Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stargate Wednesday: Trial and Error (2.6)

Spoilers abound!

Ooh...look at the pretty spoilers!

This week's episode of Stargate Universe focused almost entirely on Colonel Young's downward spiral, though we did learn that T.J.  does believe insane things and got to see the matchmaking side of Greer as well.

The episode opened with visibly shaken Rush apparently returning from a visit to Earth via the communication stones.  In the next scene, T.J. explainins to Rush that whatever effects Chloe's blood had on Scott in the last episode seem to  have not been permanent.  His blood is returning to normal, so she suggests that Young might want to release him from quarantine.  Young is totally spaced out while she's telling him this, and when she gets his attention, he tells her that his wife is divorcing him.  I love the look on her face at that moment.  It's very much a "what do you expect me to say to that?" type of face.  But she asks him if he wants to talk about it and he says no.  Then she asks if he wants to just actually talk, because apparently they haven't done that yet since she lost the baby, their baby.  He tells her there's nothing to say about that and leaves.  Cold, Young, very cold.

Next up we see that Wray has finally convinced Young to let some of the Lucian Alliance members come out to play (or taken the initiative to let them out herself while he's busy sulking).  She introduces red-headed Science Girl, whose name we learn is Ginn (pronounced like the gin- in guinea) to Eli and says she thinks they will work well together.  She leaves them to it, with Greer skulking in the background to keep an eye on the LA member.  Ginn, meanwhile, fawns all over Eli and his math genius.  Apparently she's quite in awe of his, um, skills.

Meanwhile, Scott, having been released, heads straight to Chloe's quarters.  She shows him that her skin is turning a crazy silvery blue and is hardening.  Scott reassures her that it will all be alright and that he still wants to cuddle or whatnot.

Young is drowning his sorrows in the fruits of Brody's still when he gets a call from Brody informing him of an issue that requires his presence in the control room.  It seems the blueberry aliens have somehow found them, even though they're in a whole new galaxy now.  The aliens send a message demanding that the Destiny return their science experiment (Chloe) to them immediately.  There's forty-five minutes until the ship jumps back into FTL, so Young has the crew fire everything the ship has at the alien vessels.  During the ensuing battle Rush pops in to the control room to tell everyone they're doing it wrong.  We see Scott run to the observation deck to get a clearer picture, but as he's there the enemy fire cracks the window and he is sucked out into space, right before the whole ship blows up!

And then Young snaps awake.  Turns out it was all just a dream.  I do think it's funny that even in Young's dreams, Rush wasn't where he was supposed to be in the first place and only showed up after all hell had broken loose.  Though I should have realized that Captain Jerko was being much too helpful and that clearly that meant something was wrong.  Oh well, hindsight.

Because of his dream, Young is now all paranoid about the ship's defenses and we see him ordering all of the scientists to stop their silly side projects--like setting up a bigger hydroponics lab to grow more food--and to use their robot to fix all of the ships weapons, like, yesterday.  Wray calls him on his crazy, but he just brushes her off and says it needs to be done.

We get a quick scene where Rush goes to visit Chloe and tries to buddy up to her in order to get her to look at some more equations for him.  She snarks at him that she knows his motives in "helping" her have pretty much been about him from the start, but he still does manage to get her to take the equations in the end.

Eli and Ginn are working together again, and Greer is standing guard in the hallway, rolling his eyes as the two flirt with each other using math.  As much as I was hoping for Eli and James to end up together, I like this pairing.  Geeks in love!  They are just super cute together.  Also, once it finally sunk in on me what they were working on, I got a little bit excited about that as well.  It seems that Eli had been working on a way to figure out how to dial Earth while Destiny was inside a star refilling its tanks (and theoretically able to just keep drawing enough energy to make the connection and maintain the wormhole), but he stalled out.  Ginn, looking over his work, thinks she might be able to help him get past the roadblock.  This has tremendous implications for down the line.  Even if they never get it working, I can see this becoming to this show what the search for ZPMs was to Atlantis. 

