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Stargate: Universe - So Terribly Afraid of Change

Stargate kicked off season two last night. Rejoice!

I enjoy this show quite a bit, it's got a nice kind of classic kind of scifi feel to it, for my thoughts in general on the series, see the previous blog post. I do have one gripe about it, which has been a few times over on IO9.com, it just seems like the show is glued to the status quo. At the end of a typical episode, everything is more or less the same as when it started, no one dies, nothing significantly changes. They're still not really in control of the ship, they're still short of resources, Greer is still angry. On the rare occasion when something does change and isn't resolved by the end of the ep, it's resolved by the end of the next ep or two.

Some examples:

In one episode, they come across a planet in a system where it seems like the entire solar system has been created by some unkown power. Leaving a huge momument, a number of the ragtag group of survivors decide that this is God, and they should stay on the planet. Eventually, Colonel Young decides to let them stay, so long as TJ comes back on the ship (TJ is initially hesitant, because she's pregnant, and really wants the child to grow up on solid ground). So, off the Destiny skedaddles, leaving all of these guys to discover what they're new god has in store for them. "But Bryce! I thought you said nothing ever changes?" It's true, and even this really isn't a change. A handfull of people stay on the planet, but none of them are cast members that I recognized from previous episodes. Some of them might have had some previous screen time, but they're not really what I would consider part of the cast. The only regular cast member to try and stay on the planet was TJ, who had to come back, because she's the ship's medic.

At another point, a small group of the core cast is trapped in a tunnel system on the planet, with the Destiny about to go back into FTL (can I just say "Warp"?). The timer rolls over, and the ship leaves, stranding them there. End of episode. Cool, now we're going to get a story of them trying to make it on their own down on a planet, this could be kind of interesting. Except within one or two episodes, they manage to blindly jump through enough stargates that they manage to catch up to the Destiny, and presto! Back to the norm.

Colonel Young beats the ever loving shit out of Dr. Rush and leaves him to die on another planet. A couple episodes later, the Destiny is attacked by an alien ship that just happens to have picked Rush up, and he escapes back to the Destiny.

Most recently, the ship came under siege from a group of criminals, who also end up trapped on the Destiny. For some reason they just really wanted the ship, even though it's uncontrollable. I think the siege lasts about three episodes, and ends with the gang leader dying, and the rest of the refugees being brought back on board and imprisoned, I suppose that's a bit of a change, but still nothing too special.

The part of this episode that really got to me though, is that TJ's pregnancy is abruptly terminated by getting shot in the altercation. There's some hallucination about the aliens from the planet in my first example saving her and her child and taking them back to the planet, and then telling her that the child will be safe, but she has to go back. Then she wakes up back on the ship, and the unborn child is dead. Is this a hallucination? A lead-in to a new plot arc? To me it just feels like the writers didn't want to have to deal with having a newborn on the ship. Which is too bad, because I really thought it would be interesting. Now, either she'll just be forgotten, or she'll be the newborn babe that the godly aliens saved, and thus be part of some grand plan. Can't a child just be a child in scifi?

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