Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Site Admin GateWorld's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2004

    Post FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'

    Visit the Episode GuideUNIVERSE SEASON ONE

    Lt. Scott and Camille visit their loved ones using the communication stones, leading Colonel Young to a discovery about Telford's activities. On the Destiny, Rush discovers technology he believes maybe able to get them home.



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

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

    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. All posts to this thread that are conversational will be immediately deleted.

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

      (2) FORMALITY. 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.)

      (3) EDITORIALIZING. This piece is about your opinion 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

      (4) FAIRNESS. 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.

    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 "Ask the Moderators" 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.


    All reviews are the opinion of the author
    and not necessarily that of and its owner.
    Last edited by Darren; January 22nd, 2010 at 09:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Chief Master Sergeant Cecil Brax's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2006
    Watertown, New York, USA

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'


    I have to say this episode was a rollercoaster of high and low points.

    Some of the High Points:

    Young and Telford going head to head.
    Rush giving the crew false hope.
    Spencer going increasingly ‘aggressive’ the longer he is on the ship.
    More information about the seeder ships.
    Some new interactions between the non-Main Cast of the show.
    A ‘flaw’ in the communication stones.
    A little more Scott back story.

    Low Points:

    Eli seemed to have very little real purpose in this episode.
    Once again, Chloe seemed to have very little purpose.
    One Word: Wray.
    A little more Scott back story.

    I did list Scott twice, because while some of the elements of his interactions with the mother of his child were good, others were not so much. We see that he is a man of honor, and does want to take care of his family. Unfortunately, they chose one of the most cliché directions to take his character which is the “Child he didn’t know about” angle. That unfortunately, is a little more Soap Opera then previous weeks. After so much great interaction with his character last week, taking his character down the ‘mystery child’ road really I felt hurt the storyline. All the people who say “It’s a Space Opera” are only going to feel more justified in this.

    We did however get to see some ‘Scott’ depression moments, and him retreating to the ship for some quiet time like that is really his place. Unfortunately Eli’s scene with him, while realistic, I felt really didn’t help his character. It may have exposed a character weakness, but it was kind of like the producers grabbed a dead fish and whacked us over the head with it going “SEE! SEE! He has a weakness!” until we were blind in one eye.

    Eli did have some good moments, like working on the “Stargate Powered by the Star” plan, as well as him showing he was trying to get in shape working out with Chloe.

    However, Chloe really lost more points with me this week which is hard to do since she hasn’t built many. He going to Eli and telling him about Scott’s kid? That just seemed wrong. If he wanted everyone to know I have a feeling Scott would have said something himself. She actually seemed Jealous about a woman who was literally billions of light-years away. She seemed to have little positive scenes in this episode. While she is ‘slowly’ being fleshed out, the season is almost half over and she has so little positive influence on the crew as of this point.

    Now … Rush and Young. That was some classic battle of the minds this episode. Rush showed a big flaw by not wanting to get in the chair himself but wanting someone else to sacrifice themselves. Young stood up and showed he was in charge, and really dropped the hammer on Rush this time around. While Rush did it for a good reason, what he did was actually very wrong and very misplaced. If he wanted to give false hope he should have gone through Young for that, but his own agenda certainly didn’t help his cause. I think it was a really good character conflict storyline.

    I like how this episode they made it about the technology, as well as the characters. You got to see some character development, but you also got to see some technology development. They are repairing the ship, finding things, trying to grow some food, working on long term goals. I really felt like this episode in the end they actually ‘got’ somewhere and not just ran around in circles around the characters themselves. While the bulk focused on the characters, three quarters of the storyline was about the characters, and half was about the ship. How does that work you ask? Well, because a good chunk of the character development centered around the discoveries and long term plans on the ship. We even got to see a flaw in the stones involving residual memory.

    Finally, Wray. I don’t know how else to say this, but I think I dislike her more then Chloe. As one of the high ranking members of the IOA she completely abused some young woman’s body by engaging in intimacy with her partner. I have nothing against same sex relationships, but the young woman she was inhabiting might. What if she is having a dream one night and it ends up being in her residual memory. How is that fair to her? I have a feeling this will come up again later. Now, I’m not mad about it on a personal level, but from a character perspective it is a major violation of her ‘host’ bodies privacy. While I got some insight into her character, none of it was positive especially how she spread what Rush did around the whole ship when it could have been contained. It really showed a major flaw in her character. I certainly don’t wish her off the show, but she will probably be a character I like to dislike kind of like how McKay started out for some, or Mayborn in SG1’s earlier years.

