Saturday, November 13, 2010


I just caught up with a few shows from this week, Stargate Universe, Fringe, and Supernatural, that I thought I'd chat a bit about today.  Every one of them moved their respective series' Seasonal Story Arcs forward with big revelations and while they were all kind of low-key otherwise, each episode was pretty characteristic of the ongoing series.

I'm not going to dance around some of the details of the episodes, since they're from all through the week, but I'll go ahead and say, SPOILER WARNING.  At the same time, if you haven't seen the episodes, or the shows, some of this might not make much sense to you.  But that's okay with me.

Here we go!

Stargate Universe
2.07 "The Greater Good"

After a couple of fairly lackluster episodes, it looks like things might be back on track.  We've got credible threats, actual forward movement in the overarching plot, and everybody finally knows about the Bridge.  In addition to all of that, Eli and Ginn have gotten closer, and for the first time in a while, it looks like Eli is happy.  Of course, you know what that means.

And while I wasn't sure about the starting point for this episode, the discovery of an abandoned alien ship, floating dead in space, I appreciate the fact that they used it to really advance the story.  I have to admit, though, for just a second or two I had a feeling of deja vu, as the discovery of the ship seemed almost exactly shot-for-shot the same set-up for the discovery of the Seed Ship a couple of weeks ago.

Once that feeling passed, though, it was game on.

I even enjoyed the return of Kathleen Monroe as quadriplegic genius Amanda Perry, the only person Rush thinks he can trust.  To be honest, though, most of the episode is fairly predictable and bordering on cliche.  It's really only that I'm invested in the situation and the characters that kept me engaged.  Although the confrontation between Rush and Colonel Young was a long time coming, it felt a bit forced.  At least on Young's side.  I don't know if it's Justin Louis' performance, or just the material, but he didn't really sell it like Robert Carlyle did.

Of course, everyone pales to Robert Carlyle.

Not sure what to make of the revelation about Destiny's true mission.  It sounded interesting and is one of the most solid non-pulpy science fiction concepts that I've heard in a film or TV show, but at the same time it may be a little too abstract to really provide an effective motivation for narrative development.  Unless, they plan on pulping it up with the whole, "controlling reality" spin.  That seems a bit too over-the-top for this show, though.

I guess we'll see.  But with only three more episodes before the mid-season break, I'm not expecting much development on that front.

With the off-screen murder of Ginn at the end of this episode (we can't let Eli get too happy, now, can we?) next week looks to involves some serious ass-kicking and off-ship violence.  It's about damn time, but I'm going to miss Ginn.  Julie McNiven is about as cute as cute can be, plus, I liked having the Supernatural connection on board. 


3.06 "6955 kHz"

It's Episode Six and we're back on our world with our Fringe Division and Fauxlivia for the weakest episode of the season so far.  But for a season that has been this good, even a weak episode is still pretty good.  The silliness that almost derails the whole episode stems from the mythical First People.  There are so many plot problems with trying to integrate the concept of an ancient human race that I won't even begin.

There are plenty of places on-line where you can find that.

I'm more interested in how the concept moves the Two Worlds plot forward.  Because it sets up an interesting situation.  If the machine that Walternate was building on the other side was incomplete, the question becomes are the machine pieces that our side discovers supposed to complete the machine or create something else.

The idea of this Creator/Destroyer Machine called The Void sounds like it might be the sort of device that initiated the split into two worlds in the first place.  Especially if, as we find out, Fauxlivia and her shape-changing partners are behind the revelation of the coded message people are hearing in that radio signal.

Or are they?

Is the broadcast really the remnants of the First People and are the bad guys just piggy-backing on it?  They seemed to already know where the decoding would lead our heroes, which could be because they'd already decoded it on the Other Side or because it was all fake.  I get the feeling though, that it was something that Walternate had already figured out.

I'm also getting the feeling that Peter knows Fauxlivia isn't the real Olivia.  Nina definitely is onto her.

But as I said, it wasn't a great episode, although I have to love a show where two of our main characters (Walter and Nina) can sit in the park sharing a joint while trying to solve their philosophical and scientific dilemmas.

It's okay.  They both have prescriptions.

6.08 "All Dogs Go to Heaven"

Now that the boys are working for Crowley, whether they like it or not, it looks like we may be getting into the meat of the Season.  We've already discovered that Grandpa has been capturing and interrogating Alpha Monsters (the first fathers of each species) for Crowley in order to discover the location of Purgatory.  We know that Crowley is responsible for Sam's soul being trapped in Hell, while his body and mind wander around on Earth as a sociopathic Monster Hunter.  And we know that Vampires are recruiting an army.

Oh, and there's that pesky Civil War in Heaven thing going on, too.

Well, this week we discover that Vampires aren't the only monsters building up for a coming war.

Initially, Crowley and the boys think a series of gruesome animal attacks are the work of Werewolves, but they're a little off.  Instead of Werewolves, it's a rogue Skinwalker (a shape shifter).  Seems packs of Skinwalkers have formed Sleeper Cells across the country, changing into dogs, getting themselves adopted by families, and when the signal is given, plan on turning all of those families in one night, surging their pack numbers from 30 to nearly 150 in one fell swoop.

And that's just in the local pack.  But our rogue has fallen in love with his family and is murdering to protect them (well, the mom and kid, anyway - drunk boyfriend gets his heart ripped out, too).  It doesn't lead Sam and Dean to an Alpha, but in taking down this pack they are made aware of the overall plan.

It looks like there's a war coming.  And it looks like things could get really bad.

The episode was a little sentimental at times, as Supernatural is wont to do, but overall it was pretty effective.  It wasn't a groundbreaking episode, or one that will probably stick in many people's memories, but it was solid.  Particularly with Sam finally coming clean to Dean about the fact that with no soul he really doesn't care about anyone or anything outside of the Hunt.  Although he does remember what he was like with his soul, and thinks that he'd prefer to have it back.

So with that off his chest, it's on to next week's episode and an infestation of fairies!  It looks pretty light-hearted, but I fully expect there to be a darker aspect to the slapstick shenanigans the preview promised.


  1. Oh, the goodies have known about Fake Cheap Cate Blanchett since she came over. There have been not-too-subtle hints to that effect all along.

  2. You're probably right. But Nina's been the most obvious about it.

  3. I think she figured it out in the episode with the shapeshifter in the morgue. There was a definite look she gave Fake Cheap Cate Blanchett then which clinched it. Pacey's playing interference, keeping her distracted with bedroom shenanigans while the rest of the team do whatever they're doing but we haven't been shown yet.

  4. For some reason, I read "Astrid" every time you wrote "Nina" there.

    I think the Machine Bits exist in both worlds, and it's just that on Evil Earth -- and why oh why don't the people there have goatees? -- they already found them, so they know where they're to be found on Good Earth.

    Having now seen this episode, I'm even more convinced of my season end predictions.