…and just like that, it ends. Not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a profound silence that speaks off all that might have been, but never will. It’s a sad ending, a needless ending, but I see now what the producers meant: it’s a solid ending, and almost - if not quite - satisfying. This isn’t an ending, nor is it a cliffhanger in the way ‘Gate usually does ‘em, this is not a conclusion, but….but the story can rest here. As likely as not, it’ll never be revisited, as likely as not this is the end of Stargate forever, but we end with hope and silence.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s a week or two after the last episode. Dr. Park is still blind. They attempt to attack one of the drone command ships by pulling a TNG and tuning their shields to more effectively cut the alien weapons. This works, mostly, but as usual there are some problems, including a collision, damage to the ship, and whatnot. On the bright side, though, Greer does manage to take it out with The Big Gun. They don’t get much to show for it, however.
Eli suggests that they simply put everyone in stasis, and program the ship to head to the galactic due north, then fly directly to the next galaxy on their flight plan. This will, alas, take three years, and the’ll be cutting it pretty close. They could run out of power entirely, and drift for a thousand years, they could die from some unknown peril between there and here, they could be found by the aliens from the previous galaxy, they could never wake up at all. Lacking any better suggestions from anyone else, however, they go for it.
They start cycling people back to earth with the communication stones to say goodby, and putting people in the Stasis Tubes once they return. Then, predictably, a problem arises: eight of the tubes aren’t working. Eight people will have to stay out. This means suicide, since life support will have to be shut down or else they won’t make the jump successfully. Brody and Volker decide they need a certain rare element to fix the pods, so they find a non-habitable planet in the database they think is likely to have some and use a shuttle as a decoy to lure a command ship away, and then sneak in and grab the elements by gate. This works without much of a hitch, they destroy another command ship in the process, and scoot away.
Everyone goes in to stasis excepting Young, Rush, and Eli. There are three remaining tubes, but one is broken. Rush volunteers to stay out and try to fix the remaining tube, but Young doesn’t trust him and decides to stay out and kill himself. He talks this over with Eli, and Eli *finally* comes of age and stands up for himself. He insists that Rush and Young both go in, and that he’ll figure a way to get the last one working, “I’m not afraid to say it anymore: I’m smarter than him, and all three of us know it.” Eli and Rush agree, reluctantly.
The ship starts shutting down and going dark, the opposite of it coming to life when we first saw it. The final scene is Eli, all alone on the observation deck, an expression that shows fear, triumph, and a kind of beatified acceptance.
To Be Continued….
I toyed with the idea of not doing any observations, since nothing we saw here will ever be resolved, but, eh, here we go.
This episode was VERY well done, the direction was spot on, the acting was great, the story and the solution made sense, the complications felt real rather than just padding it for another act, and the ’who lives, who dies’ drama was effective. Particularly in the last act.
Young looks more ragged here than we’ve ever seen him. He’s not sleeping, his hair is a mess, he’s overworked, and though he hasn’t mentioned it in a while, they keep showing that “I killed Riley” scene in the opening of every episode, so we know he’s still eaten up with guilt over that. He’s got nothing for him back on earth. The woman he loves is living under a death sentence, and the happily-ever-after sideways life we saw just three weeks ago is never going to come to pass. When the option of a heroic suicide comes along, I think he sees it as a relief.