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View Full Version : What direction will the "redemption" of Rush's character in Human take the show?



Blackhole
April 24th, 2010, 12:43 PM
I thought Human was an excellent episode. Presenting Rush's backstory as a lucid dream state was extremely creative; it gave us a window into the source of his behavior. The death of his wife left him deeply traumatized but instead of working through his feeling of hurt, bitterness and anger he buried them. He became obsessed with his work and began to blame others for his feelings. As time passed he withdrew further and further from humanity, becoming increasingly callous to everyone around him. His sub conscious mind/ship's computer recognized the only path to healing for him was to face these feelings and work through them. Through his lucid dream he was returned to the time of his wife’s death. His obsession with finding the solution to his access code problem was used as motivation to compel a reluctant Rush to again spend time with his dying wife. At first he refused to do so, but he soon realized that the only way he was ever going to be given the answer was to relive her death. As he talked to her his conscience buried since her death, painfully reasserted itself and he realized that the person he had cared for and respected the most in his life would not approve of the man he had become. The realization of this insight released the clue he had so desperately been seeking - the access code’s connection to the Ancients’ genetic sequence. His deep abiding love for his wife gave him the courage to face and move past the malignant feelings that were poisoning his life.

Rush risked his life to sit in the chair. Even though he took steps to limit the risk it still was very dangerous. Look what happened to Franklin. In the prior episode Rush risked his life to save Chloe and he did it again in the chair and he nearly died from the experience. Remember his nose bleed and the progressive deterioration of his vital signs near the end. Reliving his wife’s death was a very painful emotional event which required a great deal of courage. He also successfully retrieved the clue to Destiny’s computer access code; which when decoded, will be of immense value to everyone on the ship. All of these actions in my mind (and I haven't been a Rush supporter) were redeeming steps in attempting to make up or make amends for all of his past actions.

Robert Carlyle did a good job in this episode. The creative way his lucid dream fashioned by the chair and his own sub consciousness mind guided him from the darkness onto a path towards his redemption and then rewarded him with the answer he was seeking was imo an example of top notch writing.

The moral ambiguity of Rush’s character has been central to the show. It has served as the foundation from which much of the character drama has been built around. I am looking forward expectantly to see what direction his redemption takes his and the other SGU characters in the future.

Commander Zelix
April 24th, 2010, 12:50 PM
1- He will ask the crew of the Destiny for forgiveness for is actions that lead them to be stuck on the Destiny far from their family and children.

2 - Will ask pardon to Young for having framed him for murder just because of a damn chair.

3 - Will stop the deceptions and do everything in his power to get people back to earth.

Blackhole
April 24th, 2010, 12:55 PM
1- He will ask the crew of the Destiny for forgiveness for is actions that lead them to be stuck on the Destiny far from their family and children.

2 - Will ask pardon to Young for having framed him for murder just because of a damn chair.

3 - Will stop the deceptions and do everything in his power to get people back to earth.

I don't think his character will make a complete 180 degree turn. To do so would remove too much of the dramatic tension the show is built around.

jelgate
April 24th, 2010, 01:00 PM
Not much. He might be a little less greedy of learning about the Destiny at the cost of risking human livies but not much

Starsaber
April 24th, 2010, 01:01 PM
I don't think his character will make a complete 180 degree turn. To do so would remove too much of the dramatic tension the show is built around.

Agreed. He'll probably be a bit easier to get along with now, but I don't see him apologizing for much of what he's already done.

Targust
April 24th, 2010, 01:04 PM
I don't think his character will make a complete 180 degree turn. To do so would remove too much of the dramatic tension the show is built around.

I agree. Having Rush focused on simply getting everyone home seems pretty redundant at this point in time. He STILL has an agenda, whatever it may be. Great he had his flashback...it showed depth that we hadn't seen before, depth that he seemed incapable of having, but he's still Rush.

