Malice

Summary | Production | Transcript | Fan Reviews

Simeon makes his escape from Destiny, sending Nicholas Rush on a vengeful mission to catch him. But Young and Greer must attempt to retrieve Simeon unharmed.

RATINGS SCORECARD
OUR RATING -
FAN RATING - 8.70 
NIELSEN - 1.025 mil. 
EPISODE #208
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 11.16.10
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 10.31.11
WRITTEN BY: Robert C. Cooper
DIRECTED BY: Robert C. Cooper
GUEST STARS:

Mike Dopud (Varro), Julie McNiven (Ginn), Julia Benson (2nd Lt. Vanessa James), Jennifer Spence (Lisa Park), Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker), Robert Knepper (Simeon), Leanne Adachi (Cpl. Barnes), Darcy Laurie (Airman Dunning)

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Having found the coherent signal in cosmic background radiation (“The Greater Good”), Adam Brody, Dale Volker, and Lisa Park discuss the implications of this discovery with Colonel Everett Young. Significant as the discovery is, they are not eager to forgive Nicholas Rush for the many secrets he has kept.

Destiny has emerged from F.T.L. flight near three planets. Rush, having come to the Bridge with Eli Wallace, offers to check viability. But Young tells Rush to go and rest, instead.

Eager to be with Dr. Amanda Perry before she returns to her body on Earth, Rush goes back to Ginn’s quarters. When she doesn’t answer, he opens the door. The woman lies dead on the floor.

As Lt. Tamara Johansen examines Ginn, 2nd Lt. Vanessa James uses the communication stones to contact Earth. Dr. Perry died when Ginn was murdered, since the two were connected using the Ancient technology. Among the Lucian Alliance prisoners only Simeon is unaccounted for. His guard, Michaels, is missing. Retreating into the corridor, Rush’s pain and anger escape in an anguished scream. Eli, still in Ginn’s cabin, wants a gun.

The missing Simeon uses Michaels’ weapon to shoot his way into the armory. Rush follows the trail of wounded soldiers. Arming himself, Rush reaches the gate room just as Simeon takes Park hostage and orders Volker to lock the doors. Volker volunteers to replace Lisa as his hostage. But Simeon forces Volker to dial the Stargate and drags Park through the event horizon. When Brody unlocks the gate room door, Rush follows them through the gate.

MSgt. Ronald Greer locates the murdered Michaels. Lt. Matthew Scott’s team finds an injured Airman Dunning before advancing to the gate room. The Stargate is re-dialing the planet when Colonel Young joins Scott. Homeworld Command has informed them that, according to what Ginn said before she died, Simeon knows vital details of the Lucian Alliance plan to attack Earth. He should be taken alive.

On a stark, desert world, Dr. Rush finds Park sitting bound and terrified near the base of the Stargate ramp. Simeon has attached an Alliance bomb to her back and disappeared into the nearby rocks, where (unbeknownst to Rush) he has a high-powered rifle trained on them. Warning everyone to stay on Destiny, Rush examines the device.

The bomb can’t be disarmed, but the proximity sensor can be removed. For a moment, it seems Rush doesn’t have the tools he needs. Park tells him to get away while he still can. But Rush finds a small, pointy tool in the arm of his repaired reading glasses, and disables the sensor. Once the bomb disengages, Rush heaves it away before it explodes. Intent on killing Simeon, he starts after him. Lt. Scott and a team arrive through the gate and follow Rush. Simeon pauses to shoot at them.

Spotting another explosive on the rockface, Rush and Scott escape unharmed. As Greer joins them, Scott explains that Simeon is to be captured — countless lives on Earth may depend on what he knows. But Rush doesn’t care. He is out for revenge over the murder of a woman he cared about deeply, and he doesn’t believe they could get anything useful out of Simeon anyway. Scott dispatches other search parties. Lt. James’s team is to guard the Stargate while Scott and Greer accompany Rush.