    Overall, I enjoyed the episode from a storyline standpoint, though I think this episode really hurt the development of some of the characters. Still, it was an interesting episode to watch.

    Post number 100! I figured I would submit an ‘official’ review for my first triple digit post. Thanks for reading, if you got through it all.

    - Cecil Brax
    Before you insult a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
    Then, you're a mile away ... and you have his shoes.

    Enjoy Online Roleplaying? So do I! Contact me over any listed IM program to learn about my Online Roleplaying Website! (E-Mail me first if you plan to contact me through MSN, I have privacy mode enabled.)

    Or join my Roleplaying Group, and I'll contact you!

  3. #3
    Lieutenant Colonel MattSilver 3k's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Space. I'm in space.

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'

    This poor episode. It had the uncomfortable position of being in between Time, the best episode yet, and Justice, the mid-season awesome that'll probably be coming. To the episode's credit, it took it in stride and I enjoyed it all in all. I guess I'm a sucker for real humans doing day-to-day stuff in odd settings and trying to adapt to new situations. Add a very interesting plot about Rush Vs Young, and we have a good episode overall.

    First off, It's Been The Worst Day Since Yesterday was such a good pick. The rock-y riff as Young has been revealed to beat the snot of Telford was awe-some. The opening and closing montages had nice symmetry - I liked it. The rest of the music was all well and good - I'm starting to like the tune that played when Greer and the others were exploring the ship. CGI was nothing interesting because there was really nothing new, except the pull-out from the shuttle at the end.

    My complaint for the episode I'll get out of the way first: While I'm cool with the ending being symmetrical to the beginning (Camille's drawing the boat, Chloe's doing yoga or something with Eli, Park's relieving tension with Greer - better him than anybody else.) But the ending lacked something. I wanted a nice hook for the next episode, like Spencer offing himself or paying a visit to that chair or somesuch. But I get that he's angry and stuff, and there's plenty of time for something big to happen with the angry, bald marine. Another nitpick I have - where in the Ancients did those exercising clothes come from? I'll roll with that, though, because it was a fun scene.

    Character time! Camille's stuff with Sharon was sweet, to say the least. I didn't get a forced vibe like some others had, and I'm glad it wasn't over the top or gratuitous. Just sweet. Scott's stuff with Mehta and Annie Balic was somewhat straightforward and well-acted, and it definitely wasn't my favourite part of the episode. But I like that Scott got a new catalyst for a potential change, and his conversation with Eli (Wait what - Chloe's spreading that around? For real?) was a nice refresher from the tension the two have had for the past few episodes...

    Young is still the man, God bless 'im and his flaws (An interesting contrast to some of the previous military characters in SG-1 and Atlantis), yet he still has a charisma about him I like. Telford was unlikeable, but I give credit to Lou Diamond Philips for portraying him as such. TJ was funny, compassionate and very awesome to watch again with her psych evaluations. I'm really starting to dislike the character of Franklin now... Here's hoping he gets shot again!

    The rest of the cast were equally stellar - David Blue and Elyse Levesque didn't have that much to do here, but they were still great. As always, Rush is a pleasure to simultaneously root for and hate on! Too bad he was lying about the second Icarus planet - it would've made a good two-parter in the second season for them to find the planet and somehow lose it, creating a back-half full of despair over losing it. As usual, the recurring cast had their moments - I found it interesting to see the scientists actually working with Rush... almost like they were plotting together out of the eyes of the military.

    But I digress. The episode was good and I'm loving SGU. If Time was spectacular, Life was good - but it could've done some more with a hook of some kind for Justice. No number score for me, but just some thoughts I had on the episode.

    Oh, and Greer wins this week as my favourite line: "I think we found the dentist's office." I hope Riley shows up next week - I miss that deadpan guy!
    ~ When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take back the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN! ~

    ~ Burning people! He says what we're all thinking! ~

  4. #4
    The Monitor jelgate's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2007
    Preparing for Crisis

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'

    Jelgate's Two Cents

    It has been well established through out the show that Stargate Universe is more character then plot focused. And I think Life proves that. While not necessarily weak their wasn't a large abundance of a plot for this episode. It was more about the character in this episode and who they are. And I don't exactly expect every episode to be plot focused (and since last week was heavy on plot) I'm okay with this. The important thing is what did those character moments do. As I will illustrate more in depth with my review I think it showed some deep insight into some people and helped build some great character arcs and insight.

