Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stargate Wednesday: Awakening (2.3)

Spoiler Alert!!!
This post contains spoilers for the Stargate Universe episode Awakening.  
You have been warned.
Art by Red Scharlach
Man, there was a lot going on in last night's episode, eh?  Let me see if I can give you a brief recap:

Awakening picks up where last week's episode left off, with Destiny dropping out of FTL to approach some unknown object just hanging out in empty space.  As the ship gets closer to the object, they realize it's another ship, and of course, some panicking starts, especially when it seems that Destiny is on a collision course with this other ship.  Then they realize it's of Ancient design, and Rush scoffs that people are worrying, saying, oh, obviously we're going to dock with this other Ancient ship.  This earns him some dirty looks, but of course he is right.  Turns out the other ship is one of the "seeder" ships sent out before Destiny.  The purpose of the seeder ships was to manufacture stargates and place them on suitable planets along the course that Destiny would then follow.  The seeder ships would also gather information from the planets with gates and send that information back to Destiny, so it would know where to stop and when.  

In the normal course of things, of course, Destiny would never catch up to a seeder ship, that kind of defeats the purpose.  But it turns out this one is busted somehow, and has been hanging around waiting for Destiny to catch up with it so that it could...make repairs?  Either they totally didn't explain or I totally missed whether Destiny itself was capable of repairing the seeder ship or if this task would have been carried out by the crew of Ancients that would have been aboard Destiny had the original plan been carried out.  Let's just assume it's the latter, because that seems to make a LOT more sense.  Of course, this means the seeder ship is SOL.  Wait, but didn't Brody say that Destiny would remain docked with the other ship as long as was needed to effect repairs, and then estimated about two hours?  Hmm.  Maybe Destiny is capable of repairing the seeder ships on its own.

Well, regardless, our crew wants to send a team over to the new ship to explore it, maybe see if there are any salvageable parts they can use on Destiny, as well as what kind of information might be in the seeder ship's data banks that hasn't been transferred to Destiny yet.  Rush, of course, wants to be part of the away team, but Young is getting suspicious of Rush's suddenly frequent and extended "bathroom breaks" and tells him to stay put (though of course, he does talk his way over there soon enough).  So Brody (whose name I could not for the life of me remember last week) and Volker get to go, along with Scott and Greer and some other red shirts random crew members.  On board the seeder ship, we see some funny looking pod open up and out pops an alien.  Ooh, new aliens!  

Eli and Park realize while checking the information on the seeder ship that it has a LOT of power.  Enough power to maybe dial the gate back to Earth!  And, more importantly, Destiny and the seeder ship are perfectly capable of transferring power between each other.  This is, of course, Rush's excuse to go check out the seeder ship.  So while Brody and Volker are working on transferring the power from the seeder ship, something goes awry and Brody wanders off to fix it.  Then one of the new aliens finds Volker in the seeder ship's control room (and isn't it funny how quickly they found that, considering that so far Rush is the only person on Destiny to stumble across that ship's bridge), and then collapses.  T.J. gets called over to the seeder ship to check him out (because she is so well trained in xenobiology).  

Not wanting to miss the gate back to Earth (for some reason, they don't want to wait until the power transfer is complete before dialing), most of the away team decides to head back to Destiny to get ready for the trip home.  Young tells them to bring the alien with them.  Exploring soldiers find the pods that the alien and his friends had been hibernating in, and the remaining away team decides to split up and search the seeder ship for more aliens.  Rush remains alone with one guard in the seeder ship control room to monitor the power transfer.  You could tell that he really didn't want that guard to stay though, and I have to wonder what exactly he wanted to do that required being alone on that ship.  But we don't get to find out, as he and his guard are shortly knocked out by some of the other aliens, who then manage to reverse the power transfer and start draining Destiny's power reserves.  Of course, this happens right in the middle of the dial to Earth, so we get a lovely scene of everyone being very hopeful and then their hopes just getting smashed to itty bitty little bits. 

