Epilogue

Summary | Production | Transcript | Fan Reviews

While attempting to return a group of colonists to their home, the crew finds records of their own alternate lives -- and a planet on the verge of seismic destruction.

RATINGS SCORECARD
OUR RATING -
FAN RATING - 8.84 
NIELSEN - 1.092 mil. 
EPISODE #218
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 04.25.11
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 04.30.12
WRITTEN BY: Carl Binder
DIRECTED BY: Alex Chapple
GUEST STARS:

August Schellenburg (Yaozu), Mike Dopud (Varro), Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker), Jennifer Spence (Lisa Park), Julia Benson (2nd Lt. Vanessa James), Reilly Dolman (Jason), Katie Findlay (Ellie), Leanne Adachi (Cpl. Barnes), Shaughnessy Redden (Steven), Lane Edwards (Matthew Wallace), Shauna Johannesen (Sara)

DOWNLOAD NOW:
  Amazon    iTunes

After flying through a massive deserted city covered in ash on the planet Novus (“Common Descent”), Lt. Matthew Scott lands the shuttle near a statue of Colonel Everett Young — his own commanding officer on the Destiny, and one of the founders of this now deserted human civilization some 2,000 years ago.

Having returned to his homeworld after many years living in an isolated colony off-world, Yaozu takes Lt. Scott, MSgt. Ronald Greer, Eli Wallace, Camille Wray, Jason, and Ellie to the entrance of an underground bunker. Neither C4 nor the shuttle weapons can open the doors. One of Destiny‘s cannons, however, is able to make an entrance into the facility. As the team enters the lights come on. In the elevator, music plays as they descend thirty stories beneath the surface.

But they find no refugees living inside, no sign of where the survivors of the Novan civilization have gone. But they do find access to the entire Tenaran archive — thousands of kino recordings, documents, and more dating back to the moment the crew from an alternate timeline stepped through the Stargate and traveled back in time (“Twin Destinies”).

Eli establishes a comm link to Destiny as others scavenge canned goods and survival rations. Chloe Armstrong, Dr. Nicholas Rush, Adam Brody, Lisa Park, and Dale Volker join them. Rush ignores the archives, instead taking time to search the storage containers. Since the terminals are fixed in place, Eli creates an up-link to stream the archive to Destiny so they can save the data and take it with them.

Meanwhile, Camille Wray calls up 2,000-year-old kino footage — the earliest in the archives. In the distant past, she sees that Destiny‘s crew were greeted by thin air and a sandstorm after they evacuated through the Stargate. Eli tried dialing other accessible Stargates. Scouting ahead, Scott located a suitable planet: Novus. The refugees argued about what to do next. But since they could be anywhere and in any time, they realized that there was no way Destiny could ever find them. Young focused his people on their immediate needs: finding food, and building shelters.

On Novus in the present day, a huge earthquake shakes the underground complex. The walls begin to crack.

Chloe discovers the diary left behind by her other self. After six weeks on Novus, Volker had died unexpectedly. Lt. Tamara Johansen suspects kidney failure (“Hope”). Watching the footage of his own funeral, a shaken Volker returns to Destiny to initiate the up-link to transfer the archives.

Eli finds information about Novus’s current inhabitants. Their Stargate was buried by lava decades ago (when Yaozu’s colony lost contact). But they built several spaceships with which they evacuated everyone on Novus. Headed for one of the planets they had scouted, the trip will take the colonists several hundred years — as the ships have no F.T.L. capabilities. But Destiny can make the trip in only ten days, and possibly find the ships en route.

Kino footage captures the first wedding on Novus — Chloe and Matt. Shortly thereafter, T.J. delivers her and Colonel Young’s first child, a son.

Mining through the recent records, Dr. Park learns the explanation for the planet’s fate: a rogue black hole has entered the system. Tidal forces are ripping the planet apart, and a shallow, active fault now runs underneath the city. She also discovers there is still an evacuation ship in the city. Meanwhile, Eli writes a compression algorithm that can transfer the entire Tenaran database in 37 hours, rather than several days.

More kino recordings show Chloe having her first child. Park and Greer have a son they name “Dale,” after their late friend, Volker. Lt. Vanessa James has a child with Varro. T.J. has a daughter. Eli marries Corporal Barnes.

Rush searches until he locates a foam substance. As he confirms his hunch at a computer terminal, another earthquake strikes. He loads the crates into the elevator and finds Scott just as Scott prepares to check on the evacuation ship. But now a river of molten lava covers the shipyard.

Kino footage documents T.J.’s neurological problems and eventual death from ALS. Both Varro and Young try to comfort Tamara, who realizes that she too now harbors this fatal illness inside of her. Volker begins to comb through the Ancient database for a cure, and Yaozu announces that the Tenaran archive contains a cure for ALS, as well as many other diseases. The crew must complete the download before the planet is destroyed.

