It seems that SGU is on a very clear path to becoming another great series in the Stargate franchise. After last week’s episode, “Darkness,” that became pretty clear. What the episode did, mixing some light comedy into the darker plot of Stargate Universe, was what I think fans have been looking for.
On top of that, “Darkness” had some very well-acted performances by both Robert Carlyle (Rush) and Louis Ferreira (Young). Episode 104 also had the advantage of having veteran Stargate director Peter DeLuise at the helm (who also happens to have a bit of a cameo in this episode).
Some of the best parts of this episode came from the acting. I mentioned Robert Carlyle and Louis Ferreira earlier, but David Blue (Eli) also gave an outstanding performance. In “Darkness,” we got to see a different side of Eli: while he seriously underestimates himself and isn’t sure of what people think of him, he can hold his own, as we saw while he was being questioned by some of the crew. It’s nice to see that Eli is getting some character development and isn’t just this funny slacker guy. This was a great episode to also get some development of characters we normally won’t see as much.
Out of all the acting performances in this episode, Louis Ferreira was the best of the bunch. While Colonel Young definitely is in command, that really came out in this episode, and I felt Ferreira really came into his role. The mess hall meeting scene was really well done, as were his scenes with both Rush and Dr. Volker. As we get to know the character of Young more and more, you can tell that he is a no-B.S. kind of guy and that was played very well.
Robert Carlyle is a terrific actor and he doesn’t have any problem letting that come out in SGU. He really got to go deep into his character last night and go a little crazy. Obviously it was mentioned that a lot of that had to do with caffeine and nicotine withdrawal, but I would like to think that some of it has to with Rush regretting his decision to dial Destiny — but that’s probably not the case.
Instead, the ship is an obsession for him that he so eagerly wants to fix to the point that he hasn’t even slept since coming on board. That was extremely evident as he was yelling at people throughout the episode to turn systems off to conserve energy; he almost looks at the ship as if it is a child. I thought between the characters of Rush and Young, Carlyle and Ferreira stole the show last night.
For the most part, “Darkness” was a well-balanced episode. One of the main reasons it was able to stay that way was because Brad Wright (who wrote the episode) mixed in enough comedy and enough serious moments so you didn’t want to jump off a cliff after the episode’s end. This is a big reason why I think SGU is such a different animal than Battlestar Galactica so far. There was not a whole lot in Battlestar to smile about, but with the character of Eli and the mess hall scene, along with some hilarious sexual innuendo, viewers are given something to laugh and smile at — which will make this show very successful.
The only problem with “Darkness” is that, without getting too much backstory, Colonel Telford comes across as a total jackass and not a very likable character when he comes on board the ship. It would have been nice to have some development on Telford before he started bossing everyone around. Hopefully in the very near future we’ll be able to get into his character a little bit more.
Overall, another great episode. I think SGU is a keeper!
Episode reviews represent the opinion of the author, and not that of GateWorld or its owner.