This was a beautiful episode, both literally and figuratively. The scenes are shot well, and the plot really speaks to all the things we love in good stories: love, self-sacrifice, coping with fear, and all the shades of life between hope and hopelessness. It's still a slowly-paced episode, as it seems most Stargate Universe episodes will be, but it used its time wisely and revealed much about the cast of characters.
When we left Stargate Universe last week, the Destiny was headed straight for a star, seemingly ensuring a horrible end for the ship and everyone on it. So the unfortunate crew have a lottery to figure out who gets to escape certain death. This leads to a number of desperate actions, including the somewhat surprising tryst between Chloe and Lt. Scott. It works on a couple different emotional levels because poor Eli gets his feelings hurt (math nerds never get the girl, Eli), but it's also surprising because we really didn't get that many earlier indications that they were interested in each other besides a fairly tepid quiet moment at the end of "Air: Part 3." It felt a bit too soon for these two to hop into bed with each other, but hey, impending death can make people do odd things. Hopefully we'll get more development of that relationship later.
Ming-Na finally gets a chance to show acting acumen in a couple of powerful scenes as Camille Ray. Her character still needs to be fleshed out a bit more, but there seems like there's potential here. We also learn more about our good friend Dr. Rush, who takes a seemingly honorable stance by taking his name out of the lottery, but in the same scene suggests that Colonel Young fix the lottery (shady, to say the least). It's another look at the often contradictory sides of this increasingly interesting character, and it's one of the many small character development moments here. The video diaries continue, starting with Greer's "blaze of glory" comments (cue Bon Jovi). Later, the crew gets a chance to get a view of the outside of the ship for the first time, and we learn that Greer was in the brig for apparently striking Colonel Telford, Colonel Young's single tear shed in his quarters, and there's even a somber birthday on the shuttle. These are all tiny details that slowly make these characters folks we can relate to and care about.
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