Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stargate Universe - "Malice"

Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) attends to a restrained Dr. Park (Jennifer Spence).
Photo Credit: Syfy
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Stargate Universe'
Season 2 - Episode 8

Anger is a powerful emotion. If produced due to tragic events, it can cause someone to almost become a different person. With the death of Ginn and Amanda at the hands of Lucian Alliance creep, Simeon, We get to see some very unpleasant sides to Eli and Dr. Rush.

Granted Eli and Ginn's relationship was only at the beginning, but that doesn't make the emotions that Eli felt for her any less powerful. David Blue does an excellent job of portraying Eli's anger and utter confusion as to how to channel it. He wants to go down to the planet to chase after Simeon, but even as he's arguing with Col. Young, it's evident that even he realizes that it's not a practical idea. While he works on the bridge with the science team, Eli snaps and chastises every little move or mistake the others make. He's dismissive of Chloe, whom he pined for before meeting Ginn, when she offers to put her new found alien brains to work with finding a way to control Destiny better.

Rush wants revenge. He doesn't care that Simeon may or may not have information about the supposed planned attack by the Lucian Alliance on Earth. Rush has blood on his hands due to deaths that have resulted from some the decisions he has made (most recently Riley), but he's no killer. Still, I have to admire the way he took out Simeon with the stampede of alien creatures. It was nicely set up, too. If I understand my Chekhov, if you introduce an alien cow in the first act, it has to come into play by the end of the play.

At the beginning of the episode we were treated to Young's attempts at getting along with Rush. Last week, the pair realized that they need each other if they are to keep everyone alive and complete Destiny's mission. Here, Young seems down right nice to Rush and apologizes for calling to a meeting with the science team when they really didn't need him. I don't expect or want hand-holding or singing, but this is a nice change of pace.

I sound like a broken record, but I'm loving the attention that Brody, Park, and Volker have been getting this season. Volker and especially Park had some very scary moments with Simeon. I was half expecting Simeon to shoot Volker before he left with Park. Luck for Park, the writers felt it necessary to reintroduce Rush's wire-repaired glasses, or she would have gone up with the explosive that Simeon attached to her back.

Varro pops up again, but continues to fell like a completely underused, if not useless character. Maybe he'll come into play now that the two other noteworthy Lucian Alliance characters are dead. However, I'm not too thrilled about this off screen presumed attack on Earth subplot. I wasn't too thrilled about the introduction of the LA to this show, but three-parter that bridged the first and second seasons was exciting and well-executed. However, their addition to the Destiny crew and cast seems to bit too brief and at times ineffective. Varro hasn't done anything. Simeon the troublemaker made his play fairly quickly and is now dead. Ginn, who the most potential of the three as a recurring character, was unceremoniously murdered. I think that there was a lot more that the writers could have done with these characters. And it just continues the pattern of interest I have in this show. The bench is more engrossing than the starting players.

'Stargate Universe' has been on a roll for about three weeks after a few pretty dull episodes. With "Malice" it feels as if we've come to the conclusion of an arc. However, we have only two more episodes until the mid-season hiatus (I still don't understand this practice Syfy), and it looks like Rush's recent revelations about Destiny's true mission and TJ's experience during the season opener might become intertwined.

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