Stargate Universe: The Greater Good

... in which Rush and Young have a long-awaited confrontation, secrets are revealed, and the dreaded communication stones lead to apparent tragedy.

‘The Greater Good’ finally delivered some forward (and potentially game-changing) momentum on several fronts, but it’s the closing moments that have really stayed with me. I can’t get the look on Dr. Perry’s face or the look on Simeon’s face as he closed the door out of my head, even days later. What’s going to happen to her? Is Simeon going to rape her? Murder her? Both? And if he kills Ginn’s body while Dr. Perry’s consciousness is in it, do both Ginn and Dr. Perry die? I’m thinking yes. Aaargh!!! Damn those communication stones! I was so pleased they finally had someone address the whole sex-in-someone-else’s-body issue with Eli’s jealous boyfriend moment, and then Simeon showed up, and the doors closed, and I just felt sick with dread. Ginn could conceivably defend herself, given her background, but Dr. Perry? She’s going to be all but helpless. I knew things weren’t going to end well for Eli and Ginn, but I didn’t anticipate it going horribly wrong so soon. Poor Eli! And poor Dr. Perry! She was so excited to be back on the ship and mobile once more, only to have it end tragically. And now Rush has one more terrible event to weigh on his conscience, because she never would have been there in the first place if he had just been honest about breaking the master code. Curse you, Rush, and your egomaniacal secrecy!

On other fronts, the crew finally uncovered Rush’s lies thanks to Eli’s quick thinking and kino expertise. Yea! I really enjoyed that whole sequence, especially Eli’s enraged shouting at Rush over the comm channel once they finally found the bridge. I was also amused by everyone immediately trying to have a say in how Dr. Perry was driving the ship. “Shut up!” Now that they’ve got a good bit more control over the ship (and potentially a new mission objective), it should be interesting to see where they go from here.

Strangely, I was a bit underwhelmed by the latest Rush and Young confrontation. It was rather cathartic to see Young beating on Rush and nearly choking the life out of him given his role in Riley’s death, but it also felt a bit like treading old ground with these two. Then they slunk off to their respective corners and the whole thing devolved into finger-pointing and talking. I appreciate that they are hashing things out and trying to push past their differences, but the staging wasn’t overly engaging and I get aggravated with Rush constantly belittling everyone else’s abilities to justify his own behavior. At least this time, he seems to genuinely want to try working together for the greater good, since he could have easily let the Colonel float off into space, never to be “the wrong man for the job” again. Plus, when talking with Mandy he did seem relieved to not be keeping the bridge secret anymore. We’ll see how it goes.

The other major development this week is that we finally learned Destiny’s true purpose. According to Rush, the Ancients intended to use the ship to discover the higher intelligence behind the Big Bang and, thus, the creation of the entire Universe. Which seemingly brings us right back to The Divine or the Most Incredibly Advanced Aliens Ever. Perhaps ‘Faith’ was a lot more important to the overall SGU story than it initially appeared. Maybe Kane is right, and the creators of the obelisk planet are the key to salvation for everyone. And, maybe, I need to once again rethink what happened to T.J. and her baby. Hmmm …

Other Thoughts

I loved Volker’s delivery of “New friends. Yea.” Hilarious.

I guess the whole “new friends” alien ship was just a MacGuffin to put Young and Rush in a position to have it out. The story of the ship itself never really went anywhere. Did they salvage any data? Did we learn anything about it or its original occupants? Was it the pod aliens, or were they just visitors?

At least Ginn didn’t betray Eli. I’m glad to be wrong on that point.

Rush: “I couldn’t tell you about the code, Colonel. How could I trust you, when you don’t even trust yourself?”

Rush: “Stop saying we don’t belong on the ship. Embrace it. Move forward. Stop looking behind us.”

Final Analysis: Some good forward momentum, and even though I was a bit underwhelmed by some of the execution in the middle, they certainly managed to leave us with a haunting ending.

Jess Lynde is a highly engaged television viewer. Probably a bit too engaged.

13 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I thought this was a strong episode. As you say, Jess, it's way past time they did something with the consequences of using the communication stones, and I was creeped out by the possibilities. I loved the scene on the bridge where Scott is trying to take over steering Destiny and Eli is shouting at him that there was no time to explain anything.

The latest Rush/Young conflict really worked for me. It felt like the bookend to when Young left Rush behind to die last season. Rush decided he was going with the truth and was going to keep his word, and he did. I liked him telling Young that he probably wasn't fit for command any more. I also liked the discussion on the floor.

I am less pleased that yet another of my favorite science fiction shows is going to quest for God. I like the idea of Destiny having an extremely important mission and the crew possibly even deciding it was worth carrying out, but God? Really?

zob said...
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Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Zob -- I remembered it happening in SG-1 but not the details or the name of the episode. Dan just pointed out that if both of them die, they just took out both Eli's and Rush's love interests. Two love interests for the price of one.

zob said...
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Billie Doux said...

