adopt any convention other than the one that would let you do that.

    Richard, is there a single instance of anyone on the show using an article with Destiny’s name? Even in the intro, Rush’s first word is ‘Destiny’, not ‘the Destiny’.

    I’m not really saying everyone has to use it “properly” from now on (that was a joke); I’m saying that the fact that no one on the show uses the article is significant.

  381. Who knows what Rush has found in Destiny’s computer though? The writers established the Rush only reveals information that he has too for one reason or another. They have all sorts of ways for Rush to get back to Destiny. Heck, Rush could have programmed Destiny to auto dial back to the whatever planet he last was on when every Destiny is out of FTL unless he cancels it. I think the writers have clearly shown that Rush only cares about acquiring the Ancients technology and considers the rest of the passengers of Destiny to be totally expendable towards his reaching that goal.

  382. “429, Xopher,
    # Xopheron 07 Dec 2009 at 2:20 pm
    Yes, well, Glonn, we know YOU never turn down an opportunity to be annoying. I really didn’t expect you to adopt any convention other than the one that would let you do that.”

    I was responding to Richard’s post, not yours.
    I didn’t realize you were the forum moderator, so my most humble apologies for offending your sensibilities.

  383. 389 -Xopher

    Hilarious how you link liking the ‘Rush’ character to electing The Shrub.

    I love that Rush *isn’t* a selfless, mealy-mouthed ‘good guy’, always winging on and on about the sanctity of life and how emotional it all is, crying secretly in his bunk because Chloe is mad at him.

    He’s smart, ruthless, obsessed, a little out there. He speaks bluntly, saying what most people are thinking but are too ‘polite’ or scared to say. He acts for the good of himself, and luckily, that good = the good of the people on Destiny. I doubt that Eli or any other scientist on board has as much knowledge of the systems and of Ancient as he does, unless the writers suddenly decide that there are hidden!geniuses aboard, or Franklin wakes up with the whole computer downloaded to his brain.

    Young was impulsive, violent, knowing stranded Rush on a planet that seems pretty hostile to long-term survival, and in effect crippled any research into Destiny and her systems. He did it for petty revenge, and i hope it bites him in the ass.

    *cough*
    And yeah, I find Robert Carlye to be an amazing actor, and one attractive man. I find his characterization of Rush to be wonderful, and hell yeah, sexass. Bad boys win. :)

  384. ST Voyager was the same way with the ship name, but I suspect that it is just because “The Voyager” just sounds stupid. I think someone wrote it that way in a novel once and I got all indignant.

    So I just thought of something else. We don’t really need Rush anymore because we now have that scientist dude who sat in the chair ( I have been calling them “White Shirts”). He is not dead, so you can bet when he wakes up he will be Mr Destiny expert. But I’m sure he will go crazy or rogue or something and Rush will need to save the day.

  385. 396 RoryTate

    Yes, the Wray-Greer moment was *awesome*. I loved that. I’m really liking both of those characters, and hoping for more ‘i build stuff’ moments from Greer, because to continue to make him Angry!Black!Man would be boring. I hate that Wray buckles to IOA pressure – she knows that they need to work as a team, not as factions, but she keeps letting them talk her into divide and conquer stuff. Arrgh!

    I do like the civilian/military tension – it *is* realistic. The people with guns are at once icons of safety and possible overlords, and the people with special knowledge know they can be reduced to mere slaves or bargaining chips if things get ugly.

    I wish Eli had said something to Young at the end, as a couple others have said, but i think he might just be biding his time. I think Young has gone down a notch or two in Eli’s eyes.

    Can’t wait for freakin’ *April* to see more….

  386. Glonn 431: I of course never claimed to be the moderator, and of course you’ll go on doing whatever you want, so: do whatever you want. Just don’t think you’ve got us all fooled.

    Tabaqui 432: Hilarious how you link liking the ‘Rush’ character to electing The Shrub.

    Well, I didn’t quite mean it that way. But I’m used to seeing evil when others don’t. I was right about Chimpy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m right about Rush.

    He acts for the good of himself, and luckily, that good = the good of the people on Destiny.

    It’s that equation there that I don’t buy. I’m not at all sure that finding out everything there is to know about Destiny, at the expense of killing people here and there (which he’s quite willing to do) and framing others for murder (which he’s just shown he’s willing to do) really IS the greatest good for the greatest number. For maximizing their survival potential, they probably don’t need to know a whole lot more. They even know how to fire the weapons.

    Now, I’m as interested in the workings of the ship as the next guy. I just think having a narcissistic sociopath on board is too high a price to pay. Optimizing for knowledge: keep Rush. Optimizing for survival: ditch Rush, especially since he might very well murder you in your bed if you were in his way and he decided he could get away with it. (Who took the suicide’s pills? He thought he had more, but couldn’t find them, right? I’m betting Rush did that too.)

    [Young stranded Rush] for petty revenge, and i hope it bites him in the ass.

    Obviously I don’t agree, since I think it was the correct decision in the circumstances, rather than petty revenge—and if someone had just framed me for murder, never mind deliberately increasing the factional distrust on the ship…well, you and I have different definitions of ‘petty’, clearly. But while I don’t hope it bites him in the ass, I feel certain it will so bite. These things don’t just go away.

    ____ 434: Yes, the Wray-Greer moment was *awesome*. I loved that. I’m really liking both of those characters

    Now on this point I agree with you completely. Also your later points about Wray.

  387. Glonn Bock@426
    “Space ninjas”? That would be cool.
    I am guessing that once the humans showed up the aliens decided to take a steps back and watch what happened.

    There vast sections of the ship we can’t access, for all we know they are in those areas.

    I bet they are tapped into the Kino feed and are watching everything that Eli is recording. And THAT is how they will be able to speak English (oh boy I’m on a roll now).

    Now we just have to wait until April before we find out what the answers are.

  388. Oh, I assumed the aliens fled to the shuttle when the humans arrived…or when it became clear to them what was going on. I can’t actually remember which episode it was when the shuttle took off. Was that Air 3?

    But GL, just to play along…they’re a lot better connected to the ship than the humans are so far. They get their English from Franklin’s head while he’s in the chair.

  389. Annnd…IMDB now lists two characters named Koz and Calvos, played by Primo Allon and Conan Graham respectively, who are in two episodes (“Incursion” Parts 1 and 2) in 2010. Since they list the full name and rank of all other characters, I’m thinking those are going to be the aliens.

    Unless they’re a couple of thugs from an “ET stone home” episode. But the title ‘Incursion’ makes me think not.

  390. Xopher

    I just can’t see Rush quite as sociopathic and homicidal as you do. He hasn’t *killed* anyone. He said that the only way to close the shuttle was for someone to get stranded inside it. Maybe no *the* only way, but nobody else had any suggestions.

    But he didn’t *force* anyone to go in there, or even make an announcement about it, he merely said ‘i think this is our only option’ to about four or five people, and someone else outside of that group *the senator* took it upon themselves to execute it.

    I think he suspected that the ship might survive the dive into the sun, but it was only a suspicion, rather than a fact. He didn’t make the call to put people in a shuttle and send them out, that was a decision that they *all* made, collectively.

    And he, as we know, didn’t strand anyone on a planet with no food, water, or way off. Young did that, because Young…likes revenge. Like how he actually went ‘back’ to earth in some poor fool’s body to beat the crap out of Teleford. Way to be a level-headed commanding officer!
    Not.

    I just….don’t see Rush as the evol manipulator who will ‘kill you in your sleep’, or Young as the shining hero. Way more shades of grey than that going on, which is…really quite nice.
    :)

    I want more Wray. And i’d like to see Riley up and about again – is he okay? Still hurt? He’s in my top five favorite characters. And more James, please, and can she please be 100 percent over any crush on boring-Scott? Please?

    Damn, April is a *long* ways away.

