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Blockade

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Blockade
Destiny vs blue giant
Production
Series

Stargate Universe

Episode

2.19

Production #

219

Original air date

May 2, 2011

Written by

Linda McGibney

Directed by

Andy Mikita

Cast
Guest stars

Mike Dopud as Varro
Jennifer Spence as Dr. Lisa Park
Julia Benson as Lt. Vanessa James
Patrick Gilmore as Dr. Dale Volker
Peter Kelamis as Dr. Adam Brody
Vincent Gale as Dr. Morrison
Lou Diamond Phillips as Colonel David Telford
Leanne Adachi as Cpl. Barnes

Chronology
Preceded by

"Epilogue"

Followed by

"Gauntlet"

Universe Season 2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20
Season 1

"Blockade" is the nineteenth episode in the second season of Stargate Universe.

SynopsisEdit

The Drones create a blockade of viable power sources forcing Destiny to recharge in a star so hot it could destroy the ship. Eli Wallace, Dr. Nicholas Rush and Dr. Lisa Park stay aboard in suits, the rest of the crew go off-world.

PrologueEdit

A group of people are forced to evacuate to Destiny after an attack on Icarus Base by the Lucian Alliance, and are now trapped there. Dr. Nicholas Rush breaks the master code and discovers the Bridge. After the rest of the crew discovers the bridge, Rush asks Colonel Everett Young to embrace Destiny's mission. After a failed Alliance invasion, Homeworld Command believes an attack on Earth is being planned. Young is grief-stricken over the death of Sgt. Hunter Riley. The expedition discovers a planet containing a group of Humans that are the descendants of their alternate selves. The expedition agrees to take them to their homeworld, Novus, but when they arrive they discover the planet deserted. They find a bunker with supplies and download a portion of the database. Lt. Tamara Johansen discovers her alternate self died from Lou Gehrig's Disease. After discovering a battlefield, Destiny awakens several Berzerker drones that launch several attacks.

PlotEdit

Eli Wallace is watching a Kino recording of his alternate self's grandson dedicating a school in his name. Dr. Nicholas Rush comes in, wanting to get a set of calculations Eli was working on. Eli hands his a piece of paper covered in writing, indicating the bottom-left corner. Rush expresses hope that Brody's paper-making project will bear fruit soon. He notes that Eli has viewed the dedication video multiple times, and Eli jokes that they don't have any television. Rush suggests he could be doing more important things, but Eli says he's adding it to his documentary, which he feels is important. When Rush asks why, Eli explains that the Novans are their descendents. Rush points out that he wasn't there, but Eli still feels the fact that they are human makes it important enough. He wishes that some of the Teneran colonists had remained on the ship. Rush notes that the Novans spread out over enough planets that they'll likely find another group, adding that Destiny is not a passenger ship.

On the bridge, Dr. Dale Volker and Dr. Adam Brody are monitoring the ship as it performs an aero-braking maneuver through a gas giant to line up with the star in the system. Rush comes in, so they inform him of the situation. Brody is confused, since it's inefficient, but Rush assumes Destiny has a good reason. Volker complains that it takes too long, so Rush asks if he has anything better to do. Brody points out that the ship's power reserves are still at 40% well above what Destiny normally recharges at. Volker compares the ship to his grandfather, who would fill the gas tank of his car when it was still half full. Rush isn't amused by the comparison. Colonel Everett Young comes in to observe the maneuver, informing the crew to prepare.

Upon coming out of the gas giant's atmosphere, Destiny is confronted by Control Ship and its Berzerker drones, which are positioned between it and the star. Brody speculates that the gas giant masked them from Destiny's sensors. The FTL engines will be ready to activate in a few minutes, about the same amount of time it will take the drones to reach them. Young orders Lt. Matthew Scott, who has just come in, to try and pilot around them. However, the drones just move to block Destiny. Young suggests jamming their signal, but Eli cannot do it that quickly. Young entertains the notion of plowing through them, since they need to refuel and the star will protect them, but Rush denies that course of action; they'd never survive the attempt, and shouldn't risk a fight when they don't have to. Accepting his logic, Young orders Scott to jump as soon as they are able. The drones reach them and begin the attack, but Destiny is able to jump mere seconds later.

