Stargate Universe is back and delivering big time. New aliens, adventure, murders, conspiracy and space-age gardens. Even the stones get a purpose in this premiere. Sure it had its flaws, but all in all it was packed with spacey goodness.
It's business and murder as usual on the old Destiny. Young is casually shaving his face while casually flashbacking back to that fateful day. Feeling bad? I doubt it, but that's why we love this character. He does the things we secretly wish we could. But, in his defense, he did make the "stop thinking about it" face so there's that. He then takes in a little one-on-one time with T.J. where she says he needs to talk about his feelings more. Fat chance, AMIRITE GUYS???!!!
Camille walks up to speak in a slowly accusatory manner to Young. The two then embark on a stern talking battle, the winner, no one. But she's really laying out her "I'm taking this whole place over" attitude on thick, and why not? It's not like she left the genius crew member on a planet to die. Viva la revolution Camille.
But no time for plotting. There's a new guy to meet! This is doctor sexy pants, or at least this is what the casting folks at SGU would like you to believe. In his defense Dr. Caine is pretty cute. But you know what's really sexy about him? The fact that he's a widower! No seriously, that's a REAL reason that a character actually gives to attest to the good new doctor's appeal. Character Vanessa James bites another SGU bullet and delivers the dialog about how widowers are sexy because, "there is nothing sexier than a widower, a man who has proven he can make a commitment and his single through no fault of his own. I mean what more could you ask for?"
How about some realistic dialog? No one talks like this, no one. Especially women. I do not sit around with my girlfriends gabbing about how someone's DEAD WIFE makes them so much more appealing. Because you know men, they be a cheatin' and us women we be a yellin' at the men because they always a cheatin'. So when you can find one that got out of his marriage scott-free, because she DIED, well ain't you a lucky lady? That is some truly terrible dialogue fellas.
Just horrific shoehorning of a character's backstory into a crappy conversation. Plus it's disappointing because what was happening before this dismal attempt at important banter was actually exceedingly important. When Dr. Caine was making small talk with the officers he was voicing his disdain for Young's possible actions. And rightly so, I'm surprised more people weren't outrages. It's not like Young looked terribly upset when he strolled through the Gate minus one Rush. Meanwhile Young's boys practically stare down the barrel of their disapproving guns at Caine. It's great foreshadowing, you all know it's only a matter of time until Rush and Young face off, YET AGAIN, pinning soldier against citizen. And we're excited to watch this rebellion begin.
This common SGU behavior perfectly incapsulates my issues with this series. After a whole half season SGU has really showed that it can create exciting and plot-driven action, demonstrated the best in the final episode and even in this episode, as well. They've even gotten pretty fantastic writing, directing and acting exciting fight scenes and high tension moments. But this, this right here, this completely left field "widowers are hot for reasons" conversation undoes all the hard work they just set up moments ago. It's odd, unnatural and not funny. Like the team Destiny calisthenics scene, where did they find shoes, shirts, shorts etc.? That's not to say they can't create witty banter that feels natural and doesn't break apart the moment, in fact, I praised the whole "sweet potato" moment with Greer. So I know it can work, I'm just not sure why it doesn't work again and again. I hate to bring up the "boob angle" again but this is another example to the humor just not working in the downtime.
But that's all the ranting I'm going to do about that, because this was, as a whole, a great episode. So back into the fray. Young has to go file his report with the homebase, so he needs the dreaded stones. But what's this, are the stones doing something besides creating an easy plot hole for character development? Why yes they are. Young grabs the stones and Bingo Bango he's on an alien ship. "This isn't right?" he thinks. "Snarl growl," goes Young's newly alien possessed body.... He can't speak English, duh.
So the connection is severed, and get this, people actually don't believe that Young saw aliens. They actually speculate that maybe he just imagined that aliens! People, on an ancient alien space ship, in uncharted space, who jumped through an alien portal to get there, and use alien communication stones to communicate with their home planet, and evacuated an alien sandstorm creature out of their alien spaceship before it sucked up all their water...which they grabbed off another alien planet, don't believe that Young saw NEW aliens.
