Akemi and I have reached the halfway mark of Stargate: Universe’s second season. On re-watching these ten episodes, I’ve discovered a new appreciation for the series. The show really started to hit its stride in season two and it’s a damn shame it came to such a premature end.
But, really, who cares what I think? This is Stargate Universe 2.- – The Japanese Girlfriend Edition! What did Akemi think?
“Do you remember what happened in the last episode?”I asked Akemi as we sat down to watch the season premiere. After all, it had been almost two weeks since we screened the season one finale.
“Yes,”she said. “Everybody die.”
Close, but not quite. And it didn’t take long for her to get caught up (Thank you, previously-on) and into the suspenseful season premiere.
Most of this episode’s high points were character-related. She was thrilled to see Toby (Peter) who has come over to watch football on occasion, and of course Mike Dopud who we’ve gone out to dinner with several times. And, as always, she likes Jamil – even though I have to point out that Jamil is the actor’s name while the name of the character he portrays is Sgt. Greer.
As for the low points, she wonders what took a topside Scott and Greer so long to figure out they should retreat to the underside of the ship to avoid the radiation: “But they’re stupid. They should have hide under ship sooner. Why scientist guy make them run?” Nevertheless: “Still, it was fun.”
She also bumped on Scott and Greer’s shooting prowess – and the enemies’ lack thereof: “Jamil and handsome guy shoot very well but bad guys not so good. Why?”
“Better training,”I offered.
She threw me a look, brow furrowed, not buying it: “You sure?”
Although saddened by the loss of T.J.’s baby, she was philosophical: “If baby is on the ship then different kind of tension. Scary things happen – but with baby. Problem, I think, from Walking Dead experience.”
Overall, though, a most enjoyable outing for her: “Time to sleep but I want to watch one more episode.”
An even darker episode sees the crew lose one of its own. A very sad episode so far as Akemi was concerned. Still, there were bright spots in the darkness. She loved the discovery of the bridge which she found very cool. And she also marvelled over Haig Sutherland’s final turn as Sgt. Riley: “He didn’t blink at all. How did he do that? His eyes must be super dry!”
She continues to have a love/hate relationship with Rush: “I didn’t like the fact science guy decided to stop [drop out of FTL]. It was dangerous and he kind of knew it. He killed the skinny guy.” And then, after a brief consideration: “Actually, writer killed him.”
And the Destiny suffers another loss in this episode, losing Colonel Telford – or, as Akemi refers to him, Chef due to his frequent Food Network appearances. Her reaction? Kind of surprising given her initial dislike of the character. I imagine he’s rehabilitated himself in her eyes following the reveal that he was a victim of brainwashing all along: “Of course I feel sorry for Chef.”
Overall, it was an emotional roller coaster ride: “Scary at first. But very sad. Again. I don’t like sad episodes. But I liked the alien. Very cute.”
And, specifically with regard to said alien: “How did you do alien? Model? Why didn’t you ask me? Big head and small legs. Perfect.” Okay, maybe next scifi series.
Another Binder-san episode with a action, suspense, and a great emotional core. This one elicited a range of responses:
“I like geek people because always nice.” Here, presumably, a reference to Eli.
“Eli brinkles a lot.” Akemism for “blink”.
She found the scene where Greer and Simeon face off in the corridor, with its discordant background music, unbearable: “Didn’t like Jamil and Jerk Guy facing each other and peeeeeee sound.”
BUT, she loved the part where Eli’s mother visits Destiny and finally learns the truth about her son: “Favorite part was when mother came to the ship. She was happy; I was happy.”
Other observations: “Scientist guy not nice. Just use everyone. Not nice.”
“I’m surprised Chloe has diary like I have.” At which point she pulled our her diary, packed full of equally weird doodles. [Note to self: Am I dating an alien?]
Mixed feelings on this episode which she equated to: “Watching old t.v. show.”
As usual, she loved Greer’s heroics, his willingness to risk all for his friend. On the other hand, she was less enamored of the wedding sequence which she found “chotto cheesy”.
