SGU: The Misery Must Go On

by Irma Arkus

The latest episodes of SGU left me dangling on the sidelines.

For one, our demands to see our heroes outdoors were answered with a smart, time-travelling short, where a potential loop enabled survival of the Destiny.

The outdoors was dangerous. Not only was the crew quickly succumbing to a dangerous and deadly bacteriae, but the planet itself was crawling with…creepy crawlies.

This week though, marks the spot of the painful character development. Once again, the crew is mostly swimming in the sea of desperation, as psych evaluations uncover the surfacing of suicidal behaviours.

While the usual suspects are doing yoga and jogging circles across the bow of Destiny, Young is experiencing further clashes with Colonel David Telford. Who knew that Phillips Lou Diamond would make for such an excellent baddie?

One thing is for sure, Diamond is growing into a villanous presence, perverting what Young cares for the most, his already-shaky marriage.

But the claustrophobia felt by the Destiny’s crew is something that the viewers are already familiar with, and unlike on BSG, the crew is not relating to each other, or having any semblance of private lives, if not for any other reason, then for the fact that they are not busy enough, or even better yet, for the overuse of the convenient communication stones that allow them brief visits to Earth.

They are painfully attempting to maintain their relationships at home, rather than ensuring the development of new ones. And these are literally holding them back from progress on the ship.

Scott’s teen affair, for example, is exposed as a teen pregnancy that instead of an abortion, resulted in a fruitful birth of a boy. Too bad that the mother is hopeless, abandoned, looking for salvation in a new job of an exotic dancer.

Eli’s mother, on the other hand, is shown to be ill from not just anything, but AIDS, contracted via (EDIT: an accidental stab from an needle). Where is the sarcophagus when you need one I ask?

There are some signs that this small group of characters that SGU writers have been focused on is about to expand. For one, I noticed the appearance of Zach Santiago, a Vancouver veteran actor, and a relation of an acquaintance. I expect to see a lot more of Santiago, and development of characters that thus far sat at the sidelines.

The stones are problematic. Thus far, they’ve served only in as much as to introduce further clashes between Young and Telford. Furthermore, Scott noticed a strange shared memory feed from Telford, due to the use of the stones. Either they are about to become a major problem, or their use will be minimized.

I do hope to see some sunshine, some action, some substantial movement of the crew. Something? Anything?

The one character that does stand out is Robert Carlyle’s Dr. Nicholas Rush, whose cantankerous, manipulative, yet logical nature excels at being masterful, dangerous and interesting at the very same time.

Until next week, that is.