Safe from the drones, the bridge crew begins to speculate on how the drones found them. Volker thinks that they were waiting there for Destiny. Rush tries to suggest that it was merely luck, but Eli points out the odds of the drones stumbling upon their path in the vastness of space is extremely low. Rush notes that the only known means the drones have of tracking them is through the Stargates, urgeing everyone not to overreact as he walks out. Eli claims they shouldn't underreact, either, and chases after Rush.

Eli finds Rush in the Control interface room, charting nearby stars. Eli deduces that Rush was understating his concern, and points out that if the drones really knew they would be there, they have a serious problem. He is curious as to why Rush is charting the nearby stars, as Destiny will find one on its own, but Rush believes this is exactly why they can't let Destiny choose. He doesn't think they can track Destiny, but thinks that they may have learned to predict Destiny's course. If not for the gas giant buying them time in the last encounter, they would either have been destroyed or ruined the FTL drives while escaping. With no choice but to recharge, they need to use a star Destiny would not normally divert to.

Destiny is waiting in empty space far from the target star. Camile Wray, MSgt. Ronald Greer, and Lt. Vanessa James have joined the bridge crew. There is nothing on the sensors yet, though the ship is too far out to reliably detect anything. Wray asks why they didn't just go straight to the star, so Eli explains that they're waiting for the minimum jump time to elapse so they can escape if need be. Wray doesn't get why the drones are so obsessed with destroying them. Eli notes that their motivation is simply to destroy all foreign technology, and they apparently lack any programming to give up. She bemoans the lack of seats, so Young offers her the captain's chair. Rush tells her not to press anything. Once the minimum time necessary for a jump expires, Eli expresses hope that they might be able to refuel, only to be cutoff mid-sentence when drone contacts begin coming up. Rush notes that they can't fight and are running low on power, so Young orders a retreat.

Colonel David Telford is contacted using the Long-range communication device and informed of the situation. He expresses disbelief that the drones could have blockaded every available star, but Eli points out that the drones only need to be at the next one, as they don't have the power for any more attempts. Rush notes that Eli has an idea, albeit a crazy one. Since the drones have figured out what types of stars Destiny normally recharges from, they need to use one Destiny would never choose: a blue supergiant. Volker objects to the plan, as the extreme temperatures would kill the entire crew. Rush explains that the crew will be evacuated, while a small team in Ancient environmental suits pilots the ship. Telford wonders why they can't just set the ship to autopilot, so Eli explains that someone must stay to prevent the ship from aborting the attempt. In addition, auto-navigation will shut down from the heat, meaning they will need to pilot the ship manually. Wray wonders who will stay. Telford wants to bring in qualified professionals from Earth, but Rush counters that the two most qualified individuals — himself and Eli — are already on the ship. Telford is surprised Rush would volunteer, so Rush points out that it's their lives at stake; Telford isn't even on the ship. Chloe Armstrong is concerned that there won't be a habitable planet in the system. Rush confirms that no planet in the system could hope to support life, but there should be Stargates in range. Though the Stargate will doubtless attract the drones, hopefully they will be able to recharge and leave before they actually arrive. Telford wants Earth to sign off on the plan, but Young bluntly informs him that they only called him so he'd know the situation. They have no choice but to act.

The hydroponic garden is stripped clean prior to departure, as the heat from the star will immolate the entire crop. Scott isn't sure why that doesn't happen every time, so Dr. Lisa Park explains that the supergiant radiates more electromagnetic radiation than the shields can attenuate over such a large surface. Brody is working on refrigerating the original lab so they can start over upon returning. Chloe is annoyed that they have to start over after having nearly grown enough to sustain the crew. Park wishses they had more time, but Scott notes that they only have 20 minutes before Destiny drops out of FTL, and ten minutes after that they need to leave.

Volker and James are working on the bridge as the crew gets ready to leave. Unexpectedly, the bridge powers down, sealing itself just as Volker and James leave. She radios this to Young, who is busy collecting weapons with Greer and TJ. Greer notes that they're running low on bullets, but Young believes Brody can make more if need be. As they depart for the gate room, Park approaches Young, asking if she can stay to collect the last of the medicinal plants, citing her experience with the environment suits. He agrees, much to her surprise.