Rush and the rest of the away team, minus the "captive" alien, who escapes when all hell breaks loose, make it back to Destiny and try to figure out how to stop the transfer between the ships.  During all this, Rush disappears and slips off to the bridge to try to figure the problem out on that end, and refuses to answer his radio when Young tries to find out where he went.  Telford goes back to the seeder ship to try to disrupt the process from over there and is still there when Rush uncouples the ships, breaking the transfer (just in the nick of time, power-wise), and causing Destiny to jump to FTL pretty much immediately.  With Telford now stuck on the busted seeder ship.  With all of the aliens.  Cue the music montage, and....END.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, while all of this excitement is going on with the seeder ship, Young is butting heads with Wray and with Telford over the Lucian Alliance prisoners.  The LA people understandably want to know when they are going to stop being treated as prisoners since they have been nothing but cooperative since their surrender.  Apparently the LA is planning a big attack on Earth (I smell a mid-season finale brewing) and the members aboard Destiny have been giving Homeworld Command as much information as possible to help them try to prevent the attack.  Varro gets Young to talk to him and asks what they can do to earn Young's trust.  His response is that he's pretty sure that's not gonna happen.  We also get to see a few moments between T.J. and Varro, setting up the potential romance brewing between those two.  I enjoy that the writers are not making this a skeevy thing--I will admit I was kind of worried about that when the previews hinted at a romance for T.J. so close on the heels of either having or losing her baby.  But so far they seem to be handling this well.  Fingers crossed that that continues.  And lastly, Chloe lets T.J. in on the secret of her miraculous new healing powers, setting the scene for next week's episode, which seems to be all about Chloe's "transformation."

Whew.  Hmm.  Okay, apparently I failed in my mission to give you a brief recap.  But, like I said, there was a lot going on in this episode.  

I'll wind down with some of my basic reactions while watching the episode.  (I took notes!)

-I thought it was a little rich for T.J.'s reaction to Chole's miracle healing to be "how is that possible?" right after that comment about her baby being in a better place.  I mean, sure, Chloe probably thought she was talking about Heaven or being metaphorical, but we know she meant Crazy Alien Planet.  T.J., please don't be buying into that.  Writers, please don't be making that an actual thing.  

-I absolutely loved the look of the seeder ship and how it kind of mirrored Destiny.  The whole bit with the two ships docking and looking as if they were two pieces putting together the intended whole was just spiffy.

-As I mentioned above, I was glad to see that Young is getting suspicious of Rush.  Because let's face it, his behavior since finding the bridge has just been hinky.  Though that's about the only thing I was proud of Young for.  He is just butting heads with everyone, and frankly, while I get his dislike for the LA, he is dealing with the ones who very clearly did not want to come onto Destiny guns blazing, killing everyone, and who did, in fact, intervene on behalf of the crew on more than one occasion during the attempted coup.  These people are a resource, Young, use them, please.  I am a little nervous about the downward spiral Young is on this season.  He really does seem to be losing it.  And leaving Telford behind is not going to help that.  Don't get me wrong, it is very good television, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

-I thought it was interesting when Greer was talking to Scott about his little tryst with Park.  Is it just me or did it seem like he might actually like her, not just want to do the headboard shuffle with her?  Hmm.  I wonder if she knows that?

-It is clear that the crew of Destiny did not watch many horror movies before leaving Earth.  Too many of them kept going off on their own on the creepy abandoned alien vessel.  Even after they knew there were unknown aliens running around on it.  What's up with that?

-Rush is such a jerk.  Seriously.  When Scott and Greer showed him the stargate factory he wasn't even remotely interested, and how is that possible?  That was just cool.  I truly believed he wanted to be alone on the seeder ship so he could find some way to sabotage the transfer of power so he could have more time to play with Destiny.  I mean, that's not the way the story went, but if it had, I wouldn't have been one bit surprised.  

-It was really nice to see T.J.'s assertive military side when that creepy LA guy (not Varro, the other one) was hitting on her during his check-up.  They've done a really good job establishing her emotional side and her fish-out-of-water side.  It was good to get a reminder that yes, she is actually a soldier.

-It was so heartbreaking when Eli, all hopeful, said "We're going home."  But kind of, I wanted to slap him there too, because, dude, you totally jinxed it!  Not that there was any chance they were going home this episode any way, but still.  Poor guy.  Still new to the 'verse.

-I thought the design of the new aliens was pretty cool.  They seemed to me kind of a cross between the blueberry aliens from last season and the Asgard.  I hope we get to see more of them.

-So what happens to Telford now?  I have to hope he shows up again, because it's a waste of a perfectly good Lou Diamond Phillips if he doesn't.  But seriously.  I would have to assume the aliens are capable of fixing the ship.  But what do they want with it?  Do they want the ship itself for some reason or do they want to make a stargate?   If they (or Telford) manage to make a gate, could Telford use it to get back on Destiny?  I will be very interested to see how this gets resolved.  

Overall, this was another episode that I really enjoyed.  Though I do think it would probably benefit from another viewing or two.  I like the way they (usually) tend not to wrap things up in a neat bow.  This is a messy situation, and it should result in some messy endings for the characters.  Though, again, I will reiterate, I hope this isn't the last we'll see of Telford.  I don't think I had any real quibbles with the episode either, other than no one learning anything from horror movies and Young being so stubborn about the LA.  Though I don't know if that second one is even a quibble, because while I don't like it, it makes complete sense for his character and fits within the story.  

Next week we'll hopefully get some resolution about  Chloe's issues.  At the very least we should get some awesome special effects!

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