Commander Zelix
April 24th, 2010, 01:19 PM
I agree. Having Rush focused on simply getting everyone home seems pretty redundant at this point in time. He STILL has an agenda, whatever it may be. Great he had his flashback...it showed depth that we hadn't seen before, depth that he seemed incapable of having, but he's still Rush.
Oh yeah. Its much better if he keep up with the same line and behavior. I think there's probably something more about Rush backstory/motivations. Wife dying of cancer is a bit too thin imo.

Blackhole
April 24th, 2010, 01:24 PM
I agree. Having Rush focused on simply getting everyone home seems pretty redundant at this point in time. He STILL has an agenda, whatever it may be. Great he had his flashback...it showed depth that we hadn't seen before, depth that he seemed incapable of having, but he's still Rush.

I agree he is still Rush. Imo the whole point of the episode was to present Rush's backstory and to show his redemption.

It seems to me that the first half of the season took Rush, Young and Wray and presented their characters to an extreme. Since the mid season resumption all three characters have been portrayed moving back towards the middle again.

Young expressing regret over his decision to maroon Rush and offering no punitive measures to the civilian coup participants. A much better sense of cooperation with Rush and everyone else under his command.

Wray protecting the lives of Young and Scott at the expense of their coup and standing up for the rights of the civilians to chose to remain on the planet. Reaching out to TJ and Eli.

Rush saving Chloe, Young and Scott's lives. Risking his life in the chair to learn the access code. Expressing remorse to his wife over his callous behaviors.

Since Divided it seems that a sense of much improved cooperation has pervaded the entire ship.

It is possible the show is going to move the central focus of the series away from a conflict with each other and towards an external foe. It follows that this would necessitate moving towards a much more unified and cohesive crew.

KEK
April 24th, 2010, 02:37 PM
I don't think he will be as abrasive as he has been to other people, but I don't see him making any grand gesture or change of motive, I think he still believes his goals are the right ones, he just recognises that he doesn't need to be an arse about it.

Blistna
April 24th, 2010, 02:59 PM
I thought Human was an excellent episode. The way his backstory was presented as a lucid dream state was extremely creative and opened a window into why he behaves the way he does. The death of Rushs wife left him deeply traumatized; instead of working through his feeling of hurt, bitterness and anger he buried them. He became obsessed with his work and started to blame others for how he felt. As time passed he withdrew from humanity and became increasingly callous to everyone around him. His sub conscious mind/ship's computer recognized that if Rush was ever to heal and move on he was going to have to face these feelings and work through them. Through his lucid dream he was taken back to the time surrounding his wifes death. His obsession with finding the solution to his access code problem was used as motivation to compel him to reconnect with his wife. At first he refused to do so, but he soon realized that the only way he was ever going to be given the answer was to interact with her. Painfully, as his conscience, buried since her death, resurfaced and reasserted itself, he realized that the person he had cared for and respected the most in his life would not approve of the man he had become. As this insight was reached, he was finally given the clue he was desperately seeking - the access codes connection to the Ancients genetic sequence. Through the love of his wife he was poignantly able to face and then move past those feelings that were undermining who he should be.

Robert Carlyle did a good job in this episode. The way the show used the chair as a means for Rush to achieve "redemption" and was rewarded with the answer he was seeking was imo an example of top notch writing.

The moral ambiguity of Rushs character has been central to the show. It has served as the foundation from which much of the character drama has been built around. I am looking forward expectantly to see what direction his redemption takes his and the other characters in the future.

First, lets add that I think what made Rush so angry was that he couldn't have been there for his wife. That she spent her last days of her life, alone. From the dream it seemed like he may or may not have been with her through some of it, but he was avoiding his wife because "thats how it really happened" as he said. But maybe I didn't watch it all correctly.

Anyway, I loved this episode. This is what I think will happen...

Rush will be more kind to everyone, Rush will have a talk with Young, "explain his actions" (from "Darkness" and "Light" I don't think Rush is a character to say sorry) and he and him won't be friends, but work together for the better of the crew.

