Stargate Universe – Episode 1-17 Review

For an episode with lots of plot movement compared to almost all episodes of the series, “Subversion” didn’t make much sense and left me frustrated because the initial concept was executed poorly. Again, the stones were the driving force behind the narrative, first with the residual effect giving Rush insight into Telford’s duplicity and next with a weird switched interrogation. The Lucian Alliance interrogates and tortures Rush who is in Telford’s body while Young interrogates Telford who is in

Consciously, I know they are in different bodies, so I was mostly ambivalent about Rush being tortured. It’s Telford’s body after all and the stones could be deactivated at any time. Everything is up to the people on the Destiny and whether they want to bring Rush back now. And without a clearly defined rules about how the stones work, how do we know the extent that people can be hurt?

Young begins venting the atmosphere in Telford’s room at the end of the episode and it’s another one of those “cliffhangers” which will probably be resolved 10 minutes into the next episode. There’s hardly anything to be excited about. Without knowing the physics behind the stones, and the writers love making stuff up about the stones on the fly, we don’t know the implications of what could happen. If Telford suffocates, isn’t it Rush’s body and brain that will suffer?

I’m no doctor, but the whole thing about the stones doesn’t make sense. How can you think exactly the same way with someone else’s brain and chemicals? What if Rush was switched with someone who has brain damage? We simply don’t know enough about how the stones work to formulate an opinion on how we feel.

The story was more developed than usual, but in Stargate Universe fashion, barely went beyond the initial discovery, Rush going to the Lucian Alliance, getting capture, and Young confronting Telford. The interrogations themselves turned up almost nothing. Rush helps Kiva because she tortures him and Telford starts ranting and raving like a lunatic.

Beyond my numerous questions about the stones, what do the Lucian Alliance want with Destiny? I hope this is explained. Once they get on the ship, what can they do?

The strongest part of the episode was finally learning why Young has such a big problem with Telford. Telford had been undercover with the Lucian Alliance and allowed an outpost to be attacked, so his cover wouldn’t be blown. Young shows extreme loyalty to his people and displays an open and slightly irrational hatred towards Telford for letting soldiers die.

I was originally intrigued by Greer, but he’s such a one-dimensional characters there’s nothing to expect from him anymore other than him wanting to hurt someone. He’s jumps at the chance to torture or beat up Telford from the beginning of the episode and eventually gets few licks in. OK, anything else? Nope. Greer is the angry guy who hurts people and may be a little unstable mentally. Other than that, he displays few redeeming quality.

O’Neill was featured much more in this episode than before and some of the lines felt like they actually belonged to O’Neill. Unfortunately, and I really don’t want to say this, Richard Dean Anderson doesn’t seem to have quite as much charisma as he used to, but it was still funnier than everything else in the series so far (which isn’t saying much).

The two-part season finale starts in two weeks (the week off is for Memorial Day) and it’s hard for me to get excited. The writers’ ambitions far outweigh their actual abilities and the episodes end up sloppy. I’d like to call the show a work-in-progress which may work in the future, but the creative spike after the hiatus has disappeared and we’re back to those episodes which don’t make sense.

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