My thoughts on “The Hunt”…


Red Card!

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.


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 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.


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.

29 thoughts on “April 15, 2011: Some thoughts on “The Hunt”!

  1. For TJ & Varo, we in Belgium
    (small country next to France ^ ^)
    we are “always” in the first season.
    I look again & again & all the dvd every time I think the same thing.
    Varo tries to seduce TJ.
    and us girls, we love intrigues in love …
    I’m sure something will happen.
    Finally, I hope.
    oh and then I do not know. 😉
    Young deserves a second chance.
    It can be a bad husband but a good father. So …
    To meditate.

    Quickly quickly that the second season comes to us.
    (sorry for my english) ^^

  2. Thanks, Joe. I lol’d at Captain Cockblock. I’ll never look at Young the same way again. 🙂

    @ Sparrowhawk – Wait. Are you talking ’bout his ‘nibbles’? 😉 Speaking of which, I still have Steve’s head stuck on that body for my screen saver here at home (best of both worlds! You will also notice that Steve is not anatomically correct 😉 )…


  3. LOL I was confused at first… thought Alex was being fired, instead of delegating the work.

    I am glad the intent was that there was no danger in the stasis chamber. I think a big part of the appeal of Rush is the actors incredible skills… just the right snarl, the right smile, the right. Damn I hate we don’t get to continue. I would like to see Chloe deal with Matt for emotionally abandoning her when she was changing. I thought, stupid girl you deserved it for choosing him over Eli… who would NEVER have given up.

  4. Speaking of SGU, I hope you and Paul do a thoughts on Episode 20 – Gauntlet entry. Would be interested to know what you think about the episode too, although Paul wrote the thing.

    If you can’t get Paul to do a thoughts on Episode 20, you should do one Joe.

  5. “It’s too bad we’ll never get the chance to find out.”


    That was harsh dump of reality. I feel like crying now.

    SaveSGU! He’s types with tears starting to roll down his cheeks. Bless!

  6. @ 2cats – Prince Nuada was the ‘villain’ in Hellboy II . To me, however, he was a hero, albeit a misguided one. His intentions were good, but the way he went about things… weeeelll… maybe he could have found a better way. 😉 He was fighting to save the earth from humans who are turning it into ‘parking lots and shopping malls’, something for which I just can’t fault him. Of course, there’s the little incestuous thing going on with his sister, but we overlook that because he’s an elf. 🙂


  7. Thanks for the thoughts on the episode. I agree that Young and TJ were just bad for each other. How could a situation like theirs end well in any case? Love the Carl channelling – that was hilarious!

  8. Actually, Paul and I co-wrote Gauntlet. I wrote the first draft, he did the rewrite, then I added the Last Supper speech.

  9. I am seeing Rush as extremely ambivalent in this episode.
    I perceive Brody’s deep freeze as a diversion… like he is protecting something, and not only giving a lesson to Eli and Brody. He doesn’t want them there, so he takes action.
    And he seems to be taking the opportunity to ‘test’ something …. like if he is looking for someone left from a long time ago in a cryotube somewhere … (I bet that’s what is coming 😉 )

    Also Rush is patronizing too much Volker, and I really don’t like it. I think Rush got away too easy and too fast with the 1st death of Amanda Perry and that makes him extremely cold too me. I did appreciate Young’s distress because it was making him more human and more likable, and realistic. Rush not so much. That man is too calculating and willing to sacrifice too much to feel even human (nothing to do with how well Robert Carlyle plays the character, its really the character’s evolution).

    The end of SGU is coming soon and … I am not sad. Not anymore. On the contrary, I only enjoy the last episodes more. It’s like a good wine of which you only have a few bottles left, and you need to drink them before the wine turns bad, but you still enjoy it and burn hard the taste, the smell in your memory because you know that after that it’s gone for good. So this is what I am doing with those last episodes, burning them in my memory and enjoying them to the full extend.

