The suspense is unbearable!
The suspense is unbearable!

Akemi and I have reached the halfway mark of Stargate: Universe’s second season. On re-watching these ten episodes, I’ve discovered a new appreciation for the series. The show really started to hit its stride in season two and it’s a damn shame it came to such a premature end.

But, really, who cares what I think?  This is  Stargate Universe 2.- – The Japanese Girlfriend Edition!  What did Akemi think?

1

INTERVENTION

“Do you remember what happened in the last episode?”I asked Akemi as we sat down to watch the season premiere.  After all, it had been almost two weeks since we screened the season one finale.

“Yes,”she said.  “Everybody die.”

Close, but not quite.  And it didn’t take long for her to get caught up (Thank you, previously-on) and into the suspenseful season premiere.

Most of this episode’s high points were character-related.  She was thrilled to see Toby (Peter) who has come over to watch football on occasion, and of course Mike Dopud who we’ve gone out to dinner with several times.  And, as always, she likes Jamil – even though I have to point out that Jamil is the actor’s name while the name of the character he portrays is Sgt. Greer.

As for the low points, she wonders what took a topside Scott and Greer so long to figure out they should retreat to the underside of the ship to avoid the radiation: “But they’re stupid.  They should have hide under ship sooner.  Why scientist guy make them run?”  Nevertheless: “Still, it was fun.”

She also bumped on Scott and Greer’s shooting prowess – and the enemies’ lack thereof: “Jamil and handsome guy shoot very well but bad guys not so good.  Why?”

“Better training,”I offered.

She threw me a look, brow furrowed, not buying it: “You sure?”

Although saddened by the loss of T.J.’s baby, she was philosophical: “If baby is on the ship then different kind of tension.  Scary things happen – but with baby. Problem, I think, from Walking Dead experience.”

Overall, though, a most enjoyable outing for her: “Time to sleep but I want to watch one more episode.”

1

AFTERMATH

An even darker episode sees the crew lose one of its own.  A very sad episode so far as Akemi was concerned.  Still, there were bright spots in the darkness.  She loved the discovery of the bridge which she found very cool.  And she also marvelled over Haig Sutherland’s final turn as Sgt. Riley: “He didn’t blink at all.  How did he do that? His eyes must be super dry!”

She continues to have a love/hate relationship with Rush: “I didn’t like the fact science guy decided to stop [drop out of FTL].  It was dangerous and he kind of knew it.  He killed the skinny guy.”  And then, after a brief consideration: “Actually, writer killed him.”

1

AWAKENING

And the Destiny suffers another loss in this episode, losing Colonel Telford – or, as Akemi refers to him, Chef due to his frequent Food Network appearances.  Her reaction?  Kind of surprising given her initial dislike of the character.  I imagine he’s rehabilitated himself in her eyes following the reveal that he was a victim of brainwashing all along: “Of course I feel sorry for Chef.”

Overall, it was an emotional roller coaster ride: “Scary at first.  But very sad.  Again. I don’t like sad episodes.  But I liked the alien.  Very cute.”

And, specifically with regard to said alien: “How did you do alien?  Model?  Why didn’t you ask me?  Big head and small legs.  Perfect.”  Okay, maybe next scifi series.

1

PATHOGEN

Another Binder-san episode with a action, suspense, and a great emotional core. This one elicited a range of responses:

“I like geek people because always nice.”  Here, presumably, a reference to Eli.

“Eli brinkles a lot.”  Akemism for “blink”.

She found the scene where Greer and Simeon face off in the corridor, with its discordant background music, unbearable: “Didn’t like Jamil and Jerk Guy facing each other and peeeeeee sound.”

BUT, she loved the part where Eli’s mother visits Destiny and finally learns the truth about her son: “Favorite part was when mother came to the ship.  She was happy; I was happy.”

Other observations: “Scientist guy not nice.  Just use everyone.  Not nice.”

“I’m surprised Chloe has diary like I have.”  At which point she pulled our her diary, packed full of equally weird doodles.  [Note to self: Am I dating an alien?]

1

CLOVERDALE

Mixed feelings on this episode which she equated to: “Watching old t.v. show.”

