For this review I am going to focus on the premiere episode of season two, and assume you have some familiarity with season one of Stargate Universe. So with this in mind and your spoiler glasses on here we go.
Incursion (Part 3) is the third part of the cliffhanger season one finale of SGU. Members of the Lucian Alliance have boarded the Destiny and taken members of the crew hostage. TJ (Alaina Huffman) has been shot and the life of her and her unborn child hang in the balance. The Lucian leader, Kiva, has also been shot in the struggle, leading to tension amongst the guerrillas. With their leader incapacitated, Kiva’s subordinates begin to squabble over the leadership of the group, with one sect wanting to treat the Destiny‘s crew humanely and the other opting to just kill them all.
Colonel Young and the majority of the crew have been captured and detained, while a small group of scientests and civilians — Eli (David Blue), Camile (Ming Na) and Doctor Rush (Robert Carlyle) — are tucked away in a protected part of the ship with access to all the major systems. We soon discover that the person responsible for bringing the Lucians aboard the Destiny was the jealous Colonel Telford (Lou Diamond Philips); who after realizing the Lucians new leader is more violent than diplomatic, ends up with a bullet wound and a lot of regret.
The episode takes place on three very different settings: a cabin in a very soft light, apparently on the Obelisk planet from season one; On board the Destiny in various locations, and on the hostile gated planet where the Lucian crew decides to maroon those that oppose them.
To me, the major plot thread involving TJ losing her baby to a higher power had little impact and felt more like a device to break up the darker tone of the show. Going from fast paced action on the Destiny to two people talking in a log cabin really slowed down the episode. Telford was always a douchebag, but now it turns out he’s also a turncoat. He regrets that his actions got so many people killed and wounded. As for Rush and Young, they still can’t see eye to eye, but they manage to put their differences aside… for now.
The absolute best part of this episode were the interactions between Eli and Chloe (Elyse Levesque). One is clearly a nerd in space, with a built in audience. While Chloe remains an intelligent and interesting female character, one that new viewers can relate to. The two share a very deep platonic relationship, and while Eli still has little hints of looks that long for more, overall he seems to have moved on. Chloe, who was abducted by aliens of the blueberry variety, has discovered that her kidnapping seems to have produced some unexpected benefits. After being shot in the leg by the Lucians, her wounds seem to heal more quickly than is humanly possible.
The episode wraps up much like any other sci-fi season openers would: The Lucians kill their own sadistic leader and end up being taken prisoner by the crew of Destiny — conveniently adding new cast members and characters to interact with. Telford is sorry for his betrayal and hopes to right his wrongs, all while still vying for Colonel Young’s role. Rush isn’t playing his entire hand at all, you know he’s got more up his sleeve. The episode ends with TJ looking forlornly at a familar anomaly from her “astral projection”. She is reminded of her baby, now gone, while the rest of the crew merely sees the nebula as an incredibly beautiful phenomenon.
Bottom line. Will you be entertained? Yes, for the most part, the episode starts with about a five minute recap of the previous season. Having watched the majority of the last season , I can say that this recap does an excellent job of getting the viewer up to speed. So much so that I actually wished I had just started the show with this episode. I am very much a fan of the original Stargate series and respect what SGU is trying to do for the network and the franchise. However, the first season became a little tiring at times, mainly due to the constant Rush versus Young battle of who really runs the ship? A ship full of very intelligent people and they still can’t seem to figure out… Hey, it doesn’t really matter who is in charge, we all need to survive and figure out how to keep doing so! Many episodes of the first season boiled down to “Hey, they have guns and we don’t.” “Well then let’s figure out how to get their guns and then they won’t have guns!” “Great idea!”
You can catch the show on Space at 10:00 PM every Friday.
And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our interview with Stargate Universe cast member David Blue.