    I have to say that Stargate Universe is the TV show that really made me feel emotions through the screen like no other before. Despair, anger, curiosity, darkness, hope. It’s like putting the characters down in a desperate situation managed to emphasize all emotions, and hope in particular. There is a lot of hope in that show, like if the characters can only look up to the light.

  10. “Was Rush responsible for Brody’s deep freeze? Hell, yes. ”

    I was RIGHT. Very cool. That little grin from Robert Carlyle was spoke volumes & he did push that button right before Brody went into stasis.

    I’ve been a fan of Varro & TJ from the beginning. Perhaps in the next episode, we find the descendents of Varro & TJ? That would be majorly cool. If not, there is always the movie. I still hold out hope for that, you know. And if not, perhaps a book or two to finish out the story. And if not that, then I’ll have to rely on my imagination or fan fiction. But in my mind, they live happily ever after (whether that be on board Destiny, a planet along the way or Earth).

    TJ needs someone who is emotionally available to her. Young was not; Varro is. It is difficult to have a relationship with someone who cannot express their feelings or be supportive.

  11. I loved to see your thoughts on “The Hunt” and feel very gratified, because I see Rush as well as the TJ/Young/Varro situation the same way – although I could never express it as well as you.

    Hopefully you will give us some more thoughts on the last few episodes. I am looking forward to each new one, but dread it as well, as each aired episode means one less is left.

    And I noticed, you haven’t complained about Toronto in a while – I hope this means things are getting better for you and your pack.

  12. Wonderful entry today. Have you done one of these before? I’ve never noticed them! (apologies if you have!! Lazy reader!!)

    I can’t believe we’re near the end. Fingers are still crossed for a movie, but.. the whole “Sooner rather than later” thing isn’t looking very promising, is it.
    I realised yesterday (watched Continuum again!) that it’s little copyright on the back is from 2008. Aw, man, that’s SO long ago!

    Transporter, Echoes and Starship Captain. At least one of them’s bound to be good, right?!
    ‘cos right now, my TV Watching plans for next season are.
    .. um..

    Fringe and House? I think that’s it!
    Oh, and Doctor Who, obviously..

  13. “Last Supper speech”, that sounds interesting. Let me add my voice to the others, and hope that you do your thoughts on that one too.

    Loved the video!! Hubby signed us up for Netflix this morning, and he looked up everything that Louis had been in. They certainly have a nice search feature.

    Hope you have a great weekend!!!

  14. I, too, like Varro and TJ together. I think they made a great couple. I really like how Varro cares for TJ as he does. You can tell by his actions that his feelings for he are strong. And…TJ seems to sense that and trusts him. I would like to see the relationship develop.

    And…what rotten thing to have Young knock just as TJ and Varro were gonna kiss. That was just mean. Who’s idea was that? 😉

  15. @das: Thanks for the Nuada-link you gave us yesterday. I have not seen the movie so far, but I will in the next few days. That video is so incredible, it made me laugh and cry and dance at the same time and I have been listening to it for a couple hours now. Is that your cat, that is so sick? Hopefully it is not as bad as it seemed.

  16. Just wanted to say I LOVED this episode! Action, little bit of romance – it was great! Sorry to see SGU is coming to an end 🙁

  17. Oh I just loved this episode… there were so many “could have been like this” things. I have said this before, SGU seem alot more like stargate now than season one and part of season two. It actually gets better… way better. and now its ending… really sad about that. but I still hope for an ending of some sort.

  18. Why did you decide to kill off all the remaining Lucian Alliance members (other than Varro, of course)?

    Also, I get the final scene where Volker is too late (it happens to us nerds all the time…) but Greer? That seemed a little odd to me.

    The rest of the episode was great and I loved how it gave a situation for Varro to earn Greer’s respect and the way Rush was toying with Eli and Brody. BTW, will we be finding out soon why Rush said “That’s not good” after releasing Brody from the stasis chamber?

