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October 13, 2015

'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 15 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 5th 2011 7:50AM
stargte universe seizure mckay['Stargate Universe' – 'Seizure']

This week's episode of 'Stargate Universe' saw the welcome return of two 'Stargate' franchise vets and the unfortunate "quarantine" of two lovely new characters. 'Seizure' was all over the map emotionally, offering fun winks and nods to die-hard fans, a tense espionage plot, and a tragic B story.

Let's get to the fun stuff first ... How 'bout a big hand for David Hewlett and the triumphant return of Dr. Rodney McKay! Considering the stark contrast in tone between 'Stargate Atlantis' and 'SGU,' McKay's presence here could have easily felt forced and awkward. Instead, it felt solid and satisfying.

Hewlett, episode scribe Remi Aubuchon, and director Helen Shaver managed to create a version of McKay who looked and acted like he belonged on 'SGU' without sacrificing the things we love about the character (like his endless arrogance, below par social skills and genuine brilliance). Even the few bars of the 'Atlantis' theme that accompanied his entrance felt just right.

McKay's brief scene with boy genius Eli was one of the biggest joys of the night. It's no secret that David Blue was inspired to join 'SGU' after watching Hewlett do his thing on 'Atlantis.' Seeing these two geek icons trade barbs and argue over techno babble felt like a 'Stargate' nerd's fantasy come true. (And it was!) I expected McKay and Eli to share more screen time together here, but the mix of annoyance and respect they showed for each other in those few minutes was enough to make up for the shortness of the scene.

It was also a joy to see Hewlett's fellow 'Atlantis' alum Robert Picardo pop up as ace diplomat Richard Woolsey. Picardo is a genre pro who can elevate almost any project. His curt demeanor and direct stare were put to good use in this episode, especially in the tense opening negotiation scene and the scenes leading up to the Langara mission.

Oh, the Langara mission. What a bust! There's no doubt that McKay's science was sound -- hey, Eli vouched for it -- but those skittish Langarans weren't about to let SGC potentially blow up their planet just to make a Stargate jump to the Destiny. Still, the use of the much-maligned communication stones to pull off the ol' switcharoo was pretty clever, and it marked one of the few times the show has used the stones in a fun and creative way.

When the mission started to go sideways, it seemed like Telford only had one thing on his mind -- taking command of the Destiny away from Young. His slip up with McKay gave that away. It seems like Telford is done playing nice and is ready to take back the reins he lost in the show's series premiere. So, yeah, he's not to be trusted anymore (not that we ever trusted him to begin with).

The situation back on the ship was all kinds of sad and strange and utterly depressing. Rush and Amanda finally figured out how to connect physically (boom chicka wow wow), but the oh-so-real simulation came with a high price. Rush's sudden happiness was stripped away when Eli was forced to "quarantine" Amanda in a bid to save his life.

Perhaps mirroring the lives of real-life geeks, Rush realized that he could only experience his fantasy of living with a beautiful woman in a virtual environment. Real life won out, as it tends to do.

The crappiest thing about the B-plot, apart from Amanda's out-of-nowhere deception, was seeing Ginn go. I'm no shipper, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy watching a romantic relationship develop between two appealing characters. The look on Eli's face when he explained to Rush what had happened to Ginn and Amanda -- they were isolated from the ship's systems and the neural interface -- was heartbreaking.

And what are we to make of the sickly Ronald Greer? He's been lying in that stretcher for way too long. I'm nervous folks! I don't want to lose Greer; he is just too awesome! In an episode that was jam-packed with plot, guest stars and fun geeky moments, Greer's subtle "because I'm strong" scene still stood out.

But, sadly, even if Greer recovers, we're still going to lose him and the rest of the Destiny crew when the season comes to an end. Here's hoping 'Stargate' returns in some form next year, perhaps with David Hewlett's 'SG-1' meets 'Atlantis' meets 'SGU' movie idea. Now wouldn't that be a thing?

Other thoughts/quotes:

- So Amanda built her program's parameters around love, and Rush didn't truly love her? I guess it's easy to believe that someone as closed-off as Rush couldn't truly love someone else; not even the woman of his dreams.

- So those Langarans were on the "up and up" after all. And now they've removed their Stargate, killing any chance we had of dialing back to Destiny. We really blew that one, didn't we?

- Poor McKay never got to show anyone his fancy PowerPoint presentation.

