Review: Stargate Universe - Time
by Mike Moody, posted Nov 14th 2009 11:49AM
(S01E08) So that was bleak. But don't worry, Stargate Universe will hit the reset button next week, and everything will be peachy. Well, as peachy as things can get aboard The Destiny.
While some fans have been pushing for SGU to ditch the drama for more action and adventure (like SG-1 or Atlantis), this week's episode tried to offer a compromise: An off-world adventure that turned dark and caused a lot of drama for the characters.
The crew faced death – you know, like they do every week -- but this time they were struck by a dangerous virus and attacked by a pack of nasty fang-toothed worm things. But this episode wasn't really about combating a virus or an evil alien entity. It was about seeing how the characters would react after staring into the dark abyss of certain death.
Like Rush asked Eli in the cave: How did discovering his own mortality change him? Did it inspire him to make something of his short existence? I'm not sure if we really got an answer from Eli, but we know what discovering death did for Rush. He chose to spend his life taking risks and searching for something more, the key to ascension to be exact. Now we know why he got everyone stuck on the ship.
While the notion of viewing one's own death and dealing with those emotions is an interesting one, it's not all that compelling to watch. Mostly, the crew just looked sad and defeated while scanning the Kino footage. I probably would have preferred a more traditional off-world mystery adventure, with more action and less grim naval gazing, instead of another slow-paced downer from SGU.
While some of the death scenes were a bit shocking -- and I'm sure some of you SGU haters loved watching everybody get killed – the deaths didn't really add up to much. We already knew Eli was in love with Chloe, so we didn't need to see him confess his feelings by her deathbed. We already knew that Greer was a tough soldier who would probably die defending his life in combat. And we all knew that Scott would go out trying to save the day for everyone -- which is what will happen next week.
Thanks to Scott's quick thinking, the Kino will jump back in time through the solar flare to warn everyone about the dangers in the water and on the planet. But does that mean everything that happened in this episode will be erased? That's a little disappointing.
Still, despite all the slow moments, I mostly enjoyed this episode. I'm convinced that SGU will probably never become a great show. It'll continue with its awkward blending of (not very compelling) dark drama and sci-fi adventure, but that's OK with me. I like the characters, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else they find out in the far reaches of space.
- Filming the opening scenes in Kino-vision was a nice choice. It added a certain spark to the first act. I like how Eli's choice to document everything really came in handy in this ep.
- So Greer likes listening to Saul Williams? Who knew the guy had such good taste in music?
- I'd agree with most of Eli's desert island movies. And I'd definitely add Back to the Future to the list.
- Loved hearing Rush quote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. We need more quirky character moments like that.