Intervention

Summary | Analysis | Notes | Characters | Questions | Production | Transcript | Fan Reviews

As Destiny's crew continues to battle Lucian Alliance soldiers over control of the ship, T.J. finds herself and her baby transported to a safe place.

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FAN RATING - 7.00 
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EPISODE #201
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 09.28.10
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 09.12.11
WRITTEN BY: Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
GUEST STARS:

Julie McNiven (Ginn), Mike Dopud (Varro), Caroline Cave (Dana), Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Tygh Runyan (Caine), Julia Benson (2nd Lt. Vanessa James), Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker), Jennifer Spence (Lisa Park), Alisen Down (Dr. Brightman), Tobias Slezak (Peter), Haig Sutherland (Sgt. Hunter Riley), Robert Knepper (Simeon), Lou Diamond Phillips (David Telford), Ian Butcher (Dannic), Rob Hayter (Alliance Soldier), Primo Allon (Koz), Ash Lee (Alliance Tech)

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Lt. Matthew Scott and MSgt. Ronald Greer fail to reach the airlock before the pulsar’s radiation spike (“Incursion, Part 2”), and are feared dead. Instead, they crossed to safety on the underside of Destiny‘s hull. Scott radios in and Eli Wallace happily admits them through the airlock.

Despite a serious gunshot wound in her leg, Chloe Armstrong joins them. Her bleeding and pain have somehow abated, and the color is returning to her face. The group heads for the makeshift control room where Nicholas Rush and Adam Brody are hiding from the Lucian Alliance forces that have taken control of the ship. Part-way there, Scott and Greer split off. Evading an Alliance search party, the pair activate a kino to covertly surveil on the enemy.

In the Mess, the military members of Destiny‘s crew are about to be executed on orders from the Alliance’s acting commander, Dannic. Varro arrives and reports that Kiva, their commander, is still alive — but more people have been injured, including Destiny‘s medic, Lt. Tamara Johansen. Hearing this news, Colonel Everett Young attacks Dannic. The soldiers pull him off, and Varro convinces the furious Dannic to let the crew live. They can use some of them to bring medical personnel aboard from Earth via the communication stones.

Camille Wray, Dale Volker, and two others trade bodies with doctors from Earth, led by Dr. Brightman. In the Infirmary they save the life of Colonel David Telford. But Kiva’s condition is much worse. T.J. is stable, but her baby is not. Brightmen tells a concerned Varro that she doesn’t know if either of them will survive the gunshot wound to T.J.’s abdomen.

Awakening in a rustic cabin, T.J. comforts her fussy baby. When Dr. Caine greets her, she realizes that she is back on the planet Destiny visited several months ago, where he and several others elected to stay behind (“Faith”). Caine tells her that the powerful yet unseen alien race they think engineered this entire solar system knew they were there, and saved them from the impending winter by providing a half-dozen of these cabins. Now the aliens have brought the injured T.J. here so her baby would survive.

Back on the ship, Eli and Chloe reach Rush’s makeshift control room. With the shields now protecting the dorsal portion of the ship from the deadly pulsar, Destiny has enough power to return to F.T.L. The countdown clock lights up. But Rush recognizes that the pulsar levels the playing field with the Lucian Alliance, and plans to regain control by diverting power from the shields to prevent Destiny from leaving this part of space.

When he learns that Commander Kiva has died, Dannic wants to kill all of Destiny‘s crew — even though Kiva’s original plan had been to find a habitable planet and leave Destiny‘s personnel there. Ginn, an Alliance scientist, has located a planetary Stargate she can dial. Varro talks Dannic into following Kiva’s plan.

Destiny‘s crew is herded through the Stargate onto a cold, barren, rocky planet. An intense electrical storm approaches. Colonel Young dispatches Lt. Vanessa James and others to find shelter.

Elsewhere on Destiny, a recovering Telford regains consciousness to find a suspicious Simeon — an Alliance soldier — watching him. He questions Telford about what happened when he and Kiva were shot (not aware that she found him betraying them, and they shot each other). Thinking fast, Telford manages to come up with a plausible story. But Simeon may suspect that he is no longer on their side.