She also bumped on the 11th hour turn: “Can I ask question? How can they give blood if not the same blood type?”
“Maybe they were,”I said.
“And magically the same blood type?” She wasn’t buying it.
She did, however, think Chloe looked gorgeous on her wedding day and loved her dress.
TRIAL AND ERROR
Although she liked this one, she was confused by the whole simulation explanation. Instead, she focused on the character moments, particularly the ones involving Eli and his new love interest, Ginn. She adored Greer’s big brother approach (“I’m going to take my time.” being her favorite line), but had some reservations about Eli’s shifting allegiance: “I was sad the fact geek boy turn for new girl so quickly. He liked Chloe!” Still, she wished the new couple all the best: “Now geek boy doesn’t care about Chloe anymore. Geek love. Hope they do well.”
Other observations: “I liked the part where Scott punches old Young’s face.”
On Rush: “He wash his hair?”
And: “I like Jamil all the time.” No kidding!
THE GREATER GOOD
A suspenseful episode, much of it that went completely over her head: “The part scientist talk about mission blah blah blah I couldn’t understand. Less than two percent.”
Still: “I liked it but I thought Colonel Young kill scientist.”
Another Robert Cooper extravaganza, this one with a Western twist. And another very sad episode: “A lot of people passed away.” Including Ginn: “Why Robert Cooper hate geek love?”
She loved the pyrotechnics (“I liked a lot of bombs going off.”) but didn’t like her favorite getting injured (“Didn’t like that Jamil was shot.”)
She was intrigued throughout this episode but was left disappointed by the conclusion. As the end credits rolled: “That’s it? What is that ending? What’s that? Continued next episode? That’s it? So many mystery!”
While she liked Greer’s honest conversation with Chloe (“I liked the fact Jamil is very sad and say sorry to Chloe. Jamil is nice guy, ne?”), she didn’t like the fact we were offered no answers regarding the mysterious reappearance of the new and improved shuttle and former crew members: “Why alien do that?” Off my shrug: “You should know because you’re writer.” True.
I explained that the aliens took pity on the recently deceased and reanimated them, returning them to their home (Destiny). Unfortunately, despite their advanced technology, the resurrections were short-lived. The bodies broke down and the people died all over again. I figured that would satisfy her. Instead, I got: “Are you sure? Is it answer? But you didn’t say that during episode and you’re telling me now. Why didn’t you tell everybody? Everybody so sad.” Beat. “And what happened to baby by the way?”
“It was a dream created by the ship.”
Met with a dissatisfied: “Hunh.”
Interestingly, two of her biggest objections were with regard to the Peter character played by our friend Toby Slezak. “Why Toby has such small part? And why his name Peter?” In fact, for some strange reason, she got really hung up on the name Peter: “Nice to see Toby, but his role is so small and his name is Peter. Why Peter? I hope I not offend every Peter in the world but Peter chotto…He doesn’t look like a Peter.”
Ah, by this point, she’d become a savvy viewer. When the crew identifies one of the crippled ships as similar to the one Rush and Young visited episodes earlier: “Where’s Chef?”she wanted to know.
When Chef, aka Telford finally showed up, she felt vindicated – then somewhat saddened by the fact his new alien allies pulled a precautionary double-cross. Sympathetically: “Chef manipulated by bad guys and now he’s manipulated by aliens.” Poor, dumb, trusting Chef.
She loved the action, was on the edge of her seat for the Chloe scenes and, in particular, the race from the derelict ship back to the shuttle: “Jamil, Scott and curly hair drunken guy [here, no doubt, a reference to Brody's still] running back to ship. Most exciting part.”
She did take issue with one seemingly inconsequential element in this episode: “I thought Patrick had too much tan. Only he has nice tan. What happened, he went to Vegas?”
But when we cut to the end credits, she was absolutely beside herself, insisting we roll right into the next episode. But it was late.
Here’s hoping she’s as equally enthusiastic about our Stargate Atlantis re-watch!