Crowding Chloe

After last week’s disappointing ‘Alliances‘ SGU episode, I admit to some skepticism prior to viewing last night’s ‘Hope‘ episode.  Tuesday evening ratings update:  ‘Hope’ gained 7% in viewership compared to last week’s ‘Alliances’ episode.

SGU 'Hope' aired 29 Mar 2011
SGU 'Hope' aired 29 Mar 2011

Destiny’s ‘crew’ (I hesitate to call it a crew, since no one but Rush really wants to be on board) has had no contact with Earth for days, so volunteers are manning the Ancient communication stones around the clock waiting for word about the terrorist attack and bomb threat (see last week’s ‘Alliances‘ episode referred to above).   Chloe relieves Volker, who looks ill and dizzy, so he goes to sickbay to see T.J. She takes his vitals and tells him he has high blood pressure (176 over something … can’t remember exactly what).  Volker knew he had high blood pressure, was on blood pressure medication, but also neglected to tell T.J. because he assumed there was no alternative homeopathic remedy (wrong).  Due to the long untreated hypertension, Volker’s kidneys are shutting down; T.J. breaks the news to him that the only treatment available would be a kidney transplant from a live donor.  Destiny’s sickbay apparently doesn’t include any dialysis-like equipment.

So, Volker gets a wake-up call about kidney disease (something I’m very aware of since my husband has been fighting to stay of dialysis for well over a decade).  T.J. surveys the crew for matching blood types, eventually finding two matches, one of which is Greer (no surprise there).  Without the Ancient communication device and access to Earth’s medical personnel, T.J. faces attempting a kidney transplant with a medic’s training (and some crash course reading from Destiny’s medical database).

Meanwhile, Chloe briefly nods off while connected to the communication stones and Ginn‘s consciousness manages to take control.  This turns into a bizarre love triangle (or is it quadrangle) between Ginn and Eli and Chloe (hosting Ginn) and Matt.  And as if Chloe’s brain didn’t have enough to do, Amanda makes an appearance, so suddenly Rush is really motivated to ‘save’ Amanda and Ginn.   So we went from two couples (both young adults) to three couples in about thirty seconds.  Rush’s solution, of course, remains the neural interface chair.

Chloe seemed unbelievably willing to let whoever run around with her body, very noble and self-sacrificial.  At least Matt showed some sense, standing up for her right to her own body.  Chloe does volunteer to sit in the chair.  She’s occupied by Ginn at the time, who has another choking fit (possible remnant of her murder by Simeon from last fall).  Alarmingly, as she’s gasping for air, Destiny has a power failure and mainframe reset.  Begs the question, was uploading her consciousness linking her life-signs to Destiny’s systems?  Young orders the chair turned off, over Rush’s angry protestations (since the transfer may or may not have completed).  Chloe collapses into Mat and Eli’s arms. Rush confirms two new programs in Destiny’s memory banks, one of which is active and operating somewhere on the ship.

Back in sickbay, midway through the transplant, with the mainframe off-line, T.J. nearly panics.  Amanda appears (only to T.J.) and helps her finish grafting Greer’s kidney into Volker.  As soon as the operation is completed, Amanda disappears.  We then switch to Eli in his quarters, where we hear someone knock on his door.  He sees Ginn and they talk, but can’t touch.

This episode brought several questions bubbling up in the cauldron of my mind:

Why was T.J. unaware of Volker’s hypertension?  Wouldn’t the only medical professional for these ‘shipwrecked’ people have set some kind of baseline for each person and checked periodically?

And if everyone’s on a vegetarian diet (as far as I can tell), wouldn’t they be losing weight and a lot of it?  How have Volker and Eli maintained their rotund physique on a much reduced caloric intake?  Which again leads me back to T.J. monitoring everyone for signs of malnutrition and other symptoms.

Finally, besides Matt, no one asked or discussed the ethics of downloading Ginn or Amanda into someone else’s body.  Does that ‘body’ get a say in this process?  I doubt Ginn or Amanda want to be zombies (i.e. downloaded into the recently deceased).  I equally doubt that any sane person would sacrifice themselves for a consciousness to be downloaded into them permanently.  I can see the possibility of something like the communication stones where Ginn and Amanda get a ‘day out’ or ‘walkabout’ or something to spend time with others (specifically Eli and Rush).  That’s the least morally repugnant option, provided the host is willing.  Otherwise, we’ll be creating the Goa’uld all over again.

I’ll give this episode three stars on a scale of five.  Definitely better than last week, but still just spinning the proverbially Stargate futilely.

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