BLOG Stargate Universe Episode 1.14 "Human" Review


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SGU’s 14th episode is worth a five-star rating, so says blogger Kelly Harker. (WARNING: Contains spoilers!)

1.14 “Human”
Written and directed by Robert C. Cooper

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THE ONE WHERE In a risky effort to discover the code needed to control Destiny’s flight path, Dr Rush (Robert Carlyle) plugs his head into the neural interface chair. Meanwhile, Lt Scott (Brian J Smith), Eli (David Blue), Chloe (Elyse Levesque) and Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) find themselves precariously trapped inside some giant-spider infested ancient ruins.

VERDICT From the brilliant writing and directing by Robert C Cooper to the emotional performance by Robert Carlyle, this is the perfect episode of SGU that I’ve been waiting for. Watching as Dr Rush navigates through his memories using the neural interface chair was intense – Carlyle executed the emotions of his character so believably that I was completely engaged with every moment of his dialogue. The director of photography should also be praised for the unique cinematography and camera work as everything felt very surreal and almost beautiful at times.

The death of Dr Rush’s wife becomes a clever plot point in the episode because re-living the memory of her death is what enables Rush to find the answer he’s looking for, which so happens to be the number of chromosomes in the human body. But the answer wouldn’t have been clear to him without having to feel the pain and immediacy of her death once again. The memory of her brought out very intense emotions in Rush that haven’t been expressed by him before and it will be interesting to see if his character will be more emotionally open in future episodes. But however they portray Rush, watching Robert Carlyle in this show is always a pleasure.

The side-story of Lt Scott, Eli, Chloe and Greer being trapped inside the underground tunnels of the building ruins provided the action and suspense for the episode. The trapped team left behind after Destiny had to jump into FTL becomes the motivation for the scientists to decipher the code to be able to turn the ship around and rescue them. I reckon that’s probably the premise for the next episode...

BATTLEGATE From the shaky camera to the cinematography, the scenes inside the mind of Dr Rush’s seemed to mimic a bit of Battlestar Galactica ’s style.

LITERARY ALLUSION No, the answer is not 42. Well, at least not on SGU. But the allusion to The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy was more than clear, even without Dr Daniel Jackson needing to crack that joke about it. And even though it’s not the “ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything”, 46 is the answer that Rush is bombarded with throughout his memories. What is the significance of 46? If I understood it correctly... because there are 46 chromosomes in the human body and because the Ancients were interested in genes, Rush and the other scientists can use 46 as a starting point to unlocking the ship’s controls.

ARACHNOPHOBIA Is it still considered an irrational fear of spiders when the spiders are as big as a car tire?

CLAUSTROPHOBIA Eli has already suffered from one panic attack since being trapped underground, and the flashback of Greer as a child being huddled in a dark and confined space means he might also start to panic soon as well. The flahsback of Greer as a child scared is obviously a hint that the next episode (or later episodes) will focus on his story more. Right now Greer is a bit of a mystery.

FAMILIAR FACE Michael Shanks reprises his role as Dr Daniel Jackson, but only as part of Dr Rush’s memory. There’s also another nod to the character of Dr Daniel Jackson when Chloe confesses – in her “big nerd moment” – to studying his research compiled from the Stargate program. Don’t worry Chloe, I have a crush on Dr Daniel Jackson, too.

BEST LINES Eli: “Chloe has been studying all of Dr Jackson’s work.”
Young: “Really?”
Scott: “You have?”
Eli: “Say something archaeological.”
Chloe: “Stratification.”
Eli: “That's good.”
Chloe: “Thank you.”

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