SGU wrapped up the first half of its second season last night, and while the plot wasn't as dramatic as the previous episodes, we're delighted with the growth we've seen this season. Except for the aliens, who remain space dicks.
SGU hit their mid-season finale last night and look how far we've come. No more flashbacks. Character-building is now being executed on the ship (or at least in crazy alien-parasite induced fever dreams). We've watched secondary characters die in the hands of the primary characters, on-Earth relationships deteriorate and damage the Destiny crew, met new aliens, found the real bridge and uncovered the sole purpose of Destiny (kind of). If you disregard last week's "excuse to get a shuttle" episode, SGU is finishing with a solid collection of episodes halfway through season two. The pace is getting better, the jokes funnier (thanks to Brody and Volker), and the show is no longer afraid to take serious risks (TJ's baby). All in all SGU is really starting to find its place on Syfy. That doesn't mean it doesn't have a lot more growing to do, but I do want to take a minute to point out how much the series has grown... Okay, now onto the episode.
Anyone else get the feeling that "Resurgence" was supposed to air before last weeks Dr. Caine-centric episode? Right away you see the crew reacting to what happened a few weeks back, and Rush's concerns with the crews inability to control the Bridge. And meanwhile, TJ has raised her guard a little with Ruggedly Handsome Lucian (naturally), and Eli is dealing the the loss of Ginn. These are all things I would have liked to have seen last week, sadly that's neither here nor there now, so I guess I'm glad we're getting around to emotional character continuity one way or another. That complaint being stated, I really enjoyed where we picked up with each of these folks, especially with Eli, but more on him later.
SGU opens and we find Rush doing the old "Nick Burns, IT guy" routine with the misfit crew of the Destiny. Except for this time, we're on his team. Rush's worst fears are coming true — he watches in horror as unqualified scientists mash their greasy fingers on the knobs and dials of the shiny new Bridge; shutting off the power, setting off alarms, and getting strawberry jam everywhere! As horrifying as it was for Rush, it was quality entertainment for me. This was probably due to the fact that Volker and Brody were in the mix:
Honestly if this episode didn't convince the show writers to give Brody and Volker more screen time, then nothing will. These two continually pick up the pace every time they step into the dark hallway frame of the Destiny, comedic or serious. In fact, if something happens to this series in the future, we beg you Syfy — put Brody and Volker on a very special cross over episode of Warehouse 13, we'd love to see what these two would come up with over there.
Anyway, Destiny picks up an energy signal, as she often does. And the crew decides that it's time to for more space exploration, as they often do. And off they go into a giant trap, as these things so often turn out to be. But for now, the location is a majestic spaceship graveyard, and we can't really fault the crew for wanting to explore the remains after this point, because to be honest I'm a whore for a spaceship graveyard (and elephant graveyards for that matter, but that's a whole other genre).
Matt, Brody(!) and Greer pile into the "alien factory new" shuttle (eye-roll at the last episode) and space jump onto an abandoned ship. While watching Greer and Brody jump into space was gorgeous (well done FX team, you continue to amaze) we know the real reason they were sent on this mission. To get Destiny in another jam. All of a sudden alien droids attack and Young refuses to abandon the three men, thus causing terrible damage to Destiny and making it impossible for the ship to get away.
Then out of the sky calls Telford! We knew he'd be back. Telford and the brown aliens from many SGU moons ago sweep in and save Destiny's metal hide. Telford explains that he's been living with them, learning and getting nourished inside their alien pods. Okay, sure. We're just happy to have you back, Telford. He then goes on to explain that these new aliens, need their help and offer a trade. They'll FTL the Destiny out of the way and give her power if they'll fight the evil drone ships that have been wreaking havoc on this particular crop of space. Done deal, says Young. "It's A Trap!" says Chloe.
Speaking of Chloe, she's going full blown alien even faster now and spends most of her time blankly staring out the window, Paranormal Activity bed-creeper-style. Matt still hasn't given up on her, causing Chole to use the stick instead of the carrot on her boy scout boyfriend. It was sad but necessary because as it's later revealed, if you say no to full blown alien Chole, you're getting a karate chop to the neck.
Meanwhile, Eli is wrestling with the loss of his crew members and Ginn (mostly Ginn), something we're finally happy to see addressed on screen. His lethargic, testy and unfocused actions are spot on. Eli oozes depression in such a realistic way, I often found myself getting frustrated with his character (another natural response to someone acting in such a manner). Wonderful. I'm not sure who's decision these acting choices were, but it brought Eli back home, for me, after watching him spin out of control after Ginn's death. His anger was almost eclipsed by Rush's kind of crap Father moment where he roughly handed off some interesting advice to Eli. This is about as fatherly of a gesture Eli will ever probably get from Rush. He's in a dark place right now, and the crew is kind of depending on his smarts, it should be interesting to see what happens from here. Not sure if what Rush said was enough to snap him out of it, or if he's even ready to be "over it." Still it's great to see the impact of Ginn's death leave an imprint on this character.
But there's no time for introspection the deal with Telford's alien friends is done, and it's time to jump. Destiny attaches to the Seed ship and heads out. Unfortunately for them the Seed ship decides that it's time to fight their droid foe now, rather than later. They break FTL and Destiny is stuck in the middle of the battle no one had fully planned for yet. The ship is under fire, Chloe turns into River Tam and sends some sort of secret alien message to someone or something (on or off the Destiny we don't know)... and roll credits. Needless to say, the episode ends on a cliff hanger. Was it as suspenseful as the season finale? No, but I was still entertained. All in all the action kept coming from all sides in "Resurgence," and it all seemed to balance itself out pretty well. Heck, even TJ lowered her guard back down with Ruggedly Handsome Lucian and is letting him prove himself to her — important baby steps. Granted, I didn't quite understand the playful smile flirting amidst an infirmary full of wounded patients, but hey love strikes in odd places right? It is nice to see her smile again anyways.
The only thing I want to know more about is Telford and his time with the aliens. Because if it was anything like this outtake from "Awakenings," I smell a sitcom spin off!
As I stated before, we've come a very long way with the Destiny and I'm happy with this season's mid-break. SGU is a scrappy series and for the first time we really feel like we're starting to get more out of the characters and plot dilemmas than before. We look forward to the rest of the series when SGU comes back next spring.