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HUMAN
 
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GATEWORLD - * * *
SYFY RATING - 1.313 mil.

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EPISODE NUMBER - 114
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE - 04.23.10
SYNDICATION AIR DATE - 02.21.11
WRITTEN BY - Jeff Vlaming
DIRECTED BY - Robert C. Cooper
GUEST STARRING - Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson), Suleka Mathew (Constance), Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Julia Benson (2nd Lt. Vanessa James), Patrick Gilmore (Volker), Louise Lombard (Gloria Rush), Haig Sutherland (Sgt. Hunter Riley), Chad Krowchuk (Student), Ron Halder (Priest), Jasmine Chan (Little Girl), Melina Ham (Little Girl's Mother)
Rush uses the neural interface chair to try and access Destiny's systems, causing him to recall the events which led to his recruitment into the Stargate program.

It's 6:45 a.m., and Dr. Nicholas Rush awakens in his home on Earth. He stares at the blonde woman lying beside him. Getting out of bed, he picks up a notebook and begins writing. He walks into his home office, and looks at the walls -- covered with pieces of paper, each, in turn, full of symbols and formulae.

As he moves through his day at the university, streams of Ancient symbols fill his vision. He scribbles in his notebook incessantly. Even when the blonde woman -- his wife, Gloria -- tells him her cancer is back, he writes in his notebook.

The routine continues. Nicholas even writes down a license plate number that he passes on the street (46YYR9P). When a man named Daniel Jackson comes to recruit him into the top-secret Stargate program, he dismisses Jackson as a figment of his imagination -- just like everything else he's experiencing. All of it is getting in the way of what he is trying to find: the master code to unlock Destiny's control systems.

On Destiny, Colonel Everett Young and Eli Wallace find Rush sitting unconscious in the ship's control interface chair, its electrodes interfacing with his mind ("Life"). Adam Brody explains that they created a buffer to slow the flow of information. Only a narrow area of the brain has been targeted. And there's an escape mechanism which should protect Rush from what Dr. Franklin suffered when he sat in the unmodified chair several weeks ago ("Justice"). Lt. Tamara Johansen examines Rush. He is stable, even though his blood pressure and heart rate are elevated.

Desperate to find the master code, Rush continues to relive the tumultuous final weeks of his wife's life. The flow of information is unrelenting. He grows angrier with his failure to uncover a pattern in the data stream. When Jackson reappears, Rush expresses his bitterness. Even though he spent two and a half years, the last years of Gloria's life, working on the problem of the ninth chevron, it was Eli who solved the equations -- a "child" with no significant education.

Jackson is sympathetic. He encourages Rush to spend time now with his wife. It is the most important thing he can do right now. But the stress of the circumstances takes its toll. Rush's nose starts to bleed, both within the semi-lucid dream and in real time.

While Rush is in the chair, Eli enters the ship's Mess. He spots Chloe Armstrong, but sits by himself. Desperate to mend their relationship ("Divided"), Chloe joins him. When Destiny drops from F.T.L. flight, the pair head for the gate room. Young is already there. With six hours of planet time before Destiny departs, he orders Lt. Matthew Scott and MSgt. Ronald Greer to suit up. Eli and Chloe volunteer to go, too, when they see the stone ruins on the video sent back by a kino.

The four search the ruins for the reason Destiny stopped at this planet. Eli sends the kino down into a complex of underground tunnels. When he loses the device, he begs Scott for permission to go in and retrieve it. Reluctantly, Scott leads them all down into the dark passages. (Greer reluctantly follows, apparently having a fear of confined spaces.)

After an encounter with a huge cobweb, Chloe wants to return to the surface. Lt. Scott agrees. Suddenly, Greer shouts at Chloe. He fires his weapon, killing an enormous spider behind her. But the concussion triggers the collapse of the ceiling and blocks their exit.

When Colonel Young checks in by radio, Scott reports their dilemma. Two hours remain before Destiny resumes her journey. Lt. Vanessa James and Dale Volker lead a rescue team. Volker and others search the ruins for an alternate exit, and James orders the rest to start removing the rubble. Scott and his team also resume moving debris.

