Hello once again Stargate fans,
With all our thanks to Syfy for airing the last ten episodes of Stargate Universe, the series returned for its apparently last blast of Destiny. Episode 11 of the second season of Stargate Universe “Deliverance” aired Monday March 07, 2011 with epic special effect sequences by the talented team of creators at Bridge Studios and MGM Studios.
Having been of a mind to not cloud the issue and despite valiant efforts from many areas of the Stargate fandom, the return of Stargate Universe garnered ratings of just over 1.036 million views with a ratings share of 0.45 in the critical 18-48 age group and 0.6HH, we waited to post this analysis of Deliverance.
Here at WHR we did our part and set a new worlds record watching Deliverance over 28 times on COMCAST ON-DEMAND. 25 viewings occurred within 24 hours after the episode became available and 3 times the evening of the broadcast on March 7. You the fans of Stargate in the United States can also help by watching Stargate Universe ON-DEMAND as well to boost the viewing numbers. Thank you.
The saga of the Destiny story picked up from with the impending battle well underway between the attack drones whom were awakened in “Resurgence” upon the discovery of a space wasteland, actually the site of a horrendous defeat for an alien race of beings known the Ursini whom face extinction at the hands of the heartless drones.
To our glee the entire main cast of Stargate Universe returns with the exception of Varro (Mike Dopud) whom we will see tonight in “Twin Destinies”, next week in “Alliances” and in the near future in an episode called “The Hunt”.
With her engines down, the Destiny was a sitting duck until the unexpected arrival of Blue Aliens who entered the fray to somewhat deflect the attack. The Blue Aliens are of course being self seeking wanting to obtain access to Chloe Armstrong (Elyse Levesque) for intelligence on the Destiny, their relentless obsession. Chloe was last observed on the bridge of Destiny with her new acquired knowledge. Chloe condition is well advanced as she is converting to becoming a hybrid of the Blue Aliens themselves.
The Ursini is fighting to avoid extinction after they had attempted to drain power from the Destiny when they suddenly realize that only the Destiny may be able to help them. They transmitted a message to Col. David Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) to attack the Drone Command Ship as their only means of survival under the circumstances.
Despite knowing the strategy from the hint given by the Ursini, the Attack Drones have protected their Achilles Heel, the Command Ship making it well out of firing range of the Destiny’s power main weapons battery at the moment. Eli Wallace (David Blue) in a state of stark realization says “There are hundreds of them” (attack drones). The attack proceeds while Eli works on a solution.
On the bridge of Destiny, Lt. Matthew Scott (Brian J. Smith) is accompanied by Sgt. Ronald Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) where they discovered that Chloe had sent a message to the Blue Aliens revealing the location of the Destiny in what appears to be an act of betrayal under the alien influence. In a moment right out of his character Sgt. Greer is completely ready weapon in hand to eliminate Chloe with “She sold us out” quip.
Naturally Lt. Scott intervenes telling Greer to “just hold on” and seeks guidance discussing the matter with Col. Everett Young (Louis Ferreira). As we find out, Sliver Surfer Chloe sent in a call in the Blue Aliens knowing that they would present another target for the vicious attack drones. The strategy succeeds as half the drones veer off to attack the new incoming targets and re-deploy to protect their Drone Command Ship.
Here is where the mastery of 15 years of Stargate creativity comes into play. The battle scenes, the veering off of the little drone monsters are so effective and realistic that one can only bow in humble account to what Mark Savela’s VFX team have accomplished. Being a long time admirer of the visual effects used in all the Stargate series and movies, they are a delight to behold. With the drones re-deployed an opportunity to launch a counter strike against the Drone Command Ship. Adam Brody (Peter Kelamis) comments that by doing so the Destiny will take heavy damage in the process.
Eli Wallace (David Blue) analyzes the situation that by emitting a jamming signal will disrupt the sub-space communications and likely stop the attack. Col. Young realize this is their only chance ordering them to proceed with the implementation. This will provide the much needed few seconds for destroying the Drone Command Ship.
In the meantime suspected traitor Chloe is locked up for her sending of a message to the Blue Aliens by her lover Lt. Scott. Little do Lt. Scott and Greer realize that she has told them the truth and is in fact helping to save Destiny from destruction.
Now some may see this as a predictable plot in the story arc, I do not. Entertainment of the caliber of Stargate Universe is to be enjoyed from my perspective. Much like seeing a classic stage play that has been performed countless times, a key to entertainment viewing is to activate ones “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” and just enjoy it. Many people however also enjoy dissecting a story to look for what is about to happen.
