Monday, February 28, 2011

Stargate Universe–Episode 101 “Air (Part 1)”

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Air, Pt. 1 - Stargate Universe, Season 1
Episode Synopsis (From GateWorld):
When a research team is forced to evacuate their secret base, they find themselves on board a derelict Ancient vessel that is many galaxies away from Earth.

Episode Summary:
A single ship comes out of FTL, drifting in the vastness of space. The camera pans over it, giving us a view of a ship.
normal_sgu_101_0023It zooms into the corridors of the ships, where we see the lights coming on, and we get a view of the Stargate dialing. The signature kawoosh signals a successful connection, and someone flies out of the gate at high speed.
normal_sgu_101_0080He looks around for a second, trying to get his bearings, and suddenly a box and a woman come flying out of the event horizon. Within seconds, people are flying out of the gate, and Lt. Scott tries to get the to the side. He calls for them to slow down the evacuation, but gets no response.
Dr. Rush comes through the gate, and picks himself off the deck, slightly disoriented. He heads over to a console, looking it over for a second. normal_sgu_101_0170Eli Wallace hits the deck and picks himself up, shaken up by the trip. He turns around and gets hit by a box. normal_sgu_101_0176Meanwhile, Rush tries to activate the console but gets no response. Lt. Scott sees MSgt Greer come through and asks where Col. Young is. normal_sgu_101_0260Greer says Young was right behind him, just as Col. Young is launched from the event horizon.normal_sgu_101_0264
When the gate shuts down, the lights go out and the civilians panic. Using a flashlight, they find Col. Young. Right before he passes out, the tells Scott he’s in charge. normal_sgu_101_0301Scott calls for Lt. Tamara Johansen, the medic, when he realized how badly Young is hurt. Scott first questions Eli on their location, then heads to find Rush when he realizes Eli doesn’t know. normal_sgu_101_0335While they’re talking, a weird spectrum shift occurs and the engines power up.normal_sgu_101_0339
While they wonder what the shift was, Eli has a flashback to a few days before. He’s playing an online game, called Prometheus, trying to destroy an orbiting ship. normal_sgu_101_0367He enters the equation to channel the correct amount of power from the planet core into the weapon…and the game kicks him to the beginning of the level. Disheartened, he logs off for the night. normal_sgu_101_0404The next morning, there’s a knock at his door. He opens it to find General O’Neill standing in front of him. normal_sgu_101_0415Dr. Rush walks up and explains that he has solved a millennia old math problem in another language. They present him with a non-disclosure agreement and want him to come with them.normal_sgu_101_0469 Not wanting to sign the form, he “takes it under advisement”, and walks inside. As he goes up the stairs, there is a white flash, and then he’s standing in an observation lounge overlooking Earth. normal_sgu_101_0500normal_sgu_101_0502normal_sgu_101_0510Rush walks up behind and welcomes him aboard the Hammond. He’s told that he’s going to be going to another planet. As part of his agreement, his mother’s sickness will be taken care of. Eli agrees to sign, but in typical Eli fashion, makes a joke, asking for some pants as well.normal_sgu_101_0583 Later, after a lot of training videos, he heads to the mess to get some food. He sees a girl sitting alone, and decides to sit and talk to her. He finds out that her name is Chloe, and she is the aide to Senator Armstrong.normal_sgu_101_0678 But it seems that she knows a lot about him before he even says anything.
The flashback ends, and Scott and Eli find the Observation Deck, with Rush staring out into space. Rush comments on the fact that the ship is traveling faster-than-light (FTL), but not through hyperspace. normal_sgu_101_0742He also comments on the fact that the ship is definitely of Ancient design, most likely launched hundreds of thousands of years before. While they’re speaking, on the air-vents in the Gate Room shuts down. Rush realizes the life support is shutting down, commenting they might want to fix that.
They flashback to Icarus Base, where the Hammond has just come out of hyperspace. They beam down to the planet, where Eli is thoroughly stunned.normal_sgu_101_0913 The Senator introduces himself to Col. Young, and also introduced Chloe, who it turns out is his daughter.normal_sgu_101_1014 Inside the base, Eli looks at the Stargate with awe. normal_sgu_101_1046After a little talking, they do a test dial, wanting to make a connection and send a probe through. They lock the first 8 chevrons, but even with the power equation, they can’t lock the last chevron. normal_sgu_101_1151After almost overloading the system, they shut it down. A frustrated Rush leaves, saying that they need to run through Eli’s equations again. Eli is annoyed that Rush is passing the blame for the failure to him. Before Eli follow’s Rush, he turns to the group saying “Not my fault…”normal_sgu_101_1223
Back on the ship, the civilians are getting restless. Lt. Scott comes in and explains where they are. normal_sgu_101_1251Senator Armstrong demands that they us the gate and dial back to Earth right then. He seems to have trouble breathing, and Scott tells everyone that it might be because the life support system is having problems. normal_sgu_101_1269Finding Dr. Brody and Dr. Park, he takes them to help Dr. Rush with the life support.
On Icarus, Rush is trying to figure out why the address won’t connect. normal_sgu_101_1296Eli suggests that it might be the wrong address, which Rush rejects. Young comes and pulls Eli away for dinner, leaving Rush annoyed. normal_sgu_101_1328During dinner, the base gets attacked. The soldiers of the base move to defend it. The flashback ends, showing a group of soldiers running through the corridors, ending up in the control room.normal_sgu_101_1457
Rush is about to reset the life support system, but Eli says that it might overload the system, blowing up the ship. Greer raises his weapon, threatening to shoot him if he presses the button to reset it. normal_sgu_101_1492Another flashback starts, showing Greer being released from confinement on Icarus Base. It turns out that the Lucian Alliance that is attacking, and they’re going to overwhelm the base. On the ship, Rush says that he is going to press the button. Scott orders Greer to lower his weapon. After a moment, he complies, and Rush resets the system. Nothing happens.normal_sgu_101_1555
The base defense begins, but the Death Gliders are doing some serious damage to the base. The weapons fire is causing the core to start overloading. Rush wants to attempt one last dialing of the nine-chevron address. Eli convinces him that it can’t be the power, it has to be the gate address, like a code. normal_sgu_101_1657Cancelling the dialing to Earth, Rush begins dialing the nine-chevron address. This time the last chevron locks, establishing a wormhole. normal_sgu_101_1845Rush justifies it to Young, saying that any blast could translate through an open wormhole. On the ship, Rush is messing with the computer and pulls up a star map. They find out that the ship has been traveling for centuries, visiting dozens of galaxies. They’re millions of light years from home.normal_sgu_101_1929
Young orders Scott to lead the evacuation team. Once in the Gate Room, Scott tells them to follow him on a three-count, then heads through the gate. normal_sgu_101_1995Everyone beings evacuating behind him, not knowing the destination. Back in the hall, Young attempts to blow a hole through a collapsed hall, and succeeds. Pulling out Senator Armstrong, they head for the gate. Young orders Greer to take the Senator through, and starts looking through cases for something. normal_sgu_101_2124Finding it, the runs toward the gate as the room explodes around him. The explosion picks him up and hurls him through the gate, and the planet explodes as the core goes critical. normal_sgu_101_2136normal_sgu_101_2154
Back on Earth, Col. Carter calls to General O’Neill telling that they managed to get most of the people on the surface off before the planet blew. She asks how many people made it though the gate to Earth. When O’Neill says that no one came through to Earth, they both wonder where they all went.