  391. Glonn, Xoper, erm…ya’ll might want to re-read my last post. I wasn’t trying to suggest Destiny should always be The Destiny. I was, however, responding to Xopher’s post suggesting it should always simply be Destiny. I think, like other ships (Hammond, Prometheus, Enterprise, Voyager, so on, and so forth), as the article the isn’t implicitly part of the name, it’s optional.

    In fact, most navies (be they real, ocean going ones, or fictitious space faring ones) don’t use definite articles in ship names, except in special circumstances. Many reasons, I’m sure, not the least of which is it makes using military prefixes sound funny (USS Prometheus). But if you’re dropping the prefix, then definite articles will creep in, as I said, because it fits the patterns of speech better.

    If you’re determined not to use the in front of Destiny, however don’t let me stop you. If you’re determined to snipe at each other, don’t use me as an excuse. Goodness, gracious!

  392. Richard, as I said above,

    I’m not really saying everyone has to use it “properly” from now on (that was a joke); I’m saying that the fact that no one on the show uses the article is significant.

    In other words, I think they call it Destiny because they know it’s La Forza del Destino at least as far as they’re concerned. As for your usage, please feel free to use the articulated* form if you so desire; you won’t get any argument from me. I was merely pointing out that no one on the show seems to do that.
    ___
    *Yes, that’s really how you say “with an article” as an adjective. Yeah, I know it also means “jointed.” I think stuff like that is just way cool, which shows you not only what a geek I am, but what kind.

  393. Richard:

    If you’re determined to snipe at each other, don’t use me as an excuse.

    I don’t think any of us need to find excuses for sniping…. ;-)

  394. FSM be damned! The show’s hiatus until April is certainly a surprise, especially when there is a DVD release of Season 1 planned for February 2010. *sigh* A little googling later and it appears that the DVD release will be split into two halves as well. No wonder I’d assumed (wrongly) it would keep airing.

    I thought Eli’s response was well written, even though I too wished (like Tabaqui said) that he could have been more confrontational with Young. At that moment though he appeared to be internalizing the murder of Rush, as he fully realized the chain of events brought into motion by his decision to share the footage with Young alone. I think this will have a major effect on him, and I can even see him returning to his hikikomori (shut in) ways for quite some time as a result. That could even further compromise the crew’s difficulty in working with the ship (now that they’ve lost Rush). It’s hard to say…the life-and-death situation may not allow him much time to withdraw. At the very least, I can see his wonder and enjoyment at exploring the ship come crashing to a halt, even if it is just because it reminds him too much of Rush.

    I must admit that I really like Wray’s character. The preview articles describing the show said that she would be the person you “love to hate”, but I find myself sympathizing with her, understanding her, and even rooting for her at times. And the moral is…never trust show previews.

    My favourite so far among the crew would probably be TJ. Admittedly, on the surface she is probably one of the few characters without any major flaws, but it is her strength and willingness to stand out from the group (especially in her unbiased dealings with Rush) that have endeared her to me.

    You know, that reminds me: it’s great to finally have strong characters among both genders now, since it was so glaringly lopsided back during the show’s inception. TJ, Wray, and Chloe have each been involved in — and have even been the driving forces behind — many critical situations. They have made decisions, offered advice, and given strong, clear arguments when needed. All of these actors are certainly beautiful enough to be used as eye candy, but it is the importance and intelligence of their dialogue that has made them truly attractive IMO.

    Now to sit back and be patient…April will mean spring is in the air, and SGU is on the air. Yay! :-)

  395. *sigh*
    I tried to watch this show.
    I really did.
    It’s dark and plodding.
    The “Stargate” franchise is not supposed to be “Battlestar Galactic” or “Blade Runner”

  396. “443 Xopher,
    In other words, I think they call it Destiny because they know it’s La Forza del Destino at least as far as they’re concerned.”

    Yes, I’m sure that Verdi was the first thing they thought of when they got stuck on a fucking spaceship and that’s why we shouldn’t call it “The Destiny.”

  397. Josh@446 – That’s just how SciFi does things. They run half seasons and Summer seasons. The ratings would have to be astronomically low to get it canceled after just a half season on that channel.

  398. @430 – I don’t think they’ve shown any such thing. Rush, for all his faults, does seen keenly interested in the fate of the passengers of the ship – just not in their daily existence. He proved his heroism in the episode “Time” and in the one with the sun refueling. He might not have been straight with Young, but it’s because he thinks he’s, as he said, the wrong man for the job, and doesn’t think like a commander. He wants to be people’s friend, not their boss, and it’s going to cost lives the way he’s doing it.

    I think Young has a death wish and he has no problem taking everyone else down with him. I feel like he’s the villain of the show – Rush is an asshole, but he’s not a villain.

  399. Xopher, when you omit the article “the” in front of a ship’s name, all you’re doing is using English in a colloquial fashion. The USS Enterprise does not have “The” as an official part of its name. You can say, “I’ve been assigned to Enterprise,” or, “The Enterprise.” Destiny is only called such because the writers thought having the characters calling it “ship” wasn’t good enough. But calling it the ship really makes the most sense, since they would all know what “the ship” is referring to. Destiny would have been better named This Won’t Hurt Much, or The Old Boat, or The Rocket of Doom, or You’re In Trouble Now…

  400. I suggest the starship formerly known as “Destiny” is now renamed as ODD (Ol’ Dirty Destiny) because of its filth and grime.

  401. OK folks, the debate over “the: in front of Destiny is probably the most boring thread so far.
    Just sayin’

    Tabaqui@440
    Rush has you thinking exactly what he wants you to think ;-)

    Rush is a master manipulator. He was subtle. He plants a seed and then walks away to let it grow. He lets others’ nobility and sense of duty get them killed so that he can survive.

    He planted the seed that the only way to close the shuttle was for someone to go in there and do it. Something like that spreads through word of mouth. no need to announce it.

    Rush is obsessed with Destiny. He did not leave when they were headed for the sun partly out of faith I think and partly because he had nothing left to live for without it. I don’t think it was brave to stay behind, I think it was more resignation.

    In “Time” he went through the gate out of fear. There was a 50-50 shot of surviving the gate, and I’m guessing a 10% or less shot of surviving the chest drills. There was no nobility there IMO.

    He planted the seed that the only way to get control of the ship was to use the chair and out of desperation Mr white shirt obliged him y sitting in it.

    Rush will not “kill you in your sleep”, but if it will further his goals, he has no problem convincing you to slit your own throat.

  402. On hold til April!?

    A show with a brooding almost gothic tone, neat hard-core genre ideas set to go anywhere, and writers who aren’t afraid to make every character exist in an interesting moral gray zone (a la George R. R. Martin), not to mention a solid avoidance of too much twee geekery, and a plot that was starting to take some respectable twists and turns.

    Damn.

    This thing was shaping up to be interesting. Not a masterpiece, maybe, but some nice grown-up SF never the less.

  403. 453, GL2418
    OK folks, the debate over “the: in front of Destiny is probably the most boring thread so far.
    Just sayin’”

    I agree.

    It’s just so stupid that it deserves nothing but derision and mockery.

    NOBODY.CARES.

    And the ship is named “The Ol’ Dirty Destiny” from now on.
    Either that or “The Pure Big Mad Boat Man.”

  404. Perhaps the solution is a little less complicated. What if the ship is more like an Atlantis puddle jumper. They have DHDs and gate maps encoded in them.

    It’s not at all unlikely to expect Rush to get into a door and identify a DHD (which is usually low power) to activate the gate, then walk through.

  405. And the ship is named “The Ol’ Dirty Destiny” from now on.
    Either that or “The Pure Big Mad Boat Man.”

    All I can think of when I see it is “Thor’s Hammer”

  406. “457,GL2418
    All I can think of when I see it is “Thor’s Hammer””

    The Dildo of Destiny!
    Or, if you will, “Le Dildo Del Destino.”

  407. GL2418, skip this bit. ————

    TGA, let me reiterate yet again that all I’m saying is that on the show they omit the article, and that I think that fact is thematically significant.