Chloe isn't on my radar, so I couldn't say.

Julie McNiven (Ginn) has gloriously bright red hair, though. I was hoping she would be a permanent addition because I liked her so much in Supernatural. I guess she still could be; we don't know for sure what is going to happen to Ginn and Dr. Perry. But it feels like the end.

Mark Greig said...

Enjoyed this one a lot, any episode that puts Young and Rush front and centre so they can beat the crap out of each other before having an awkward heart to heart is okay by me.

Not so enthusiastic about Destiny’s true mission. Does the ship have an actually physical destination it’s trying to get to or is this just a random quest for the answer to life, the universe and everything?

Just tell the ship it’s 42 and go home.

zob said...
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Jess Lynde said...

Yeah, the very first snippet of the preview was a big spoiler. Gotta stop watching those!

I wasn't actually bothered by the mission reveal. I think because my brain first went to the "so this ties in with 'Faith,' interesting ..." well instead of the "not another search for God!" well.

Matthew said...

The 'God' angle if it transpires that way is a little bit disappointing, considering Stargate has always taken a rather 'scientific' approach to the supernatural. Bleh. I could take it in BSG because it was handled well (imo) and because it was the first. I didn't really care for it in Lost because it was far too overt and almost preachy and I don't think I can take it at all in SGU if its going to mean seasons worth of it. BLEH.

zob said...
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Anonymous said...

Two points: One, as this show is part of the Stargate family, I believe it will follow an analytical and scientific path on finding information about the beginnings, much the way astronomers study the edge of the Universe to try to find how old it is. So the ancients have found that the Universe started with intelligence life, that there was something there before it began and they want to learn more. I thought it was reminiscent of SG1 and the evolving to a higher plan through energy. I also think that perhaps this starship might be how “the ancients” figured out how to ascend. Two, I do have to say that although I have always loved the style of reviewing episodes on this site, I do find the snide remarks against other people’s religious beliefs somewhat disappointing … not because everyone doesn’t have their own faith and beliefs, but more of how in the review of a Supernatural episode the delight that the very religious women was the evil behind it all, or the delight at the Bible being called a myth in one of Buffy’s first episodes. I guess I find people who make snide remarks about other’s beliefs annoying, and it doesn’t matter if they are atheist who make fun of other’s beliefs or very religious people who make fun of someone’s lack of faith. The superiority of it bothers me (because who among us really knows?) and it is depressing to find it here in otherwise great reviews of my favorite sci-fi. (Jess, I am commenting more on the comments posted here as well as some other reviews rather than your review, which I thought was excellent).

Paul Kelly said...

Hi Anonymous. I understand what you're saying. I too sometimes get frustrated when people are dismissive of other people's beliefs. But I just reread the Buffy review to which you're referring and couldn't find anything wrong with it. In the context of the Buffyverse, referring to the bible as "popular mythology" is rather amusing. For the duration of the show the laws of the Buffyverse take precedence. Surely we can have a quiet chuckle when the show's mythology (which we know is fictional) takes a dig at things in our world?

Supernatural's currently tipping the traditional image of God on its head. I quite like it. Not because I want to see God portrayed as an uncaring douche-bag (I'm English and have no idea what that even means, but imagine I just sounded cool there). I just think the idea has some mileage story-wise. I can laugh at clever ideas, humerous puns, reversals of expectation - even when they're contrary to what I believe - because at the end of the day, clever writing is clever writing.

Dimitri A.C. Ly said...

Hi Anonymous,

I must confess that your comment caused quite a stir among the Billie Doux writing staff because every single one of us takes tolerance very seriously.

I thought it over, and I think the miscommunication occurred because you take “God” in the context of the reviews to mean *the* God, whereas the writers assume readers will understand that we mean the fictional god created by a bunch of TV writers.

For example, Supernatural has borrowed Christian imagery to create a fictional mythology in which angels are violent and somewhat less than benevolent creatures. I’m sure you understand as well as we do that this vision has nothing to do with Christian reality. So when we review an episode and mention that the irony of very religious women turning out evil was amusing, it’s important to remember that we don’t mean real religious women--who, of course, appear nowhere in the scripted show--but the fictional characters created by the writers.

By the same token, when a commenter expresses some misgivings in regards to the eventuality of yet another sci-fi show using the concept of god as their central macguffin, they’re referring to the possible cliché used by the writers, not *the* actual God. Stargate, after all, is neither a sacred text nor a documentary. It is the product of creative minds for entertainment purposes.

I understand how all this might have come off differently. Reading your comment, some of us got the impression you had drawn some negative conclusions about one of the reviewers. If that’s the case, I hope this explanation will have changed your mind.

To echo what Paul expressed above (much more succinctly, might I add), here at Billie Doux, we celebrate imagination. Nothing more. Nothing less.