Episode Review:
From the very beginning of the episode, it’s clear that Stargate Universe is not at all like SG-1 or Atlantis. Right from the start, it’s a lot more story-based than its predecessors. But even with its differences, it still has the Stargate feel. Overall, Air (Part 1) is a great episode. There’s pretty solid acting, an interesting story, and a nice hook that makes you want to keep watching. Best of all, it has a good hook for getting new watchers into the franchise, which is always a great thing. As long as the writers can keep up the story, SGU will turn out to be a great series.

Next Post: SGU Episode 102 - Air (Part 2)

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stargate SG-1 - Episode 102 "Children of The Gods (Part 2)"

Episode Synopsis (From GateWorld):

When powerful aliens come through Earth's Stargate, Colonel Jack O'Neill returns to Abydos to retrieve Daniel Jackson, who has discovered that the alien transit system includes much more than the two planets.

Episode Summary:

As the episode starts, the Earth gate is dialing. The team comes out of the gate, and a metal barrier closes over the gate behind them. normal_sg1_101_0722While Ferretti, gets taken to the infirmary, Jack asks what it is. Hammond informs him it is an “iris”, made of pure titanium. Hammond wants to know what happened on the planet, and Jack tells him base camp was attacked while they were off looking around.normal_sg1_101_0736

On a random planet, we see a group of people locked up. The attackers that came through the Earth gate enter the room and take Sha're, leaving a frustrated Skaara behind them. normal_sg1_101_0743Back on Earth, Jack checks on Ferretti, then takes Daniel home. normal_sg1_101_0760They discuss Abydos, Sha’re and Jack’s son, who died right before the first movie. A little later, we see a group of women waiting, including the female Airman from the beginning of the episode. normal_sg1_101_0803She’s taken to see the Ra look-a- like, who says that she could be the vessel for his queen. But the “queen” rejects her, and she is unfortunately killed. normal_sg1_101_0842

Back on Earth, the President gives authorization to go form 9 teams whose sole mission will be to gather intel on threats to Earth. Jack is given command of the flagship team, SG-1, with Sam as his second-in-command and Daniel accompanying them. normal_sg1_101_0869A doctor comes in a informs them that Ferretti is awake. He manages to remember the symbols dialed by the aliens and types them on the computer. normal_sg1_101_0885

