Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stargate Tuesday: Alliances (2.13)

Veiled threats and insults! Bombs! Red shirts! Laughing medics! Spoilers!

Last night's episode of Stargate Universe was, I have to say, actually a pretty solid entry. Oddly enough, this comes from a story in which all of the really important stuff was happening on Earth, rather than on board Destiny. Our two primary protagonists this week? Camille Wray and Sergeant Greer. Yeah, you read that right. Wray and Greer. And I'll be darned if it didn't work.

Ming-Na at the premiere of Push
Ming Na, who portrays Camille Wray.

I have to admit, when the cast list for SGU started rolling out, Ming Na's name was by far the one I was most excited to see. Dude, she's freaking Mulan, I mean, come on. Her character on the show may not be my favorite, but I think you'd be hard pressed to deny the talent she displays in the role. So the fact that last night's episode highlighted her character as well as my favorite for the series, Greer, was just a lovely little happenstance for me. Add to it the fact that it was also a pretty darn good episode and well, let's just say I am, once more, even sadder to see this gem of a show go. But on to the episode!

What Happened
Sadly, despite the trailer's tease, we do not get much more explanation about how last week's episode actually played out, by which I mean, how the heck is alt-Telford in this timeline? But everyone is just going with the flow here, and I am glad Telford's not dead so I decide to do likewise.

Telford pops in to get a brief explanation from Young and then informs him that the senator who is in charge of deciding whether or not a new Icarus base will be funded is about to come for a visit, along with the new head scientist for the Stargate related programs (played by French Stewart, who was Kowalski in the original Stargate movie). The woman playing the senator looked naggingly familiar, but I am too lazy to look her up right now, so, yeah.

Anyhoo, the senator and French are coming to check out the situation on Destiny and decide whether the research accumulated so far on Rush's "signal from God" (as it has been dubbed back on Earth) warrants more funding towards the project. Wray volunteers to let the senator use her body as she feels like she needs to go report back to Homeworld Command (HWC) in the wake of the time-travel shenanigans. She recommends Greer be the man to switch with French because he still hasn't used the communication stones to go home in the whole time they've been on the ship (which this episode pegs at about a year now). Greer really doesn't want to go but Wray gets Young to make it happen.

They arrive back at HWC to find out that the base is on high alert. It seems that the Lucian Alliance attack on Earth that has been looming all season is imminent. Greer wants to stay and help but Telford shoos him out the door telling him they've got it under control and he is there for some downtime, may as well enjoy it. Greer chases Wray down the hall to yell at her for forcing him to come back to Earth. Before they can get a really good argument going, however, klaxons start going off and Greer grabs Wray, pushing her into a nearby office, declaring they have incoming, and just then there is a big kaboom and big chunks of the ceiling start falling as the building is hit by something.

Back on Destiny, there really isn't a lot of story going on, but there are several nice little moments. French finds Eli and sings his praises, only to then notice Brody and Volker in the room looking nonplussed. He then asks the three of them for their opinion of Rush's signal and everything they've learned about the ship and whatnot. Meanwhile, the senator seeks out Chloe, since she has been a close friend of the family and knew Chloe since she was a child. She is surprised to find Chloe on the bridge doing sciency stuff and seems to think that Chloe being trapped on the ship is a complete waste of her potential, with which Chloe vehemently disagrees.

We also see T.J. and Varro talking and laughing in the infirmary. Seems Varro has been volunteering there since he's been allowed to roam the ship, and he is clearly still pursuing T.J. romantically, a fact about which Young seems aware and displeased. I am just glad to see T.J. smiling. She's had a hell of a year, and quite frankly, she deserves a guy who isn't still trying to get back into his wife's good graces.

Back at HWC, we see that Greer managed to get Wray underneath a desk in time, and she crawls out to find him trapped under the debris, mostly uninjured. His (borrowed) knee is screwed up pretty badly but Wray gets all badass and uses random pieces of furniture and packing tape to make a split so they can get the heck out of there. They find a random airman and a radio and make contact with Telford outside. It seems the Lucian Alliance flew a cloaked cargo ship into the building, but they are pretty sure that there was probably a bomb on the ship because just flying into the building doesn't really do much good. The ship hit the part of the building that contained the communication stones but clearly didn't interrupt the signal since Greer and Wray are still there. They make their way to the nearest exit but find out it is blocked. Random airman starts to panic.