Meanwhile, on Destiny, Young stops in the Infirmary. T.J. and her staff are trying to save those Simeon wounded. Young also visits Varro, leader of the Lucian Alliance prisoners. Varro swears that since Simeon’s clan is behind the attack on Earth, only he knows the specifics. Young returns to the Infirmary. All but one have been saved.

On the Bridge, Park returns from her ordeal ready to work. She, Brody, Volker, and Eli struggle to stall the ship’s countdown clock, to give the teams more time to capture Simeon and return. Destiny eventually does jump back to F.T.L. flight, but will reemerge still within dialing range of the planet’s Stargate.

In her quarters, Chloe works on Rush’s equations, trying to keep her mind occupied. She tries to tell Eli, but full of anger and grief over Ginn’s death, he ignores her. He also snaps at Volker and rebuffs Park’s attempt to comfort him.

Rush, Scott, and Greer press on. Finally, adrenaline depleted, Rush stops. Grief overwhelms him. Scott offers consolation, but Simeon interrupts by shooting at them. James and her team attempt to flank Simeon. Remembering that Simeon has a kino remote, Rush fiddles with his own remote. He warns James about a bomb in time to save the team from sustaining anything more than minor injuries.

Using the remote, Rush tracks Simeon. Greer shoots the Alliance operative in the leg from a distance, but Simeon escapes only to shoot Greer. Scott is forced to take Greer back to the Stargate, while Rush continues the pursuit alone.

On Destiny, Eli asks Colonel Young for a gun so he can join the hunt. But Young points out that Eli is no killer, that killing would change Eli forever. Reluctantly, Eli returns to the Bridge.

Young brings Chloe to the Bridge. She believes she is starting to understand Rush’s equations. Against everyone’s better judgment, Chloe is allowed to sit at a console. Before long, she’s manipulating controls. Eli stops her, but not before she plots a return course and turns Destiny around.

Rush spots the wounded Simeon fleeing across an open span of desert, at the same time that he sees a herd of large animals spotted on the planet earlier. Setting an explosive of his own, Rush shoots at Simeon, missing him. Simeon returns fire and heads back toward Rush. Taking cover, Rush waits until Simeon has no place to take cover, and triggers the C4 he has placed some distance away. The creatures are startled and stampede through the open corridor, trampling Simeon.

With one bullet left Rush approaches a mangled Simeon, who plays the “I have information” card to try and get Rush to spare his life. Rush shoots him dead.

Because of Chloe, Scott and the others are still waiting at the Stargate when Rush returns. Scott asks Rush if killing Simeon helped. An exhausted, blank-looking Rush does not answer as they head back to Destiny.

– S. Fetter

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • “Malice” is the second episode of SGU to be both written and directed by series co-creator Robert C. Cooper.
  • The episode shot on location in New Mexico, the third Stargate episode to do so (after Atlantis‘s “Vegas” and SGU‘s “Air, Part 3”).
  • “Rob is off on a ‘distant location’ scout for episode #8, but returns to Vancouver Sunday night.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Rob is in New Mexico shooting episode #8, ‘Malice’ (his version of The Searchers).” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “So far in Season Two ‘Malice’ would be my favorite episode. It was written and directed by Robert Cooper and we just finished shooting this week. I think that the fans will love it because there are high stakes and lots of good action. There is also some great stuff between Rush and Simeon. When two actors like that get to square off it is explosive. I also got to do a fun stunt, which I love, so maybe I am biased!” (“Lt. Vanessa James” actress Julia Benson, in a Q&A at Joseph Mallozzi’s blog)
  • “We screened back-to-back director’s cuts today: episode 207 (‘The Greater Good’) and episode 208 (‘Malice’). Great stuff. This first half will see a narrative progression very similar to what we saw in the back half of Season One, with various story elements building to occasionally explosive conclusions. Plenty of secrets, surprises, and shocking revelations.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “They say that vengeance is a dish best served cold, but this episode makes a great case for serving it hot — as in the scorching environs of an alien world where a deadly game of cat and mouse plays itself out.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “‘Malice’ (written, directed,and produced by Rob Cooper) is an intense, action-filled, thoroughly engaging episode, one of those entries you can watch over and over again. We had very few notes on the mix and, shortly after the screening, I emailed Rob to congratulate him on a job well done and commend him for actually using very little music. The silences were eerie and very effective. To which Rob responded: ‘Thanks. I should have told you guys that many of the cues are actually missing. Joel’s been on vacation. Some of the music that’s in there may actually be placeholders. I’m going to his studio in L.A. to work on the music next week.’ Oh. Never mind then.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog
  • “One [episode] that was especially exciting to shoot was ‘Malice’ because we traveled to New Mexico and it put Park in an extremely challenging situation which then changed her perspective about Rush.” (“Lisa Park” actress Jennifer Spence, in a Q&A at Joseph Mallozzi’s blog)
  • “Can I give everything away? No, I can’t. No, but what I can say is the heart of the second season is the revelation that there is in fact a mission, that there always has been a mission, and it’s never been about going home. I learned this expression in San Diego, at Comic-Con. It’s called a ‘game-changer.’ It’s a game-changer, episode eight.” (Actor Robert Carlyle, in an interview with Metro World News)
  • “[‘Malice’ is] a Rush story, and it is where the Simeon storyline reaches its head. And it is very, very powerful, and I think Robert [Carlyle’s] best work on this show so far.”