As usual, she loved Greer’s heroics, his willingness to risk all for his friend.  On the other hand, she was less enamored of the wedding sequence which she found “chotto cheesy”.

She also bumped on the 11th hour turn: “Can I ask question?  How can they give blood if not the same blood type?”

“Maybe they were,”I said.

“And magically the same blood type?”  She wasn’t buying it.

She did, however, think Chloe looked gorgeous on her wedding day and loved her dress.

1

TRIAL AND ERROR

Although she liked this one, she was confused by the whole simulation explanation. Instead, she focused on the character moments, particularly the ones involving Eli and his new love interest, Ginn.  She adored Greer’s big brother approach (“I’m going to take my time.” being her favorite line), but had some reservations about Eli’s shifting allegiance: “I was sad the fact geek boy turn for new girl so quickly.  He liked Chloe!”  Still, she wished the new couple all the best: “Now geek boy doesn’t care about Chloe anymore.  Geek love.  Hope they do well.”

Other observations: “I liked the part where Scott punches old Young’s face.”

On Rush: “He wash his hair?”

And: “I like Jamil all the time.”  No kidding!

1

THE GREATER GOOD

A suspenseful episode, much of it that went completely over her head: “The part scientist talk about mission blah blah blah I couldn’t understand.  Less than two percent.”

Still: “I liked it but I thought Colonel Young kill scientist.”

1

MALICE

Another Robert Cooper extravaganza, this one with a Western twist.  And another very sad episode: “A lot of people passed away.”  Including Ginn: “Why Robert Cooper hate geek love?”

She loved the pyrotechnics (“I liked a lot of bombs going off.”) but didn’t like her favorite getting injured (“Didn’t like that Jamil was shot.”)

1

VISITATION

She was intrigued throughout this episode but was left disappointed by the conclusion.  As the end credits rolled: “That’s it?  What is that ending?  What’s that? Continued next episode?  That’s it?  So many mystery!”

While she liked Greer’s honest conversation with Chloe (“I liked the fact Jamil is very sad and say sorry to Chloe.  Jamil is nice guy, ne?”), she didn’t like the fact we were offered no answers regarding the mysterious reappearance of the new and improved shuttle and former crew members: “Why alien do that?”  Off my shrug: “You should know because you’re writer.”  True.

I explained that the aliens took pity on the recently deceased and reanimated them, returning them to their home (Destiny).  Unfortunately, despite their advanced technology, the resurrections were short-lived.  The bodies broke down and the people died all over again.  I figured that would satisfy her.  Instead, I got: “Are you sure?  Is it answer?  But you didn’t say that during episode and you’re telling me now.  Why didn’t you tell everybody?  Everybody so sad.”  Beat.  “And what happened to baby by the way?”

“It was a dream created by the ship.”

Met with a dissatisfied: “Hunh.”

Interestingly, two of her biggest objections were with regard to the Peter character played by our friend Toby Slezak.  “Why Toby has such small part?  And why his name Peter?”  In fact, for some strange reason, she got really hung up on the name Peter: “Nice to see Toby, but his role is so small and his name is Peter.  Why Peter? I hope I not offend every Peter in the world but Peter chotto…He doesn’t look like a Peter.”

1

RESURGENCE

Ah, by this point, she’d become a savvy viewer.  When the crew identifies one of the crippled ships as similar to the one Rush and Young visited episodes earlier: “Where’s Chef?”she wanted to know.

When Chef, aka Telford finally showed up, she felt vindicated – then somewhat saddened by the fact his new alien allies pulled a precautionary double-cross.  Sympathetically: “Chef manipulated by bad guys and now he’s manipulated by aliens.”  Poor, dumb, trusting Chef.

She loved the action, was on the edge of her seat for the Chloe scenes and, in particular, the race from the derelict ship back to the shuttle: “Jamil, Scott and curly hair drunken guy [here, no doubt, a reference to Brody’s still] running back to ship. Most exciting part.”

She did take issue with one seemingly inconsequential element in this episode: “I thought Patrick had too much tan.  Only he has nice tan.  What happened, he went to Vegas?”