    They call it “Destiny” because it’s their destiny. It allows the ambiguity of saying “____ has brought us to this point,” pronouncing /des’ tin iy/ in the blank, and having people (except us poor HOH people watching the captions) wonder whether you meant the ship or the force of fate—or both.

    I don’t care whether you (or anyone else) use the article. I’m pointing out a thematic device. That’s all.

    (By the way, the characters didn’t make up the name. Rush translated it from the Ancient. I think in this case he can be trusted not to have lied, though of course one must consider that every time he says anything.)

    GL2418, part for you to skip ends.————

    GL2418 453 ct Tabaqui@440, we are the chorus and we agree, we agree, we agree. I sometimes suspect that the people who like Rush just haven’t been victimized by as many arrogant, selfish, manipulative bastards as I have IRL.

    Robert Carlyle is an absolutely superb actor; he’s able to give all the conscious and subliminal cues that make all my warning bells go off. I’ve learned the hard way to avoid these monsters IRL, and the actor is perfectly portraying one, to the extent that I want to scream at the other characters “Get away from him! He’s just waiting til your back is turned to put in the knife!”

    A really great villain character, excellently portrayed.

    One thing though: The depth of Rush’s hatred for Young seems to go way beyond what even a narcissistic sociopath like Rush would carry given Young’s actions on the show. I’m beginning to wonder if it predates going to the ship. Was Young responsible for Mrs. Rush’s death? There was a reference early on to “the way [Rush]‘s been treated”—was that treatment done by Young, perhaps? I don’t know. Maybe we’ll find out in FUCKING APRIL when we see the next episodes.

    I keep waiting for them to do anything that makes Rush more sympathetic, and they never have (other than that one scene with him crying over his wife’s picture, he’s apparently completely without feelings other than rage). It continues to boggle my mind that some people like him anyway, but maybe that fact proves they don’t need to make him sympathetic.

  408. Xopher

    Young is a rapist, stalker, commits common assault (on the man whose body he inhabited, if you think attacking Telford was justified), attempted murderer and shows extremely poor judgment beyond the norm. He verges or leaps onto paranoia.

    Greer is the least professional “good guy” soldier I have ever seen on TV and you commend him for physically intimidating a woman.

    Rush is a @***hole who manipulates people into getting what he thinks is best, even if sometimes works to their detriment and even if he is just plain wrong sometimes.

    Which of these three guys do I save in a house fire? Obviously, your opinions and mine diverge. I could say you vote for evil people and vicariously support Satan, but that would be dumb…you just have a one track mind about a television show.

    Beyond the whole Rush thing: Justice was my favorite SGU episode of the half season, but that’s a relative statement. It still has a lot of problems.

    I am reserving judgment on whether Eli did not react enough to Young’s actions or if we just did not get to see his process before the break, with appropriate developments to follow….

    Whoever suggested that alternate time Rush could show up…brilliant! Even better if both Rush’s are around…one as Baltar to some really bad aliens and the other as the “Evil” Cartman. But I don’t think they’ll do anything that original to resolve their cliffhanger and the fact I am so sure of that makes me wonder why I keep watching the show.

    Finally, I hate the way they write Wray to fit whatever they need from her at the time. If she is the barracuda they want us to believe she is, then she would not have given up all of the command authority she worked so hard to gain, for both good and bad reasons. And simpering like a little girl caught by Daddy….This show still has a lot of work to do to do right by the female characters, but at least I did not want Chloe to die this week.

  409. PrivateIron 460: Greer is the least professional “good guy” soldier I have ever seen on TV and you commend him for physically intimidating a woman.

    I don’t recall doing that. Could you point it out to me so that I can clarify or retract any such statement?

    Which of these three guys do I save in a house fire? Obviously, your opinions and mine diverge.

    Could be. I’d pick Greer. No contest. He’s the only one whose problems are fixable.

    you just have a one track mind about a television show.

    I don’t think I do. I think Rush gets talked about a lot here, and I’m involved in a lot of those discussions. I’m more interested, actually, in talking about the themes they’re exploring, but the episodes lately have been character-focused. Most particularly, they’re focused on Rush vs. Young. Between those two I clearly think Young is the better man, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see his flaws.

    I wish they’d give Scott more to do. All he did this ep was proclaim his loyalty to Young. Some interaction with Eli would be good. It could be fraught with tension over Chloe, even if neither of them speaks of her.

    I thought Chloe shone in this episode. I’m hoping that side of her continues to come out.

    I certainly don’t think Wray is coming across as a barracuda at all. I kind of like her at this point.

  410. Xoph, I think you’re trying too hard. But at least you’re being insightful and creative. I actually think The Destiny is destined to be destroyed. It’s fate.

    I second the motion to rename the ship The Ol’Dirty Destiny. Or Thor’s Dildo (no “The” for that one, because we don’t use an article in front of a person’s or god’s name. The Gray Area says so.

  411. I guess I’m trying to get in a bunch of discussion before the thread fills up with spoilers for episodes I haven’t seen, because people from the UK comment here too, and in the US we have to wait until fucking-gods-damn-stupid-Syfy April to see the next episode. I won’t use bittorrent, so I’m stuck waiting.

    I can’t think of any solution (if I could, I would suggest it to Scalzi) other than just not reading this thread any more after Friday. This makes me very unhappy.

    I hate SyFy.

  412. Thor’s what?? Geez I’m talking to grade schoolers.
    I was just saying that the design almost looks Asgard in shape and is reminiscent of Thor’s Hammer from an early SG1 ep.

    Xopher@459
    Thank you for the skip warning ;-)

    PrivateIron@460
    I think your view of the characters is a little too black and white. No one person is a hero or a villain in this show. They are all flawed in their own way. We want to think of the military as the good guy heroes who are above reproach, but they are just human.

  413. GL2418 464: You’re welcome. You do realize that there’s an UNskip in that post too, right? Followed by comments directed specifically to you?

    Do you think Rush’s hatred for Young might go back further than the evacuation to the ship?

  414. GL2418
    “Rush will not “kill you in your sleep”, but if it will further his goals, he has no problem convincing you to slit your own throat.”

    Aaaaaaaaaand that’s why i like him. I just love his twisty, selfish, manipulative, black little heart.

    I love a character that says what other people only think. And he *does*. That’s what makes him fun. He uses his brains to get other people to do the heavy lifting and in the end, doesn’t drown himself in guilt.

    I’m sure there will be some big revelation about his wife and he’ll cry and moan and everyone will pat him and then, suddenly, he’ll be boringly ‘good’….. But until then……wheeeee!

    Xopher: Sorry your rl has been so sucky.

    But i still love Rush. :) And wanna smack Chloe. Maybe there’s a pattern here….

  415. Corby Kennard – I have to agree, i really don’t think Rush would sit and laugh while everyone around him died. He wants to unravel the mystery of the ship, he wants to explore, he wants to be the *one* who figures it all out. Selfish, maybe, but still – he has a very strong interest in keeping as many people alive for as long as possible.

    Robert Carlyle is such an amazing actor, I’ve enjoyed his work for so long, it’s been wonderful to see him on tv every week.

    RoryTate – I’m loving Wray, too! I can’t imagine ‘hating’ her. I hope we see more of her in April.
    And yeah, i think Eli will eventually confront Young, he was in shock but he’s not dumb, and he’ll figure it out.

    PrivateIron – whoooo! You don’t like Young *at all*. But i do have to agree with pretty much everything you said. Using Teleford to have sex with his wife? So, so wrong and icky, omg. And then using some other poor guy to go beat up Teleford? Sheesh. The guys is out of it.

    I think he’ll be very sorry for screwing Rush over like that.

  416. Having now had the opportunity to watch all episodes of the first half season off SGU, as well as read what others have said here, I can make a more complete assessment of the series. One thing remains constant in my response to the series; as I have mentioned before, the SGU series raises more questions than it answers. Rather than reiterate what others have already said, I have formulated a few additional questions with multiple choice answers. Be prepared to defend your choices.

