The midseason finale of STARGATE UNIVERSE was trumpeted as a slam-bang game-changer, and I have to admit to being a little underwhelmed. I’m not sure why, but maybe I was anticipating even more slam with my bang. Clearly, a lot of work went into the production, but storywise, I think there have been a number of more impressive episodes this season. “Resurgence” left our intrepid band of characters even more stranded than ever before: Betrayed by their new alien “allies,” Destiny’s FTL drive and shields were down while under attack by automated alien fighters – all with a transmogrified Chloe on the loose.
At the midpoint of Season 2, I think the-powers-that-be really have a handle on what makes STARGATE UNIVERSE tick. The character conflict is wonderful, the acting is top-notch, the plots generally strong, the production values and special effects are unrivaled. I cannot understand why any science-fiction fan would not love this series.
“Sooner or later I’m going to stop being me and become something else,” Chloe (Elyse Levesque) sighed. “Something dangerous.” And Scott (Brian J. Smith) knows it. (We know Greer knows it.) Chloe’s long-festering transformation – apparently a lingering effect from her kidnapping by the blue aliens – finally reached a critical point. Stretching out Chloe’s transformation (the kind of thing that is usually handled as a one-episode story on most other series) over several episodes made it more effective because we got to see Chloe slipping away in almost the same way that her friends were losing her. We watched that weird metallic stuff taking over her body while her spirits sank and her sense of resignation grew.
Eli (David Blue) was also withdrawing, in the wake of Ginn’s murder. In a conversation with Camile (Ming-Na), he fixed his tenure on Destiny at 10 months. Camile wanted to talk about his relationship with Ginn, but Eli literally backed away from her and refused to rise to her bait. Later, Rush (Robert Carlyle) tried to counsel the sullen Eli that had he exacted revenge on Ginn’s killer Simeon, that still would not have brought Ginn back. Of course this was a classic “Do as I say, not as I do” situation, since Rush killed Simeon in revenge for murdering Amanda. But I figure it was his way of telling Eli (without admitting it) that the act brought him no comfort.
The Destiny crew had little time to relax after last week’s visit from the Walking Dead – er, I mean Dr. Caine and the lost settlers, because Destiny wandered into a debris field left by a gigantic space battle. However, not all the ships in the graveyard were dead. Some were dormant automated fighters (shades of the Replicators, eh?) whose sheer numbers overwhelmed and quickly disabled Destiny. Before they could move in for the kill, however, Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) arrived with the seed ship to lead Destiny to safety – by flying directly through a nearby star!
Telford’s “surprise” arrival in the seed ship was spoiled by the opening credits – I have to stop reading those things on first viewing – but was welcome nonetheless. I figured he wasn’t going to be killed off-screen by those half-pint aliens, but I wondered how he was going to find Destiny again. Turned out it wasn’t so difficult after he made friends with the aliens, who call themselves the Ursini. The Ursini hatched a plot to dock with the crippled Destiny and try a coupled jump to warp speed for repairs at a safe location before attacking the drone control ship. Rush and Young (Louis Ferreira) schemed to double-cross the Ursini and use the seed ship’s power to dial Earth. Camile had a point: Why double-cross this group they just met? But it became a moot point when the Ursini double-crossed the humans first, dropping them right in the middle of a fleet of drones. Again, I ask, Why? To prove Rush and Young really weren’t that bad – or that the Ursini are just as flawed as the Tau’ri?
T.J. (Alaina Huffman) visited Varro (Mike Dopud) in confinement, where they talked about his failure to control Simeon. Varro knew about T.J.’s story about leaving her baby on Eden, and offered his condolences for Carmen not being on the returned shuttle. It appears that T.J. wanted to stay mad at Varro, but just couldn’t do it. I really think something will develop between these two. T.J. reasoned that Destiny’s neural link was probably responsible for the Carmen hallucination – probably as an attempt to protect her from the trauma of losing her unborn child.
There was no protecting Chloe from her transformation anymore. She took advantage of Eli’s sympathy for her to get the door to her quarters opened so she could go all Terminatrix and break containment. She claimed she just wanted to help, but when Eli pulled her away from a control console, she had no idea what commands she had typed in. Was she doing something sinister or helpful? I figure there are two possibilities: 1. She sent a message to the blue aliens revealing Destiny’s location. 2. She managed to find auxiliary power to raise the shields or get the FTL engines back online. My money is on No. 2, but we have to wait until the spring to find out…