But when we cut to the end credits, she was absolutely beside herself, insisting we roll right into the next episode.  But it was late.

Here’s hoping she’s as equally enthusiastic about our Stargate Atlantis re-watch!

25 thoughts on “January 17, 2014: Stargate Universe 2.0 – The Japanese Girlfriend Edition!

  1. Akemi love your reviews of Stargate Universe. I haven’t seen the series and am loving your take on it.

    Shana

  2. Akemi is priceless. And it’s fun getting a view of the stargaze universe(franchise and series) from her. I am really going to have to dust off the SGU dvds and give the show another watch. And I will continue to maintain that you could have a best selling book based on akemisms if you ever get around to publishing one.

  3. “The show really started to hit its stride in season two and it’s a damn shame it came to such a premature end.”

    Indeed. Something I still have not gotten over.

    I agree with Akemi about being so ambivalent about Rush. That’s what made his character so damn interesting. You NEVER knew what he was going to do, and would often surprise. What a great character.

    I have to laugh at some of the things that Akemi picks up on, like Patrick’s tan. She’s so observant!

    I was off sick today and spent a big chunk of the day watching S10 SG1 episodes. Dammit, I miss this show.

  4. I agree on two things, I enjoy reading about Akemi’s reaction to the show (and she’s caught things I’ve missed), and that the show was really coming into it’s own in the second season.

    I thought the series was pretty good in the first season, but in the second season the cast had gelled, the overall feel of the show was really coming together. The ship was much more of a crew then just a bunch of people tossed together. It’s really a shame.

    Actually three things. I agree with Akemi that the alien was done well. It looked great, moved naturally and was different from anything else I’d seen. It was believable.

    I know you haven’t gotten to this particular episode yet, but while I’m thinking of it, the drone mother ships and one particular episode always remind me of this story by Angus McKie in Heavy Metal magazine, which was used but significantly changed in the movie Heavy Metal:

    http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/4/40245/1430174-heavy_metal_magazine_v1977__197810___vol._2__no._6__1978_10____page_87.jpg

    I hope this picture isn’t too large. My apologies if it is.

  5. *runs in, grabs Joey by his jug ears, gives him a big, wet smoochie on the forehead, and runs away*

    das

  6. Line Noise beat me to it. I’m also waiting to hear Akemi’s review of the final episode.

    @gforce:

    Sorry to hear you were sick. It must be that time of year as I have a bad cold myself. If I’m feeling the same way tomorrow, I’ll break into an all day session of re-watching SG-1 (I’ll save SGA for Akemi’s review). Thanks for planting that thought!

  7. I totally missed this on the same friggin page as the Binder/Cooper news:

    AKA
    A serialized drama about a woman with the perfect life – and a dark secret that could change everything.
    Attached:

    Thunderbird Films
    Paul Mullie and Joeseph Mallozzi (STARGATE SG-1)

    Someone else probably already pointed this out. I seriously need to catch up.

  8. I love that Akemi does not cut you any slack whatsoever. I really miss this show. Did you guys know BamBam’s wife is in labor? My life has been so random lately. Hit and miss. Still want to know about AKA (as do we all). Congratulations again.

  9. Man, Akemi called out all sorts of writery-iffy spots!  You should ask her for notes on a new script or two and see what happens!

    ________________________________

  10. Joe, when Akemi gets to the last episode, would you insert a clip of that last scene of Eli and the ship shutting down with Joel Goldsmith’s music? Pleeeaaasssse. That is such a beautiful scene with the music and all.

  11. Wow, so many memories. Akemi is AWESOME!! I can’t wait until she watches the final episode. @Ponytail I love that final scene too. Great VFX & beautiful music…. I always cry.

    Some of you may have caught up with the news on Twitter but for those that haven’t, SGA/SGU Stunt Co-ordinator James Bamford and his wife had a baby today – link to an article for my fansite. I’ve also put up a Baby Messages page on the site in case anyone wishes to leave a message to James. I’ll pass the link onto James to read the messages.

    It’s a big football weekend. Who are you going for? As a 49ers fan naturally I’ll be cheering for them on Monday morning (yay I have the day off). As for the other game I think Broncos will be too good but I love an underdog so I think I’ll cheer on the Patriots.

