SGU: I’m Feeling the Darkness

by Irma Arkus

This week’s episode of Stargate Universe has provided a few laughs, a little bit of relief from the “we are on a million-year-old spaceship and weeeze are gonna die!” dread.

Lou Diamond Phillips, for one, is utilized in a wise and sparse manner. The kind that implies he will no longer represent the fly in the ointment. In fact, the episode marked Everett Young’s coming into leadership position supported by remainder of the ancient ship’s crew. In other words, Young just pissed all over the Earth command post and he didn’t do it alone. He had help.

The idea was to dial up the gate during that precious moment when the ship is powering up, fueled by a sun. At that moment, Earth scientists say, you would have enough energy to get these confused and lost in space back home, and send the “right” crew in.

In fact, Earth is so unhappy about who is leading the crazed monkey people in ancient starship that they relieve Young temporarily of duty. Using communication stones, Young goes back home, begging his wife for forgiveness and some solace. Romance ensues. Bodily contact follows. FTL drives going of and on, and interrupting communication stones at the most inopportune moments. Like during the love-making session between Young and his wife.

Then there are others.

Eli attempts to go home and check on his mom, instead opting to pretend to be a co-worker. Chloe decides to revisit her friends, looking for a bit of solace and escapism, instead finding out that reality is not as half as pretty as she remembers it. Eli and Chloe have more moments that deepen their relationship, positing the question of how exactly strong is her connection to Matthew, or for that matter, what is it based on?

More importantly though, there is a melancholic realisation that being stuck on that dingy (yet technologically hyper cool ship) is perhaps more real and more relevant than half the little things they used to think about and obsess about.

Even Dr. Rush decides to play his cards this time around, going along with Earth’s plan to surge the gate with potentially alarming amount of energy, all in an attempt to regain the command of the ship. In reality though, he is betting on Young.

Hail Young. He is the new father. Hail the leader. Leader amongst them is found.

I guess this is the only problem I am finding with the show. Considering the personality clashes, the power structure up for grabs, is there noone amongst the writers who is willing to present us with some other system of decision making?

It seems that even on a far, far away ship, a million year old ship, destined to provide us with potentially years of entertainment, the only envisioned system of power, decision-making, and control is a direct hierarchy.

What a cop-out!