  19. Put me in the pro-camp for TJ and Varro, they’re a good match. Not only do they have good chemistry, there’s a sense of positivity and humor there that is nice to see.

    For what it’s worth, I didn’t buy the “Rush cares” stuff at all. It really doesn’t play that way. Trying to teach Eli a lesson came off just as Rush being mean-spirited, which was further reinforced by Rush being vile to Volker and pushing him toward a relationship that doesn’t make sense anyway.

    When you hate a character (Rush), any attempt by that character to act “parental” just comes across as disgust-worthy IMO.

    BTW, I miss Ginn. A lot. I hope she gets un-boxed and comes back.

    And it’s really starting to hit home, only four episodes left. Sadness! I really, really wanted a third (and fourth) season. *sigh*

  20. Mailbag Q: (based on an idea over at gateworld) Varro mentioned that his father taught him and his brother how to hunt. And we know of a certain “hunter” who looks somewhat like Varro, so could Varro’s full name be “Varro Ventrell”? 😀

  21. I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunt. It was a perfect mix of action, shippiness, character development, humour and VFX.

    With respect to Rush-Volker I didn’t see the subtext you were describing. I felt Rush was playing with Volker, like he was playing with Eli and Brody. He let Volker visit with Park, but when he wanted his focus back on Destiny he had “the talk” with him and let him know he never had a chance with Lisa. I think Volker wanted to prove him wrong when he visited Park with the flowers. I really felt for Volker. It hurts when you have feelings for someone and they don’t see you that way at all.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the scene with Morrison, especially Volker’s reaction when he asks for him to take off his socks..classic!!!

    Now onto Colonel Cockblock – love that name Joe. Did you write in the closed eyes swallow Young gave once Varro left his quarters or was that an actor choice? Said all that needed to be said.

    I like TJ and Varro as well. I see it as a better relationship for her. They’re equals, compared to Young, ‘cos he has the complete power in that relationship.

    Was the inspiration for the creature a crocodile? I thought that when I saw it move in the cave. Excellent VFX to brink it to life.

    The creature vision and ratchet scenes were fantastic…certainly created a sense of panic, confusion, drama. Do you do the ratchet stunts all in one day?

    That forest location looked gorgeous!!! Do you use the same forest locations over and over?

    Congrats Joe….loved it and I’m looking forward to the rest of the remaining episodes.


  22. I’m solidly in the pro-Rush camp. But then, I’ve liked him from the start. I really liked the little smile on his face at the end of scene when Eli and Brody were back in the control room and he mentioned the stasis pods. And I can see how he was trying to push Volker into either declaring his feelings to Park or resigning himself to being “just friends”. I see him as more professorial than fatherly – the sort that wants his students to work up to their potential, but who cares about their personal lives as well.

    I’m kind of glad that “Colonel CockBlock” intervened before Varro and T.J. could consummate the kiss, or anything else for that matter. I like the tension that’s building.

  23. What Sparrow_hawk said. Except, I thought the kiss should have happened. I could never see the chemistry between T. J. and Young.

  24. Sorry about the mistake Joe, just everywhere including Gateworld has creditted Paul as writing the script for Gauntlet. Easy to forget when every Stargate Universe website credits just Paul lol

  25. Also, I get the final scene where Volker is too late (it happens to us nerds all the time…) but Greer? That seemed a little odd to me.


    Have you been paying attention? It continues to amaze me that people have been caught off guard by this. It wasn’t odd at all.

