View Full Version : FAN REVIEWS: 'Awakening' (203)

September 19th, 2010, 12:49 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/s2/203.shtml"><IMG SRC="http://www.gateworld.net/universe/graphics/203.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 TWO</FONT>
<FONT SIZE="4"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/universe/s2/203.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">AWAKENING</A></FONT>
<IMG SRC="/images/clear.gif" WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="10" ALT="">
<I>Destiny</I> encounters an Ancient seeder ship, which may hold the key to getting the crew home. But they soon find that the ship is not unoccupied.

<FONT SIZE="1" COLOR="#888888"><B><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/universe/s2/203.shtml">VISIT THE EPISODE GUIDE ></A></B>

<I>Calling All Writers!</I> Tell the world what you think of the newest episodes of <I>Stargate Universe</I>! We want <I>you</I> to share your thoughtful and well-reasoned evaluation of episodes. But we do have some guidelines, so please read carefully before submitting your review.

<B>This thread does not function like normal threads at GateWorld! Read this post carefully.</B>

Fan Review threads are not for conversation, even if it is discussing a member's review. For that, please use the official GateWorld episode discussion threads in this folder, or start a new thread. <B>All posts to this thread that are conversational will be immediately deleted.</B>

Fan Review threads are strictly reserved for formal reviews, which are deemed by the moderators to meet the following four guidelines:
<UL><B>(1) LENGTH.</B> Your review must be a <I>minimum of 400 words</I> and a <I>maximum of 1,000 words</I>.

<B>(2) FORMALITY.</B> Your review should be in a formal prose style (not informal and conversational, as regular forum posts are), following the Introduction - Body - Conclusion form. (The best reviews will include a single, encapsulated statement evaluating the overall episode that is stated in the introduction, defended in the body, and restated in the conclusion.)

<B>(3) EDITORIALIZING.</B> This piece is about <I>your opinion</I> of this specific episode. Do not summarize scenes or plot points, and generally avoid objective analysis of developments in story arcs, characters, etc. Assume that your readers have seen the episode you are discussing. Your review should give your opinion of various aspects of the episode (see below), not simply inform.

Beyond this, your ultimate goal is to challenge readers to think about the episode in a way they may not have when they first saw it. Avoid phrases like "I liked" and "I didn't like." Don't merely state what you thought -- defend it with examples.

Aspects of the episode that you might want to include in your review are (you do not need to cover every item on this list!):
Character use
Guest casting
Music / score
Visual effects
Costumes & makeup
Overall production value
Contribution to story arcs / overall series</UL>
<B>(4) FAIRNESS.</B> Very few episodes that you dislike are without a few saving graces, just as very few episodes that you love are completely without flaw. Avoid unqualified gushing on the one hand, or unbalanced negativism on the other. Personal attacks on the show's cast or crew are strictly forbidden.</UL>
By posting a reply to this thread, you are submitting a Fan Review for publication here on the forum! (Questions or concerns can be directed to the moderators via Private Message or the <A HREF="http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=17629">"Ask the Moderators"</A> thread; do not post them here.) All reviews that are deemed to sufficiently meet the guidelines above will be approved and published in this thread, regardless of the author or the opinions contained. Reviews will not be edited for content. If your review is not approved within 48 hours, please consider rewriting it (and perhaps having someone beta read it for you) and submitting it again.

By submitting a review, you agree and grant permission for it to remain published here (nonexclusively). You also grant GateWorld nonexclusive rights to edit your review and republish it elsewhere on the site, with your byline intact (as provided in the body of your review, or if none, your GateWorld Forum username at the time of republishing). GateWorld's editors reserve the right to revise these guidelines in the future.


<DIV ALIGN="center"><I><B>All reviews are the opinion of the author
and not necessarily that of GateWorld.net and its owner.</B></I></DIV></FONT>

October 13th, 2010, 01:58 AM
Some of the most interesting characters in this episode were Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie, the authors who penned this piece of work. Why is that? Because for a supposedly character based drama they chose to write an episode with rather narrow character development. In fact, maybe the show suffers from the the sheer number of characters, as there is not much screen time for any single one of the cast members during an episode on most occasions. Was there character? Absolutely! Will we see more character development in other episodes? Of course! But nothing new was said here that hasn't already been stated in other episodes bar the odd nod here and there. There are still many gold moments in this episode for the characters, but this episode also has a leg standing on the technical side of things, and the action adventure element.