And I think thats it. Lol

Blackhole
April 24th, 2010, 03:15 PM
First, lets add that I think what made Rush so angry was that he couldn't have been there for his wife. That she spent her last days of her life, alone. From the dream it seemed like he may or may not have been with her through some of it, but he was avoiding his wife because "thats how it really happened" as he said. But maybe I didn't watch it all correctly.

Anyway, I loved this episode. This is what I think will happen...

Rush will be more kind to everyone, Rush will have a talk with Young, "explain his actions" (from "Darkness" and "Light" I don't think Rush is a character to say sorry) and he and him won't be friends, but work together for the better of the crew.

And I think thats it. Lol

I agree.

I think it likely that Rush was obsessed with his work and didn't spend the time with her that he should have. Once she was gone he probably felt intense guilt. That certainly would have fueled the anger that he later transferred to others.

If you remember when Rush voiced his optimistic several day time frame as to when they will gain the ship's control, Young responded with a barb that it was not like him. To me Rush appeared to have been angered by his comment. It will be interesting to see how he approaches Young if he indeed does so.

garhkal
April 24th, 2010, 03:50 PM
I don't think his character will make a complete 180 degree turn. To do so would remove too much of the dramatic tension the show is built around.

Very true, but i can see him trying to be nicer to others and getting more socially involved

Though i do hope he at least strives to apologize to all for his behavior.

Blackhole
April 24th, 2010, 03:54 PM
Very true, but i can see him trying to be nicer to others and getting more socially involved

Though i do hope he at least strives to apologize to all for his behavior.

I agree, I think that is likely. I also hope he apologizes for some of his actions. It would go a long way to improve his general relations.

Targust
April 24th, 2010, 08:25 PM
I agree he is still Rush. Imo the whole point of the episode was to present Rushs backstory and to show his redemption.


Could be. If there is any redemption for him, I have to wonder if its going to be later on, wounds are still to fresh at this time to pat him on the back and say "We understand where you're coming from, no offense taken."

I have a feeling...that as time goes on and more of the reason behind the attack of the Icarus Base, Rush isn't going to be the one we're all totally disgusted with.

the fifth man
April 24th, 2010, 08:36 PM
Personally, I don't see Rush changing that much. We may see some improvement in his behavior, but not that much.

Blackhole
April 24th, 2010, 09:09 PM
Could be. If there is any redemption for him, I have to wonder if its going to be later on, wounds are still to fresh at this time to pat him on the back and say "We understand where you're coming from, no offense taken."

I have a feeling...that as time goes on and more of the reason behind the attack of the Icarus Base, Rush isn't going to be the one we're all totally disgusted with.

I agree any change in Rush's character will probably be gradual.

Daro
April 24th, 2010, 09:12 PM
Great post Blackhole, I agree with you.

As for his future behavior, though I think he is going to change for the better, I don't see him running around making apologies for what's past. Not yet. It's been shown clearly now that he is a man who moves ever forward and has trouble looking back, and requires a real jolt to snap him out of that habit. And it is a habit, which is what makes me think that it'll take a while for him to seek forgiveness. I don't think he can forgive himself yet, but at least now he realizes he's done some very wrong things to the people around him. And he's experienced the relief of facing his failure with Gloria and, mentally at least, being honest with himself. I hope this applies to future situations.

To those who don't think he'll change much at all, I ask "What's the point of the whole episode then?" I mean, sure, he got his answer. But in finally getting what he's been seeking all this time, he had to be reminded of all his moral failings. If Rush doesn't grow from this experience, I'd call that a waste on the part of the writers. From a meta-story perspective, I think we'll soon have some real villains to remind us that Rush, even at his worst, cannot compete with true evil.

What I think will happen is a slow softening of the character. He isn't going to be everyone's friend anytime soon, and he'll have to be resolved to stay on the right path even while everyone else doubts him still. He may have lapses due to his obsessive nature, but perhaps he'll be able to hold back the absolute nasty version of him we've often seen.

