The Permanent Stargate: Universe Discussion Thread, Season Two

This is the SG:U discussion thread for the second season; The season one discussion threads are here: 1|2|3

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!

173 thoughts on “The Permanent Stargate: Universe Discussion Thread, Season Two

  1. This post is strictly here to set up the subscribe function for email updates and contains no useful content. You may consider the time reading this officially wasted :)

  2. So, a lot of things has come up as I watched the previous season that I hope will be looked upon for the coming seasons.

    I never get the feeling that they’re actually Stuck in space.

    I mean, how much makeup and hairspray did they bring?

    Little things like those really take away from the feeling of being stuck in space with -Limited- supplies.

    And at the start of the series this was pretty much just a regular Teenage drama, set in space.

    If it wasn’t for Dr.Rush I’d have binned this show after 5episodes.

    Less Drama-o-rama more stuck in space fighting for survival.. please.

    I sincerely hope Season 2 will take a huge leap towards the adventure aspects of the previous Stargate series.

  3. The other Stargate shows did not grab me, because they felt like ‘stock’ sci-fi space shows. Somewhat like ST:TNG, the obstacles were usually [insert jargon], and the solutions to those were also [insert jargon]. I consider the character-driven nature of shows like BSG and SG:U to be *the* reason they feel like better shows. Obstacles are typically related to characters, and the solutions are often human dilemmas, not a technological breakthrough.

    When there is an emotional moment in SG:U, it typically is well-written and usually hits home. The same seriousness never really played out from ST:TNG and the other Stargate shows. That said, there’s very little levity in SGU.. and Eli alone cannot cut it. I’d love to see atypical emotional moments come from all the characters sometimes. The alternate reality of Eli saying how he felt about Chloe was done very well. Maybe Rush could deliver a funny line once in a while.

    Colonel Young at times is written a bit two-dimensionally… he could use some more development that doesn’t further the “stone-cold determination” side of his personality. Also, the two sciencey guys (now working with Rush more often) are just waiting to get a little more character-development focus.

    That’s all I got for now! Great show.. hope it keeps getting better!

  4. I don’t think Col Young is two-dimensional, I think we’re just left with interpreting a lot of the actor’s body language to understand that he’s pushing forward a singular agenda with multiple levels and understandings underneath it. I think that works, but I can understand if someone else isn’t getting that.

    Honestly? I think Lt Scott actually takes the cake for SGU character’s without much depth. That’s not because there’s no attempt at depth there, but because however handsome and earnest the actor is he’s not really handing us much more than “boy hero.” ….Aaand, I’m fine with that. I think that Scott is one of those characters that should exist on the show if for no other reason to add some continuity with the previous shows which were full of Lt. Scotts.

    But who am I kidding, I’m watching this season because David Hewlitt is supposed to make an appearance sometime.

  5. The military/civilian divide, and now the Lucian/Stargate divide, is an impractical situation. Earth can do almost nothing to help them and almost nothing to punish them. Neither can any of the Lucians in the Milky Way.

    The people on ‘Destiny’ are a small band of isolated humans. The most isolated there have ever been. The ‘stones’ enable them to maintain a little bit of cultural continuity with Earth – but life on Earth if very very different from life on ‘Destiny’. The people on ‘Destiny’ are being shaped by their still-unstable situation, they are struggling with how to adapt…..

    One thing they need to realize is that the “We’re all in this together” aspects of their situation thoroughly trumps their earlier ‘military/civilian’ and ‘Stargate/Lucian’ divisions. Obviously past enmity presents an impediment to noticing that they are better off cooperating as a village than they are hating each other. Another impediment is that once that realization occurs the power structure is going to shift because a comprehensive understanding of their situation produces the realization that all of their relationships with each other (Col. in command, UN Committee person advising/critiquing, etc., etc.) are based on being a participant in a civilization that is now pretty much irrelevant to them (except for sentimental and morale factors).

    A lot of the same people may be ‘in charge’ once the folks on “Destiny” realize that they are a small band of humans, all alone…..but they will be ‘in charge’ for different reasons, and in different ways.

    This is a fundamentally _different_ sort of ‘Stargate’ show, and the more that the premise of the show is examined by the writers the more it is going to become clear just how *_different_* a ‘Stargate’ show it is. [Anticipation…..]

  6. Young is not two-dimensional. He’s just completely inept.

    Can’t understand for the life of me how SGC keeps him on command instead of asking Scott to put him out of an airlock.

    Not that the rest are exactly bright either.

  7. Well, I for one am glad that [sexist characterization omitted] Kira is dead. Her as an ongoing character might have driven me away from the show.

    I hope (but don’t expect) that they’ll maroon the Lucians on the first livable planet they come across. Or just airlock the bastards. They are detestable criminals and always have been; killing them would be doing the galaxy a service.

    But then I felt the same way about Rush at the beginning. Is still don’t LIKE him, but I no longer think airlocking him is an immediate imperative.

  8. That’s actually what I like the most about SGU – that it presents us with a bunch of really annoyingly imperfect characters and makes us sympathetic to them with good writing.

    I DO wish they’d find a way to fix the lights on Destiny soon. I think making the hallways look like something besides industrial pipes would do a lot for moral (of the crew and of the audience.)

    Another thing, they’ve been there long enough that I think the common areas of the ship should have started to show it more. Even people in prison humanize their spaces more than most people in science fiction, barring BSG’s sets which DID have those awesome “console is covered with post-it notes” places.

  9. Since I’m still following some discussions even though I didn’t see about the last third of last season’s shows, well, I decided what the heck and watched it.

    I kinda liked it. I’m glad the baby plotline didn’t end the way I was afraid it would. I’m of the opinion that asking someone whose real baby was involved to play that the baby died is nasty. Didn’t see the Faith planet ep (saw the promos 87 times or so), but it wasn’t a bad way to write the baby out of the show without being heartless.

    SO glad Insane Guy bought it. (He had to, clearly, but it’s good it happened soon.) Some of these Lucians seem like they might be useful to have around, plus they seem to have additional info on Destiny.

    Don’t like watching Eli freak out. One of the PTB said they couldn’t have him get it together, he’s the viewer’s representative. To which I say, as a viewer, do YOU (the PTB that is) want to identify with someone who freaks at the drop of a hat?

    Hardly saw any Young. Hardly saw any Chloe. James was there briefly but effectively. Got some more face time with other scientists. All good. Plus, Telford (who I understand is no longer possessed by an evil entity) seems like he might be a reasonable leader. Hmm….

    Have missed Kiva entirely. May go back and check out a previous episode or two–undecided.

    Too many ads, and this was on HULU.

  10. Ell, when you watch the Kiva eps, you’ll be glad she’s dead, too. She was an intolerable stain on the human species, heartless, coldblooded, and greedy.

  11. So far I’ve seen every episode and really like the show. However, I feel the biggest star of the show isn’t any of the actors but Destiny. I’m really looking forward to more exploration of the ship.

    I have to agree with what someone said previously. It would be great to see more action and fight for survival than politics.

  12. I felt like the first season was struggling to find its feet, but it consistently showed improvement and potential. There was a lot of phenomenal acting some wonderfully imaginative moments that kept me coming back for more.

    Things I loved in the season opener:

    TJ’s Baby. It was raw and dark and bold simultaneously adding depth to TJ, a character that often felt under used last season, while conferring a certain gravitas to the show. We no longer feel that the main characters will always get off easy which makes us more invested in what happens to them. The brutality of losing the baby was softened but not cheapened by TJ’s dreams of the alien planet. It is difficult to do ambiguous mysticism without coming off hokey, but I think they managed it well. It is left to the viewer to decide if what happened in TJ’s dream was real or imagined and you could easily come up with several plausible arguments for either scenario. It would be just like the Ancients to skirt the rules of non-interference in such a way yet it would also be very like the Ancients to give TJ this sort of vision to ease her pain and save the baby in a metaphorical rather than literal sense. There are so many potential ways to spin it, which is a sure sign it was well done. Aliana Huffman did a fantastic job with the material and Ming-Na’s supporting moments though brief were very powerful.

    Rush. I love everything Robert Carlyle does with this character. Whether Rush is showing compassion, determination, or contemptible self absorption, he is always absolutely riveting. I am glad that they have moved away from the early attempts at ambiguity with Rush. In the first few episodes it seemed like they were trying to tease us with an “is Rush evil?” or “is he going to turn on the crew?” vibe. I think it is much more fascinating to know that Rush’s main loyalty is to Destiny at the expense of everyone else. While he may not be overtly evil he can certainly be a bastard. He is, however, a competent bastard. Lately he seems to be presented more as willing to make the tough call and sacrifice others for the good of the ship, but not unless he has no other choice. I found it very intriguing and exciting that after Young’s big determined speech promising to save all the hostages, Rush was the one who got the job done while almost all of Young’s command decisions ended in disaster. Camille didn’t fare much better the Young when she tried her hand at taking charge.

    The Stones are No Longer Annoying. I think the stones were initially intended as a plot device. Flashbacks without flashbacks, if you will, that were meant to be used to expand on our knowledge and understanding of the characters as well as allowing guest appearances from people who would otherwise have no way to reach the ship. In theory it was a great idea but in practice it just didn’t work as well. The idea that the military would allow people to run around willy nilly in borrowed bodies on earth was just too unbelievable. They are also hampered by a serious ick factor and ethical conundrums. How can you borrow someone else’s body to go have sex with your wife on Earth? There is just no plausible way to make that work in the story without the audience going, “Wait… what?” In the second half of the first season and the second season opener the stones have become tools rather than narrative mcguffins. They are used to gain access to skilled people who aren’t onboard, like medical staff or expert scientists, or to report back to higher ups on Earth. The episode in which the disabled doctor switches places with Camille was a rare case of the stones used for the narrative rather than just as a tool and it actually working. Giving a person who has lost their mobility a chance to experience movement and romance otherwise denied to them was a wonderful idea and science fiction in one of its best modes, as an exploration of uncomfortable social issues through technology. Even the ick factor was addressed here. You can’t fault the woman for making a pass at Rush. She is inhabiting the body and feels ownership of it so it seems more natural that the boundaries of who is who would break down more easily for her than for Rush who would still see Camille’s face every time he looked at her. Overall the treatment of the stones has vastly improved.

    Competence. One of the big themes of Stargate Universe is that these are not the people who were chosen for this mission. They were not trained or prepared for it. That said, it is still nice to see people exhibit competence at their job. It was good to see Scott and Greer stalking around the ship and taking down Lucians with the skill and training I like to imagine all our fine U.S. military possessing.

    Chloe is Interesting. Chloe was used sparingly in the last episode of the first season and the second season opener and yet I am now more invested in her character than I ever have been before. She is also infinitely less annoying. It added an interesting element to her character to know that she was aware of Eli’s feelings. She may be shallow but she isn’t stupid. That means she has a potential to grow beyond the vapid parameters of friendship and love that she knew in her privileged sphere on Earth. It was also a really tender exchange between the characters when they both danced around actually putting words to Eli’s feelings.

    Mumford & Sons. I would like start a petition to use Mumford & Sons for all the musical montages for every episode for the rest of the season. All joking aside, their music had a haunting beauty that really elevated the last moments of the episode. It reduced my Extremely Manly Husband to sniffles.

    Throat Punch. I am not made of stone. That was a definite “Ooh-Rah!” moment.

    Things I did not love in the season opener:

    Lucian Leather Fetish. I realize that the look of the Lucians was already established in SG:1 but they seriously look like they got lost on their way to the Blue Oyster Bar.

    TJ’s Perpetual Prom Hair. As a woman I have felt that TJ’s hair is ridiculous from the moment I saw it. No military woman wears her hair like that and no woman lost in space could keep that ‘do up for months on end. What’s wrong with a bun? Bottom line, it intrudes upon the story and strains suspension of disbelief to the limits.

    Tuesday Night. I am accustomed to watching my Sci-fi shows on Friday night and it just seems weird to move things to Tuesday. It also makes me worry that the ratings will be weak. My friends who watch the show had no clue about the time change and the only reason I knew was because of Mr. Scalzi’s very helpful announcement to that effect.

    The list of loves is much longer than the list of gripes and the gripes are mostly superficial. This was one of the best episodes of the show so far. It ranks right up there with Rush and Young’s epic showdown, Kino Death Footage, and Rush’s dead wife. It has me on pins and needles for the next episode and gives me very high hopes for the rest of the season.

