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AWAKENING
 
RATINGS SCORECARD
GATEWORLD - * * 1/2
FAN POLL - 7.93
SYFY RATING - 1.222 mil.

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EPISODE NUMBER - 203
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE - 10.12.10
SYNDICATION AIR DATE - 09.26.11
WRITTEN BY - Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
DIRECTED BY - Andy Mikita
GUEST STARRING - Louise Lombard (Gloria Rush), Julie McNiven (Ginn), Mike Dopud (Varro), Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker), Jennifer Spence (Lisa Park), Robert Knepper (Simeon), Lou Diamond Phillips (David Telford), Leanne Adachi (Cpl. Barnes), Darcy Laurie (Airman Dunning), Ryan Booth (Cpl. Marsen), Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Pvt. Darren Becker), Marie-Eve Boudreau (Alien Reference)
Destiny encounters an Ancient seeder ship, which may hold the key to getting the crew home. But they soon find that the ship is not unoccupied.

On the Observation Deck, Colonel Everett Young, Dr. Nicholas Rush, Eli Wallace, Dr. Lisa Park and Camille Wray watch as Destiny approaches a ship. Destiny does not alter her heading nor slow down. Rush is confident they'll dock rather than collide, but Young orders weapons readied.

The other ship is clearly Ancient in design, and it seems evident that this is one of the seed ships sent ahead of Destiny to place Stargates on planets and to gather data. Destiny slides into a berth clearly designed for her, and the ships automatically exchange data. Rush prepares to join the boarding party, but Young insists he remain behind to translate newly downloaded information.

Lt. Matthew Scott, MSgt. Ronald Greer, Adam Brody, and Dr. Dale Volker open the other ship's airlock. The machinery groans, but works. The team follows a kino through narrow, dark corridors.

Rush returns to Destiny's Bridge, a discovery he is still keeping to himself. As he studies the data stream, Gloria points out that the other ship has enough power to dial the Stargate home to Earth. She wonders if Rush will tell the others. But he intends to let them discover this on their own.

On the seed ship, the search party quickly locates a control center. Volker and Brody turn on the consoles, aware that they only have a couple of hours to study the vessel. As Eli monitors the kino's video stream, Rush returns to Destiny's Control Interface Room. He pretends to work while overhearing Colonel David Telford confronting Young. Upset that he's been excluded from the investigation of the seed ship, Telford warns Young that he needs to shape up or step back as mission commander. Reluctantly at first, Young briefs Telford on the situation.

Varro, spokesman for the Lucian Alliance prisoners, asks to see Colonel Young. When Young enters their holding area, Ginn eagerly offers to help with the seed ship. Annoyed that even the prisoners know about the vessel, Young admits to Varro that there is probably nothing they can do that will earn his trust.

Young seeks out Camille, who is working in the hydroponics lab. He doesn't want her treating the prisoners as if they have rights even though they're providing information about the impending Alliance attack on Earth. Frustrated, Wray switches topics, asking if Young will speak at the memorial service for Riley. He agrees.

Returning to the Control Interface Room, Young is greeted with good news. Eli and Park have discovered that energy reserves aboard the seed ship could allow them to dial Earth and get everyone home. To oversee the proper transfer of power from ship to ship, Rush boards the seed vessel.

Scott and Greer, who have been exploring while Brody and Volker work, show Rush the huge hold where Stargates are manufactured. Less than awed, Rush wastes no time and starts for the control room. Brody has gone to fix a malfunctioning relay station one floor up. Alone in the room, Volker hears a noise. He turns around and is shocked to see an alien standing there, watching him. When he speaks to it, it collapses onto the floor.

Informed of the alien presence, Young summons Lt. Tamara Johansen. She has been conducting follow-up exams on the Alliance wounded (including Simeon, who tests his boundaries by aggressively flirting with her). Telford and Airman Dunning escort her to the seed ship's control room. The alien is still unresponsive. When T.J. touches it, it's eyes snap open, startling everyone. With numerous weapons trained on it, the alien sits, mumbling as it pulls its knees to its chest.

Rush suggests that they lower their guns. Scott tries to communicate his name, apparently to no avail. He offers it food, which it spits out in disgust. Rush encourages them to look for others. The scientists continue to transfer the seed ship's power directly to Destiny's Stargate, while Telford, Greer, and Scott head off to continue scouring the ship.

Greer locates at least a dozen pods, indicting there are more aliens aboard the seed ship. Rush speculates that they may be a research team left to study the vessel. Colonel Young orders the science team back to Destiny, but Rush insists on overseeing the power exchange from the seed ship until a stable wormhole is established. With the captive alien, the others head for Destiny.