Alarmed by the volcanic activity, Rush urges Young to order an immediate evacuation. Another earthquake hits.

More kino footage picks up with the original Novus settlers decades into the future, as Matt and Chloe reveal that they will soon have a grandchild. An aged Greer and Park now have four sons, three daughters, and 15 grandchildren! Vanessa and Varro have three children and five grand-kids. Wray, meanwhile, has been busy drafting a constitution for their posterity. Eli, himself now a father, is the community’s teacher.

Another severe earthquake cuts power to the elevator and terminates the communication link — with only a third of the archive transmitted. Many flights of stairs have also crumbled. Trapped 30 floors down, Young, Eli, T.J., and Varro are forced to climb the ladder built into the wall as another quake rocks the building.

T.J. grabs a wrung. It pulls completely free of the wall. As she falls, Varro grabs her. He propels her onto a platform — but his wrung comes loose, dropping him back to the floor beneath. Scott and Greer have descended as far as possible carrying rope to rescue the others, and they pull T.J. up to safety. Young climbs down to rescue Varro, who is still alive after his fall. As the group finally reaches the shuttles and heads up toward Destiny, another quake sends lava flowing toward the archive.

Novus is lost. As Destiny sets course to drop off the Novans at their new homeworld, Rush installs the foam substance in the air scrubbers — a substitute that will be much better than lime. T.J. tends to the injured Varro, but is still shaken by the knowledge of her fate. The Novans’ cure to her illness was not found in the information transferred from the archive, nor has Volker found anything in the Ancient medical database.

A last bit of kino footage shows the growth of the settlement on Novus from a few wooden buildings to the magnificent city they were forced to abandon. As the first ships rise up to take them to the stars, the elderly Camille’s words follow them: Destiny‘s people did not fail in their mission, but rather their mission is the journey — no matter where it takes them.

-S. Fetter

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • In its earliest script drafts, “Epilogue” carried the working title “Radio.”
  • “The rest of the day was spent yakking about Carl’s first draft of ‘Hope,’ episode #14, my outline for ‘The Hunt,’ episode #16, and whether or not ‘Radio,’ episode #18, still worked given the preceding episode.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “‘Radio’ has been renamed to the far more appropriate ‘Epilogue.'” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog
  • “We watched Carl’s producer’s cut of #218, ‘Epilogue,’ this afternoon. This one gets a 3-hanky alert. You’ve been warned!” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog
  • “Kudos to writer/producer Carl Binder on this one. It has a it of everything: humor, charm, dramatic developments, and a couple of truly heartbreaking moments. A great episode that, once over, had me really excited for Season Three — until I remembered: Oh, right. We’re not making a Season Three. It’s really a shame because the back half of Season Two sets up a lot of terrific story elements.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog
  • “‘Epilogue’ is a very cool episode and it was so much fun to shoot. There are a lot of ‘changes’ that we all go through as characters … should be lots of fun for the audience.” (Actress Julia Benson, in an interview with Abbas Karimjee)
  • “In retrospect, [‘Epilogue’] would have been a nice way to conclude the show but, alas, at the time, we were looking at ‘Gauntlet’ as the season ender, not a series ender. Executive producer Carl Binder’s crowning achievement on the franchise, ‘Epilogue’ also includes a little cameo by the man himself. Well, not a physical cameo; more of a cameo in spirit. That snippet of the elderly Brody complaining about those damn dancing kids? He’s actually channeling Carl Binder. Come on! Don’t tell me the mustache didn’t give it away!” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog
  • Why couldn’t Eli have just left the planet and managed the transfer of the Novus archive from the safety of Destiny? “The conceit was that the transfer had to be initiated and maintained from the send point and I had no problem with that. One of my biggest pet peeves is convenience, strokes of luck that end up benefiting our character. On the other hand, I don’t mind complications that make our hero’s life difficult. The former is lazy writing. The second is good drama.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Of course I died in ‘Epilogue.’ I don’t think I hold the record in Stargate deaths, but I think I hold the record in Stargate Universe deaths. I could be wrong.” (“Dale Volker” actor Patrick Gilmore, in an interview with MediaBlvd Magazine)
  • “One episode that I think is one of the best hours of TV you’ll ever see is ‘Epilogue.’ When we got this script (penned by the fabulous Carl Binder) we knew how incredible it was and also how ambitious it was but the whole team far exceeded all expectations and created this mini-movie of sorts that left me sobbing in the way that the last episode of Six Feet Under left me sobbing! Just because it all comes down to that same basic stuff: love, connection, family, friendship, leaving your mark, faith, action, survival, doing your best, the journey of being a human being.” (Actress Jennifer Spence, in an interview with Abbas Karimjee)
  • Why was this episode originally titled “Radio?” “The original pitch involved Destiny picking up messages (in the form of radio waves) from a distant civilization.” (Writer / producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)