Watching the early season two episodes of SGU again has certainly been interesting. The whole deal with T.J. and the simulation the ship built for her when she lost her baby made a lot more sense the second time around. I don't know if it is just because I already knew what was really going on or if seeing all of the episodes back to back helped the story come across much better than when it was originally aired. It does seem that SGU is a show that benefits greatly from being watched in big chunks of episodes rather than one at a time. It seems like that is the doom of a lot of really great television shows these days--they are written with a compelling story that is spread out over many episodes, which unfortunately doesn't hold up well when subjected to the scheduling practices of today's networks. Too bad, really, because I much prefer a good solid compelling story in my television rather than episode after episode of stand alone boxed tales where there are no real consequences for the events therein.
I will say, though, that the arrogance of Rush still floors me on a second viewing. Goodness, gracious. How in the world (universe?) is it logical to come to the conclusion upon finding the bridge that he must first learn every one of the ship's systems before sharing the knowledge of the bridge with the rest of the crew. Would it not make more sense to have the entire crew learn the ship's systems together. It would likely have prevented such unnecessary and tragic events as the death of Riley, I'd wager. Aw...Riley. I had forgotten how much I loved his character until he was back on my screen again. Then, just like that, he was gone once more. Sigh. That still hurt.
Also, in regards to Destiny's overall mission...well, I'm with Lieutenant James on this one. Her line from the episode "Visitation" really sums it up for me.
Rush: I see the greatest mystery of all time.
Look, I get that evidence of intelligent beings having existed before the universe as we know it even began is a pretty amazing and not unsubstantial discovery. I do. But I don't think hunting for it is worth holding all of those people who never signed up for that mission hostage aboard Destiny instead of finding a way to get them home via the stargate. As Rush said when they diverted the ship's course to investigate the space ship graveyard where they first encountered the Drones, it's not a matter of giving up on the mission, only a matter of delaying it. I don't think anyone would be trying to force Rush to leave the ship if they did find a way home. Young demonstrated in "Twin Destinies" that he was more than willing to allow anyone volunteering to stay behind for the mission to do so.
It seemed to be my understanding that Rush actually expected them to find the source of that signal. But the ship has been looking for it for millions of years, and there was no indication they were close enough to the source of the signal to find it within the lifetime of anyone on the crew. I guess I just don't understand what the endgame was. I know that the showrunners had one in mind, certainly, I just never saw any indication of what it was. As Douglas Adams has been known to say, "space is big."
To me, the show was always so much more interesting when it was about the crew just trying to find a way to survive this messed up situation in which they found themselves. And, yes, when they were trying to find a way home. SGU was, at its heart, a show about the people, not the mission. But that's just my take, I suppose.
Anyhoo, while we're on the topic of Stargate, I thought I would update you on my planned Stargate Atlantis rewatch. So, I am going to kick off July with an intergalactic bang. My SGA rewatch will officially begin on Wednesday, July 6. We'll do the double-episode pilot "Rising" and then move on the next week to two episodes a week, posted on Mondays and Wednesdays. I hope you'll join me as I make my way back through my favorite television show of all time!