Last night's Stargate Universe felt like a lovely farewell to the show's audience. What's more, "Epilogue" delivered the character development that we craved.
Last week, we spent the majority of our time establishing the complicated time line the Destiny had tumbled into. In an attempt to dial the ninth chevron (and get home), Destiny ended up traveling back in time, creating a twin Destiny with a twin crew. But instead of sending gating back to Earth, the twin crew wound up stranded on a planet 2,000 years in the past. Stuck forever on this all-but-uninhabited planet, the crew had no other choice but to Swiss Family Robinson themselves. And they started a new world.
Meanwhile, the present day Destiny just so happened to run into their twins' 2,000-year-old-descendants. Sadly the extremely modern world that spawned from Eli and company did not have a giant sign in the middle of the planet that said "You Are Here." But it made up for that with plenty of heart and fan service "what-if" scenarios. While exploring the remains of their modern descendants (the home world was abandoned, thanks to an unruly volcano) the crew uncovers all of twin Eli's KINOS, which are now historical documents (like Galaxy Quest, only real). The present day crew watches these tapes with shock, awe, and a little bit of horror.
So, what happened in the world that Destiny built? Well EVERYONE had babies. Everyone. There were so many babies that SGU created a baby birthing montage.
Understandable. What else are you going to do without TV? Chloe married Scott, and had babies. James and Ruggedly Handsome Lucian had Lucian/Earthling babies (who I imagine became some sort of ultimate warrior children), Young and TJ had babies, Greer (got a fantastic new hat) and had babies with Park, hell even Eli had babies with someone I don't even remember ever being on the ship! The point is this crew is extremely fertile, and loves dressing like pilgrims.
As much as it pained me to see so much time dedicated to the "women be havin' babies" history, you can't deny that the whole thing was very sweet. Especially when they fast forwarded to old man Greer cracking jokes about his 15 grandchildren: "I'm tired." It was quite "awwww" inducing. However, I wish we could have learned a little bit more about what people did with their time (besides have babies). What was revealed was pretty slim: Eli became a teacher, Young continued on as the group leader, Camille wrote the constitution and Brody transformed into the "get off my lawn" old man. Seriously, he actually said that. Brody's complete personality 180 (and eventual defection from society) was fascinating, I wish we could have spent a bit more time finding out what happened there. Was he reeling from the death of his buddy Volker?
Yes, twin Volker died. His kidneys also failed and being stranded in the wilderness, there was no hope for our favorite crew member on SGU. Anyone else get a little sniffle when Park named her first born Dale? But this was significant not just because present day Voker was forced to witness his own death, but it also meant that the tapes could predict the future for some folks. After sifting through the KINOS, TJ finds out that she has ALS and will probably die in about 5 years time. Horrifying. Naturally, the big twist becomes that the descendants actually found a cure for her disease. But the planet crumbled before the cure could be loaded onto Destiny (convenient, convenient). Thankfully SGU didn't let the "beat the clock, beat the disease" climax take away from the severity of the issue. Everyone in the cast was changed by what they saw, especially TJ. We can only imagine what this will do to her in the final two episodes.
I really enjoyed this episode not only because it was clever, or just because it played out my long-held fantasy of seeing what would happen if the crew would just stay put somewhere for a little while — I enjoyed "Epilogue" because it felt like a goodbye. There are only two episodes left of Stargate Universe and while this series has struggled tremendously in the first season, the second season was finally serving up the raw drama we were so long promised (with some spectacular FX work). It was nice to watch some form of this crew reach a conclusion. Ravaging the present day crew's mind with mortality time stamps, putting Young and TJ together, giving Brody a possible complex, and pissing off Rush (because the crew was just fine without him) were just the cherry on top.