View Full Version : FAN REVIEWS: 'Incursion, Part 1' (119)

May 2nd, 2010, 02:09 PM
<DIV ALIGN="center"><TABLE WIDTH="450" BORDER="0" CELLSPACING="0" CELLPADDING="7"><TR><TD STYLE="border: none;"><DIV ALIGN="left"><FONT FACE="Verdana, Arial, san-serif" SIZE="2" COLOR="#000000"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/universe/s1/119.shtml"><IMG SRC="http://www.gateworld.net/universe/graphics/119.jpg" WIDTH="160" HEIGHT="120" ALIGN="right" HSPACE="10" VSPACE="2" BORDER="0" STYLE="border: 1px black solid" ALT="Visit the Episode Guide"></A><FONT SIZE="1" COLOR="#888888">UNIVERSE SEASON ONE</FONT>
<FONT SIZE="4"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/universe/s1/119.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">INCURSION, PART 1</A></FONT>
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The Lucian Alliance manages to board Destiny, taking several crewmembers hostage in a bid to wrestle control the ship.

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June 4th, 2010, 08:31 PM
Anyone who writes reviews about shows will say while its rewarding and a fun thing to do but at the same time it can be a mentally exhausting task. So I was kind of glad that I got Memorial weekend off to relax before diving into Incursion. But at the same time I was hoping the rest would bring one jaw dropping of a season finale. And if part two is anything like Incursion part I then I say it will be a high note for Universe. Yes it doesn’t have that many character moments and is mostly action orientated but I think the action has an emotional impact behind it making the episode that more interesting to watch. Let’s start at Telford’s death, shall we?

I saw so much debate at what Young did at the end of Subversion and yes hindsight is 20/20 as they say but given the final results we have from the venting of the atmosphere of Telford’s room I think Young made the right choice. Looking at the results that long term no one is hurt and they gained their intel on the Lucian Alliance coming for Destiny it seems that the torture was justified. I’m not saying that it’s right but just that it gagged positive results in the protection of Destiny

Speaking of Young’s questionable act I liked seeing him butt heads with Scott. Here is a person who blindly followed Young’s order irregardless of how Scott felt about them. I liked seeing the young lieutenant finally reaching. It shows the more human side of him.

Now to the actual fight of the episode. There is not a whole lot to react to because it’s self-explanatory. I will say that I liked the pace of Young over the intercom and showing the various personnel taking their position through out Destiny. Although I do have to say the fight on the Milky Way end was somewhat lacking. It seemed the writer of this episode was in a rush to get the Lucian Alliance to Destiny he did not want to show the fighting as the 9th chevron was dialed.

What I found interesting was the fact Young didn’t vent the atmosphere in the Gate room when he found out that Rush was now with them. I don’t know. Maybe it points that he doesn’t hate Rush as much as he did in Justice. But the fact that Young wasn’t willing to sacrifice Rush to save the rest on Destiny clearly means something in the terms of characterization of Young. Their has to be a reason that he would risk all the lives on the Destiny for one man. Something Young would have done a few episodes ago. I’m just not sure what it is yet.

The actually fighting and shooting was so fast paced on Destiny. Coupled on how dark the ship was I could barely tell who was who. It was hard for me to tell who was shooting who as Earth and the Alliance fought for control of the ship. For example I did not know Chloe was shot until after the fighting was over and Eli had sent them clear across the ship in that vertical elevator. Speaking about Chloe and Eli, does that B plot have any purpose? Yes I understand Chloe is critically injured and Eli has to get her back to the center of the ship. But what is the whole point of that? It seems like it will have little impact or relevance to the rest of story. It just feels like some added time was needed.

I think we finally found a use for that *censored words Wray. She is good at negotiating and stalling for time so Young and the rest of the military can provide another counterstrike. Although her comment about civilians having control in out society was really cold. It sounds like she was trying to preach to Young again about her rights. As for the other side of the negotiation just like the last episode Kiva has this feel of being cold and ruthless. I got chill when she ordered TJ to patch up one of her men. One can only imagine what she will do if TJ fails. It kind of reminds me what Peter DeLuise said in a SG1 DVD special feature. Its one thing to say you are evil. It’s a lot more frightening to act and show your evil. I think Kiva personifies the latter.

