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‘Stargate: Universe’ Picks Up The Pace In Season 2

Michael Hinman provides a non-spoiler look into what’s to come

Say what you want about what’s worthy to be a part of the long and storied history of the Stargate franchise. “Stargate: Universe” already made a big step toward its own superiority in Season 1, and it will look to really define itself when Season 2 premieres Sept. 28 on Syfy.

When we last left the Destiny, there were a number of cliffhangers looking for rescue, ranging from the fate of Lt. Scott (Brian J. Smith) and Master Sgt. Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) outside the Destiny with some sort of pulsar about to wipe them out, to the remaining crew led by Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) holed up in their own part of the ship, and even if Chloe (Elyse Levesque) has any chance of survival despite the best efforts of Eli (David Blue).

If that weren’t enough going on, Col. Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) just suffered through a point-blank duel with Cmdr. Kiva (Rhona Mitra), and the life of Lt. Johansen (Alaina Huffman) and her unborn child hangs in the balance after being shot.

No, this isn’t “Dallas.” This is “Stargate: Universe,” and right when you think the action is really going to come to a head, instead we’ll find ourselves in a much more, calming place when SGU returns Sept. 28. It’s almost like we needed a break from the action — and I think we do. It’s a breather that will end up forcing us to ask more questions than are answered, but will start tying some of the lengthy threads that have been developed in SGU over 20 episodes together.

This is a make-or-break for SGU, and the producers know that. And while it might not have some of the fun and light-hearted nature of its predecessors (or even shows like “Eureka” or “Warehouse 13” for that matter), SGU is vying to become Syfy’s signature show, and makes a serious case with “Intervention” and “Aftermath,” the next two episodes of the series.

Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie come back for the Season 2 premiere to set the stage of what’s to come. At the same time, the two writers — along with director Andy Mikita are tasked with weaving in some elements that some might consider mystical, while leaving the door open for some scientific explanations.

The battle between the Lucian Alliance and the Destiny crew come to a head, but not before some interesting discoveries are made simply by opening a few doors. While it might be obvious who lives (and who dies), what isn’t obvious is the revelation of what the Destiny is (we won’t discover that in the season premiere or in “Aftermath,” but we certainly get a lot closer to the answer).

SGU is a cast meant to be ensemble, but one actor who is really standing head and shoulders above everyone else — at least as we start the second season — is Louis Ferreira as Col. Young, who not only is facing an enemy that seems to be tearing apart the ragtag crew he inherited, but also the kind of loss that would be difficult — if not impossible — for many of us to face. Young’s command and attempt to create stability is falling apart around him, and Ferreira shines in these moments, giving us a sense of desperation through Young that has not been felt yet in the Stargate franchise.

Also joining the series is Robert Knepper, who plays an interesting foot soldier with the Lucian Alliance, but we’ll have to wait and see exactly what his character grows into.

If you haven’t been watching “Stargate: Universe” up to this point, it might be difficult to jump in at this episode without a bit of a primer. But if you’re interested in at least giving it a chance, then check out this excellent primer written by Mike Moody at TV Squad.

There is a lot of concern about how what a few perceive as an unwanted stepchild will find as its fate, with smaller production slates from Syfy and parent production company MGM in a tailspin. But SGU is looking for renewed life on Tuesdays, and if there is a time to jump on board, it’s right now.

“Stargate: Universe” premieres Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy, and will air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. during the fall.

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