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?