Stargate Universe [Syfy, Tuesdays, 9/8C] makes its second season premiere on a new night – and that’s the only thing that’s changed. Intervention finds the inhabitants of the ancient Ancient starship Destiny in as precarious a position as the one in which they were when last we saw them – but we don’t actually find that out until after the very intriguing teaser.
T.J. [Alaina Kalanj] awakens to find herself in what appears to be a log cabin. The sequence is lit with yellows, golds and reds – it’s very warm and cozy. She’s back on the planet where some of the people on the Destiny had chosen to settle. We don’t know if it’s a dream, a hallucination, or real – or if there’s something going on with the mysterious aliens that one theory said created that solar system just for the people of the Destiny.
Following the opening credits, we are on the Destiny and right where we left off, last year. Scott [Brian J. Smith] and Greer [Jamil Walker Smith] are outside the ship just as the pulsar flares; the Lucian Alliance is still in control; Rush [Robert Carlyle], Brody [Peter Kelamis] and Volker [Patrick Gilmore] are on a second bridge, trying to figure a way to help their fellows; Chloe [Elyse Levesque] is wounded and Eli [David Blue] is running to the airlock to let Scott and Greer back into the ship.
Since Intervention is the conclusion of a three episode arc that concluded season and opens season two, the only safe assumption we can make is that all of these situations is resolved – and so they are. Just not necessarily in the manner we might have been expecting.
To begin with, there may more to those mysterious aliens than we thought. T.J.’s experience on the world of the log cabin might be real or not – but it ties to another event back aboard the Destiny. The Lucians gain a new leader, Dannic [Ian Butcher], who just might be insane. A bullet wound seemingly heals itself. Rush comes up with a plan – and a very dangerous one, at that. All in all, for SGU it’s, as Eli so eloquently puts it, “Just another day in outer space.”
Writers Paul Mullie and Joe “Ice Cream Parties”* Mallozzie wrap up the cliffhanger with an episode that is taut, suspenseful and punctuated with bursts of violence and slightly off-center humor. They set up situations that make us ask questions – and then answer them in unexpected ways. While most of the regular cast have their moments – and the guest stars get some, as well – this really T.J.’s ep. It resolves the issue of her pregnancy while setting up an intriguing possible future arc [though another character does have a bit of a place in the set-up, it’s T.J. that does all the heavy lifting – emotionally speaking].
Andy Mikita keeps the ep moving, but hits the necessary character and humor beats just enough to make the most of the accumulating tension [or momentarily breaking it, as required]. He has a knack for finding interesting angles that, in another type of series, would be very noir – and uses them to create a sense of panic, frustration, or anger. So far, he seems to be the series most reliably creative director.
Of course, when Intervention weaves to its conclusion, there are new and interesting questions to ponder – and characters to re-evaluate. Like Eli says, it’s just another day in outer space.
Final Grade: A-
Photos by Carole Segal/Courtesy Syfy