“ALLIANCES” Airs Monday, March 21 at 10:00 PM on Syfy
An attack on Homeworld Command traps Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) and Wray (Ming-Na) on Earth. Meanwhile, the persons they’ve swapped minds with, Senator Michaels (Kathleen Quinlan) and Dr. Andrew Covel (French Stewart), visit Destiny to analyze Rush’s data.
Earth gets more involved in the SGU storyline this week as Homeworld Command comes under attack fro the Lucian Alliance and political machinations come aboard the Destiny. While it would be interesting to see the ship completely cut off from Earth do to heavy-handed politics, it would be a shame not to check in with some of our favorite characters from past Stargate shows from time to time. Although, it may be a moot question after the end of this episode. Great episode with an impossible dilemma involving certain death and characters choosing to ultimately face it. Well done to all. And with Telford back on Earth, he’s the only character to get to Destiny and back to Earth as himself via the Stargate. Kind of cool.
A spaceship that seems to be one of Destiny’s shuttles appears out of nowhere next to the ship. Colonel Young tries to make contact with the voice coming from the shuttle, and it is Robert Caine, along with the others that Destiny left behind on a planet last season, but they are at a loss as to how they’ve returned.
The science-fiction genre generally works best when it’s telling a thinly-disguised morality tale, making a comment on our current society or an exploration of what makes us human. Outer Space, starships and aliens are merely tools used to take these stories to their extreme and perhaps be able to comment in ways that would normally be taboo. Some of the best sci-fi TV series have followed these guidelines, shows such as the original Star Trek, The Twilight Zone and the latest incarnation of Battlestar Galactica have excelled at this. The Stargate franchise has certainly does its fair share, though possibly not to the extent that the previous three examples have. That is, not until Stargate Universe. “Visitation” feels very much like it would have been right at home as a story in Amazing Stories or Startling Stories and I think that’s why this show may have my undying love. For the most part Stargate Universe feels like the pioneering science-fiction pulp stories from the ’40s and ’50s. I didn’t really make that connection until thinking over this episode, but, in hindsight, that’s exactly what the best of the previous Stargate shows, and this one in particular, have invoked.
The central focus of “Visitation” is death, mainly how we deal with it, especially being aware that someone we know is going to die. But, this being Stargate, the story is much richer than that. We see the affects on characters from recent deaths, characters who realize they may be dead and don’t know it and another character who realizes he may shortly be called upon to kill someone they know. And yet, for all the talk of death, this isn’t necessary a maudlin affair. There are some uplifting moments, but for the most part we learn some things about the characters of some of our characters this week and that, coupled with a growing sense of the crew of Destiny actually becoming a crew, really moves the entire story forward in new and interesting ways.
Once again Jamil Walker Smith gives an outstanding performance and his Greer continues to be my favorite character on the show. The conversation that Greer has with Chloe, and you’ll know the one I mean when you see it, is not only my favorite scene this season, but should earn Smith a Gemini Award nomination next year. Alaina Huffman also gives a superb performance as a question from earlier this season is definitively answered. How she deals with it and how she reacts later in the episode to others that are suffering says a lot about T. J. and the type of person she is.
All in all, it is great to finally see everyone not be at each others throats. Also, there are some humorous touches as Rush attempts to convince some of the others that the Destiny’s mission is truly remarkable, though not everyone can quite wrap their brain around it. This episode, along with last week, feel like an epilogue of sorts to the series up to this point and a harbinger of the new status quo amongst the characters and their new-found purpose. I’m in good company, by the way, as my pal Curt Wagner over at Show Patrol sees a lot of the same things in this episode. This also serves as somewhat of a breather before the mid-season finale next week and the crew will find themselves once more in the thick of it. Will the new sense of camaraderie be short lived or will new conflicts bring everyone closer? Check back next week for a teaser!
SCI FI announced today the addition of four cast members to the upcoming original series Stargate Universe. Here are the four actors, along with brief descriptions of their characters:
Justin Louis has acted in a variety of film and television roles over the last two decades and has starred in nine different TV series previous to Universe. Amongst his credits are Saw V, the 2008 mini-series adaptation of The Andromeda Strain, Hidden Hills and The Fighting Fitzgeralds. Louis will portray Colonel Everett Young, described as “an experienced Stargate team leader. Married, with years of tough decisions under his belt, life has taught him never to take anything for granted. He stays on top of his team so they stay alive.”
David Blue started acting in the second grade in a school play. He then went on to get extensive theater work before breaking into television in movies. Blue has had to breakout roles in both Ugly Betty and Moonlight, the former garnering him an Emmy nomination. Blue will be portraying one of the civilians on the show, Eli Wallace. Wallace is described as “a total slacker, who just happens to be an utter genius with anything he puts his mind to – mathematics, computers, video games. A lack of confidence has left him with an acerbic sense of humor.”
Brian J. Smith is pretty new to the acting scene, however he is a graduate of The Julliard School and has studied at the acclaimed Quad C Theatre program at Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas. He starred in Hate Crime and will be seen soon in The War Boys. Smith will play Lt. Matthew Scott, a junior member of the Stargate team. “Green and rough around the edges, he is thrust into the role of leader well before he’s ready for the responsibility and must learn to command, earn respect through action, and manage the diverse personalities aboard the ship.”
Jamil Walker Smith has an extensive resume having been acting since he was twelve. Known for roles in Waynehead and Sister, Sister, Smith has also guest-starred on Bones, Supernatural, NYPD Blue and The X-Files. Smith’s character, Sr. Sgt. Ronald Greer, is “a Marine with a temper you don’t want to mess with. His past is mysterious but it’s clear something dark formed the hard shell around him.”
So far, so good on the characters and the casting. Looks to be a different enough group from the previous two Stargate series and keeping with the “younger and edgier” premise attached to the show without being Beverly Hills 90210 level obnoxious. Also, take note that Stargate Universe will now be premiering in the Fall, along with the second season of Sanctuary, rather than this summer as was previously announced.