    1.) The plethora of complaints about the writing of sgu can best be explained by:

    a.) The overall series concept.

    b.) Problems in the serialization concepts.

    c.) Numerous problems in fleshing-out the episode details

    d.) There is nothing wrong with the writing of SG:U. The problem is in the minds of the audience.

    e.) b. & c.

    f.) a. & d.

    2.) The problems in fleshing-out the details in SG:U episodes are possibly due to the following situation:

    a.) At an executive meeting at MGM Headquarters prior to beginning production of SG:U, the final decision about how to divide up the revenue pie regarding the writing staff was pending input from Brad Wright, Robert Cooper, Joseph Mullozi and Paul Mullie. At the time they were scheduled to video-conference in their wisdom about rewarding good writing, there occurred a major solar flare event simultaneous with a rare planetary alignment. As it turned out, the four had just come back from a secret meeting with the Air Force Space Command where they were each given a token of appreciation after the high level briefing. The objects were made from meteorite material. Yet unbeknownst to any of them, the gifts were each composed of a high percentage of naquadah. Paul Mullie made his gift into a medallion that he was wearing at the time the MGM web conference was set to begin.

    As many people already know, while the Internet continues to grow, it’s efficacy as an auxiliary human neural network also continues to increase. The most recently acquired Q-level clearance information shared in the brains of four of the greatest talents in television science fiction, combined with circumstances at the time set for the MGM meeting caused a jump in their identities remarkably not unlike the body swapping that takes place frequently in the SG:U series. However, Paul Mullie’s Naquadah medallion caused his swap to occur in a much different manner than the other three. Paul’s consciousness swap took place successfully, although with a shift in time, with Nostradamus brain as the reciprocant, explaining the latter’s attributed prophetic abilities. And, it would seem that nothing like the grandfather paradox or butterfly effect has, as yet resulted. This is clearly a benefit of incorporeal time travel. Nonetheless, it has been a bit strange for Paul Mullie’s family and friends.

    However, for the other three, their minds were hurled back further in time to the 9th century CE, all of them into the brain of a cross-eyed Mayan Shaman named Eagle Talon 7. Perhaps due to the lack of naquadah in their propinquity at the time of the mind travel, all three of them ended up inside the Mayan priest’s brain along with Eagle Talon 7 at the same time. If it were not for the fact that he had been cross-eyed from birth, they might all have all been sacrificed in a cenote over a millenia ago. But since the Mayan’s considered birth defects to be signs of divine oracles, their minds still may be retrievable.

    Additionally, since they are in communication with each other, it may be possible for them to learn the location of the most powerful Stargate ever left on Earth, for which Eagle Talon 7 was capable of making astronomical calculations for up to twenty chevron addresses. At the time of the mind invasion he was in a deep form of meditation called in Cho’l, “K’el Noq Riim”. Prior to the invasion of his mind, he was channeling plans to bury the Mayan Hyper-Gate (Not Super Gate, obviously) due to growing inter-necine conflicts among the city states.

    The resulting situation for the Stargate franchise, nonetheless, is rather tenuous. Brad, Robert and Joseph, in our time line, have been pretty much on autopilot for over a year now, like the way Adam Sandler was in “Click” when he used his universal remote to fast forward his life over the parts he didn’t like. Their family and friends have talked them into extended vacations as they do not seem to be their normal genius selves.

    Needless to say, the result has been less than desirable so far.

    Carl Binder and Martin Gero are hoped to discover the problem and improvise a solution. But, unless John Scalzi can get the clearance he needs from Air Force Space Command, and pry Col. Carter away from her Sanctuary for abnormals and science fiction fans alike, along with Dr McKay, perhaps Daniel Jackson and Maybe even Todd, then the situation unfortunately may be irreversible.

    b.) At an executive meeting at MGM Headquarters prior to beginning production of SGU, the final decision about how to divide up the revenue pie regarding writing staff was pending market projections of advertising sales by the SiFy Channel. Estimating over twenty minutes sold per hour, the decision was made that everything over 15 minutes would go to the writers. However, unbeknownst to anyone present, SiFy management had already decided that they would use half of the advertising time to advertise the SiFy Channel itself.

    Needless to say, the result has been less than desirable so far.

    c.) At an executive meeting at MGM Headquarters prior to beginning production of SGU, the final decision about how to divide up the revenue pie regarding writing staff was addressed by deciding that, given the new group of actors heading up the cast, the details of fleshing-out the details would be left up to the improvisational skills of the actors themselves. Being highly talented actors, all very much attuned to the survival theme of the series, they were expected to be highly motivated to come up with adequate details themselves, lest their characters get killed off early.

    Needless to say, the result has been less than desirable so far.

    d.) Due to the intrinsic nature of 21st century government being incapable of permitting the change we need, many movers and shakers in the entertainment industry have taken it upon themselves to jump start the change by creating a shift in human consciousness through the creation of an unprecedented manner of storytelling. Unfortunately, it has not worked out yet.

    e.) All of the above.

    3.) After viewing the short clip titled “The Women of Stargate” on hulu, it becomes apparent that:

    a.) Amanda Tapping got out while the getting was good.

    b.) The new actresses on SG:U could not care less about the Stargate legacy.

    c.) Two out of three of the new female stars eat with their mouths open.

    d.) Even the caterers for the cast are underpaid.

    e.) Amanda Tapping is a secret admirer of Johhny Depp.

    f.) c. & e.

    g.) a. & b.

    h.) All of the above.

    4.) The reason that the SiFi Channel has chosen not to provide the parental advisory of TV:MA due to explicit sexual scenes and graphic violence is:

    a.) SiFy Channel management no longer believes rating systems are profitable. Since they are not required, they figure the concerned parents can go f**k themselves.

    b.) SiFy Channel management believes that cultural values vary from household to household and children should be allowed to decide for themselves what they are exposed to.

    c.) SiFy Channel management believes that cultural values vary from household to household and children should get used to being exposed to situations for which they are not psychologically prepared.

    d.) SiFy management believes in maximizing their advertising dollars so they can use half of their advertising time to advertise their own channel.

    e.) a., c., & d.

    f.) a, b, & d.

    5.) The reason SiFi Channel uses half of their commercial break time to advertise their own programming is because:

    a.) They believe their audience might not notice the perpetual SiFI logo in the lower right hand corner of the screen and might think they are watching re-runs on WGN, SPIKE or even a Network channel.

    b.) They think their audience might miss the frequent programming plugs flashed across the bottom of the screen during every program every few minutes.

    c.) They are actually having a hell of a time selling advertising spots and since they allot almost 25 minutes per hour for commercials, they might as well advertise their own channel with the unsold slots.

    d.) They really don’t care if it irritates the hell out of their viewers. Even bad advertising sells.

    e.) They are unwittingly helping Hulu take over and crush them.

    f.) SiFy Channel is out of control.

    g.) All of the above.

  417. I liked Young before “Life.” I might like him again. I just find his faults as being as glaring as Rush’s, with little to choose between them. I thought I was emphasizing the shades of grey in the characters. I still think the show wants you to side with certain characters, despite their flaws, and against other, despite any defenses they might have for their actions. That is one of the many things I am not buying from them. (Another is that the characters are just not written with enough consistency or with plausible enough reactions.)

    Also, if I read Ming-Na’s interview and other sources right, the whole give up all rights to your body when you use the stones malarky is the show’s official take on all these murky ethical issues we have been kicking around. That in itself is a reason for me to consider not returning in April.

    I will say that getting 2 hours of (finally) kick ass Dollhouse followed by a DVR viewing of a (finally) half way decent SGU episode made for a welcome break from the drek we have been getting most weeks of the year on most stations.