Destiny's personnel are summoned to the Gate Room. Young has the prisoners brought in as well. The Stargate powers up, and begins to dial Earth. But the energy flow is suddenly interrupted. Eli realizes the power transfer has been reversed, and Destiny's reserves are flowing back to the seed ship. He calls Rush, but gets no answer.

Rush and Dunning have been rendered unconscious by the aliens, who reset the power flow and disappeared again. As T.J. escorts the alien and the scientists back toward the airlock, the alien escapes. Telford, Scott, and Greer go back to rescue Rush and Dunning. Scott and Greer drag the pair to the airlock, where they begin to regain consciousness from the alien stun weapon.

Eli calculates that if they don't stop the power drain, Destiny won't have enough energy reenter F.T.L. flight. Young wants to disconnect the ships, but neither Park nor Eli knows how to make that happen. Young summons Rush to the Control Interface Room, but the now conscious Rush instead goes to the Bridge.

David Telford alone remains on the seed ship. Eli talks him through the computer commands necessary to restore the energy flow to Destiny. With only minutes left before Destiny is powerless, the two ships suddenly disconnect -- stranding Telford on the other vessel. Unbeknownst to the others, Rush was unwilling to risk that the Colonel would reverse the power transfer in time, and undocked the ships to save Destiny.

Telford radios his friend, Everett, and tells him to take care of his people -- and himself. Destiny jumps into F.T.L., and his radio crackles with static. The aliens emerge from the hiding place, and surround him.

As life returns to normal on Destiny, T.J. takes blankets and other amenities to the prisoners. Wray and Greer pack Telford's effects. And Colonel Young refills his bottle at Brody's still.

On the Bridge, Gloria asks Rush if he acted to save the crew ... or to save his own dream. Nicholas sits back in the command chair, alone, and closes his eyes.

- S. Fetter

ANALYSIS
  • Destiny has caught up with one of the many seed ships sent ahead by the Ancients. These ships place the Stargates on suitable planets, and also gather important sensor data -- effectively blazing the path that Destiny is following-up on.

    With the exception of the presence of the aliens, they seem to be intended to be unmanned and fully automated. Like Destiny they probably use stars to recharge their power supply.

  • The seed ship had component pieces of several Stargates lined up in a manufacturing section. But how the ships come upon the vital resources needed to build more Stargates is still a mystery. Do they automatically harvest the raw materials for Stargates as they find new planets? Have they found naquadah in these other galaxies through which they have travelled -- or is there another suitable element they have found as a substitute?

    It seems unlikely that they are still using the materials they had when they left the Milky Way Galaxy, at least a million years ago (and probably far longer). Presumably they have been leaving Stargates all along the way, for all that time. But it is conceivable that the ships did not start seeding gates until they were many, many galaxies away from Earth.

  • It is not at all clear why this seeder ship was stationary, however -- which seems to be the only thing that allowed Destiny to catch up to it. It's power reserves had plenty of energy. It seems likely that the aliens brought the ship to a stop -- particularly if Rush's theory is correct, and they are a research team.

  • Ancient seeder ships can hold power reserves that seem to be far in excess of Destiny. The ship even has enough energy to dial a 9-chevron Stargate address. Since Destiny's power systems operate at less than 40 percent of the ship's original design capacity ("Water"), it's not clear if that ship was ever intended to be able to dial an outgoing, 9-chevron address on its own -- making the Ancients' planned trip to Destiny a one-way affair.

  • The fact that Destiny was able to catch one of the seed ships, however, indicates that they were probably not launched much earlier than Destiny herself. Assuming that Destiny travels through F.T.L. at roughly the same speed as its counterparts, the seed ships are far enough ahead that they can stop and deposit Stargates, and in some cases have those gates overgrown with plant life or buried under rubble ("Aftermath"). But the difference is probably on an order of magnitude of months or years, not decades or centuries.

  • That said, perhaps the Ancients intended that Destiny would eventually catch up to some of the ships, considering that the ships were designed to dock with one another. Destiny's crew could potentially have found supplies on board for restocking, had they had time to look around more.

  • The brown aliens encountered on board the seeder ship bear a passing resemblance to the hostile blue alien species that Destiny has already encountered ("Space"). The leg and head anatomy seems basically similar, including large, wide-set eyes, a large cranium, and the small mouth located on the lowest portion of the head, with small, sharp teeth.

    It seems plausible that these two are related species, or at least have a common ancestry in their home galaxy. They could even be different classes or races within the same species -- perhaps with the brown aliens designated a science or labor class.

  • It is also a plausible theory that the seed ships, unlike Destiny, were never intended to be unmanned -- and that the aliens are its maintenance crew.

