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Stargate Universe: Time

I enjoyed ‘Time,’ even though the ending felt like a bit of a cop out. I guess we are just supposed to assume that Scott’s last recording does the trick and the next time through the loop the Destiny crew gets it right. Or they screw it up again and send another kino back, and so on, until they do get it right, and next week we’ll be back to the full parasite-free crew.

What I really liked about the episode (aside from getting to see Chloe die --- twice!!), was that once again they gave the typical Stargate formula (go through the gate, get into trouble, get out of trouble, go back through the gate) a twist by using the predicament to provide more character insight. We got to know Eli and T.J. better, and I thought we had some nice, small moments with Greer and Rush.

Eli brought the funny, as usual, but he also got some great serious scenes this week. I particularly liked his moments talking about his mom and facing his own mortality. I was surprised to learn Eli’s mother has HIV, which she got from a needle stick while treating a junkie. I figured she had cancer or lupus or something along those lines. HIV strikes me as a much bolder and more interesting choice.

I enjoyed seeing T.J. in action again this week. Even when she doesn’t know what to do, she remains calm and tries to maintain a semblance of control in a bad situation (at least in front of others). I loved the way she calmly and reassuringly escorted Ms. Park to a bed, just after telling Scott she didn’t have enough antibiotics and that the situation was spinning out of control. Plus, she showed some good thinking by checking the water as a potential source for the illness. Some may complain about her getting all weepy at the end, but, come on. Strong people don’t have to be emotionless. T.J.’s obviously a very compassionate person, and she had just lost multiple patients and watched Eli pour his heart out to a girl she probably knew was already gone. Who wouldn’t break down a little under those circumstances?

I also liked Rush’s little moments with Eli. My favorite was what Rush said to Eli about realizing one’s mortality. “The question is, did it change you? Did it inspire you to make something of this short existence that we have?” I couldn’t help reading between the lines a little, and once again wondering if he’s so driven on this whole Destiny project because he lost the woman he loved.

My biggest disappointment with the episode is that they seemingly hit the reset button when all was said and done. I knew the timeline had to change when everyone initially died on the planet, but when Chloe died the second time, I wasn’t so sure. I actually thought for about five minutes that she and Lt. James were well and truly dead. I was astounded that the creators would make such a bold move only eight episodes in, and, quite frankly, was thrilled by the possibility that they might actually be raising the stakes with this series. And I was delighted that Chloe was their first target. (But I only cheered on the inside, because it was a pretty devastating moment for Eli and T.J.) Alas, ‘twas not to be this week. At least James gets to keep living, too.

Other Thoughts

I did cheer out loud the first time Chloe died, because it obviously wasn’t permanent. My husband and I actually backed up the DVR so we could watch it a second time.

I was disappointed that they didn’t address any of the fallout from last week’s body swapping adventures. But, they had their hands full with a pretty dire situation, so I’ll let that one slide for now.

Eli: “Well, this couldn’t get much worse.”
Rush: “I’m afraid that’s a failure of imagination.”

When the episode first started, I was a little concerned the whole thing was going to be in kino vision. Thank goodness just parts of it were. It is an interesting device at times, but a whole episode with the Eli/kino P.O.V. would be pretty irritating.

Eli (on kino recording): “Do I need to point out yet again that documenting this could be important?!”
Eli (to crew watching on Destiny): “See? See?!”

I’ve decided to ignore the likely time travel problems with the episode. I’m sure there are issues associated with paradoxes and whatnot, but the time travel theory train left me with nothing but questions and headaches back in the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles days, so I’m not going to think about it too hard for this episode.

I know some viewers are getting tired of Eli comparing every experience to a sci-fi movie, but when I saw Rush looking down the ginormous ant hill, I immediately thought of the Alien face huggers. So I had to laugh when Eli said as much two seconds later.

Rush: “… for a moment there, I thought we were in trouble.” In light of their earlier conversation about top five desert island movies, I thought it was cool that Rush sort of threw Eli a bone by using a movie quote before trying the erratic wormhole. Even if Eli didn’t understand the reference.

Young doing the Captain Kirk thing again at the end was seriously irritating. It makes no sense for him to go on that particular mission. Maybe they didn’t have enough other military personnel left to go, but they sure made it seem like he just went along because he didn’t want his men to go alone.

Final Analysis: ‘Time’ hewed closer to the standard Stargate formula, but used the situation to explore character and give us another taste of who these people are when facing imminent death. It had some issues and disappointments, but overall was still an engaging hour.

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


  1. This was a decent, twisty time travel tale given some extra weight by a series of great character moments. It was about time we got to know T.J., Greer, Rush and even Eli a little bit better.

    Didn’t mind the reset that much. But part of me wished they’d ended the episode with the team arriving on the planet and finding a huge pile of Kinos.

    Seeing Chloe die not once but twice was terrific plus she also spent the majority of the episodes in a coma so we didn’t have to put up with her whinging again.

  2. The moment people started dying for the second time, it seemed obvious how they would make it un-happen. (I guess I've seen too many time travel stories.) But I thought it would be Eli who would figure it out. I was pretty disappointed to see it was Scott, whom I don't like too much, who saved them. Also I think the episode ended too abruptly. Seeing the crew find the second kino (or a whole bunch of kinos, as Mark Greig suggested) would make a better ending. Still, an episode where we get to see Chloe die twice can't be bad >:-) Although that's not fair, I don't really wish to see her dead, I just wish to see less of her.

    The character moments were all pretty good. Rush seeking immortality is definitely an interesting motivation for him, and, at least for me, rather unexpected one. But who surprised me the most was Greer. Him taking it so hard that so many people died on "his watch", seeing it as his own personal failure, I wouldn't have expected that.

  3. I agree, guys. We started discussing the whole "pile of kinos" issue, and then I decided I didn't want to think about the time travel mechanics too much. :)

    Michael, I also agree that I don't really wish to see Chloe dead, I just don't want to see her quite so much. They've been pushing her on us so hard that couldn't help but delight in her multiple deaths. Even though I felt kind of bad about it afterwards.

    I really liked the little moment between Greer and Young when we learned that he was so affected by losing so many people on his watch. For a guy that started out as the stereotypical "angry black soldier," Greer is really growing on me.

  4. I liked most of this one. I liked the extremeness of the plot, and seeing the cast, Rush and Eli in particular, reacting to (1) almost certain death, and (2) seeing themselves facing certain death. But by the end, I was getting time travel anxiety. That's what I get when a time travel plot starts getting so convoluted that I'm having trouble following it.

    But I still really enjoyed the episode. I look forward to SGU every week. And to your review, Jess.

  5. Great review, as always!

    There's actually a Kino sequence which resolves the story. In it Lt.Scott and Eli talk about the two Kinos (with two recordings on them) they found when they went to the planet.
    Here you can watch it

  6. Wow, that last YouTube was patronizing!.

    Here in my country we say "now comes the easy explanation for the Americans that did't understand it" ;)

  7. Wow, I found that video pretty patronizing, too. And extremely awkward.

    But it does beg the question: does this mean that Riley survived the wounds he sustained in "Earth"? Because he looked fine and dandy explaining the dangers of combining solar flares and wormholes. That was Riley, right?

  8. Until I saw the beginning of that Youtube video, I thought, the next episode would start at the end of "Time".

    And: Am I the only one, who feels like, he can quote the beginning of the recap?)

  9. Maybe that's why the official site removed this Kino webisode because it is a bit offending to the audience. They also removed kino 17 where Brody and Park set up communications for Rush's subversion at the end of Earth.


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