Last night Rodney McKay stepped through the Stargate once again. It was glorious. Now this is how you make a gritty Stargate series that connects with the original franchise. I only wish it had happened sooner.
It's well known that I'm a die hard Rodney McKay fan. He's an intellectual snob with a lot of heart and a wicked talent for rapid-fire banter. I rejoiced when I heard that the actor David Hewlett making a cameo on SGU. But, would this humorous character stick out in the dark hallways like a pale alien speaking the Queen's English? Nope. Once again, Rodney McKay saved the day.
Not only did McKay find a home in the dangerous world of SGU, but he helped connect the new series back to the Stargate franchise many feared had been lost between the soiled space sheets on the Destiny. It was immensely satisfying to watch McKay spar with Eli, get frustrated with the non-scientist folk, and remind us all of the vast (and sometimes fairly stirring itself, "Brain Storm") world that Stargate Universe came from. It's just a shame they didn't try this sort of thing in the first season. This performance could have easily silenced a lot of the SGU haters. It may have even helped soften the blow that came by completely rebooting a family friendly series into an all adult show. Remember it went from innocent kissing and only suggested sexual liaisons to full-on closet banging.
There were two competing plot lines in this story. One great, and one flawed. Let's talk about the best one first (the one with McKay, natch).
Plot One: The Stone Switcheroo
Hewlett wasn't the only big surprise in this episode. "Seizure" also had the unsinkable Robert Picardo (reprising his role as Richard Woolsey) and guest star Victor Garber, who was the Langarian Ambassador Ovirda. Yes, SGU is introducing even more humanoid space races into its already overly complicated interstellar politics. [I know Langarians are old I just don't think they need to be introduced in this series] But that said, the talent in DC was massive. Woolsey is pushing Ovirda to try and dial the 9th Chevron on the Langarian (oy) planet. Ovirda is not responsive to the idea of possibly BLOWING UP HIS PLANET just so the humans can save an ancient ship full of Earthling rejects and Rush.
This makes sense. Good call, Ovirda. But, that's not going to stop Woolsey and Telford (not that anything ever does stop Telford) from concocting up a secret spy escapade that includes basically breaking every rule that Woolsey used to defend years ago. He's a changed man, that Woolsey — I guess his stay on SGA really did impact him. Sidenote: Did you notice the light music when McKay crashed through the door? It made my heart flutter just a tad. Ah. Good times.
So Woolsey, Young, Telford, McKay and Scott sneak into the Langarian base where everyone is dressed in leathers and suits and stone two Langarians. This allows them to dial Earth and bring McKay and friends on board. This is when we get to see some seriously quality McKay action. Frustrated and rushed, McKay snipes at Young (resulting in a fantastic "Sheppard was right about you" quip). Meanwhile Telford starts sneaking around the crew, recruiting McKay to come aboard the Destiny once HE takes over (someone is counting their Wraith eggs before they've hatched) and stirring up trouble.
Alas, the plan goes to hell when Ovirda shows up and demands they immediately stop dialing the chevrons. Telford rages, but Young makes the right call, thanks to this line from McKay, "I may just be the brilliant scientist relegated to shouting out the obvious in terms of chevrons here, but while I'm stating the obvious, this mission is already a failure. And it's only going to get worse." He's right — the plan is an absolute disaster. If these people were running actually the planet, we'd be horribly screwed. They basically threatened the life of an entire planet without permission from the Langarians. Horrible politics, guys. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.
The whole thing was called off and Young and Scott stoned home. But you never know, the two aliens that swapped places with the Destiny crew members may have changed their minds about the ship's predicament now that they've been on board.
Plot 2: Computer-Program Earth Girls Are Easy
Back on the Destiny, Rush and computer ghost Amanda Perry are flirting over chess and being generally adorable. Even though we've spent very little time with these two, you go get a sense of their relationship. Not so much with Eli and Ginn. It seems like Eli has spent the bulk of his relationship off-camera with Ginn. Anyways, Rush wants to have sex with Perry, so Perry figures out a way to beam his consciousness from the magical chair into her Destiny world, so they can have sex. They have sex. Rush can't leave. Perry freaks out because she miscalculated, and now Rush's body might be stuck in the magical chair in a coma forever and die. Honestly this whole side plot was just gobbledygook. It turned Perry into some sort of psychotic computer program that felt completely outside of her character. It also relied heavily on Eli telling the audience what Ginn told him off camera. There was a lot of explaining, and then Perry and Ginn had to be "erased."
Perry tells Rush (still trapped in the alternate Destiny universe) that he didn't pass the computer love test (yipes) which is why all of this is happening. She then informs Rush that Eli is deleting her memory (which is the only way to save Rush's body) and vanishes. Rush is distraught. I'm not. Ginn and Perry aren't going anywhere. They didn't kill them off last time, so why now? Fool me once SGU. Turns out, Eli didn't delete their consciousnesses, he moved them to quarantine. Something that he can apparently do that was never explained until now. However, what I did like about this whole side plot was the look on Eli's face when Rush finally comes out of his coma. David Blue is a great actor, you felt for Eli basically having to dump his girlfriend in nowheresville. But the whole predicament was ridiculous and completely unnecessary. We get Ginn and Perry back, and BOOM — SGU hits the reset button and takes them away. Will we ever get a chance to connect with these women before SGU tries to kill them off yet again? Probably not, because there aren't a lot of episodes left.
I may not have loved plot #2, but it didn't take away from the joy of having McKay on screen yet again, or the wacky and highly dangerous stone shenanigans that happened with the Langoliers. Half of this episode was great, the other half, not so great but wonderfully acted. And that's good enough for me at this point. Here's to more McKay on Stargate, and to Greer not dying from his infected kidney transplant. And finally a big thank you for including an Eli and McKay battle of wits. It may have been small, but fingers crossed it's just the first of many.
EDIT: sorry about the Woolsey/Woosley nonsense!