Call me an optimist but I think that Telford is back on our side with the way he allowed those Lucian Alliance soldier fall into that trap in one of the Destiny corridors and showed Young and the crew where the group was going. I’m probably too hopeful but would Kiva be in on this turning of Telford. It just does not make logical sense. Speaking of logical sense there are quite few mysteries aboard Destiny. I want to know what on Destiny is causing people to burn into ashes. That ability was never seen in past episodes. I am baffled and curious of why that is happening. But I bet you it has something to do with the ship not jumping into FTL.

And the climax for the episode felt very anti-climatic which seems to be an exact opposite from the last episodes end. Their was tension last time right before the end credits. This time Young just admits Rush is right and that sacrifices will need to be implemented for them to retake Destiny. It just seems to lack the punch to get viewers interested next week. Don’t get me wrong the episode was great but their was little tension for the ending

June 5th, 2010, 08:14 AM
SGU – Incursion, Part 1

In a lot of ways, I found this episode to be a lot like “Divided”. On the surface, there is the very obvious 'us' and 'them' theme with the Destiny crew on one hand and the Lucian Alliance on the other but, as with so much about Stargate Universe, the writers aren't content to leave things that simply spelled out. There are all sorts of divisions taking place here and some unexpected coalitions as well.

One of the larger divisions that stood out for me was not between crew member and boarder, but within Col. Young himself. The very first answer to boarders was to vent the atmosphere, to kill everyone as they waited there in the gateroom until they could move on further. As a plan, it doesn't get more pure than that and it's a sound military strategy, one I believe that Young, at some point, would have no problem making. However, it's not that Young that appears to have ended up on Destiny.

Throughout all the episodes so far, we've seen a Young that is haunted at losing people and as much as he has no love for Rush, Rush is nonetheless one of his own people. It would make Incursion a far shorter affair but I believe that Rush is one of the main reasons that Young can't press that button. I don't think he could do it if it was Telford either as it seems clear that the men know each other well enough to be on a first name basis. There is a shared moment between Telford and Young when Telford is relating how it felt to do terrible things (under the control of the Lucian Alliance), when he says 'you don't know how it feels' [paraphrase]. Young offers nothing verbally but there is a look shared that has me believe that Young does know how it feels. Not to be an LA mole, but to do terrible things that he regrets.

I also wonder if Young had not spoken to TJ beforehand, or if she had said something very different, if Young would have continued with a more ruthless plan. I think he would have a hard time facing her again if he had done so, so there is this split between what Young would have done, and what Young would do now. I believe that unease with his military ability and his deep caring for the people aboard the Destiny and not wanting to lose any of them is making him second guess the decisions he is making.

There is a also division forming between Young and Scott. One that I sincerely hope will be mended but one that is formed, I believe, by Scott's seeming inability to draw boundaries. We have seen from the very first episode that Scott has no problem disobeying a direct order when he believes he should. This isn't a bad thing but the behaviour does bleed into other areas, such as his inability to draw the correct boundaries with Greer (Kinosode “Drop the Sirs”) and most recently with Wray in “Subversion”, where he chooses to divulge information to Wray. Some could say that Young hadn't trusted Scott with that information either but I tend to think it's more likely that Young hadn't wanted Scott's hands to be dirty, and through keeping him out of it, that could be avoided. As a learning experience, Scott has learned that Young really does know what he's doing.

An interesting thing that came out of that encounter by the door was Greer's reaction. As much as Scott seems to have trouble with the boundaries, Greer does not. Greer may well be in a position to know even less than Scott does and yet he trusts Young to make the call. Trusts him enough that, when advanced upon by Scott, is willing to set friendship aside if need be and push Scott back.

Another possible division is Rush but I don't see this as likely. Rush may be angry but he was warned about the situation in 'Subversion' and he of all people knew how serious it was. Young and Rush may yell and shout at each other but at the end of the day, Rush is back, quite alive, on board Destiny. The mole has been outed and dealt with, which is what they both wanted. I'm still holding out for a begrudging alliance on this one.