  13. Hated the baby story and the music montage. “Let’s deliberately and obviously pull on the heartstrings more!” Bleh.

    Love Rush to bits. He’s nucking futs, not at all a nice person, entirely bent on his own ends, and perpetually fun to watch. Because he is still human, and how that comes out clearly still surprises him. And surprises me.

    Love Greer, as always. Greer & Scott did good work this episode.

    Still unsure about Young. Sometimes I love him, sometimes I hate him. I wonder what’s going to happen with Telford there now, and no longer under mind control. He kept up the mole thing during the crisis with the Lucien Alliance folks, but now what? Nobody seems up for being a good leader. Which is an intriguing situation.

    Plus, the ship rocks. I love that ship. I love that it’s old and mysterious. We know Rush is going to find the main controls, and they will be finding out more about this ship this season, but I do hope that they keep finding things throughout the run of the show. That Destiny will always have secrets and surprises, no matter how well they think they know her.

  14. Scalzi,

    I’m just commenting to tell you that the front page tells your readers SGU is on SyFy on FRIDAYS. It’d be a pity to mislead them, as it’s a great show that deserves more of an audience.

  15. Mish: Syfy airs many of its shows multiple times during the week. So you may have seen the show on Friday, but the first airing of each episode on Syfy is on Tuesday (see http://video.syfy.com/shows/universe ).

    Folks watching online (in the US at least) get to see the show starting the next day (Wednesday); Canadians watching Space see it first on Friday.

    I don’t know if they’ll keep to this schedule for the folks not watching directly on Syfy. For the later part of season 1, they went to an 8-day delay for the online episodes, which made it difficult to participate in discussions online. But it’s nice to have a short delay for now.

  16. Is Kiva dead? She *expired* at the same time as the baby. I sez that Kiva is as dead as the baby.

    Besides, where is the baby’s body? It’s presence or absence would say volumes to either the crew or TJ.

  17. What struck me in S2E01 was that while some plotlines were resolved, so many were not. Which could be a good thing. :-)

    Chloe’s injuries healing so quickly? No one interested in that at all? In the season previews we see some sort of metamorphosis process with her, I dare say that this is the beginning of that.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but a real failure of the story-writing is the fact that the ship really, really hasn’t been explored. That in and of itself is could have been a continuing story line, and even finding empty store room after empty store room would tell a story: what prompted the Ancients to send the ship out on a never-ending journey with empty holds and no one aboard?

    I imagine the teaser that showed Rush finding the control chair will bring that to an end: it is a significant failure of Young that he hasn’t had the damned ship searched. Lots of the civilians don’t seem to be doing much otherwise.

    While continuing to be entertaining, the show loses credibility when simple military tasks aren’t being done: reconnaissance is one of these (that word actually means “to know again”, basically, and knowledge of terrain is absolutely key for any military, be it tundra or the inside of an Ancient intergalactic starship), and it hurts credibility to show a military so fundamentally unaware of their operating environment. Seriously: Scott and Greer are the perfect recon folks, add two or three civilians for gofers and some of the kinos for observation support, and you’d have that ship mapped out fairly quickly. It’s not like they have all that much else to do…

    In the real world, the military would have set up booby traps galore for the Lucien Alliance: they should have known the ship inside and out by now. Given the size of the ship and the very limited resources, the proper tactic would have been attrition: kill or wound an enemy wherever possible via protected ambush sites with multiple egresses, trading space for casualties. There weren’t that many of the Lucien aboard for them to afford constant and debilitating casualties, and even under time pressure, the Luciens were running out into the ship completely blind and ignorant of the ship’s layout.

    Sooner or later, those guns are also going to run out of ammo. Somehow the extremely limited logistics of their situation – including such mundane items as sanitary napkins and disposable shavers – remains something that continues to be swept under the carpet (if Destiny had carpets, of course). They’ve been on the ship now, what, 6 months or so? Civilian clothes are gonna be wearing out…as well as shoes.

    Like I said, continues to be entertaining, but losing credibility…

  18. With this episode, Rush is back to being the arrogant, self-centered piece of shit he was at the beginning of the show. Riley’s blood is on his hands, not Young’s.

    Dropping the Lucians on that locked-out planet with a buried gate will come home to roost. That’s Rush’s fault too: he decided to send Scott & Co. on that lethal shuttle run in the first place, and in fact brought the ship out of FTL near that Big Red X planet in the first place. As for the reason for the BRX, I have a feeling the aliens are involved.

    Myself, if I were Young I’d be tempted to destroy the communication stones. Wrong decision, probably, but Earth’s interference with orders never helps. Ordering them to take on more mouths to feed when they’re already starving strikes me as the next-to-last straw.

  19. I just hope that they discover Rush’s betrayal in the next episode… in the preview you see Young asking Rush “you cracked the code didn’t you?, how long ago?” That bridge looks awesome and that damn hippy can’t run all those stations by himself.

  20. Xopher,
    considering that Young is a fucking murdering psycho, why would Rush tell him about the bridge?

    So that he’d try to get the Destiny back to Earth and probably damage the ship even more?

    P.S. I don’t want to see SG:U turn into ST: Voyager.

  21. In response to #20: They ARE doing recon on the ship. That’s what the three man teams are doing with Eli riding over their shoulder in the kinos every so often when they get called to do other things in the first season. It’s just slow because they’re horribly undermanned (and more so now that they have prisoners) and because it’s been suggested that Destiny has enough holes in her that opening doors and just walking through isn’t something you do lightly. Plus there’s the whole “we don’t have a lot of power” angle, where just walking through the ship and flipping all the lights on might be as good as shooting yourself.

    I’m sure Young’s inclined to do something moronic like dispense with the communication stones too. That’s part of the how and why he’s such a poor leader, imo. Young makes bad decisions based on his emotions, which is very nearly as bad as how Rush makes bad decisions based on his insecurities, or Wray makes bad decisions based on her need for structure and empathy. They’re ALL bad leaders, none of them are adequate for the task at hand.

    I want a Doctor Park episode now.

  22. I think Young was right to leave Rush on that planet. The poor leadership decision was repenting of it later. He should have left Rush with the aliens. Killing Telford while they were switched would have gotten two birds with one stone.

    But then it would become BSG, with Rush as Baltar. And no one wants that.

    But wait, they’ve already made it BSG with all the “in my head” characters. When we find out there are 20 more copies of Kiva, I’ll really stop watching! :-)

  23. 2.2: So, Young has the balls to do what needs doing in extreme situations and Rushs paranoia is getting people killed.

    Fair summation?

  24. Rush had the balls to do what needed doing to regain control of the ship from the Lucians, didn’t he? And he might have saved the Destiny by undocking from the seed ship too, and Telford could have been back aboard safely if he hadn’t have stayed behind on his own decision, right?

    Young’s not the worst leader there is, but if you accept that he’s supposed to be the leader then he’s the one responsible for not earning Rush’s trust enough that Rush is keeping secrets because Young truly and obviously isn’t bright enough to recognize that Rush’s presence is absolutely necessary for the safety of all aboard. He should be leading and managing the man’s ego and insecurities instead of letting his personal feelings get in the way.

    The difference is that Rush isn’t really trying to lead anyone, he’s trying to accomplish his scientific goals. Meanwhile Young’s undoubtedly had endless training and leadership exercises designed to deal with issues like Rush and the rest of the crew, and he’s apparently tossing them all out the window because he’s the kind of douchebag who smothers a man under his command and won’t own up to it, or strands another man on a deserted planet rather than learn how to talk to him. Rush isn’t a leader, but he’s not supposed to be in charge – Young is, and he’s a giant failure at it.

  25. I think the smothering thing is a sign of strength on Young’s part, to do the hard thing.

    Also of poor writing, because they sure as hell could have made an attempt to lift the console off Riley (once lots of people showed up) on the off-chance that if they timed everything right he could make it. No downside–it would have been his only chance, and if he didn’t make it he’d go down faster and with less time to be miserable. I kept remembering a Homicide: Life on the Streets episode where a guy is stuck between a train and the platform; they knew he had essentially no chance, tried to find his girlfriend so he could say goodbye, but when they got him loose they still tried their damnedest. That should have happened here. (Grrrr….)

    I think Young is showing more signs of doing the hard thing but he’s still losing it too much. Rush is screwing up all over the place, and he’d do soooo much less of it if someone else knew about the bridge.

    The way Telford was written in this last episode, he really couldn’t have worked out without drastically changing the dynamic of the show, and I don’t think they wanted that. I’d hoped him being there in the flesh would lead to more interesting stuff, but it just got more awkward.

    Camile Wray seems to be getting a better handle on how to buck the system. Hmm….

  26. Telford isn’t dead. He’ll be back. He’s got like three more episodes this season.

    Maybe he’ll befriend the wimpy scavenger aliens.

  27. He may not be dead (I knew he had more eps, but he could be another dead person Rush sees on the bridge, too), but he’s off the Destiny at least for now.

    (Didn’t mention his more-episode status ’cause some people count that as a spoiler. I now consider myself free to do that; thanks!)

    That last scene with the little aliens was *creepy*.

    Now the question is, just how alien is Chloe going to get?

  28. Hopefully alien enough to freak out conventional guy Scott and reinforce what a good guy Eli is, even if he is somewhat pudgy and best-friendish?

  29. I was amused with how the little aliens looked like a hybrid of ‘ET’ and ‘Alien’. Mixing those two ‘stereotypes’ makes it easy to vacillate between thinking they are friendly and thinking they are dangerous. Like humans they may be some of each. I wonder how many more times we will see them, and how long ago they boarded the Seedship (they may, again like the humans, be quite non-local).

  30. They’re between galaxies still I think – that’s almost by definition “not local” for anyone, isn’t it?

  31. I’m pretty sure they are in a galaxy now, and it is easy to assume that the seedship has been operating in only that galaxy – but a galaxy is a big big place, even for a ship that jumps between galaxies.

  32. t’mara:

    If that’s a reference to Chloe (Elyse) in the picture on this site, OH yeah. Every time I see that picture I think about the bra. Every. Single. Time. Reminds me of hearing Raquel Welch talk about a “cantilevered brassiere.”

  33. Please, for the love of GOD, get rid of the sappy musical montages. I know…by this time they are somewhat of a trademark of the show…but holy hell they are annoying!

    On a positive note, I really am liking the aliens on this show! Last weeks episode with the aliens on the “seed ship” was FANTASTIC! I loved that the aliens dont speak english (or have a universal translator!), I loved that the sappy 1st contact scenario where food is shared backfired at the critical moment (props to whoever scored the bgm for that scene!)…and I love that Lou Diamond gets to spend some quality time with these guys (for a looooong time, apparently!)

    Keep up the good work, I cant wait to see tonights episode!

  34. Oh, why can’t Eli perform a mercy killing on his mom, Young style?

    [pointlessly ugly sexist comment deleted — Let’s not do that again, ZRG – JS]

    Also, fuck the scrying stones.
    I want science fiction, not hokey religions.

  35. I still have a problem with the hair, makeup and cleavage. Even when they are back on earth.

    No true equal opportunity. No serious female lead character. I wish Kiva hadn’t been killed because even though she was harsh (I do wonder if some people’s reaction to her would’ve been the same if she’d been male) at least there would’ve been an interesting power triangle.

    Rush has much too much direct power. I seriously dislike that anyone would allow him to be the de facto knowledge base especially since he’s proven unreliable, has his own agenda and was absent from the ship for a time. And since they had to bring Eli in to help solve the puzzle to begin with why have they turned him into this god-like scientist.

    I want to like this show but unfortunately I’m still not invested in the characters. The push-pull dynamics between the characters rings hollow. I’m rather sick of the stones as I feel it’s a cheat.

    And although the show gives the appearance of being a serial, the episodes feel very much stand-alone-ish. It’s hard to build tension when everything is more or less wrapped up in an episode.

    And think of the Sharon character from the first season of BSG and compare that to how the Chloe character is handled. At the moment, I don’t care and I should.

    I have to agree with others, get rid of the pushup bras. It may have worked for seven of nine but the way it’s being handled here immediately takes me out of the narrative. That includes TJ’s return to cleavage. If the woman go around with cleavage then the men should as well.

