Stargate Universe Recap: ‘Visitation’ and ‘Resurgence’

This week’s action-packed Stargate Universe episode “Resurgence” takes the series in a whole new direction from last week’s ephemeral “Visitation.” Last week the ghosts of Caine’s group — who had previously been left off on the “Eden” planet — haunt the ship, but in contrast the mid-season finale reveals some double-crossing aliens, brings back Telford, and shows us a new and improved Chloe.

[Warning: Spoilers follow…]



Visitation” opened with the return of Caine and the Destiny Expedition who opted to stay on Eden in “Faith.” An excited TJ expects to find her daughter Carmen with them, but is disappointed. Caine and his people have no memory of how they traveled to Destiny and in fact remember very little of Eden in general. None of the crew remembers Carmen being placed in their care. Young orders them to a holding area for evaluation, but this doesn’t last long. Young, TJ, and several other crew members find themselves creeped out by the Destiny Expedition members, but are unable to explain why.

As the Destiny Expedition crew begins to become reacquainted with everyone else, they also start to remember bits and pieces of events on Eden. As the memories emerge, each person tragically dies. It turns out that the Destiny Expedition didn’t, in fact, survive the winter and some other beings — possibly the Obelisk Aliens who built the planet — spirited them back to Destiny in the shuttle. Along the way, their bodies were reanimated and the shuttle was refurbished like new.


[The Destiny Expedition team mysteriously returns to Destiny.]

Being a religious man and the last to survive, Caine speculates that the Obelisk Aliens may have been able to reanimate their bodies but not their souls. Along that line of thinking, Eden has no animals on it, but this begs the question of whether this series is saying that animals have souls as humans do? Maybe I’m over-thinking this, but I don’t understand how plant life on Eden can survive and thrive without animal life. Y’know, ecosystems, the web of life, and all of that other sixth grade science stuff. I mean, without bees to facilitate pollination, how do plants reproduce, for instance? Without larger predators, smaller animal life would over-run the planet eventually. Maybe this will be answered at some point, but so far it’s a niggling detail that irks me.

At first I thought that Caine might survive his ordeal since in his memory it was clear that when the bright light outside the shuttle glowed he was still alive. I’d also wondered at first if perhaps the reason why TJ and Young were squicked out by the Destiny Expedition was because a part of their DNA in the form of their daughter was on Eden. However, there was no sign of Caine in “Resurgence” and later in “Visitation” other crewmembers were equally creeped out by the undead on the Destiny. In “Resurgence” TJ concludes that the ship had provided her with a sensory experience much like it used to prod Young through the Kobayashi Maru simulations in “Trial and Error.”

Any hopes of the Destiny crew making some friends out there in the big bad universe were dashed when the Ursini double-crossed them. “Resurgence” begins with the Destiny dropping out of FTL to investigate a strange energy signature, which turns out to be coming from a graveyard of ships caused by a long-ago battle. All is not what it seems, however, when one of the ships we later learn are Drones pulls a Boba Fett and moves away from the debris field to follow Destiny‘s shuttle with Scott, Greer, and Brody on board. After not discovering much of anything to salvage on one of the derelict ships, the shuttle high-tails it back to Destiny as the Drones attack. The unknown cavalry saves the day with Telford at the helm of the seed ship from “Awakening.” The seed ship leads Destiny away and passes over a nearby star. The Drone ships that follow burn up in the corona.


[Wheeee! Greer jumps from the shuttle to derelict ship.]

Turns out, Telford made nice with the aliens on the seed ship, who he says are called the Ursini. He also spent some time in one of the Ursini stasis pods that educated him on their history. Evidently, they’ve been fighting the makers of the Drone ships for eons and recruit Destiny to help them destroy the Drone command ship. Who knows what else the Ursini did to Telford in one of those stasis pods? Since the Ursini double-cross Destiny later on, I wouldn’t rule out other kinds of fowl play on their part. The writers have left Telford’s storyline with a lot of potential.

Meanwhile, Eli is distracted from his work and burrowing deeper into himself in the wake of Ginn’s death. In “Visitation” we saw him reaching out to Chloe, but as she morphs more into an alien creature, Eli retreats further. The scene in “Visitation” with Greer asking Chloe for forgiveness for the actions he knows he’ll be ordered to carry out were moving and gave us a deeper look into Greer’s emotional landscape. For his own good, Chloe tries to push Scott away, but he’ll have none of it. At the end of “Resurgence” Chloe – who along with Rush warned against trusting the Ursini to begin with – breaks free from her prison by displaying an inhuman strength and manipulates Destiny in ways unexplained. The episode ends on the cliffhanger of Chloe’s unknown affect on the ship and the fate of the ship in general as the Drones renew an attack on a damaged Destiny.