As interesting as the divisions are, I'm finding that the alliances are just as interesting. Greer is clearly solidly behind Young, but that isn't too surprising. Telford and Young go back a long ways so it's not too surprising that Telford would back Young, to the point of preventing harm to TJ. I believe he would do so anyway but the added factor that she's carrying Young's child likely helps.

Brody had shown, in “Subversion” that he had chosen to put faith in Young and this was further proven out when Brody was the first one called and that it took no more than a word for Brody to act. I have to wonder if Brody knew what was happening, or if Brody has decided to put his trust in Young after all of the things he's seen? In any case, I expect this to come out further, perhaps in a Brody backstory?

One alliance I hadn't expected was between Wray and Young. In part I saw it as another way in which Wray inserts herself into a position of authority but in this case, I believe that she did so solely to help and not just to help herself. I'll be interested to see where this goes next week. I believe Wray is naive enough to believe that she can negotiate her way out of this mess but she's not dealing with office politics, she's dealing with people that are more than willing to kill to get what they want and I'm not just talking about the LA.

No discussion of “Incursion” would be complete without mentioning Eli and Chloe. It's always been more than friends, at least from Eli's side but I'm wondering if Chloe is getting a new look at her best friend and if she's measuring the two men in her life in that light.

Finally, there is the Destiny herself. It's too soon to speculate, but is the ship's defences kicking in? Is this why they haven't gone to FTL and why LA crew are little piles of ash?

July 25th, 2010, 05:54 AM
Incursion Part 1 is the meat in the finale sandwich between the very good Subversion and the yet to be seen, and imaginatively entitled, Incursion Part 2. Like all middle sections, it risks being boring and nothing more than a continuation of the set-up to the grand finale. While it does manage not to fall foul of boring thanks to being action-packed but it does fall foul of some plotting issues while remaining stuck in ‘set-up’ mode, but bizarrely doesn’t leave an enthralling cliff-hanger.

Let me start with the ending because it was in a word, pathetic. Maybe it’s because with the serial nature of SGU the audience is used to events being left in limbo. Maybe it’s because the music failed to deliver a sufficiently dramatic note of ‘duh-Duh-DUH.’ Maybe it’s even because Louis Ferriera’s quiet delivery of the end line was too quiet and not bombastic enough to create the needed tension. Or more realistically it’s a combination of all of these things that means the ending with Young declaring it’s time to take down the Lucian Alliance is something of a damp squib. It’s possibly the least impactful ending of a ‘Part 1’ in the franchise’s long history. Frankly, it’s lucky that ‘Part 2’ is the actual finale and so people will want to tune in anyway. The only shocking thing about Young’s declaration was his assertion Rush was right.

Young’s command issues which have really been the core of the season arc come sharply into focus in this episode and that’s a very good thing in terms of season pay-off. His issues with Rush, with Telford, with Wray; his seeming inability to make the tough decisions on one hand, and yet to be utterly ruthless on the other; his incredibly poor communication skills causing problems, all resurface here. And that’s good to see.

Nicely sub-plotted in contrast to Young’s command issues on Destiny is Carter’s deft command of the Hammond. I loved seeing Amanda Tapping back as Sam Carter; loved her short scene with Jack (Jack even calls her Sam!). But it’s not just done for the sake of it: Carter’s decision to leave two of her pilots behind to save her ship is there to hold up a mirror to Young’s performance. She made the hard decision whereas it looks like Young bottled it. It is a good contrast and a good use of the heroes we know and trust being used to show the flaws in their SGU counterparts.

However, it’s never really made clear why Carter has to leave the pilots behind given she had ordered them beamed out once they got clear of the shielded areas (an additional aside that they were still in shielded areas or that they were unable to get a lock to beam would have been enough to tighten this up). It’s also not really clear in terms of plotting that when it’s evident Telford has been compromised as a spy and has provided information to Earth against the Lucian Alliance, why Kiva is so quick to trust him and let him lead a team of her men. Given the additional question of why Young didn’t just do what he’d done at the start of the episode when faced with the Alliance invasion (just vent the atmosphere in the ‘gate room and revive Telford afterwards), the plot does start to look a little frayed around the edges.

