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FAN REVIEWS: 'Divided'

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    FAN REVIEWS: 'Divided'

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    Colonel Young's opponents launch a coup to take control of the ship, pitting the military against civilians.



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    We all knew this was coming. It was obvious from day 1 when Rush stranded everyone on the Destiny. Its inevitable when to different kind of people are stuck in a common area. Its inevitable that these kind of people will begin to clash and makes changes. And because I read spoilers I knew a huge confrontation but for it to happen like this was something I totally did not expect. Their were quite a few twists and turns that if it was biologically possible my jaw would have touched the floor. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let’s start where we always do.

    What is an interesting I find the episode to start off really boring. The whole dream sequence was so yawn worthy. I know Chloe is having nightmares. It makes logical sense that a person tortured in an alien environment to have nightmares. But do we have to showcase it so much? It was so boring for me. I like good character to explain who this people are but the nightmare sequence in addition to Scott confronting Chloe just bored me like nothing else.

    But luckily after the first break (damn you commercials) it got really interesting. The concept of finding and destroying that transmitter had me excited because of my letdown of the first act and while good it brings in the whole motion of events. The cynic in me wonders if that alien device was ever really a tracking device of more of a ploy by Rush to get control. But the more I think about the character its not in Rush's nature. He is a more of a person who would take advantage of such chaos to figure the answer. Although I can't say I am surprised that he was almost willing to let Young and Scott die. Come on we know he would have done it if it wasn't for the intervention of Wray.

    I feel quite sorry for TJ in the hydroponics lab. She has always been kind of this neutral voice. While being a soldier TJ has always had a civilian personality. So it was somewhat sad to see her automatically grouped with the military. Speaking of the groupings I find a mutiny of this size a little hard to grasp. Obviously people like Rush and Wray were going to mutiny but one person I did not expect was a person like Park (and another I'll get too later). While a civilian she always seemed fine with the way Young in charge. I just find it hard to swallow that all the civilians were going to be against Young and the military. Granted when you have two different ideologies their will be friction but a high ratio this high of civilian mutinies seems quite improbable to me. Do not get me wrong I loved the shock and unpredictability of some of the mutineers but like many TV shows I have to suspend my disbelief once again.

    Speaking of ideologies their is a flaw in Rush's thinking. While it is defiantly true that a civilized society is run by civilian control. Destiny is not a separate country. Its an extension of assets controlled by the US government. Much like the SGC or Atlantis. They had both military and civilians in those bases but were effectively both under control of the US government. I suppose you could argue they were under IOA control but thats not really the point. The point of the matter is that they are both under control of the various nations of Earth like any other base. To that merit it makes more sense that whoever Jack and ultimately the president say is in charge is in charge. Furthermore how did they really expect Earth to react when a mutiny occured on Destiny? I doubt they would have been that sympathic.

    But I have seemed to lose my place lets move on too Eli discovering that Chloe was complict of Rush/Wray's mutiny plans. I was shocked beyond belief (and I may have to halt my thunking) that Chloe would side with Rush like that. I thought she was friends with Eli and Scott. It just seems she backstabbed them in this whole ordeal. I think I know why she lost friends on Earth. Her definition of loyalty is very shaky. Furthermore I wonder how Eli and Scott will react in the aftermath of all of this. Scott looked quite angry when he saw that Chloe was in on this mutiny. It will be quite interesting to see the repercussions of this ordeal. I bet Eli isn't too happy either.

    I’m so sorry my loyal readers ( all two of you) I forget to mention my thoughts on Young and Greer sneaking over the “line.” Personally I thought it was an ingenious idea to use. It felt really “out of the box” if you know what I mean and was something I wasn’t expecting. I never expected them to use those alien created holes to their advantage. Like I said it was unexpected. It also shows that Eli is a better poker player then I thought. He was very calm in trying to buy a little more time so Young and Greer could get aboard the other side and let the strike force. Also on an inapprioate note I laughed when James(at least I think it was James) hit that civilian with her gun.