    Getting back home although a worthy theoretical goal doesn’t seem to be something they are actively working on. Give them something that makes them a village struggling to survive out in the big, bad universe. Forget earth already. And I think it’s unfortunate that the writers bothered to bring the Lucians into the mix and then proceeded to get rid of most of them. Marooning them felt like a cheap trick after going to all the trouble to get them on board to begin with.

  36. I think the ringed planet’s dark side is too bright. I understand that they’ve made it more visually appealing, but what I can’t forgive is the lack of a shadow projected on the rings. The planet is supposed to block the sunlight. Look at half of Saturn pictures by either Voyager or Cassini.

  37. Hulu has changed from showing SGU a day after air to -30- days after air.

    Who is going to wait for that?

  38. I wish Kiva hadn’t been killed because even though she was harsh (I do wonder if some people’s reaction to her would’ve been the same if she’d been male)

    Oh, yes. Speaking only for myself I cut her some extra slack for being a powerful female in a macho environment.

    But she proved herself to be a heartless murdering shithead. I’m glad she’s dead, personally. Should happen to more heartless murdering shitheads on TV.

  39. I agree that the stones must be destroyed. They are such an OBVIOUS plot device. I don’t understand why the writers insist that they use them. I think they should just go through some special radiation which burns them out completely.

    My husband commented that the show is getting very dark, almost to the level of Battlestar Galactica. This may not necessarily be a bad thing.

    I would also agree that the musical montages are horrendous.

    The things that the show does well are

    1) the conflict between the mercenaries from the Lucian Alliance and the IOA troops
    2) Eli!!
    3) depicting the social dynamics of a group trapped on a ship very very far away from home

  40. Although Syfy still says a day after, I’m pretty sure that for the fourth episode and onward this season they’re changing to 30 days after, as Hulu is doing. The current episode isn’t up yet, which seems to confirm it’s not a day.

    Oh well. Can’t afford to upgrade from basic cable, so, outta luck.

    BTW, I just watched Season 1 (library DVDs). It’s a lot more fun when you’ve figured out who’s who and can see some of the subtleties playing out in a few days rather than a few months. (Had the worst time remembering which guy was Riley, Brody, Franklin, or Volker–and it didn’t help that Franklin and Volker have similar builds and had slings on the same arm. ‘Course, now Franklin’s vanished and Riley’s a goner, it’s easier.)

    Also BTW, I read an article about Haig Sutherland that talked about Riley being written out. It did NOT explicitly say it happened because Haig likes to take a few months off the show every summer to do Shakespeare at the Beach, but I thought it sure seemed likely. (Last year Riley was in a coma.) Maybe Haig can get a sporadic gig on Sanctuary. And hope that show doesn’t also go to 30 day delay.

    Oh, and Xopher, to bring up a topic discussed months ago. Watching Life–OH yeah, Camile and Sharon did it. If you want to imagine they didn’t you can (for one thing, Camile got fully dressed after showering, then going to the bedroom next door to smooch with Sharon). I remembered it as being ambiguous. But seeing it this time, not so much.

    LOVE a good library system.

  41. the show is getting very dark

    Which reminds me of another advantage of the DVDs–I can see better what’s going on!

  42. @Mad Professah,
    the stones exist purely as an excuse to fill SG:U with cheap content, which is just a cop-out.

    Showing two women being passive-aggressive towards each other in a contemporary living room is just cheap filler in a science fiction show about a space ship several galaxies away from Earth.

    “Look! It’s furniture from space IKEA!”
    “I’m going to drink my space wine and not say anything while being a sad, sad space panda.”

    They could’ve filled out the show with computer-generated graphics of space, which would’ve made more sense.

    Fuck, a screensaver would’ve been better than the LifeTime movie of the week with evil husbands who abandon AIDS-infected moms.

  43. The thing with the stones raises a lot of weird ethical issues that could be interesting to explore. I feel like they tried to touch on it a little in this episode with Camille’s girlfriend commenting on how she missed Camille’s face and voice, even though she knew it was her inside there. I also liked that Eli’s mom didn’t believe him right away because it seemed strange that people would be willing to believe that right away unless they had extensive knowledge of the Stargate Program. Still, they only touched on or hinted at these issues and still keep dancing around the giant elephant in the room.

    I don’t know who has commented on it in the past, but the idea that these bodies are being borrowed and then used during intimate moments just sort of squicks me out. Do the “borrowed” military staff agree to this? Aren’t there any hygiene concerns? I mean, not to sound crass, but what if Camille borrows a body and that body has some VD and it gets passed on to her girlfriend? What if Scott borrows a body and has a one night stand and gets someone pregnant? It’s not likely but it is a risk and I think it would be immediately obvious to most people. These are the sort of things that really make the stones unwieldy as a plot device. Using the stones to go home and check on your sick mom, fine. Using the stones to go home and have an intergalactic booty call, not fine at all.

    The way the ethics attached to the stone are ignored is part of why I struggle with any episode based around them. It just breaks the suspension of disbelief too much. I get the impression that SGU wants us to forget as much as possible that these are borrowed bodies, which is why they have the actor “piloting” the body be the one to appear in the scene EXCEPT when they want to use it to tug on our emotions. A good example of that was when Eli’s mom wouldn’t believe him and wanted him to leave. I don’t think it’s wise to only occasionally explore the complexities of borrowing someone else’s body when it suits your needs and then ignoring what should be a very morally complex issue the rest of the time.

    It just really sits wrong when they say, “Look! Look how hard it is for Eli’s mom to understand because Eli is in a strangers body! It is so Sad and Emotional!” but then present a situation where Camille’s girlfriend can look a stranger in the eye and knock boots while reminding herself “No, really it’s okay because it’s really Camille in there.” They hinted that maybe it’s emotionally tough and that maybe she needs a bottle of wine in her to work up her courage, but they still haven’t really addressed that or addressed the issue of consent from the borrowed body.

  44. The writers did address consent in a horrible, retconned manner. In one of the web-only clips an Earthside woman noted that they sign consent forms to allow their bodies to be used by the Destiny crew, well for just about anything. Not only is the concept completely unrealistic (would people really be willing to be exposed to STDs and pregnancy, not to mention knowing their bodies were possibly used for sexual acts they might find offensive?), but it’s a cop-out for any serious ethical discussions over physical ownership, rights, and the concept of self.

    I find that scene to be the biggest failure of SGU, a show constantly purported to be more mature and intellectual than the other shows by its producers. I get the sense that this scene was hastily added after all the internet accusations of Young being a rapist and the outrage over the leaked, early script of the physically disabled woman using Wray’s body to have sex with Rush.

  45. Yeah, the stones were one of the biggest reasons I stopped watching the show (along with Rush’s apparently endless supply of Get Out Of Jaill Free cards). For all the talk about how SG-1 and SGA were brainless mind-candy for the viewers and SGU was going to “adult” and “dark”, the producers clearly weren’t really willing to go there. (Except in terms of lighting–a recurring and increasingly angry complaint on TWOP among other sites.)

    The stones are way to eat their cake and have it too. The characters are marooned halfway across the universe with no way to get home…except when the writers want to write an earthbound show, or let the characters go clubbing in DC or get laid. So they undercut their own deep, dark premise from the get-go. Great thinking.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the web-isode regarding consent forms was a hasty retcon to answer questions and concerns that any thinking human (which excludes the producers, apparently) would IMMEDIATELY wonder about when presented with this scenario. I sure as hell wouldn’t consent to anything of the kind. (Forget STDs and pregnancies, what if the idiot driving my body stumbles into traffic or falls down a flight of stairs and breaks my neck?)

    Plus, if you’re going to HAVE the stones in this show about “the wrong people” (and overlook the preposterous consent issues) why for god’s sake don’t they use the stones to put the RIGHT people in a position to do something useful? Even with only four stones, there are enough people on Destiny and enough experts on earth to keep four actually, you know, useful people occupied on exploring and decrypting Destiny’s secrets 24/7, working in shifts.

    But no. The highest possible use for the stones is childish drama unsuitable even for a soap opera.

  46. Episode summary:

    Rush—childish, selfish, lying manipulative sack of shit; endangers the ship because he’s got such a control fetish. The usual, in other words.

    Young—weak, makes dumb decisions. The usual, in other words.

    Eli—doing his best, leads with his heart, solves problems better than anyone else in the episode, totally lovable. TU,IOW.

    Wray—uses her influence at the highest levels, presumably cashing in some favors, for a humane, compassionate purpose that gains her nothing personally. (Especially noted: she could have gotten her wife onto Destiny, but instead did it for someone else.) Biggest new character development in the episode. Bravo, Wray!

    Yeah, OK, her excuse was a real reason. But it wasn’t the reason she did it.

  47. Well, it looks like it may be time to change “SyFy Rewind has the most recent episodes online” on the front page to “SyFy Rewind has episodes from a month ago online”.

    Which means I’ll drop out of following the discussions here, at least for now. I may well just drop out of following the show– there are lots of other entertainment options out there that aren’t made as inconvenient for following and discussing. Hope the stories continue well though.

  48. I’m willing to cut the show a lot of slack, but I am getting annoyed that, despite the fact that Rush is the smartest guy on the ship and an invaluable resource, they let him wander around by himself on an unexplored and potentially dangerous ancient ship. I mean, even if he was a saint, you’d think they’d want someone with him in case he fell down a shaft or something. Since he’s NOT a saint, the scenes of Brody havng to radio him every time something happens, because no one seems to know where he is(!!), just seem ridiculous.

    Stones, schmones. The most unrealistic plot device is that Young allows Rush to be left alone all the time.

  49. re: Following Rush

    Even as much as I’m a Rush defender, the man’s personality is toxic – who would you sentence to following around Rush 24/7 that wouldn’t just mean you were subverting morale in the handlers and taking Rush’s focus away from the ship and more to “how can I make your life a living hell even more?”

    Maybe if they had a few dozen more soldiers they would have gotten on with those guys, but really I don’t think they sent those guys to the initial mission much in the first place. Those guys are on SG teams doing first contacts and diplomacy. Weird ancient experiment place that no one was sure would pan out probably didn’t get anyone like that… Maybe Scott, because he’s low enough on the totem that any experience that he can survive is good experience before you toss him into something really SGC scary.

  50. Frankly, I agree that Rush is the most valuable person on the ship. And treating him otherwise is insane other than to showcase the incompetence of Young.
    The problem is that that has been showcased enough. Young made a mistake by leaving him on the planet and time after time it was Rush saving their asses. Young knows (or should know) all this. Rush is both the one that will save them or doom them.

    How about exploring this later angle a bit more, with the exception of everyone coming to terms that Rush is the one with enough know how to do so…but at the same time being a complete, mad, pariah with full awareness of how valuable he is and acting accordingly.
    I’m not saying to treat him as near untouchable…I am sure there’s plenty of things one could do to him to get him to “behave”.

    As for following Rush…I rather have Eli continue his surveillance of Rush by Young’s order. Rush would never allow anyone to babysit him, he’d find ways to elude them. Now what I don’t get is Young allowing him to actually leave the ship to check new planets. He’s too valuable to do so. Plus, Rush’s expertise is Ancient tech. Not fauna and flora. He should always be “plan B” when it comes to that.

    And please…get rid of the damn stones. Have someone have an outburst due to bad news and destroy them out of anger of the knowledge they provided.This is cliché…but hell do something. Anything would do to get rid of them.

    Later on, it’d possibly be fun if someone managed to get them working for a limited time, so people could get news and some would realize how detached they’ve become, how they’ve moved on from their past lives and how others have not lost hope at all from seeing the loved ones they left behind. Here’s your emotional payout.

    The sooner the show starts dealing with the characters accepting that that ship is now their life, that their past lives are behind/on hold and carrying on from there…the better.

  51. I watched all of the second half of Season 1 and the first three episodes of Season 2 last weekend. I have to say, the show improved dramatically over the first half of season 1. Perhaps because I watched in such a condensed time period, I found myself caring about the characters way more than I had previously. Even Camille and Chloe grew on me, and I’m now fully invested in both Rush and Young. Scott still needs to get shoved out an airlock, but otherwise I think the actors are starting to do really good work.

    So how does SyFy reward me? No new episodes for me for 30 days. And then ANOTHER 30 days. Seriously? A channel supposedly devoted to science fiction and technology that can’t support non-cable viewers? I wouldn’t have been a cable viewer anyway (I’ve refused to pay ComCast for going on two years), but I gladly sit through ads on Hulu or streaming. So they’ve lost me numbers on those platforms and won’t gain me as a cable viewer. And I’m the type of viewer that watches more than once too. Stupidest move since the name change.