    Let’s start with the opening song and the montage scenes that came with it. I think this is actually a metaphor for the episode title. In that it shows how various people deal with the stresses of life of the Destiny. Some exercise while others concentrate on work and while others rely on sexual intercourse (Dr. Park and Greer was a shocker). And yet their are others like Sgt. Spencer who decide to go nuts. It’s an interesting idea. We all react to stress in different ways so on a psychological level I found it fascinating to watch these people react differently. Before I move on its obvious Spencer's attitude problem is related to his lack of pills. Anyone else curious what his medical condition is?

    Let’s move on with the Ancient neural interface. The first time I saw that thing my thought wasn't about the Ancient Repository of Knowledge. Actually the first thing I thought was that we had found the bridge and this was a primitive form of the Ancient control chair. Maybe the Ancients just like chair. That said I suppose make sense. Now for the question we are asking. For deciding to use the chair who do you agree with? Young or Rush? I have to agree with Young on this one. Yes the potential benefits for using the chair are outstanding but it seems like the risk isn't worth it. A fact Rush is dangerously aware since he was too much of a coward to risk his own life I don't think it is ethical to ask a person to sacrifice their life in this manner. Now if someone volunteered that is a different story but forcing seems wrong in this case. But it is an interesting piece of technology none the less. A piece I wager we will see in the future.
    Don't worry people we will return to the Destiny but first let’s talk about the stone stories first.

    Lets start with Lt. Scott. Some will say it’s cringeworthy and I guess in some areas it was but overall I liked it. I really have developed a distaste for Scott. So often it seems like Scott is nothing more then a person addicted to sex. And when I just can't stand him they pull this. I liked it. Scott felt betrayed by his ex-girlfriend and I can sympathize with that. Too many times I have had friends and girlfriends alike betray me. So I can see why he is hurt and angry that she never told them about their son. It also makes me wonder if their is more that Scott's ex-girlfriend isn't telling us. Why does she put her and her son through this hell if their was such an easy way out. Sure I could make psychological hypothesis but they all have their flaws. So it will be interesting none the less to see where this goes.

    But before I forget Scott Destiny scenes were very forced. The scene between him and Chloe about his son wasn't very interesting and same goes between Scott and Eli. I understand what they were trying to do but the sympathy for Scott was very forced in my opinion.

    Now we venture into new territory for Stargate. Let’s be honest. Homosexual couples do not have a great track record with American television. They are either over the top and unrealistic or they aren't talked about at all and make you think why even bother. And to be perfectly fair we didn't really see that much to begin with. However if this is the standard for Stargate homosexual couples I think I will be satisfied. It seemed very realistic for a married couple. Just two people enjoying their time with one another doing the things they loved to do before the Destiny event occurred. And I know a lot of people are already speculating about if Sharon and Wray had swex. I don't think that is the case. I don't see Wray doing something so unprofessional. So unless I see otherwise I am going to assume it was just two people being romantic without being physical. On a final note I wonder what the rough patch between Wray and her parents is. Do you think it will be followed up in the episodes to come?

    Now back to the Destiny. As you are well aware of Rush being the low life scum he is lied about their being the Icarus type planet. That raises two very interesting morality questions. The first question is did Rush lie to really raise morale or did he do it for leverage to use the neural chair. Being the cynic I am I think it was more of the latter then the former. Rush is a selfish person who ultimately only cares about what will benefit him. In the present what benefits Rush is learning about the Destiny. So why would he care about the moral of others? Isn't it more logical that Rush did this to try to convince someone in this matter. For Devil's Advocacy lets say I am wrong. Is it right to raise someone's moral with false hope. This time I think I agree with. It’s more productive if a team has hope for something. And on the Destiny being productive could be the difference between life and death.

    An interesting twist about the communication stones. It’s nice to see we have learned a new thing about long term use of them. I liked that we now found out that stones imprint part of someone's consciousness on to someone. Like always I hope this is something we develop. But let’s talk about what this brought out. Young seems a little hypocritical to lash out on Emily when he has done the exact same thing. But I can understand and support what he did to Telford (both times). I'm not quite sure what he is up to but you know whatever Telford is doing it isn't good. So bearing that in mind I cheered when Young decked Telford. The bloody nose was so rewarding. I'm going to watch it again.