Cut to Young laying down for a nap and being woken by a call from Brody.  We get a strong sense that we've been down this road before...fortunately Young seems to realize that he is having the same dream again, and this time instead of ordering the Destiny to fire on the blueberries' ships, he tries diverting all power to Destiny's shields.  This works for a little while but then more ships show up and they get blown to bits again before Young wakes up.

Young decides he needs to talk to someone about this and shows up at Wray's door in the middle of the night.  He actually admits that he might be losing it!  I mean, yeah, well, duh.  But it's a big step for him to admit it to anyone.  He tells her about his dreams and Wray suggests that perhaps this is some sort of Kobayashi Maru his subconscious is putting him through, and that he'll probably keep having the dream until he tries the one solution he would never use (in this case, handing Chloe over to the aliens).  She pointedly asks if he has spoken to Chloe recently.  I find myself liking Wray more and more.

Young does decide to go visit Chloe and they have a brief and uncomfortable conversation in which they acknowledge that he's been avoiding her because he's worried he'll have to kill her if they can't figure out how to reverse her changes.  Chloe's metamorphosis has definitely revealed an inner strength I would never have expected of her when this series began.  She's pretty accepting of her potential fate, for now, at least.

Eli takes a lunch break and while he's in the mess Greer plops down beside him and starts giving him relationship advice about Ginn.  He offers to arrange to give them some time alone the next time they're working together, and after a brief hesitation, Eli accepts.  This is just a wonderful character moment for Greer.  He never breaks out of that rough persona, but it's clear that he wants Eli to have a chance at whatever happiness he can find out here.  It's really kind of sweet, in a manly way, of course.

Young nods off again (in the "bar," no less) and we get dream sequence number three.  And let's just pause for a moment to discuss a really disturbing trend I noticed during tonight's episode, shall we?  Either David Blue has started doing something very tragic to his hair, or he was wearing a terrible, terrible wig during parts of this episode.  I can't fathom why he would be wearing a wig at all, let alone only during certain scenes, so it may be his real hair.  Chloe and Young are both spotting some horrible 'dos in this episode as well.  What is going on folks?  I mean, I don't expect them to be perfectly coiffed or anything, and it does make sense for people to get slowly grungier, but this just struck me as odd, and I had to share my perplexion? perplexedness? You know what, let's just go with confusion.  I had to share my confusion with you.

But back to the story.  In dream three Young decides to try giving Chloe to the aliens.  She seems fine with it, maybe a little melancholy, but she goes willingly enough.  Scott, however, is less than pleased and commences a beat down on his superior officer.  Then of course, the back up aliens show up anyway, and this time they don't have to blow the ship to oblivion because they did something during the transfer of Chloe that allowed them to turn off all of the shields and prevent the crew from restoring power, allowing them to board Destiny.  Young is shot at by a blueberry and then...

...wakes up in the bar, where T.J., stopping by to pick up a stash to use as antiseptic, comes across him and decides to open up about the Planet of Crazy People that she thinks their baby is currently residing on, alive and well.  Young really doesn't want to hear it.  He tells T.J. that just because she wants it to be so doesn't mean it is so, and implies that maybe he's not the only one off his rocker.  T.J. then tries to shift gears and tells him that she sees what he's doing to himself and that he's getting close to the point of no return on the crazy train, but at this point Young has had enough and storms off, leaving T.J. to cry in frustration.  I can see why she decides to give Varro a try, seriously.

Back to the Love Connection--Ginn and Eli are working together again and she asks him about the pictures he has taped all around his console.  He explains that they are stills from his movie and shows her some of his Kino footage (sadly, that is not a euphemism).  Greer gets called to handle a "situation in the mess" and heads off with a knowing nod at Eli, who panics at the prospect of being alone with his lady love and runs off after him.  Of course, while he is down the hall getting pep-talked by Greer, Ginn's curiosity gets the better of her and she clicks on a Kino entry recorded by Eli.  It appears to be from right after his mom visited the ship, and he's kind of breaking down in it, upset over her illness and hoping she can keep it together while he's gone.  Eli returns to find her watching it, and she immediately apologizes.  I have to admit, I kind of expected him to blow up.   But he just gets kind of self-depreciating and slips that Greer's absence was prearranged and is just volunteering to call him back, because clearly Ginn is no longer interested in him now that she's seen that video when she shuts him up through the expedient method of kissing him.  I knew I liked her.  There's a bit more kissing and then the ship drops out of FTL.

