10/22/09

Stargate Universe: Darkness


I usually try to do TV episode reviews the day after they air since that's when they become available to me on Hulu. This weekend was especially busy for me, so you'll forgive me for being a little late, but in this edition of The Day After, we'll take a look at SGU's newest episode: Darkness.

Stargate Universe is still going strong with this new episode. One thing that surprised me was the fact that they did not continue using the flashback elements they introduced in the first three-parter episode. I imagine there's not a lot of ways for them to get past using then in future episodes, but this one was clear of them.

The episode starts off with a fairly standard "here's what you might have missed" section. Then it goes to Rush who is working on the Destiny's systems and obviously getting frustrated. Rush has become a very interesting character for me. If you split  Rodney McCay into two, Rush would get his arrogance while Eli would get his geekiness. He's obviously arrogant, rude and very, very smart, but we just have no idea whether or not to trust him.

It goes on to a light-hearted scene of Colonel Young going over with the crew what kind of rations they have. A few jokes are exchanged it feels like a happy time under the circumstances. It's a really nice departure from the dark feelings that had been going on. It establishes Young as a likable guy under who's command one would enjoy operating, and it makes the crew look like they're already growing into a family.

This seems to be the pervading theme through this episode. They've gone through how to survive, and now they're figuring out who they're surviving with. This is punctuated by the crew doing sort of journal entries through Kino-vision. We're starting to get to know them, and I like that. Air set up the predicament and now we're setting up the people.

This is the episode that sparked a bit of a debate about sexism, too. This is because 1) Lt James has big boobs and 2) Chloe Armstrong gets a shower scene. This is poppycock. And you can read my views on the debate here. But in short, even though we're getting to know these characters, we don't really know them yet. Give SGU time and it'll show you what the women are made of.

Is Darkness better than Air? I'm not sure there's a good way to measure it. They're two different kinds of episodes, really. Darkness is a character development episode, and for that type of episode it's extremely good. Air was a setup, action episode and it was great for that. SGU seems to be going on strong and I look forward to the next episode.