So here we have week 4 of Stargate Universe and week 3 of Sanctuary.
As I mentioned last week, on SGU they’re heading for a close encounter with a star. It’s obvious to everyone but the characters that the ship is doing this on purpose to recharge its energy supply. So really this episode holds no drama other than wondering if any secondary characters will be killed when they try to mutiny in order to be one of the “survivors” to end up on the lifeboat/shuttle. What it does have are some pretty good effects when they do get to the star. It’s really pretty cool. They also get to use a slingshot maneuver to get the shuttle back, which is very cool as well, but I think they should have done a little more with it, visually.
As to the characters, this episode was necessary so they could all deal with the fact that fighting and distrusting each other are wastes of time. Rush and Young specifically seemed to have some great and realistic relationship building… right up until that last scene, which felt forced, like the writers wanted a ‘relationship-reset’ button. I’ll grant that Rush may have suspected that the ship was recharging, but he didn’t know. Admitting that, and having the ensuing argument, would have made for a much better scene, and much more complex characterization, which would have made the whole show more interesting.
Also, I finally liked Greer when he decked that mutineer. That was just perfect. Still not crazy about the character in general, though.
Overall, however, for a show that is apparently trying to be somewhat gritty, this episode was pretty tame. Somebody needed to die to show the conviction they felt that they were all going to die. Suicide, accident while trying to get off the ship, whatever… it wasn’t desperate enough for me. That would have added to the conflict with whether or not Rush knew what was going on and allowed the panic to happen anyway, as well.
I do agree though, with a friend of mine who said that the slower pacing of these episodes added some punch to the goodbye scenes. Those were played very well.
It seems we’re done with the immediate survival episodes now, and can start settling into the “standard” episodes. I think we’ll slowly begin to pick up the pace from here.
Sanctuary, on the other hand has had a couple of action packed episodes and now lands into the end of its premiere trilogy story-arc. Eulogy is an appropriate title given the death of a primary character last week. The episode itself is much slower than its predecessors, and does it’s job well enough, but it’s not as good as it should have been. It really needed to be a great character episode, but the writing just wasn’t up to snuff. The B-story with the escaped abnormal dog-thing was pretty lame. The memory flashes from Magnus were at best tangentially related – I kept waiting for something to tie them in to the proper storyline, but it never quite got there. It was just another reminder that sometimes you have to say goodbye, but poorly executed – if they had only shown the final segment of that it would have had the exact same impact.
They weren’t pointed enough on John and Tesla’s quest until the end, in my opinion. It would have been nice to have that as a larger focus to counter-point Magnus’ grieving. I did like the scene where the Cabal woman was leaving her table at the end. You really wanted to see her get what was coming to her, but I like that they left it to the imagination. With a teleporting Jack the Ripper on your tail, you gotta know it doesn’t end well.
I can’t say I’m thrilled with the new character, either. Hopefully she grows on me, but for now she just feels like a cliche, and a poorly acted one.
On to next week!