Scott tries to get Young to come to the control room to deal with the "out of FTL with no gates in sight and no timer on the clock" situation, but Young's not having it.  He tells Scott to deal with it himself and slams the door in his face.

We see that Rush is on the bridge, freaking out a little bit because this time he had nothing to do with the ship dropping out of FTL prematurely.  Head Franklin, a.k.a. (maybe) Destiny is there telling him he's not looking in the right place to find out what is going on.

Back in the control room, the scientists, Wray, and Scott are brainstorming to figure out what's going on.  When it's Eli's turn to share, he starts babbling about Ginn, and then at a glare from Scott informs them that the ship is running some sort of battle simulation.  As he describes it, Wray realizes it is the same scenario from Young's dreams.  Everyone starts to worry that maybe the aliens have somehow found them and are on their way and this is Destiny's way of telling them about it.

Scott goes to Chloe to see if she can remember anything at all that would indicate she had signaled the blueberries during one of her now-frequent black outs, but she isn't terribly helpful.  So Scott returns to Wray and Rush and starts getting everybody ready for an attack.  They tell him that he should assume command, since Young is clearly incapable of doing the job at the moment.  They think perhaps the ship is putting Young to some sort of test, which he is failing badly, meaning it is Scott's turn to step up.

Scott really doesn't want to be in charge, so he makes a last ditch effort to sober Young up.  He takes him some tea (yay, tea!) and updates the colonel on the situation.  He says that Rush thinks the reason they have dropped out of FTL is because Destiny is trying to test Young.  In another bout of "I don't want to hear it," Young starts trying to provoke Scott.  He antagonizes him about the fact that Chloe is compromised and will probably have to be killed, and about the fact that he never asked to be Scott's father figure.  Then, he confesses to Scott about how Riley really died.  Scott does an admirable job of holding it together through all of this and tells Young that this is exactly why they need him, and no one else, in command.  He feels the burdens he carries, and he takes them into consideration when making his choices for everyone else.

Something Scott says manages to resonate with Young, and he cleans himself up and heads for the control room.  As he starts to issue orders--which, interestingly enough, involve arming the civilians and the Lucian Alliance members--to deal with an imminent attack, the ship jumps back into FTL and the scientists announce that Destiny has stopped running the simulation.

We get a closing scene of the "science" table in the mess with Eli, Ginn, Park, Volker, and Brody gossiping about the matter and expressing relief that at least now they all know the right man is in charge.  Then, just to screw with us, the episode ends with Rush and Head Franklin on the bridge, revealing that it was Rush who figured out how to bypass the simulation program and got the ship to jump back into FTL.  He confides to his imaginary friend that he is pretty certain Chloe has never managed to send any sort of signal or contact the blueberry aliens.  Head Franklin tells him that's all fine and dandy, but reminds him that the ship had a purpose in starting that simulation in the first place, and by bypassing it, Rush prevented the problem from being solved.

Overall, this was a pretty decent episode.  We really needed to see Young confront his problems and snap out of this funk he's been in all season.  Hopefully that is now dealt with.  While he does have quite a few issues left to resolve, at least now he'll hopefully be able to lead his people without letting his personal problems interfere.  I also like how we got some very subtle setups of potential stories to come, and the budding romance between Eli and Ginn was a nice little counterbalance to the seriousness of everything else.

Next week it looks like we're going to get to see Ultimate Smackdown:  Rush v. Young, the Rematch!  Color me excited!  I can't wait for Young to kick the crap out of Rush.  Somebody needs to do it, folks, somebody needs to do it.

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