I can’t help feeling like this elegiac two-parter should have been recast as the STARGATE UNIVERSE series finale. While not ideal, this story would have been a satisfactory makeshift end to the series. There was a certain amount of closure and hope in tale of an entire civilization founded by the Destiny crew – at least one version of Destiny fulfilled a certain type of destiny.
In part one, Destiny dropped out of FTL and right into a pack of drones. After narrowly escaping, Destiny visits a planet that was populated by the descendants of the “other” Destiny – the one that resulted from the time-twisting events chronicled in “Twin Destinies.” The alternate versions of the Destiny crew became the Ancestors, the founders of a new society, when they settled on a planet they dubbed Novus Mundus (New World) more than 2,000 years ago. When Destiny was inside the star in “Twin Destinies,” it tried to dial Earth, but the ship was thrown back in time by a solar flare, and the wormhole connected with a local stargate and deposited the entire crew on an uninhabited planet. Well, not everyone: Rush (Robert Carlyle) had stayed aboard Destiny, and while the refugees hoped he would return for them, he never did. About 20 centuries later, a black hole entered the Novus system and tidal forces stirred up deadly seismic activity. Expeditions ‘gated out, looking for a new place to settle, and a small group ended up the planet on which the “current” Destiny crew found them. The stargate stopped working years ago, so the settlers wanted Destiny to return them to Novus. Also? The drones found the planet and set about destroying it, necessitating an evacuation.
Varro and Greer
STARGATE UNIVERSE went old school with an action-packed monster mash of a sort that probably delighted sourpuss fans of the previous STARGATE franchises with the kind of space adventure that a lot of folks claim they wish SGU did more often, rather than tell more realistic stories about deeply flawed people. But this episode still packed that trademark SGU darkness, so a bunch of people died, and those who survived knew they were in a fight (yet again).
The main story involved a visit to a planet where Sgt. Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) and Scott (Brian J. Smith) got the idea to hunt some local animals for meat. Which was quite a coincidence, because one of the planet’s native predators got the idea to hunt some humans for meat. The unseen creature attacked with savage ferocity, and dragged T.J. (Alaina Huffman) and Cpl. Reynolds (Greyston Holt) back to its cave to eat later. Reynolds suffered a broken leg, so of course Johansen stayed to protect him. This episode was originally planned to include more of T.J.’s back-story, but all the flashbacks were eliminated for time because the episode ran long, so T.J.’s characterization suffered this week. She came across as short-tempered and a little bitchy without much explanation. She is usually much more compassionate, so I wonder what was in the flashback story… Still, she was as resourceful and adaptable as ever, managing to repair Reynolds’ broken walkie and summon help.
This episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE took that clichéd “character gets sick” plot and made something special out of it by showcasing the supporting characters that are so important to this series. This was a great episode for Volker, giving him his most significant story and most airtime ever, while affording Greer another chance to show why he’s such a great character. Oh, and Ginn and Dr. Perry came back from the dead. It happens.
Dr. Volker (Patrick Gilmore) was feeling a bit under the weather. Good thing T.J. (Alaina Huffman) has just gained access to Destiny’s diagnostic equipment, because tests reveal he is suffering from advanced kidney disease, and his only hope is a transplant. Meanwhile, Chloe (Elyse Levesque) fell asleep while awaiting a connection with the communication stones, enabling the consciousness of the late Ginn to enter her body. Since Ginn (Julie McNiven) was killed while swapping bodies with Dr. Amanda Perry (Kathleen Munroe), impressions of both of their minds were left in the ether, still linked to the stones. The personas were struggling for control of Chloe’s body. The consciousness-swapping was particularly hard on Eli (David Blue) and Rush (Robert Carlyle), who were at first elated to see the objects of their affections return, only to realize that they faced losing them all over again.
Honestly, I dreaded the approach of this week’s episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE because the previews made it look like the silly old “alien makes you face your worst fear” cliché was in full effect. Sooner or later every show gets around to this hoary chestnut, and I figured SGU better just get it out of its system. To make it seem even worse, the fears glimpsed looked to be standard-issue dull; I mean, claustrophobia? Really? Why can’t some alien force somebody to face the terror of…speaking in public? Supposedly most people dread that more than dying!
Happily, the actual episode proved to be much more enjoyable than anticipated. Not stunningly original, but at least well-executed. As usual, the excellent cast stepped up with some terrific performances (special kudos to Elyse Levesque for her conflicted Chloe), and the direction kept the story moving at a good enough pace that the audience did not have time to linger over the overly familiar plot points.
Greer\’s long, dark night of the soul
Okay, I do not believe anybody saw the end of this episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE coming – I mean, Scott, Eli and Chloe left behind again? And this time, Destiny is leaving whichever galaxy it was in…
This was a great episode for Sgt. Greer (Jamil Walker Smith), as viewers really got a peek inside his head. It was also a significant episode for T.J., as she finally told Col. Young that he is the father of her baby.
Setting the stage, Riley helpfully explained via kino that Destiny’s stargate is much more primitive than the gates used in the Milky Way (or Pegasus), which is why each time Destiny drops out of FTL, it is only within range of a limited number of other stargates. Unlike the gates viewers are familiar with, the Destiny’s does not have the capability to dial any desired gate in the galaxy. That helped set the stage for the race to locate Lt. Scott, Sgt. Greer, Eli and Chloe before Destiny moved out of range. But then it was determined that the ship was leaving the galaxy – meaning no more gates at all for possibly a very long time.