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October 9, 2015

'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 12 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 15th 2011 6:20AM
stargate universe - twin destinies['Stargate Universe' – 'Twin Destinies']

Now that's what I call a comeback! This week's episode of 'Stargate Universe' was one of the most compelling hours of sci-fi TV I've seen all season. Unlike last week's episode, which wrapped up the events of the mid-season finale cliffhanger, 'Twin Destinies' worked as both a solid stand-alone mystery and as an important part of the larger story.

Of course, this episode was full of convenient coincidences, shock-value scenarios and time-wimey trickery, but it was still one hell of a ride.

'Twin Destinies' started off strong with death knocking at Destiny's door (again) and Eli tossing up a Hail Mary pass that, in theory, could have gotten everyone safely back to Earth. Rush balked at the plan to Gate home, partly because the science was a little iffy, but mostly because he believes in continuing "the mission." Like he told Chloe last week, Rush believes that everyone is on Destiny for a reason -- to continue the mission started by the Ancients. Abandoning the ship is not an option in his eyes, and from what we know about Rush, it's easy to believe that he'd do anything to get everyone to stay on board.

The story cut right to the heart of what the series is about by forcing the crew to choose between continuing the mission, or attempting to Gate back to Earth. (Or, as Rush might have put it, a grand destiny vs. a life of mediocrity.) It also brought up a major question that's been hanging in the air since the series premiered: Can Rush be trusted?

'Twin Destinies' expertly played with our perception of Rush -- who's seemingly becoming a more approachable and enlightened version of himself these days -- by dropping a Rush Duplicate From the Future on Destiny's doorstep. Watching Rush interact with the Dupe was fun and fascinating. Their interactions were funny at times, but thankfully the whole "Hello me, nice to meet me" thing never got too jokey. It made sense that Rush wouldn't freak out when facing his future self; he's a scientist, and he knows that's the kind of funky stuff that happens in outer space.

There was a pretty good mystery going on here, and I hope we get answers to all the questions brought up this week before the series ends. Did "Old" Rush cause the deaths of everyone on board in a complex plan to get the "younger" crew to remain on the ship? If he knew the time-travel thing would work, it's possible that Old Rush could have screwed up Eli's program, traveled back in time, and told a lie to convince everyone not to gate back to Earth. Or did Old Rush really try to save everyone after Eli's program failed, like he told Young and crew? I don't think even "Young" Rush knows the truth.

The scene at the end in the chair room served as another turning point for Rush this season. He was able to see himself how others usually see him, as someone who can't be trusted.

This episode also played with our perception of Col. Telford. I was almost sure that he had something to do with the "Old" crew perishing, and that still might be the case since he was the only one who "survived." Telford has been sort of a wild card since the series started. He's a tweener who I want to trust, but I can't bring myself to fully embrace the guy. Does anyone else think that Telford might've been behind the bad in this episode? Oh, and how about that grisly "death" scene? It had me wondering, "How many times do I have to watch Lou Diamond Phillips die on this show? How many times?!"

There were plenty of fun, geeky, squeal-worthy moments in this episode: T.J. telling Eli that he'd fit in with Jackson, Carter and that pervert McKay at SGC, Volker's "practically no redundancy" quip, Bill Lee in Eli's body. It seems like 'SGU' is getting funnier as this season comes to a close.

One of the most poignant moments of the night happened in flashback. Rush's speech to the crew was inspiring, and it moved all of our regulars to trade the chance to go home in order to continue the mission. If his story was true, then maybe Rush is right. Maybe these people really do belong on the Destiny.

'Stargate Universe' airs Mondays, 10PM ET on Syfy

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Really going to miss this show... great characters... decent effects... better than the SG shows to me.

March 22 2011 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This could have been as great a series as the other except for the bad directing and endless, boring dialog. We don't need 20 shots per scene with a jiggling hand-held camera that keeps reminding us it's just a TV show. And what's with all the partially blocked closeups? It makes me feel like I'm peaking at the show instead of watching it and again reminds there's a cameraman present. Talk about overuse. I hated the dark gloomy sets that hid the tech and made me feel like I was in a closet. I guess darkness cuts down on set costs. They might as well have been using candles. If this had been shot like the other 2 series, it wouldn't be going off the air. I found myself choking on character development. Way too much, too fast, too soon. It felt so forced. that it became a distraction. Lots of sci-fi series making these same mistakes and paying the same price for it.

March 22 2011 at 1:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Drawnfromwithin Arti

Your LDP dying comment made me spit bits of cookie - shame on you! ;-D

March 15 2011 at 11:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

An additional wrinkle I thought of.

Given that the crew was trusting "old Rush" to tell them what happened the first time through, couldn't he have made up the response to his inspiring speech. Perhaps nobody agreed to join him and continue the mission. Then perhaps he would have been angry enough to try and prevent the crew from returning to earth (perhaps causing their deaths accidentially. His anger at Telford could have been more out of concern that "old Telford" would have been able to dispute his version of those events.

March 15 2011 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The one problem I had with the episode was bit deus ex machina on how they restocked supplies, so that knocked down enjoyment but did like the time travel part, always a fan of that.

March 15 2011 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
General Kenobi

I did think it was great that not even Rush believed himself. However, I do tend to believe his version of events based on previous SG. Time travel requires a known solar flare event. You cannot predict such events... and you certainly cannot predict them and coincide them with the moment Destiny must dial in order to connect. As such, even though he's shifty, I do think Rush was telling the truth and things can be taken pretty much on face value.

And I'd guess you have about 8 more chances to see Telford die, but I'm guessing this was the last one.

March 15 2011 at 2:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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