EPISODE REVIEW: Stargate Universe: “Resurgence (Part 1)” (Season 2, Episode 10)

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In the last three or four episodes this show has *FINALLY* come into its own. Ratings are even up by more than 100,000 viewers. Word of mouth is spreading. All this is good news, which, of course, makes me fear that slapping a mid-season cliffhanger/finale this close into its stride will kill all its momentum, the same way it killed Caprica. (Well, to be fair, it was that *and* a whole lot of incomprehensible writing that killed Caprica.

PLAY BY PLAY

Destiny notices an energy source off the yellow brick road that reads to the end of the universe, and the message that may be from God (But probably isn’t). They unwisely go off the path to investigate, and find a massive debris field left over from some ancient battle. They awake bad guy aliens slumbering in the field, and end up under attack. Things go typically badly, and just when they’re about to bite the death nugget, Colonel Telford turns up on the seed ship from “Awakening” (Season 2, Episode 3). The two ships dive into the local star and escape persuit, but Destiny is still really vulnerable, damaged, and can’t jump to FTL.

Telford - far more chipper and amiable than we’ve ever seen him - explains that the aliens weren’t hostile, even if not particularly friendly. At some point in the past their species - the “Ursini” - blundered into this same battlefield, awakening the local killbot drone ships. They’ve been in a war ever since. They found the seed ship and hoped to use it to aid the war, but their reinforcements never arrived. They went into suspended animation until Telford et al woke ‘em up.

Destiny is somewhat screwed, so they agree to a deal: Take out the alien command ship, and the Ursini will help the crew gate back to earth. The aliens screw them, however, and they end up in a fight they really can’t win, with nowhere to retreat to.

MEANWHILE, Eli refuses to deal with the death of Gin, and is becoming more and more unreliable as a result

MEANWHILE, Chloe escapes and does *something* to the equipment

To Be Continued…

OBSERVATIONS

Wow. I’ve liked this show all along, though I’m not blind to its slow start and considerable failings, but this episode *felt* like Stargate, you know? Clever dialog, a sense of humor, some drama, some swashbuckling, some exoticism, a massive space battle. This is what we signed on for, right? And finally, 30 episodes into the season, they’re giving the fans what they want.

I hope the fans are still looking at this point, and I hope the word gets out. This show *needs* a third season, and if this becomes the new standard, and people notice, then they can pull it off. Then we’ll joke thirty years from now in our retirement homes, “Hey, remember how slow the first year of SGU was, and we figured it’d never amount to anything. Bwa-ha-ha-ha, what a bunch of chumps we were, it ended up running longer than The Simpsons. Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Bwa-ha-ha-h-oh, my teeth fell out. Hand me those, will you? Thanks. Now, where was I? Oh, yes: Ha.” That’ll always be the dream, anyway. (I tend to have a lot of dreams where my teeth fall out. No, really. I’ve never had a cavity. It’s really freaky.)

Rush is clearly disappointed when Young talks of gating back to earth. He was hoping Young had embraced the mission. In fact, I think Young *HAS* embraced the mission, and simply realizes that regular contact with earth will help them all complete the mission., and maybe get a resupply. The logistics of that are tricky, however, give that gates are one way. It’s not impossible, however.

Rush is also surprisingly caring towards Eli, trying to help him through his problems. Rush’s description of Eli’s emotional problem is obviously, really, him talking about his own. Does he regret killing Simeon? Probably not, but he’s unsatisfied with it.

Diving into the sun was pretty clever. I didn’t see it coming, though, of course, I didn’t realize there was a sun there.

Will Telford die? Or get lost in space? Since Phillips is a guest star, he can’t be on the ship for any extended time. This is only his seventh or eighth appearance on the show since it started, unless he’s joining the cast full time. I haven’t heard any chatter about that, so it’s probably not gonna’ happen.

TJ is resigned to the fact that her baby is dead, and it was all a simulation by the ship. Varro, her Lucien love interest-to-be seems less convinced of that, or at least more willing to doubt. The question with this lingering thread is the obvious dead or alive one, but less obviously one of *why* Destiny would bother to run a simulation for her protection when it hasn’t done so for the traumatic experiences of the rest of the crew. My own thinking is that it wasn’t an illusion, the Solar System Building Aliens really did what she saw them doing, and that Kane and the rest from last week were copies. The real ones are still on Planet Eden. They did warn her, after all, that it was complicated, but she must have faith.

What did Chloe do? Obviously we’re supposed to think it was something bad that will kill them all, but more likely it’s something that’ll save them all and screw them at the same time. My hunch is that she called in the alien race that’s been dogging them since the show began. They will defeat the killbots and fight with the Ursini while the Destiny escapes, to be harassed another day. And when this is done, we’ll have two, count ‘em, two running enemies.

Nobody seems to know how long the Ursini were in stasis, and no reinforcement ever came for them. Added to which, the killbots were dormant again. I think we have to conclude their species is extinct apart from the ones on the ship.

Scott and Greer seem to be over their spat from last week.

Did the Ursini brain stimulation machine brainwash Telford at all? I mean, fool me once…

Were the Ursini telling the truth about their war?

“Hey, look, we’ve got more monitors!”

Interesting timing: The Stargate shows have generally taken place in more or less a real calendar, by which I mean the 2010 season takes place in 2010, and season 7 of SG1 took place in 2003, and so on. Yet Eli says they’ve only been on the ship for 10 months, and that “Awakening” took place not quite a month ago. Were this a normal ‘Gate show, they would have been on the ship for about 18 months at this point, and of course that means the intervening seven episodes have taken place in less than 30 days. That all seems too compressed, you know?

Camille is in full on counselor Troi mode this week. I’m not sure that’s a good character arc: Turning her from a character nobody likes into a *Different* character nobody likes.

The spacewalk scenes were cool. Again.

I’m not saying Young and Telford are gay, obviously, but they are uncomfortably touchy-feely with their affections. I can only imagine the (probably fat) chicks who wrote gay fanfic about Sheppard and McKay getting it on are having a field day with this. Miserable shippers.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE

There’s nothing here not to like, and plenty of fun to be had.

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