    Grr.

  52. Yup–as another Syfy nonsubscriber, I’m baffled by this decision, both for SGU and Sanctuary. If the numbers aren’t helped by this (which I would expect to be the case, but don’t actually know) maybe they’ll switch back. Hope so, in any event.

  53. I think anyone getting to leave the ship for any reason other than their expertise is mostly about it being a reward. Even if the ship is much too big for them and the skies are alien, living in the dimly lit interiors of Destiny has to be wearing thin on anyone but the SGC personnel who came to the program from their background as a submariner. And I think if SGC had any of those folks they’d be on the SGC spaceships that SGC actually intended to staff.

  54. @ James Pope

    So far, that I can remember, leaving the ship was to perform a “mission”. But I agree with you in that it could be a reward, had that been explored through the characters.

    What I can’t understand is Rush, most valuable person, put in harms way…and even Rush’s willingness at times to leave the ship, his obsession, basically his life’s work.

    A character as obsessive as him, wouldn’t leave Destiny unless there was something there for him, like when they found the derelict ship, because if anything, these would be the perfect times to go about in Destiny with less eyes on him.

  55. I think it’s because Rush is more complex than his obsession. He wants to be this ultra-rational machine that churns out satisfying data about the Destiny, because emotionally Rush is a complete wreck – maybe more than the rest of them because he was on the edge of a breakdown long before they all stumbled through a wormhole across the universe. We’ve seen what are at least Rush’s projections and hallucinations about his deceased wife. I don’t think it’s unfair to say he’s been shutting himself down and setting himself apart since before her death, and because he’s this brilliant scientist as well everyone just sort of assumes the driven, emotionally unstable asshole Rush is the way he is.

    SGC is full of asshole socially-retarded scientists, one more wouldn’t make anyone do much more than roll their eyes. So anyways, they probably make some lip-service to grief counseling and Rush is a genius so he breezes through that by flummoxing and berating the counselors. He gets an offworld posting without psychologists, or maybe that’s the deal with that posting with Young and crew having all of their personal issues out there. Maybe it’s a “you know what would be efficient? We put all these people to work, get them out of the way until they’re fixed, and and work on coaxing someone to do the fixing out there once we find them” posting as well as the other sorts of things I’ve suggested in the past. SGC is tiny, it can’t afford not to try to fix its toys when they break anymore than it can afford to let them sit idle just because they’ve got emotional problems.

    Anyways, back to Rush – I say it’s because he’s just as emotionally challenged by the situation as everyone else on the ship is. He might not logically want to leave the ship, but he’ll make excuses to because he needs to leave the ship as much or more than anyone else. Destiny is a terrible place right now. The air is old and recycled through rigged equipment. No one can apparently figure out how to turn the lights on. They’re eating strange foods that no one has ever ate before, basing that on “it won’t kill us” rather than taste. They’re stuck in this terrible place with a bunch of incompetent, untrustworthy jerks for the most part, regardless of which crewman you’re asking about that.

    Yeah, I think fresh air is important. Getting away from the rest of the crew is important. Getting away from Destiny, even if it’s your life’s work, is probably essential for any sort of relaxation and peace of mind.

  56. Really liked the premise of this show. Watched season one straight through over three nights on Netflix. Watched season two online till I was banished form the audience by the most inept programming team ever. Really wish I was welcome as an audience member, given that I watch everything I watch online rather than on cable. By the time the next episode comes out I’ll certainly have moved on. Does SyFy even HAVE a marketing department? Maybe ask them if this is a good idea.

    I think it’s deeply ironic that the SyFy network would miss that cable is so 20th Century and alienate those who consume their product online. I mean, c’mon. You’re the Science Fiction Network. Why would you be living in the past?

    I have made it a goal, I’m not kidding, to grow various businesses to the point where I can either buy the SF network from the boobs running it now and make it go properly or else start my own network. Because I love science fiction. Love it. And SyFy clearly doesn’t.

  57. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a channel that showed science fiction all the time? You know, a few new shows, old classic SF movies, reruns of classic SF shows, maybe a talk show or two about books or something.

    That sure would be nice. To bad no one’s ever tried it.

  58. I think it would be more useful if there were a channel where all the wrestling events were all in one place, all the time, and legally prohibited from showing up on other channels. Ever.

    Then I could not go to that channel, and I would be happy.

  59. I say what I always say in this case:

    Based on the numbers, the ghost hunters/wrassling/destination migraine is paying for SG:U, etc. So, let em show it, I just don’t have to watch it.

    I followed the ratings and ad rates, honestly, the channel would not have survived into the mid 00s without bringing on what they did.

  60. Saw Cloverdale.

    Okay, we now know that Chloe and the Lieutenant are now symbolically married and that whatever happens to Chloe, will also happen to him. He has taken, effectively, the blood oath.

    But did we really need to see Rush as a JP to do that?

    To be honest, I think so: this must be leading up to central roles for these two, despite the quarantine now imposed. While I have no claim to insider knowledge (duh) and this is pure speculation (double duh), I can well imagine that a strange constellation will emerge, one that pits Rush with his overwhelming ego and dogged determinism to grudgingly give Chloe access to the bridge. Not because he wants to – he doesn’t, he wants it all for himself – but simply because Rush is being battered into submission by his sheer inability to do more than the most simplest of tasks on the bridge. He can never, ever accept the fact that the ship is too much for him: his arrogance with Eli is proof of that (showing as well very nicely the kind of elitist arrogance of the academic world that drives some of the best minds away from it: Eli is the Wunderkind that Rush should be working with in an ideal world, rather than pushing out of the way and deliberately leaving him in ignorance). Chloe and Eli, both without the academics that have fueled Rush’s arrogance and ambition, are the very opposites of Rush: Eli as the natural talent, Chloe as the diametric opposite of whom Rush would like to have as an equal. Nice play from the screenwriters on the inherent dignity of the common man (okay, neither are very common, but according to Rush they’re nothing on his level) in stark contrast to the ambitious and flawed superbrain. Sort of rote for much science fiction writing, but it’s being handled without smushing it into our faces.

    The looks that Eli gave Chloe were wonderful: the right amount of longing, of desire, and of realized impossible and unrequited love. Ouch. She will always be able to appeal to him, always get her way (up to a point, and reaching that point should give us some nice drama), and he will be tortured for it until he can reconcile himself to the unavailability of Chloe – especially now – and find himself an alternative (red head, you listening, girl?).

    The rest was just candy-window dressing for the core story. These folks gotta start using those kinos a LOT more to, as they say, gain intelligence about a situation before blundering into it. They’re not being that smart about it (as usual), it seems…

  61. I love the show, but I have a problem when I want my weekly fix. I’ve recognized many of the above viewers have the same problem I have in trying to find the show on streaming sites (in crappy quality most often). I have since given up and gone to downloading from torrents. Since I pay for HD syfy I have no IP/copywright or moral issues with downloading one of their shows from the internet. However I don’t know how JS feels about that. In the interest in helping true fans around the interwebs I wanted to post and say that I have used scene source to find good HD torrents of recent episodes. Go to scnsrc.net and do a stargate universe search. Episodes are up right after airing. That way I can watch the show uninterrupted by ads and on my own time, without DVR.

  62. Could “As the Gate turns” be more of a soap opera?
    Divorce, alcoholism, and “it was all a dream?”

    Also, why is Eli not losing any weight?
    Did Eli find an Ancient ice cream maker?

  63. Worst terms/words/phrases of 2010….. “MAN UP” God, I am so sick of this sexist crap about men and manning up. What does it mean anyway?

  64. I thought Eli looked a bit slimmer in the last few… maybe not but who cares if he isn’t losing weight. He’s a genius.

    For geekygirl, I would have preferred “cowboy up” but what else do you say? Slap them in the face and say “toughen up”?

    I’m so excited for the new episode in 20 min!!!

  65. I think I may be going insane

    Realizing that you could be insane is the first step on the path to sanity. I do hope that Col. Young comes to some understanding of the degree of stress that he has been under…..

  66. Wheels within wheels. So Rush thinks he was responsible…. And Col. Young gets a bit of hero-worship. I disagree with Young that Chloe is going to need to be ‘put off on some rock’, that option does not seem to be inevitable…although the skin changing part is a bit weird….

  67. @Matt B
    they’re stuck in a space ship with very little food that has to be rationed out.

    Add the Lucian Alliance “visitors” to the mix and and you have a situation where nobody should be physically able to maintain the level of obesity that Eli is showing.

    Unless it’s space obesity caused by the background radiation, of course.
    Eli’s body might be absorbing Snickers particles emanating from the Ben & Jerry’s supernova.

  68. they’re stuck in a space ship with very little food that has to be rationed out.

    I expect that eventually they will discover the ship’s ‘food dispensers/replicators’. They are still exploring the ship after all.

  69. @zombie
    I agree that their food supply must be low, they complain enough about it. What if they get that dome fixed and increase their hydroponics efficiency? That would be a few episodes down the line maybe. Ben & Jerry’s supernova… I think you just created a new flavor! If that skinny evil Lucian Alliance bad guy acts up again Greer should BBQ him and throw a party.

    @ProfP
    You’re talking about a Larry Niven Ringworld-esqe food maker thingy? I like that idea but it almost comes off as too easy. Destiny seems to be semi-sentient and aware of the humans running around… Maybe it makes food for their body chemistry/digestive systems too? Would the crew then need to feed raw supplies into the food maker?

    I think one of the coolest things about the show is that so much of the ship and it’s capabilities are still unknown. We still don’t even know the “true mission” of Destiny yet… dangit! I hope Young beats it out of Rush soon.

    Also, props to the writers (and creative consultant) for giving Eli a smoking hot extra-terrestrial ginger. Thank you. Thank you.

  70. @Matt B
    Eli’s girlfriend is evil and will betray him for Destiny’s access codes so that the Lucian Alliance can gain control of the ship again.
    This will probably happen at the end of this season.

    Something about ginger scum being the living embodiment of Chekhov’s gun, I believe.

  71. @ Zombie

    Nooooo! You’re like Cartman you ginger hater you. Technically redheads are a minority for being 1 out of every 800 peeps on the planet… wait, that’s Earth stats… maybe gingers breed better on the Lucian Alliance leather factory planet she’s from. Either way, their make out session seemed legit. Watch the clip for next weeks episode… (spoiler) it’s booty knockin’ time. They’re makin’ math babies on that ship.

  72. So Eli is not only not losing weight in a near starvation environment, but he’s also fat voyeur who records everything.
    And in their spare time, Rush and Young enjoy homo-erotic Mixed Martial Arts exercises.

    And now Dr. Rush wants to become a Time Lord.

    Well, fuck me with a broomstick and call me Satan!

  73. Well, just saw The Greater Good. Great episode but it left me with a question or two. Id like to know how everyone got on the bridge when it was in extended position. The door seemed to be in the same place in both configurations. That just seemed odd. Also, after who knows how many thousands of years, I doubt the mechanism is flawless so why wouldnt it be felt all over the ship when the bridge was raised/lowered? Finally, the promo for next week had one huge spoiler I think we could have done without.

  74. Yeah, so I was thinking “Why the HELL have they been letting Simeon walk around free on that ship?” and then they find out — too late — that they shouldn’t have.

    And Rush gives Young his WORD. Yeah right. The word of a lying cheating treacherous scumbag who, you’ll recall, tried to frame Young for murder. His word. Worth the toilet paper it’s printed on.

    And Rush pulling Young down when he “missed” — what, that’s supposed to count as him saving Young’s life? They’re friends now? That was a pretty eye-rolling moment for me. I actually exclaimed “give me a break!”

    All I can say is, if Young buys it he’s a fool.

    In fact, if Young lets Rush continue to walk free on the ship, he’s a fool. Rush should never be out of the direct supervision of two armed guards, 24 hours a day. He’s promised to be good before, and he lied then, and he’s lying now. The filthy piece of shit.

    But then, Young IS a fool. So he’ll probably trust Rush yet again, to be betrayed yet again.

    And Rush’s concept of Destiny‘s mission is cracked too. A “structure” encoded in the Big Bang? That’s too stupid. He’s got to be making that up. I don’t see how anyone could do anything except lock Rush up, turn the ship around, and try to use the Ancient database to find another planet that can drive a long-range gate…not that they have one. Dialing from Destiny‘s gate from inside a star might work.