Volker can find no other opening. With only 30 minutes before Destiny jumps, James uses C4 to blast through the rubble. It only makes matters worse. Scott orders Lt. James and her team back to Destiny.

Desperate, Young wants to pull Rush out of the chair. But Brody is afraid it would kill him.

In his dream state, Rush heeds Jackson's advice. In real life he was immersed in his work, and wasn't there for her; now he is repeating the same mistake by ignoring her as a mere memory, and not real. He accompanies Gloria to the park, to a treatment, and to church. All the while, though, he continues to write copious notes. When Jackson returns, he reveals that a source in the Lucian Alliance has found a planet which meets the power requirements for dialing the ninth chevron -- the Icarus planet. Beyond frustrated, Rush wants to leave the dream.

Again Jackson encourages Rush to spend time with the dying Gloria. Pondering the date, Rush realizes that throughout the dream he has seen the numerals 4 and 6 paired everywhere -- on the clock, as the house address, on the license plate, and on many pieces of notebook paper. It's even in places he knows it is not supposed to be. Even the Psalm read in church was 46.

Gloria, in her hospital room, chides Rush for using her death as an excuse to become callous. Her death is merely the result of one malfunctioning gene. Finally, Rush understands, and the door to escape the dream state appears. Gloria tells him to go. Dazed, he awakens with five minutes left on the countdown clock -- five minutes to find a way to stop Destiny from entering F.T.L. and leaving four people behind. Young wants a miracle solution, but Rush hasn't learned enough to crack the ship's master code.

Destiny jumps, stranding Scott, Greer, Chloe, and Eli. Young returns to the Control Room. Rush, Volker, and Brody are already working. Because Destiny predates other known Ancient technology, it uses a numerical code (whereas later technology detected specific genetic markers). Rush's dream time provided an essential clue and a starting point: the 46 chromosomes comprising human DNA.

- S. Fetter

NOTES
  • "Human" features the song "English Rose" by The Jam (during Rush's dream).

  • PRODUCTION
  • "Human" originally carried the working title "Lucid" during the writing stage.

  • This is Michael Shanks's first full guest appearance on Stargate Universe, though he did appear in a brief cameo in the series premiere, "Air, Part 1." While en route to Icarus Base, Eli watched a video primer of Daniel Jackson introducing basic concepts such as the Stargates, wormholes, and the Ancients.

  • Actress Suleka Matthew ("Constance") originally played the Goa'uld System Lord Kali on Stargate SG-1's "Summit" and "Last Stand."

  • Recognize the church priest who recites the Psalm? Actor Ron Halder played the recurring role of the Goa'uld System Lord Cronus on Stargate SG-1, starting with the third season episode "Fair Game."

  • "Rob, meanwhile, put out his pass on 'Lucid' (he's renamed it 'Human' and the change is a point of some debate) and it's a terrific script -- engaging, poignant, and, yes, mighty surprising. Rob will be assuming directing duties on the episode."
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • "The film looks amazing. For his part, Rob had nothing but praise for the actors and, given their significant roles in this episode, Robert Caryle and guest star Michael Shanks in particular."
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • "I made a cameo in the pilot and they're keeping me alive to pass the torch. The next one coming up is titled 'Human,' and back-references my character first initiating Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) into the Stargate program, but my character exists more as a figment of Dr. Rush's imagination."
    (Actor Michael Shanks, in an interview with TV Guide Magazine)

  • "While Rush has been front and center to date, many of you are hankering for a peek at Rush's motivations, his backstory, what potentially dark events from his past shaped him. Well, fans of the character won't have to wait long for some answers. 'Human,' episode 14, will explore the Rush character and, if not answer many of these questions, then at least offer some major hints to a troubled past. And, of course, Rush will continue to follow his own agenda (which we'll begin to piece together as time goes on), ultimately taking this game to a whole new level as we head into the show's second season."
    (Consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • "My favorite line was from 'Human,' when Chloe shows off her archaeological expertise with this neverending line: 'Actually, many advanced alien civilizations found in the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxies lived in what appeared to be primitive stone architecture that concealed extremely powerful technology ...' Try delivering that without passing out. Phew."
    (Actress Elyse Levesque, in a Q&A at Joseph Mallozzi's blog)

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