    So in conclusion...wait what do you mean I forgot something? Oh yeah TJ and her psych evaluations. I'll be perfectly honest it felt like filler to me. I can understand the cannon logic behind it but I see no point of conducting the psych test for storyline reasons. Except the part about Greer and his father of course. I don't see how this will be crucial for the characters or plot. It felt like Carl Binder was a few minutes short and added this.

    But besides that side plot I very much liked Life. What does about me when I say I liked Life but thought it was one of SGU's weakest episodes? Better yet what does that say about SGU?
    Quote Originally Posted by aretood2 View Post
    Jelgate is right

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Colonel jmoz's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'

    "Life" was a neatly packed episode filled with confrontations, revelations, and minor plot arcs. It dealt with day to day life in the Destiny currently. The best aspects of the episode were the confrontations and revelations providing interesting plot arcs in the future.

    Young and Rush are at their usual level of conflict, one which Young is clearly pulling ahead. Rush and his discoveries add to his stature. However, it is Young who continues to impress me with his leadership. He lets the crew fall into a rigorous and healthy routine for a sense of normalcy throughout the ship. Rush lost major points for pulling that false hope act. It is best to let the people have the truth rather than attempt to give false hope. Also it was a bit obvious from a fan point's view that Rush doctored the planet because we all know he has no intention of leaving the ship. Young and Eli were right to call him on it and quelch it before it sunk in and festered too long.

    Another conflict extremely interesting is the one between Young and Telford. It was inevitable. Young's use of Telford's body in such a manner earlier with his wife is morally questionable to me. However, Telford's exploitation to get closer to another man's wife is even more so. In the end, I was amongst the ones cheering when Young leveled out Telford. But the look shared between the two was one that somewhat indicated more to come which will be interesting. The fight was in no way conclusive.

    Scott's finally on the screen in a manner fleshing out his character. His son will prove to be a growing factor in his character. When Scott redirected his paycheck to his son, I have to admit I grew more respect for him. However, when she accepted it but decides to continue stripping, it was a blow to Scott. His reasons for depression was one that is understandable. I did not like how the conversation played out with Scott and Chloe. I felt she wanted to tell him, "Oh, that's a deal breaker, buddy." However, she did not so which was a point in her direction for a change. However she lost that point when she reveals it to Eli. I understand they are close but I felt like Scott was confiding in her.

    The revealation of the the chair was the only major plot direction outside of characters. It provides an interesting dilemma, one which I would like to see play out. Young letting Rush go to the chair saying he's not stopping him, that spoke volumes of Rush's fondness of self-preservation. However, I'm sure he has outside motivations, which will be interesting later on. I personally see possibly Chloe using the chair, perhaps not.

    Eli was in the background for the most part. This allowed the spotlight to be directed to the other characters like Wray. I, again, found it morally questionable for her use of the soldier's body. It was a revealation but somewhat dull for me. Her loss of hope is more interesting in a way. I wonder if she'll overcome that and emerge as a voice of hope in episodes to come.

    The episode had ups and downs. In terms of plot arcs, they were mostly character conflicts based, both external and internal. I wish to see how they play out, especially the chair dilemma with Rush and Young and the Young and Rush encounters. There were minor plot points like Spencer's mental concerns and hints of Greer's issues that fans would like to see play out like myself- not truly interesting just want to see what will become of them. Greer's teasing insight into his past was somewhat badly done, but at least he is opening up and actually talking about it. Other than that, it was an interesting character driven episode.

  6. #6

    Wraith Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'

    From a technical and writing standpoint this episode was much improved over the earliest episodes of the series. However, it was disappointing following the amazement and enjoyable plotting of "Time."

    The performances were very solid. However, from a showrunning standpoint it feels as if we have now seen "Life" on three separate occasions. The parallels to "Sunday" from SGA aside, since the show is so very much about the character development and daily living of these characters it was nothing special. As a result emotionally impactful and revealing moments among the secondary characters were less, well, emotionally impactful and revealing.

    It was a nice touch to see that Young has ordered everyone to keep physically fit. Because a starvation diet is going to fatten them up. And fast. Wait for that very special episode where they reveal the one with anorexia who is in heaven due to the food shortage. I confess that joke might seem tasteless and crass - to be fair that is why I wouldn't put it past the writers.