    They should figure out how to get everyone home, and leave Rush on the ship to carry out the fucking “mission.”

    Or just space him. I mean, really, who cares?

  75. I’d just like to say upfront that I really do like this show, which is why I’ve watched it thus far, and why I will continue to watch. Now on to the gripes:

    About Simeon, I would have really have loved to have seen some sort of explanation for why he made the cut to stay on the ship in the first place. IIRC weren’t they only going to keep those who were going to be useful? Apparently he fed them some false information, but if that’s all it took, I’m surprised more people didn’t get to stay. For that matter it seems like Ginn is the only one who’s actually been useful so far. Maybe they’ll get around to showing the Lucian people being put to work. But yeah, Simeon really should have been restricted to quarters by now. Also how come Greer has to handle him all the time? What was his escort doing before Greer showed up in that hallway scene? Just watching?

    Next weeks preview was upsetting. It looks like at least Ginn is going to die and possibly Perry as well since they’re connected. Are they really going to kill off two characters like that just to set up a revenge episode? I had hoped Eli would eventually find a love interest, but it seemed to be moving a little fast. Now we know why though, she was just being put in that role so she could get killed and let us see Eli get angry and violent. And if Perry dies too they’d be pulling a double “kill the girlfriend and watch the man react” move. Ugh. I’d love to be wrong about this though.

    That back ground radiation as a sign of an intelligence involved in the Big Bang thing got me too. I was thinking, “I know you want to be like BSG, but please don’t end like it did.” I mean, has Rush really been putting everyone in danger all this time because he’s on search for God? (Stargate has had “gods” of various levels of power before of course, but once you get to sufficiently advanced technology that you had a hand in creating the universe, I think you’ve earned that capital letter.)

  76. Note: in OUR universe, the laws of physics weren’t even the same at the beginning of the universe. They took a while to settle down. The Four Forces were all one at the beginning.

    Stargate’s universe (π) has time travel, though. So maybe that’s why there’s a sooper seekrit message encoded in the perfectly uniform 2.7 Kelvins of the cosmic background radiation.

    One other thing: I don’t know if this is just another they-blew-it or a real mystery within the show (hoping for the latter), but why do they need to go anywhere to find the answer to that mystery? The CBR is pretty much the same everywhere, and everywhere in the universe is equidistant from the Big Bang.

  77. pulling a double “kill the girlfriend and watch the man react” move. Ugh. I’d love to be wrong about this though.

    I hope this as well. I sure hope they have something better than that planned. I’m reasonably sure they will; I mean I trust the writers that much.

    If they’re just trying to make sure even Eli loses his good-heartedness and ethical purity, I will hate them. Someone on that ship has to be the conscience, and so far it’s Eli.

    Grumble. I see why they want to make sure everyone is guilty. But if they make all the characters unlikeable I for one will stop watching. Right now they’re pretty much down to Eli and Scott, and maybe Wray. Chloe has pretty much become a cipher, and Johansen is delusional (still sympathetic, but I probably wouldn’t watch the show just for her).

  78. One other thing: I don’t know if this is just another they-blew-it or a real mystery within the show (hoping for the latter), but why do they need to go anywhere to find the answer to that mystery? The CBR is pretty much the same everywhere, and everywhere in the universe is equidistant from the Big Bang.

    I’m assuming they’re going to the “center of the universe” or something. What the Ancients (and Rush) expected to find there is the question. A decoder ring maybe?

    I’m being snarky, but you’re right, on the face of it, it doesn’t make much sense.

    Johansen is delusional

    Riffing off my “sufficiently advanced -> God” thoughts earlier, I wonder if this revelation is a sign that the mystical faction of the crew was right after all.

  79. Well, if Johansen’s baby is really on the Paradise Planet, then they clearly are, and the benevolent aliens are the gods themselves…who will contend in vain against Rush’s stupidity!

  80. I love the physics in the Greater Good episode:
    -Rotating ship causing floors to have an apparent slope
    -Using centripetal force! heh heh

    Very funny moment: when everyone gives their advice on how to pilot the Destiny!

    Something does not work however: how can the bridge elevate itself out of the hull while the door is still aligned with the hallway?

  81. Something does not work however: how can the bridge elevate itself out of the hull while the door is still aligned with the hallway?

    Stairs. The hallway either becomes a set of stairs, or it slopes up to a landing just before the door.

  82. I think before anyone gets on a high horse about Rush’s lack of ethics compared to Young’s they need to remember that Young is a tool.

    He got the posting to sit on Rush not because he was some super leader, but because he’s a screw up drunk who managed to lose the respect of Telford, who is also a tool. He cheated on his wife by abusing his authority with someone under his command, then reconsidered, then got ticked off to the point of violence when that didn’t work out, lost a child that was the product of the affair, decided he couldn’t lead the dickish scientist so much that he left him to die on a deserted world in the middle of nowhere, enforced martial law because he can’t be sussed to figure out to actually earn the respect and confidence of the people under his command, performed a “mercy” killing of one of his soldiers… Military hierarchies are great and all that, but the reason everyone’s so dysfunctional isn’t automatically because they’re all not recognizing what an awesome guy Young is. It’s because Young is barely qualified to do his job, and not in a funny ha-ha way where he’s dumb but endearing. He’s alienated nearly everyone, even if they’re still following him because of regulation and lack of alternatives.

    Rush is absolutely a overbearing egotist know-it-all, but he’s still the guy who does know what’s going on more than the rest of them. Yes, he could share that information and let them try to make decisions too, but on the other hand the last time they thought they didn’t need him Young tried to murder him. And meanwhile drunk, incompetent Young still tries to claim to know best for everyone? Young can barely keep himself from falling apart.

    I still think the balance of power should get away from both of those guys entirely. Rush is too invested and Young is too damaged. Wray could have been a good solution, but she’s not a leader at all. Even when she was trying to lead a mutiny she let herself be led around. If Telford ever comes back and Lou Diamond Phillips becomes a more permanent resident of the ship he could do it I think, but otherwise you’re sort of left with Scott or Eli. Scott could do it but it runs afoul of the military hierarchy, and Eli would do it like he does everything – by asking everyone their opinions and making up his own mind. That’s not necessarily a great leader, and I think the Eli character would hate the added responsibility, but maybe that’s why it would be a good idea. Eli understands enough about the ship and the Ancients now that he could tell if Rush was lying about something most of the time and he obviously has a bit of hero worship for the military, and at the same time he’s a civilian. Unlike a lot of people on board I think he genuinely likes Wray, Young, AND Rush. I think even Greer could make himself accept Eli being the final decision maker for the ship, even if he thinks Eli is green as hell.

  83. This episode had all the hallmarks to me of what one of my teacher’s called a ‘tipple.’ (Tying Up Potentially Problematic Loose Ends) – his comment was they tend to look awkward and leave you unbalanced. (For non-drinkers, look it up)

    Lets line them up:

    Rush is hiding the existence of the bridge and his code breaking. Check.

    Simeon was kept for some reason. Check.

    Eli is happy. Can’t have that. Screws up his pining over Chloe. Check.

    Now that they have control over the ship, why not turn around? Check. Kinda

    This leaves us with:

    What’s happening to Chloe?
    Will we see Telford again (they can go back now but he’s probably not there)
    Will they go back for TJs baby?

    As far as leadership, the resolution is simple. When it comes to military matters, Young is in charge until relieved, as he should be.

    The civillians should have a leader as well that Young has to clear things through (would be Wray should be one of the scientists_

  84. Except Young is, as possessor of the firearms and the person nominally in charge of the former mission of “sitting on this egghead on an alien planet until he makes this thingamabob work”, convinced that every matter is a military matter. He’s a terrible leader, even if he’s sympathetic and everyone can relate to him a little because he’s way over his head and just trying to do the best job he can. This is rapidly pushing the limits of “someone who knows the formula response” and into “must understand everything that’s going on and be able to at least fractionally win the the support of all portions of the crew” territory. With Young in charge, Rush knows that the moment he’s not a vital part of the crew this guy will kill him. With Rush in charge, Young knows that his own opinions on their situation will always be colored by the fact that Young tried to kill Rush. Whether you agree for Young’s reasons in disliking Rush, if Young was going to lead Rush he essentially poisoned that relationship entirely by trying to kill him.

    I agree, none of the “arrogant dumbasses” would completely accept Eli or someone else as leader. But really, none of them are quite as strategically stupid as they are socially inept. It’s a compromise, and I think it’s one of those possible compromises because Eli’s from as outside the system as it gets in SGC and because each of them would be arrogant and socially inept enough to believe that they’d be getting the superior deal out of the compromise. In effect each one of them would think “Oh, Eli and I are pals, he’ll just do what I say.” Because Eli does do what people say a lot of the time, but I think it’s been clear from episode one that he’s also had his own opinion and hasn’t been shy about voicing it even if he’s often been shouted down.

    Besides, it could work if they could write that it works. :) I think it would make an awesome triumvirate of power, inverting the power dynamics a bit like that.

  85. Annnnd Rush proves again that nothing, not even (potentially) the lives of billions on Earth, is worth as much to him as his own personal feelings. What a selfish rotten scumbag he is. How come he never, ever gets even a fraction of what he deserves?!?!? This is too much like the real world for me. I really want Rush to suffer. Oh, yes, he does, but not nearly enough. Not nearly in the measure he’s deserved for all the people he’s doomed.

    That said, his way of taking down Simeon was poetic and masterful.

    If Simeon had been brought back to the ship, I’d think they’d make a deal with him. “For every major piece of useful information you give us, we’ll let you keep one of your fingers.” Then, when they’ve got everything he knows, “OK, you get to keep your fingers.” (to guards) “Cut his eyes out.” Then abandon him on a waste world.

  86. Malice.

    Perfect title for the episode. I fear that the actor playing Simeon, the Alliance creep, will be typecast after his role in Heroes and this. Seriously good bad guy acting! You can believe that he believes he is doing the right thing, yet has no compunctions about killing, a really nice study in pyschopathic behavior.

    We see that Rush has finally, finally, finally understood that his actions have had consequences that seriously impact him, taking the woman he loved. H i s o w n d a m n f a u l t.

    I could go about how Simeon’s security was really screwed up, that what happened should never had happened, but that’s besides the point.

    Malice. Wikipedia: Malice is expressed when there is manifested a deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being. Malice is implied when no considerable provocation appears, or when the circumstances attending the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.

    Simeon was malignant, did what he did with malice aforethought. The Lucien Alliance has now taken another four lives, by my count (redhead, bodyguard, two armory guards) and has more to answer for than ever before: “I should have told you” doesn’t cut it.

    Maybe Rush will turn out to be human after all: the first thing he asked when he was “rescued” at the end of the episode was whether Greer was okay. First time, I think, that he has actually shown concern about someone who he does not get along with at all, if anything is the exact epitome of something that an elitist like Rush would disdain for being merely a brutal thug in love of violence and little else.

    If the authors are taking the story arc along this path, kudos: we are seeing a new relationship landscape starting to appear.

    Eli, of course, is now pity-boy. :-) Lost Chloe, now lost the red-head, perhaps this will lead to his character maturing.

    For all its faults and warts, SGU is slowly, carefully, deliberately turning into something that might rival Farscape and Firefly in terms of generating absolutely outstanding entertainment. Me like, me like! :-)

  87. Opie@96 – Be careful what show you compare a mature Universe to as “Fate” has is watching…

    Can anyone tell me where Malice (planet-side) was shot? Way cool geological formations.

  88. Why didn’t they build shelter instead of relying on the shuttle as winter came on?

    What happened to all the wood they cut for firewood? Why didn’t they have a fire going in the shuttle (with proper ventilation of course)?

    Even once they lost power, why didn’t they cut a bunch of tree branches and make a dome, then drape all those blankets over the top? Warm hut. Pile snowballs together: warm hut. Doesn’t take a Navy SEAL to figure this stuff out.

    Seems like the loss of those people raised the average IQ on Destiny.

  89. @Xopher

    I completely agree. I had the thought of using the firewood to block the shuttle door with the blanket/curtain tossed over them – airflow without the wind. Those people were all supposed to be scientists and engineers? None of them thought of this? Come on. I learned how to make shelters in the Boy Scouts! I refuse to believe that in their entire group, no one was ever a Scout.

