STARGATE UNIVERSE 1.12: Live together, die alone

TJ, Camile and Chloe

“To put it bluntly, we’ve taken the ship.”

With those civilized yet ominous words, STARGATE UNIVERSE’s Camile Wray basically declared war on the military contingent aboard Destiny, igniting a conflict that has been simmering since the first episode.

Camile (Ming-Na) and the “science/civilian” faction plotted to isolate the Stargate personnel from most of ship so she could seize power by controlling the ship’s functions and the stargate. However, the execution did not go as planned, and Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) was left in control of life-support functions, giving him a bargaining chip for negotiations. Not that he really needed it, since Young swiftly took action to regain command of the ship.

The episode kicked off with Chloe’s trippy/creepy nightmare about her abduction, set to a mournful emo song. When she awakened in horror, and we learned that she is sleeping (literally) with Scott. Chloe discovered that Rush cannot sleep, either, and both are tormented by fragments of memories they cannot grasp. Both intrinsically know the aliens will be back.

To try to foil the blue meanies, Rush (Robert Carlyle) suggested that Destiny be searched for a subspace tracking device. When it was found aboard an alien ship surreptitiously attached to Destiny, Young and Scott took the shuttle to destroy it. With the top officers off the ship, Camile made her move, ordering Rush to divert the ship’s operations from Eli’s workstation. But when stealing control meant possibly leaving Young and Scott to die, Rush let Eli use the ship’s systems to dock the shuttle — which left him with influence over life-support.

One of most intriguing bits of characterization came later, when Eli was aghast at the possibility that Chloe might have been sent to distract him from his work while Rush rerouted systems. David Blue looked positively appalled and crushed at the same time. But Chloe was disgusted that Young had left Rush on the alien planet to die. This was a great episode for Elyse Levesque (Chloe) as well as Alaina Huffman, whose TJ butted heads with Chloe over who should be in charge. “We need a leader,” TJ declared. (Although she can hardly be considered neutral, can she?)

The military retook the ship without a shot, which was good, because the blue aliens did return and started punishing Destiny with concentrated weapons fire. It was at that point that Rush revealed a tracking device had been implanted in his chest. Rather than taking the easy way and tossing Rush out the nearest airlock, Young ordered TJ to surgically remove it. TJ balked and Chloe volunteered to let her body be used by a surgeon from Earth. But when the connection was lost and Chloe returned, TJ had to step up and finish the surgery. With the device removed, Destiny was able to jump away without fear of being found again so easily.

What was not so easy was making peace between the factions. There was no question that Young was in charge when it was all over. “Obviously, we need to find a way to work together,” Camile offered. We saw Young’s personal torment last week, and when Camile state, “You shouldn’t have left him on the planet,” he snapped back, “You think I don’t know that?” I love the way this conflict has been simmering just beneath the surface, and clearly both characters were suggesting that it be pushed back beneath the surface, because neither wanted to face that conflict head-on. Camile (correctly) pointed out that militaries in developed Western nations all take orders from civilian authorities. But Young should have reminded her that they are not back on Earth. This is essentially a stargate mission, and as an experience SG team leader, Young is best-suited to run things. I would like to believe that Camile is basically decent and not just another slimy IOC operative, so I hope she does not try to seize command again. At least not anytime soon. Then again, even Sgt. Greer noted, “It’s not over.”

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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