Stargate Universe: Alliances

... in which Wray and Greer trade places with a senator and scientist from Earth just as the Lucian Alliance attacks Homeworld Command.

OK, then. This wasn’t a terrible episode, but for the most part I didn’t find overly engaging either. Despite the rather dire circumstances Greer and Wray found themselves in, I was actually kind of bored through most of it. The events on the ship were fairly standard “outsiders come in to pass judgment” fare and, back on Earth, there was no real sense of jeopardy for Camille or Greer. Did anyone believe that they were in danger of being killed or permanently damaged at any point? I briefly felt bad for Senator Michaels and Dr. Covell when they were exposed to lethal doses of radiation, but it was pretty clear that Camille and Greer would be returned to the ship and their own bodies, physically unharmed, soon enough. I also didn’t have much reaction to the attack on Homeworld Command. Our homebase is Destiny. Her crew are the people we care about, and Homeworld Command is just some abstraction that we get glimpses of from time to time. Even though it is on Earth and our crew have loved ones in the vicinity, it doesn’t feel like a place with real stakes to me, unlike the SGC in Cheyenne Mountain.

So most of the episode felt rather flat. Dr. Covell didn’t provide any fascinating new insight into Rush or his obsession with Destiny, and Senator Michaels didn’t really give us new perspective on Chloe. I did think the notion that Rush’s “message from God” was turning into fodder for political posturing was pretty interesting, and a nice reflection of the times we live in, but most of the interactions and plot turns this week felt like going through the motions for me.

Until that final scene between Greer and Camille. Wow. Jamil Walker Smith sold the hell out of Greer finally sharing a small piece of his pain and regret, and I was rather surprised to find myself tearing up in those final few minutes. Perhaps it is a predictable plot turn for Greer to willingly open up to Camille after their ordeal together, but I don’t feel the turnaround betrayed his character in any way. Greer is a guy that keeps emotions other than anger under tight rein, and he’s spent the last year refusing to share or even acknowledge the impact their extremely trying circumstances are having on him. He seems unwilling to drop his guard with even his closest friends and he doesn’t trust or respect the “ship’s counselor.” But after this latest almost-certain-death experience (which surely seemed a lot more life threatening to the characters than it did to me), it felt right to me that he might finally reach a point where he was ready to talk. Even just a little.

Moreover, I found it totally believable that Greer would now feel comfortable reaching out to Camille. He must have gained tremendous respect for her through her choices and actions in this episode. He accused her of being all talk and no action, but she was the one leading the action charge through most of this episode. She quickly stabilized his wounded leg so that he could walk. She insisted that they attempt to diffuse the bomb on the crashed ship after realizing there was no escape from the collapsed building. She figured out that Evans was Alliance and insisted that Greer shoot him, despite the threat to her life. She attempted to see if she could diffuse the bomb before they got instructions. She was practically Super Woman --- that small moment of horror and disgust after finding a severed arm, notwithstanding. And even when she finally decided their best course of action was to do nothing, Greer understood that her choice was about saving as many lives as possible, not about being too afraid to do anything. After all that, it makes a lot of sense that he would develop some respect for her approach, even if he doesn’t always agree with it, and perhaps begin to accept that “talking” could have some value.

Regardless of his reasons, I’m very relieved that he might now have someone he can occasionally talk to, because maybe now he has a shot at avoiding the post-traumatic stress disorder that destroyed his father.

Other Thoughts

Varro got to contribute something valuable this week! It would be nice if they better integrated him into the crew moving forward. Assuming they get confirmation that his bomb diffusing instructions worked, that is.

T.J. and Varro were rather flirty in the infirmary. I thought it was cute, but Young didn’t seem to appreciate it much.

I didn’t really care for the French Stewart character at all, but I was amused to see him, given that he played a reasonably visible role in the original Stargate movie.

I was rather delighted by Chloe’s pride in her new, contributing crew member self.

I was impressed with Senator Michaels’ resolve to diffuse the bomb herself after learning she and Dr. Covell had been exposed to lethal doses of radiation.

Wray: “She’s your mother, Ron. She knows.”

The preview for next week was seriously intriguing. I’m glad I only have to wait a few more days to see it.

Final Analysis: Not a strong episode, but not flat out terrible either. I did enjoy the focus on the Greer-Wray dynamic.

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


Michelle said...

I totally agree with you, I think those last few minutes were very emotionally fused. The cliffhanger ending left me saying "NOOO!!! What happens!!??"

crazycris said...

"I also didn’t have much reaction to the attack on Homeworld Command"

Ditto, until I thought "What if Jack O'Neil is in there?!" ;o)

I was quite pleased with this episode in that they finally gave something substantial to both Greer and Wray to do!

And yeah, Chloe's little moment was fun! :o)