Blackhole
April 24th, 2010, 10:36 PM
Great post Blackhole, I agree with you.

As for his future behavior, though I think he is going to change for the better, I don't see him running around making apologies for what's past. Not yet. It's been shown clearly now that he is a man who moves ever forward and has trouble looking back, and requires a real jolt to snap him out of that habit. And it is a habit, which is what makes me think that it'll take a while for him to seek forgiveness. I don't think he can forgive himself yet, but at least now he realizes he's done some very wrong things to the people around him. And he's experienced the relief of facing his failure with Gloria and, mentally at least, being honest with himself. I hope this applies to future situations.

To those who don't think he'll change much at all, I ask "What's the point of the whole episode then?" I mean, sure, he got his answer. But in finally getting what he's been seeking all this time, he had to be reminded of all his moral failings. If Rush doesn't grow from this experience, I'd call that a waste on the part of the writers. From a meta-story perspective, I think we'll soon have some real villains to remind us that Rush, even at his worst, cannot compete with true evil.

What I think will happen is a slow softening of the character. He isn't going to be everyone's friend anytime soon, and he'll have to be resolved to stay on the right path even while everyone else doubts him still. He may have lapses due to his obsessive nature, but perhaps he'll be able to hold back the absolute nasty version of him we've often seen.

Thanks for the compliment. I got my ideas right but my prose didn’t flow as well as I would like so I have since revised it.

I completely agree with your assessment that there will be "a slow softening of the character. He isn't going to be everyone's friend anytime soon, and he'll have to be resolved to stay on the right path even while everyone else doubts him still. He may have lapses due to his obsessive nature, but perhaps he'll be able to hold back the absolute nasty version of him we've often seen." In fact I would add there have been a softening of Wray and Young's characters as well and a move towards unity and cohesiveness of the entire Destiny crew. I think the show is moving away from conflict with each other and is preparing for an external enemy; possibly the translucent aliens or a new one.

Vapor
April 24th, 2010, 11:46 PM
"Redemption" isn't really a word I would associate with the events of the episode.

I don't feel like any of Rush's actions in the past were redeemed with the story- they were merely explained. We now know (at least part of) the reason why he acts the way he does. But the explanation doesn't actually wash away the act.

I think he's still going to be the same man we've seen, but with a vague hope of returning more to the kind of person his wife loved. His actions from here on out will be what determines whether or not he can be redeemed.

Shai Hulud
April 25th, 2010, 06:30 AM
When Young is questioning him about the interface Brody says "we also limited the connection to a narrow ranbge of the subjects subconscious, that should protect the vast majority of his brain. At worst case we hope that only the memories that we targeted could be lost."

So Rush has chosen a memory upon which to base his lucid dream, even if he doesnt find 'redemption' then the memory could well be erased from his mind anyway?

Commander Zelix
April 25th, 2010, 07:26 AM
When Young is questioning him about the interface Brody says "we also limited the connection to a narrow ranbge of the subjects subconscious, that should protect the vast majority of his brain. At worst case we hope that only the memories that we targeted could be lost."

So Rush has chosen a memory upon which to base his lucid dream, even if he doesnt find 'redemption' then the memory could well be erased from his mind anyway?

Rush:"My who? My dying what?"
Rush:"I don't have a wife, I was never even married!"

Blackhole
April 25th, 2010, 10:17 AM
When Young is questioning him about the interface Brody says "we also limited the connection to a narrow ranbge of the subjects subconscious, that should protect the vast majority of his brain. At worst case we hope that only the memories that we targeted could be lost."

So Rush has chosen a memory upon which to base his lucid dream, even if he doesnt find 'redemption' then the memory could well be erased from his mind anyway?

I think Rush chose that particular memory because it was the one he would least mind loosing if something went wrong. As it turned out it was the one he most needed to face. Brody’s explanation set up the scenario for the lucid dream and the episode’s story.