  90. This episode was really a waste of time. I think its only purpose was to make a shuttle available to give the writers more options. Im not sure how soon this took place after the previous episode but Eli and Rush and the rest all seem to have recovered well. I would have expected Eli to mope a little.

  91. @GeekBoston,
    they were a bunch of gullible religious nutcases who believed that the aliens would take care of them, so planning for the future did not seem to be on their agenda.

    And, yeah, that episode was pointless.

    And why isn’t anyone questioning the whole “we must continue the Destiny mission of going after last night’s text message from God” ?

    Why not try to steer the damn ship back towards Earth instead?

  92. They don’t steer the ship back towards Earth because it’s been going on its current path since before the Ancients ascended. Turning it back wouldn’t make any difference, except put it in the path of aliens disrupted by its passage and maybe stripping it of the support ships planting convenient stargates ahead of them. There’s supposed to be stargates behind them too, of course, but I imagine they’re a lot older than the ones ahead of them and even the ones planted ahead of them have been quirky iirc.

  93. Spoiler alerts…

    Well, I found the episode with the return of the shuttle to be fairly awesome, but for very different reasons.

    Greer and Chloe.

    Chloe knows what is happening to her, her transformation from who she is to … something else entirely. She also knows that this will cost her humanity, and may cost her life. When Greer came to her, she knew why.

    When Greer asked for her forgiveness, my jaw dropped: what a scene. Her executioner – and we don’t know if Young has actually tasked Greer with this, or whether Greer is making the (probably correct) assumption that he will do it – asking forgiveness, directly and bluntly, for something that he may have to do. She reacted like British royalty would, granting him that forgiveness, even if she had to be prodded to do that.

    This is something that real grown-ups do, not the usual permanent adolescents that populate TV shows of all kinds today. For me, real kudos to the writers for taking this tack. For me, it gives Greer’s character a greater depth, one made deeper by his talk with the his young butterball lieutenant: he really is there to make sure that his officers don’t make mistakes. That has been the role of non-commissioned officers in the US military (and others, but not all) since the military became professional (as opposed to a purely civilian militia). That and that small, tiny scene of a touch of hands between Greer and the one female scientist: it is the small things that tell you everything.

    Me like. :-)

    Downside: the return of the factory-refurbished shuttle and the ten little indians. Totally weird, somewhat intriguing, but at the end of the day: WTF? The White Light Powers That Be can re-animate, restore life, do a top-notch navigation mission and pop the shuttle right next to Destiny, and then the survivors starting dropping off like they did in reality?

    Meh. Sure, it carried the background stories and did return a shuttle for the rest of the series (until, of course, someone loses it again…jeez. Having a single shuttle means taking care of it, not sending it down for random look-sees.), but the only upside I see is that TJ will now have to deal with having lost her baby, instead of thinking it was back on “Eden”.

    On the other hand, I think that even the most dense of the scientists has now understood that leaving Destiny to homestead in a completely different galaxy is a hopelessly romantic notion that will get you killed, one way or the other. Perhaps that is the message.

    Oh, and for those nitpicking about using the shuttle for shelter: it was clear to me that winter came both earlier and with greater intensity than they expected (duh). If they were dealing with -40° temperatures or worse, there isn’t much that is going to keep you alive besides eating very heavily to generate body warmth and really good insulation to keep that warmth in: the shuttle, made of metal, wasn’t going to keep them insulated like an igloo would. They were on a starvation diet as well: this will kill you very quickly, as you can’t generate the heat you need to survive if your body doesn’t have massive fat reserves (Eskimos look the way they do because only those who were rotund and fat survived to breed!) and significant fat intake (whale blubber and seal meat, anyone?).

    The shuttle, designed for relatively short travel and relying on good power reserves to generate heat, provides only simple protection from the elements, but not insulation. If they weren’t scientists, but rather survivalists, they’d have dug a very large pit, lined it with leaves and straw, built a one-level log hut without windows and two doors (airlock-style) above this with easy access to the roof to get water and get the snow off the roof (think a big-ass chimney going up at least a few meters over the roof, alternative would be an A-Frame above ground), with a proper chimney that lets hot air out, but keeps cold air out. They’d have had a chance with that design, but showed extraordinarily poor common sense otherwise.

    But of course they’d do that: they’re scientists. :-p

  94. Things I wonder: what happened to Carmen’s body? Did they say? (Cremated, buried planet-side, space burial?) I guess I don’t have spring for cookies for the writers after all, because the only way the little critter’s coming back is by alien intervention (probably a victim of Rapid Aging Syndrome, too). I still wonder why they wrote the baby in, it would have been the work of but a moment to film around Alaina’s pregnancy. (LIke it’s not tragic enough that she’s trapped for the rest of her natural life on a ship with a former lover, oh no, they kill her baby too? Eesh.)

    Is Chole’s father still sitting all frozen in that one room? Or did they finally fix the leak and open the door to fetch him out? (Yes I’ve been worried about that all this time, sue me.)

    Do they have a whiteboard somewhere with crew population totals on it? Do they erase it and write in smaller numbers when people get whacked? I mean, it was pretty smart to start the series off with 80-some people, gives lots of leeway when it comes to killing folks off (and giving stories to one-shot guest stars who had previously spent all this time unseen and unmentioned in the boiler room or wherever). What exactly is the ratio of men to women? That would make for a interesting power dynamic either way, I’d think.

    Do any of them freecycle/trade/barter their clothes and possessions with others in order to get new clothes to wear or things to fiddle with? (Lookin’ at you, Eli.) They could have a rummage sale! (It starts at 8am and I don’t CARE if you’re here early, you CAN’T come in yet!) Lending library? Did anyone bring a Kindle? Poker tournaments? Chess matches? Euchre? Karaoke? These are all brilliant people, they must be coming up with some pretty imaginative ways to pass the time, no?

  95. I like the way Leslie thinks: there are a lot of unexplained stuff. Who is doing the mending of clothes and the darning of socks? Are folks walking around barefoot to conserve their footware, or will they visit The Planet Of Shoemakers in a coming episode?

    And while I don’t think you need to an obsessive/Battlestar Galactica tally every episode, it still is a legitimate question: we even have an anal-obsessive administration type who should really, really be into this sort of thing. Col. Young should have such a list…

    And the male/female ratio seems to be fairly balanced, but what happens when human nature takes over and permanent relationships develop? Will there be a ship’s sexual worker who handles the male overflow, so to speak, and we also know that at least one character is lesbian: what is she going to do? Getting it on with her girlfriend back on earth is via another body, not her own: that is a huge difference to physiological well-being. There really are a lot of loose ends here, but they do tend to be the kind that makes a writer’s life boring.

    Or not: line marriages, functioning troikas, all sorts of cultural weirdness could be a rewarding topic…not everyone is Rush, will to subjugate everything to making sense of straight lines where none should be…

  96. @Leslie and John – I was wondering about the baby too. What happened to the body? How could the super powerful aliens have the baby if her body was still on destiny?

    The senator was in the shuttle. Since there were only two of them I assume that he was eventually removed and buried/disposed of. BTW. That was an interesting piece of work on the writers’ part getting a shiny new shuttle back in the hands of the crew.

    The thing about clothes and shoes is that there are all those mystery boxes that were sent through the gate on day one. We have no idea what was in most of those, but we know that there were at least some uniforms and probably some boots. I notice that I keep looking at Eli’s “You are Here” shirt waiting for it to show signs of wear.

    Another thing I do wonder about is TJ’s medical abilities. She was technically only a medic right? With maybe some additional medical training? And yet she can find “medicinals” on alien planets and adapt them for use by the crew? I will go out on a limb and assume she is consulting experts on Earth via the Com stones.

    Glad to see I am not the only one who wonders about this stuff.

  97. This felt very strongly like a transition episode. They had some things they want to get to, but needed the setup first. I didn’t think of the writers suddenly realizing they needed a new shuttle, but that makes sense.

    In fact, I would not be surprised to find out that this episode was originally intended for another spot, but moved around in the order. Note that there is almost no mention of all of the traumatic events lately: Rush and Young’s fight and making up, Eli’s lost love, Rush’s lost love, the Simeon Supremacy, etc. You could take this episode and slot it in anywhere after the season 2 premiere episode. If you removed a couple lines from TJ, it could even go anywhere last season after the Eden episode.

    I was OK with the winter. That looked like a pretty normal winter, but the implication was that it was so bad that they had to retreat to the shuttle and use its power systems. Then something broke, and they had no power, and no ability to go outside and gather wood. Besides, the shuttle goes in space! It has got to be better insulated than anything on the planet.

    Absolutely loved Greer’s scenes, both with asking forgiveness and with Scott.

    I would love to see the writers reflect more of the day-to-day issues. Food was once a serious, big issue, and now it seems like everyone’s ok with it. Eli’s shirt…that thing should be pretty nasty by now, since he wears it at all times when he’s not having sex with Lucien alliance folk!

  98. The shuttle isn’t necessarily the best insulated thing on the planet IF it relies less on insulation than on power to maintain temperatures. While current and past human space flight vehicles tend to be fairly well insulated in order to conserve power requirements, the shuttles don’t appear to be made with the same principles (or they wouldn’t have those lovely large windows!), but seem instead to rely on power supplies for environmental control (obviously, I’m speculating: duh).

    Reducing insulation makes sense if you have serious power reserves available: the shuttles were apparently designed for local, short-range travel (again: duh) where power reserves should be adequate. Reducing insulation reduces mass and allows greater maneuvering. We’ve seen that in the puddle jumpers in Stargate: Atlantis, whose insulation is basically zilch.

    Greer rocks at this point: the writers can use that to dismantle some of the snarkiness some of the civilians have with him. My experience with military folk is that they are fine individuals that take some understanding as to why they would volunteer to work in the inner bowels of a nuclear power plant (navy), jump out of airplanes at 30000 ft and open their parachutes only a few hundred feet from the ground (army) and, as a matter of course, go on 50 mile walks carrying half their own weight in 24 hours (marines), not to mention be willing to go out in weather that will more likely kill them than not (coast guard) and work in an environment where their blood can boil if their flight suit rips (air force).

    :-)

  99. The shuttle was *too* well insulated; when the power went, the ventilation went and they had to leave the shuttle door open to get air to breathe.

    Which is another thing you’d think a bunch of scientists would be able to find a workaround for. But hey….

  100. @ John Opie – It’s “butter bar” not “butter ball”. Butter Bar is nickname for a Second Lieutenant because of the shape of their rank insignia.

    @ Ell – I think that “insulated” and “airtight” are not quite the same thing, but I agree that at least one of those people should have been smart enough to have come up with something. But I guess that is the difference between a scientist and a survivalist.

  101. Re TJ, I’m amazed that she hasn’t made any sort of noise — especially since you’d think the discovery of the bridge should have given the Destiny crew a greater capacity to find out about the rest of the ship — about possibly finding some sort of onboard medical facilities. C’mon, we know the Ancients had more-or-less human physiology. Surely they had some good fix-‘em-up tech, right?

  102. @Andrew, yeah, quite right. Now that they have control of the bridge they should have access to schematics for the entire ship as well as I would think , a library of knowledge, both scientific and medical. Hopefully the search will be on in the second half of the season.

  103. *peers around* No comments yet on the mid-season finale? Because you know, there’s something you don’t see every day Murgatroyd, (what’s that, Chauncey?) — seeing Rush actually bestirring himself to mentor Eli. It seemed clear to me that for the first time, Rush felt empathy for Eli, felt a bond with him — they’ve both lost women they loved (twice, in Rush’s case!). And oh my, the look in Eli’s eyes…the dawning maturity behind the burning grief and anger. And once again, Eli is the heart and soul of the crew (the show), expressing how wrong it was to lose Riley, someone who was a part of his world and who was so unfairly ripped away (I’d suspect David is missing Haig, so perhaps that wasn’t all acting).

    I do wonder sometimes just how much damage that poor ship can take! What do they repair it with, is what I wonder. Speaking of damage, the first words out of my mouth when I saw the debris field was “spider web”, so I was disappointed it wasn’t Eli’s first thought, too. But it was pretty awesome that the aliens turned out to be quite “human” indeed, what with both working with, and then double-crossing our intrepid adventurers.