Eli sees the crew off. Scott notes that Rush hasn't done the same, and adds that Park is also missing. Young explains that she elected to stay. Though Volker is worried, Greer assures him that she'll be fine, and couldn't be talked out of it anyway. When the ship drops out of FTL, Rush radios Young to inform him of the star's properties. He estimates that they will be able to dial back in seven hours. Eli has located one gate in range. Once the planet is dialed and a Kino is sent through, they discover a modern town, which Eli compares to Pittsburgh. He speculates that the world is one of several colonies that branched off from Novus. Its less-advanced appearance could be due to any number of factors. Brody notes that the planet is safe but uninhabited. Young orders Scott to lead the crew through the gate. Before leaving, Young praises Eli on his plan.

On the planet, Young discusses whether or not to look for supplies, despite feeling that they'd be better off waiting. Lt. Tamara Johansen, Greer, and Wray all believe that there are worthwhile things they could find. Young points out that the people abandoned it for a reason, which Greer jokes is because it's "Pittsburgh". James protests, as she was born there. Wray believes it to be worth the risk. Young organizes small teams to search for supplies. Though Wray and James believe the entire group should participate, Young insists that the majority stay behind. Wray, Varro, and James are left to keep the main group safe. When asking if he should look for anything in particular, Wray says she'd kill for a new outfit. He says he'll keep it in mind. The search group splits off into two teams.

On Destiny, Eli is helping Park collect the last of the medicinal plants. She sees the garden as their greatest accomplishment. Eli jokes that Brody's still is a bigger one. She relates how comes to the garden to watch the stars, as she did back on Earth. Eli points out that the stars are always changing from Destiny. Rush calls Eli, as they need to prepare for the refueling. Park remains behind to collect as many of the plants as she can.

On the planet, Scott and Greer's team are walking down the streets. Chloe wonders how long they've been gone. Brody can't give an accurate guess, as nature can take over quickly, but assumes they've been gone for years. What confuses him is the absence of vehicles despite the roads being paved. Volker is busy looking in the windows, though Scott warns him not to bother if they don't have anything useful. Chloe notes that she plans to check any shoe stores if they find one, and Scott agrees that new boots would be useful. Greer suggests splitting up into two teams to search both sides of the street. Scott concurs, taking Chloe and Brody with him while Volker goes with Greer.

Eli enters the control interface room, seeing that Rush has yet to don his environmental suit. Rush notes that they don't need them yet, which Eli notes makes him look ridiculous since he's the only one in the room wearing them. Rush passes Eli some calculations to check. Eli asks what's next, but Rush defers to Eli since it's his plan. Not understanding his intent, Eli persists in his questioning. Rush clarifies that he wants them to know their roles clearly. Eli doesn't get it, so he further explains that they need to decide who is going to be the pilot and co-pilot. Eli offers to take the main position.

Park is still busy collecting plants. She tries to leave when an alarm sounds in the compartment, but the door seals shut before she can leave. She radios Rush to have him unseal it. Eli tries to override the lock, but Destiny won't let him.

Greer's team is raiding canned food from a diner. Volker points out that all the labels have worn off, but Greer believes they can figure that out later. He sarcastically praises the potential botulism infection. Meanwhile, Dr. Morrison has found a newspaper clipping indicating that the civilization on the planet was attacked. At the same time, Young surveys the destroyed outer reaches of the city from the roof of a building. Despite this, he orders the teams to keep searching.

Morrison reads further details from the paper, which describes an attack similar to the pattern of the drones. He begins to panic, but James tells him to stay calm and takes the paper. Varro readies a rocket launcher in case he needs to defend the group. As Greer's team keeps searching, he hears a noise in the distance. Scott hears it, too, and they take cover as it gets louder. A drone flies by them. Scott radios Young to inform him, requesting permission to engage it. He denies his request and orders radio silence, telling him to stay put. The drone returns, apparently having noticed their presence.

Rush and Eli cannot get Destiny to let Park out. Eli advises her to don her helmet, as it will get much hotter very soon. Rush notes that they can't waste time trying to free Park. Eli protests that retrieving the plants was a good idea, though Rush counters that Park might pay the price for taking too long.

TJ meets up with Young, having returned with the rest of their team. She assumes the hospital was in the destroyed section of the city. She found a pharmacy, but most of its supplies were already taken. Young sends her back to the gate with the rest of the team while he leaves to help Scott and Greer. The drone is still patrolling the area. It seems to notice Scott's team, so Greer throws a can to distract it. The drone fires at the sound and moves to investigate.