Wray and Greer argue about what to do next, and are interrupted by the airman who has heard something. Turns out to be a Geiger counter going off. Wray finds the Geiger counter and one look is enough to convince her that their bodies are done for. The airman begins to freak out and notes that she might be wrong, she's not a scientist. This earns an odd look from Wray but she brushes it off and explains that she's spent enough time around scientists to know what she's talking about here. The airman still wants to try to find a way out, but Wray decides that since they are stuck, they should go look for the bomb and see if they can't get Telford or someone outside to walk them through disarming it. Greer doesn't really have many objections to this since he is a man of action, but the airman is not in favor. Before they can make any further decisions, they find themselves back on Destiny.

Just before this, the senator and French had been in the process of telling Young that they are not inclined to suggest further funding for the project because by the time they have a new Icarus base up and running under the best of possible timeframes, they are pretty sure that Destiny and her whole crew will be dead. French also has little faith in Rush's research because he can't have his scientists back home working on it to confirm what the team on the ship has discovered, and it is too much of a political hot potato to be worth the trouble.

The ship drops out of FTL, momentarily disrupting the signal to the communication stones. Wray seizes the opportunity to briefly update Young on what has happened at HWC before the senator and French are back again. They quickly run to the communication stones to try to connect with someone else and find out what the heck is going on. Unfortunately they are unable to break the current connection or to make a new one because it turns out that the attack, while not severing the actual connection between stones, did manage to sever the commands in place to override the connection. Rush thinks he can find a way around it but will need some time.

Back on Earth, the airman takes advantage of Wray and Greer's disorientation from their body-swapping to grab Wray and place a pointy object at her neck, threatening her life if they don't find him a way out of the building. Wray tells Greer to just shoot him and Greer balks, but she calmly explains that there is something wrong with this guy and there is no way he could have known she wasn't a scientist unless he was a mole or something. Greer shoots him and they find a Lucian Alliance clan tattoo on the airman's body. Wray theorizes he was the pilot of the cargo ship and had intended to just land the cloaked ship on the building and make his way out before the bomb went off. When his approach was detected he must have just decided to ram the building and try to escape in the ensuing chaos. (Wray has apparently developed psychic detective powers from the radiation.)

They make their way to the bomb and start trying to figure out how to stop it from going off, but are somewhat at a loss of what to do from that point.

Back on Destiny Varro shows up, having learned about the attack, and offers his assistance. He knows what kind of bomb the Lucian Alliance would have used and can show them how to defuse it. Since they can't yet break the connection on the stones, they decide to force the ship into FTL to bring Wray and Greer back momentarily and show them what to do.

He manages to convey almost all of the information to them in the brief moment they are back on board but not enough to finish the process, and Wray doesn't want to risk setting the bomb off early while Telford is still working to evacuate the surrounding area. So they sit down and just wait, and Greer offers to finally talk, since they can't do anything else.

Back on the ship Rush tells Young that he has figured out how to sever the connection with the communication stones and he would have been able to do it sooner but French has apparently been sabotaging his efforts. French confesses that yes, he did sabotage the efforts because when they dropped out of FTL he saw the radiation levels on the Geiger counter and realized that he and the senator have no chance of surviving. He wanted to put off going back, theorizing that maybe he wouldn't die when his body did, and could just stay in Greer's body. Everyone is pretty much appalled at this and the senator calls for Varro and has him show her what needs to be done to disarm the bomb and then has Rush cut the connection.

Everyone goes back to their own body and the last we see of the senator she is setting to work on disarming the bomb. The episode closes with Wray coming upon Greer on the observation deck and we learn that even though it has been several hours they have not heard anything from Earth or been able to make a new connection with the stones (though the stones in HWC were in the area that was hit by the cargo ship so the assumption is that hopefully no one back home has just been able to get to them yet). They talk about the people back on Earth that they are missing and hope that they will be able to get to see them again soon.

Wray seriously leveled up in this episode. From her insistence on getting Greer to take some R&R, to her handy field medicine skills with office supplies, to her insistence that they do what they could to stop the bomb even though there was every chance they would die in their borrowed bodies. I was just completely impressed with her from the word go. This was an awesome, awesome episode for her. Also, the huge rift that has been hanging open between Wray and Greer since the very first episode finally seems to be closing, and that is not a little thing, since they are each the representative for their people on the ship (Wray for the civilians, Greer for the soldiers) since Young has been thrown in the role of mediator.

Next week, Gin's back. Wait, what? How is that even possible? Did she ascend? But...her body was on Destiny, wouldn't someone have noticed it? Gah. I am so confused. Hopefully the episode will bring enlightenment. Until next week, folks.

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