For one, I'm kind of thanking the creators right now for the characterization of Young. Because I've been roleplaying him for several months now, and have amassed more material of him written by me than I've seen material of him written by the showrunners (comment count on Young's journal is 2,723 comments posted, in total). With a proportion like that, it's really, really easy to make characterization start to drift away from the show's original plan for him.
That said - the show followed my expectations for Young exactly. And boy was it weird seeing him from the outside, instead of writing him myself.
There were a few things I found very interesting about this episode.
Young/TJ, for starters. TJ, in the beginning, seemed to instinctively understand a little about Young. And she misapplied it to the situation, but her insistence that he talk to her was genuine. And he knew it was genuine. By the end of the episode, I think he also knew that he needed to reach out to someone -- but he stopped, just short of doing so. And there's no real explanation for that besides him stopping for her. Out of consideration for her, and her place on the Destiny, which is already awkward enough just with his presence.
Next, Young and Rush. I have a lot of complicated thoughts on them that I could tl;dr about for hours, but a few highlights:
- Young must have been aware of his limited options, in fighting that alien ship. He couldn't run -- the ship couldn't go back to FTL. The shields wouldn't last indefinitely. He had to take that ship out, or lose the fight. He spent the entire first half of the fight trying to get the weapons online. When Chloe was captured, he paused for what couldn't have been more than half an hour, in total, taking one wild, grasping chance that he could maybe rescue her via the communication stones.
- When Young saw Rush, he broke him out almost immediately. Moment of shock, then going for and grabbing the pipe, and busting the tank open. What I think? Young realized that Rush, here, increased his chances of rescuing Chloe about a billion times.
- When Rush offered the telepathic connection, Young accepted. If he wanted to kill Rush, he would have done so then. He wouldn't have let Rush get in his head. But telepathy, in this case, was the only way to communicate.
- Rush said that he could resist the alien's telepathic probes. Besides serving as an excuse for alien ignorance later on, this may also mean that the 'sender' has control over what the 'receiver' gets, on the telepathic device. And I'll note that when Young put on that device, the flashes that Rush saw were the accident that first brought Young to the alien ship, Young using the communication stones to duplicate the accident and Young's memory of telling Rush and Greer to cease fire because Chloe was a captive. It's as though Young was saying It's me, it's Colonel Young, go get Chloe. That communication gave Rush and Chloe both a chance of getting off the ship.
- When Young got back, his first instinct was to get the hell back with Rush, presumably to help him escape (since, if he wanted to kill Rush, he could have done so already). When that option was closed off, opening fire on the ship was his only choice for survival. Destiny, and her crew, had to be preserved, and beating the aliens was the only way to do that.
- Rush, immediately upon entering the ship, and upon being greeted by a "Colonel Young said you were dead" from Greer, asked what Young's story was. What Young said caused his death. This means that Rush was already planning to follow Young's story. Somewhere in between Young saving his life and getting back to the ship, Rush decided to lie.
- Rush isn't afraid, in the conversation with Young. A lot of post-Justice fanfic has Rush as traumatized and afraid. Instead, Rush goes to Young first. He steps inside Young's quarters. He goes deep into Young's quarters, in fact, allowing Young to get between him and the exit with no real hint of distress. He smiles when Young says that firing on the ship was for 'the greater good'. I think he believes Young. I'm not sure Young believes that Rush believes him.
- The last thing Rush says -- 'For the crew' -- is much softer than anything else he says. The look in his eyes isn't confident. Maybe a little fear there. Maybe disappointment. Maybe something else.
- As for Rush's last conversation with Wray -- I'd just like to note that Rush's options are very, very open, here. Wray thinks that he's on her side against Young. Young feels as though he and Rush are currently the key to keeping this ship together and alive. Both of them need him. It's up to him to decide which one of them he needs more. I'm not going to throw down an opinion of which side I think he's on. I don't think he has to decide which side he's on, yet. I'm not sure he ever will.
Wow, that turned out long. Okay, that's all for now.