Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stargate Universe - "Hope"

Chloe (Elyse Levesque) undergoes a bit of a personality problem (again), while Eli (David Blue) and Matthew (Brian J. Smith) helplessly watch.
Photo Credit: Syfy
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Stargate Universe'
Season 2 - Episode 14

I've found most of the 'Stargate Universe' episodes that have aired after the mid-season hiatus a bit underwhelming. This is opposite of how I viewed first season, when I thought series really started to click during that season's back half. That being said, "Hope" is probably my favorite episode since the second season winter break.

I have made it no secret that I detest the communication stones. However, this was a story that actually where the stones facilitated a pretty compelling conundrum. It was crazy enough with Ginn inhabiting Chloe's body, but the presence of Amanda threw in an additionally spanner into the works. Kudos to Syfy for once not spoiling that reveal in the preview (which they completely gave away Ginn and Amanda's death a week before it actually happened). I did not see that one coming and was delighted by the surprise.

The situation do a decent job of showing how far Chloe had matured since the series premiere. While Matthew was freaking out over the possibility of time-sharing his girlfriend, she stayed adamant about doing whatever it took to preserve Ginn's and Amanda's minds. In fact, I think the resolution came too quick and the writers could have pumped the idea for at least one more episode.

The consequences of uploading Ginn's conscience and Amanda's into Destiny are fairly compelling. At the end of the hour, Ginn tries to put on a brave face, but it's pretty clear that life as a ghost will not be fulfilling for her. She desperately wants to be able to touch Eli. However, Amanda is experiencing the situation in an almost opposite fashion. She had been restricted to a chair due to her inability to use her arms or legs. She may not be able to touch anything or anyone, specifically Rush, but now Amanda has more freedom of movement than ever before.

The b-story involved Volker needing a kidney transplant. This seemed like a rather sudden development that could have benefited from some hinting over the last couple of episodes. Still, anything that puts Volker, Brody, and Park in front of the camera with dialogue is a win for me. These three continue to be my favorite characters on the show.

Even with complete access to Destiny's medical technology, the idea of a successful kidney transplant seem fairly dubious. Also, don't doctors go in from the back? Seems like that would be a lot easier. Also, I thought Amanda was a physicist not a medical doctor, which freaked me out when she talked T.J. through the rest of the surgery. However, now that she has been uploaded to Destiny, she has access to all that crazy Ancients knowledge. Confusion subsided.

Greer being quick to volunteer a kidney seems plenty in character, but I don't understand the need to for him to go about the bone marrow extraction without any anesthesia. Yes, Ronald, we know that you are a badass, so you really don't have anything to prove. Unfortunately, it looks like he'll have deal with a nasty infection as a result of his donation.

"Hope" was a pretty engrossing hour of 'Stargate Universe' overall. If it were not for the fact that the show was getting cancelled at the end of the current season, I would be excited about the potential of all the ghosts in the machine that is Destiny. Still, I look forward to seeing how any of this will play out.

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