Those in the entertainment business, especially actors, screen writers, producers and directors, find such to be a joyless activity knowing that a fair review (even of a timeless classic like The Sound of Music) is best enjoyed by simply allowing yourself to become immersed in the arc of the tale unfolding. Believe me folks and try it sometime and you may find the experience most enjoyable.
At this point we are treated to the brief flashes of Dr. Lisa Park (Jennifer Spence) and Dr. Dale Volker (Patrick Gilmore) and Col. Telford under the command of Col. Young as they maneuver Destiny into firing position after Eli and Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle) send out the jamming signal in the nick of time. Rush in one of his usual and enjoyable moments tells Eli :See what you can do when you apply yourself!” Naturally the expression on Eli’s face says it all!
The blasting of the soulless Drone Command Ship is a superb series of visual effects at its very best. After viewing the sequence 28 times I never tire of watching the enemy getting blown to smithereens! We also learn that two of the three Blue Alien ships were destroyed in the battle, which the third one so heavily damaged that it poses no threat to Destiny for the moment. It was nice vindication for Chloe that she did the “right thing”.
Based on Chloe’s facial expressions when confined, I believed she also took a sense of satisfaction in what she accomplished; getting revenge for the terror of being experimented on that she endured when taken captive by the relentless Blue Aliens.
Next we get to see another favorite character Lt. Tamara Johansen (Alaina Huffman) tending to the wounded and talking with Lt. Scott. This wonderful actress is always so natural she is simply a pleasure to behold. TJ is more than understandably concerned about Chloe after she had broke both arms of another crewman as she made her way to the bridge in Resurgence. Huffman is a favorite of all Stargate fans and always will be!
As the episode continues we learn that the shield system is heavily damaged meaning that even though the FTL engines are now repaired, Destiny may be unable to escape. We observe Brody and Volker at a control panel of fried components shaking their heads in despair. Peter Kelamis and Patrick Gilmore, great friends in real life are very natural when acting together being a joy to behold.
As the repair process continues we learn that Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle) and Col. Young have settled into a more than cordial respect for each other. These two characters have grown immeasurably being two of four of the only real leaders outside of Col. Telford and Camile Wray (MingNa) that have learned the only way to survive is to work together as a team. Much like the real world, learning to work in a team environment, despite difference of opinions is a crucial key to success in life. If only more people on planet Earth could learn this principle what a better world we would all live in.
Speaking of Camile Wray, one of my favorite scenes is with the four leaders Wray, Col. Telford, Dr. Rush and Col. Young. They arrive at the logical conclusion that their “fight” is now the same as the Ursini’s. Once again we observe that people with vastly different points of view can come together in a team spirit to save the Destiny and its crew from certain destruction.
And what of the Ursini? Having also escaped destruction, the nearly extinct cute little aliens send a message to their home world apparently seeking re-enforcements and to check on the fate of their race. This proves to be a major mistake since the heartless drones have overrun their home planet. The message they got back was in “Machine Language”. The message only serves to notify the drones that some of the Ursini have escaped and giving away their position to the little horrors of unknown cybernetic origins in the galaxy billions of light years from Earth.
In what may become a truly fateful quote, Camile Wray (MingNa) states to the others “So they really are the last of their kind”. Why fateful? Because dear Stargate fans if the radical elements of the Stargate fandoms, really factions that refuse to support Stargate Universe do not wake up soon and watch the show, the remaining nine episodes may be “The Last of their Stargate Kind”. The sad expression on Camile’s and all their faces is telling.
We here at WormholeRiders News Agency have been monitoring fan activity. To our dismay we continue to observe a group of fans whom are steadfast in their belief that a Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis movie will follow the end of Stargate Universe. Their latest strategy is to watch “Seizure” with David Hewlett and Robert Picardo to send a message themselves. What message? That SGA is better than SGU and they want Stargate Extinction.
This is not very likely at all people. Sadly, more layoffs have occurred at Bridge Studios including Mark Savela himself. Joseph Mallozzi and team have moved to Toronto and we have confirmed that more layoffs are just around the corner.
However to be optimistic, one of my philosophies is: “There are no problems, just opportunities and solutions waiting to be found and acted upon”. The opportunity for the Stargate fans boycotting Stargate Universe is to open their minds and hearts and watch the program faithfully for the next nine weeks. If ratings improve considerably the positive “message” the fans can send is “we understand the Stargate franchise is a whole being, not just one series, but all”. We suggest everyone be part of the solution. Thank you..
The fate of the Stargate movies depends on solid ratings to prove they will be a success. We here therefore trust that the word will get out to the fans and that ratings improve enough to justify the huge investment in them.
