Episode: Season 2, episode 1 – “Intervention″
Air Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 9/8c on SyFy
Stargate Universe fervor heated up on twitter before the second season premiered. Hours before the episode aired, people sent out tweet versions of cliché movie lines replacing key words with #SGU. Though it didn’t trend, the tweets demonstrated a large fan base celebrating the show’s return.
The end of season 1 left the Destiny crew in deadly peril after an invasion by the Lucian Alliance. Several people lay wounded including TJ, Telford & Chloe. Young, on his knees with hands over his head, awaited an execution.
Scott and Green were stranded outside the ship running toward an entrance before another solar radiation blast while Eli ran to save them. In a fast-paced episode, Intervention wrapped up conflicts from last season while introducing a whole new set of tensions because honestly trying to survive in space eons from home isn’t enough to keep people busy, right?
Intervention was more of a quick wrap-up of a three-episode arc than a grand season premiere. This episode didn’t set to many new directions for the second season. It followed a somewhat familiar pattern of quick-fix resolutions for intriguing long-term problems, deflecting a couple of chances for deeper examinations of moral conflicts and long-term survival.
And Intervention also introduced a new character out of the blue. Robert Knepper’s guest turn as a Lucian Alliance member who seems to have materialized out of nowhere leaving one wondering, “where the heck did he come from?”
The sudden change in allegiance by Varro (Mike Dopud) seems to be more of a plot device than a character choice. Yes, he might be attracted to TJ (Alaina Huffman) but he suddenly kicks into high gear after the Lucian leader dies.
SGU still needs more emphasis on story and character development rather than manipulative plot choices to heighten tension or action. Problems resolve too swiftly. Example: Scott (Brian J. Smith) and Green (Jamil Walker Smith) save themselves from the radiation burst by hiding underneath the Destiny’s hull? Um, is there an underside in space? And would that really save you from the blast? And if so, wouldn’t Rush (Robert Carlyle) have thought of that first?
That reminded me the sudden anti-climactic return of Eli, Chloe and Scott who had been left stranded on a planet for two episodes toward the end of the last season.
Hopefully, too, the reliance on the communication stones to bail out Destiny whenever possible will lessen. I laughed a bit when suddenly four doctors just happened to be available to help the wounded. If only healthcare for those of us left in the U.S. was that easily available.
Though others may disagree, the most intriguing part of Intervention lies in TJ’s unconscious or out of body experience with the attractive widower Dr. Caine (Tygh Runyan) and company. These are the Destiny civilians who opted to stay on the alien-created planet in Faith. Their decision to stay seems to have paid off because the aliens are now helping out by giving them whatever they need when they think of it. The question remains unclear if TJ experienced a dream or was actually transported to this planet where her unborn baby might now happily dwell.
This concept that higher power aliens might be watching over Destiny is an exciting one. It’s one I hope will be explored more fully than left dangling or unresolved in future episodes.
Alaina Huffman’s Tamara Johnson continues to be the most poignant character who continually sacrifices her own needs for the good of others. The spark of attraction from Varro is sure to wedge a fiery triangle between TJ and Col. Young (Louis Ferreira).
I think this potential triangle would have been heightened with a crying baby aboard Destiny. TJ’s baby might have presented a fascinating community situation to explore. At first glance, the resolution of TJ’s pregnancy is an easy out rather than addressing problems that childrearing would bring in day-to-day survival aboard the ship.
Yet Intervention does succeed in presenting a larger conflict with the Lucian Alliance perhaps residing permanently on Destiny. In coming weeks, the introduction of this new clash of people will only unite the SGU folks against a common enemy.
I’m also curious to find out what’s behind Chloe’s (Elyse Levesque) nearly miraculous healing. As the preview clips show her “skin is changing” and this might reflect more on her time as a hostage by the insect-like Aliens. Rush had previously been implanted with a tracking device. Perhaps Chloe too has undergone some kind of operation.
While not a flawless episode in the vein of Time, Human or Faith, Intervention raised a good many questions, and I look forward to learning more about my favorite lost in space characters on this action-packed journey.