  • Rush speculates that the aliens on board the seeder ship could be a research team. They apparently have been there for a while, as they are well acquainted with the computer interface and control system. What race are they from, how did they get on board, and how long have they been there? Does the seed ship not have the same automated defense mechanisms that have kept the blue aliens out of Destiny for so long? And why do they appear to have been asleep in stasis pods?

    Just who they are and what they want with the ship remain a mystery. If they are related to the blue aliens, though, it may have been in the discovery and exploration of this seeder ship (or others like it) that they first learned of Destiny's existence. Perhaps the study of this ship has the aim of getting them onto Destiny herself.

  • The alien pods do appear to be distinctly different in design from Destiny and the seed ship. There are some sort of cabling connecting the pods to the ship's systems (probably to draw power to maintain the pods' life support systems).

  • These aliens did not seem especially hostile. They made no threatening moves toward the crew, only shooting Dunning and Rush with a stun weapon and stopping them from transferring away massive amounts of the ship's power reserves. Then they left them alone and went into hiding.

    It's very unclear whether they have hostile intentions toward Telford, now that he is stranded on the ship with them. If they are peaceful beings, they may in fact welcome him and attempt to communicate.

  • It's very strange that Colonel Young would have a Lieutenant (Scott) lead the initial mission to explore the seeder ship, rather than the far higher-ranked and experienced Colonel Telford. It may show some reluctance to trust the man who only weeks ago was a Lucian Alliance spy, though he has since proven himself. It also shows further proof that Everett has abandoned the regulations and procedures of the Air Force.

  • Chloe's bullet wound in her leg has almost completely healed. Neither she nor T.J. know how her rapid healing is possible. But it may have something to do with her brief captivity at the hands of the blue aliens several months ago ("Space"). As far as we know so far, they didn't do anything to her in the short time they had her, other than probe her mind.

  • According to Camille, Homeworld Command has received firm confirmation that the Lucian Alliance in the Milky Way Galaxy is planning for a direct attack on Earth. Certainly they have the ships and technology to mount such an offensive (their much-improved ships fared quite well against The Hammond when they attacked Icarus Base in "Air, Part 1"). Earth has a handful of battlecruisers and several squadrons of F-302 fighters, but its main weapon of defense -- the Ancient weapons platform discovered in Antarctica (SG-1: "Lost City, Part 2") was destroyed more than a year ago (Atlantis: "Enemy At the Gate"). News of this development may have prompted them to begin planning their attack.

    Just why they would want to attack Earth remains unclear. Earth has certainly made themselves an enemy in recent years, but it is not logical that the Alliance would simply be seeking retribution. They are thieves and warlords, so they would probably only risk attack a power as strong as Earth if the planet has something they need or want.

  • The alliance prisoners have been cooperative with Homeworld Command on Earth, providing intel on the Alliance in the Milky Way. It's possible that at least some of them have been sent back to Earth using the communication stones for debriefing / interrogation.

  • CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
    Nicholas Rush is still in control of Destiny's systems, and hasn't told Colonel Young or anyone else. He seems to be responsible for the ship's dropping out of F.T.L. to dock with the seeder ship. He reluctantly helped with the power transfer when the other scientists discovered that the ship might help them gate home to Earth, and it doesn't seem as though he had anything to do with the premature termination of the power transfer. He seems to have acknowledged that he needs a crew to run Destiny ("Aftermath"), so he may not be as eager to get rid of the crew as he once was.

    Rush made the hard call to cause Destiny to uncouple from the seed ship rather than wait and see if Telford would be able to stop the power drain from Destiny. This was certainly in Destiny's best interest, but the result is that Rush has deliberately left Colonel Telford behind. He thinks that he had no choice, and probably considered Telford a strong ally in his desire to get Young out of command.

    Rush is also still seeing visions of his late wife, Gloria -- but still only when he is on Destiny's bridge.

    David Telford pushed his friend to let him participate in the mission on board the seed ship, after Everett initially, very deliberately left him out of the loop. But he did it respectfully, challening Young as a friend who is concerned about him and not as an adversary looking to take his command. Telford ended up risking himself to stay on board and stop the power transfer draining Destiny. With Rush undocking the two ships before Telford could finish, the Colonel has now been left marooned on the seed ship -- with a group of the aliens.

    Everett Young continues his downward spiral, at first keeping Colonel Telford out of the loop and sending the far lower-ranking Lieutenant Scott to lead the mission to the seed ship -- then losing his friend when the ships undocked, and Telford was left marooned on the other vessel.

    He continues to drown his sorrows in alcohol, provided to him by a concerned-looking Dr. Brody.

    Varro tells T.J. that he lost his wife a couple of years ago. She took shelter from a rain storm while returning home from the market, and the building collapsed -- killing her and six others. She never liked him being in the Alliance, believing it is too dangerous. He felt angry and miserable that, while he constantly risked his life on dangerous missions, she died doing something so mundane.

