This review may contain spoilers.
Pathogen marks Robert Carlyles step into dual role as a lead actor and director. In the episode, we finally get a look into whats been happening with Chloe (Elyse Levesque), but we are no closer to any answers.
Issues of trust rule Pathogen whether its allowing Lucian Alliance members to move out of their internment, about if Rush (Carlyle) can be trusted at all, or whether life on Destiny will ruin all personal connections back home.
Chloe has been missing as a focus in the past few episodes. Even though theres been a lot going on, were supposed to accept that shes turned weird enough that its just now being noticed. Beyond her oddly fast healing of her leg, it turned out that shes been disappearing and apparently sleepwalking around Destiny. Discovery of her trying to break open equipment and a look into her diary revealed that while the aliens captured her she was somehow tampered with.
To the viewers, that revelation confirmed that Rushs ability to understand and control Destiny also came from his time on the alien ship. For him, his abilities come with less zombie time like Chloe as it comes with hallucinations of his conscience in the forms of Dr. Franklin (Mark Burgess) and his wife Gloria (Louise Lombard).
Instead of being forthcoming, Rush tests Chloes abilities when he takes her to his secret area on the ship housing rows and rows of his calculations. After her quick solution to one of his equations, it became clear that Chloe would become another pawn in his plans. So while those like Dr. Brody (Peter Kelamis) and Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) began to truly question their trust of him, our trust in his vision and his intentions got tested.
Using the stones, Camile (Ming-Na) and Eli (David Blue) returned to their loved ones. Although it seemed like Sarah (Reiko Aylesworth) was happy to have Camile back, the stress and strain revealed itself in bursts of frustrations. Eli dealt with his sick mom Marion (Glynis Davies) who was back in the hospital after giving up her medications. Although Sarah knew the truth about the stones, the identity secrecy fueled Marions depression.
In the past, the use of the stones has seemed like a plot device to bring in doctors or other characters. In Pathogen, it was the first time where they were used as an integral part of the story. Camile used her influence to allow Elis mom to use them to see him on Destiny. It was nice to see the trust return to Marions face when she embraced him and embraced being on Destiny. While it showed an immense amount of compassion, it also brought to question just where home is for everyone on Destiny and what are they possibly losing as time moves on?
Although Rush was aware of Chloes situation and connection to him, he did seem to care about her survival. Using the chair, he tried to cure her. But nothing was going to cure how others saw her. An invisible fence enclosed Chloe when she interacted with others. Only Eli, Scott (Brian J. Smith), and Rush were willing to be with her.
In the end, Chloe and Rush know she wasnt cured. We know that Rush will use her at whatever cost. Although Pathogen wasnt as intense as past episodes, theres a conflict brewing including one between the audience and Rush. As asked before, just how far is he willing to push? Just how long before people on Destiny figure out his sinister ways?
Rush is turning out to be a very nice psychological villain. The fact that his goodness or badness keeps being tipped is owed to the writers and to Robert Carlyle. He continues to stand out from the crowd as the most intriguing character at the moment.
In terms of conflict, theres definitely one brewing between Sgt. Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) and Lucian Alliance member Simeon (Robert Knepper). Their little showdown brought back good memories of Greers aggressive side, which has been missing so far this season. Its nice to see him in fighting mode with his little snide remarks. Hopefully, a serious confrontation is soon to come.
What Didnt Work
Why did it take so long to focus on whats going on with Chloe? It seemed like an awful lot for us to buy into all at once. Not only has she already healed, but shes also been sleepwalking around the ship. Has nobody else noticed? Has it happened all at once? This should have been lead into a bit more than in just one episode.
It was already hinted at that Rushs new genius with the ship was due to his time with the aliens. But how long will those aliens serve as a plot point? Will they be the new Daleks who will always be there when needed?
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Pathogen was directed by Robert Carlyle and written by Carl Binder. “Stargate: Universe” stars Robert Carlyle, Brian J. Smith, David Blue, Jamil Walker Smith, Louis Ferreira, Elyse Levesque, Ming-Na, and Alaina Huffman.
“Stargate: Universe” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.