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FAITH
 
RATINGS SCORECARD
GATEWORLD - * * 1/2
SYFY RATING - 1.422 mil.

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EPISODE NUMBER - 113
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE - 04.16.10
SYNDICATION AIR DATE - 02.14.11
WRITTEN BY - Denis McGrath
DIRECTED BY - William Waring
GUEST STARRING - Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Tygh Runyan (Dr. Caine), Jennifer Spence (Lisa Park), Patrick Gilmore (Volker), Vincent Gale (Morrison), Julia Benson (2nd Lt. Vanessa James), Darcy Laurie (Airman Dunning)
The crew finds a idyllic planet when Destiny stops without its countdown clock running, tempting some crew members to stay permanently.

The fight for survival aboard Destiny has made everyone weary. Lieutenants Tamara Johansen ("T.J.") and Matthew Scott force themselves to begin another day. Camille Wray has lost her appetite. Still recovering from surgery ("Divided"), Dr. Nicholas Rush staggers into the Control Room to resume work. Adam Brody and Dr. Lisa Park take on the challenge of repairing Destiny's damaged shuttle, the one Senator Armstrong died in ("Air, Part 2").

After the attempted civilian coup ("Divided"), Colonel Everett Young has ordered his personnel to make a special effort to be more accommodating. Spotting Rush in the Control Room, Young begins the effort to mend his strained relationship with the man.

Suddenly, Destiny drops out of F.T.L. flight. Surprisingly, the countdown clock does not begin, nor does the Stargate dial out. According to charts they are in empty space. But Brody, still in the damaged shuttle, reports the presence of a star. Its gravity well disrupted Destiny's propulsion, forcing it from F.T.L. flight. Once they move through a parabolic course around the star, Destiny will be on its way again -- in about four weeks' time.

This yellow dwarf star (similar to Earth's sun) has one planet orbiting it. Rush is hard-pressed to explain how it can be there; the Ancient ships traveling ahead of Destiny send back sensor data, but when they passed by here there was no star and no planet. Yet here it is, with a viable atmosphere and vegetative life. Scott, Johansen, MSgt. Ronald Greer, Dr. Caine, and several marines investigate. The water is safe. Greer "tests" a fruit by biting into it. Loaded with samples to take back to Destiny, the shuttle flies over the area and the group discovers a 2,000-foot-high obelisk standing in an extinct volcanic caldera.

Rush believes the makers of the obelisk actually created the star and the planet after the Ancients' Stargate-seeding ship passed through this region. Because Destiny's course correction will take so long to execute, there is a window during which the shuttle could return to the planet and harvest supplies. A group will be able to spend several weeks camping on the planet and collecting food and water, returning to the ship when Destiny loops back around the star to exit the system.

Under Scott's command, Greer, T.J., Caine, Airman Dunning, Chloe Armstrong, Dr. Dale Volker, and several others return to the planet. It takes some time to overcome the rift between civilians and military personnel, but in a "spirit of cooperation" they spend the next month gathering specimens, collecting food, and starting to enjoying life again. T.J. is particularly comforted by the chance to be off the dark and aged ship, under a warm sun and in the fresh air again. She finds a waterfall which reminds her of her childhood.

Chloe and Scott begin to mend the damage to their relationship. Volker studies the obelisk. And Caine wonders if finding the planet was a miracle -- a lifeline from God. Perhaps the alien race who built the obelisk, who are capable of engineering a solar system, will return. The aliens could be their best chance of getting back to Earth one day.

Back on Destiny, Brody and Park continue working on the shuttle. A team headed by Lt. Vanessa James explores more of Destiny. They locate a store room with a number of crates. One holds an intriguing device James suggests looks like a "robot." Young orders it re-crated until Rush can study it. Eli Wallace worries about those on the planet, while Wray decides she made the wrong choice in not going with them.

A few days before the shuttle's return, the obelisk projects a beam of light straight into space. Despite the possibility this may summon the creators of the star system, many on the planet are determined to remain behind when Destiny leaves. Some believe Caine is right, that the planet is a lifeline. Others just want to stay in what is clearly a healthier living environment. And T.J. has a special reason: she is pregnant with Colonel Young's baby, a result of their affair that ended before they left Icarus Base several months ago.

Scott radios to the Colonel to inform him that 11 people, including T.J., Chloe, and himself, want to remain on the planet. (Scott believes he must stay to look out for the others.) Young and Rush are livid. Young feels betrayed; Rush worries about the effects of losing so many capable people. But Camille argues that they have the right to make a choice about their own fate, even as Young is adamant that no military personnel will remain behind. Mindful of the recept coup attempt, he finds a compromise.

Although repairs on the damaged shuttle aren't nearly complete, Young flies it to the planet's surface. He offers the people there a deal: He will leave the shuttle for those civilians who wish to stay. It will never be able to break orbit, but should provide power and shelter during the coming winter. In return, all military personnel must return to Destiny -- including Lts. Scott and Johansen.

Young reminds them that Destiny is their only way home. Caine counters with his belief that staying on this idyllic planet is their destiny. As people make their final choice, T.J., Chloe and Scott are the last to decide. When T.J. makes the heart-breaking decision to obey orders, Scott and Chloe return with her to the ship in time for it to jump back to F.T.L.

Colonel Young makes his way to Rush's quarters. Awkwardly, he jokes that he is sorry Rush didn't meet those responsible for the star system -- someone with whom the brilliant scientist could hold a decent conversation. Rush, whittling chess pieces, is uncertain how to respond. Young goes further out on the olive branch and tells Rush that he likes chess, too.