    At this point we know they have sex to cope. Now we can add one of the civilian scientists to that list. And Greer. And... well, we could go on. At least this time it was organic to the plot and not jarring. One of these days I'm going to get down to writing that list of sexual situations in Stargate SG1 and Atlantis (because they DO exist folks; but they were almost always with purpose to advancing some plot not just to mimic shows like Farscape and Battlestar Galactica). As usual... I digress.

    Using the Flogging Molly song was brilliant. It provided foreshadow, commentary on everyone's mental state, the A and B plots (Rush vs. Young, and T.J. doing psych evals).

    Both plots were useful in advancing us into new territory, but I think revealing Rush's lie was premature. THAT I would have drawn out over several episodes to be learned during a crisis forcing everyone to grudgingly accept that "it was a good thing Rush motivated us to get that super hyper weapon-majigger working, but man he is a jerk!" As for T.J. - one of my favorite characters - her skills with others and her dry wit with Young, Greer, and Scott fill the void in camraderie and expertise that this show lacks from time to time.

    No matter what anyone says, this episode deserves props for two reasons: Lou Diamond Phillips plays one mean villain to Young - no easy feat given the situation - and he actually faced some consequences for his actions. If only Young would do the same to Rush. Though Rush doesface consequences too. In the montage at the end the other scientists are outright disregarding Rush. The backfire of his power play will have repercussions for many episodes I'd wager. And Scott too is facing the music with regards to his sex addiction. Now he has a child and has no power to help said child... especially given the fact that his zipper problems ruined the mother - she dropped her dreams of law school to become an exotic dancer - and stranded the child - an absent mother and father... what love he must feel.

    In fact, I petition that his episode be renamed "Consequences" because it finally freed this series from the mire that it had gotten stuck in with the first few episodes: that these folks face a few consequences makes them more real to me than their sex lives, or workout schedules, or their pill addictions, or whatever other host of bad behaviors the writers can compile.

    The only complaint I have having rewatched the episode is the complete lack of anything science fiction. Yes, they discovered the chair. Yes, they used the stones to avoid dealing with the chair. And yes, the Young/Rush power play storyline revolved around the chair (funny thing to draw the line over). However, the chair was not adequately explained and the discovery of a network of gates was literally airbrushed over in order to get to the flesh tearing of Rush and Young.

    This episode firmly establishes that this is a Deep Space Soap Opera with the occasional action or science sequence. There is nothing wrong with this fact. The actors are giving more than compelling performances to keep a viewer interested. The writing is improving as they find their BSG groove but still needs work. Still, it would be nice if an episode had fewer than 6 story lines. Like that really good one from earlier... what was it called? Oh yes "Time." More "Time" less "Life" please.
    Last edited by Hallowed are the...; November 30th, 2009 at 07:53 AM.

  7. #7
    Mistress Organizer Rachel500's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'

    The song sings "it's been a worst day since yesterday" underlining that life on the Destiny isn't getting any better for the stranded crew even though it's a day without imminent death for a change. If Time was a return to the more traditional Stargate story albeit told in a creative way, Life is a step outside the Stargate box as it focuses on continuing character arcs and themes. It's not an easy transition and certainly not an obvious one which leaves me on one hand feeling gratified that the producers are treating me as an intelligent viewer who will get the big picture, and on the other hand, feeling slightly like I've been set adrift in a spaceship with no idea of where I am and where I'm going.

    Let's begin with what was confusing, namely the plot. I spent the first half wondering what was the plot; if there was a plot; whether the plot had actually been lost in space along with the Destiny. And suddenly the plot hit me in the second half: power struggles. The A plot is about power struggles focusing in on the four main contenders: Telford, Young, Rush and Wray - with Young, the guy currently with the power, holding anchor on this plot.

    The power play theme has been running through the first half - specifically through Air, Darkness, Light and Earth. Here, the power play revolves around Young's professional position and his private life. Professionally, he and Rush butt heads over the discovery of a control chair. The fallout - loss of morale and anger over false information - seems to be the final straw for Wray who appears to come to a decision about what she needs to do (a fabulous scene in the Destiny shower where there is just a moment where Wray stops crying and suddenly gets a look of determination) following her visit home which may have future implications. I love the potential symbolism of the row boat - in the picture it is the way off the desert island, and as she draws it in at the end when she had originally forgotten it, it underscores to me that she has renewed determination to get home.

