The end of the Universe
Greetings fellow Geeks!
Well, it's over! Last Monday SGU aired its final episode, and I finally got to it this past weekend.
Overall, it was a good season finale, but a crappy series finale. I heard that they sort of got caught with their pants down over the cancellation, so things were bound to be unresolved. I always hate it when shows leave certain things up to your imagination, like whether or not a main character is deceased (or, like in this case, the whole cast). The only exception I've encountered was the finale of Blake's 7, which is possibly the most bad-ass finales I've ever seen. (Still king after nearly 30 years, I saw it when I was very young and still get chills from it today). Ignoring that aspect, it was one of the better episodes in a long time, yet it still had problems.
Attempting to be as spoiler-free as possible here, I don't see how they got forced into the position they were in unless you think of the crew as being utter morons. Now, granted, I don't remember exactly why they had to box the two AI's (other than the fact one was acting psychopathic) but couldn't they have un-boxed one just to ask "hey, we're all gonna die, wanna help fix this pod?". And how about refueling at an off-path star, then making the jump to the next galaxy, like say, one that's on the edge of the present one first so you have more than enough fuel? As Ellie put it, they "phoned it in" on this episode. It felt like an artificial cliff-hanger, one that arose from writer laziness rather than from circumstances that arose organically "in-character."
I think the thing that saddens me most about SGU's end is that it is part of a wave of cancellations that seems to mean sci-fi is on the wane again, at least on television. I was inspired to seek out the season finales of ST: Voyager and ST: Enterprise, partly because I'd never actually seen them before, but also because that was around the last time Sci-Fi became scarce on TV. We'll get through this, just as we did then, but for a while I'm thinking I'm going to be doing blog posts on books instead of telemetry-media (unless you count Kindle).
Although SGU had quite a cool concept, it really fell short in many ways. The writing was both a little too all over the place, and the plot resolutions were a little too random or convenient. I never got that "wow, this is really pulling me from episode to episode" feeling, and ultimately I wound up not really being that upset if I missed one here or there. For me, this just meant SGU fell flat of what it could have been. Hopefully, we won't have to wait long before another sci-fi/space operatic series pops up. I also hope that it'll be one that learns from the mistakes of its predecessors, and really snags its audience.