My thoughts on “The Hunt”…
VARRO AND T.J. – OH, AND YOUNG!
Near the end of season one, while we were finishing shooting the last few days on Incursion I and II, I ran into Alaina on her way to set. “So, is T.J. going to be getting together with any of the handsome Lucian guys next season?”she asked hopefully. Wellt, if I had my way, in season two, we’d be seeing just that. In fact, I had planted the tiniest seeds of a potential relationship in the season-ending two-parter. It was subtle, nothing romantic – merely the suggestion of mutual respect and, perhaps, somewhere down the line, something more.
I like T.J. and Varro as a couple. I think they’re good together, as opposed to T.J. and Young. Understand, there’s a difference between being a good person and being good for someone. I think Young is a good person, but I think he’s bad for Tamara. Although he obviously cares for her, his decision to pursue a relationship with her while still married was, in my mind, unforgivable. It was selfish and demonstrated a disregard for both T.J. and his wife. Yes, it takes two to tango but Young was in the driver’s seat. And, to further complicate the issue, he was her commanding officer. It showed extremely poor judgement – granted, on both their parts – and the fallout of their ill-advised tryst is apparent throughout the show’s first season. Varro, however, offers a relationship of equals. He represents a hopeful future; Young, a painful past. Ultimately, I also felt strongly that having T.J. fall back into a relationship with Young would be a step back and be a disservice to the character. A relationship between Varro and T.J., on the other hand, beside offering great story potential and shipboard conflict, I saw as good for both characters. Of course, not everyone agreed (For instance, the “almost kiss” at the end of “The Hunt” was a compromise. In the original draft, they actually shared a kiss which was interrupted by Young – aka Captain Cockblock) and it would have been interesting to see how things developed in season three. It’s too bad we’ll never get the chance to find out.
RUSH SCHOOLS ELI
Recent events leading up to this episode had led to a shift in, if not the unspoken command structure of the ship’s science team, then a perception of said hierarchy. Eli, already reeling from Ginn’s death, is dealt another blow when Rush’s actions deny him a second time (at the end of “Hope”). Eli is pissed and, suddenly, prepared to challenge Rush’s leadership while Rush, off-balance, wrestles with self-doubt (note his sudden reluctance to investigate the stasis chamber until precautionary diagnostics have been run). Let’s be clear: Rush cares about Eli. Hell, he cares about everyone on board Destiny. Of course, it’s questionable as to why, exactly, he does care. Is it sympathy or merely a pragmatic approach to ensuring the ship’s crew continue to operate at optimum efficiency? Either way, we do see Rush – who normally holds his card very close to the vest – reach out to Eli in “Resurgence”. In his roundabout way, he tells Eli that he’s special, that he has potential, that he respects him. In so doing, he gives Eli – battling depression in the wake of Ginn’s death – the shot of confidence he needs to move on.
On a personal level, Rush is someone who accomplishes more with an indirect approach. And so, when faced with a challenge to his authority, he doesn’t confront his doubters. Instead, he changes their minds through indirect influence – like, say, allowing their rebelliousness to trigger some very serious consequences. Was Rush responsible for Brody’s deep freeze? Hell, yes. Was Brody ever in danger? Certainly not. You may argue over whether Rush truly cares about Brody, but there’s no doubt that he values his worth and would never risk such a valuable asset. No, Rush knew what he was doing. He was teaching Eli a valuable lesson and re-establishing his authority over the science team. Harmless but highly effective.
RUSH OFFERS ROMANTIC ADVICE
Rush also adopts an indirect approach in his dealings with the lovelorn Volker. On the surface, he’s telling Volker he should be happy with his lot as “the good friend” and “scientist” but the obvious subtext of his speech is: “Get off your ass and tell her how you feel or you risk a miserable, lonely existence!”. Yes, in his roundabout way, Rush is giving Volker unsolicited relationship advice. Why? Well, when it comes down to it, only one answer makes sense: Because he cares.
CHANNELING EXEC. PRODUCER CARL BINDER
I love the character of the curmudgeony Morrison because he reminds so much of everyone’s favorite curmudgeony Executive Producer, Carl Binder. I remember watching the “Faith” dailies way back when, and noticing Morrison standing off the side, arms crossed and glowering. “Hey!”said Carl. “It’s me!” And sure enough, from that day forward, whenever I read “Morrison” in a script, I always imagined Carl delivering the dialogue. And so, when it came time to write the infirmary scene in which Volker pays Park a visit, I decided to add a dash of Carl by including a kevetching Morrison in the scene. Had the scene also included him going off on air travel and having to order the toppings on his hamburger, it would have been just like the writers’ room.