    Contrasted to the professional power play, Young is besieged on all fronts as he finds Telford inserting himself into his personal life and potentially sabotaging Young's relationship with his wife. Louis Ferreira really sells the build up of frustration in Young which leads him to lose it with Telford at the end. In the midst of this Wray's own secure personal life with her partner Sharon is a fabulous contrast. Ming-Na and Reiko Aylesworth absolutely knocked it out of the park with their portrayal of an established couple, very much in love, very supportive and dedicated to each other. The scenes where they are reunited, where Wray breaks down, and where Sharon cries at their parting tug at the heartstrings.

    The B plots remains focused on character arcs; one highlights Lieutenant Scott. Brian J Smith does a solid job in the scenes with Scott's ex-girlfriend and discovering he's a father, displaying a curious mix of bewilderment, anger, guilt and hurt. His struggle to deal back on Destiny is given voice by Eli who tries to comfort Scott in a cute scene between the two.

    Alaina Huffman also turns in another great performance as TJ as she acts out TJ's inexperience and lack of confidence with the psych evaluations. These are married to the montages at the beginning and the end, all of which are a great peek into who the characters are and how they're handling (or not) the stress of life aboard the Destiny. I'm beginning to understand that these 'peeks' provide information that will be used in the series even if they seem superfluous or padding in regards to the episode.

    This entire complex weaving of characters and events with an entire episode (or episodes given in hindsight I think this was really the point of Earth too) really focused on overarching themes is not something Stargate has ever really done before. There were story arcs in SG1 and SGA, and one or two of the characters may even have had story arcs built around them in a particular season (such as Sam's Jolinar experience in Season Two of SG1), but there was never the level of detail nor continuity that Stargate Universe enjoys.

    Moreover with the major story and character arcs focusing on the human story in a sci-fi setting rather than a sci-fi story with human characters, the dynamic has shifted. If SG1 was chocolate cake, easily consumed and enjoyed, Universe is a rich chocolate torte with much more complex flavours that need to be savoured. As a viewer, I find myself challenged - I'm still not sure if I like that or not as a long time Stargate fan and, frankly, I do feel a little lost without the security of the more familiar format that was utilised in the previous episode, Time.

    What remains outstanding about Universe is the overall production quality. Everything from the acting to the sets to the special effects just shines. I personally am not a particular fan of the contemporary music chosen in Life but equally I do think the lyrics resonate with the episode and perhaps that was the point of the choice. There's no doubt though that Universe is consistently turning out a beautifully produced hour of television.

    What does this all mean? It means that change is difficult and always uncomfortable. It may help enormously if the A plot in these types of episodes is signposted more effectively rather than taking the subtle route as it did here (and in doing so it caused confusion). It may help to have more episodes like Time which provide a more familiar story format - and I'm hopeful that this will happen. It means that while I enjoyed Life, as gorgeously sinful as the chocolate torte is, I miss the occasional slice of chocolate cake.
    Last edited by Rachel500; June 7th, 2010 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Formatting.

  8. #8
    Staff Sergeant apostrophe's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2008
    Land of the Relatively Free

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'

    Life in the Slow Lane

    I'm not so sure about vocals as a viable background score. Although the writers get to take a break from having to write dialog for a while, a rule is being broken in that vocalized music traditionally keys off a radio, or performer, something intrinsic to the scene. Without an anchor in the set, this comes dangerously close to protruding into the foreground.

    Everybody is exercising now. Music and choreographed movement. Almost like a Broadway musical.

    Chloe dons a tiny dress and oversize bonnet for her famous Shirley Temple impersonation. As the music swells, she entertains the crew with a prancing rendition of "The Good Ship Lollipop", which cheers everyone up for a while. All except the bald headed psycho guy, who continues to go around brooding sullenly, exploding in violent outbursts, and making people puke.

    All the exercise is pretty foolish considering that they have a food shortage. A cup of gruel a day is barely enough to stave off starvation. The last thing you want to do is burn up what limited calories you have with an unnecessary waste of energy. If Young wasn't such a dim bulb he would have issued a directive stating if they're not actively working on gaining control of the ship or securing more resources, people should remain as inactive as possible. Of course, that wouldn't make for visually stimulating opening footage.

    As with the bogus water situation in "Air", when characters start looking dumber than usual, look no further than somebody dinking around with the script without considering what damage they are inflicting on key underpinnings of the plot.

