EPISODE REVIEW: Stargate Universe: “Alliances” (Season 2, Episode 13)

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The Destiny receives two visitors via the Communication Stones: A lady senator (Senatrix?) and Harry from 3rd Rock from the Sun. In the worst tradition of Star Trek, the Senatrix is one of those pain-in-the-ass Ambassador/commodore types who show up to question Kirk’s command, make an ass of themselves, endanger the ship, and so on. Harry (From 3rd Rock) is the new head of Stargate Research, and an old rival of Rush’s. These two disagreeable people switch bodies with Camille (Who’s also pretty disagreeable) and Greer, whom everyone else seems to find disagreeable, but like the hell out of the guy.

On Earth, Greer and Camille discover that the long-simmering Lucian attack on earth is underway. A Lucian cargo ship (Cloaked) crashes into the pentagon with a 50 to 75 Megaton Naquadria bomb on board. Since Greer and Camille and a random redshirt are trapped in the rubble and can’t get out, and the bomb crews can’t get in, they decide to head to the bomb themselves.

Meanwhile, on Destiny, the Senatrix expresses her skepticism about the Destiny program, and Harry (From 3rd Rock) is kind of a jerk, telling Rush that he doesn’t really buy the whole “Message from God” thing, and he’s not really sure how to play it to the IOA or congress or whoever it is he reports to.

Back on earth, Camille, Greer, and the Redshirt find the general location of the bomb, and find themselves lethally irradiated by, well, duh, leaking radiation. The redshirt turns out to be the Lucian pilot who crashed the thing (Huh?). When the Destiny drops out of FTL, everyone switches bodies for a moment, then back again, and the folks on the ship realize what’s up. Rush attempts to sever the connection while Varro, the vaguely Henry Rollinsesque Lucian prisoner attempts to walk them through how to disarm the bomb. After several failed attempts, it turns out that Harry (From 3rd Rock) has been sabotaging their attempts to sever the connections. During is brief flash in the wreckage of the Pentagon, he realized his body had received a lethal dose, and he didn’t want to go back.

The big twist is when the Senatrix realizes she’s a gonner, and has Varro teach her how to disarm the bomb, then severs the connection. Back on earth, she disarms the device, saving everyone.

The End


Just to put things in perspective, a 75 megaton bomb would produce a fireball two and a half miles across. It’d last for more than half a minute. Everyone within four and a half miles would get a lethal radiation dose. Nearly everyone within seven miles would be killed by the shockwave, so, really, radiation is kind of redundant if you’re close enough to be killed by it. You would have massive, massive destruction for 15 miles out from the blast - like no undamaged buildings. People as far away as 42 miles from the blast would be getting third degree burns from it.

So basically, since the ship crashed into the Pentagon, that means everything from the west side of Arlington National Cemetary east across the river to the east side of the Captiol Riverfront, and from downtown due south through Del Rey Alexandria is incinerated. Anyone closer than Bethesda or Silver Spring is dead instantly. Pretty much if you’re closer than Frederick, Maryland, you’re massively injured. Entire city of Baltimore: devastated. They’d be taking massive injuries on the east side of the Chesepeak, that’s how big it would have been. By *conservative* estimate (This being a conservative website and all) you’re looking about about eight million casualties, half of those fatal within the first minute, half the others dying within a few days.

So, hey, the Senatrix did a good job with that! Way to go!

Interestingly, the IOA was never mentioned tonight. They mention “Our international partners” but that’s as far as it gets.

French Stewart (Harry [From 3rd Rock]) is a bit of stunt casting. He was in the original Stargate movie back in 1994. He played Lt. Ferretti, kind of a tough guy.

They tried really hard to make Camille likeable in this one. To her credit, this is Ming Na’s best turn on the show, and when she smashed up that chair to make a splint, she was actually *cool.* Alas, the character remains irritating and ineffectual. She’s not as openly hate worthy as she has been heretofore, though. Lest people suggest I’m being homophobic in my dislike of Ms. Wray, lemme point out that the homosexual community has, itself, complained about her being an (unintentionally) bad stereotype of gay folk: She’s untrustworthy, insubordinate, scheming, manipulative, secretive, a horrible administrator, and she’s tried to take over the ship like three times. Frankly, the “Gay” thing is the most inoffensive aspect of her character.

They’re struggling to figure out what to do with her. I think the concept was that there was supposed to be kind of a trinity leading the mission: Young is the body, Rush is the mind, and Camille is the heart. When all three work together, stuff gets done, but when they don’t work together - or haven’t learned to do so - the nothing works. The problem is that Camille doesn’t have much of a heart, and she’s an awful character that just never panned out, which is a huge shame because Ming Na is a really solid actress (In terms of thespians who got their start on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, I consider her far more versatile than Michael Keaton), but it’s just a nightmare of a part. Frankly, they should have killed her off in the Lucian attack last year.

I guess the rule here is that if a communications stone guest star is someone we've never seen nor heard of before, they're gonna' die. So if they need a scientist, and it's not Carter or McKay, they're gonna' die.

I like that the Senatrix turned out to be a hero, I liked that Greer was finally willing to talk, but Camille had nothing to say, I like that the Lucian plot moved forward some, but in the end this was really just kind of a disappointing going-through-the-motions kind of plot. I mean, we never even saw the crashed spaceship (“It was cloaked”), the massive invasion force was one dude with a tattoo, and, well, it lacked the character tension of other episodes of late, you know? The whole “We don’t trust Rush from what he did last week” thing was kinda’ blown off. Eh. It didn’t move me.


Terrorists attack the Pentagon, chuckleheaded scientists and cowardly science types endanger the republic, millions saved only by the timely work of one glorious marine and a pretty middle-aged lesbian. What’s not to like? Well, excepting the lesbian thing, I guess…