Hello! The season premiere of Stargate Universe aired last night, so today I'd like to kick off what I plan to be one of the regular "features" on this blog--my episode reaction. I'm not a critic, and I clearly love the show, so I hesitate to call it a review, and I'd like it to be a little more than a recap--so we're going with reaction, I think.
Please note, spoilers are likely to abound. So if that's not your bag, or if you haven't watched yet and don't want to know what happened, run away now! (But please, bookmark this page and come back later when you've watched.) Alright, ready? Onward!
So, when last we left our intrepid space explorers, there was a whole lotta craziness going down on the Destiny. The Lucian Alliance thugs had separated the civilians from the military and were about to execute said military. Kiva, Telford, and T. J. had all been shot and were in dire straits. Rush and Brody had sequestered themselves in an out of the way control room and were trying to regain control of the ship. Chloe and Eli were stranded somewhere in an unexplored sector of the ship with Chloe bleeding out--and Eli had to leave her to try to open a door for Scott and Greer who are stuck on the outside of the ship. Oh, yeah, and you know, deadly radiation from solar flares causing all kinds of interruptions in the systems, and, well, death.
So....we start with T. J. waking up in a cabin (definitely not on Destiny) and not pregnant and panicking about that a little until she sees her baby in a crib next to her bed. Then, in walks Caine, who we last saw left behind on the planet in the mysterious solar system in the episode Faith. Okay, weird stuff. Let's get back to that later though.
We find out that one of the leaders of the Lucian thugs, Varro, doesn't want to just kill off all of the crew from Earth. He talks Generic Bad Guy into using the communication stones to swap out some of the civilians for doctors to patch up their people, and T. J., who he totally has the hots for. The LA still thinks that Telford is on their side, so they go ahead and have him patched up too. Commander Kiva dies and Generic Bad Guy gets all pissy and starts threatening to kill off all of the Earth crew again. Varro convinces him to chill out and instead of killing everyone, to gate them to a planet that adorable LA Science Girl (who kind of wants to be Amy Adams), I think her name is Ginny, has found. So the plan is, they offload all of the Earth crew, except for the doctors and Rush (who they are now searching for) and just leave them there so they can have control of the ship.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the Destiny, Scott and Greer realize they aren't going to make it to the airlock before the radiation hits again, so instead they beeline for the other side of the ship, putting it between themselves and the radiation, and once it passes, meet up with Eli back inside. Then Chloe magically appears looking much more hale and hearty than when last we saw her. Turns out her wound stopped bleeding all on its own (ooh, foreshadowing) and she is feeling much better now, really. Hmm. But, okay, let's go with that. So Scott, Greer, Chloe, and Eli go meet up with Rush and Brody and they try to figure out what to do next. Scott and Greer do some recon, with much use of Kinos (and hey, now the good guys can hear exactly what the LA is up to). Oh, and at some point in this mess, Generic Bad Guy kicks Varro and his buddies off the ship as well because they are trying to find a compromise rather than just kill everyone from Earth.
While Rush hasn't been able to regain full control of the ship, he has been able to siphon energy away from the shields--which makes everyone look at him like the crazy man he is, until he explains that this will keep them from jumping and allow them time to take care of the LA. With the bulk of the crew off-ship, Scott and Greer decide to have Chloe and the scientists lock themselves up in hydroponics while they go and try to get the rest of their people of out the infirmary. Then, when the next solar flare hits, bam, all of the LA is dead, and they can gate their people back in and be back on their merry way. Sounds like a simple enough plan, right? So of course, it all goes to hell about five minutes in. Well, actually fifteen, I think. But you get the picture. Scott and Greer can't get their people back to the hydroponics lab in time, and Eli is fighting Rush on sealing them out of the lab. Rush decides to contact Generic Bad Guy and explain that the shield isn't going to protect them from the next flare, and he can fix it, but they have to surrender first. Generic Bad Guy doesn't want to do this, and there is much bickering, but then Ginny steps up and shoots him and says, "hey, let's be reasonable and not die, okay?" and the LA surrenders.
Destiny calls back their people who are off-world, and now they have several LA prisoners, including Varro and Ginny, who seem to feel it would be better to work with the Earth crew because technically they are all there for the same reasons. We get the ending montage with music. Young finds out that T. J. survived but the baby didn't (I'm getting to that in a second, I swear) and has an appropriate scene of reflection/grief. Chloe's wound seems to be almost completely healed and she looks a bit freaked out by that but not as surprised as you might think she would be. And Destiny jumps to FTL and exits a short while later at the destination it was aiming for when the LA so rudely interrupted by boarding.
So, T. J. Okay--she wakes up in that cabin, and Caine shows up. He tells her she is on the planet from Faith and that the aliens who made the planet brought her there because they knew that she and her baby had been shot. We see a few of the other scientists that stayed behind on the planet as well. Caine says that the aliens had been watching them from the moment they set foot on the planet and know everything about them (and apparently even what is happening on the ship). Yeah, that's not creepy. While this is all going on, we have a few shots on Destiny showing T.J. unconscious in the infirmary. We see Varro checking up on her and a doctor telling him that she will be fine, but they have to get the baby out now if they are to have any chance of saving it. Later, when Scott and Greer arrive in the infirmary, Wray tells them that the baby couldn't be saved. Meanwhile, T. J. hangs out for a while, and then Caine drops the bomb on her. Her daughter will be staying on the planet with Caine and the others, but she has to go back to Destiny, and she really has no choice in the matter. She gets understandably frustrated and says she is not leaving her daughter behind. Caine explains that because she chose to leave--even though she did it so that the others could stay--the aliens won't let her stay on the planet. Her baby can stay because it's the only way for the child to survive, but she has to go. He shows her a glowy light show in the sky that looks like the planet is very close to a nebula or something (and wasn't there the last time she was on the planet). Caine tells her it showed up in the sky the same time she showed up on the planet. When she wakes up on Destiny, she asks Wray how long she was off the ship and is told she never left. Later, she is up and walking around and sees that the new solar system they have arrived in has the same glowy light show that the planet in her dream/vision/whatever had.
Okay, so that was a lot of stuff to happen in one episode--though to wrap up all of the stories left hanging in the season finale, it is not really surprising. Overall, I really really really liked this episode. It set up nicely that some of the LA at least are willing to work with the Earth crew, while showing that Young is going to take a while before he even thinks about trusting any of them. That should make for some interesting stories this season. I would have been more annoyed about Chloe's miraculous healing if all of the previews for this season hadn't already shown us that she's going to be undergoing some changes in the coming weeks. And the call back to it at the end of the episode helped set it up as a new mystery to be examined rather than a random unexplained happenstance. As far as the T. J. thing, I am not sure what I think about that. I get that they couldn't keep the baby on the ship. The vast majority of television writers are not equipped to properly handle that kind of story, and the fanbase of Stargate would not deal well with the baby just kind of being pushed to the side without any explanation of how T. J. was raising her on board the ship. So, the obvious answer is to have her lose the baby in the invasion. Which sucks, royally, but gives her a chance for some interesting character growth, certainly. But the whole, well, maybe the baby is alive on that planet because of those mysterious alien things scenario is just weird. At best, they are setting it up for T. J. to go absolutely batshit this season, or at least make the crew think she has. I reserve judgment about this whole thing until I see how it unfolds a little more, I think. But overall, great episode. I can't wait for next week.
And that's all I've really got. This far into the season I don't have any real predictions for what was set up in this episode. All I can really say is that I can't wait until next Tuesday! So, what did you guys think?