    Joe, I can respect your opinion that Varro is a better fir for TJ than Young. But did you have to play such favorites by having Young go down with injury leaving Varro to be the guy who has to work with Greer to save TJ? Compared that to the episode “Malice” in which you writers allowed Rush to be the badass to get revenge against Simeon when it would have been more “realistic” (even for a sci fi TV show) for one of the military guys to bring Simeon down. I’m sorry but it is so obvious when you guys display your favortism. I loved the episode but its obvious how you folks treat some characters compared to others. Heck, even a guy like Greer hasn’t been able to single handedly save the day/take down an enemy by himself even when in his own element, but Rush did just that in “Malice”. And now in this episode we have Young being emasculated as he limps back to Destiny unable to be “the hero”. It was probably a smart choice. Young clearly made the right professional decision. I just wish you hadn’t made Varro TJ’s knight in shining armor at the expense of Young’s character. Perhaps I wouldn’t have any gripes with it if it wasn’t for what Rush was allowed to to do in that earlier season two episode.

    That’s a nitpick. The other nitpick is that I would have love to have seen those TJ flashbacks. Time could have been made for them if you had jettison the whole Rush/Eli/Brody subplot.

    Also was there really a need for another nerd vs soldier for a woman’s attention storyline? I’m referring to Volker’s subplot. Even though it ended badly for Volker in this episode there seems to be little doubt whom your sympathies were with in this episode. If the show had continued it was likely Volker would hook up with Park, perhaps to appease though who were angry regarding Eli losing out to Matt for Chloe’s affections.

  26. Thanks for the insight with the unseen flashback scenes and the episode itself. I get where are coming from with the Varro/T.J/Young triangle, but at the same time, I believe in second chances. I really didn’t like Young as the husband to his wife – that was indeed a bad call on his part to have an affair, but I like to know why he did? It wasn’t out of the blue, was it? Was it only TJ? And if so, why TJ and why would she take part in an affair too? And what made them stop? Why, unlike Carter and O’Neil, did they pursue despite their roles? Was TJ leaving because of Young or was because she was leaving a reason for the affair? How long did it last? I know I have missed a couple of episodes here and there, so if this was discussed sorry. But still, knowing motivation would have been good.

    To be honest, the affair didn’t match Young. It seemed to me the affair was needed for the plot of having conflict with TJ being on board, but also to create more of a riff with Teleford. Young having affair just seemed wrong to me from his character’s perspective. And there have been no further scenes with the wife who, while she a right to be pissed off, didn’t even ask ‘are you ok stuck on the other side of the universe?’.

    Still, TJ and Young haven’t cleared the past between them. Yes, it’s painful, but there is a deep caring there. They have eachother’s backs. They challenge each other. And that is a good thing. Funnily enough, they showed the same characteristics in this episode with Young telling Greer to suck it up; and with TJ telling the corporal to suck it up. They were on the same page.

    Varro is not a Mr Innocent – he is part of the Lucian alliance that tried to overtake the ship. How many people has he killed or maimed to get where he is? If he has been redeemed, why can’t Young? But because he wasn’t the commander or her commander, he can be an equal? Maybe now, he is free, yes he can.

    I like the complex relationships. I like when people overcome their own demons to be a better person. And it seems Destiny wanted Young as the commander in charge. Maybe he needed more than one crisis of faith (starting with his marriage, then with his relationship with TJ, and his rocky road onboard Destiny) so he can be the commander Destiny needed. And he is a man who is hard on himself. Which is why the affair seemed out of character for me.

    As for Rush, he is so ambivalent and I love it. He is abrupt and obnoxious, but we saw with his wife how tender and loving he could be. That he had changed, building a wall around him. Yes, he is a pragmatist, and yes, he says things others think but are too afraid to say. He can make hard choices, not always the right one, but still for the ‘greater good.’ This week’s episode, to me just made me laugh. Robert Carlisle’s portrayal is just brilliant with the small smile. I thought it was a good lighter side for the episode.

    Poor Volker. I totally forgot that Park had started seeing Greer.

  27. What an incredible coincidence… A day before you mention Caillou, both of my daughters (4 and 2) discovered it and LOVE the show. Just a day before this they would wake up and fight, the 4 year old for Dora and the 2 year old for Diego. Thank goodness for Kids Preschool On Demand. They have watched each episode about 100 times in the past couple of days!

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