Rush’s sub consciousness mind/ship's computer recognized that he was deeply scarred from the loss of his wife and the feelings of hurt, bitterness and anger that he had buried were responsible for his withdrawal from humanity and for the callous treatment of everyone around him. It created the lucid dream as a mechanism for Rush to learn what he need to heal and move past these malignant feelings and that the access code is connected to the Ancients’ genetic sequence.

Blackhole
April 25th, 2010, 02:12 PM
"Redemption" isn't really a word I would associate with the events of the episode.

I don't feel like any of Rush's actions in the past were redeemed with the story- they were merely explained. We now know (at least part of) the reason why he acts the way he does. But the explanation doesn't actually wash away the act.

I think he's still going to be the same man we've seen, but with a vague hope of returning more to the kind of person his wife loved. His actions from here on out will be what determines whether or not he can be redeemed.

To redeem means: to make up for; make amends for; offset (some fault, shortcoming, etc.): His bravery redeemed his youthful idleness.

Rush risked his life to sit in the chair. Even though he took steps to limit the risk it still was very dangerous. Look what happened to Franklin. In the prior episode Rush risked his life to save Chloe and he did it again in the chair and he nearly died from the experience. Remember his nose bleed and the progressive deterioration of his vital signs near the end. Reliving his wife’s death was a very painful emotional event which required a great deal of courage. He also successfully retrieved the clue to Destiny’s computer access code; which when decoded, will be of immense value to everyone on the ship. All of these actions in my mind (and I haven't been a Rush supporter) were redeeming steps in attempting to make up or make amends for all of his past actions.

(I edited the post you are referencing and added the above paragraph to it to make my assertion of Rush's "redemption" clearer.)

Vapor
April 25th, 2010, 05:30 PM
The problem I have with seeing that strictly as a quest for redemption is that he admits that he'd rather die than fail. That, on some level, he just wants to move on with his work, and if he can't do that, then death is fine because he's got nothing else.

I understand that, from an outsider's viewpoint, it would look like he did this for everyone (and indeed he might have) but we as the audience know that's not the whole story.

Blackhole
April 25th, 2010, 06:03 PM
The problem I have with seeing that strictly as a quest for redemption is that he admits that he'd rather die than fail. That, on some level, he just wants to move on with his work, and if he can't do that, then death is fine because he's got nothing else.

I understand that, from an outsider's viewpoint, it would look like he did this for everyone (and indeed he might have) but we as the audience know that's not the whole story.

I don’t think Human was just a quest for Rush’s redemption. Frankly, Rush probably had mostly self-serving motives for using the chair. But the fact remains he risked his life, faced his demons (and seems to have moved positively on from them) and successfully found the clue to the access code.

I maintain that for the first half of the season Rush and Young and Wray for that matter have all been portrayed closer to the villain side of the spectrum. And since the mid-season resumption their characters are now being portrayed moving towards the middle.

Vapor
April 25th, 2010, 06:15 PM
I don’t think Human was just a quest for Rush’s redemption. Frankly, Rush probably had mostly self-serving motives for using the chair. But the fact remains he risked his life, faced his demons (and seems to have moved positively on from them) and successfully found the clue to the access code.

I maintain that for the first half of the season Rush and Young and Wray for that matter have all been portrayed closer to the villain side of the spectrum. And since the mid-season resumption their characters are now being portrayed moving towards the middle.

Actually, I don't disagree with anything in this post. I just don't interpret his actions here as a redemption of his "youthful idleness," or anything else. Particularly when we consider the motives you just described. It was far from a selfless act, and it hasn't actually changed the circumstances for the crew... yet.

Which is why I still attest that his moment of redemption will come later, if at all. In my view, he's working on it, but he's not there yet.

Vapor
April 25th, 2010, 06:16 PM
EDIT- board error

Vapor
April 25th, 2010, 06:16 PM
EDIT- sigh...

Blackhole
April 25th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Actually, I don't disagree with anything in this post. I just don't interpret his actions here as a redemption of his "youthful idleness," or anything else. Particularly when we consider the motives you just described. It was far from a selfless act, and it hasn't actually changed the circumstances for the crew... yet.