    Chloe does a half-decent Cameron impersonation; is it very wrong of me to hope that she does become someone completely different? TJ may have lost her baby, but I still see her in a maternal role, and not just because she’s the medical care-giver. (I understand that at first she believed Carmen was safe on the Eden planet, so her initial reaction was skewed, but crap, if it was me? I sure as hell would want to see my baby’s body — simply being told about it happening would NOT be good enough for me.)

    When they start trading clothes around, I soooo want to see Wray in the “You Are Here” shirt. Srsly. They should put it on a different person each episode. Musical shirts!

    When do we get a “below decks” episode? Featuring (a few of) those 80-some folks we see when the camera pans across crowd scenes?

    And it’s wicked cool and all that Destiny’s mission matches up with current cosmological theorizing, but sheesh, it took 27 episodes to get to that revelation? It’s hard to reverse my utter lack of giving a darn about this so-called Hugely Important To The Fate of the Universe mission we kept getting teased with. I’m suffering from teasing burn-out, is I what I am.

    Great lines: Rush: “Plot a course [Mr. Sulu]” (That’s one of the reasons why Robert Carlyle took the role — he was a Star Trek fan and seriously coveted the command chair.)(Actors: serious artists or over-grown children who like to play pretend? Discuss.) Volker: (defeated) How do we do that? Rush: Get Chloe up here….

    And then of course we did not see Chloe “up there.” Sometimes the jump cuts in the storytelling process baffle me and leave me off kilter. I mean sure, I understand the concept of cinematic shorthand which saves precious airtime by allowing the audience to fill in the gaps for themselves, but, being old enough to recall ST:TOS when it first aired, I am accustomed to fewer loose ends than SGU is wont to spin out. It’s not that I can’t fill in the gaps, it’s that I resent having to; I’m here to be told a story, dammit, so tell me the story. If I have to tell the story to myself, that’s not what I signed on for. I want the REAL story, not something I invented myself! (*pushes published fanfic under the rug* *whistles innocently*)

    However, all in all, I believe I am in fact looking forward to part 2 of this cliff-hanger.

  104. Haven’t seen it yet–don’t currently get Syfy. (Seems to show up on Youtube after a couple of days.)

    However, your mention of the baby’s body after eighty million people here (I think) and in other forums have mentioned it lead me to actually say what I’ve been holding back on.

    Namely, WHAT HAPPENED?? TJ was shot in the belly. The baby died. Did she then go into labor, as sometimes happens when a baby dies, or was a C-section done? How bad was the wound in TJ? How bad in the baby? *Could* she go into labor with a gunshot wound and being unconscious? At some point they brought in doctors with the stones, but I don’t remember whether that was when TJ was injured. Was there any competent medical presence there?

    As a medic, TJ might be able to handle it better than most, but it still doesn’t seem obvious to me that she’d want to see the baby with a gunshot wound (where? Head? middle? what?)

    I really should say this where I’ve seen the most mention of “Of course she’d want to see it.” But depending on the kind of gun, the kind of ammo, the damage varies a lot. Did the baby stop the bullet? Or did it go through TJ? Exit wounds are waaaaaay worse than entrance wounds.

    Plus, I assumed the body was on Destiny, and TJ accepted that the essence of the baby went to the Faith planet because she found out she’d never left Destiny when she went (or thought she went) to the Faith planet.

    Something else I’ve wondered–when she named the baby Carmen after the baby’s grandmother–which grandmother? Her mother or Young’s mother? Does Young know what she named her?

    (I’ve read or seen LOTS of mysteries. Lots and lots and lots.)

  105. @Leslie
    Eli did mention The Last Starfighter which I found highly amusing considering we are now trying to attack the Control Ship for the drone fighters. If only they had an asteroid to hide the shuttle in until the fleet passed by so they could attack from behind :-)

    In terms of damage control, it looks like we now have the repair drone up and running. There was discussion in previous eps of requesting that the drone work on “the dome” so they could expand hydroponics. In the next ep I think we actually saw it in the background (sparks flying) doing repairs on the dome. Now I can see the drone patching holes and stuff, but not sure how they replace things like gun emplacements. Where exactly do they get the raw materials? And how do they fabricate replacement parts? No idea on that stuff. We need the supper alien folks to come and repair Destiny the way they did the shuttle.

    I am also hoping that Chloe changes permanently. At least this way she is useful.

    The show did not miss Chloe “getting up there” because she never went. Eli went to get her, but she went all rogue on him and ran off to do her super-secret-alien-blackout-ship-reprogramy-thing.

  106. @GL2814
    No, I’m sure the Chloe line was at the very beginning, where they were first deciding to go investigate the energy signatures they had spotted. They needed her to calculate a deviation from Destiny’s set course. Chloe running amok was at the very end, during the battle. Eli had gone to check in on her and was going to leave, when she turned and grabbed his arm and stopped him. (I’m predicting she did something to either buff up the shields or to turn on the Omega 13 device….) Note to Eli: next time Chloe says “let me help,” just freaking LET HER HELP.

    re: damage. On further reflection, they were talking about the shields losing power, not being completely gone, so I suppose they took less damage than they might have. Although there were a god awful lot of sparks arcing around.

    Oh, also! Timeline! Eli clarified that it had been “10 months.” So there’s that. (If Carmen had been born full term, she would have been between two and three months old.at that point.)

  107. Yeah, the shuttle folk ep was pretty dopey. A contrivance to get the shuttle back.

    I am, however, open to the possibility that the episode will prove to have some greater significance later in the show. If they don’t drop some leads for that in the second half of the season, though, I’ll lose that openness (if they put it in later than that, it’s a backfill).

    And Chloe’s change is a good, good thing. I hope they don’t find a way to “cure” her. Everything she’s done so far has benefitted our side, not the evil blue aliens.

    And this whole series is about one thing: loss. It’s going to just keep getting sadder and sadder. I wonder how long they can keep it going (since loss is too common an experience, especially lately, to be popular in TV).

    John 104: I agree on Greer and Chloe. That was a great scene.

    Bryan 105: Offhand, I’d say it is.

  108. @Leslie
    Oops you’re right. OK I must be getting old. Used to be that I could remember every detail of a show after the first watching. Sigh.

    Also, I’m glad that you mentioned the sparks. I was watching and thinking “What the heck is sparking so much?” I would think that flying sparks would indicate damage to power systems which should equal lights going out and doors failing among other things. I am somewhat annoyed by gratuitous usage of sparks to indicate that “Hey we just got shoot”. It’s like the exploding consoles in Start Trek. I mean seriously, what did they make those things out of C4?

  109. Back in the 70s someone wrote a synopsis of a rational Star Trek episode that included the line “no sparks fly out of panels, because someone has invented fuses.”

    It’s a dramatic device, not actual electrical engineering, just as the kid-with-shotgun and man-through-plateglass-window are not actual physics.

  110. The spark thing ALWAYS drives me nuts. Not just on this show but most sci-fi.
    1. fuses – I mean my car has a self resetting circuit breaker but a ship that can go faster then light doesn’t?
    2. inductors – they help smooth out current, they couldn’t have put a few of these in series with the shield power to make sure overloads don’t happen
    3. they are shields, they are suppose to shield things. if I created a shield and it caused something to blow every time it was hit, I think I would call that a failure and keep working on it. I mean, the ship rocking I can understand (depending on how the shields where ‘attached’ to the ship) but an increase in voltage or amps in the shields (when it gets hit by a energy type weapon) should easily be able to be dumped some where OTHER then the power supply to the ship.

    but I understand how it raises tension and things of that sort, I just think it was overdone on this last ep.

    Other than that I love the show.

  111. I think the SGU show is by far the best drama on television. Lots of issues running concurrently. I noted some discussion of the shuttle folks returning. Although no one said this, I am assuming that returning the people to die again was a warning. DO NOT RETURN.

    I love the show. So far it is a little light on the Scalzi humor. My only suggestion is to add some more humor to offset the drama.

    Also, it appears that they still have not been through the whole ship. Continuing the search of the ship might be a great time to introduce some new technology not found elsewhere on the ship. I love the show.

  112. Oddly, I’m thinking about the “Visitation” episode more than the midseason finale, even though it was much more action packed. But I think it was action packed by the numbers. I’m not on the edge of seat waiting for the Part 2 of “Resurgence.” With “Visitation,” my issue is that the episode seemed totally out unlike the the rest of the series. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about SGU is the gritty realism of the series compared to other SG shows or other science fiction shows in general. Given the Stargate Universe of course, the events of the show have seemed like things that could actually happen. However Visitation was so magical it could have been an episode of Merlin. The dead come back to life and magically show up at Destiny’s front door with a refurbished shuttle. Then they all die just like they died originally. Someone’s skull gets crushed, from nothing apparently, because the person originally died that way? No explanation for anything that happened of course. It’s all just another magical day on Destiny. An episode probably better suited for Sci Fic channels new series, “Stargate: Merlin.”

    Now, there may be some upcoming episode that will put this into context and make these events seem logical, but right now it just sort of hangs there, totally out of context with the rest of the series.

  113. Bugger – https://twitter.com/Syfy/status/15504225714831360

    Announcement today: Syfy will end its original action-adventure series Stargate Universe when the show returns with the final …

    10 episodes of its second season in the Spring of 2011. The Stargate franchise — consisting of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis…

  114. Too bad, I was looking forward towards seeing Eli turn into Baron Harkonnen.
    Just imagine him putting the kinos on his body and floating around inside Destiny’s bowels whilst raping soldiers.

  115. Well look on the bright side; now SyFy has more room on their schedule for profressional wrestling!

    /bitter

  116. I thought this show was supposed to be a sci-fi/action series. Instead what I had was drama. It’s about time it was cancelled. Now maybe the slot can get filled with something worth watching.

    Personally, I think sci-fi was burned on this show. High budget and low quality writing amount to low ratings, and big losses for networks. They should have checked the quality of this show before buying into it. Air, water, earth, don’t buy…

    Hopefully the Stargate franchise returns with a series worth watching.

  117. This week’s episode went back to magic. In the writer’s quest to make new shuttles out of thin air, the used time travel to calve their previously magically created shuttle in two. Could things have worked out better? We need spare parts to survive. Bingo bango, a whole nother Destiny to steal spare parts from. We have two time paradox created duplicates? One of each pair dies. Amazing how that worked out.

  118. Not to mention Telford got moved back to Earth. He was kind of a Banquo’s Ghost figure on Destiny–Young was in charge, Telford should have been, awkward. Worked out quite nicely–he can still be on the show without that complication.

  119. It made no sense that Telford ended up back on Earth. He only went through the stargate in the original timeline, which didn’t happen because they changed their minds about Eli’s experiment after Rush told them what happened. Telford couldn’t end up on Earth unless the other people ended up dead.

    But since there was little plot point to this episode other than getting Telford back to Earth, that’s what they did. I’d love to corner Scalzi on this one and get him to tell us how many times he “consulted” by saying “No, that’s stupid” over and over!

    The dramatic point to the ep was showing Rush that Young would have stayed on the ship to continue the mission once he got the others home (and contingent on enough volunteers). I think Rush was surprised by that. His reaction to “in addition to you and me, you mean” was telling, and a marvelous bit of acting on Carlyle’s part. Rush now knows that Young believes in the mission, but sees his first responsibility as getting the others home, which Rush didn’t believe before.

  120. Oh, I don’t mean to imply that getting Telford back to earth is anything but really really really strained within the context of the Destiny universe. But having Telford there didn’t fit dramatically. Every time I saw him there I felt like “Does not compute.”

    And yeah, everyone else presumably croaked. I *think* it was like, Telford goes through, the time jumps back 12 hours or something, everyone else goes through before Earth knows they’re coming, so the iris is closed and they all splat.

    Or maybe something else.

  121. Ell, I don’t disagree at all with your first paragraph in #137. Getting him back to Earth was a dramatic necessity.

    The problem I have with it is that the timeline where he went to Earth did not happen. It was averted. Even the duplicate Rush doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it fits the type of handwaving necessary whenever you try to do timetravel in drama. Telford’s duplication makes no sense whatsoever, because he didn’t go back in time after the first timeline went bad, the way Rush did.

  122. If it’s all one timeline, yes. If it’s a timeline where a time loop creates an offshoot universe, it might work. I’d try to work it out, but my head is currently in Dancing With the Stars space.

  123. Okay, let’s see if I can do this.

    They decide to try to dial earth from inside a star. Eli stones to earth to warn them they’re coming. For some reason Telford decides he should go first and everyone else should wait three seconds, then follow.