Camil thinks it's a "convenient" way to keep her from filing her report. Is she really this ridiculous? Maybe it's because he killed Rush, who knows? Anyways it's more fuel for the revolution fire, which, in the end, I'm ok with.
So now that Young's ability to isolate half of the crew has been established, let's find out what's happening with the rest of the crew. Eli is not happy about the tofu and Chloe is eating tomatoes, which means they can grow things on the ship. Plus the new greenhouse looks like this....
Fantastic and spacey, no? Two big thumbs up to the production crew for this, very neat. Plus the increase in available food also means a decline in food gathering missions which should make a lot of you happy.
But there's no time for catching up pleasantries, aliens have popped up and they want us to...
The space battle begins and Eli handles in just like we would, "Hey, first space battle here!" and "Why is this all on me???" which made me laugh. Then Chloe's ears perk up because danger is afoot and of course she'll need to be getting in the middle of that. Aw man too bad for that I'm not going to be helpless anymore idea. Still, in her defense the whole capturing scene was bushels of fun. Plus ultra convenient that the Destiny has a forcefield that the aliens can cut through, but it won't be broken when they detach.
Anyways, everyone is upset that Chloe has been kidnapped, because she is one of the people we care about, not so much the crew member TJ was chest pumping in the sick bay. Young gets a bright idea to use the stones again, but this time they decide to tie up the alien-possessed Young to get some quality snarl and growl time. It's too bad they didn't show Young acting like the alien because that would have been a real hoot, but it's probably for the best that all of alien Young that we saw, was him in his tight alien wet suit, futuristic!
Then something very interesting happens. Young finds Rush, saves him from the big blue water tank he was stuck in, and then Rush demands they swap brains. Young didn't have to do this but he did, revealing himself to be Young. Interesting plot detour. I wonder how many other dirty little secrets Rush was privy to while in Young's brain? Clever, clever, can't wait to find out more on this little switcheroo.
And now I'm engaged and into this action especially when Rush kills one of the big blue meanie aliens with his BARE HANDS. That's how bad ass he is.
But Rush doesn't even get to kill another alien before Young is back on the ship and screaming at Eli to fire the big weapon at the alien ship. Saying, "I don't have a choice, do it." Clearly trying to get rid of Rush once and for all, by using the terms that "he doesn't have a choice," but then why save him from the blue meanies in the first place? So many questions, and no answers. But that's ok, because within seconds Rush is back on the ship and everything is exactly how it was a few episodes before. In hindsight they could have dragged on Rush's absence a little longer, but oh well business as usual.
Questions and motivations continue to be ignored when Rush and Young have their face-to-face you tried to kill me and I tried to frame you for murder talk. And we're back where we started, almost exactly. Both parties retreating to their corners to regroup and rethink their scheming ways. But now Rush has a much stronger ally in Camile, or maybe she was always on his team and was part of the "framing" Young racket. If that's true, I don't particularly care because what's done is done and clearly everyone is back to square one, ready to try to get rid of Young again. And then the big rebellion meet-up in the greenhouse, where both Young and Rush do that hilarious, "don't looks at me while I'm talking" spy routine. It was really all Camille could do not to release an evil laugh that echoed across the empty corridors of the Destiny. But alas, that is our Destiny crew. And I'm starting to love them even more.
Cue Rob Thomas singing loneliness is lonely for the lonely people or something. And then a montage of lonely faces and James bawling her eyes out in her bed, subsequently making me feel like an asshole for raging so hard against her previous widower line. I want to like James, I really do...so stop making her say silly things, or make her put on a sweater. I'm sorry, it had to be said. This was a good moment for her, let her have more moments like this, just minus the horribly obvious music.
All in all it was wonderful. We got space attacks, new aliens, abductions, a bit of devious plotting and some sick scifi plant action. It really seems like the series is gearing up for a fantastic season. And everyone is trying to deliver. We respect this, and appreciate the action. The slow start is paying off now with delightful action, reaction and more behind the scenes plotting. Plus the one episode all this rebellion plotting will probably lead too, as things seem to be a wee-bit rushed on SGU, should prove to be interesting, at the least it will provide more instances for Camillie and Rush to continue acting like super secret spies. God I hope she gets a code name.
After this episode I'm now ready and raring to go for more new SGU, are you?