The teams gear up and get ready to move out. They have 24 hours to find what they are looking for and return, or their codes will be locked out and the iris will be permanently sealed. normal_sg1_101_0892They head through the gate, arriving at an unknown planet on the other side. They set up camp, making it a defensible position in case they are attacked. Back in the unknown complex, Sha’re is taken next. Like the Airman, she is taken to meet the “queen”. normal_sg1_101_0964But unlike last time, Sha’re is acceptable to her. The “queen” burrows into the back of Sha’re’s neck, taking her body as her own. normal_sg1_101_0992

SG-1 meets a group of the indigenous people. Jackson approaches them, telling them they had come through the Chapp’ai (Goa’uld for Stargate). normal_sg1_101_1019They take SG-1 to the town, called Chulak. normal_sg1_101_1041There, they are treated to a feast, which is interrupted when “Ra” and Sha’re, now possessed, enter the room. normal_sg1_101_1061Daniel jumps up and attempts to communicate with her, but is knocked back by “Ra”. Jack raises his weapon, but when Sha’re jumps in front of Apophis, he lowers it in surprise and is knocked unconscious. normal_sg1_101_1066

Daniel wakes up in the prison room, along with Carter and Jack. Jack says he hasn’t found a way out, and the gate is going to be sealed in just over 90 minutes. The leader of the soldiers, confronts Jack, asking him where he’s from. Daniel draws the symbol for Earth in the dirt. The leader scratches it out and walks away. normal_sg1_101_1098Daniel figures out that it isn’t Ra that they are fighting against, it’s Apophis, Ra’s rival. Right after he does this, the soldiers return and the “gods” enter, looking for who is going to be the “Children of the Gods”. Making their rounds, Daniel tries to sacrifice himself to be close to Sha’re in some form. normal_sg1_101_1174But instead, Skaara is chosen. As they leave, Apophis says “Kill the rest.”

Preparing to execute all the prisoners, Jack yells to the leader, “I can save these people. Help me?”normal_sg1_101_1211 The leader replies, “Many have said that…but you are the first I have believed can do it.” He turns and fires on his own men. Jack grabs a staff weapon and blows a hole in the wall. The prisoners escape out the hole, and Jack convinces the leader to come with him.normal_sg1_101_1248 Jack asks him his name, and he find out his name is Teal’c.

As they head to the gate, SG-1 find out about the Jaffa, the soldiers of the Gou’ald. They discover that all Jaffa carry an larval Goa’uld, in exchange for perfect health.normal_sg1_101_1286 They and the prisoners arrive at the gate at the same time as Apophis and the other Goa’uld. The ship drops them off, then proceeds to strafe the escaping prisoners.normal_sg1_101_1403 The situation is extremely dire, until SG-2 pops up with a rocket launcher and shoots it down.normal_sg1_101_1407

SG-1 make their way to the gate, and when Jack sees Skaara, he runs down the hill to meet him. When he calls Skaara’s name, he turns around and his eyes glow.normal_sg1_101_1451 He knocks Jack back with a Goa’uld hand device and then proceeds through the gate. normal_sg1_101_1453Jack is visibly crushed, but there is no time to be concerned about that. They are almost out of time. They are surrounded by Jaffa, who are closing fast.normal_sg1_101_1492 On Earth, General Hammond finally gives the order to seal the gate and lock out their transmitters. Back on Chulak, Daniel finally dials the gate.normal_sg1_101_1521 As soon as Hammond hears that, he retracts his last order. normal_sg1_101_1523

Carter sends her transmitter code and they begin sending people through the gate. Once everyone is through, the last SGC defenders make their way through the gate. One of SG-2’s members is grazed and Jack and Kawalsky have to pick him up.normal_sg1_101_1598 On the gate pedestal, they trip and in that moment, a larval Goa’uld burrows in the back of his neck. normal_sg1_101_1620He shakes it off, not quite realizing what happened. They jump through the gate and the gate is locked down behind them. Everyone is happy to be home and leaves the gate room after a minute or so. Kawalsky stays behind for a minute longer…and his eyes glow. normal_sg1_101_1686

Episode Review:

The second part of “Children of The Gods” is just as good as the first part. Michael Shanks gets to showcase his acting chops more in the second part, where he has a bigger role. This part also sets the stage well for the rest of the series. It gives a foreshadowing of the scope of the Goa’uld Empire, as well as a inkling of the quest to find both Sha’re and Skaara. But personally, the best part was watching the larval Goa’uld burrow in to Kawalsky. You know that it’s probably not going to end well later, and you want to jump up and scream at SG-1 to check him out, just to avoid the inevitable take-over. All in all, a great episode!