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October 4, 2015

'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 19 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 3rd 2011 2:15AM
stargate universe blockade['Stargate Universe' – 'Blockade']

Impressive episodes like 'Blockade' are making this cancellation business really hard to swallow.

From start to finish, this was easily one of the most exciting and compelling hours of 'Stargate Universe' to ever hit the air. I don't think there's another show on TV right now that's offering this kind of classic sci-fi shoot-em-up-fun mixed with genuine suspense, great character moments and an intriguing long-form story arc.

I'd be rejoicing about the show's recent creative comeback if we had another season, or at least a TV movie or two, ahead of us. But, sadly, 'SGU' is a done deal. Well, at least it's going out with style.

This week's episode combined two types of story lines we've seen in the past for maximum impact: The risky plan to save the ship, and the dangerous away mission.

First, we learned that Destiny's power reserves were dipping to dangerous levels. An army of Drones was blocking the ship's access to the recharge stars, making the power situation go from bad to worse. (Those Drones are proving to be a lot smarter then I first thought they were.) Eli came up with an impressive but risky plan to recharge the ship, which included temporarily dropping everyone but himself and Rush off on a nearby planet. With Park choosing to stay behind (a sign of badness to come), and everyone talking about how Eli's plan was "crazy times a thousand," I was already hooked. But the action intensified on the planet once the crew's presence was detected by a small group of Drones.

I liked that the away mission (if you can call it that) sent our crew to an abandoned, crumbling cityscape, or, as Eli dubbed it, "Pittsburg." It's always more fun when we Gate somewhere with buildings, as it brings up all kinds of questions about the planet's history and the nature/status of its inhabitants. Plus, it just looks cooler than a forest or whatever.

So did the descendants of the Alt Destiny Crew found this city? I don't think we ever got a definite answer to that question, but I'd say yes. The descendants, as Rush mentioned, have probably spread out all over the galaxy. Plus the language in the newspaper and the city signage resembled English. But there was no way to know for sure as the city was demolished by the Drone army.

The Drones in the city had a nice, creepy Skynet quality to them. And the idea that they violently wiped out the planet reminded me of how The Wraith cut a swath of destruction through the Pegasus galaxy on 'Stargate Atlantis.' All the business on the planet had a familiar 'Atlantis' vibe, with the teams ducking and hiding from a threat and eventually forced to engage the enemy. But, this being 'SGU,' everything felt more tense and suspenseful, like someone could actually die at any moment. I almost thought Lt. James was a goner until I realized that she and Varro were teaming up to blow the Drone out of the sky.

It seemed like Park wasn't going to survive after the hydroponics dome was breached. I won't soon forget that spectacular visual of the plants set ablaze and the dome bursting as Park was almost sucked out into space. Somehow, she managed to survive, but the experience might have left her blind.

One of the most joyous things about 'Blockade' was watching Eli step up and take charge of what was arguably Destiny's most dangerous mission ever. I also loved seeing Rush slyly push Eli to stand up and believe in himself. Remember last season ('Human') when Rush called Eli "the genius I'll never be." It was nice to hear him repeat that sentiment here to Young at the end of the hour. ("It was genius. I've never seen anything like it ... Please don't tell him I told you that.")

And concerning Rush's behavior during the Park situation ... He did the right thing by keeping Eli on task. Some might argue that Rush's cold personality keeps him at a distance from everyone else on the ship, and that's partly true, but he's come a long way from the uncaring lone wolf we met in the series pilot. Rush is the guy who can bury his emotions and make the hard decisions -- like potentially sacrificing someone to save the ship and the lives of its crew. His choices and personality might inspire people to call him a "son of a bitch," but that's a small price to pay for keeping the ship afloat and people alive. Still, Rush did "consider the possibility" that the doors might lock down, and he failed to tell anyone about it. So, yeah, I guess he is kind of a son of a bitch.