An Alliance search team discovers the lab where Rush, Brody, Eli and Chloe are hiding, and radios Dannic. When the countdown clock stops, Dannic orders all but Rush killed. He attacks his own scientist, Ginn, suggesting that if she can’t get control back from Rush then she has outlived her usefulness. Varro stops him even as Scott and Greer rescue Rush and the others.

Rush reveals to the Alliance over the radio that he has shifted power from the shields. They will all die in the next pulsar blast unless Dannic surrenders. As Simeon leaves to deal with Rush, Varro tries to convince Dannic that Rush is serious. Enraged, Dannic exiles Varro and those loyal to him to the planet. When they arrive on the planet through the Stargate, Colonel Young is hostile toward him — but Varro reminds him that he is responsible for them being alive. Lt. James locates a series of small caves, and the group finds shelter there as the storm of torrential rain and massive electrical discharges reaches them.

Having ensured that Destiny will not jump into F.T.L., Rush and the others sequester themselves in the best protected part of the ship — the hydroponics lab. Everyone outside of the lab will be killed. Lt. Scott and MSgt. Greer give themselves 15 minutes to bring back the medical team and T.J., ordering Rush, Brody, Eli and Chloe to seal the door if they aren’t back in time.

Once in hydroponics, Brody seals the air duct so the atmosphere can’t be vented. Scott and Greer shoot their way into sickbay, and find that only Wray (who has since been disconnected from Dr. Brightman) and the unconscious T.J. remain. The baby did not survive. An Alliance team blocks their escape. Realizing they can’t get back to hydroponics, Scott orders Brody to seal the door. Dannic overhears on the radio.

Only minutes remain until the next pulsar blast, which will kill everyone but the four in hydroponics. Sending his soldiers to hydroponics, Dannic is certain that Rush is bluffing — that he would never allow the people trapped in the Infirmary to die. Telford and Ginn attempt to convince him that Rush is serious. Watching via kino, Eli tries to convince Rush that Dannic is crazy and will never surrender. Dannic attacks Telford (who can barely stand as it is) and refuses to give up the ship, even if it means they will all die. Ginn shoots Dannic in the back, telling the others that he was insane. She immediately radios their surrender to Rush.

Young, Varro, and their people are retrieved from the planet, and Varro and his men are put into confinement with the other Lucian Alliance survivors.

On Caine’s planet, a young couple shows up at his home to see T.J. and her baby. Caine takes her for a walk by the lake, showing her a nebula-like formation lighting the night sky. He says that it showed up the night before she arrived. Caine is apparently aware of T.J.’s injuries back on Destiny, and is in communion with the advanced aliens. Though he’s never seen them face-to-face, he intuitively knows their intentions. He tells her that the baby can and will remain with them, to be taken care of — but T.J. must return to Destiny.

Running back to the cabin, T.J. at first refuses to leave her daughter. She tells Caine that the baby’s name is Carmen, after the child’s grandmother. Caine reassures her, and T.J. says goodbye to her baby. A bright light envelops T.J., who awakens on Destiny. Camille tends to her. T.J. wants to know how long she was off the ship, but Wray says she never left. She has no way of knowing whether her experience was anything more than a dream.

Young goes to see T.J., but she turns away from him in grief. He drowns his pain in Brody’s home-made alcohol. Rush tries to sleep, but he’s so overwrought he can’t even lie down. Alone with a now-sleeping Scott, a thoughtful Chloe examines her nearly healed leg wound. Destiny drops back out of F.T.L. and Brody and Volker scan the area. No deadly pulsars or other immediate threats here.

Needing to get out of the Infirmary and walk, T.J. goes to the Observation Deck. Framed by the panoramic window is the exact, nebula-like formation she saw over the lake. Perhaps it is a sign from the aliens that Carmen is indeed alive.