    Finally we get to the aliens and Rush’s tracking device. Once again I was shocked that Rush had a tracking device implanted next to his heart(Does Rush even have a heart). The aliens attacking the Destiny not so much. It was an interesting plot twist that made another showdown between Young and Rush all the more interesting. I give Chloe a little redemption after being mad at her in this one where she allowed the stone switch to get a doctor in and furthermore she seems quite helpful in helping TJ in surgery. And give credit where credit is due. I might have a distaste for Rush but he was right about the aliens attacking by keeping the shields up. Although you have to wonder, how powerful are those shields? Although I am surprised that Young listened to him. A military mindset would be to fire with all of what you got.

    I think Wray’s words, “We have to learn to work together” summarizes the whole aftermath of this ordeal. This conflict is far from over as long as the civilian feel oppressed they are going to resist. Rather they are right or not is quite irrelevant as for to be effective everyone on the Destiny has to work together. Which bring my final thought in the form of a rhetorical. What are going to be the repercussions of this thing? This totally changed the makeup of the Destiny and I am curious to see how this changes the crew
    Originally posted by aretood2
    Jelgate is right


      Tense and dramatic, Divided is my second favorite episode of the season so far. It delivers on every front from the tightly woven plot to the incredible acting to the great special effects to the musical underscore as the power-play arc reaches a stunning climax and the Destiny crew faces another attack from the aliens introduced in Space.

      The plot deserves a major part of the credit for the episode; it was very tightly woven and, unlike many previous episodes of SGU, the pacing was spot on. From the opening with the surreal quality of Chloe’s dream to the actual civilian coup to the military fight-back to the shields failing just as Destiny jumps into FTL, every scene had a purpose and a place; every piece of dialogue added to the episode; everything just worked. And actually I found the plotting very believable; civilians wouldn’t think completely tactically and the military would, so the speed of both the coup and the military’s successful fight-back made sense to me. Kudos to Paul Mullie for the writing.

      I especially loved the scene between Chloe and TJ as they discuss the situation. This scene was just wonderful; both women standing by their point of view and standing up for what they believe in. And very importantly, wonderfully acted. Alaina Huffman’s TJ continues to be one of the very best characters around. Here she manages to portray how angry she is with the situation very subtly and emphasizes TJ’s military qualities very well. Plus TJ gets to save the day by stepping in and taking the transmitter out of Rush when the communication stone glitches and Doctor Brightman (which is a great cameo appearance for Stargate SG1 fans as the character appeared in S8) is sent back, ensuring the aliens cannot follow them.

      I also want to give a shout out for Elyse Levesque. She has to carry a major part of this episode as Chloe’s surprise alliance with Rush is a large part of the episode from the moment the two survivors meet up in the mess after their respective nightmares, to her pleas with him to stop the transfer to save Scott and Young, to her volunteering to be the one to exchange places with the doctor to perform surgery. Levesque really delivers; portraying Chloe’s anger at Young’s treatment of Rush, her regret in acting against her boyfriend, and Chloe’s vulnerability as she deals with the aftereffects of her capture.

      This “dealing with the consequences” is actually a powerful theme throughout the episode. Chloe is shown dealing with the consequences of her capture and the ramifications it has for her relationship with Scott and friendship with Eli. Young has to deal with the consequences of his rash action in leaving Rush behind and in losing the trust of the civilians. Rush has to deal with the consequences of his initial action in framing Young in the first place which set into motion the chain of events which ultimately sees him being put under the knife to remove an alien transmitter. And, given the rather dark ending with Young admitting to Greer it isn’t over, I can only hope we will see the consequences of the coup itself and the impact to the crew in the following episodes this season.

      I also have to mention the music in the episode because it really added to the tension and drama throughout. I particularly loved it in the run-up to the coup happening as everything builds to the moment where Rush and Wray take control of the ship; it definitely foreshadowed a sense of danger and thrill. But really the whole production deserves to take a bow.

      Everything from the special effects (loved the space walk with Young and Greer and the shot of the shuttle blasting the alien pod from the Destiny hull) to the lighting which somehow managed to make the usual dark Destiny seem a bit brighter to the direction which has some standout shots (loved the framing of TJ with Volker and Brody as the coup happens and one of the final shots of Young lit up but the rest of the frame almost in darkness as though to highlight what the Colonel faces).

      This is definitely one of SGU’s strongest episodes to date. Only the now award winning episode Time has been better, in my opinion – namely because it made so much more use of Stargate mythology and the Stargate. And indeed this is my one complaint about Divided – lack of mythology and lack of the Stargate itself.

