Monday evening, at least in the States courtesy of the Syfy Channel, marked the return of Stargate Universe. The first of the last ten episodes, Deliverance, aired at nine o’clock Central, which means I don’t get to watch it until Tuesday (because, as you must already know, I turn into a pumpkin most work nights shortly after 9:15 pm).
I’m relieved I did not stay up late to watch the episode ‘live’ even though not doing so probably contributed to SGU’s less than stellar ratings upon the return of the second season. I felt let down, similar to what I felt with the Season Two opening episode, Intervention, especially since Season One‘s cliffhanger Incursion (parts I & II) really got my blood pumping. Again, all the hype of the cliffhanger (Incursion to Intervention and Resurgence to Deliverance) resolved itself too quickly and patly. You spend nearly ten episodes building up these galactic expectations and then spend five or ten minutes sweeping them under the rug, then take a tangential turn in plot and character development leaving me scratching my head and wondering why I bother watching.
Case in point: I’ve spent this entire series loving to hate Nicholas Rush (portrayed by Robert Carlyle). Cowardly, self-serving, manipulative, obsessive (genius on the event horizon of insanity). I cheered out loud and replayed the scene from The Greater Good a half dozen times, when Col. Young took down Rush with a fantastic choke hold. I screamed at my television (and DVR) for Young to finish the job. Very rarely have I so strongly wanted a character to stop breathing.
So, here we are, four months later (at least in Earth time outside the Stargate Universe) and Rush ends this episode consoling and comforting Chloe with a slight smile on his face. Heh? Is he prepping himself for his next gig, transforming himself into a kindler, gentler guy? I’m all for character growth that includes forgiveness and redemption, but this attempt (if that was what the writers and director were aiming for) failed. The switch in Rush jolts and rings hollow. Of course, that would be true-to-form if Rush has something hidden up his sleeve … again.
And are we to believe that Chloe is cured by their old alien nemesis from the other galaxy and returned ‘unharmed’ to Destiny’s shuttle while a battle rages around them? And that the newly allied/quickly betraying/renewly allied aliens (the last handful of their kind in existence) willingly sacrificed themselves (and an Ancient seed ship) as a diversion for Destiny and it’s crew during said battle? And that Destiny, once Ely managed to ‘save the day’ again and temporarily fuzz the drones, could so easily destroy the drone command ship (probably in less than five seconds of screen/battle time)? And the attempt at comedy between Brody (holding flashlights distractedly while texting, or so it appeared), Volker (complaining about said flashlight’s lack of focus) and the shield generator repair closets seemed strained at best, and out-of-place otherwise.
I’d rate this episode maybe at three stars out of five and I sincerely hope the renaming nine raise the bar.