    “We went back to New Mexico. To the Bisti Badlands. Not the same desert as we went to in the pilot, but another desert that is incredibly alien-looking. I went to the location for some of the shoot, and it was … I’d never seen anything like it on earth. It was a bizarre formation created by melting glaciers, and it is just … there’s these things called hoodoos, which rise up out of the ground, and there’s mineral deposits all through them. And so it looks truly alien. It looks incredibly remote, ’cause it is. We were in the middle of nowhere. Fifty miles south of a place called Farmington, N.M.” (Executive producer Brad Wright, in an interview with Blastr.com)

  • “Julie McNiven is a wonderful and very charismatic actress. You can attribute to popularity of Ginn to two things: the character on the page and Julie’s ability to interpret that character in a way that resonates with viewers.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “I think it’s pretty clear in that scene that [Varro] and other Lucian Alliance members are offering Homeworld Command information while Simeon is offering disinformation. The Alliance, as the name implies, is made up of various factions. Simeon and Ginn belonged to the same faction, the group planning the rumored attack on Earth.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Certainly one of the more challenging episodes we’ve done so far this year is ‘Malice,’ which was written and directed by Robert Cooper and shot partly in New Mexico. This episode was inspired by a [1956] John Ford movie called The Searchers, and we shot on-location in a wonderful environment down in New Mexico called Bisti Badlands. It’s a postage stamp on this planet that looks like an alien world. The geography is bizarre and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s the most alien looking landscape that we’ve ever shot without using CGI or other techniques.

    “This is really a Robert Carlyle story at heart and, boy, did they hit it out of the ballpark. The script is wonderful and Bobby’s performance is just amazing. And we were able to stick to our desire not to run about in the forests of Vancouver all the time when shooting. I’m not saying that we won’t, but at least a few times coming up this season you’ll see a setting that is truly alien in its environment — much like we did last year with ‘Air, Part 3,’ a big portion of which was shot in New Mexico, as well. That was also a huge challenge. Whenever you pack up the Stargate and go to another country and shoot with a different crew, it’s a big deal, but it has paid off handsomely both times.” (Executive producer Brad Wright, in an interview with SciFiAndTVTalk)

  • “I think one of the biggest thrills I got was when we got to travel to New Mexico to shoot ‘Malice.’ Not only were we in the most beautiful surroundings and getting to experience some life experience/traveling on the side but I was so happy to have a close scene with Bobby. My parents have always been huge fans of his as have I and so the fact that I was acting with Bobby Carlyle in the desert was just so effing awesome!” (Actress Jennifer Spence, in an interview with Abbas Karimjee)