– S. Fetter

ANALYSIS

  • A gunshot wound in Chloe’s right leg as mysterious healed itself. Could it have something to do with her brief captivity by the aliens several months ago? Did they do something to her? Or was it another way in which the same aliens who may have saved T.J. baby intervened?
  • Kiva is dead, the bullet apparently lodging in her liver. She doesn’t appear to have left a second-in-command who is clearly in charge, as Dannic suggested that others might challenge him when he took control. (“There can only be one commander, and Kiva is dead. Any objections?”)
  • Varro is the voice of reason among the more extreme Lucian Alliance soldiers. Dannic was about to execute Colonel Young and all of the ship’s military personnel, but Varro convinced him to put them off the ship, instead (which was the group’s original plan before they gated onto the ship). He also convinced him to use the communication stones to bring medical help from Earth.
  • There are tensions and fractions even among the surviving members of the Lucian Alliance. Dannic physically assaulted Ginn, his own tech expert, as soon as she lost control of the Destiny. He also pointed a gun at Telford for contradicting his decision to call Rush’s bluff, and beat him for saying that he is insane.

    Varro also has approximately a half-dozen men who were exiled for being loyal to him (including Koz, who we met in the last episode) — and after she killed Dannic, clearly Ginn may be on his side, as well. But Simeon was more of Dannic’s mindset, though more cool and calculating than over-the-top insane.

  • The Lucian Alliance seem to still believe that Colonel Telford is on their side — though Simeon is suspicious after questioning him about the shooting of he and Kiva. If he and Young decide that it is to their advantage to continue the ruse at this point, Telford will have to be sequestered with the Alliance survivors. If they don’t lock him up, it will tip their hand that the Alliance brainwashing has been broken (“Incursion, Part 1”).
  • While it seems as though Rush now has the ability to prevent Destiny from jumping into F.T.L. by disabling the clock, note that he is not able to do so under normal circumstances. Only the threat of the pulsar allowed him to deactivate the countdown and keep the ship in its location. He redirected the ship’s limited power supply away from the shields protecting the dorsal side of the ship from the pulsar’s radiation; with power spread out over shields around the entire ship, the engines didn’t have enough power to jump back into F.T.L. — or to protect the crew from another radiation spike.

    Without the threat of the pulsar and the need for a certain level of shield strength, Rush doesn’t have the ability to stop the countdown clock.

  • The planet to which the crew was exiled was originally locked out of the ship’s dialing computer (perhaps because of its environmental dangers), but the Lucian scientist Ginn managed to bypass the lockout.
  • Varro believes that Colonel Young owes him, because he saved all their lives by convincing Dannic to exile them rather than shoot them dead. For now, Young has stuck him and his men with the rest of the Alliance.
  • The Lucian Alliance appears to know more about Destiny and its purpose than our people do. Dannic told the others, “You know why we came here. You know what this ship means.” Since the ship was launched from Earth during the residency of the Ancients there, it is conceivable that the Alliance has discovered something about the ship and its mission back in the Milky Way Galaxy — perhaps records of the project in an Ancient facility on another planet.

    Since the Ancients’ civilization spanned many planets, it is logical that such a large project as Destiny and the seeder ships was not limited to Earth.

  • Varro is personally concerned for T.J. and her baby: he asked Dr. Brightman about her condition, petitioned for her to stay on the ship when the rest of the military was exiled, and even spoke about her using her first name. Based on the way he acted toward her before she was injured (“Incursion, Part 2”), it appears that he may have feelings for her.
  • The advanced alien race that created the planet and the solar system that Destiny visited several months ago (“Faith”) seem to have transported T.J. to the planet — though her body remained in the infirmary on the ship. Was the experience real, or a dream? If so, was it truly bodily? Does her baby have a real body (created by the aliens, presumably, thus leaving the unborn child’s body on Destiny)?

    It seems easy to chalk up the experience to her subconscious, finding a way of dealing with the loss of her baby. It would make sense for T.J.’s psyche to set the scene on that planet, where she tried to stay in order to escape the confines of Destiny and raise her baby. But there is one giant piece of evidence suggesting that the experience was, in fact, real: Caine shows her a stellar phenomenon, which he says showed up in the sky the previous night, just before T.J.’s arrival. It’s exactly the same phenomenon (from the same relative angle, even) that T.J. later saw out Destiny‘s window when she woke up back on the ship.

