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Review: Resurgence

Resurgence is the tenth episode in Season Two of Stargate Universe.

Mid-season two-parters have become something of a tradition in every Stargate TV series. They usually deliver a suitably action-packed story which leaves our heroes dangling precariously in some dangerous situation and the audience with the words “to be continued.” “Resurgence” is no different in that regard; it’s action-packed and leaves our heroes, well, dangling precariously in a dangerous situation. However, it’s also one of the better mid-season two-parters that I’ve seen for some time across all the Stargate series even if the pacing isn’t perfect.

The slow start is probably the worst of the episode. There’s a lot of build-up: discussions on whether to head over to investigate the energy reading; the first look at the grave-yard; chats with Eli and Wray, Chloe and Scott; the shuttle mission; Greer and Brody walking around a dark spaceship…and finally it gets going with a surprise attack.

Admittedly, there are a lot of character moments in the run-up – Rush’s frustration at having others on his once-secret bridge; Eli’s grief over Riley and Ginn is explored and his continuing friendship with Wray; Chloe’s relationship with Scott as she continues to change; T.J coming to accept the loss of her child and her continuing something with Lucian Alliance good guy (or not) Varro. And there’s some good humor between Brody and Greer working together – first over the suits and then on the ship itself. It’s the type of interaction that fans used to complain about hitting the cutting room floor but while all of it does move various storylines forward, none of it is done in a very interesting way. Apart from great special effects in the first look at the grave-yard, it’s not really captivating.

However, once the action gets going, it gets going in a BIG way. The sequence where the drone ships start firing on Destiny and the rush to get the shuttle back is action packed and well done on all levels. Telford and the seed ship coming to Destiny’s rescue (and I would just like to say I so called that weeks ago) is fabulous and the special effects as both seed ship and Destiny enter the sun are wonderful. It’s one of those awe-inspiring sequences that can only happen in a sci-fi or fantasy setting – something which is just fantastical and makes you want to be there; to dream about flying a ship through a sun.

Beyond this, the rest is a mix of exposition as Telford explains things (plot-wise, it is a bit of a hole that he admits to being subjected to a neural interface but nobody questions whether to trust him), Chloe going all Not-Chloe and more action. But the pacing is better and having gained momentum, the episode does sweep the audience up in the events.

I particularly liked the scene with Young, Wray and Rush discussing what to do as triumvirate, each putting forward a point of view and Young taking a decision. It’s good to see this after all of the power play machinations and yet all characters remain in character with Wray advocating cooperation, Rush advocating doing what’s best for themselves and Young taking what he feels is the best path between the two. It’s nice to see team-work even nascent team-work such as this.

I also have to say Not-Chloe going completely wild, attacking her guard and storming through the ship, making quick work of the locked down doors was fantastic. The Chloe storyline kind of reminds me of what happened with Ford in Stargate Atlantis where Ford became a much more interesting character through the enzyme addiction. I’ve always thought it was a huge shame that it was effectively Ford’s exit storyline and that they didn’t explore it while keeping Ford as a regular character. Here Chloe, who as a character on her own merits in season one did seem to struggle to find a purpose or agency beyond Scott’s girlfriend, has been given a new lease of life with her alien transformation. I commend the producers for not going the Ford route and simply writing her out.

The end action-packed ending of the aliens betraying them and landing Destiny in the middle of a fight with a control ship was great; lots of action and danger. The cliffhanger moment was definitely there to hook the audience into coming back for the hiatus.

Speaking of which, I’m just going to take a moment to comment about the first half of season two in general. Overall, I think the episodes show that the producers have listened to criticisms about season one. While not all aspects have been dealt with – like the continuing lack of light bulbs on Destiny – others such as the lack of believability over loved ones simply accepting the use of the communication stones to swap bodies, Chloe’s usefulness, the use of humor, and the continuing sniping between the characters -- have been tackled head-on. There is a much better blending, in my opinion, of the Stargate legacy Universe inherited and the producers want to make a new, darker and more character driven show.

Overall, I’m eagerly awaiting the second half of season two. “Resurgence” has done its job and hooked me ready for the next part. I only hope that Syfy can see past the struggling ratings and keep faith with the show too.

Previously published at GeekSpeak Magazine


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