This review may contain spoilers.
The season opener for Stargate: Universe resolved all of the climactic cliffhangers that left viewers on the edge of their seats at the end of its stunning first season. While it satisfied fans wanting to know who was going to get Destiny, it also maintained its high impact atmosphere that has become the shows signature.
Eli (David Blue) found relief and Rush (Robert Carlyle) got surprised when Lt. Scott (Brian J. Smith) revealed his and Greers (Jamil Walker Smith) crafty solution to go to the other side of Destiny for protection against the radiation. With them back on board, there was some military muscle to help protect Rush and Brody (Peter Kelamis) who barely maintained control of the ships computers.
With Kiva (Rhona Mitra) and Col. Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) both shot, Varro (Mike Dopud) used the stones to bring doctors in to try and help as many people caught in the crossfire at the end of the first season including a seriously injured TJ (Alaina Huffman). Although Varros compassion saved lives, he couldnt stand up to Dannic (Ian Butcher) who took over as the Lucian Alliance leader once Kiva was pronounced dead. In a final act, Varro did manage to convince Alliance members to use a stargate to put Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) and everyone else on the last safe planet.
In an alternate universe, and one possibly only provided by the ship itself, TJ woke up supposedly back on the last truly inhabitable planet with Dr. Caine (Tygh Runyan). Caine spent most of his time convincing her how safe they were and how the aliens or ancients clearly were taking care of her and her baby.
After several scenes of his zen-like attitude, it became clear that the baby had to stay in this universe. Before he sent her back, he showed her some beautiful lights over the lake. Back on the ship, Camile (Ming-Na) revealed to TJ that she lost the baby. In the end though, TJ found some sort of comfort when she saw the same light effect outside of a window on Destiny.
With Dannic leading the Alliance, the showdown became a chess game. Rush was willing to seal as many people inside the hydroponics after sabotaging the shields. Scott and Greer shot as many as they could. As proof that ultimate power ultimately corrupts, Dannic became a tyrant willing to sacrifice anyone for the prize of the ship. Unwilling to go along with that plan, Alliance member Ginn (Julie McNiven) killed him, and peace was restored.
Once back on the ship, Col. Young wrangled all of the Lucien Alliance members left into a holding room. Scott revealed that it was Rush who saved everyone and kept Destiny in their control. Unfortunately, Young had to deal with the reality of his lost baby with TJ all while trying to figure out what steps to take next.
There were many strings to tie up in the season opener, and the writers managed to take care of pretty much all of them. In some ways, the show is right back where it started with a bunch of people just trying to live on the ship. However, nothing is ever as simple as that. The will have to deal with what will happen to the rest of the Lucian Alliance onboard the ship. Chloe (Elyse Levesque) will have to figure out exactly how she healed as fast as she did. And the viewers are left to figure out just how much the ship itself helped all of them in the end.
The level of excitement and conflict remained high throughout the show. Even with the quieter moments with TJ and Caine, there still was a sense that something wasnt quite right. In some ways, it doesnt feel as if the show ever left, and that shows good continuity on the part of the writers, the cast, and the crew.
The special effects still remain some of the best of the whole Stargate franchise. Also, the music is always great in adding to the emotional weight of the show. All in all, the entire episode should please SGU fans as well as possibly attract new viewers.
What Didnt Work
It is always a risk to kill off major characters. However, when writers and show creators take that risk, the payoff comes in more of an emotional investment in the show by the audience as well as a level of uncertainty that is good to build in order to keep the audience on its toes.
The fact that only Kiva and TJs babies were the two major casualties is a little weak. Its too bad that Kivas gone since Rhona Mitra is such a strong actress. Also, its understandable not to have a baby onboard, but it would have added some interesting storylines and issues. The episode felt like it tied up all of its loose ends a little too well.
There will probably be some major drama coming in the near future since the show is not used to having too much of a happy ending.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Intervention was directed by Andy Mikita and written by Paul Mullie. “Stargate: Universe” stars Robert Carlyle, Brian J. Smith, David Blue, Jamil Walker Smith, Louis Ferreira, Elyse Levesque, Ming-Na, and Alaina Huffman with special guest appearance by Lou Diamond Phillips.
“Stargate: Universe” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.