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Stargate: Universe: Darkness

This was a fairly interesting episode, but I’m still not sure how I feel about the show overall. I sort of want to get to know the characters better, but I’m beginning to feel like the crisis-of-the-week may start to wear thin after a while. Last week it was no air. This week it is no power. Next week looks like no power plus collision course with a star (which we know won’t happen, so it is just a question of how they get out of it). I think the week after that is titled ‘Water,’ so you can guess what the crisis is going to be. Maybe I’m just having a hard time adjusting from “adventure show” to “survival show.” In general, I’m completely fine with the survival theme, I’m just not sure it is working for me in the Stargate ‘verse. Yet. I probably just need more time for the characters to grow on me. I’m certainly not ready to stop watching.

The “kino diaries” were an interesting element this week. I liked learning some more names and jobs, and seeing some different personalities. It was certainly interesting to hear what each character wanted preserved for posterity. Even those who said little were surprisingly revealing. Fear, fatalism, annoyance, irony, bitterness all came shining through in the various confessionals. I particularly liked the entries for T.J., Rush, and Brody, the engineer. Poor Brody. I wonder if he’ll somehow manage to keep surviving since he’s convinced he’s going to die in space.

So I last week I wished for more T.J. and Camille, and this week we did get a little more of those two. But we also got more Chloe. A LOT more Chloe. (Yes, that’s a shower scene reference.) Sigh. I must be getting old, but the travails of the frightened, young, nubile girl just don’t interest me. She’s cute and all, but I don’t find her terribly compelling as a character. I’m also a bit distressed to see Eli so into her. That way lies nothing but heartbreak, young man. You’re better off spending your time stalking Lt. James. At least she’ll just leave you with broken bones. (Clearly, Eli doesn't need any more time to grow on me, if I'm already concerned about him potentially ending up broken hearted.)

Once again, the communication stones sequences didn’t really work for me. At least not once Young left the base to go see his estranged wife. I liked seeing what Telford was up to in Young’s body back on the Destiny, but Young dealing with his personal issues was both boring and irritating. Quite frankly, it was incredibly selfish and unfair for him to show up in some stranger's body, then ask his wife to wait for him, when he’s got to realize his chances of getting back are slim to none. If you love her, Everett, let her go. In general, I'm liking Young. He is doing a decent enough job trying to run the ship, and I get a kick out of him standing up to Rush, but this was not his finest moment.

I wonder if the ship we saw departing last week somehow contributed to the Destiny’s current power woes.

I appreciated that most of those who spent time on the sand planet in the last episode were still looking sunburned. And it was a nice touch to have Camille note that they needed to figure out what to do with the Senator's body. How refreshing to have ongoing effects and impacts! (OK, so *some* of the shifts in story-telling style are working for me.)

Rush was a bit much to take this week. Although I was amused to learn his excessive irritability was caused by caffeine and nicotine withdrawal.

I also got a chuckle from Peter DeLuise’s cameo back at Earth headquarters (he was the one getting kicked off communication stones duty by Telford). He directed the episode and is a long time director for the Stargate series.

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


  1. I liked this one. My main complaint with Atlantis was that it got predictable; so far, Universe has an edge. I really liked that Rush completely melted down from the pressure and the lack of caffeine and nicotine. It isn't what usually happens to a lead character on a Stargate series.

    I also liked the vids. It was a smart, interesting way to tell us more about the characters. (I recognized Peter DeLuise, too. That was fun.)

    Eli is my favorite character. He makes every scene better just by being in it. It's like they decided to add one of their typical viewers, a sci-fi nerd, to the cast. It could have been insulting, but instead, they did it just right.

  2. I really enjoyed this episode much more than last weeks. Factions seem to be forming amongst the crew with Eli getting caught in the middle due to his newbie status. Secret meetings are never a good sign. Is there a mutiny on the horizon? I hope they won’t pull a Voyager and cop-out by having everyone hugging and kissing by the end of episode five.

    I also loved that Rush’s mental breakdown was a result of caffeine and nicotine withdrawal coupled with overwork and lack of sleep. It’s something so everyday and basically human. Billie’s right, characters on shows like Stargate and even Star Trek are never allowed to have such simple flaws.

    The characters are starting to grow on me more, not just the main players but the recurring cast as well. Although, even as a male viewer I found Chloe’s shower scene pointless and gratuitous. Is her entire role going to be nothing more than whinny eye-candy?

  3. I think my main "issue" with the show at this point is that I'm having trouble appreciating it on its own merits because it evokes so many shows that have come before and because it is part of a franchise that I loved for particular reasons. It's not really the Stargate that I loved, and it's not quite Battlestar.

    None of which is necessarily a bad thing. SGU actually improves on some of the things that annoyed me about SG:1 and Atlantis, namely the lack of ongoing consequences. Like both Mark and Billie said, it was a nice touch to have a main character lose it over something so benign and so human. I love that they addressed something as realistic as the fact that people would be going through withdrawal without their addictions.

    But for some reason, I can't yet view it without comparing. I'm reasonably sure this will change in time as it becomes more of its own animal.


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