Full-scale war broke out on the Destiny last weekend on Stargate Universe. Guns were fired, characters were injured and sexy leather villains entered the mix. But this week's hero wasn't a soldier or a leader, but rather the nerd, Eli.
This episode begins right where it left off, with a stand-off, and for the first time in the history of this show, SGU actually executes their plans when they set up a stand off. Telford, now revealed to be a brain washed Lucian spy, is held hostage by Young, who's locked in a room that's being vented of all its oxygen. And my God — Young actually does what he threatens to do, kills Telford.
Sadly it turns out that killing Telford and then bringing him back to life via CPR, actually de-brainwashes him, and wham! — Telford is good again. Scott and Camille take this time to whine about whatever it is Young is or isn't doing, but there's no time for this boring banter. The Lucians are coming! And to all of you saying "this was explained forever ago" yes yes we know. But you have to admit their resting pretty hard on no one remembering that, or they wouldn't have cut the episode there to start with, it felt lazy. Even though I love watching Young do what he does best.
The more Young, despite his problems, the better. I really adore this character. Especially when he chastises Scott for questioning his orders. I found myself making snappy "mmmmm hmmmm" noises in agreement with Young during this whole moment.
By the way if you didn't think the Lucian Alliance could get any more ridiculously cliched after last weeks costume change from Earth street wear to all-leather Lucian clothes, check out where their secret hide-out is..
It's a volcano planet, yes they really made the all-leather clad, torture friendly and trigger happy villains set up shop on top of a fucking volcano. Next week we fully expect Kiva to whip out her white pet cat and eye patch.
Anyways the Lucians dial the Ninth Chevron and land on Destiny. And since Young already wasted his stand off points earlier, he doesn't vent the gateroom the second all the Lucians enter... because they have Telford. Which was not a very smart decision, this man does not know the phrase acceptable losses does he? The Lucians gate over bearing magic keys that open all of the doors allowing them to shoot Chloe — yay! — and take hostages, like one very pregnant T.J.
"Oh no they are going to kill T.J. We're nervous about this twist." - No one, ever.
Yada yada another stand-off. Now comes the negotiating. Camille throws her fists in the air and screams "Somebody listen to me! I was important on Earth, I swear," and winds up in charge of a prisoner swap. Now this is where it could get interesting. But it doesn't because the second Telford "arranges" a prisoner swap, this happens...
A Lucian turns into a pile of dust and then Telford calls a "do over" on their double double cross. And magic has now replaced the original struggle of the stand off. How much you wanna bet Destiny is a LIVING ship? And no I do Not think this was a MERE hull breech. Franklyn's whole disappearing thing better have a reason. Plus I'm deeply hoping that SGU wouldn't throwaway a perfectly good stand off with interesting potential for more ship problems. Granted I'm miffed about the change up, I was still very, very surprised. And that's a great, great thing. And it got us all talking about what it could be, another good thing.
How SGU will handle the situation still remains to be seen, I'm intrigued by the ship's new burning-people powers, and if Telford really is who he seems to be after the death "fixed" his brain washing. I hope that's not the case, but we shall see this is a two-parter after all. Still the meat of this episode, for me personally, was the "Eli's song" side story. Chloe gets shot, and Eli squirrels her off to a new part of the ship. They then get supremely lost and it's up to Eli to save Chloe's life. Many, many people didn't like it, I was split right down the middle between love and hate.
Why I love this Eli the bumbling caretaker/hero:
The last few weeks Eli has been pissed off and unhappy. The side story between Eli and Chloe allowed Eli to emote something besides snark. When Chloe went down we witnessed Eli's caretaker instincts kick in. And unlike how he probably behaved tending to his mother, this felt sweet, scared, and panicked. It was a new side of Eli, he was in charge, slowly but sure fumbling his way towards being the hero. We want Eli to be the hero, naturally — there's no doubt the Star Wars quoting video game kid was meant to be the "voice of the audience," in fact that's been stated over and over again. So rooting for Eli is akin to rooting for yourself. And who didn't clap their hands when Hurley finally got the girl. Go Eli.
Why this is a wasted moment:
On the other hand the Eli and Chloe side story can also feel like a massive waste. Remember back when I said I had let go of the "three little lost SGU lambs" plot line when Eli, Chloe and Scott were all stranded on random planets? I lied. I can't help but wonder what could have happened if they'd taken that time to flesh out the characters beyond the five designated emotions SGU hands out to each actor at the beginning of each episode.
Wouldn't this have been a great situation to bring up things that might have happened when the love triangle was stuck in a remote wasteland? Can you imagine how much more complicated, desperate, shaming and scared the chemistry between these two would be if we knew, or found out, some serious shit had gone down between these two in the past? Not just Chloe using Eli's brain as she did that one time during the 15-minute mutiny — that is a forgivable offense — but more and deeper. What if on the Love Triangle Planet, Eli had spilled his feelings out to Chloe, or if Scott attempted to leave Eli behind like they left Greer, because he was injured or merely slow? There are options here besides, Chloe=damsel in distress. Eli=loves Chloe, and thus has to be the hero in spite of his fear.
Maybe it will change how they act towards each other in the future. But from what other Destiny crew members have demonstrated, if your name isn't Young or Rush, your future actions are rarely impacted by your past experiences. Camille, we're talking about you. For a series that wants to be real, gritty and more than Stargates were in the past, we'd like to see them achieve that goal and treat each scene like it has a purpose, instead of being filler.
But we will know more in the grand season finale this Friday, and honestly it was a fun start to the beginning of the end. Plus it was great giving Eli a turn to untie Chloe from the her weekly damsel in distress train tracks routine this week. So I choose to root for Eli, because he's "one of us." Fingers crossed for Eli turning into the new geeky Sheppard or Shanks — it could happen!