I had a chip on my shoulder watching Stargate Universe last night. I felt content with last week’s ‘Epilogue’ episode and wished the series could end on the resonance left by it. With only two episodes left this season, the show having been canceled with no possibility of parole, I couldn’t image what the writers, directors and producers could do to salvage the situation. ‘Blockade’ surprised me with good continuity from ‘Epilogue,’ good action, good science and spots of humor that actually made me laugh. Ratings reported Wednesday morning via Gateworld reveal a nine percent drop between ‘Epilogue’ and ‘Blockade.’
I’m being a bit lazy this week, so I grabbed a synopsis of the ‘Blockade’ episode from the Wikipedia article for season two of SGU:
When the Destiny tries to recharge in a star, they are met by drones. Trying another star, they discover the same. Low on power, Eli proposes a risky alternative: recharge the ship in a blue giant star instead which the drones would never expect. In order to accomplish the plan, the crew travel through the Stargate to a nearby planet, which turns out to be another Novus colony that is empty while Eli and Rush stay behind to manually pilot in the ship in the Ancient environmental suits which will protect them from the extreme heat. Doctor Lisa Park stays behind as well to save as many plants as possible from the Destiny garden, but gets trapped when the ship seals it off. The plan works and Destiny recharges, but the dome breaks and Park is flash-blinded before Eli manages to rescue her. On the planet, the crew discovers it to be destroyed by drones and encounter two which they destroy. They learn that thanks to a diversion, many of the people on the planet managed to escape through the Stargate before it was devestated. When a Control Ship shows up, the crew is forced to evacuate a little early, but by that point, Destiny is safe again. The trick won’t work twice however and the drones will likely be waiting next time Destiny tries to recharge.
Eli garnered kudos from me for standing up to Rush several times in this episode. Rush continues to amaze me with his complete lack of humanity. Rush may be a brilliant scientist, but a Vulcan exhibits more compassion than he shows his fellow man, even for people he works closely with on a day-to-day basis in a survival situation. It boggles my mind that Rush can continue to be that callus.
I didn’t buy the Destiny blocking Eli and Rush from opening a door when Park became locked in the garden dome. No logic there in why it would willingly allow the crew to fly it into an extremely dangerous type of star for refueling (without braking or swerving) yet not realize a fragile human was trapped and exposed behind a door it had closed and locked. Why was Destiny thwarting the crew? Was it that desperate to fill up it’s tanks?
The nonverbal interactions between members of the crew intrigued me in light of the relationships revealed among the other crew of ‘future’ Destiny. Volker and Greer in eye combat over Park’s assertion to remain behind to save plants. And Varro leaning away from TJ towards Vanessa James, who we learn via a humorous sidebar, was born in Pittsburgh.
I will rate ‘Blockade’ as a 3.5 to 4 star SGU episode, even though I tire of the drones and the potential mystery they present, the question left unanswered forever if not dealt with next week in the final Stargate episode.
The real treat, this week, announced yesterday and stumbled upon by me while surfing DirecTV channels on my day off, is the week-long tribute to the Stargate franchise in the form of marathons on the Syfy Channel. Follow this link for a full schedule of the rest of the airings of your favorite Stargate episodes.
SGU ends next Monday evening with the final episode ‘Gauntlet‘ – Blocked by drone Command Ships at every star and unable to gate for supplies without alerting the same drones, Destiny must take a stand or be left adrift.
After that … Stargate withdrawal will set in and I’ll have to console myself with more Doctor Who.