Incursion (Parts One and Two)
In Which: The Lucian Alliance successfully boards Destiny, and hordes of excrement starts to collide with the spinning blades of a cooling system...
What did I think?: I'm not going to mince my words here, that was excellent. Dramatic, gripping and genuinely tense, this was the sort of story that SG:U has shown it can excel at, when the stars align.
Originally I had planned to review Part One separately, but if I had done then it would have been short-changed, as like all good two-parters, you don't understand the mechanics of Part One completely until Part Two is up and running.
We began the episodes with a quick resolution of last episodes cliffhanger, with Young actually killing Telford before reviving him - which turns out to have been his plan all along as this would break the brainwashing Telford had been subjected to. From this point onwards we saw the Lucian Alliance's invasion of Destiny unfold, with Telford (now back in his own body as Stargate travel breaks the connection between the stones) taking on the role of a double agent, attempting to help Young and the rest of the crew.
Meanwhile, our two favourite (and most often-put-in-danger) civilians, Eli and Chloe, ended up marooned at the far end of the ship after fleeing the invasion, with Chloe shot and their oxygen running low. (And yes it is, once again, a Chloe-in-peril plotline, but in it's defence, it works quite well). Their relentless walk through the ship (or in Chloe's case her relentless letting-Eli-carry-her through the ship, she's so lazy!) provides the quiet plotline against the rest of the violence, tension and negotiations. However, just when you form the opinion that regardless of the fun dialogue and great chemistry between the pair of them, this is just a pointless sub-plot, it suddenly intertwines beautifully (if slightly coincidentally) with the main story.
And that main story is wonderfully plotted out. With twists and turns, ambushes, plans, betrayals, panic, distress, the whole nine yards. All of our main characters get nice moments, and everyone feels involved. Yes, it does feel a little as if the extra problems that start to affect both factions due to Destiny breaking again were added in to bump the story up to a two-parter, but they work, and they end up being the catalyst for most of the end action.
So it builds, and builds, and builds... and ends on an almighty cliffhanger.
And that, I suspect, will end up being a burden to them. The first episode of Season 2 will have to be spectacular to resolve all of the cliffhangers in a satisfying way. Because at the end of the episode, TJ is lying bleeding on the floor, Chloe's running out of air, Greer and Scott are about to get a dose of lethal pulsar radiation, Telford is dying on a table and Young is about to be executed. And even if they all survive these problems, the alliance still have control of Destiny...
I have no idea how they'll do it, but I'll definitely be watching!
The Good: Almost everything. Performances, plot, direction - all superb. And TJ didn't moan about her baby for a change!
The Bad: It's a cliffhanger. A sodding great cliffhanger!
Conclusion: 9/10 - Good Work SG:U!
And so we come to the end of Season One - and I'm impressed. This series has gone from a casual watch to a must-see, and long may this continue. In fact, I'm so impressed that I may well buy the DVD. So I may do a review of that. But for now - enjoy the summer!