      Divided is another example of when SGU gets it right, it gets it very right. And part of getting it right, is making sure the pacing is perfect. Here everything just works, thanks to the foundation of a brilliant script. Kudos to everyone for an entertaining and enthralling hour of television.

      Previously published at Geek Speak Magazine
      Women of the Gate LJ Community.
      My Stargate Fanfiction. My LiveJournal.



        It seems like I'm always right when it comes to events happening in future episodes; Rush returning and now an attempt to overthrow Young? All happening within two episodes? The people must have no idea what to write about in space because they always seem to go to the plots which create the most action/drama; this one included.

        Now don't get me wrong, it includes plenty of action/drama but most of the action/drama seems forced. Every few seconds or so there's always a mention about Young and how he's not capable of running the ship; how he'll kill us all. While it helps to enforce the dramatic situation that is going on on the ship, it doesn't give our characters any leeway and they end up acting like soap drama characters just reading their lines. A situation like this could of thrived given that the acting and dialog was better and there was more leniency with the scenes in general but with the scenes/actors/dialog the way they are now, the situation feels rooted and never really goes anywhere. The scenes where they destroy the alien transmitter on the ship is a plus that helps the situation and adds tension to help the episode get going; especially when the ship is about to jump to FTL...

        Rush does manage to use the drama to enhance himself well and a lot of the episodes best scenes revolve around him and/or a combination of Young or Eli. Hearing him play hardball, watching him handle the situation the best that he can, despite the fact that opposing forces are trying to convince him to do the "more sensible thing"; watching him get operated on. There is just a lot about Rush that makes the scenes featuring him great, really gives weight to a situation where both sides cannot survive without the stuff found on the opposing sides and both sides cannot come up with a compromise and as a plus, it makes those scenes interesting and fun to watch; which is what the show is desperately lacking at this point.

        Additionally, the moment in time where the ship gets attacked is also interesting; if not for the fact that aliens are attacking it and they're providing a conflict of whether or not they should fight back or let the shields hold up and do nothing... The ship getting attacked provides some urgency to the scenes at hand and gives them more weight then they should. (without the attack, I'm not sure it would of had the impact necessary to push through...) Unfortunately, some of the scenes get a bit wobbly at this point; it feels like the episode is designed to push Young and Rush to a conflict and to showcase the military's harshness when it comes to situations like these, mainly through making it very very easy to get to the other side when it's been proven to be impossible; hell I thought the way they'd get through would involve Eli since he is the smartest member of the crew and he could of done something that would of made more sense then what we saw. The Young/Rush conflict is good but the way it's forced upon us dilutes some of that essential drama that the episode had going on, thus making it like every other Young/Rush conflict seen since the dawn of time. Plus the way the military handles it just makes it seem like this is what the military might do; not naturally but there is a feeling that the show is forcing you to focus on this and not on the other stuff.

        There is a plus though, some scenes that focus on Chloe are decent. It's like they're trying to make her something more instead of just the usual teenage girl found in the usual teenage drama; I guess the fact that she's been in an alien abduction just makes her look 10x more interesting to us and well, gives her a side we never thought she had. Although there are a lot of times when she is that usual teenage girl, scenes like the dream in the beginning and the surgery scene are evident at that; hell the surgery scene depends on whether or not you can suspend your disbelief since you'll have some knowledge that something will go wrong and she'll be forced to perform the operation without the help of a doctor; which ruins anything that might of come of that. The dream scenes lend themselves a bit too obvious as dreams, I mean I can understand if you want people to know that it's a dream but having it like that is pretentious and does nothing for the character at hand; nothing.

        Despite the contrived situation and the fact they could of done more with it; this was not bad. It's certainly not good but it's not bad. The situation at hand provides some entertainment and Rush more then holds his own with acting so good you won't believe it until you watch it. Young and Eli are also good and the dramatic situations at hand more then hold their own. However, alot of the stuff feels contrived, the acting and dialog kill whatever potential those scenes had; there are some scenes which are lacking purpose and overall it feels like the episode forced the whole Young/Rush thing a bit too easily; I mean really easily. At least the end scenes where everybody marches into their rooms proves something, that this is "not over", not by a long shot... Maybe next episode they'll think about fixing the holes in the ship.

        Last edited by ZRFTS; March 15, 2012, 04:26 PM.
        Back from the grave.