Monday, March 21, 2011

NEW!: SGU 2:13 - Alliances

Overall Rating: 8.8

My only complaint with this episode was that Camille would not STFU and quit saying completely idiotic things that reveal her total inability to understand how a military man operates. Otherwise, it was certainly an interesting episode.

Plot Synopsis:

Greer and Wray are sent to Earth to report on the situation aboard Destiny at Homeworld Command headquarters and to be debriefed regarding the Lucian Alliance threat. While connected through the ancient communication stones, the compound is toppled by some kind of impact (what turns out to be the crash-landing of a Lucian Alliance cargo ship) and radiation levels spike, indicating the presence of a Naquadria bomb. The building is evacuated, but Greer and Camille become trapped in the debris and encounter another airman in need of rescue. They try to make for an exit but it is blocked by the fallen floors above them. Meanwhile, outside the structure, military cutters are trying to hack their way in to get to the bomb and defuse it, but it's going to take them a long time. At which point, Camille suggests they try to reach it themselves.

En route, the third survivor gets twitchier and twitchier and Camille suggests they rest for a bit, but Greer wants to keep pressing onward, leading to an inexplicable bit of half-baked psychoanalysis along the lines of "you don't want to stop and look inside yourself for even one second because then you'll realize you're just as weak as I am!" "Woman, STFU!" Greer aptly replies. At any rate, once they begin their journey again, Wray hears the sound of the Geiger counter the tech w2as using at the start of this episode to sweep the building for radiation. She finds a decapitated SF next to it and freaks out and Greer takes charge, grabbing the device and handing it to her to give her something else to focus on. Unfortunately, the radiation levels are lethal and their co-opted bodies are deader than dead already. With this knowledge, the third survivor flips out and holds a knife to Wray's throat, demanding that they turn around and find another way out and Wray becomes convinced that he's a Lucian Alliance spy. She pushes his head back with a nice shoulder jab and Greer pumps his guts full of lead...after which they confirm his identity as the bad guy (nice!).

They finally find the bomb, but have no idea how to defuse it and have to do it blind (because the interface is covered with a hologram). At which point, the second plot dovetails with the first...

Meanwhile, back on Destiny, Dr. coward and Senator judgmental bitch arrive having already decided that Colonel Young should be relieved of command because he's forgotten that his priority needs to be to get his people home. Cause, you know...he's spent all this time trying to get his people home but damn it, the results just aren't there and he keeps stumbling into evil alien bad guys and drones that try to kill him...totally his fault, BTW. Idiocy and arrogance FTW!!! Senator Bitch wants to talk to Chloe cause she and Chloe's Dad were like BFF (yeah...they were probably on all the same liberal-dominated spend-o-crat committees deciding who was qualified to spend my money more than me) and during the ensuing tour of Destiny, the Senator reveals just how much of a dumbass she is by declaring that the people working for Stargate Command are all going to end up rotting on some obscure planet doing work no one will ever care about 'cause...secrets always stay secrets forever, y'know. Anyhow, she's decided that poor Chloe was TOO GOOD for this life of obscurity...her father had SUCH PLANS for her! Yeah, we saw what kind of person Chloe was before Destiny by examining her vapid Fairfax county friend circle. I'm thinking Chloe is too good for her dear old Washington Insider Daddy...but whatever.

So after pretending to be objective for like nine minutes, Dr. Coward makes his report. Young is the reason they're all about to die and the ship's about to be lost. He should be relieved of command immediately and replaced with someone smarter and more government approved ASAP. Good thing his body's getting fricasseed to a crispy bacon consistency back on Earth, ey? (sorry...but these two really annoyed me, which is why this was an awesome episode in many ways) Then they drop out of FTL and the communications are cut, allowing the kids from the homefront to see what hell is happening on Earth. And Dr. Coward spends his next few minutes on Destiny dickering with the stones so that he can't be sent back. Because he thinks that although people connected to the stones die when their host body dies, he can BEAT those odds. MY HERO!!

When Rush inevitably figures this out one of the members of the Alliance strike force volunteers to communicate instructions on disarming the bomb and back go team dumbass...the show leaves us wondering if they succeeded in saving Earth...I'm guessing Washington DC is a smoking crater with those two in charge...but there's some hope. Senator Bitch seemed to finally get how much of a tool she was for judging Chloe's new maybe there are a few neurons in there somewhere.

Oh...and Greer and Wray have a little powwow and sing kumbaya...I think mostly because Greer wanted Wray to stop acting like a therapist and spouting ridiculous cliches. Or...genuine emotion...near death circumstances...teamwork...nah...who could tolerate that woman's ego and self-importance (combined with her incredible skill for talking in the middle of crucial situations and yet refusing to make actual decisions!)?

The Skinny:

A lot of my thoughts got into the summary this week. :) I'll summarize here. Stargate does this meme a lot. Take Washington eggheads and beltway politicos and put them in the REAL WORLD making REAL life or death choices...and they learn really...really quickly to have some respect for ordinary people that aren't in their clique. It's been done before but...I still like it! I also like that Chloe is learning to dedicate herself to a purpose beyond her own emotional needs, and that the Lucian Alliance has taken on a larger role in the Stargate social commentary. Let me elaborate.

I never was that fond of the Alliance...until recently. Mostly because they were often portrayed as incompetent boobs who happened to have cool toys to make threats with. SG-1 always seemed to outwit the alliance VERY easily. So did the Atlantis front line team in their rare meetings. I think someone on the writing staff FINALLY realized that the Alliance could be used as a sci-fi stnad-in for the current war on terror. Sure enough, we have suicide bombers and covert attacks on Tauri installations and a common rhetoric about we arrogant westerners (er...Earthlings) thinking we own the Galaxy and leaving nothing for them. The Ori were a stand in for the threat of radical Islam (or any fundamentalist religious following based on blind faith, rather than devotion to a deeper connection with God through intelligent study of the divine), but they were WAY too well organized and powerful to be an appropriate match for Al Quaeda. The Alliance tackles the war on terror from the terrorist angle, rather than the religious zealot angle. I like that Stargate comes down firmly on the right side of both angles on that war, just as it always comes down on the right side of the conflict between government intelligentsia and ordinary citizens living their lives.

Writing: 8.0

Major penalty from a near-feature-worthy plot for allowing Camille to say more than four words all day. Here's a tip, the middle of a crisis situation, the men holding the guns and protecting you do NOT need to be psychoanalyzed. That can happen later, when times are less stressful and um...lives aren't at stake. Of course, Camille shouldn't dispense psychological advice...EVER...not if the pseudo-intellectual cliched garbage that popped out of her mouth this week is any indication.

Acting: 9.5

I have no problems with the acting though...even Ming Na managed to impress me this week, and I've spent most of the first 1.5 seasons wondering why sci-fi fans were so excited to see her cast for this show.

Message: 9.0

See my comments above for more...short hand applause for the continued moral confidence and respectful tone set by this franchise.

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