10/31/09

Stargate Universe: Water


I will never understand military types that try to shoot into living clouds. What do they think a bullet is going to do against a being with less mass than steam? In yesterday's episode of Stargate Universe, "Water," the Destiny is running dangerously short on water. It drops out of FTL in a system with one planet in rage. The ice planet that Eli refers to as Hoth... from Empire Strikes Back?... The second Star Wars movie! Ok, I refuse to call it Episode Five. In this episode the crew seems to really be starting to live with each other. There's a whole lot less panicking. Well... except when a cloud-alien steals all the water and Scott gets stuck on Hoth.

"Water" jumps right into the story from the first frame. Water reserves are dangerously low, and we need to find some more. Almost as soon as we establish that, the ship drops out of FTL and we find Hoth. This is not surprising since we're supposed to be trusting the ship to find these things. While Scott and Young go to find pure ice, Young leaves TJ in command on the ship.

This I like. We finally get to see what Tamera is made of. Just because she's a medic we've been assuming that her job on the series will be that of ship's doctor. This is not the case. Tamera may be more well-versed in the medical than any one else on the ship, but she's a soldier first. And in this episode we see that. She's a strong character with an innate ability to lead. Or at least to take second in command.

When the cloud-alien makes itself known, it's TJ who is able to come up with a plan to get rid of them. We're kept in the dark as to what exactly the cloud-alien is. This is good, though; it gives it more mystery. SGU has been telling us that we will be experiencing more non-human aliens than in the past Stargate series. I expected maybe... humanoid. Two hands, two feet, a head, a torso... but nothing like this. I love it!

The characters and the story just keeps getting better in SGU. While this episode seems to be what will be considered a "standard" episode - middle of the road, have a problem, go fix it, all's fine at the end - it still raises the bar for any other series in terms of acting, story, special effects and cinematography. It would seem that SGU has hit a pretty good stride.