    They find The Chair. One thing they need to hang on to is brains, so Young insisting that it be Rush who tries The Chair doesn't make much sense. Assuming it transfers a large amount of knowledge perhaps they should look amongst the most empty-headed for volunteers. Hopefully not Chloe. Ever since the old monster movies I hate seeing anything bad happen to pretty girls on screen. I saw enough of that in the last episode.

    The stones have started getting temperamental lately. They glitch-out just when Young is about to punch Telford for getting too friendly with his wife, Emily, and for trying to turn her against him. He manages to nail him on a second attempt however. Yup. That's going to do a lot of good.

    Noble commitment and devotion to wedding vows are all well and good but the fact remains that, despite probably being the oldest female supporting-cast member, Emily is still a pretty hot looking babe. One suspects things would be a lot different if she were fat and hideous. His problems would also have been solved another way since after the last coitus interswaptus stone glitch we would probably hear that Telford went off somewhere and committed suicide, or joined a monastery, or something, instead of nosing around as he is now. Trying to maintain a long distance relationship is problematic under the best of circumstances. Young should let her go already. Besides, he still has a good shot at TJ. He should try to get special dispensation or at least take a page out of Scott's book and stake out a supply closet. What a maroon.

    Greer might be ultra-disciplined but at least has sense enough to have found somebody close at hand to ease his tensions with. Normally, Greer wouldn't have been my favorite type of character but at least he does things for the viewer on screen. He rescued his buddy. He innovated a flame thrower to corral the aliens without actually killing any of them. He's an action guy. Tight lipped Greer is defined by what he does and can often be depended upon to be doing something interesting.

    Like in this episode. I liked his companion too, right off the bat. All I need to know about her is that she's an attractive young woman, she likes boys, obviously, and she's some kind of tech person. What's not to like? I hope nothing happens to her. Stay away from the chair! Stay away from the chair! They never listened in the old monster movies but I figure it's worth a try. In her interview with TJ we learn that she is a smart girl because she likes to read books. What.

    Camille touches base with the IOA guy, then visits her significant other. Camille, being a cranky, self-serving bureaucrat with dubious political ambitions is lucky to have found a partner so nice. I guess the crying thing with the canoe drawing is that Camille is afraid that her earth-bound link to being loved will start to fade away like her dream-scape with the canoe. The lovers get to spend some time together. The scenes are tastefully done. Nothing to do but sit and watch. Like looking at a Hummel figurine to pass the time, but wishing your host would return from the kitchen soon, with the coffee and cookies..

    Scott sees his ex-girlfriend and meets his eight year old biological son for the first time. He doesn't like the idea of her career choice as an exotic dancer. He wants her to be a lawyer. I don't know, although the men's club sector may have slumped a little bit, along with the economic downturn, except for a few top trial and bankruptcy attorneys, many lawyers lack paying clients. It's a pretty dour and cutthroat profession when you come right down to it. On the other hand, dancers I've chatted with over the years always seemed to be happy and cheerful, I imagine that could be in part, from basking in all the positive attention they get on stage. It can also be quite lucrative. Plus it's always in demand. She seems to be doing all right for herself. It's not like she's into something sleazy and treacherous like, say, investment banking. Then there might be cause for concern.

    Episode summary: Quirky music. Lots of well-executed plotless character dialog.
    Last edited by apostrophe; June 14th, 2010 at 11:04 PM. Reason: added a comma

  9. #9
    Captain ZRFTS's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2012
    Inland Empire, California

    Default Re: FAN REVIEWS: 'Life'


    So after the review of "Time" was posted, I got a request to review this episode along with a free suscription to Life Magazine; despite the harsh criticism. So I did what any headstrong person would do and I accepted it; so now I get both "Time" and "Life" for free and all I had to do was review two episodes... All joking aside, this episode was pretty good. Pretending as if "Time" didn't exist; (or at least that's what I thought happened since they want us to assume that they got the Kino in time...) this focuses on life on the ship as if everything were normal. The previous episode relied too much on the FPS gimmick and misused some of the Stargate Time Travel to poor effect; this has none of that, and that's good.

    One of the best aspects in life has always been the moments that happen on the ship; the stuff that they do whether or not it's working on getting them home or just living life, while those moments may be similar to Lost. I feel like Stargate Universe does a nice enough job of making these life moments down to earth, natural and convincing; so much so that they have the effect of making you think that what they're actually facing on the ship is real. To stuff an episode with a lot of these moments may have been one of the best ideas the shows creators have ever done; I mean it, there is more investment into these characters then there was in the previous episodes; more moments that help grow the characteropen them up to us. I don't know what it is about these moments that help these characters but they work well. To see them go about their daily routine; whether or not it's someone running down a corridor, someone painting something or someone working on the ship, it always works out for the show.