    Telford goes to earth. During the three seconds, the Destiny skips back 12 hours. In time travel stories, this sort of thing sometimes results in universes that split off from each other. So, Rush is still there, Telford is still there, everyone else splats on the iris. (Also, Telford came through “hours ago” which would require that this was said 12 hours PLUS some unknown number of hours after the time the Destiny time-traveled back to.)

    So how does this work? I’ve seen this happen fictionally multiple times. I think that somehow time jumps like this mess with causality–Rush and the Destiny *did* come back, then they change what happens so they never left, but it doesn’t matter because in the original universe it happened so in the current universe it’s a done deal. I totally can’t remember why a universe splitting off is supposed to make this work, but I think it’s supposed to help somehow.

    It’s like in ST:DS9, where Chief O’Brien is always complaining that temporal dynamics give him a headache.

  124. OK, but I’m not buying it. It’s handwaving to get Telford off the ship. Which is fine; in SG1 they handwaved to have more than 38 possible gate addresses, so this is nothing!

  125. Yeah, the time-fork in “Twin Destinies” bothered me as well. While it wasn’t quite as bad as the Holodeck & Transporter nonsense in the Trek franchises it was IMHO the least plausible “science” I’ve seen in this series so far. Granted it likely accomplished some dramatic purpose with the Telford character but for me that’s no excuse, bad science is bad science and has no place on a “science fiction” series that wants its audience to take it seriously. Wonder what the owner of this place thought of it?

  126. I suspect the owner of this place cashed his checks and moved on quite a while ago.

    But it’s odd that they wouldn’t try even a little techno babble to explain the time travel. I hope it doesn’t mean that by the time this episode was written, they writers had given up. That wouldn’t bode well for the final episodes.

  127. But lil mike, he would have done his Creative Consultant thing before it was even filmed, so he presumably had an opinion about it. I don’t think it’s likely he’ll tell US what he said, since usually these things include confidentiality by contract…and even if his silence on the matter isn’t contractually required, it would be a) a good career move if he wants similar gigs in the future and b) polite.

    I’m betting he told them it was stupid. I don’t expect to find out if I’m right.

  128. Since the episode in question has already aired seems like any contractual obligation to stay mum on this subject would have expired by now. However it’s his joynt we’re playing in so we gets what we gets…

  129. darms, why do you say that? Why on Earth would a confidentiality clause expire at broadcast? We’re not supposed to know what he told them and how much or little of it they acted on.

  130. I dunno, call me naive or something, but seeing as the cat’s out of the bag already it wouldn’t seem the production team of “Stargate: Universe” would have anything to lose by having The Head of John Scalzi Demands Blood comment on a time travel trope. (Obviously before the episode was released there would be good reason for silence) And I don’t care about whatever deliberations went on, all I’d like to know is what the owner thinks of the finished plot line. And I’m saying this as an avid SF reader for almost 50 years. Personally, time travel in a story tends to really bother me a lot and if it’s not carefully done I tend to bail, Heinlein ‘s “By His Bootstraps” was pretty much the nadir for me. But of course there are contracts & lawyers and all that nonsense and given that the production company is the behemoth MGM Television those contracts are sacrosanct (as opposed to those between employees & employers WRT pension rights) so I won’t take silence from the “Bacon-Taper” to be a bad thing, I’d just like to know what he thinks while I watch the remaining episodes. BTW “Stargate: Universe” is the first Stargate franchise beyond the initial movie that I have watched avidly, the previous ones were IMHO incoherent or dumb. The last science fiction series I followed this closely was “Babylon 5″ because their science largely avoided the fantastic and/or impossible.

  131. Xopher I just meant that while this is new to us, since the episode recently aired, this is ancient history to Scalzi. It’s probably been a year or more since he consulted on this particular script. He may not remember the details or the script and who knows how the script changed by the time the episode was actually fillmed.

    Or like you said, the confidentiality clause may still be in effect. Even it it isn’t, he probably would like to get a similar job at some point in the future, and telling tales out of school won’t help.

    Unlike darms, I like a good time travel tale, decently done. The Stargate mythos already has their own little theory on how time travel actually works, and that should have been adherred to. This episode’s time travel doesn’t even make sense if you were scrapping the typical Stargate time travel rules and starting from scratch.

  132. lil mike,
    It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good time travel tale, it’s that ‘decently done’ bit that’s tricky. The first two “Terminators” were okay as long as one doesn’t look too closely. “Dr. Who” is actually plausible (at least the recent seasons) as the Doctor acknowledges that paradox keeps him from visiting the same spacetime twice. And the Trek “The City on the Edge of Forever” was okay with me. Even “By His Bootstraps” is okay for an adventure yarn, it’s superficially plausible and quite a good read. But the idea of two Dr. Rush’s, the new shuttle & two “Destinys” is a bit much at least for me. Maybe it was an inside joke but in the episode Dr. Rush said that if they repeated the time sequence a few more times they wouldn’t need any additional crew to stay aboard as there would now be a crew of Dr. Rushs. So how about it, did you find the “time fork” thread to be plausible? (BTW I’m not familiar w/the Stargate time travel rules, had they adhered to whatever canon the series had I likely wouldn’t be questioning now. And it’s not like it matters, it’s just a canceled teevee show. It’s only that I feel cheated when a series/movie/story that wants me to take it seriously pulls a fast one for the sake a dramatic license. I’ll watch original Trek or “Trek:NG” reruns but have no patience for “DS9″, holodeck or especially “Voyager”)

  133. No I didn’t find anything really about this time travel story plausable. And by plausable I mean within the confines of a Science Fiction TV show. The entire episode was just way too magical.

  134. So I just caught up with SGU last night. I hear what everyone is saying about the time travel thing, but if you think back this is really no different than the chest-driller episode except that it involves living people and the whole ship instead of skeletons and kinos.

    The fact that they were able to retrieve a kino from the future and watch the footage and then alter that future is the same basic problem we are discussing.

    Now what I want to know is how did the entire ship get transported through time? To date, the people and objects traveling in the wormhole have been impacted by time shifts.

    I agree though that this was all about getting around the fact that they beat the crap out of Destiny and needed a way to fix it. Personally I would rather that they had not completely destroyed the seed ship and instead scavenged the parts there instead. I’m sure they could have sent Telford through the gate and then just not sent the rest of the crew when things went wonky.

  135. So I just saw Monday’s episode (someone uploaded it to Youtube). And there are all sorts of things about it pro or con. But the one that really, really bugs me is–

    Is there NO one on the entire cast, crew, production staff who knew that the kidneys are in the back?

  136. :sigh: So after saying that, I Google Imaged kidney transplant scars. Most of ‘em are on the side, but some few are in the abdomen (in the front).

    Ah, well.

    Amanda Perry is such an amazingly chipper character for someone who’s been quadriplegic from age 12 (I think). True, when we see her she’s moving and delighted, but she seems to have been chipper anyway. I like that.

  137. I really liked that episode. I love the idea of techno-ghosts in the ship. It’s kind of the exact inverse of what I thought would happen, which is that the ship’s “personality” would download into a human body…which I guess would be way too Andromeda to tolerate.

    Anyway, I really like the two ghosts, and the final scene, and Ginn’s final gesture, which belies her last line.

  138. Greatd episode last night! I loved both of the story lines: Rush’s cyber vacation and the failed mission to use the Langarian Stargate. Almost makes me forget time travel.

  139. So: did Rush terrorize Eli to get him to be cautious, or just to get him to be obedient?

    The fact that he was completely willing to risk the other guy’s life to make the point suggests the latter. Ditto if he knew he WASN’T risking the other guy’s life (because it takes caution out of the equation).

  140. Well, given that Eli starts out saying “How come everyone treats Rush like he’s boss? He’s not MY boss,” I think he’s putting Eli in his place.

    What *should* have happened is Eli going “Did Rush do that? Can he tell we were there? (Goes up to appropriate console, checks, lets Brody out….) Okay, I get to do what I want but need to watch out for Rush playing stupid dominance games.”

    (Note: I skipped parts of the episode so he may have done some of that. The past couple of episodes have been major turnoffs for me.)

  141. IIRC he didn’t do that. He should have, though.

    Rush improved for a while there, but I’m afraid I’m back on the “airlock the bastard” team.

  142. I somewhat liked last night’s episode – although their speaking the same sort of English as Destiny’s crew is a bit implausible. It would have been nice if the settlements nearby on the planet were not apparently unevacuated. The stasis pods from the previous week’s episode now have a use! If the show had not been unjustly cancelled I would expect to have a variety of characters rotating in and out of the stasis pods.

    The subplot with ‘kidney guy’ was alright, I hope that they go on to make it clear that she really does like him even if she is not actually interested in him…. This does point to one complication of life on Destiny – the ratio of men to women doesn’t seem to be anywhere near ’50/50′. This will, if it hasn’t already, present some complications.

  143. T.J., and others, are making a mistake in assuming that it is indeed Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, she could easily be responding to a local virus, or cumulative poison. Besides, she has five years before she started showing symptoms, they could find all sorts of interesting and relevant things in their databases before then.

  144. #158, if Rush had not found the bridge, the crew would be dead by now. However, Rush is a total you know what. That is why you spy on his every moment. Just because he is a jerk, you do not space him.

    The show is really getting into it’s rhythm and is very good now. Of course they are cancelling it.

  145. It’s such a shame that SGU got their act together alol too late. The mistake was trying to appeal to soap opera and dynesty fans in the beginning. Sci Fi fans … and more importantly, stargate fans arent impressed by crewmates humping in secret and relationship drama. It’s finally getting good and stargate worthy but it’s too late. And I hear that the Atlantis movie is getting shelved because of it. One really doesnt have anything to do with the other for stargate fans, but they dont realize that i guess.

  146. A story about people basically cast away cut off from home is not going to strike a realistic chord without relationship drama. It’s not about appealing to Dynasty fans, its about that most basic human fear of people afraid of being alone. With little chance of getting home, the only potential mates are those right there in the ship. And I’m guessing with a crew that’s primarily male, there is going to be some stressors. These are not a disciplined team but a bunch of civilian scientists and military who didn’t sign up for this.

    That being said, adding Destiny descendents into the mix is a boon to the storyline since it could offer other opportunities to either add to their community or join one of theirs.

    Too bad it’s ending all to soon.

  147. If this storyline had been going on before the cancellation decision was made, maybe we’d still have SGU.

    What am I saying? The Syphy Channel doesn’t have any courage. Gutless wonders. Sigh.

  148. Have to agree, liked this last episode better than a lot of ‘em. Would have liked more successful handwavium applied to the descendents’ story, though.

  149. Great finale. Just beautiful. I know what I would *like* to have happen next. I will pretend, for my own enjoyment, that it did. That’s the good thing about finales that don’t try too hard to wrap everything up into a neat little package.

  150. I agree that it was a great finale. The story was left open to be continued, or not. The final scenes with Eli “alone” on Destiny were something of closure, for his character at least. And then with Destiny fading away into the distance, I felt like they were leaving me behind. I don’t think sad is the word, but maybe melancholic.

    I wonder if it was written before or after the cancellation.

  151. One question though regarding the ending. Didnt anyone else think those stasis chambers could have held more than one person? Other than that the finale was perfect. Id also like to hear from Mr. S on the finale.

  152. Once again, Skiffy proves itself disrespectful of audiences’ intelligence and ignorant of how to market to more than one population segment. They love their get-rich-quick schemes.

    Farscape.
    The Dresden Files
    SG:U

    The list will grow until they either grow a pair or change the name to WWEskiffy.

    This was a good series. I started watching because of Robert Carlyle, who never failed to show us something new about Nicholas Rush. It was a pleasure to see the rest of the cast rise toward his level of performance. The SFX were terrific, and the scripts got better and better.

    This series should not have been cancelled.

  153. Jeff K, you bet they could have. The set design and script didn’t really work together well for that episode. Either they should have built the stasis pods so they obviously could fit only one person, or they should have had something in the script that explained why, despite their obvious roominess, they were strictly a one-person arrangement.

    To be fair, it could have been an editing problem, not a scripting problem, but it pulled me out of the story because I kept wondering “why don’t they double up?”

    The list will grow until they either grow a pair or change the name to WWEskiffy.

    Or until people who want to produce science fiction for television wise up and realize that SyFy is not a good market for it.

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