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‘Stargate: Universe’ – Common Descent

The crew of Destiny comes face to face with their ancestors


This review may contain spoilers.

Having to survive is the main goal for everyone on Destiny. Each episode gives the viewers a new challenge to overcome.

But “Common Descent” gave us twice the number of Destiny’s crew having to survive. It turns out that in a time traveling twist, when the crew left Destiny for Earth in “Twin Destinies” before the second Rush (Robert Carlyle) came back and changed the outcome the alternate crew ended up on a new planet. That alternate crew served as the founders of a new civilization.

For once, the kino footage served as more than just an initial scout for information through the gate or as extra entertainment on the web for viewers. Eli (David Blue), Camile (Ming-Na), and others got to watch the beginnings of the civilization built off of their surviving the gate jump in the alternate timeline. The footage showed a son being born to Young (Louis Ferreira) and TJ (Alaina Huffman), Eli’s pontificating on what’s going on, the aging of the crew, and an older Young as a veteran leader giving an emotional speech about surviving together.

Both sides of the timeline wanted answers. Shockingly, although there was much enthusiasm from some, Rush was completely absent of his meddling ways. When the descendents were onboard Destiny, the viewers found out that one group believed Rush to be their savior to come while others believed him to be the devil.

When Scott (Brian J. Smith) and Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) took Camile and Eli down to the planet surface, the drones came back to attack destroying part of the gate. Although there was proof that they could survive, Eli’s technical brilliance gave them the opportunity of rescue by Destiny.

Young decided to take some descendent volunteers back to their original world. However hope turned to despair when it was discovered that millions didn’t survive a planetary cataclysmic event. Once again, the survival of the original crew and now their descendents is in jeopardy.

Points Of Interest

1. There seemed to be a contest to name the new worlds. Volker’s (Patrick Gilmore) choice of “Novus Mondus” for “New World” was the more poetic choice. However, Brody’s (Peter Kelamis) contribution of “Futura” got a nod for being lame from the current crew. And yes, it is the name of a font.

2. Perhaps it is just coincidence that “Common Descent,” which focused on how the two factions of descendents reproduced their politics and especially religious beliefs, aired during a very busy religious time of the year.

What Worked

As the show is coming to an end, it seems like the writers are giving the viewers a possible survival for their beloved characters. Even if the show cannot survive, in the Stargate world they might have a place to always exist.

What Didn’t Work

Playing with timelines and alternate universes can be tricky. It feels slightly contrived that we’re running into the results of that ill-fated Stargate jump to Earth. Of course, time issues always bring up questions of whether or not it could really work. For the episode, it worked in general, but it didn’t feel very exciting. Even with the aging of favorite characters and impassioned speeches, the emotions did not seem as genuine as in past episodes.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“Common Descent” was written by Robert C. Cooper. It was directed by Peter DeLuise.

“Stargate: Universe” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.

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