The seeder ship: intricate, dark, full of unexpected surprises, and most important it's the big ticket to getting home - sounds a lot like Rush himself. The darker tones of the show in general suited this episode more for its suspensful moments. Even the presence of water, an audible presence, was something that is rarely heard on the Destiny, something that the show could use more of is representation of home - without necessarily having to go back there. Here we are introduced to another alien getting its paws, claws, or flesh fingers into Ancient technology. There's certainly something very fishy about the Destiny - it's worth looking into for more than one species out there, but we still don't know exactly why or if the reason is anything more than scientific interest. Unlike the Blues/Smurfs, the brown pumpkin pod guys are not as hostile, they never use lethal force, but appear territorial and to work in small groups. Hopefully we'll meet some friendly aliens (other than flesh shredding smiling bugs) this season.

There is definitely humor in this episode, from the alien hand reaching out of the pod filled with glowing light, to Scott giving the alien food, and Greers comments about Park (any comments about Park immediately cut to her looking characteristically and cartoonishly innocent). This is held in contrast to the suspense, such as the water dripping from pipes, or the visual cues where empty space of the screen could be filled by an alien but isn't. The premise evolves slowly, and the even-weighting of opposing elements (such as the humor vs. the suspense, or the character vs. the "action") takes time to finally come together.

Throughout this we have many character moments such as TJ displaying less vulnerability than she did in the pilot, she has strength, she has faith, and she even has it in her to prove herself to Simeon. Hopefully Simeon puts up a better fight with Rush later on. Having Gloria recur in this season is an excellent addition the the show. Gloria is becoming a character to represent the Destiny itself, very much neutral like the Ancients themselves. The core of the character in this episode is in the trio of Young, Telford, and Rush. Telford was getting through to Young, and Rush was privy to this moment. Rush knew Telford was on the ship, and he left Telford behind so that he wouldn't be able to help Young out, so that Rush could remain in control. Why did he do this? He chose to do this - yes, but he did it out of fear of returning home, out of fear of being controlled by others and losing control of the ship. These fears are much more strong and numerous than that of losing self control.

Did anything other than the aliens "awaken" in this episode? The show will continue to remain serial, the characters will remain numerous, and the action adventure will serve to bring out the aspects of character that remain under the surface. Nothing within the cast has been awakened this episode, but whether it be the seeder ships, or Rushs or even Youngs own mind, there are elements within that will come out to play sooner or later, and when something from the outside tries to get in there can be no doubt characters will develop and collide.

October 13th, 2010, 04:04 PM
I was a little taken aback by this episode. I had a feeling that the Destiny crew would run into some kind of alien trouble while on the “seed ship”, but I certainly wasn’t expecting Telford to be left behind. They left his fate rather open-ended, so I’m hoping that this is not his final curtain call. My sense is that Lou Diamond Phillips is only available for so many episodes, so the writers have to find creative ways to keep him in the story.

I like the fact that Young continues to get more and more strung out by the pressure and his own psychological issues. Rush keeps pushing his buttons, and now that Telford is gone, his one apparent “safety valve” is effectively gone. I seriously doubt that Young would give any control over to Camille or Rush, based on past conflicts, and there’s really no one on the military side who is ready to shoulder that kind of responsibility.

Rush continues to be one of the most interesting characters, if not the best thing about the show as a whole. The longer he tries to run the ship by circumventing Young, the more he exposes himself in the process. Events keep conspiring to force Rush to show his hand. While some anomalous activities on Destiny are to be expected, Rush is struggling with the fact that Young and the rest of the “command” have grown accustomed to Destiny’s patterns. There are only so many “mysterious” events that can be swept under the rug.

At first I was a bit annoyed with how the aliens were acting in this episode, because it felt intentionally obtuse. Then I realized that I had been all too programmed by previous “Stargate” and other franchise shows to expect aliens with semi-intelligible motivations. As had been said many times in the episode, there was no frame of reference for communicating with the aliens, so their actions were equally inscrutable. While I think it’s convenient that the aliens waited until Rush took pre-emptive action and Telford was trapped to reappear, it does suggest that there was a purpose to it that may come into play later.

I do like how they’re working with the Lucien Alliance characters. As someone noted during a recent conversation, these are not actors who would be cast to play characters kept in the background for too long, especially Robert Knepper. So I assume this is going to stew for a little while longer before becoming a major problem. As long as they don’t fall into the “Star Trek: Voyager” trap by making them all friends by the mid-season break, I imagine I’ll be happy.

October 18th, 2010, 10:10 AM
[Due to length of review, a snippet and link to the full review, also posted on Gateworld]

Awakenings Review [SGU - 203]
By xxxevilgrinxxx

As with so many of Stargate Universe’s titles, there is meaning in the title. On its surface it could be as simple as ‘the aliens awake’, but I wonder if the meaning is as simple as that. Part of the clue may be in this snippet:

RUSH: Destiny’s exchanging data with the seed ship.

