This review may contain spoilers.
Survival seems a great theme to apply to "Deliverance," and a possible desire from fans of "Stargate: Universe" as the show episode launched Season 2.5 and the beginning of the end to the series.
After leaving the viewers with a cliffhanger of being attacked by drones, the episode dealt directly with how the crew would figure out how to survive yet another scrape.
Instead of a season opener that showed everyone out for themselves, this episode truly made an effort to show the parts that everybody played. Scott (Brian J. Smith) played the strong, romantic lead. Chloe (Elyse Levesque) played the girl in trouble. Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) provided the muscle and jokes. Young (Louis Ferreira) led with more confidence then ever. Camile (Ming-Na) negotiated and comforted. Eli (David Blue) figured things out. And Rush (Robert Carlyle) gave up his megalomania to help as much as possible. Even those that normally are pushed to the background got to help like Park (Jennifer Spence) bringing in the drone.
While those like Volker (Patrick Gilmore), Brody (Peter Kelamis), Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips), and James (Julia Benson) played their part in helping to keep Destiny "afloat", a lot of the survival theme went to what to do with Chloe. Her signal to the aliens may have aided them temporarily and provided a way for her to survive, but it did endanger them as well. Even though Rush's idea worked in helping Chloe to be cured, they both recognized that the immediate cure could hurt their survival in the future.
If not anything else, the episode did show that the crew has become adept at adjusting to the situation and doing what is needed. When surviving, aren't those the most important skills? Just when everyone is getting a hang of what is needed, there is always a sense hanging over their heads that the end could come at any time. Unfortunately for the viewers, we already know that their end is coming, but hopefully that won't diminish enjoying how each of the crew members add to the chemistry of the show.
Points of Interest
1. Music has always played an important role to key moments. In "Deliverance," instead of there being a song to play over everyone's actions at the end of the day, the melancholy music layered over Scott taking Chloe to the alien ship was haunting and poignant that added to their relationship as well as the gravity of the situation.
2. How many people does it take to get to the center of a drone? The reaction of everyone to the drone including Greer's initial tag to the skittish reaction by Brody, Volker, and Eli added some much needed comic relief to the tense atmosphere.
3. The new Rush is one that still believes in destiny and Destiny. In telling Chloe that he believes everyone on the ship has a purpose, he opens the door for the viewers to find out just what everyone's contribution will be in this final leg of the show.
The special effects and the set design may make the production cost of the show higher than reality shows. However, the quality is literally out of this world. The seamless use of visual effects for the alien ships adds to the show's ability to draw you into its world. Considering the amount of different ships that had to be produced, much attention was given to try and make them all distinct and at the same time cool. The new control ship showing up with the drones coming out of it like insects proves the high quality that the effects team puts out.
On board Destiny again, the show stuck to its gritty undertones. Nothing is particularly clean. Even in the technology, things look alien and yet useful. With such attention to effects, it allows the viewers the opportunity to pay attention to what's going on. But those who are savvy will definitely recognize the hard work to make it look so effortless.
What Didn't Work
This is Season 2.5, and we were picking up in the middle of a battle. It is not unusual to pick up at and resolve a cliffhanger. However, it may have worked better for the show's numbers to have just continued the show in one fluid season. It was slightly difficult to keep up with who was fighting whom in the melee.
In an effort to show that not all aliens are bad, the Orsini sacrificed themselves. But is that enough of a reason for the sacrifice? It seemed slightly contrived in order to contrast the other aliens and their pursuit of Destiny.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Deliverance" was written by Paul Mullie and was directed by Peter DeLuise.
"Stargate: Universe" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.
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