Ah. Another week, another elementally themed SGU episode. As expected – and mentioned, in the review of Light – the premise of these episodse are becoming a little draining for the discerning viewer, despite them delivering the goods in the end.
This week saw the crew search for water as they gather up the ingredients for the extragalactic picnic basket that is the good ship Destiny. Turns out that the water is running out at a frantic rate on the ship, sowing malcontent among the military personnel and the civilians as they search for the cause. Again, the fact that these disagreements seem petty rather than reasonable are indicative of the writers being unable to match the intensity of the rather more rationally motivated disagreements of BSG. Yes, I’m mentioning BSG again. But it’s really very good. The cause of the water evaporating (see what I did there) happens to be the sentient like ‘Dust’ from a previous episode, that seems to have stowed away on the ship.
This unexplained entity, presenting Scott with a mirage that ultimately saved him on the planet, should always have been more than a device to give us Scott’s backstory, and definitely more than the cause of water leakage on Destiny. It presented us with that rarest of things: a harmonious alien. It was peculiar because its interaction with a dying human, mimicking the devils of Scott’s past (ironically a priest: HAHAHAHA) was part of its very nature and for that, much, much more than our idea of the alien as a man in costume and prosphetics. Should the ‘Dust’ have remained a permanent feature of Destiny’s interior, it would have become a fruitful device for both exploring the stories of our characters pasts, but also for encouraging the larger narrative arc of the season to rear its head.
Which, of course, brings us to that unknown beast. We know our characters aren’t going to make it home for a long time yet – if they ever do – so give us something, please, anything to cling on to. Marauding Aliens will do, contact with ‘something else’ will do, mysterious happenings within the ship will do or things awakening inside the ship will do. The world is your oyster writers. The use of such a potentially fruitful sentient in this way was entirely redundant. A chance missed.
Meanwhile, some other stuff happened. Scott and Young went ice fishing; a red jersey got a facelift courtesy of the ‘Dust’; Eli got a little ratty at Rush; Rush was being difficult as per the norm; Dead Senator’s daughter got to cry a bit more. It was all a bit wishy-washy really. Not much to see, not much to ponder and our thirst for more is a little weaker than the week previous, hence why I was so lazy in typing up a review. Hopefully SGU can shrug off its slight dopiness and throw us up in the air a bit next week – with something other than a malfunctioning shower curtain and a look at a periodic table.