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Stargate Universe: Awakening

This episode kept me very off balance. I went into it with certain expectations regarding “the object” Destiny was steadily approaching, and what it turned out to be was a bit different than what I was anticipating. Add to that the dread of potential danger literally lurking around every corner, and a whole lot of suspicion regarding character motivations and actions, and you get a very uneasy episode that left me tense and on edge.

I was prepared for Destiny to discover a similar type of Destiny-class ship that would provide some insight into Destiny’s mission and the opportunity to restock their shuttle supply. Instead, we got a seeder ship full of “research scientist” aliens, laying in wait for the ship to power up again. I spent the whole episode expecting something horrible to happen to the away team. I physically tensed up every time people were approaching corners and doorways with guns drawn, only to breathe a sigh of relief when they kept running into each other. The alien fingers reaching out of the open pod only worsened my sense of dread. Especially after Brody went off on his own to check something. After losing Riley last week, I was convinced either Brody or Volker was about to die. Then, after the aliens zapped Rush and Dunning, I kept expecting Telford to get attacked from behind while working to reverse the power transfer. The director did a great job maintaining the tension by keeping the shot in tight focus on Telford’s face, so we had no sense of what might be going on behind him.

On top of all the dread, I found myself constantly questioning everyone’s agenda. Between Telford, Rush, and Varro, I had a whole host of cagey characters to keep me guessing about hidden motives and machinations. After the brainwashing, like Young, I wasn’t entirely convinced we could trust Telford. I kept expecting to learn he was still working some angle on behalf of the Lucian Alliance. With Rush, by now we know that he’s not to be trusted when his own secret agenda is threatened. So I kept waiting to see if he’d be so dastardly as to actively sabotage the efforts to return home through the gate, just so he could continue on with Destiny and her great purpose. (Of course, he was.)

As for Varro, I don’t quite know what to make of him. Is he as sincere as he’s trying to seem? Does he really want to play nice now, or he is just looking for another opportunity to take control? Did he tell T.J. the story about his dead wife to offer her some comfort or to play on her sympathies and win her to his side? I’m leaning a bit toward the former, but I have strong reservations. He let her think he made her a life priority after she was shot because he’s a good guy, when it seemed to me he did it because she’s a medic and they might need her. But who knows? Maybe I’m just being jaded. Perhaps she reminds him of his dead wife, or he’s drawn to her beauty and inner strength. Time will tell, I suppose.

Ultimately, all the tension and dread of the episode did build to something horrible, as Telford got left behind with a ship full of aliens. How completely unnerving was that final shot of him surrounded on the bridge? I’m thinking we haven’t seen the last of Telford, but in the meantime, his seemingly terrible fate is one more awful thing weighing on Young. He may not have been entirely sure he could trust Telford again, but the man used to be his friend. And subconsciously, he may have represented a safety net for Young. Someone who could take control, should he falter in his command. But now he’s on his own again, and he’s lost a friend, leading him straight back into the bottle. My husband chuckled a little at the end, when Brody handed Young the flask from the still, but it just made me sad. When is this poor guy going to hit rock bottom, and how bad is it going to be for everyone else when he does?

Other Thoughts

The encounter with the seeder ship cost Destiny a crew member and some of her power, but thus far hasn’t provided any new insight into her mission. However, she did get a massive download of information from the seeder ship that could pay some interesting dividends down the line.

Until Rush clarified the point, I thought maybe these were the same aliens that kidnapped him and Chloe. “Different aliens.” I guess all insect-like aliens look similar to me.

Interesting little scene with T.J. and T-Bag. (I know from other resources that Robert Knepper’s character is supposedly called Simeon, but I don’t think we’ve gotten a name within the context of an episode yet.) Nice to see her exert her tough-as-nails side, even as she continues to cope with her very emotional loss.

I think Wray has a point that they need to find a way to live with the remaining Alliance prisoners that doesn’t involve keeping them under constant lockdown, but she seems to be stepping over the “information sharing” line a good bit.

Young: “I’m gonna be damned if risk the health and welfare of people aboard this ship on marching orders from the other side of the Universe.”

More teasing about Chloe’s miraculous recovery. Hopefully, we’ll discover what that’s all about soon.

Rush’s completely indifferent reaction to the chamber full of Stargates was pretty funny. “Now we’re done with this little diversion, could you escort me to the control room?”

Nice to see them planning a service for Riley. It’s those smaller bits of continuity that I really appreciate with this show.

Final Analysis: Not as strong as last week’s, but ‘Awakening’ really kept me on edge and had some pretty dire consequences.

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


  1. I liked this one, too. I particularly liked the interaction between Young and Telford (put me in, coach) and was thinking Telford would be the perfect away team leader (because we fans of Star Trek know that the captain isn't supposed to risk his or her life all the time as leader of an away team). The ending creeped me out. Even though, like you, Jess, I bet we see Telford again. Maybe he'll acquire a new shuttle for Destiny. They certainly need one.

  2. Are we sure that Young is drinking alcohol? Where is he getting alcohol on Destiny? I mean they can't have any left from their original supplies and from what would they be distilling new booze from? I think that having Young be an alcoholic would make sense and be interesting, but on SGU it seems like an odd logic hole - unless I missed an episode where they made booze

  3. I really liked this episode, but there were parts when I had a hard time keeping track of who was on which ship--at the end, I thought for a minute that TJ had been left with Telford.

    Granted, I was exhausted when I watched it, but did anyone else have this problem?

  4. This episode would have been SO great if Young had been the one stranded on the seed ship and we never ever again heard from him..

    The series would go up 2 or 3 notches at least.

  5. E221b, Brody built a still last season and they've apparently had a steady supply of booze ever since. I guess he's using the root veggies they've been finding along the way. Of course, with food getting low, you'd think the booze-making stash would be getting low, too.

    Josie, I had the same problem and I was not tired when I watched. I thought the crew had just been split into two locations, because it appeared to me that Rush, T.J., Scott, etc. were trapped on the ship with Telford. I thought Rush ran off to a similar C&C on the seeder ship. But apparently everyone made it back to Destiny except him.


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