But there is much to like in the writing of this middle part: the scene between Telford and Young in the infirmary, the confrontation between Scott and Young, the chilling ruthlessness of Kiva in threatening the lives of two of the most liked characters in Reilly and TJ. Plus it is action packed: from the shocking suffocation of Telford at the beginning, to the attack on the Alliance base, to their evacuation through the ‘gate to Destiny, to the abortive plans.

All of the production remains quality too from the special effects which get to shine in the scene where the Alliance man is burned to a cinder by a strange white ray that enters through a breech in the hull and the attack on the Lucian Alliance, to the costuming of the Lucian Alliance which, while sticking with the leather motif of previous incarnations in Stargate SG-1, does give the impression of an army rather than a raggedy band of thieves and outlaws.

It is another solid hour of entertainment for the franchise and, while the ending isn’t perhaps as much of a hook as it was intended, Incursion Part 1 does provide a good set-up. Will Young step up and beat the Lucian Alliance? Will Reilly become a red-shirt? Will Telford betray them again? Will Kiva harm a pregnant TJ? Will Eli discover the answer to their problems and be the hero? There are enough intriguing questions as the crew of Destiny faces a fight for the ship alongside their continued survival to make the audience tune in with anticipation for the season finale.

Previously published at GeekSpeak Magazine (www.geekspeakmagazine.com/)

July 11th, 2012, 11:34 AM
Incursion (Part 1)

It's been a long while since I did one of these things but I realize that I have to do these eventually, lest I break the promise of "starting what I finished"... SGU had it's humble beginnings, from it's three pilot episode to it's first two parter season-finale episode. While the show hasn't made any major developments regarding, character development, plotting, action, or story; it's still somewhat impressive to see a show make it to it's first season finale. Now Stargate finales have usually been these epic masterpieces where everything is on the line, stakes are raised, people get a chance to shine and some truly unique moments happen. These types of series finales are usually highly praised and truly epic so I should get an awesome experience right?

Not exactly...

For one it feels like they're experimenting, figuring out how to create a season finale of it's own using the dark, edgy, character focused basis it has used for the entirety of the shows run. The people behind the show know their season finale has to be epically big but they can't do the same things that SGA and SG1 did due to their serious tone, so they experiment; taking the best of those shows and tweaking it in that it has that feeling but it fits within their totally different tone of the show. For the duration of the episode, it feels like they're experimenting with the formula, figuring out what doses are needed and what parts go well with others; in some places it works well but in others it feels like there's a conflict where the SGU side is forcing everything to become more dramatic and edgy. One can understand if a show needs to change something to fit a feeling but one also needs to understand that there's a balance to things that can't easily be created by just creating an episode like this and releasing it onto untested waters; I have a feeling that if they did some testing before they put this episode out then maybe, maybe it might be more successful but as it stands it feels like we're watching an experiment which really doesn't work out well...

The promises that surround this two-parter are enticing; people from off-world invading the Destiny, action abound, dramatic situations where are character shines, the fact that it's a Stargate season finale! I had some of my hopes up hoping that it would be something that would at least be one of those bright moments in SGU's first season and I'm sure some of you had those hopes as well; unfortunately those hopes are dashed the moment the episode begins. Much of the action is done in a chaotic, cluttered way that ends up being more boring then anything else; though it's necessary to see people shooting their guns, being confused and hit, seeing people shoot for a long time without much happening isn't exciting. The scenes that did excite me was the chase, people trying to evade our captors, looking for some sort of place to go; it was these scenes that excited me throughout this episode, scenes which the episode should of contained more of because the rush of the chase gives the episode the excitement which makes season finales like this; unfortunately there wasn't much of these scenes provided in order to enhance the excitement level. Even the scenes which attempt to replicate that Stargate feeling are a bit empty; they try to be epic but they end up just being there to provide the episode with some substance... substance that these scenes fail to provide no matter how epic they look.