  418. In response to the spirit of Green Tekkie’s comments, if not the actual questions: my son and I have a long tradition of fast forwarding, muting and eye/ear covering for things he is not allowed to see on a scifi show that he can otherwise enjoy. For instance, “Air” just needed a little bit of strategic snipping. (Though this does mean that I have to watch these episodes twice, which might explain the intensity of some of my negative comments above.) “Earth” and “Life” were so bad that my son actually requested that I fast forward through parts that I thought he could handle, just because he has much less desensitization to boring melodrama than I do. (And this is a kid who watches MST3K movies…though maybe some Toaster Cylons and Sheriff Carter riffing from the side of the screen would help SGU.)

    I think the main problem with the writing is that they cannot go all the way with the ambiguity/darkness, but they have lost the pure heroism of SG1 and SGA. And they don’t have the talent to pull off a hybrid like the best days of Buffy. So they are stuck: I would prefer they go all the way to realism, particularly since I think they are only going to get 2 years anyway and they might as well go out with integrity/fun. Also, think about hard it would be, plot-wise, to reformulate the show as classic Stargate all-American cornball heroism. Rush and Young would probably both have to die (or be replaced by alternate universe analogs). Then the Lieutenant and Chloe could fashion a brave new beach head in the galaxy with Eli as their triple husbanoid. (Just don’t show that really thin, bug-eyed guy in his Baldrick posing pouch.)

  419. Xopher@459 & 465

    First: “We are the chorus and we agree” For some reason I now have Willy Wonka stuck in my head. “We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dream”

    Second: Yes I absolutely think there is more back story to the Young and Rush drama. Even back in the first ep you could see that Young had no love for Rush. Now maybe that is just because he’s a jackass an no one likes him, but you could see the way he was left out of dinner but Eli was invited and the look on Rush’s face when he stopped in the mess to get his food and was just staring in at them all eating in the nice dinning room. There seemed like there was history there. Some would think that Rush should hate or resent Eli for that too, but I think Rush actually respects him for his intelligence and potential even though he may not respect his level of maturity.

    Green Tekkie@469
    THAT is a big post. I will have to take a look on my lunch break.

  420. GL2418, “grade schoolers?” I’ll have you know that I never used the word Dildo until I was out of college. It’s an adult word, so be careful when you use it. Fraking great word!

    This place/show needs Scalzi to inject it with some humor. Maybe next season, meatbags!

    TGA

  421. The major problem with creating this conflict between Rush and Young is that I don’t give a flying toss about either of them. They’re both controlling assholes who use violence to subdue and manipulate others. I’m not going to root for one over the other. To be honest, I’d be happier if both of them ended up dead, replaced by flawed characters who actually displayed some decent qualities every now and then.

    If this is truly an edgier Stargate then I expect more major character deaths. And not tertiary character deaths like Spencer, which was obvious a mile away. If they want to push the envelope they should kill off Chloe, TJ, Greer, Telford, or Wray. If they really wanted to be bold they should kill off Rush, Young, or Eli. Let the viewers know that no one is safe, not even the writers’ favorites.

    …and I just realized that the top three characters that I consider the writers’ favorites or most important to the story are all white males, while the rest are women and minorities. Hmm. Interesting.

  422. @TGA – My nephew knows the word dildo even if he has no clue what it means. He’s 9.

    @William – I don’t think Young is critical at all. That is why there is a chain of command. In Fact I think TJ would be a far better, although inexperienced, commander.

    Thank for not proposing the death of LT Scott. He’s dreamy.

    @ Green Tekkie – Still too big a post. maybe tonight after work.

  423. William I think there are people who fear that Carlyle will pull an “Eccleston” and leave after one season. It could be worse, Andre Braugher (spelling?) reportedly needed more challenges if he agreed to stay on at “Homicide;” so they gave him a stroke (in his 30′s) to recover from. Yeesh.

  424. GL2418, I’m 47. Children of today have much expanded vulgar volcabularies. I’m sure he knows what a dildo is if he knows the word. Isn’t that what kids do: ask what things mean or just google the word? I learned what the F-word meant when I was in 4th grade, but I didn’t use the world. It’s a fraking filthy word. Be as that may, I’ll try not to offend anyone’s mature sensibilities with the use of “dirty” words. I would also suggest that you not watch South Park, even though I think it’s some of the best social satire of our age.

  425. GL2418 My nephew knows the word dildo even if he has no clue what it means. He’s 9.

    Hmmm. He may not know what it means, but I’m sure he knows how to use it: a) generic namecalling, and b) to shock the parents.

    Thank for not proposing the death of LT Scott. He’s dreamy.

    I knew there was a reason I liked you. Fond as I am of Eli and TJ, Scott is the only one with serious squee potential as far as I’m concerned.

    PrivateIron Andre Braugher (spelling?) reportedly needed more challenges if he agreed to stay on at “Homicide;” so they gave him a stroke (in his 30’s) to recover from. Yeesh.

    I have to say I’ve never been impressed with AB as an actor. I saw him in Henry V in Central Park, playing the title role, and his expressive range went from A to B. He was able to express two emotions: rage and teetering-on-the-edge-of-rage. I laughed out loud when he said “I was not angry since I came to France til now,” since he’d played every. damn. scene. angry.

    Robert Carlisle is a much subtler actor. His character is always angry, which is quite different. If he pulled an Eccleston the writers would convert him into a recurring villain (and I know we don’t agree about him being a villain now, so I’ll leave it there), or if the actor refused to come back at all…they could write him out, with some difficulty. The Rush fans would probably desert the show, however.

  426. My bad, I completely forgot about dreamy Scott. He fits into the second tier category and messes up my observation of white and male versus female or minority.

    GL2418, I mean the writers view Young as important for their story because they’ve focused so much on him, from his feud with Telford to his feud with Rush to his feud with his ex-wife. I don’t see them offing him anytime soon, if ever.

    PrivateIron, I’ve heard that speculation as well, but I can’t imagine his character would be killed off before at least explaining his weepy backstory. However, axing the actor to save money in the face of plummeting ratings is an option still on the table.

  427. The Gray Area@477 – He’s 9. Believe me he has no idea what it is. I learned many “bad” words as a kid that I didn’t understand until I was much older.

    I was not offended by your use of a “dirty” word. I was just pointing to the level of mental development in the choice of it’s use and the glee with which others picked it up.

    We have debated the subtitles of time travel, FTL travel, and intergalactic travel through an artificial wormhole and the difference between human and possible alien cultures. “Dildo” just seems so pedestrian and gauche (to use a hoidy toidy word).

  428. Y’know, it’s entirely possible that Destiny‘s Gate wouldn’t have the capacity to dial back to the Milky Way even if it were supplied with enough power.

    We already know that it’s easier to receive and reintegrate a matter stream than it is to send something. Maybe the Ancients were planning to dial the ship from Pegasus and never really considered millions of years passing without anyone looking into the project.

    Also: are the addresses for the gates in the previous galaxies listed in the computer?

  429. @Green Tekkie 469

    1.) The plethora of complaints about the writing of sgu can best be explained by:

    d.) There is nothing wrong with the writing of SG:U. The problem is in the minds of the audience.

    2.) The problems in fleshing-out the details in SG:U episodes are possibly due to the following situation:

    e)All of the above

    3.) After viewing the short clip titled “The Women of Stargate” on hulu, it becomes apparent that:

    c.) Two out of three of the new female stars eat with their mouths open.

    4.) The reason that the SiFi Channel has chosen not to provide the parental
    advisory of TV:MA due to explicit sexual scenes and graphic violence is:

    b.) SiFy Channel management believes that cultural values vary from household to household and children should be allowed to decide for themselves what they are exposed to.

    5.) The reason SiFi Channel uses half of their commercial break time to advertise their own programming is because:

    d.) They really don’t care if it irritates the hell out of their viewers. Even bad advertising sells.

    - So I take it you are in favor of SyFy advertising themselves on their own channel?