- Young sure looked silly in that Zoot suit!

- "Get him on his feet so I can knock him on his ass when I'm back."

- "Sheppard's right ..."

- Telford, to McKay: "Would you be interested in joining Destiny's crew?" Don't play with my heart like that, show!

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

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General Kenobi

Greer is out and about in the preview for next week... I think the ending, where he acknowledged that TJ knew how to get people better was him being okay after listening and staying in bed... he'll be fine.

As for this episode, just one question: When Ginn threw the ship out of FTL, why didn't the stones temporarily deactivate as they always do? Young never flashed at all... plot hole, I'm afraid.

Lastly, we were presented with two sets of solutions for what happened. In the first, from Ginn, it is revealed that Amanda's plan in and of itself was not possible... that the very act of uploading into that simulation would inherently trap someone. Amanda, after Rush accepts he's still not in reality, tries to convince him that he isn't able to leave because he didn't really love her. So, which is it? Was Ginn right that such a union was impossible and inherently a trap, or was Amanda right that Rush didn't fulfill the criteria to leave? I lean more toward Ginn, in that she got very upset with Eli for suggesting it, and there'd be no reason to be upset if she weren't being truthful... at the same time, Amanda Perry is perhaps the only person in the universe that is less trustworthy than Nicolas Rush.

So, why was she lying about him not loving her? Seems awfully sad and manipulative... also a bit confusing. Ideas?

April 06 2011 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved McKay by the way. I suggest they drop Rush off on a planet by himself again so he can think about how selfish he is.

April 05 2011 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For once, an SGU episode that FELT like it lived in the Stargate universe (small 'u') with SG1 and SGA. Great use of guest stars (and a brilliant one-shot - VICTOR FREAKIN' GARBER!), and actual continuity with established canon*. The stones - which I've hated on SGU because they're such a crutch for the writers - were actually well utilized in this episode, although I'd still prefer if the series relied on them less overall.

There were also some really great performances in this episode. It's always good to see David Hewlett, and I would have also liked to have seen his interaction with David Blue go longer. (Fic writers - get on that.) But it was nice to see Robert Carlyle get a chance to remind everyone what a good actor he is, when he doesn't have to play a dick all the time.

If there were more SGU episodes like this one, the fans might have rallied behind it to prevent cancellation.

*Langara was featured several times on SG1 - it was Jonas Quinn's homeworld.

April 05 2011 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to M-D's comment

I'm sorry but Rush is still a d#ck....LOL. He always manages to do something that is of course in his own self interest consequences to everyone else be damned. And that is exactly what he did in this episode too. He went off without consulting anyone and got trapped in the chair. I like the fact that SGU isn't like the other Stargate shows. I mean I was a bit upset when I found they were making yet another SG show (I figured we'd already had two shows...why not just keep them on if we wanted more SG). But this show is different in that it IS darker than the others...and there's a lot more sex going on...LOL. I really want them to keep SGU on. It is one of the few shows that still good on the flagging SyFy channel.

April 05 2011 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did I miss something? Now that Rush is safely out of the simulation, why can't they simply "un-quarantine" Ginn and Amanda? Simply don't use the chair and the simulation. I mean, what is the ongoing threat?

April 05 2011 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Alex99's comment

I think once you quarantine something that's it. Remember Amanda was saying that Eli was deleting them...so I'm going to go with once a program is quarantined for safety reasons you can't get it back out. That would make sense. Something is quarantined because it is a threat. Makes no sense if you can un-quarantine it. That could lead to someone accidently un-quarantining it thereby putting the ship at risk.

April 05 2011 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sassytarheel's comment
Mike Moody

I tend to agree. I only hope that someone "accidenatally" un-quarantines these ladies before the show ends!

April 07 2011 at 1:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
Bill Shannon

"My eyes are up here." This show has so much more potential, and last night's was great.

April 05 2011 at 8:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bill Shannon's comment

This little "no ogling' exchange was completely disingenuous. Didn't Lieutenant Towers there just talk about McKay's staring the ep before? I believe she did. So there she is, standing too close, with those impressive armaments right at McKay's eye level with just her tight T-shirt on? This is a two level thing. She was clearly forcing him to stare so she could catch him doing it....and the show was clearly trying to find a reason to get Julia Benson back in her t shirt (I have heard the ratings spike when this happens) Ms. Benson is gorgeous, but that scene was a little manipulative.

April 06 2011 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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