  • Assuming that T.J.’s experience was real, Caine seems to be in direct communication with the aliens. He hasn’t seen or spoken with them face to face, but seems intuitively aware of their specific will and intentions.
  • Assuming that T.J.’s experience was real, the group left behind on the planet with the alien obelisk several months ago (“Faith”) was still working on lean-tos with dirt floors when winter was approaching, when they found a half-dozen homes scattered throughout the valley — which just appeared out of nowhere. Caine believes the aliens know they are living there now, and provided them for their survival. He thinks they were scanning them from the moment they arrived, and knew that T.J. was pregnant. He even suggests that the aliens have been monitoring T.J. and the Destiny crew since they left, and intervened to save T.J.’s baby after she was shot.

    Caine believes the aliens honored T.J.’s choice to leave the planet so that Caine and the others would be permitted to stay (due to Colonel Young’s ultimatum) — but she’s made her choice. Though her baby will be taken care of there, she herself was not permitted to stay.

  • Caine also still believes the aliens may help them get back home, to Earth — but he doesn’t know why they haven’t done it yet.
  • Dana and Peter (Caine’s friends on the planet) may have been summoned to Caine’s home with the understanding that they would take over as the baby’s surrogate parents after T.J. had to leave.
  • Is T.J.’s faith being deliberately tested by the aliens — perhaps for the benefit of her own personal growth? Caine told her that “who you are, and what you believe, is everything.” It could be that the aliens left her with the stellar phenomenon (and nothing else) as proof of her experience in order to offer her a personal trial of her faith — giving her the ability to believe in the impossible, but not absolute proof of it, and nothing to show to anyone else.
  • Destiny dropped out of F.T.L. right at the anomaly T.J. had seen on the obelisk planet. Pure coincidence? Not only is it amazing that T.J. saw the same anomaly (indicating that her experience was not just a dream), but it’s amazing that it was Destiny that took her straight there. The aliens may have simply put it in Destiny‘s path — or, more provocatively, it may be that the aliens have some connection with the ship itself.

NOTES

  • This episode features the song “After the Storm” by Mumford & Sons, during the closing montage.
  • With all the shield strength directed in the direction of the pulsar, the engines now have enough strength to make an F.T.L. jump. The ship only has to protect the dorsal side of the ship.
  • Destiny‘s hydroponics lab is away from the ship’s outer hull, and thus more protected from the pulsar’s radiation.
  • Sgt. Riley sustained a head wound in the hail of bullets at the end of “Incursion, Part 2,” but he is back on his feet and recovering now.
  • The number of Lucian Alliance survivors is unclear, but it appears to be around two dozen.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

  • Tamara JohansenTamara Johansen – T.J. suffered the traumatic loss of her unborn baby … but may be convinced by the appearance of the anomaly outside Destiny that her experience on the obelisk planet was real. This would mean that the highly advanced aliens who created the planet have saved her daughter’s life, and given it a safe home and kind people to raise her. This idea is obviously a tremendous comfort to her in her grief — but it requires that she believe without proof.
  • Chloe ArmstrongChloe Armstrong – Chloe experienced an astonishing recovery from what could have been a life-threatening injury. She is obviously curious about what happened to her. Could it be alien intervention, like T.J. experiences? Or perhaps something that the blue aliens did to her while she was their prisoner (“Space”)?
  • Nicholas RushNicholas Rush – Rush saved the ship, giving the Lucian Alliance a life-or-death ultimatum to manipulate their surrender. And he did it with no further loss of life on the part of the Earth crew, although he was willing to sacrifice several of their people to take back Destiny. This is in direct contrast with Colonel Young, who tried to put down the incursion with no loss of life and ended up helpless, at the mercy of the Alliance, with several people dead or wounded.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

  • Was T.J.’s experience real? Is her baby alive back on the obelisk planet?
  • Does T.J. believe that the experience was real, and that Carmen is alive? Will she tell Everett or anyone else about it?
  • Will the aliens ever help Caine and the others on the obelisk planet get home to Earth? If not, why not?
  • If Carmen is alive, will T.J. (and Everett) ever see her again?
  • What do the Alliance members know about Destiny, and how did they learn it? Did they find something about the ship and its mission back in the Milky Way Galaxy?
  • Why did Destiny exit F.T.L. at the anomaly? Is there a planet nearby to dial to, or was it just to show it to T.J.?