For whatever reason the seeder ship stopped – malfunction, an invasion by the Brown aliens and their possible research, a call from the destiny herself, or some sort of prearranged event – information is now being sent to Destiny and I believe that this information may also be a part of that ‘awakening’, although we may not see the results immediately.

Along with the concept of the aliens waking up and something in Destiny waking up, there’s the take your friend by the shoulders and give him a shake – the “Wake up, man!” This form of awakening we see in a triad between Telford, Young and Rush. Out in the hallway, Telford has been having a somewhat one-sided conversation with Young about being kept in the loop about decisions on the Destiny. While that conversation was interesting on its own, in the filming of this scene – with the focus shifting between Telford-Young and Rush – Rush becomes included in what Telford is stating.

TELFORD: You’ve been going this alone since the incursion and it’s been taking a toll. When are you gonna realise that this isn’t just about you? You have a responsibility to people on board this ship and lately you haven’t been up to the task. Now, either shape up or step back.

This statement appears to echo what the Destiny herself, in the form of Gloria, has been telling Rush all along. You have this responsibility and it’s time to take it up or be judged accordingly. For Rush, this is beginning to show, both in the distrust he’s fostering amongst the crew and in the near-disgust that comes from the Destiny, in the form of Gloria, who has looked particularly disappointed in some of the choices that Rush has made, and continues to make. As much as Rush states that Young isn’t up for the task, Rush hasn’t measured up either and I wonder how much longer the Destiny will continue to let it happen.....

read the rest here... (http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/76930-Awakening-(203)-General-Discussion?p=11992565&viewfull=1#post11992565)

December 23rd, 2010, 08:57 AM
It’s fairly clear to see in hindsight that the primary purpose of “Awakening” is to get Colonel Telford off Destiny, and really that was its only purpose. The main plot is so geared toward that end goal that the episode ends up feeling like it’s almost plot-less, but in amongst the lead-up to removing Telford, there are a lot of wonderful moments.

Cute team moments are a trademark of Mallozzi and Mullie’s writing, and “Awakening” has them in spades. From TJ and Chloe’s chat about the baby, to Scott and Greer discussing Greer’s sex life as they walk through the seeder ship, to Telford and Young’s small bonding moment. The moments are a nice insight into the friendships, especially as they show that there are friendships and bonds -- something which fans love. But these moments are not the only nice moments; there are also a veritable load of TJ moments.

Whether the focus on TJ is because the writers realized her popularity, or to increase focus on the female characters, or just that in dealing with her grief, it’s her turn in the spotlight, I’m not really bothered, because quite frankly it means more TJ, which is a good thing in my book. I love the tentative beginnings of something with Varro (played so excellently by Mike Dopud) which we all know cannot possibly end well; love the awkwardness with Young as he sends her off into the seeder ship to deal with the collapsed alien; love her standing up to Lucian Alliance nasty Simeon and showing what a kick-ass soldier she is under the compassionate medic. All these moments add up to a really great outing for TJ and Alaina Huffman.

It’s also another really great outing for Rush. The continuation of his disappearing acts to the bridge and talking to his dead wife are just wonderful. I love what this is revealing about Rush as a character. He doesn’t tell the others about the power being available to get them home, and may have sabotaged the power flow even before the aliens’ interference. His entire being is focused on staying on Destiny; he doesn’t want to go home, and here that is made very clear through every action he makes, and through Gloria’s pointed questions.

I also love that Rush is getting some really great lines which Robert Carlyle delivers with such deadpan dryness that he has me laughing out loud at my TV. My particular favorite was the prediction line. And it’s good to see that these little humorous moments are being included; not only Rush’s lines but also Scott and Greer’s discussion, Rush’s matter-of-fact reaction to the Stargate manufacturing line, the attempt to get the alien to talk and give it food. The added lightness makes Universe more balanced and much more enjoyable as a show.

Talking of the alien, kudos to the team on creating another unusual alien. I love the design; it’s cute enough that my immediate reaction was ‘I want one’ and yet creepy enough that when it climbed up the wall, the second reaction was ‘maybe not.’ There’s a lovely ambiguity in whether the aliens are a threat or not. As Telford is surrounded by them at the end, there is worry for him -- although ultimately I predict that Telford will turn up with the cute and creepy aliens in the seeder ship to rescue Destiny sometime in the future [I was so right!]. Or maybe not. Universe has a way of surprising me.

Somehow, Telford getting stranded on the seeder ship surprised me, even though in hindsight it was clearly what was going to happen. I’d like to think that was the subtlety of the plot rather than my being very dense but I fear it really was the latter. Given that Lou Diamond Phillips is not part of the regular cast and his character’s continuing presence on Destiny would create command issues with Young, something had to be done plot-wise to write him out. In the end, everything in this episode is a lead-up to the moment when Telford gets left behind. It’s well done and there is a good farewell moment between Telford and Young that is quite touching.