  430. “What I want to know is whether or not Eli knows what happened and knew what Young planned to do.”
    The look on his face said, “Yes.”

    “Since the files weren’t corrupted Eli must have seen the entire recording of Rush picking up the gun. And he might have put 2 and 2 together after Rush ‘accidentally’ got left behind.”
    I was thinking it was possible the evidence was ambiguous and Young was bluffing when he confronted Rush.
    When Rush effectively admitted being the culprit Young knew to leave him behind.

    “How is he going to deal with that info? Is he no longer the innocent of the show? The guy that does the right thing?”
    I don’t think he always knows what “the right thing” is anymore. And if he did have an ethical problem he probably wouldn’t go up against Young, even though he would go up against Rush.

    “And that the space shuttle is going to be a big part of his escape.”
    And those other scientists who bailed through a gate in one of the early episodes. I predict Rush will be reunited with them.

    “Also, anyone think that TJ can’t distinguish between wounds caused by a brawl and wounds caused by a rockslide? Do doctors believe people that have been beat up that they fell down a stair?”
    She’s not a doctor, not a real doctor anyway.

    “But then, I live in a country that elected George W. Bush as President. Clearly my perception of pure evil is not mainstream.”
    Mike Godwin call your office.

    “Oh, and Eli is just too bright to delete that kind of evidence …”
    I got that impression.

    “Just watched ‘Justice’ on Hulu. Best episode yet.”
    Agreed. It was fantastic. Rush lost whatever “moral ambiguity” he might’ve had and Young gained some. His “frontier justice” against Rush was a virtual death sentence — without even a token tribunal. (Of course we all know Rush will be back …)

    Eli is shaping up to be the moral center of the show, isn’t he? Wray’s too political, Chloe too preachy, Scott too close to Young. Young is in the dangerous position of having absolute power — his soldiers evince deep loyalty not just to the chain of command but to him personally.

    @Josh Jasper: re: “distress beacon”
    Was thinking that very thing.

    “I too wished (like Tabaqui said) that he could have been more confrontational with Young.”
    He’s a teenage slacker with no father figure. What’s he realistically going to do? If it is his inevitable destiny to confront Young, it will have to be after some character development.

    “Rush is a master manipulator.”
    He’s a mediocre manipulator. He’s cunning but people easily see through him. Young, on the other hand, is a true artist. You don’t see him coming.

    “… alternative Rush …”
    Didn’t they find his bones?

  431. I think there’s a misread going on. I don’t think Young went out there to leave Rush. He went out there to have a really, completely private thrashing.

    I think that leaving Rush had to have been one of the things he was afraid he’d have to do. But he didn’t knock Rush out and leave him until the answer after “Are we done?”

    Rush’s answer pretty much was it. He was saying: No, we’re not done. I was right in the first place, and I’ll do something like this again.

    At that point, Young could knock him out and rescue him – and forever worry about the knife in his back, or another crazy stunt endangering the ship or crew – or leave him and eliminate the future threat.

    Very cold blooded. But arguably at that point necessary. Rush had admitted he’s gone beyond disruption into criminal subversion of the leadership, and would do it again. He’s going to get people killed (may have just done so with the Chair).

  432. Ok, busy week + messed up DVR = me no watchy until last night on Hulu. So.

    Good episode. Lots of character development either actually happened or is in the process of happening.

    Wray: Nice to see her take a bigger role in things. I think it was a bit weak to have her back down so easily once Young came back, but part of that might have been her realization of what the job entailed or just fear of what would happen with Greer.

    Greer: Still a hot-head and driven to get things done. It was really telling to see how he wasn’t backing down when Scott told him to – he needed Young to corral him. I think he now sees Wray as an enemy where she was just someone who hated him before.

    Young: We see more an more why this guy shouldn’t be in charge. Wray pointed out that he’d given up his SG unit command and now we see that he’s willing to strand Rush without manning up and admitting it.

    Eli: I don’t think he knows that Young stranded Rush on purpose but he certainly suspects it. I expect to see him question Young sometime in the near future where he would have just gone along before.

    Chloe: She might turn out to be slightly useful as something other than Scott’s bedwarmer.

    Rush: Ok, so no real character development here. We knew he was morally bankrupt before now. It’s time to see what changes this situation forces on him. Does he become evil now and try to exact revenge against those on Destiny? Does he sell out the rest of the crew in order to continue his study of the ship?

    I think it’s time for something to happen to Young. With him being the only thing restraining some of the military folks from enforcing their will on the civilians I think we’ll get some real drama by making Scott take over as commanding officer. He’s young and has already had trouble controlling Greer who’s the main hot-head. He’s show that he can be reasonable and take the civilians’ concerns seriously when consenting to let them be present for the searches. With Rush and Young out of the picture the obvious leader would be Wray with Scott under her orders. She’d see him as manipulable and weak compared to Young. Lots of tasty drama and all we need to do is let Young die somehow…

    Plus that’d be the karma payback for all the crap he’s pulled so far.

  433. I have no problem with Rush becoming a villain and the planting evidence thing was pretty close. (Though I think he did an awful job; how the heck did Eli see that gun in the vent anyway?) I just don’t think he has crossed the line more (or less) than some others.

    Now that I have thought about it some more, it all comes down to the Butch and Sundance reference. Rush and Young both have death wishes. Rush is reckless and wants his death to have purpose. Young is more just weary and resigned. Rush has nothing to lose since his wife died. Young theoretically has things to lose like his marriage and his command, but he knows those are probably doomed regardless. Both are going to fight no matter the odds of success. Both are more concerned with living up to their self image than with practical consideration. Neither one is a great fit for the situation from the perspective of the others stranded with them. Young beat up on Telford knowing that it would not help anything and might actually drive his wife to Telford if she had not gone there already. Rush fought Young and continued to defy him rather than yield and survive. Young marooned Rush even though that was probably not the best option for the rest of the people on Destiny.

    In a show with more realism, Young would probably have handled Rush and other admin problems better. Or Young would have been relieved by IOA/SGC in favor of Wray or a structured power share between military and civilian operations. (Without the need for a goofy, kangaroo inquiry on a suspicious death.) Or Rush would actually know how to manipulate people without getting caught all the time or setting fire to his own tail. Or because he was a reckless searcher for truth, Rush would actually always do whatever crazy thing it took to accomplish his goals, like sit in the chair himself. Obviously all of these paths would be more suited to a great miniseries rather than a mediocre years long saga.

  434. LizrdGizrd 485: Does [Rush] become evil now and try to exact revenge against those on Destiny?

    I think it’s impossible for Rush to become evil now, for the same reason it’s impossible for me to become a middle-aged guy from Michigan. I think he will now stop at nothing to destroy Young.

    Hmmm, I wonder if Rush had a communication stone with him on the planet? THAT would be interesting.

    Speaking of the stones…I have a hypothesis as to why Rush took the stones when he and everyone else were rushing around to get through the gate before dying: he knew the attack was going to take place, because he was already in the pay of whoever-it-was.

  435. Since I edited the last entry quite a bit before I posted it, I lost a bit I wrote about Rush and manipulation. Basically, Rush’s style of manipulation is more super-liminal than not. He tells people exactly what he thinks or he tells a lie that will almost certainly come out almost immediately. A real manipulative genius would not have put himself in the position to be beaten up by Greer in “Air” or to be left behind by Young in “Justice.” His best act of manipulation was to fuel Young’s paranoia in “Light,” not deflect it as you would think he would desire if he was a genius of evil. (He may be a genius; he may or may not be evil; however, he is not a genius at being evil.)

    Face it. One of those guys was going to sit in the chair, sooner rather than later. Anything Rush did to encourage them would probably be more likely to put them off in order to spite him for being a dick than make them take the leap.