    Camille Wray is helping out in the hydroponics lab, probably at least since the disappearance of Dr. Franklin ("Sabotage"). It is now a flourishing, food-producing garden.

    Ronald Greer confides to Lt. Scott that he has had sex with Dr. Park. We saw this back in Season One's "Life."

    NOTES
  • This episode features the song "Sort of Revolution" by Fink.

  • The Ancient seeder ship is substantially smaller in size than Destiny.

  • Upon docking Destiny downloaded a large amount of data from the seed ship's database.

  • UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
  • Why was this seed ship stopped? Will the aliens start it on its pre-programmed course again?

  • Do the seeder ships have working Stargates themselves? Is it possible to dial into one, as it is to dial Destiny with a specific, 9-chevron address?

  • Are the brown aliens hostile? Are they related to the blue aliens?

  • Are the aliens a research team? How long have they been on the ship, why were they in stasis, and what are their plans for the vessel?

  • What will they do with Telford? Will he be able to communicate with them?

  • Are there supplies of water and food suitable for human consumption on the seeder ship, so that Telford can survive long-term? Will he be able to get off the ship -- perhaps when it next stops to deposit a Stargate on a planet? Would he choose to leave the ship, even if he didn't have any way to gate back to Destiny?

  • Why is the Lucian Alliance planning to attack Earth? Do they want something that we have?

  • How much power does Destiny have left, since another three minutes of power transfer would have left her crippled? Will she need to recharge in a star soon?

  • PRODUCTION
  • The official name of the alien species encountered on the seed ship is the "Ursini," executive producer Joseph Mallozzi told fans on his blog. As of "Awakening" the name hasn't been established on-screen yet, so it should not be taken as canonical until it appears on the show in some form.

  • "I'll be switching over to [episode] 3 which, to be perfectly honest, would have been number five on my list of choices only because of the tech component of this particular story (techy scripts are on my personal No Fly list, coming in somewhere between Ancient storylines and anything involving replicator duplicates of our team reaching out to Atlantis). Still, the late addition of another story element (which I initially pitched out for another episode) has certainly made 3 far more intriguing."
    (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog

  • "I've completed a first draft of my script. At this point, I'm not sure whether what I have is good or something I've re-read so many times I've convinced myself it's good. It's a little heavy at just a shade over 51 pages and I'd like to trim it down a little before putting it out. I'd also like to find a title for the damn thing."
    (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog

  • "I head back to the office tomorrow with the first draft of a brand new script AND a brand new title: 'The Awakening.' I like it because it works on a couple of levels -- none of which I can go into any detail at this point. You'll just have to trust me."
    (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog

  • "It's no secret that this one was -- well, a ***** to write but the big question was 'Had those weeks agonizing over the script paid off?' Well, let me put it this way: By the time they were done giving notes, it was so late that we decided to call it a day. In fact, I probably would have received even more notes had Carl not actually willed himself to pass out in order to escape the marathon session.

    "The day also brought a title change from 'The Awakening' to the Brad Wright-inspired 'Awakenings.' Better and, more importantly, in keeping with that one-word title [theme] we've got going."
    (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog

  • "Speaking of Day 1 mixes, guess what we watched today? Yes, a Day 1 mix. That's the easy part. What episode? Correct again. Episode #2, 'Awakening.' You guys are amazing! I just phoned Joel Goldsmith to congratulate him on the wonderful job he did scoring the episode. Congratulations should also go out to director Andy Mikita, the cast and crew, and -- oh, boy! -- Mark Savela and the VFX team! I repeat. Oh, boy!"
    (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog

  • "We eventually settled in and checked out the finished visual effects for 'Awakening.' Wow! I think it's their best work yet. The movements are fluid and incredibly life-like, the body language and the subtlest of glances alone imbuing the characters with personality. And the ship sequences are pretty damn cool too!"
    (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog

  • "'Awakening' boasts some of those incredible(r) VFX I was referring to (especially one complicated sequence many had reservations about that turned out nothing short of amazing) in addition to the discovery of a little something certain fans have been asking about since first season."
    (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog

  • "The visual effects for episode 3, 'Awakening,' are probably the best we've done to date."
    (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog

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    The post GateWorld Podcast: SGU‘s ‘Awakening’ appeared first on GateWorld.



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    The post HD Screen Captures: ‘Awakening’ appeared first on GateWorld.



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    The post SGU‘s ratings rebound with ‘Awakening’ appeared first on GateWorld.



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    Check out the post-episode review of episode three now at AOL's television blog site.

    The post TV Squad reviews & recaps SGU‘s ‘Awakening’ appeared first on GateWorld.



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    The post New details on Stargate Universe‘s first new episodes! appeared first on GateWorld.



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