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • Principle photography on Season Two began on March 10 — a few weeks later than usual, due to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. This season Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie (consulting producers last year) join Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, and Carl Binder as executive producers.
  • Actor Mike Dopud continues in the role of the sympathetic Lucian Alliance soldier Varro, which he started in Season One’s “Subversion.” But before that he also appeared on Stargate SG-1 as the bounty hunter Odai Ventrell (“Bounty”), and on Stargate Atlantis as the Runner Kiryk (“Tracker”).
  • This is Alisen Down’s second appearance on the show as Dr. Brightman, a medical doctor from Earth. She first came aboard Destiny via the communication stones in Season One’s “Divided,” but the character was introduced in the Stargate SG-1 Season Eight episode “Lockdown.”
  • “More spinning today in the writers’ room and more headway made on those first ten episodes. We ended up discussing the details of episode 1 (Paul will be doing the honors on this one), talking about the what’s and wherefore’s and, most importantly, answering Brad’s burning question: How the hell are we going to get out of this one?!(Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “After lunch, we finally got around to giving notes on those scripts. First up was the second season premiere in which the events of ‘Incursion’ I and II come to an explosive conclusion. Chock full of great character moments, Paul’s first draft is tight and well-written. It took us all of twenty minutes to go through it.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “When you try to adopt a more realistic tone, where frankly we don’t win every time, then there have to be real world repercussions like death and injury and loss. You can dig deeper into characters and the deeper you dig the repercussions can get bigger. We are going to some places with these characters [in Season Two], and already have really, that we would never go with the heroes of our other series.” (Executive producer Brad Wright, in an interview with SFX Magazine)
  • “[Colonel Young] is going to go through the wringer in the first half of Season Two and hopefully will emerge stronger as a result. After everything he’s been through – and it gets worse for him initially at the beginning of Season Two – it’s impossible to imagine that a person wouldn’t go to a very dark place at least for a short period of time.

    “… As the conflicts between Rush and Young escalate in Season Two, it’s forcing our younger characters to mature and emerge as stronger individuals taking their rightful place in making decisions.” (Executive producer Robert C. Cooper, in an interview with SFX Magazine)

  • “Can’t really talk about the episodes in Season Two at this point. (Just knowing I’m around for them is a bit of a spoiler for those wondering about that gunshot wound in ‘Incursion, [Part] 2!’) Let’s just say the new Telford with his squeaky clean, freshly scrubbed brain has been a joy to play. We finally get a little more insight into who he really is and the nature of his relationship with Young.

    “… I think, should Telford survive … that the most obvious problem is that there would be two Colonels on board the Destiny. I read an interesting chat online discussing who would actually have seniority and I think the solution would have to go back to their graduating order from the academy. What is more complicated and what is still yet to be seen is where Telford’s head is at now that he has been released from the effects of brainwashing. That personal interplay between him and Young will be fun, especially considering that it was implied that they were friends back in the day.” (Actor Lou Diamond Phillips, in a fan Q&A at Joseph Mallozzi’s blog

  • “Much of the Lucian Alliance we saw in SG-1 was inept and, dare I say it, a bit goofy. They fit in with SG-1‘s lighter, more high adventure-driven tone but would have stood out (and not in a good way) in the new series. As a result, I was initially leery at the prospect of introducing them to SGU but, as so often happened over the course of my many years in the franchise, I trusted in Brad and Robert and, in the end, that trust was rewarded with a terrific story element that not only succeeded as planned (creating the chaos that leads to the Icarus evacuation in the pilot, seeding the mole throughline, and, later in Season One, setting up the incursion scenario) but offered up plenty of interesting story material for future episodes (as evidenced in the first half of Season Two).

    “The Alliance was always envisioned as a loose coalition of mercenary groups so it made sense that certain factions would have been more capable and threatening than others.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • “The plan going into the ‘Incursion’ two-parter was to set up a difficult situation that would not be so easily resolved. No matter how things resolved themselves, we wanted to have consequences that would shake up the shipboard dynamics — and that meant having some members of the Lucian Alliance remain on Destiny once the dust settled, initially as prisoners but hopefully, down the line, as new crew members. At the time I was writing ‘Incursion’ I and II, I had no idea who would be sticking around in Season Two with the exception of Varro. After shooting the final two episodes of Season One, we elected to focus on stories that didn’t involve the Kiva character. And, bonus — her death allowed for an unnerving scenario in the Season Three premiere.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)