Which is why I still attest that his moment of redemption will come later, if at all. In my view, he's working on it, but he's not there yet.

I agree that Rush's motives weren't totally selfless, but he did risk his life and he did find the clue which imo is likely in time to give them control of Destiny's systems. To an extent I think his actions were redeeming. At this point we will have to agree to disagree. If you don't think these actions are worthy of redemption it is your judgment.

Vapor
April 25th, 2010, 06:39 PM
I agree that Rush's motives weren't totally selfless, but he did risk his life and he did find the clue which imo is likely in time to give them control of Destiny's systems. To an extent I think his actions were redeeming. At this point we will have to agree to disagree. If you don't think these actions are worthy of redemption that is your judgment.

Because, as I (and his wife) said, death was actually preferrable to failure.

Blackhole
April 25th, 2010, 06:58 PM
Because, as I (and his wife) said, death was actually preferrable to failure.

Since you don’t consider risking his life to save another person or to discover an extremely valuable bit of information effort enough to qualify for a redeeming act; what action in your mind could he perform that would qualify?

Vapor
April 25th, 2010, 07:33 PM
It wasn't so much the act I was questioning. Merely the motivation behind it.

Daro
April 25th, 2010, 07:34 PM
I don't see how being determined not to fail is necessarily a flaw. It's a character trait, nothing more. It's one that has caused Rush to do some awful things, starting with sending everyone to Destiny. But since then, it's also benefited the entire crew. Rush is a survivor. He just holds himself (and everyone else) to an impossible standard of perfection. I'm not sure if that will change anytime soon, and I'm not sure I want it to. Whatever bad things he may be, he is at least very brave and a good ally to have on your side.

I'd agree that he hasn't quite redeemed himself yet. But redemption is a process, not a single act. Saving Chloe was the first concrete indication we have that he's not the manipulative sociopath that his critics think he is. "Human" confirms that he's got reasons that are, if not justified, at least understandable.

Honestly, while he may be forgiven long before, I don't think he'll be redeemed completely until he gets the survivors on Destiny home. Or perhaps he'll save the Earth, you never know. That'd also work. Not every evil one does can be redeemed by actions. It may be that his opportunity to totally exhonorate himself never arises. Still, I think holding the character to impossible standards will inhibit viewers' enjoyment of the show. So far we have mostly words and emotional indications (we had them long before "Space," I think) that he is not a monster. I say give him time, even if you hate him, and you may be sorry in the end if you wished for him to fail or to be killed for his misdeeds.

Blackhole
April 25th, 2010, 07:53 PM
I don't see how being determined not to fail is necessarily a flaw. It's a character trait, nothing more. It's one that has caused Rush to do some awful things, starting with sending everyone to Destiny. But since then, it's also benefited the entire crew. Rush is a survivor. He just holds himself (and everyone else) to an impossible standard of perfection. I'm not sure if that will change anytime soon, and I'm not sure I want it to. Whatever bad things he may be, he is at least very brave and a good ally to have on your side.

I'd agree that he hasn't quite redeemed himself yet. But redemption is a process, not a single act. Saving Chloe was the first concrete indication we have that he's not the manipulative sociopath that his critics think he is. "Human" confirms that he's got reasons that are, if not justified, at least understandable.

Honestly, while he may be forgiven long before, I don't think he'll be redeemed completely until he gets the survivors on Destiny home. Or perhaps he'll save the Earth, you never know. That'd also work. Not every evil one does can be redeemed by actions. It may be that his opportunity to totally exhonorate himself never arises. Still, I think holding the character to impossible standards will inhibit viewers' enjoyment of the show. So far we have mostly words and emotional indications (we had them long before "Space," I think) that he is not a monster. I say give him time, even if you hate him, and you may be sorry in the end if you wished for him to fail or to be killed for his misdeeds.

A very insightful, thoughtful and well written post!