Scott stops Young on his way to the mess hall. Confused and upset, he asks the Colonel if they all might have let go of a lifeline by not staying. Young truthfully answers that no one can know. He proceeds into the mess, where everyone is clearly enjoying a feast of foods brought back. Young joins in, oblivious to T.J.'s despair.

Fearful of the future and perhaps more isolated than ever, T.J. sits in the infirmary crying, her hands protectively covering the baby she carries.

- S. Fetter

NOTES
  • The song featured in this episode is "All My Days" by Alexi Murdoch (the Eli and Camille scene, and the episode's conclusion).

  • PRODUCTION
  • Actor Vincent Gale previously played N.I.D. Agent Cross in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Nightwalkers."

  • "Carl Binder will be assuming revision duties on 'Faith,' episode 12."
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • "I think we have an ability to reach a huge audience and take these questions that we could experience -- race, religion, cultural boundaries -- and it won't offend anybody because we're talking about aliens and we're not talking about specific religions. We do have an episode coming up called 'Faith,' and it explores the idea of faith and possibly the Ancients as saviors. We're not talking about a Messiah of one particular religion, we're speaking about the idea of believing that something greater than us exists. And I think that's a really great topic to talk about and not to go over to war over.

    "So yeah, it's absolutely my favorite part of the genre. We are military-based as well, and we've got to watch yourself in that regard. But I think it's safe to say that you can challenge that. And I think we see a little bit of that too, again in 'Faith,' when some of us are like 'What are we doing?' ... 'Why are we here?' And you kind of go back and forth. You then have the realization that we need a ruler. We can't have a majority vote. It's not going to work that way. But does it? And I think that transcends to a lot of the issues that we have going on in the world right now."
    ("Tamara Johansen" actress Alaina Huffman, in an interview at Moviehole)

  • "We recently wrapped an episode called 'Faith' and I thought it played very well, and the location we worked at was breathtaking."
    ("Matthew Scott" actor Brian J. Smith, in a fan Q&A at Joseph Mallozzi's blog)

  • "We'll be touching on the topic of [religious] faith in a back half episode titled, appropriately enough, 'Faith.'"
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • "Although most of your diehard fans know where we're going with the character [T.J. Johansen], but I'll resist the urge to spill the beans for those who don't want to be spoiled. Instead, I'll simply assure you that T.J. will have a developing story arc through the back half of Season One, one that will have major ramifications for her character well into Season Two. A lot of wonderful Tamara moments throughout the back half, but 'Faith,' episode 13, is the episode that fans of the character (and fans of actress Alaina Huffman in particular) should really look forward to.

    "And the show's second season gets off to a very interesting start for her, as well. One of the aspects of the T.J. character we see flashes of in episodes like 'Water' that I truly love and want to explore is her military side. In short, I want to see her kick ass!"
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • "'Faith,' episode 13, in particular offers us a better understanding of [Matthew Scott's] selflessness and willingness to self-sacrifice for the greater good."
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • "Yes, [Caine] stayed behind with about a half dozen of his fellow crew members.

    "In Denis' original pitch, a female crew member discovers she's pregnant. As it so happened, actress Alaina Huffman announced her pregnancy around this time -- so, rather than give the story to a secondary character, we gave it to the Tamara character."
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • Mallozzi confirmed that the question of how the planet came into existence was purposely not answered, in order to allow both the characters and the audience to draw their own conclusions. But will we learn more about these super-advanced aliens down the road? "Elements of this particular storyline will be picked up at a later date. Cryptic, no?"
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • "It's not the ideal situation, but I got pregnant, like, shooting the second episode. And so I told the producers. I was like, 'Hey, guys, uh, I'm pregnant.' And Brad and Rob, I called them into my trailer, and I told them, and we decided to keep it quiet for a while. And they said, 'You know what? We actually thought it's a great storyline. We kind of wondered. We didn't really want anyone to be pregnant, but we did wonder what the circumstance would be, in a situation like this, if you're pregnant. I mean, it's a lot on the line.'

    "And so I said, 'Well, I'll be the girl for the job.' But then the funny thing was, when Brad was leaving my trailer, he kind of shook his head, and he says, 'This always happens to us.'

    "Amanda [Tapping and Rachel [Luttrell also had children while filming]. I think all of the women of Stargate have had kids. ... You know, when you're in business for 16 years, ... it's going to happen. So, yes, I was pregnant in real life, and there was already an established sort of connection between Young and T.J., and it actually just kind of fell into place, and I'm very happy with the choice they made to write it in. You have to tune in to the second season to see what happens."
    (Actress Alaina Huffman, in an interview with SciFi Wire)

  • "If I'm not mistaken, I believe Caine, when he came on was going to be a love interest for T.J. But then I was pregnant [in real life, which was written into the show] and they're like, 'Oh, that's not really gonna work.' So it ended up what it was."
    (Actress Alaina Huffman, in an interview with Show Patrol)

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    HD Screen Captures: ‘Faith’
    Over 950 stills from the 13th episode of SGU Season One are now available in the Gallery.

    GateWorld Podcast: ‘Faith’
    Darren and Justin discuss last week's new episode of Stargate Universe. SPOILERS

    Transcript: SGU‘s ‘Faith’
    Relive last week's episode of Stargate Universe with GateWorld's complete transcript!

    Tonight on SGU: ‘Faith’
    Preview tonight's new episode of Stargate Universe! SPOILERS
    9 p.m. E/P on Syfy


    Denis McGrath on freelance writing ‘Faith’ for SGU
    Writer Denis McGrath talks about his experience pitching, writing, and waiting to see how "Faith" finally turns out.

    Three new SGU episode titles
    We've just updated the Stargate Universe Season One episode guide with three new titles!

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