Unable to override the door and release Park, Eli opts to physically pry it open. Rush stops him, as they need to oversee the charging process. He radios park to tell her that they can no longer afford to spend time trying to free her, and that her suit will protect her inside the dome. She protests, as she doesn't want to sacrifice the plants she saved, but Rush tells her to forget about them. He advises Park to immerse herself in the water collection pool to protect herself. Park isn't convinced, but Rush promises her that she'll survive. Eli clearly disapproves of the idea, but defers to Rush.

Night has fallen on the planet, and the drone is still looking for Scott and Greer's teams. Volker speculates that the Stargate activation drew it in, then their radio signals gave it a specific target. Greer doesn't care about how it found them, only that they need to escape it. A second drone flies in, passing over the gate before joining the first. Morrison begins to panic once more, but James keeps the group calm. Brody believes that the drones never left the planet. Chloe wonders what they're going to do. The drones apparently overhear them, shining spotlights on the building. No longer able to wait, Greer advises Volker to run as soon as he starts shooting. Meanwhile, Morrison tries to dial the gate, hoping to escape to one of the other viable planets rather than die on this one. James knocks him unconscious and aborts the sequence, but the brief powerup is enough to draw one of the drones to the gate. She radios the development, and Scott responds to inform her of the incoming drone, urging radio silence. In doing so, however, the remaining drone pinpoints his location and fires. No one is harmed, and Greer and Scott open fire to buy their team time to escape. It returns fire, but cannot hit them. Young soon joins in, and the drone is disabled by their combined fire. Young has the team follow him. Greer notes a duffel bag that Young is carrying, but Young doesn't discuss it.

Destiny begins its trip through the star. As they enter, Eli speculates that the reason Destiny refused to open the hydroponics lab is because the dome might shatter. Rush has already considered this, but still believes Park will survive. He urges Eli to focus on the task at hand rather than distract himself by worrying about a situation he cannot control.

The second drone closes in on the gate as TJ's team makes their way back. James radios in this development, and is again admonished by Scott for breaking radio silence. She reveals this is intentional. The drone follows her, and is shot down by Varro. TJ's team returns at the same time. She praises the shot, then asks about injuries. The only person injured is Morrison; James broke his nose when she knocked him out.

Eli isn't confident he can keep ahead of the necessary course corrections, but Rush has faith that he can. Park, meanwhile, takes refuge in the collection pool as the garden burns around her. Sure enough, Eli manages to pilot the ship through successfully. Unfortunately, the dome shatters during the trip. Though Park remains secured, she loses one of the bags full of plants. She screams in pain and shuts her eyes. Rush begins cooling the gate room, but stops when his monitor registers the breach. Eli runs to help when Rush informs him.

Young takes his group back to the gate through an underground tunnel, the same method he used to reach Scott and Greer in the first place. Wray has finished reading the paper about the drone attack. The Stargate was moved to the rural city from the more advanced capital, and the vehicles were driven away from the area as a distraction so the rest of the population could evacuate. Young returns just after she finishes explaining. It will be thirty minutes before they can dial Destiny. Wray points out his duffel bag, so Young explains that it is the new outfit she asked for. He couldn't find any useful supplies, but stumbled upon a dry cleaners. Wray passes him the paper.

When Eli reaches the hydroponics lab, he radios Park to make sure she's ok. She confirms that the compartment has vented into space. Now that they are clear of the star, Rush is able to override the lock. Eli pulls her in the door and seals it. Park is crying. Eli tries to assure her that she's fine, but she explains that she's been blinded.

A different, louder rumble reverberates through the warehouse storing the gate. Unwilling to wait any longer, Young has James dial the gate. Rush has secured the gate room by this point. As the rest of the crew returns to Destiny, Young, Greer, Scott, and Varro watch as an entire Control Ship descends upon the warehouse, though not quickly enough to stop them.

With the crew back, Rush informs TJ of Park's blindness, hoping it is temporary. He relates to Young how Eli calculated their course perfectly, calling him a genius, though he'd rather not tell Eli that. Young believes that Eli might have to do it again. Rush notes that the drones likely won't fall for the trick twice, and the type of star is extremely rare. On the plus side, at least they have a full power supply. Brody and Volker give a less-than-enthusiastic "yay" at the knowledge that they have a "full tank of gas."

