"Give me a break, this is my second spaceship... and my first was yesterday."
He'd become a jobless shut-in who learned an imaginary language and cracked a complex code in that language, solving several puzzles in order to defeat the video game called Prometheus.
In short order he met Richard Dean Anderson (I mean General Jack O'Neill of the top secret Stargate project) who revealed the government had released the video game to find guys like Eli to recruit for missions to other planets.
It does sound kind of similar to something that happened to a trailer park repair guy called Alex Rogan back in the '80's...
Anyway, it plays brilliantly into the fantasy of being rewarded for doing the things you enjoy, just as I imagine the Prime Minister will soon be mailing me a giant check for my tireless efforts to see every episode of "Corner Gas".
I love Eli. And the IDEA of Eli. How can I not like a guy who so reminds me of me? Only ten years younger, funny, and possessed of useful skills.
How can I not thrill to his every success, just as I desperately hope I would succeed in dire circumstances rather than collapsing on the floor and bawling for help.
None of the characters on "Stargate Universe" trained to be where they are, but Eli barely trained for ANYTHING. He has the moral compass I admire the most, however. He's the inheritor of the "lovable science nerd" mantle from previous Stargate TV greats Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) and Dr. M. Rodney McKay (David Hewlett).
Trapped far out of his comfort zone, Eli makes the ordeal seem more like an adventure. He's the optimist version of his shipmate Dr. Nicholas Rush, not yet crushed by life. Worry over his mother's illness back on Earth, coupled with a dismal, tragic romantic life, have piled many stresses on him and I want him to win through.
If the show stays cancelled, I'll have to assume he did. He may be scared, but he's good.