[Chloe’s alien eczema is out of control.]

Some questions have been answered, namely the fate of Carmen. Others questions remain until Stargate Universe returns in the spring: What is Chloe turning into? Did her words “It’s too late.” refer to Destiny‘s fate or her own? Who are the Obelisk Aliens and why did they reanimate the Destiny Expedition? The series goes into the second half of season two with a more cohesive crew learning better to work as a team. I especially enjoyed the humor in “Resurgence” such as Young’s reference to “Ancient, English, Bat-signal” and Eli’s joke about the ship’s alert meaning either the simulation is complete or maybe “the pie’s done.” I also enjoyed the ongoing dynamic between TJ and Captain Tightpants (Varro). Hopefully we’ll also see more high-energy episodes like “Resurgence.”

So…What did you think?

One thought on “Stargate Universe Recap: ‘Visitation’ and ‘Resurgence’”

  1. Couple thoughts.

    Visitation

    I didn’t care for Visitation.  I felt like the writer’s were sitting around talking and realized that they’d written themselves into a corner by getting rid of the shuttles.  They needed a way to bring the shuttle back and, like the Ancients before them, the Obelisk Aliens provided the perfect excuse to bring Starbuck back in a pristine Vip- uh, I mean – the shuttle with Caine et all.. yeah…  That’s what I meant.

    *cough*

    What was the point of returning the people who died?  Really?  I mean – if you’re the super powerful Obelisk Aliens and you can not only revitalize technology, returning a damaged shuttle to ‘mint condition’ but you can also reanimate dead flesh – why put ‘best by’ date on it?  Why a timer counting down to a second death?  Does that mean the shuttle is going to suddenly break down again soon and return to its damaged state?

    Greer is messed up inside.  We’ve seen glimpses of this before.

    Chloe’s transformation reminds me of Fred’s transformation into the demon Illyria over the course of a single episode in Angel’s 5th season.  The difference is I don’t care about Chloe, they haven’t made me care about her.  The emotional impact isn’t there like it was with Fred (Winifred Burkle).  In ‘A Hole in the World’, everyone who cares about Fred is busting their ass to try and stop it, to save her.  What have Destiny’s crew done to help Chloe?  Where’s the freak out bust your ass try everything moment?  Are they saving it for the second half of the season?  All they’ve done is lock her away.  It seems they are missing out on an opportunity to really punch us and the crew in the gut and for whatever reason, they aren’t doing it and that bugs the crap out of me.

    I miss Fred to this day – I don’t think I’ll miss Chloe.

    Is it just me or does Camille not have much to do?  I would think on a ship with a crew of a hundred people (Eli’s estimation), there would be more for people to do.  Camille’s character – I don’t know, maybe they just do character arcs in cycles or something and she’s on a down cycle right now.

    Resurgence

    Rush does not like sharing the bridge.

    Eli’s story was, again, my favorite.

    Telford will turn out to be a tool of the alien hordes.

    Why must every derelict ship be investigated?

    “Oh my!  Look at all the debris!  hey, let’s go look at that one!”

    Best line: “Do I have to remind everyone what happened the last time we encountered an alien life form?  Or the time before that?  Or before that?”  Goa’uld, Ori & Wraith?  Not exactly the perfect First Contact scenarios, no.

    The little heart to heart between Rush & Eli will only further push Eli not to trust the bastard.

    Camille’s heart to heart with Eli didn’t do much for me.

    Who was flying Destiny during the Seed ship rescue/fly through the sun scene?  No one seemed that competent before…  Like, moments before…  When they didn’t know how to do… anything…

    Did you catch the line about the drones after the trip across the sun?  They are following the Seed ship, they pass through the suns corona, the fx shows the drones being destroyed and then one of the bridge crew scientists says something like, “That bought us some time but we only have as long as it takes them to get around the star.”

    Um, what?  Didn’t we just see those ships burn up? 

    Why did Chloe not trust the new aliens but Rush had no problem trusting them of they’ve both been influenced by the other aliens?  Maybe that was laid as a clue that Rush isn’t under anyone’s influence?

    Lots of questions left unanswered, lots of new ones yet to ponder and a mid-season break to contend with.

    ~P

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