The final act offered a quick glimpse of an immense Drone ship. The sense of dread among the crew was palpable as the craft broke through the clouds. Maybe, just maybe, we'll run into that big beastie again before the series ends.

Other thoughts/quotes:

-- Fantastic special effects throughout. And you know, I love seeing those space suits.

-- I'm not one to condone violence, but, yeah, that one guy totally deserved a punch in the face.

-- "What am I, Captain Kirk?"

-- "Don't tell me, Death Star?"

-- Just realized this episode directly referenced 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars.' Nice.

-- "Holy crap, we dialed Pittsburg!"

-- "Maybe they're Canadian."

-- "I couldn't find a gun store or a grocery store, but I found a dry cleaner." New clothes! Finally!

-- Brody and Volker in unison: "Yay!"

-- One more episode to go. (Extreme sadness.)

'Stargate Universe' airs Mondays at 9PM ET on SyFy.

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TO ALL STARGATE SGU (as well as SG-1 & SGA) Fans: If you want to save the Show and / or ANY CHANCE of Movies/ Mini-series wrap-ups for ANY OR ALL STARGATE SERIES, check out this link for a GREAT WAY to save our blessed Stargate Universe / Shows future!!!


May 14 2011 at 5:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have followed the show since the beginning. Why did the Alution Alliance want to gate aboard a ship heading to the edge of the universe? with no way home? The last episodes have really got me hooked..... I would like to see the writers get a chance to end the series, two hour tv-movie or 90 min. DVD..... I could see Rush and a few others stay aboard (stasis pods) to complete the mission. Heck, I can dream.......

May 04 2011 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Since production wrapped prior to notice of cancellation... should we expect a cliffhanger ending next week?

Considering it will be another Borg... err... Drone episode... I'm worried I am going to be left quite out there for the rest of eternity.

I wasn't sure during the beginning but did they say they dropped the descendants off on that planet already?

There is so much they can still do with SGU... I was hoping for a run-in with the Futuriens so Brody could see what his tribe evolved into.

If there was a vampire on SGU, we would probably get season 3. Speaking of, maybe someone can do the Buffy thing and extend the seasons into comic books.

May 04 2011 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

just when they FINALLY get some new wardrobe, the show is frakkin over. "fate is a fickle bitch."

May 04 2011 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
General Kenobi

One clarification that makes Rush less of a dick... he didn't say he considered the possibility that the doors would seal her in and didn't bother to warn her, he considered the possibility that the doors HAD closed because the dome was unlikely to survive... he considered it after she was locked in... he did omit telling Eli that to keep him on task, but only after she was sealed in and the diversion would've gotten them all killed and the crew stranded and doomed... so he did the right thing, no question, without the nefarious motives you had thought...

I wonder if the death of Stargate is a result of MGM consistently being bankrupt, or an actual decision on their part to take a break because they don't think the fans are there to sustain it? If it's the first, there's not much to be done, but if it's the second, a fan campaign could work... Why not start mailing them stars? Either stars you draw on a piece of paper and send or those little adhesive gold stars from like 2nd grade? A few million stars and MGM might reconsider Stargate... in fact, even if it's the money issue, if enough support is there, they might consider Stargate part of the solution instead of the problem for them. Direct to DVD movies aren't that expensive in terms of distribution, and are much more profitable than a full-time series for MGM... plus SyFy could show them 9 months later to huge ratings and ad revenue.... Any idea where we can send our stars, Mike Moody?

May 03 2011 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to General Kenobi's comment
Mike Moody

General, thanks for the clarification on the Rush point. As for the stars, I'm not sure where those would go, but I'm sure you guys can figure that one out (:

May 03 2011 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's a shame that the show really came in to stride AFTER it got cancelled!

May 03 2011 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've been happy to see each week that the show's writers haven't tried to shoehorn a series finale into the existing story.

May 03 2011 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Scott's comment

It's not like they had the chance to shoehorn anything in. Production was wrapped before they found out the show had been canned.

May 04 2011 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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