Armstrong's decision is sensible and the right thing to do for the greater good. It is consistent with the little we know about the senator, a man dedicated to seeing the Icarus Project succeed. Despite Chloe's pleading, her father is undeterred and sacrifices himself "so they might survive another day."
The episode begins to let us in to each of the characters that will form the core of the series narrative. We begin to see their fears, their passions, their strengths, and weaknesses.
Rush disarms us, and Eli, in the aftermath of Armstrong's suicide mission. We can see the exhaustion in Dr. Rush's eyes, and in his body language. He seems however not to care about what he's just witnessed – the death of a crew member, someone he knew apparently well. Not unexpected for what we believe we know about the calculating scientist. Eli is deeply affect by the Senator's death, horrified that Rush simply continues working as if nothing significant has just happened in the their midst. "Don't you even care?" Eli asks Dr. Rush, furious with him.
Rush answers him, clear that he's barely holding it together himself, between the stress (and I suspect his own private feelings about the senator's action), fatigue, and the need to concentrate on the multiple system problems on the ship. "I'm trying to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can," he tells Eli defensively, but clearly upset that Eli doesn't understand.
He tells Eli that he's learned the name of the ship. "Destiny," he says, explaining almost reverently what he understands of The Ancients, the civilization whose technology built the ship. A chastened Eli apologizes for lashing out at Rush, having not understood the enormous responsibility resting on the scientist's shoulders.
We get a sense from this brief scene that despite what we may think of Dr. Rush at this point: scheming, secretive, manipulative man with his own agenda – the villain of the piece, there is something far more complex about him. That is not to say that we — or the crew of the Destiny — should trust him.
Although they manage the breach enough to stop the loss of breathable air, they have another problem. The scrubbers, which remove Carbon Dioxide from the ship's atmosphere, have long since passed their shelf life. If they are not able to find something to replace the sequestration material in the scrubbers, they will all be asphyxiated.