ReferencesEdit

Aerobraking maneuver; Alien pumpkin; Ancient environmental suit; Ancient remote control; Berzerker drone; Blue giant; Canada; The Cobalt Cinema; Control interface room; Control Ship; Destiny Bridge; Destiny garden; Destiny Gate room; Destiny infirmary; Destiny master code; Draxxon Elektroniks; Drone attack of Novus colony; Drone Blockade of Destiny; Faster-Than-Light engine; G36K; Harmuth Markit; Homeworld Command; Hydroponics lab; Keb; Kino; Kontinuum; Life support; Long-range communication device; Long-range communication stone; Lucian Alliance rocket launcher; Lucky Bar; Morgon; Novus canned food; Novus colony (Blockade); Novus colony (Epilogue); Novus computer; Observation deck; People of Novus; Pittsburgh; Red dwarf; Roy; Star Trek; Star Wars; Star (Blockade); Planet (Blockade); Terminus Tymes; Turbulence

Notable QuotesEdit

Eli: Holy crap, we dialed Pittsburgh.

Young: Thing is, these people left for a reason. We don't know what.
Greer: Have you ever been to Pittsburgh?
James: Hey! I was born there!

(Greer walks up with canned food)
Greer: Look what I found.
Volker: All the labels are worn off. We don't know what's in them or how old they are.
Greer: We'll find out when we open them. Okay?
Volker: Mmm. Botulism.

Greer: What kind of city doesn't have a gun shop?
Volker: Maybe they are Canadian.

Young: Ouf! Hot in here.
Rush: You're ten minutes early.
Young: We didn't have much of a choice.
Rush: (to TJ) Lieutenant Johansen, there's a patient waiting for you in the infirmary. Eli's with her now.
TJ: What happened?
Rush: Flash blindness. Hopefully it's temporary?
Young: But otherwise?
Rush: Eli got us through. I kept checking his calculations, looking for a mistake, but there wasn't any. It was genius. I've never seen anything like it. Please don't tell him I told you that!
Young: We might have to do it again.
Rush: The drones aren't going to fall for that trick again. Plus, this star's extremely rare, so the chances—
Young: So we're, we're back to where we started.
Rush: Well, not exactly. At least we've got a full tank of gas.
Brody and Volker: (sarcastically) Yay.

NotesEdit

Gate Logo
Stargate Wiki has 15 images related to Blockade.
  • Three words in the Terminus Tymes are spelled "tymes", "atak" and "seege." Signs in the city read "markit", "bukkeeping", "optikal" and "elektroniks". This is an acknowledgment of the changes that a language would undergo in 2,000 years, although this wasn't reflected in the spoken language in previous episodes.
  • One of the markets was open 24 hours a day, which would be unusual for a planet with a different rotational period than Earth. Perhaps they just divided up the planets rotational period by 24 to keep with a familiar standard regardless of how long the actual "hour" would be by earth standard..
    • Actually an hour is an hour no matter where you are, the only difference would be how many hours in one day. It is entirely possible a day takes 24 hours on this planet or the term open 24 hours was derived from Earth terminology meaning open all day.
  • The shots of Destiny preforming an Aerobraking maneuver around the Gas giant is a reuse from the episode "Darkness".
  • The sound effects heard when the shields flicker under intense heat also are a reuse from a Stargate's unstable event horizon.
  • In the scene where Dr. Dale Volker reaches over the counter to look at a number of cans brought out by Sgt. Ronald Greer, the napkin dispenser in the background (seen just under his extended arm) appears to have the glyph used as Earth's point of origin on the side.
  • This is the last of two episodes of Stargate Universe written by Linda McGibney.
  • It is possible this Command Ship was depleted of drones as coming in this close would be pointless as it has no weapons of its own.

GoofsEdit

  • In the establishing shot of Destiny just after Colonel Everett Young declares to Colonel David Telford that they "are not asking permission," the ship is mirrored.
  • Smoke can be seen behind Dr. Nicholas Rush when he says "I'm trying to determine who that should be" in the scene where he talks to Eli Wallace about who should pilot the ship through the star.
  • It is not explained how the drones know which star Destiny uses to recharge or for that fact how they even know they recharge in stars. Though it is possible that the first Command Ship they encountered reported this.

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