STARGATE UNIVERSE 2.9: Visitation

So there was the Destiny crew, minding their own business, trying to figure out the code from the beginning of time, when a shuttle suddenly appeared, carrying Dr. Caine and the seven other crew members who decided to stay behind on the artificial paradise planet in the last galaxy. Every single one of them – and the previously damaged shuttle – was in perfect condition. Well, except for not being able to remember much of anything about the planet they dubbed (wait for it…) Eden.

But then the prodigal team members began to die. And shards of memories began to return, thanks to Camile’s (Ming-Na) hypnotic influence. It turned out the eight were dying aboard Destiny because they had died on the planet and were imperfectly resurrected by the alien creators of Eden.

My main problem with this episode is that it left me asking: Why? Why did the aliens resurrect Caine (Tygh Runyan) and the other dead people and send them home, only to let them die again, this time amongst their friends? At first I thought maybe the humans had seen something they shouldn’t have seen inside the obelisk, and the all-powerful aliens grabbed them, wiped their memories and sent them home like some sentimental homeowner releasing vermin back into the wild rather than killing them.

But then, a theory in the (excellent) blog by executive producer and co-showrunner Joseph Mallozzi hinted that the aliens/caretakers/creators of the planet discovered Caine and his group “too late” to prevent them from dying, so they repaired them and sent them home. But repairing living beings is tougher than manufacturing solar systems, so the repairs to the people only lasted so long before breaking down, and the poor suckers died all over again. How terrible! Poor Val (Camille Sullivan) once again had to endure blunt-force trauma wounds to the skull, from that tree falling on her! And the rest died from disease and exposure. Now I remember something that no one ever should,” Caine lamented. “I’m already dead.”

So the aliens are not as omnipotent as previously suspected. Eli (David Blue) quoted Arthur C. Clarke’s famous maxim, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” to explain why the aliens could appear to be godlike when they really were just technologically advanced.

However, the power of the aliens still deeply affected Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) and T.J. (Alaina Huffman). Young seemed strangely rattled. “They could squash us like ants if they wanted to,” Young noted. But Young seemed not to think that through: The aliens did not swat them, so they must not have wanted to. Young was doubtless jumpy from being around the animated corpses. T.J., meanwhile, was shattered to realize that her daughter, Carmen, was not aboard the shuttle. When she told Caine about visiting him on the planet, he professed to have no memory of the incident, and more importantly, no baby. Huffman did some great emoting here, as T.J. got really weepy. “It was so real,” she sobbed when relating the experience.

My favorite sequence, far and away, was the scene when Sgt. Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) visited Chloe (Elyse Levesque) in quarantine. Greer admitted that he was concerned about her, revealing that he prays for her every single night. “But that girl is turning into the enemy,” Greer warned. “The day is gonna come…” And that day weighed on his mind, so Greer went to Chloe to ask her forgiveness for when that does come, and he has to “remove the threat.” Chloe said she would forgive him, but he asked her to actually say the words. “I forgive you, Ronald,” she said, quietly. “Thank you, that’s important,” he replied. It was a wonderful moment. It revealed a lot about Greer, who often seems more than willing to pull the trigger on anyone who crosses him. He really feels things deeply – which is to be expected from someone who seems so angry. It just means his emotions are close to the surface. In fact, his feelings for her were so brittle that he declined to give her a farewell hug in order to remain detached enough to…do what he will have to do. “Goodbye, Miss Armstrong,” he said, simply, and left.

Chloe recorded goodbyes on the kino, and I really hope we never have to watch them.

The Most Intriguing Cryptic Remark of the Week came from Camile, who snarked to Young: “I was… a little overqualified for HR.” Does this mean that Wray was trained to be a field agent? She certainly has uncommon skills in hypnosis. Just what is her story, and her true role in the IOA?

The Throwaway Line of the Week referenced Dr. Boone, who was played in the first season by Dominic Zamprogna. Boone has slipped off the radar because Zamprogna landed himself a full-time job on the soap opera GENERAL HOSPITAL, playing Dante, the son of Sonny Corinthos. Nice work, if you can get it. Volker (Patrick Gilmore) observed that, “Boone used to do a pretty good Caine [imitation].”

Since this storyline began in an episode called “Faith,” I think it only fitting to end this entry with Caine’s speech in which this scientist articulates how he could possibly still have any faith left:

T.J.: After all of this, you still believe?
Caine: That is faith, T.J. I believe that my soul has already moved on, and is looking down even now marveling at how kind you are to comfort a shadow. You have to believe with all of your heart that your daughter is in a better place. The greatest gift that you can give to her, and to all of us, is to live your life. To fulfill Destiny’s mission and have faith in each other.

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