    Cheers, Chev

  12. Hi Joe!

    Rewatching Stargate Universe and Stargate Atlantis (both pilot episodes), it reminds me like the new project of “Mars One” who are selecting people from all countries for to travel to planet Mars, what do you think about this project?

  13. @JeffW: I actually wasn’t *that* sick, just a bit of a sore throat and cough, which is better already. I was mostly just feeling exhausted, I think. I hardly slept at all that night, for whatever reason.

    @Sara: Speaking for myself, I am as much more a manned Mars mission as anyone – I LOVE the idea, but personally I don’t think Mars One will even get off the ground, so to speak. At least not in the time frames they’re talking about. I don’t think they have the money or the technical expertise to pull off such an incredibly difficult mission, at least if their intention is to have people actually survive the trip, let alone an indefinite stay. Just keeping everyone fed is going to be a huge issue, not to mention stuff like harmful solar radiation, etc.

  14. I mean to say, “I am as much ABOUT a manned Mars…” I have no idea what happened between my brain and fingers there.

  15. Akemi’s issues with a particular name reminds me of the Polish kid, Piotr (or, Peter) who stayed with us one summer. He became very upset when he learned that in the US ‘Peter’ is a term used for a …ya know. 😉 I remember the day, we had company and everyone was sitting out on the patio. Piotr joined us and started lamenting that someone teased him about his name. He said, ‘Why do you have to call ‘it’ Peter?! That’s just not right! It’s not right to call it by someone’s name!”

    At that point we introduced him to our friends sitting around the patio (this is true, not a joke) – Richard (who goes by Dick) and William (or, Willy) and explained that their names, too, are commonly used to refer to a…ya know.

    Piotr just shook his head and said in defeat, “There’s something wrong with you people.”

    Good thing we didn’t tell him about our former next door neighbors, the Johnsons. 😛

    das

  16. @gforce:

    Well for me the cold has been bad; my son has it too and he’s been staying in bed all day. Since my wife, Barb, is at a bridal shower and dinner, and my daughter Jackie has been at her life-guarding job today, it’s just been me in the family room watching SG-1 DVDs.

    I started with Season 8 episode 1 and by supper time I’ve just finished Covenant.

    A question for Joe on Covenant: Where did you all get all of the aviation models at “Colson Industries”? I especially loved the large scale Lockheed P-38J that was hanging in the main area. Was someone in props an aviation buff?

    I was also trying to learn more about AKA, but I couldn’t dig up anything more than a short description. When and where does it air?

    1. @JeffW Sorry to hear you guys are sick. Jeff and I have what I describe as an “almost cold” where it is just enough to make you feel yuck, but not bad enough you can’t go about your day, for me since the week before Christmas. I thought on Jan 2 that the cold was winning and that I was going to have problems with my Jan 3-5 trip to Space City Con, but I downed vitamin D, vitamin C, decongestant, antihistamine, Mucinex, detromethorphan, Tylenol and caffeine for my horrid headache. I did make it through the con and did not develop post-con crud–just continuation of the same crud. I had a great time. I think the adrenaline help sustain me as well. I hope you guys get over it soon and it doesn’t transfer over to the rest of the family.

      As far as AKA, I found this on Hollywood Reporter: “AKA, a serialized drama about a woman with a perfect life and a dark secret from Paul Mullie and Joseph Mallozzi.” AKA means also known as so I’m thinking it has something to do with secret identities. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/paul-haggis-developing-lords-opium-671294

      And varying sites with the same information. It better air in the United States.

  17. How about pitching SGU Season 3 to Net Flicks? Its been 2 years since cancellation and that is about the time for the trip to the next galaxy.

    Maybe Star Gate command or the Pegasus command finds a Zero Point Module and can drain it for two 38 minute links to Destiny, one to send equipment food and personnel (new characters, new equipment, new story possibilities, maybe an Atlantis puddle jumper or 2 etc.) and the second to evacuate some of those who want to come home? Good way to explain characters that have left and to keep the ones who want to return to the series.

    Mark
    Toronto

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