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Stargate: Universe: Air, Part 3

I’m not sure if we’ll continue with regular reviews for this show yet, but here are a few thoughts on Part 3 of the series opener.

I liked this one. It had more of the Stargate flavor, but with a twist. The mission of the week was pretty basic: go to sand planet, find something that would help them repair the carbon scrubbers on the ship, bring it back in less than 12 hours. But instead of focusing exclusively on the hunt for a usable substance, the writers used it as an opportunity to let us get to know several of the characters a little better, particularly Scott, Greer, and Rush. I’m not really warming to Scott or Greer yet, but it was good to get slightly more background information on them. After learning about Scott’s past, I was even more surprised by his relationship with his subordinate officer. You would think he’d learned the dangers of playing around. Maybe he actually cares for her, but I get the impression she’s more into him than he is into her. (And now with Chloe apparently starting to fall for him, I’m fearing the inevitable triangle or scorned woman plot. Erg.)

I also liked seeing how the various characters reacted to their basic “lost in space” situation (we need to find a planet that we can survive on vs. the ship is our only hope of getting back and we need to make it work). I wonder what happened to the two people who went to the blocked gate address. Did the shuttle leaving the Destiny in the closing shot have something to do with them? Did the ship send it after them, or did someone on the ship send it somewhere? Curious.

I enjoyed the climactic, escape from the planet sequence. It was a bit cliché to have them getting back to the gate just in the nick of time, but they gave it a little twist by finding a way to delay the ship’s departure for a few seconds, rather than have them make it back with one second left on the clock. This is another well I hope the writers don’t go to too often, but it worked for me this week. I particularly liked the musical score during the sequence. I also liked the ending song, but I was getting serious Firefly flashbacks when Chloe came to visit the injured Scott. The slightly western sounding guitar, combined with the look of the ship, and Chloe’s resemblance to River was conjuring images of the Serenity and her crew.

Other Thoughts

I was a little incredulous that a single bag of sand solved all their scrubber problems. The Destiny is a pretty big ship, you’d think it would take more than that single bag of sand.

Did they not have desert camouflage in Scott’s size? What the hell was the dude thinking wearing all black to a hot sand planet? Everyone else had appropriate gear, why not him? I’m surprised he didn’t stroke out sooner. Are we now supposed to think he’s “mass macho”? Because I’m leaning more towards “dumbass.”

Eli was lots of fun again this week. His Planet of the Apes references were cracking me up. And I liked his stubborn determination to wait for Scott and Greer.

Rush is a sneaky, slippery bastard. Almost as soon as he made it back through the gate he was telling the others that Greer shot the injured guy. Notice that he conveniently neglected to mention that he was the one who told Greer to do it. Great character!

I’m a bit torn on the use of the communication stones. On the one hand, I like getting to see what’s going on back on Earth, and I appreciate that they are using a previously introduced technology and didn’t just make something up for convenience sake. But at the same time, all the body switching kind of skeezes me out. And we still don’t know what happened when Rush stole Dr. Lee’s body!

It was nice to see T.J. showing some brass this week, by drugging Telford. Last week they made her seem kind of weepy, and pretty much defined her by the implied relationship with Col. Young. I would like to see more T.J. and Camille, and less Chloe.

The gate puddle is a silvery grey here. Not blue. Cool.

Final Analysis: Interesting episode. Now that we are done with the basic introduction, I’m looking forward to seeing where they go from here.

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


  1. Hurrah, a planet that doesn’t look Canadian. They really are trying to make SGU look different from the previous series.

    Didn’t enjoy this episode as much as Parts 1&2 and can’t see how it would’ve effectively functioned as the third act of the pilot. Found it was too slow and dull in places, mainly the scenes between Chloe and her mother. I’m all for low-key character pieces but only when I’m invested in the characters and so far Rush is the only one I want to know more about.

    I’m curious about who was on that shuttle and where they were going but surely someone would’ve noticed Destiny’s only functional shuttle going missing or was it a separate ship altogether.

  2. Interesting that you liked the slower pace of this one less, Mark. It was the slower, getting to know the characters (somewhat) focus that I liked more than Parts 1 and 2. (Except for the Chloe and her mother scenes. I purposely didn't mention them in my comments. Bor-ing.)

    I definitely want to know more about Rush. I also want to know more about T.J. Mainly, because I'm hoping they can do something more with her than define her by her job and her relationship with a man. I have my doubts, but I'm still hoping.

    It didn't occur to me that the shuttle could be a separate ship altogether. I'm intrigued by the idea. I was mostly wondering if it was piloted or not, and if so, then by whom.

  3. I also subscribe to the idea of that ship being totally separate from the Destinity. I'd like to think it might have to do with the history of the ship. I guess we'll see.

    Jess, I really hope you keep doing reviews on this show, at least until you really decide is not for you. This is my FIRST time watching the Stargate series (yes, first time since the first movie back in the 90s) and so far I'm intrigued. It's not GREAT, but I like the fact it looks like we have quite a bit of a story to go through, not only stand-alone episodes

    Anyway, your reviews (I always liked this site's reviews) are great companion to the show, especially for references to the previous series (e.g., I assumed the stones were introduced before, but I didn't really know).

    I'm definitely going to keep watching (and reading). :D

  4. One thing that went unmentioned so far, is the swirling sand devil that woke Scott up.Was that a natural life form or an ascended ancient? I would even guess that it created the vision of the cross for Scott more than Scott imagined it.

    I didn't notice the color of the puddle being different, just that once again the ancients used a different design for these gates as they did for SG1 and SGA.


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