Okay, I'm going to just write this one from my heart, rather than spending much time thinking about what I want to say. (Note: okay, so I did a little editing- what can I say? :)
SGU started very slowly, but *really* got better as time went by. I hung with it because the premise was so good (even though it was a bit of a retread of "Lost in Space," although infinitely farther away). And when the show started to pay dividends, it paid them very well.
This was arguably the most "pure" science fiction format of all the SG series, and it came to be, to my extreme surprise, arguably the best. I really came to care about these characters over the short course of the series, which is something I never would have believed in the beginning.
As for this final episode - it was indeed very moving, indeed, poignant. I realized how much I will miss these characters. I hate, in a sense, to see the show end on a sort of cliffhanger, but they probably didn't have the chance to write a true series finale.
But clearly it was intended to be a season finale (at least), and in that respect, it works beautifully. Still, it did raise a question for me (and here is the spoiler): does Eli even *try* to fix the remaining stasis pod? Or does he just figure he has no chance to get it ready in time, and so he essentially commits suicide by simply passing the time, enjoying the beauty of FTL travel in his final days and moments? I don't know. But I do know that that final scene - where Eli stares, smiles and watches in awe and wonder as Destiny flies faster than light through space and the stars - was just poetry. As soon as I first saw it, it became one of my all-time favorite scenes, ever.
It was great to watch these people come together over time, from Rush telling Young that their friction "ends now," to seeing Young & Ming Na start getting along as well, as so on - until they really did become a family, culminating with the superb dinner scene in this episode, with Young toasting them all. Just. Great. Stuff.
But it was that last scene that will stick with me. Truly beautiful, and deeply moving. The music by series composer Joel Goldsmith played a key role in making it work so well, and be so emotional. The music (mainly piano)is a great work- moving, beautiful, poetic; and it leaves no doubt Goldsmith belongs in the first rank of composers (note: you can find it on You Tube under "Stargate Universe soundtrack- Gautlet (ending music)").
Watching Destiny slowly shut down, while Eli stands alone, with the smile and wonder on his face- knowing he got to say what he wanted to say to his mother, and hearing her tell him that, despite being gone, things have actually turned out great for him, because of where he's been and what he's see... wonderful.
That beautiful FTL blue effect never looked better than it did in that final scene. And even if we (very sadly) never see an SGU wrap-up, they did end on a poetic, moving, final note.
Farewell, my friends.
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