    The whole inquiry thing was a farce. I think it was pointless. If Wray/IOA think Young is unfit, they can stand him down or reduce his remit without drama. If they think he is fit, then why conduct such a biased, hack job of an inquiry knowing they might need him to lead again? If they think that he is unfit but are afraid the military onboard won’t respect Earth’s orders, then destabilizing/alienating Young is even more foolhardy. If Wray has honest intentions, why take the prosecutorial role and why run such a biased inquiry, including ridiculous, histrionic aside with Chloe? If Wray is making a personal power grab, then a) she is pretty close to a villain too, given their precarious situation and the effect her actions might have on group dynamics and b) why back all the way down at the end?

    Finally, since Wray knows confidential, unflattering things about everyone including Rush, why isn’t she as resposible or more, for anything Rush does under her authority? If Wray is a legitimate authority, then isn’t Greer pretty damn scary in “Justice?” (The situation between her and Greer was what I referenced as Greer physically intimidating a woman.) Even if one thinks she is not 100% pukka authority, it still speaks volumes about Greer’s pleasure in scaring/hurting people regardless of whether it is against orders or for the greater good. (And there are numerous examples of those throughout the series.)

  436. Xopher@487

    Speaking of the stones…I have a hypothesis as to why Rush took the stones when he and everyone else were rushing around to get through the gate before dying: he knew the attack was going to take place, because he was already in the pay of whoever-it-was.

    Huh? I am not following this.

    Oh and if he wanted to take a com stone with him he would still need the base unit. I doubt he was well prepared for being stranded as many are guessing. I will concede to the possibility of having a gate remote, but if he actually whips out a com stone I’ll be very disappointed.

  437. (Disjointed rambling ahead, just sayin’.)

    Hm, mostly everyone is saying that “Justice” was a fantastic episode, and maybe it was, but damn, hardly anyone elicited my sympathy. It was nice to see Chole using her brains, but it still didn’t make me *care* about her. Hm, okay maybe I felt sympathy for Eli, being stuck in the middle like he is, though it seemed to me that he violated his own moral code by helping Young hide the truth, which seemed out of character, unless, of course, “father figure” and all that.

    I should care about Wray getting jerked around by Rush’s agenda-driven actions, but, eh. I should care about Young being Framed For a Murder He Didn’t Commit, but…yeah, no. I’m curious to see what happens with the white shirt in the chair…but I don’t care about him personally, just in terms of plot progression.

    And why in the name of goodness should I care about Rush? If they need an Ancient expert, they can have Carter and Jackson use the communication stones and solve all the problems faster than Rush could anyway. Not saying he deserved to be left to *die*, because he didn’t, but we all know he’ll be back, so, eh. The ship is better off without him in the meantime. (Drinking game: any time a character dies/is presumed dead, take a shot. Exception made if Daniel Jackson is aboard, that could get lethal. Every time you spot a loose end, take a shot. Could also easily become lethal.)

    Greer I find just plain creepy, and his not-so-subtle attempt to intimidate Wray — while giving Wray a diamond opportunity to show her mettle — was off-the-charts unprofessional. Telford had good instincts, tossing him in the brig, IMO. Wray seems to be nothing more than the writers’ pawn, thrown into the mix in a calculated attempt to drum up tension, creating a triangle between politics, science, and military. (Quadrangle if you count civilians in there.) And I must say, for someone whose whole goal was taking command, she caved pretty damn quickly at the end there, and if she got angry about it, I don’t think I saw it.

    Eli is the only one with a sensawunda; the others are all there doing a job, or…well I don’t know what they’re doing, didn’t they say there’s eighty people onboard the Destiny? What ARE they all doing?

    I’d like to see Eli maintain his moral integrity while coming of age; I can, actually, see him as being the leader of the expedition, in time. He’s the only one everyone could trust, when he matures enough to trust himself and his own judgement. With Rush sidelined, Eli will start to mature when he has to step up and begin to take charge, he’s the only one on board with the genius needed to research the ship’s functions.

    That, or Young’s betrayal could send him on a darker downward spiral, setting Eli on a character arc much like Wesley’s on “Angel”. Or Daniel Jackson’s on SG:1 for that matter. From gawky nerd to macho fighting man in two easy seasons….

    I am getting the feeling the writers are/were trying to pull off the bleak/gritty/often depressing realism of BSG without remembering that BSG had a boatload (literally) of sympathetic, interesting characters. SGU has…complex, murky, naive, ambiguous, selfish, violent characters… but who do we *sympathize* (and/or identify) with? James, maybe? She was nice to Chole when strictly speaking she didn’t have to be, I liked her for that. Eli, sure. TJ, sure (so far. they haven’t ruined her YET). I DID care about Young until he stranded Rush — beating Rush to a pulp is one thing, and gave the audience quite the vicarious satisfaction (not that anyone approves of violence, of course we don’t), but woah, leaving him to DIE? Not cool.

    And what the hell DID happen with Telford and Young’s wife after that last confrontation?! I mean, I don’t much care, but it’s a loose end and that nags at me. What did he say, what did she say, what did the higher-ups say, what did Young’s borrowed body say about the banged up hand Young left him with? Bah.

    Thus ends the rambling.

  438. My sense is that Wray doesn’t *want* command. Her boss and her wife both told her to be more aggressive about taking control of the situation, but when she does, she either acts over the top or is visibly shaking. She caves easily because she doesn’t want to be in that position in the first place.

    The whole thing at the tribunal where she’s acting like Perry Mason who knows who the murderer is when she doesn’t know squat is another sign that she can’t handle being in authority. When Chloe challenges her (in about as non-aggressive a way as it’s possible to challenge) she flips.

    As for liking the episode–what I like best about it is that I don’t mind if I never bother to watch another episode. A four-month hiatus should bug me, but it doesn’t. At all. Given that I hate suspense, this is a good thing.

    I thought it was okay, but had too many things that were annoying. My favorite by far is Time, minus the emo. Great fun old-fashioned SF.

    (As an aside–I came to this episode already knowing that Rush set up Young. It has occurred to me that maybe we’re supposed to wonder if Wray did. Did anyone in fact wonder that?)

  439. (As an aside–I came to this episode already knowing that Rush set up Young. It has occurred to me that maybe we’re supposed to wonder if Wray did. Did anyone in fact wonder that?)

    I spent time wondering if it was Wray, more time wondering if it was Young himself, and eventually settled on whatshisname who sat in the chair before realizing it was actually Rush when Young said he’d stay behind.

    Perhaps this means I’m easily misdirected.

  440. TANGENT ALERT!

    Leslie@490
    I don’t think I could sympathize with any of the characters on BSG except maybe the President (she is just a phenomenal actress BTW). I cared a bit about Sharon (the second one with the baby, not the traitorous first one). Oh and Helo. Didn’t hurt that he is HAWT too. Lee (while nice eye candy) totally annoyed the snot out of me. Starbuck…meh. Even Felix was a disappointment.

    but I digress… END TANGENT

  441. Pretty much with you on the BSG people. I also cared about Caprica Six, by the end, and was sorry she ended up with that loser. I developed a soft spot for Natalie just in time for her to die.

  442. The Gray Area@477 “Children of today have much expanded vulgar volcabularies.”

    So peculiar how meaning changes over time – “Vulgar” language once meant the language of the under-educated. So, a vulgar piece of literature, or theatre meant that it was intended for everyone regardless of class. That certainly no longer applies.

  443. This is what I’d like to happen with Rush:

    Alternative timeline Rush (Rush-Beta) comes out of the Stargate.

    Eli blabs, tells him Rush-Alpha died under mysterious circumstances and shows Rush-Beta the video of him entering Poor Impulse Control Boy’s quarters and taking the gun.

    Rush-Beta then figures out what happened to Rush-Alpha and uses it to blackmail, guilt-trip, and generally fuck with Young’s mind.

    However, Rush-Beta will be sneakier and more subtle now that he knows that Young has no qualms about killing him.

    Ironically enough, Rush-Beta will actually respect Young as a leader now because he has proved that he’s capable of making hard decisions such as killing Rush-Alpha.

