The title of this installment of STARGATE UNIVERSE probably should have been “The One in Which We Finally Learn What It’s All Been About (so far,” or maybe “The Fit Hits the Shan,” because this is the episode when we found out what Destiny’s mission is. Rush was busted and had to admit he’s been working on the bridge for weeks now. And Dr. Amanda Perry made a return visit. And Eli got busy with Ginn.
Let’s take that last one first, as the others are all tied together. Poor Eli (David Blue), devastated by recent events during which redheaded bombshell Chloe (Elyse Levesque) made it clear that he will never escape the Friend Zone (in fact, she would literally rather kill herself than be with him), found a kindred soul in Lucian Alliance techie Ginn (Julie McNiven), another ginger beauty. One who actually understands and admires Math Boy – one might almost call her a groupie for his equations. After all her shameless flirting Eli finally opened his eyes. Good for him. Good for both of them.
When another alien ship made an appearance, Rush (Robert Carlyle) and Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) journeyed over on a salvage mission. A power surge briefly ignited the ship’s engines, pushing it away from Destiny. With no way of getting back to the Ancient ship, Rush realized he had to bring Destiny to the new ship, which meant revealing that he knew how to control Destiny’s engines. Or did it? Rush contrived to bring Dr. Perry (Kathleen Munroe) back – this time using Ginn’s body for the swap – and conveyed to her the route to the bridge hidden in heuristic equations. She made her way to the bridge, but Eli was able to decode the algorithms and follow her. (Is it wrong that I was actually rooting against Eli figuring it out? Why is that? Eli is my favorite character!) With Eli, Brody (Peter Kelamis) and Park (Jennifer Spence) the bridge, it wasn’t long until Young realized what was going on – and reacted the way he always does: He beat Rush to a pulp. “I should have killed you when I had the chance!” he snarled. Rush claimed kept the location of the bridge a secret after cracking the master code because he needed to get a firm handle on the overwhelming amount of information before allowing anyone else access. He clearly could not trust the increasingly unstable Young, who, Rush pointed out, can barely get out of bed now due to depression. Young is haunted by Riley’s death, and buckling under the weight of the Lucian Alliance’s attack and subsequent loss of life – which, let us not forget, includes his daughter with T.J. (Well, as far as he knows.) “How could I trust you,” Rush gasped, “when you don’t even trust yourself?”
And then came the big pay-off: Rush has been gradually working out Destiny’s mission. Viewers had been led to believe it had something to do with following the seeder ships that were depositing stargates throughout the universe. But, no. This is bigger. Unimaginably bigger. Young said he sees “the mission” as getting his people off the ship and home again. But Rush insisted, “It was never about going home; it’s about getting us where we’re going.” Or, more precisely, getting Destiny where it’s going. He said the mission is based on something the Ancients discovered in the cosmic microwave background radiation – the energy “noise” leftover from the Big Bang. The Ancients found a “structure” behind the radiation that had a certain quality of “coherence” that could not have occurred naturally. Was it a code? A message? Rush does not know, but be believes it is a sign of intelligence from the beginning of Time. But a sign sent by whom? That’s what Destiny was supposed to find out. The ship was launched to investigate “a mystery rooted in the foundation of reality.” Rush called it a puzzle spread across the length and breadth of the universe. Young seemed a bit boggled, but Rush tried to convince him to stop thinking on a provincial human scale. Forget about going home. “Stop saying we don’t belong in that ship,” he said. “Embrace it. Move forward.” In other words, the mission is bigger than them. It’s bigger than anyone, or anything:
Rush: We’re talking about a level of order present at the very beginning of space/time that goes beyond anything we ever conceived. I believe that the more we learn, the more pieces Destiny uncovers, then the greater our power to control everything around us.
Young: So it is about power.
Rush: Yes, Colonel. The power to change things, control our fate. Right the wrongs.
Young: To play God?
Rush: No, to gain greater understanding.
That’s pretty damn big. It sounds almost like the Ancients set out to search for signs of God, which is something I would not expect from such an advanced race. I assume that once they ascended they learned the nature of the structure/message in the background of the universe. What bothers me about this even more than the religious element is the fact that this Grand Mission Into the Very Nature of Life, the Universe and Everything plays right into Rush’s hands; this is exactly the kind of Big Picture, destiny-altering secret that Rush was hoping to find aboard Destiny. It’s the reason he has never wanted to go home again. He didn’t want to leave Destiny because he was sure there was Something Big going on. And he turned out to be right. Isn’t that just a bit…convenient?
I’ll tell you want was not convenient: the ending of this episode. Rush and Mandy shared some time together, drinking and kissing. But Eli got jealous of Rush being with Ginn’s body, and interrupted, sending Rush on a wild goose chase. Left alone, Perry was confronted by creepy Simeon (Robert Knepper), who did not understand the body-switch, and only saw Ginn, whom he resented as a traitor. Then the episode abruptly ended. When the preview for next week came on, the clips indicated that Simeon had killed Ginn! What kind of an ending is that? We got a dramatic “what will happen?” cliff-hanger, but no “To be continued…” and then the teaser bankrupts the big reveal? WHAT THE FRAK?!?!