As we return to the crew and their plight another telling scene with a larger portion of the crew reminds us of what I have just shared with you. To encapsulate the single effect of this sequence it boils down to this: The crew is discussing “negotiating with the drones”. Dr. Rush and Col. Telford know that this is impossible with observations like “the race that built the drones died out long ago” and “their only mission is to destroy alien technology.
To the fans who claim to love Stargate (or really is it only a portion of it?), many have gone out of their way to express hatred by attacking Stargate Universe, the actors, their families as well as the creators. It is no coincidence that the writers deliberately wrote these lines into Deliverance. Their “message” is an analog to the fans whom have considered Stargate Universe to be “alien technology” bent on destroying the series without realizing they were also destroying the franchise in the process.
We segue to more favorite special effects scenes with the capture of a drone for examination for counter action. A decision is made send Chloe to the surviving Blue Alien ship in exchange for passage back to the Destiny. We observe Dr. Lisa Park (Jennifer Spence) in a Destiny EVA suit capturing the drone. Once again the special effects sequences are exquisite.
In a “deal with the Blue Alien devils” the decision is made (inherent with the risk) that Chloe will reveal what she knows to the aliens. However the Blue Aliens may turn out to be not the villains many have suspected. They may in the opinion of this reviewer have a not so hostile intent and may be seeking the same “answers” as Dr. Rush. How do we know this?
In the season two promotional trailer we observed the Blue Aliens coming through the Destiny gate. Destiny had been in their region of space for countless eons. It is my opinion Destiny was considered by the Blue Aliens to be a prelude to an invasion of their territory. Is it not the same here on Earth with colonization by the western powers? Did not the indigent populations always perceive the same things? The story of the American Indians comes to mind as well as countless stories dating back thousands of years in human history.
If you watched the season two promotional trailer close the question comes to mind; Why did they (will they) come through the Destiny gate? Keep watching people the answer to that question is only a few episodes away. One of the best team sequences with a hint of the future is when Camile Wray and Dr. Rush are observed walking down a corridor on board Destiny. Watching these two veteran actors is simply wonderful. The sarcasm between them is wonderful! I especially enjoyed MingNa’s smile after their “chat”!
Near the end of the continuing “Deliverance” saga, a fantastic special effects scene unfolds when Lt. Scott enters the Blue Aliens ship though a space docking bay. The sequence is eye candy of the first order.
We also observe that the Blue Aliens actually save Chloe removing the infection that is taking over her body. Just prior, the well acted scenes between Elyse Levesque and Brian J. Smith are very touching as they express their love for each other.
While we are not treated to exactly a Borg like probe actually drilling into her head, we do see a probe of sorts near her skull. The question becomes is that really required. The Blue Aliens use a form of telepathic communication and they may have extracted what they wanted from the probe without the need for Borg like impact techniques. Chloe is saved when the Blue Aliens leave her for Lt. Scott to bring back to Destiny.
Tragically at the end of the episode, we learn that the Ursini take responsibility for bringing their crew of the Destiny into their war while seeking their own survival. In an act of selflessness, they move their ship into suicide attack position while Eli and his helpers Volker and Brody are able to re-program the attack drones from the first Drone Command Ship to recognize Destiny as a friend and the incoming second Drone Command Ship to be a foe. The diversion works thanks to the genius of Eli!
We end “Deliverance” with the Destiny making their escape with a few seconds of Lt. Vanessa James (Julia Benson) smiling in her wonderful way taking command of the ship with Col. Young and Col Telford to save Desting. After the Ursini sacrifice themselves, Destiny will live to fight another day and continue the mission to discover the secrets of the universe.
We see Dr. Rush speaking to Chloe being grateful for her return. Chloe says “Because I am useful” to which Dr. Rush retorts that everyone on Destiny is there because they are useful!
The question that we pose for you the fans of Stargate is this: will you learn to set aside your difference and behave like a team by watching the last nine episodes of Stargate Universe on Syfy? If you can do so, you may just get those movies you all desire.
Stargate Universe continues this evening March 14, 2011 with “Twin Destinies” an excellent episode I have had the honor of already viewing when Varro (Mike Dopud) returns and we a cameo with Dr. Lee (Bill Dow) too! Give yourself a treat and please tune in when you will see Dr. Rush and Col. Young standing side by side to determine the ultimate fate of Destiny. Thank you for making your time available to watch the next nine weeks.
We include the entire episode “Deliverance” courtesy of Syfy via Hulu for you to enjoy in the meantime.
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