STARGATE UNIVERSE ended its first season with “Incursion, Part 2,” which saw Destiny invaded by the Lucian Alliance that resulted in a hostage standoff. This week’s installment added another wrinkle: an outside threat that forced the two factions to try to cooperate to avoid death.
The episode kicked off with a death, however, as Kiva callously killed recurring character Cpl. Rivers. Camile (Ming-Na) wanted to continue negotiations, but Kiva (Rhona Mitra) is a classic “kill somebody when frustrated” baddie straight out of the Darth Vader school of command, so she was not as willing to chat as some STARGATE baddies. The outside threat came in the form of a binary pulsar, which was emitting deadly bursts of gamma radiation every 46 minutes, forcing Destiny to drain power from other parts of the ship to periodically boost the shields. We learned that the unfortunate Alliance soldier who was melted by that weird light last week had been exposed to pulsar radiation through a gap in the shielding. Well, so much for my Franklin-as-ghost-in-the-machine theory. (I’m confident the-powers-that-be will return to this story thread next season.)
STARGATE UNIVERSE is wrapping its surprisingly strong first season with a two-part finale that pits the Destiny crew against the Lucian Alliance, the baddies responsible for the expedition being trapped on the Ancients starship to begin with.
The Lucian Alliance has never been one of my favorite foes from the Stargate mythos – I just can’t get excited about a conglomeration of interstellar thugs, smugglers and assorted criminals. (I do, however, find the Genii to be even more boring.) They seem somehow “beneath” our heroes in the Stargate program. It’s the same feeling I get whenever Superman would go up against bank robbers in the comics; this is supposed to be a threat?
Well, in my book, the Alliance has now graduated to the big leagues and become a legitimate threat. I still don’t like ‘em, but at least they are a real challenge. Led by Rhona Mitra’s Commander Kiva, the Alliance located another Icarus-class planet and set to work with stolen ninth-chevron tech fed them by the brainwashed Col. Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips). That’s showing some initiative, Kiva. With the help of Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle), the Alliance dialed up Destiny and invaded. In a very real sense, the series has come full circle, with the return of the Alliance, and the destruction of another planet used to power a stargate. Only this time, the goodies were attacking the planet, trying to stop a mission to Destiny. It’s almost like the-powers-that-be planned it or something…