Watching the crew aboard Destiny slowly turn into full-formed people has been a slow burn indeed. But this weeks SGU had plenty of heartwarming character moments and hotblooded action. Sadly the theology banter and abundance of questions left me cold.
"Visitation" was a difficult episode for me, not because I didn't like it — believe me, I was invested. Still, I found myself getting bogged down by the strange theology lesson about faith Dr. Caine was trying to teach. But we'll get to that later, first let's talk about the good.
Buried under a lot of strange death scenes (that were all very fun to watch) was a great moment between Greer and Chloe. Was it super melodramatic when Greer came in to apologize in advance for maybe possibly having to have to kill Chloe if she ever goes full-blown alien? You betcha. Did I care? Heck no? Crap he even stretched out his hand and did the "Stop, I can't do that, I'm sorry" bid. And I was eating this space soap opera junk up like sweet, sweet sticky honey. Why? Because Jamil Walker Smith is one heck of a good actor and for some reason he manages to pull off this cheeseball sequence with frakkin' fireworks. Also, all this time I've been so concerned about what Chloe's transformation was going to do to cheek-bones-for-days-Matt, I've never really thought about how her dynamic would change with the rest of the crew. Throwing in Greer was a great twist.
There are so many great, untapped characters aboard Destiny I really wish we would explore them more (Camille Wray I'm looking at you girl). This was a great moment for Greer to shine, now I want to see other "side characters" get their shot. And on that note? Wasn't anyone sad to see Ginn go? Maybe I missed a shout out but the first KINO confessional with Eli, his words are, "I'm Losing Chloe." And poor Ginn isn't even cold in her grave. While I love watching Eli protect Chloe as only he can, I really would have liked to see some of the healing process going on in his mind after the crazy "gimme a gun" speech from last week. Yes, I know many of you thought he was in character to do that — I still don't,— but I don't begrudge his character anger in general. Or a mourning period. These things would have been nice to see.
And speaking of side characters, didn't your heart just shatter into 1,000 tiny pieces when TJ jumped up and down waiting for the shuttle to open so she could see her reincarnated baby again? Clearly, that didn't happen, and I think the only one who actually believes that the baby was really on that ship was TJ, but still. It was endlessly sad, and kind of humiliating for the character. My heart went out to TJ about 15 times through this episode.
Honestly the meat of this episode was the Greer and Chloe back and forth, but that wasn't the main focus of the episode. This episode was all about the return of CAINE! Dr. Caine, the main who dared defy both Young and Rush with faith. There were lots of good things about seeing Caine's crew back. For one it answered the question as to what happened to this lot. Turns out they all died because their new Eden was a disaster that they were nowhere near prepared for. This also answered the baby question which we already addressed. And finally, bringing back the lost crew members we got to watch them all die off in particularly captivating ways. Watching Val get mentally bludgeoned to death right in front of Eli was delightfully horrifying. More of this please.
But then the whole episode derailed for me a bit. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, I just didn't really care about Caine's explanation as to why he was there:
So something (that is not God) put "shadows" of the old crew back on Destiny? Why? What for? What is the purpose of this? And what did we learn from this other than what we already stated? I'm getting a very strong BSG Angels versus cylon vibe here that doesn't feel totally fleshed out. Perhaps that was the point, maybe they want us all to get into a big debate of science vs. faith, but in the end of this episode it seemed pretty clear that science had won. Not only was Caine's decision to leave Destiny and start a new live on Eden clearly a disaster, the miraculous "rebirth" of the crew members were done by some sort of alien entity, not God (these are the words out of Caine's mouth). He almost concedes Rush's argument with him by admitting that "this is what Rush was trying to tell me." Then again, the man retains his faith through it all, so there's always that. Maybe science doesn't win if there is still faith?
Then again, who's to say that the blue light that beams down in real Caine's final Kino isn't God, or some form of being that put this whole universe into motion. Maybe this ultimate alien maker is what Destiny will find out during its ultimate mission? Just spit-balling here, but it seems possible. Anyways, the theology warranted a conversation, but overall I wish there was more crazy death scenes and character building. Not a bad episode by any means at all, just a little rough around the religion.