We get a true sense for the power of our invaders in this episode and it's nice to see a situation that isn't a contrived dispute between two groups of people on the ship. The experience they have comes across clear as they know the ins and outs of Destiny, roaming around, taking people hostage and showing that they're a forced to not be reckoned with; they're truly a group which gives the situation at hand some serious stakes, I still hold the objection that the Lucian Alliance are not the perfect people to replace the Gou'ald but here, they're shown as something that gives the episode weight to push itself forward. Unfortunately there is barely any dimension to them whatsoever; compared to the last episode it almost seems like the group of individuals working hard to get to Destiny has been replaced with a crew who's main purpose is to stand around acting as people either taking them hostage or more rarely, having them roam around. The only one of the group that gets any attention is the girl from before who loses her appeal as the episode goes on; in the previous episode she was good because she fit the mood in the episode but in this episode she just seems like another person and they don't do anything to make her intriguing, they just have her stand around being tough and dominant. There are some scenes that show her character but those are far and few inbetween and without any people who aren't named Telford to support her, her sthick wears thin.

Speaking of which, Telford does get some character growth in the fact that he isn't acting like a tough guy but he still seems generic and uninteresting; hell even his "ambiguity" lacks the bite and depth that could of really helped the episode. It's nice to see some of his character exposed but the best thing to do was to create a character that was interesting to begin with. The dramatic parts are done decently enough with some moments providing some satisfactory conflict and intrigue but much of the acting behind these scenes leaves much to be desired, especially TJ and Wray who make me question their appeal; the most surprising thing about this episode is Young who's performance slowly becomes less impressive as time goes on, reverting to what he was in the pilot episode of the show; there are times where his compassion, leadership and caring show but for most of the episode he acts like a person who's confident about everything, strict and talks with a Batman voice to seem tough with barely any character whatsoever. The situation may call for him acting like this but this is a character-focused show and as such there has to be a focus on the characters, ignoring much of the character growth that has happened to him just so he can fit the situation is detrimental to the show; he does manage to be in the top three with some really good scenes and an impressive performance but he's at the bottom of the three.

Eli and Chloe truly get a chance to shine here when they're placed in a situation that brings out the best in characters. I really loved Eli in this; his awkwardness worked here as the situation warranted it and he took the situation 100% seriously; his compassion and caringness is put to good use here, he knows the situation, he can't help but to care for the person in need and that shows in a way what makes him what he is in the first place. Chloe starts off somewhat poorly but as time goes on she gets better, managing to pull off the performance of her lifetime; the situation that she's in was decent but combine that with Eli's performance and you get some truly sweet moments that more then make for the best moments of the episode and one that grows the characters at that; what makes it what it is is that it focuses on these characters and nothing more, they don't make an attempt to inject them into the situation or even force them into the situation, they're just two people in an isolated situation that's perfect for their characters to grow (with a bit of a ticking clock on the site); though some bit of the forced romance leaks out here, if you think of it as Eli helping out anybody in need then it just makes the scenes into something way, way more.

Then there are the cameo appearances by SG1 alumni that help the season finale in some way. RDA continues his acting streak from the previous episode proving to be by far the best guest star they have ever had, he appears in less scenes then before but the scenes he does appear in; he shows he's the best. Samantha Carter however has been reduced to playing an SGU lackey despite her best efforts. Why can't they just learn to act like themselves? You don't need to appeal to someone else, just act like yourself; then I would care just a bit more. There are some impressive shots both camera and lighting wise, they truly give beauty and grace to the scenes that they're in and help elevate those scenes to another level; a good example would be the Eli and Chloe scenes where the lighting just perfectly reflects the situation they're in, it shows the lack of hope, the potential situation at hand and at times, even a brief glimpse of hope; it effectively sets the mood for those scenes and it get people get involved in Eli and Chloe's situation. Truly the power of lighting can provide something more to a scene and I'm glad the SGU people didn't forget about that.

Ultimately it ends with the crew preparing to take action and deal with the threat themselves... which is expected for a season finale but overall will people care enough to tune in through all the disinteresting stuff and unappealing moments in the episode? This first part of the season finale is a bust, especially in comparison to the preceding episode which set up the high hopes in the first place. It tries to be epic in it's own way but ends up falling flat most of the time and it doesn't even set up high expectations for the second part of the season, which also doubles as the episode that caps off the first season. I'm going to try to be optimistic and hope that the second part is better then the first one.