A few good moments in this week's SGU cannot make up for the fact that the series is back to hitting the reset button.
I'm going to attempt to make this SGU review brief. While all of the cast members did a fantastic job with the choices handed to them by the writers, there were easily 1,000 wasted ideas in this episode, here are just a few that frustrated me the most.
- We found a very exciting robot in a box. What does it do? How does it work? Who owns it? Does it have a name and an adorable British accent? Can it make subway sandwiches? There were so many important questions that was wrapped up with one statement. It fixes stuff and solves our problems. See here it is fixing stuff. The end.
- The lieutenant's alien possession, so urm, I guess they can do that now? Maybe if any of this new revelation happened on screen it would be more convincing. UPDATE: I must have missed the 5 second explanation that it was yet another stone mishap. Mumble mutter, convenient, mumble mutter.
- Any attempt to flesh out Camille Wray's character while she was at home was swapped out for "being handicapped is difficult." I'm pretty sure we're all aware of that. It would have been great if Camille and her lady friend actually talked to one another. We don't need music montage scenes of Camille looking sad, what we do need is to understand her character better. Why does she have control issues? Why is she against Young and the military control? Why did she want to get involved in the Icarus project? Also why was she freaking out that her girlfriend was at the grocery store for over an hour. Does she not have a cellphone on which her helper can reach her on? Then, when she later starts scheming again, it will make more sense. This is Not, I repeat Not, to say I didn't enjoy the Amanda Perry scientist character.
- And probably the BIGGEST offense of plot killing was when Chloe, Eli and Scott fixed their whole, we're stranded in the middle of nowhere with no help situation. I'm glad we waited two episodes worrying how they'd get back to Destiny only to have them stroll in through the gate. Was I alone in screaming "No, no no no no no no" at the TV when the gate linked up again?
When I saw those three saunter through the gate, I almost quit this entire series then and there. Especially after all the praise I gave SGU for resisting their past urges to mash the reset button. I really, truly hope that they revisit what happened on the alien planet and that Scott, Eli and Chloe are all just smiling and pretending what happened in between this episode and the last didn't scar them for life. Maybe they killed an alien drifter just to watch it die, or that Chloe is really possessed by alien blue people and she mind infected them with other blue people while they slept by a fire, or even that Eli and her hooked up behind a rock, but she made him promise not to tell a soul? We can hope can't we? Please, let something have happened on this two-episode journey besides us finding out what Greer's old hair used to look like. Call it instincts, but if I was stranded on an alien planet, I know it would change me mentally in some way or another.
Anyways there were a few good bits here and there in this episode. Camille swapped bodies with a handicapped professor who used to/still is in love with Rush. Naturally, she fixes everything and then makes her move on Rush, and is gently refused. Note, this is QUITE different from the episode that leaked on the internet in which Amanda hit on Eli and actually slept with Rush. So yeah that was quite different and not as exceedingly offensive as many claimed the previous drafts were, but the changes didn't really stoke the intellectual fire either. It's too bad they didn't explore this further because the actresses that played Amanda Perry was excellent. When they put Rush and Perry together, it really really was a joy to watch.
What I did like was watching the Lieutenant freak out when she woke up in Amanda's body. That would take a lot of getting used to, plus it also starts to stack the chips against the Lieutenant and her sanity. Seems like she's getting ready to hit a wall. As for her whole "I'm in a room and I wasn't myself" issues, I'm struggling to understand where this new alien possession theory came from, thin air? But I will overlook it only because I'm very excited to watch this character lose what's left of her mind, it's only a matter of time.
- In other SGU happenings Franklin woke up and disappeared back in the chair room, the aliens showed up again for a second, Young wrote a letter to TJ, Eli seemed unhappy, and there was another dreadful music montage.
- Plus this guy made moonshine, for a show that struggles daily with BSG comparisons, this seemed like an awfully dangerous idea. And to all you people saying that this isn't the FIRST distillery made in scifi ever, I know, but the way it looks, the camera filter and the timing all immediately reminded me of BSG.
I know it seems like I'm being a little cruel, but I was absolutely crushed by the lost Destiny members popping back so quickly. I was spooked when Franklin sat up and started talking before disappearing into Destiny. Hopefully he'll become the Jarvis of Destiny. Perhaps Destiny and Franklin made cold and dirty spaceship love and now they are one, and maybe this will help answer a few questions we all have about Destiny in the future. Hey, I'm into it. I'm also much more involved in the poor Lieutenant and her character path. These were important things that needed to happen. Well, I'm not sure how important the Franklin is going to be it's a mystery! But even the tiniest of control over Destiny could free up a lot of time for the stranded crew.
That being said, I left this episode feeling exhausted. Even though there was exciting alien action, I was hesitant to invest in another story line that may or may not be solved by a simple reset. I still have high hopes for the series because the last few episodes have continually elevated the material and characters. Let's hope "Sabotage" is just a bump in the road along the path to something better. I'm not going to stop watching yet, we owe it to Young and Rush.
And finally, I absolutely called the haircut scene last week... just sayin'.