EPISODE REVIEW: Stargate Universe: “Intervention (Part 3)” (Season 2, Episode 1)

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When last we left the unwilling crew of the Destiny back in June, things were in a bad way. Not only was the season finale/cliffhanger somewhat padded out and a bit disappointing, but Scott and Greer were about to get fried by radiation on the outer hull, Eli was rushing to save them, Rush was not rushing anywhere, but was coordinating the resistance surprisingly effectively, TJ had been shot; Chloe had been shot and abandoned by Eli, and was dying, Telford and the Lucian leader chick had shot each other, Young and the rest of the crew had all been taken captive, and I think that about sums it up. Oh, wait: and they were orbiting a pulsar and they were all gonna’ die.

PLAY BY PLAY

We start off with some mysterious doin’s a-transpirin‘: Chloe is mysteriously better. TJ wakes up back in the Artificial Solar System from eight episodes back, where she’s somehow had her baby already, and she’s chatting amiably with the people Destiny left behind there.

On the ship, the Lucian leader chick dies - I hadn’t seem that happening so quickly - and a power struggle arises between the two ranking Lucien guys: a bald guy I’ll call “Baldo” - No, wait, I used that one already. Let’s call him “Baldor The Angry” - and a marginally nicer guy who isn’t bald, so I’ll call him “Harry.” There’s also a guy with a receding hairline we’ll call “Garibaldi” and a cute redheaded chick who most definitely wasn’t there in parts 1 and 2. Harry has Young and the rest stranded on a marginally habitable world, whereas Baldor wanted them dead. Telford - once he wakes up - continues to feed them misinformation. Ultimately, Baldor deposes Harry; thus Harry and the ones loyal to him end up on Marginally Habitable World as well. The deposed Air Force personnel aren’t happy to see them, though Harry points out correctly that he saved their lives.

After a fakeout, Scott and Greer survived by a pretty clever-yet-obvious method, and they, Rush, Chloe, Eli, and one of the stockier interchangeable civilian characters mount a resistance. Rush has figured a way of keeping the engines offline and shutting down the shields. If he does that, everyone not in the heavily-shielded hydroponics lab will get fried by radiation. Rush explains this to Baldor, and says that if the Luciens will surrender, he’ll reestablish the shields. Baldor responds by refusing to surrender, and just starts beating Telford to death.

Then he gets killed by a girl: The cute little red-haired girl who DEFINITELY wasn’t there in the last episode. He’s been smacking her around for an hour now, nearly killed her. She shoots him. He’s dead. She surrenders.

Everyone comes back to the ship, the surviving Luciens are put in the brig, or possibly just a large refrigerator, the shields go up, and the Destiny jumps away.

MEANWHILE, the folks back in the Artificial Solar System explain to TJ that the aliens brought them there to rescue her child in gratitude for talking Young into letting some of the Destiny crew stay. She can’t stay, however. She names the kid and wakes up on the Destiny just in time for the vicious return of the much-hated folk song montage; and having been told that she lost the child. As a sign that she wasn’t hallucinating, however, she sees the same funky light pattern outside the ship that she saw in the sky in the Artificial Solar System.

The End

OBSERVATIONS

I really didn’t see the Lucien Leader Chick dying without regaining consciousness. I’d expected her to be more of a continuing threat, given what an imposing presence she was in the first two parts. Anticlimactic, really.

So Telford is now physically on the Destiny. Who has more seniority? Young or Telford? They’re both Colonels, but given the accidental nature of the assignment, it seems like the most senior of the two would likely be in charge. And given the hysterically bad way Young handled this whole crisis, I’m thinking the SGC would want someone else in charge. Whomever is the CO from here on out, it’s pretty clear that Scott is no longer the number two man.

Was TJ Hallucinating, or did it really happen? Assuming it *did*, then the aliens are really looking after the people in The Artificial Solar System, and it seems increasingly obvious that they built the planet specifically for the crew of the Destiny. Why? Will they actually take them home some day, or did they just want a neat zoo habitat for homo sapiens? Will we hear from them again?

For that matter, it wasn’t entirely clear if anyone had been left behind on that planet in the first place. The episode “Faith” ended without a specific mention of how many had come back.

So how many people had the Destiny lost prior to this crisis? There were about eighty to begin with. Several have died, several were lost, ten or twelve stayed behind on that planet I’d say we were around sixty to sixty-five when the Luciens came aboard. It looked like they killed at least several more. I’m pretty sure all the “Doctors” apart from Camille died. And how many Luciens themselves came aboard? Twenty? Thirty?

What will happen to the Luciens? Clearly some of ‘em’ll stay on as continuing characters, but what about the rest? Strand ‘em? Kill ‘em? Simply trust ‘em in Star Trek Voyager style?

What *did* the Luciens want? They clearly had a goal in mind that was more specific than “wouldn’t it be boss to have this super-bitchin’ old ride?” So what was it? And what do they know about the ship that our gang doesn’t?

What saved Chloe, and why? Same aliens? Different ones? My bet is that it had to do with her being abducted by the fish people aliens that were attacking the ship last season. Nanites or something.

How much did the SGC know what was going on during the crisis? I’m assuming they had to know everything, since they provided doctors via the Communication Stones to help the wounded during the stalemate.

Gosh, this show is dimly lit, isn’t it? While I get what they’re going for, and occasionally it works for ‘em, I do long for a pallet with a bit more chromatic range than “Dark,” “Really Dark,” and “Random twinkly bits.” It’s making it hard for me to recognize the second stringers. Is anyone else having that problem? There’s so many thirty-ish white guys with white shirts and dark hair that in the low lighting, they all look the same.

Long and short: the finale was better than the previous two parts of this three-parter by a good margin. It’s nice to see them start off the year strongly after the slow start and fumbled finale of last year. The show has lots of potential and I do really enjoy the chances it’s taking with the Gateverse. I can’t wait to see where they go next.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

Yeah! Bad guys killed by the fast action of the US Air Force, a Marine, and our allies! What’s not to like?

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