Last week, my strongest gut reaction to SGU‘s episode ‘Deliverance‘ centered upon the seemingly kinder, gentler Nicholas Rush I normally love to hate. Last night, against my better judgment and geeky-routine, I watched Stargate Universe’s latest episode, ‘Twin Destinies’ live with only occasional pausing to avoid obnoxious annoying overamplified advertisements. Just doing my bit for the ratings.
To my relief, Rush returned to his old habits within the first five minutes of the episode. And before ten minutes elapsed, I had another Rush to reinforce and affirm the original one, feeding back off each other in perfect temporal synergy.
But let me step back a bit. The under-scientists report to Rush, Wray, Young and Telford that the recent battles with the drones have pushed Destiny to the brink of destruction. No redundant systems remain, no backups, no way to repair damaged systems, all appears hopeless. And in fact, Rush accuses ‘everyone’ of being defeatist. Eli throws the wrench in the monkey by proclaiming he’s found a way to dial the 9th chevron to Earth while Destiny recharges in a star. The debate rages about the ‘true’ mission of the crew (Destiny v. the 9th chevron and/or returning to Earth). Rush then becomes the defeatist profit, espousing doom and death if the crew follows Eli’s plan of hope. Young overrules all objections and orders the crew to congregate in the gateroom where the announcement will be made of the chance to return to Earth. Young allows Rush to appeal to the crew for volunteers to remain on Destiny, and he agrees to support Rush, even unto standing beside him as Rush addresses everyone.
After the first commercial break, Young presses Rush for a minimum number of volunteers to man Destiny. This becomes a key event for the rest of the episode. Their conversation is interrupted with an urgent summons from the bridge. Young and Rush arrive to discover Rush’s voice heard over the radio (assumedly from the shuttle) requesting to board Destiny. Rush finally has an intelligent conversation with someone … himself.
I can’t completely keep spoilers out of this review (as noted in the last few paragraphs). Yes, time travel is involved, albeit unwittingly. It’s been ages since I watched an SG1 episode that dealt with time travel via stargate, so I’m a bit fuzzy on the physics. We’ve got at least two Destinies, two Rushes and two Telfords that we know of, and deaths occur, well, maybe (no one ever really dies in science fiction).
Telford may become another Rush-like character for me. In fact, ‘future’ Telford on Earth demanded to be connected via the ancient communication device to his ‘original’ self on the ‘original’ Destiny. That poses an interesting scenario for the stargate universe mythos. Telford vocally and militarily asserted himself, to the contradiction of Young, a number of times in this episode.
The subplot where Rush pleads for volunteers to remain on Destiny, with Young’s out-of-the-blue support, lacked punch or believability. Especially with respect to those who stepped forward as volunteers, most of whom have pressing familial ties on Earth that would pull any sane person home in a heartbeat. Clearly a ‘plot device’ as none of it mattered by the time we reached the credits.
Varro returned, briefly, but significantly, showing that the Lucian Alliance is still alive and kicking somewhere in Destiny, just below the surface.
Overall, a much improved episode from last week, clearly a four out of five stars. Only eight episodes left for SGU and Syfy announced Sunday, that starting in April, SGU will air earlier on Monday evenings, at 8:00 pm Central instead of the current later 9:00 pm Central.