What is also well done is the sense of continuity; there are some great touches such as continuing wounds, discussion of what has gone before and particularly mention of Riley. Killing him was a very good way of reintroducing tension and angst about the characters. As Young ordered Brody and Volker onto the away team to the seeder ship, I immediately started to worry that one of them would end up dead too.

All in all, this is a nice outing for Universe. But perhaps the attempt to hide the fact that this was all about kicking Telford off Destiny is too well done and leaves behind a sense that there was very little plot otherwise. While I loved all of the moments packed into “Awakening,” moments do not equal a good plotty episode and I hope next time, there is more of a plot to go with the moments.

Previously published at GeekSpeak Magazine (http:\\www.geekspeakmagazine.com)

August 19th, 2012, 06:04 PM

Everybody seems to have new hair styles this season; Rush, Young, even TJ. I guess new hair styles equal a new season to them. Anyways this episode of SGU has something that should have hardcore fans of Stargate clamoring; no not the episode itself but what is revealed inside of the episode.

This is your usual SGU episode where the crew finds a mysterious object and sets off to explore with the expedition not going right. You can easily imagine how it's going to go in your head; dank environments, a sense of mystery and uncertainty, the crew doing their thing; the show does well in immersing you in that environment as the sets and some of the music help to set the mood, it's almost exciting to explore the unknown and creepy to see them exploring the unknown, the dank sets, the lack of light, the sudden discoveries. Unfortunately this goes on for much longer then it should; I'm a fan of having people explore dank ships but I'm also a fan of pacing and this kills much of the momentum that comes from them exploring the ship. We do get to see them converse somewhat as they activate the ship and do their thing, through many of those dull moments we see some form of character amongst the people who are there. Greer, Eli and I think Brodie. Those scenes help to infuse some life helping to stave off some of the boredom and well, they're just seemingly natural.

Throughout the episode we're hinted that something else is aboard that ship and they don't do much until 20 minutes in where it finally gets exciting. Finally, we get to see the moment where the crew interacts with their first real live alien; the alien is reminiscent of Star Wars and isn't the true unknown which the creators promised (come on, sci-fi is not a cliched genre.) but it doesn't matter as the crew's awe and attempts to communicate with the alien help magnificently. This is their first time seeing an alien, they can't help but to feel fear and awe as they watch him and these people don't know how to communicate with them so they do what they normally do, improvise. Scott was kind of overdoing it with his mechanics but it does show the wonder and the magic this moment somewhat has and if this isn't a sign of Season 2 going somewhere, I don't know what is. Unfortunately it still remains somewhat boring and the producers/writers are aware of this so what do they do? They further the stakes by promising a way home and having tons of hostile aliens around and the crew running around looking for these aliens while one person tries to save the day. The stakes are well done, the tension is engaging and there's something to excite you here but it feels like it's too little, too late; especially when they pull their suddenness trick near the end of the episode and raise the stakes even further, even involving the departure of Telford who while I didn't care for much, the people on the ship will...

What happens aboard the ship is your usual routine. TJ helping out, the LA locked up, Young commanding the situation... They do further the Young vs. LA plot though; the beliefs that he holds about them lying just to save their asses, the possible misinformation they hold, the shady tactics he believes to he holding really come across well as he encounter various people. His tone is stern, slick and condescending and his actions showcase the brashness of the character while also reflecting his views. These views are something that do good for his character, though it makes him somewhat one dimensional, we can just imagine what he's thinking, what he's been through to make him have these views. The other people who talk to him about this don't provide much that could further his character, instead saying the same things that they said last episode from Ming Li to even the LA themselves. The LA were alright before but they just seemed to be poorer then they were before save for the Leader who manages to bring out the best in Young. Chloe's surprisingly good in this (showing the few hints of growth in Season 2) and her small scene hints at what's going to possibly happen to her character, Rush is amazing in this switching back and forwath while barely managing to hold it together and still learning about the controls (what he did was somewhat morally questionable though if only for the what if scenario?) and even TJ and the Leader (I think.) is somewhat decent if not for the Leader himself.

The hardcore fans out there will be surprised to know that some history is revealed, an impressive scene showcasing the room where they built the gates should have fans salivating over the mouth and the few bits of pieces of history we learn from the seed ship should be worthwhile. I think that's about it...

There is nothing else to say except this is just another day. The episode has a concept which should be exciting but only becomes exciting as the episode nears it's end; much of the episode is a dull borefest with drawn out scenes and nothing compelling. The characters are decent, it's not terrible and there is some valuable info in this but I deserve more at this point; especially since we're at Season 2.