  444. “I think it was a bit weak to have her back down so easily once Young came back …”

    She had made a decision that appeared to get a scientist killed and faced the possibility of armed insurrection once a vindicated Young demanded reinstatement. The military people’s loyalty to Young is such that Young holds all the cards. Once the reason for her rise to power was rendered illegitimate she had nothing save the very weak precedent of needing some formalities to make the power transfer back to Young official. She was wise to save the fight for another day.

    “… she can’t handle being in authority.”

    Wray has a Napoleon complex, doesn’t she? She’s compensating for feelings of inferiority or a perceived lack of respect for her authority.
    She was also brave facing down Greer.
    If she’s to be the “savior” of the ship — if Young goes too much more over the line — she’ll have to have some character development first.

    “I came to this episode already knowing that Rush set up Young …”

    I figured it had to be since only Rush and Eli could believe they were competent enough to hide evidence in Destiny’s computers, and Eli lacks both motive and mindset to frame Young for murder.
    If you’re a Destiny computer whiz who isn’t Eli or Rush you have the daunting task of hiding evidence well enough Eli or Rush won’t find it. I don’t think anyone is that confident of their abilities.

    “Alternative timeline Rush (Rush-Beta) comes out of the Stargate.”
    Dude, “Rush-Beta” is a pile of bones. Remember they found “human remains” on the Lamprey World?

    SPECULATION

    Going with the idea of Young as “master manipulator”, someone who understands people instinctively and works them to his advantage, Greer makes the perfect attack dog. Young grants him forgiveness and earns Greer’s loyalty for life. Couple that with Wray’s open hostility and Greer would likely do anything for Young, and anyone considering challenging Young for power would have to deal with Greer.

    I foresee a possible plot twist wherein Greer and Young become a sort of Sith-and-apprentice evil duo, with Young appearing to keep his hands clean to maintain the loyalty of the rest of the military — especially Scott — and Greer doing the dirty work.
    Young isn’t villainous enough to do that, not yet, but he’s no Boy Scout. I could see him possibly sliding that direction.

  445. # GL2418@482
    @Green Tekkie 469

    “- So I take it you are in favor of SyFy advertising themselves on their own channel?”

    My My… I must have had a tad bit too much coffee the day I made that post. Sorry about the on-and-on syndrome there. Hmm, that is nothing like the way the SGU series feels, is it?

    Regarding the SiFy Channel’s ridiculous over-usage of commercial break time to advertise themselves, I would have to say that for question 5, choice ‘d’ was resolutely a wrong answer.

    That said, I would also have to say that none of the questions I posed had a correct answer provided from which to choose. Sorry about that too.

    For question 5, ‘a’ and ‘b’ would have been the correct answer. But I didn’t give that choice. I would nonetheless give you an “A” on the quiz.

    The easiest solution when faced with a test that has no correct solutions is to choose the least incorrect answers. Ostensibly, this is the ordinary way to pass such tests. On another level, however, such tests provide the agency of inquisition (in this case moi) with a rather sadistic ordeal into which others might fall prey.

    That, my friend, is irritating as hell. And I suppose that anyone (myself obviously included) whosoever writes quizzes like that must have some kind of axe to grind about something. Perhaps people who do that professionally should have their own credentials re-examined. That I would not do. I am no Torquemada.

    Thank you for taking the time to wade through that quandary of choices. Why on earth would anyone create situations like that for others? Does “bad hair day” count as an excuse?

    Even though, “None of the above” is not ever an acceptable solution in this kind of gauntlet, I suppose it reflects the way the SGU series has generally left me feeling.

    ~+~+~+~ Another Tangent Alert ~+~+~+~

    Trial by dilemma is a time-honored rite of passage. Many well respected institutions still practice it to this day. In the true essence of this kind of test, survival is not based upon concrete answers. In fact, survival is properly given unconditionally, as long as one can endure the inherent ambiguity such tests create. That is, of course, in cases where we are not talking about actual physical torture.

    Archetypal heros are placed into unsolvable jams in stories from all over the world. Ordinarily, however, there is a proportionate amount of tension relief in such stories.

    Given the thirty-something minutes of actual intended entertainment per hour of television, it seems cruel and unusual punishment to add insult to injury by resolving only a fraction of the pickles into which the characters are placed every episode of what we have endured of SGU thus far. Waiting until the last three of eleven hours before beating the crap out of a character who deserved it, killing off a character nobody liked, and abandoning the dark evil misunderstood scientist, knowing very well that he will be back, just somehow does not ring my chimes.

    ~+~+~+~ tangent/nomore ~+~+~+~

    Fortunately, we do indeed have fast forward. Maybe if SiFy channel didn’t overload us with repetitive and obnoxious advertisements, we might actually watch the ads. -cough -cough.

  446. # GL2418@358
    “So I broke down and watched all the “kinosodes” and many of the behind the scenes videos on the MGM website.”

    That is pretty serious effort to make SG:U work. Awesome! Are we not unlike the faithful fans of a sports team who stay with them even when they’ve lost every game of the season? Commendable, imo.

  447. “Rick@338 “…the Asgard committed suicide and destroyed all artifacts and records save for those they turned over to Earth.”

    I guess that’s the thing I’ve got an issue with. They’ve met us an eye blink ago, we’re far younger than they are”.

    Rick, thats why I figure even the main Asgard population (in our universe) did not really die. I mean, what are the chances that they would have a mass extinction coincidentally right after meeting us Taurii humans & learning that humanity was the most trustworthy species with whom to entrust their technology and use it to defeat their enemies? The rogue Asgard group in Pegasus mentioned that they needed isolation to focus on the solution to their disease. Its fiction for pete’s sake. Being dead and coming back to life is no big, what with alternate reality Asgards out there for sure. And in -this- universe, what better ruse than make everyone believe they had died so the replicators would not look for them anymore.

    I know, I know by recording all the SGU episodes since “Time” I missed a lot of good dialogue here. But I just couldn’t take it, see. The constant unresolved conflict, I couldn’t stand it. No comforting cliche’s, like Franklin being the first one to scream, “We’re all going to die” and instead of actually being the first one to die, Greer just threatens that he will be. Uggh!

    Okay, I wimped out with SGU. But I did record everything so it was easy to fast forward and catch up with the gist. I just missed a lot of camaraderie here, and it’s too late to comment on everything. I was predisposed.

    # melendwyr @348
    It’s also just a little too convenient to have them die out JUST as we become advanced enough to deal with them. Ten thousand years and they die out NOW? 200 years ago (an eyeblink compared to 10,000 years) and we’d not be close to ready.

    “They killed themselves once they devoted enough research to the problem to demonstrate to their satisfaction that there was no solution. They could devote research to the problem only once the Replicators were destroyed. And destroying the Replicators required human assistance, because they’d adapted too well to Asgard technology and psychology.”

    I really respect your knowledge, research, writing and wisdom, Melendwyr. But I think the Asgard have faked you out too. Don’t feel bad, they are really smart lil’ grey folks.

    I’m not totally 100% about what happened first in SG1 vs SGA, but I do recall that when the Atlantis team destroyed the Replicator home world they already had the Asgard plasma beam. So the replicators still had to be a threat when the Asgard gave up.

    At least we all know more Stargate speak than most of the cast of SGU.

  448. “Are we not unlike the faithful fans of a sports team who stay with them even when they’ve lost every game of the season?”

    Hey, I’m a Mariner’s fan, and SGU exceeds my patience.

  449. Glonn Bock@496 – Why the sudden belief that Rush Beta is alive? (and incidentally I would postulate that who you are calling Rush Beta is actually Rush Alpha since he came first in chronology from the “original” timeline but…)

    There is nothing that indicates that this is even a possibility.

    Green Tekkie@498 – I figured out fairly quick that your “quiz” was more of a commentary than a real quiz, however having gone to 12 years of Catholic school, there is still even indoctrination left in my system to make not answering leave a guilty feeling in the back of my mind.