    Helping matters is the fact that there's isn't any dangerous situations or life and death situations to go around; there's just a sense of normalcy that goes on as the characters do their things, explore more of the ship and work together to make the living situation a better one. I guess the creators must of caught wind of the situation and decided to just relax things a bit and let the normalcy take over and not the overly dramatic situations; people were getting tired of constant life & death situations, to have one that does not focus on that is just nice. The interviews TJ (the female doctor) conducts on the people also helps dig deep into their characters and helps us relate to them; the fact that they're describing their average routine, what they feel personally and what they feel about other things helps significantly. I am finally beginning to see them as more then just actors and more like characters. Though I will note that these moments feel oddly formulatic, like people talking into the camera. Still, it helps so I don't mind.

    It doesn't all take place on the Destiny though, there are scenes that happen on Earth and for most of those scenes, it actually develops the characters well... Scott and the Asian woman getting the most character development. I'm glad to know that the things that make Stargate are still here, political secrecy; whether or not someone is cleared to know information. That helps Scott's story as he encounters his wife and his newly discovered son. Just the thoughts that are going through his head (both on and off Earth), the situation of the wife and the conflict around the son; it combines to make it work out well and all three of these people play their roles with some TLC. I swear you could just feel him as he's in this tough situation, the way he want to express himself, the way he tries to help, all of it is good.

    The Asian woman's plot isn't as good but it's still natural, down to earth and sweet. The idea that she speaks a different language feels a connection to her other is good and the dialog they say and the stuff that they do is the same; this is them truly reflecting upon each other, she knows that but she can't help but to let the good times fly. The crying moment had me confused at first but as I watch more, I came to understand that it was a pretty powerful moment for her and one that emotionally defined her character as a whole. I did not like the lesbian part though, those moments are just evident of SGU's need to be edgy; you don't need to have sex or bloody action or even lesbian relationships to be edgy, just show us the characters. Seeing her with her parents does save it though.

    The writers haven't forgot to include some sort of plot here, there is some from of a plot going on on the Destiny regarding Rush and the chair that he discovered; these moments are 50/50 but it does tilt more to the good then the bad. The conflict between Rush and Young was nicely done; Young wasn't portrayed as a ruff tough guy but more as a leader who cares for his people, his comments, his actions and even his stance made sense. The mystery is also worked up a sweat here as what SG:U intends to embody is used to it's fullest potential here. What happens afterwards tilts towards the bad; the way it shifted towards a new planet was bad but it's understandable as this is how Rush works, being ambiguous and all. I did not like the way it ended (and how the chair was somewhat forgotten about) but I did like how it reveals more of Rush's character, his determined to get stuff done side; these moments along prove why Rush is the best character (and the most memorable) in Stargate Universe.

    It's not without it's major flaws though. The conspiracy stuff that happens on Earth regarding the Asian woman is not working out; there is no depth to what's going on, she barely shows any character and I wasn't even aware of the plot going on to take over the Destiny (after what happened on Earth, where it was mentioned first; must of been very, very subtle.) The ongoing plot between Young and his wife does nothing for his character and hurts him alot (it may be driving his character but still.), what happens in this episode is poor soap material (regarding seeing someone else in a previous episode.) that does nothing to make me care about the relationship between him and his wife. There are also moments which break the mood the episode has going for it and there are some awkward cuts and transitions that don't mesh well with the episode.

    So... After 8 or so episodes, this may be the episode that may make me like Stargate Universe. I mean they're digging deep into it's characters, they're establishing some things and they're making me care about what happens to them. That's not to say it's without it's faults but this is so far the best episode of Stargate Universe. I'm not 100% committed to liking it as there are other episodes after this one but this may be the one that turns it all around.

    Back from the grave.

Tags for this Thread

Similar Threads

  1. FAN REVIEWS: 'The Last Man'
    By GateWorld in forum The Last Man
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: September 29th, 2012, 11:11 AM
  2. FAN REVIEWS: The Ark
    By GateWorld in forum Fan Reviews
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: August 22nd, 2012, 05:21 PM
  3. FAN REVIEWs: 200
    By GateWorld in forum Fan Reviews
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: February 11th, 2007, 08:22 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts