"The Long Night has come. The Systemís Commonwealth -- the greatest civilization in history -- has fallen. But now one ship, one crew, have vowed to drive back the night and rekindle the light of civilization. On the starship Andromeda, hope lives again."
-- season one commercialís narration, as done by a very earnest Dylan Hunt
"He is the last guardian of a fallen civilization, a hero from another time. Faced with a universe in chaos, Dylan Hunt recruits an unlikely crew and sets out to reunite the galaxies. On the starship Andromeda, hope lives again."
-- season two commercialís narration, as smarmed by a game-show-host-from-hell narrator
"What the hell happened here? ĎRecruitsí? Hardly. They found him, and he decided to take advantage! And what is up with this guy whoís narrating the thing? What the hell--"
-- me, upon hearing the season two commercialís narration
The change in the commercial narration from "one crew" to "hero Dylan Hunt... and the other guys" gives you some idea of the trend the showís rocky second season followed. Tribune executives wanted more bang and more boobs, star/producer Kevin Sorbo wanted lighter, more self-contained episodes and more facetime for himself as a more Captain Kirk-like character, and head writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe wanted to build his continuity and tell the stories he wanted to tell in peace. Guess which of the three sides didnít get his way and left the show over "creative differences"? Andromeda turns more uneven after Wolfeís departure, but the behind-the-scenes struggles affected the episodes before his swan song of "Ouroboros" too. As examples, Tranceís tail and Harperís infestation story arc were executive decision casualties.
Still, the show features some of the richest characters, relationships, and universes currently on TV, the ensemble cast is excellent, and good stories were told. I have high hopes for a smoother ride with the new head writer next season.
Captain Dylan Hunt
Dylanís quest to establish the Commonwealth becomes less of a personal wish and more of a galactic necessity when he finds out that a few billion ravening Magog are heading toward known space, ready to feast. Puts more zeal into his efforts, thatís for sure.
This season establishes Dylanís style as being a velvet glove of diplomacy over an iron fist of practicality, as he tends to try to talk first, then turn more ruthless if that doesnít work. His idealism has some limits, such as when he dismisses Earthís troubles by saying that the planet is not strategically valuable to him. Heís shown some signs of mental instability, understandable considering that heís 300 years away from everything heís ever known, and it makes me wonder if, once heís no longer solely responsible for making the Commonwealth work and saving the universe, and he has time to think, heíll fall apart. He can be needlessly reckless in ways that are worrying. Having been a law unto himself for two years, would he even take orders the way he used to once a new Commonwealth is in place? Events in "The Fair Unknown" suggest that he will question more. Of course, in that episode he was very unhappy that the Vedran admiral refused to show him how to find his long lost homeworld and wanted him to hand her a nova bomb, no questions asked. Lately heís been wearing his High Guard uniform less and less, which may be significant, even as heís been asserting how important being High Guard and captain of his ship is to him.
Heís realized that his new crew has become family to him, very unlike his old military crews, and that he can usually trust them to do the right thing. He considers their advice and makes use of their skills, even the darker, less legal ones....
At the beginning of the season, the Andromeda personalities had to integrate the memories of the Andromeda that had governed the ship during the slaughter of the original crew, and it resulted in an initially harder-edged self. It worried the AI that she might have other things hidden in her that could be released at any moment.
Rommie the android avatar became more separate from the motherboard and hologram Andromedas as she gained more autonomy and experience, even doing an unsupervised away mission or two and having to make decisions on the fly. The blue hair Rommie adopted may be a sign of a kind of adolescent-style urge to show her independence, though sheís never discussed her reason for doing it with anyone. Sheís more sarcastic and insubordinate, more inclined to think for herself.
Since she deals with the crew on a more intimate, personal level, sheís more attached to them than the rest of her is, and itís upsetting her more and more to think of how fragile they really are, how mortal. It gives you the impression that sheíd be much happier if she could give them her longevity and durability, since itís not her goal to become human. The rest of Andromeda sees humans, except Dylan, as pretty much interchangeable, like snow mobile parts, though Andromeda and Rommie seem to be particularly fond of Harper, who treats them like people and maintains them. It also seems that the AI has transferred most of its emotions to Rommie.
Captain Beka Valentine
This season Beka becomes more of a convert to the Commonwealth cause, saying that the cause is a good one for both practical and humanitarian reasons, and Dylan trusts her to do diplomat work to gain converts. She still works as his reality check, but not as often, since the show is turning everybody into reflexive Dylan supporters. She has some doubts about her leadership abilities, something Dylan doesnít help by undercutting her authority at every step in "In Heaven Now Are Three." It worries me, since weíve seen that Beka can turn meek and stupid when emotionally involved in some way with a man, such as with Leydon in "A Heart for Falsehood Framed" and Bobby in "Be All My Sins Remembered." She seems to be moving toward getting involved with Tyr, who appreciates a woman with edge, so hopefully Beka wonít dumb herself down for him. For now, she still remains one of the most refreshingly tough and smart women on TV. And sheís genetically modified to have faster reflexes.
Glimpses into her pre-Andromeda life show her as having been self-interested and somewhat ruthless. Every Eureka Maru crewmember, herself included, has some kind of criminal record, and it appears that sometimes their jobs involved theft, something they apparently enjoy. Rev had been with her for seven years, Harper for five. She only took Harper on after Bobby lied to her and took control of the Maru.
Trance has become more openly Machiavellian and less cute, especially once her more hard-bitten, warrior future self swapped places with her original purple self. When Harper suggests that she has something to do with the Andromeda being everyoneís favorite target, her weak rebuttal suggests that heís at least partially right. She also wasnít happy that the data archive shoved into his brain in last seasonís "Harper 2.0" had showed him images of a now extinct people who had worshipped a goddess that looked a lot like her purple self and that he remembered that. When Beka asks why future (now present) Trance looks so different from original recipe Trance, no straight answers were forthcoming, nor did Dylan get any answers as to whether she was actually alive or dead, since she died twice again this season (I'm not sure if she died again in "Pitiless as the Sun," so I'm not counting it), giving her a grand total of three deaths we know about.
And if the change in her body hadnít suggested Doctor Who parallels enough on its own, we find out that her mysterious and powerful race considers her a renegade meddler in affairs that donít concern her and wants her to come home. Her people seem to be amoral, and one of them is blamed for starting the devastating Inari civil war.
Dylan is aware that both original recipe and new Trance are secretive to the point of dishonesty, but trusts that her goals are close enough to his that they can work together. Though you notice that he didnít tell her that he knew that the Inari had interrogated her, while sheíd told him that they just had a few mild questions for her, then stopped asking when they saw how upset she was. No mention of the drugs or straps or death attempts or of her toying with her interrogatorís head.
Her future self, the current Trance, claims to come from a tragic and very dark timeline and is trying to use her memories of where things went wrong to change events for the better.
I miss her tail.
Rev Bem (also Red Plague)
Tempted by the blood and violence that Bloodmist claimed was his birthright as a Magog, Rev almost fell to it. Horrified by himself, he felt the need to perform penance. Unfortunately, he did so by starving himself, which was dangerous not only to his health but to the health of his friends, whom his hunger sees as a tasty meal. The actor portraying Rev had to leave the show due to severe allergic reactions to his make-up, so the character had to leave the crew, explained as a further show of penance and an effort to find himself again, which means that we never found out what made Rev different from other Magog aside from his faith, because something had to be different about him right from the start to make him willing to listen to preaching. After all, his is a race whose physiology prevents them from eating food they havenít freshly killed themselves.
This season has seen Tyr becoming less reserved with the crew, smiling more and socializing. Heís gained some small respect for Harper after their shared Magog experience, and heís coming to see Dylan as something almost approaching a friend, despite their ideological clashes. Heís been flirting more with Beka too. Itís possible that heís feeling more comfortable and at home, although I doubt that he sees it, as much of the audience does, as him accepting the Andromeda crew as a kind of Pride, his Pride. But that may someday change. Heís lost a wife but gained and then had to set aside a son, a son whoís destined to be the Nietzschean messiah who will unite the Prides. For an orphan belonging to a culture that sees family as the ultimate goal, it has to burn Tyr that he doesnít dare keep his son by his side and must have Tamerlane raised by someone else.
Tyrís values and opinions are evolving as his experience broadens, with him seeing that "human" doesnít automatically mean "weak" and that some machines might almost be people. Heís less reflexively ruthless as time goes on. Sometimes his opinions change and he doesnít even realize it until he voices them....
Seamus Zelazny Harper
With the Magog infestation and the serum being necessary to keep the spawn from hatching, Harper became a metaphorical gangbang rape victim who got pregnant and AIDS from his attackers, and some of his reactions in "Exit Strategies" follow that idea. And you know that living under a death sentence as a Magog victim had to be his personal nightmare taken to ridiculous extremes. The show mostly ignored his plight, leading to the sight of Harper light-heartedly going about his life as usual, which actually can work with the canon representation of him as a character who expresses fear and confusion through humor, hostility, or overwork. In the end, he had to do most of the effort of curing himself.
This season we got some glimpses of his former life on blighted Earth and saw some of the ghosts that haunt him, like how his parents died trying to save him from slavers. In "Bunker Hill," he gets a chance to try to liberate Earth, but that was sunk mostly through chance and Dylanís indifference, leading to Harper feeling responsible for inciting thousands, perhaps millions of people, to their deaths. He no longer knows if his cousin is still alive either after that. Canon shows Harper fleeing Earth in a way that looks cowardly, though it turns out that more in-character footage was cut from the episode due to time constraints. Dammit.
Unofficially, heís the shipís devilís advocate, a role he often plays skillfully, such as when he pretty much says right in front of Tarazedís Triumvir that he doesnít trust her and her response to his over the top way of saying it is that heís "sweet. Paranoid, but sweet." But the crew pays attention to his warning. Command is briefly thrust on him in "Una Salus Victus," and he doesnít do too badly, considering his lack of training. Heís said that being engineer to the Andromeda is his dream job, and that thereís nothing else heíd rather be doing, and thatís considering that he gave a lot of thought to what he was doing with his life when it looked like the Magog spawn would kill him.
Heís deeply attached to Beka, whom heís been with for five years, and was hurt by Revís departure and depressed by the Trance swap. This is his family unraveling here. Heís more likely to see Rommie as a person than anyone else on the crew. The growing if odd friendship thatís developed between him and Tyr since their Magog experience has been a highlight of the season for me. Dylan finds him unpredictable -- true, since he thinks for himself and only follows orders if they make sense to him -- but trustworthy, especially in mechanical matters, and Harper trusts Dylan in return, even while he questions everything. Dylanís failure to keep his promise in "Bunker Hill" or even care much about it seems to have hurt Harper deeply.
Viridian5's Fast and Flippant Second Season Andromeda Episode Guide
#201 The Widening Gyre: A badly damaged Andromeda fights back against the Magog Worldship. Dylan and Rommie infiltrate it looking for Tyr and Harper, Tyr and Harper are impregnated with Magog larvae, Rev faces bloody temptation, Andromeda remembers the tragic first mission made against the Worldship, Bekaís commanded to destroy the Worldship with everyone else on it if they donít get back in time, Trance dies and comes back to life again, and the crew tries to save Harper and Tyr from the hatching spawn. Sounds like a lot to happen in one episode, doesnít it? Well, youíre right. In fact, itís way too much, and very little gets developed well. The rescue attempt and battle should have been one episode and the attempts to save Harper and Tyr as everybody deals with post-traumatic stress should have been the next episode, especially since Tyr gets de-impregnated (off-screen! We get told about it!) but Harper doesnít. "The Widening Gyre" is a disappointing follow-up to the excellent "Its Hour Come ĎRound at Last," but the events here are highly important to most of the rest of the season. [long and detailed review]
#202 Exit Strategies: Some people from Tyrís past catch up with him, Revís penance of starving himself puts himself and everyone around him in danger, and Harper wonders why he should wait for the Magog spawn inside his body to kill him. The first half hour has some nice Dylan and Tyr moments but is mostly a boring and credulity-straining mess. Who was the genius who put the traumatized Harper on Magog corpse removal duties? And Rev needs to get his head kicked in. The computer-generated imagery is so lame that it made me nostalgic for 1970s Doctor Who, an impression furthered during the cave sequences later in the show. The second half hour is better, and Dylan and Tyr have a great conversation to end the show with. Harper believably comes off as a rape survivor. We find out that Rev has been with Beka for seven years. But why does this take place weeks after the last episode? [long and detailed review]
#203 A Heart for Falsehood Framed: The Andromeda crew does some illegal sleight of hand with a Than treasure called the Hegemonís Heart in their effort to stop a slaughter. The Maru crew engineers the theft, giving some clues as to what they were like before meeting up with the Andromeda. Of course, things quickly become complicated. Beka loses her cool over the head of security. *sigh* Everybody on the Andromeda except Dylan and Rommie has a criminal record! That pleases me. Harper and Beka have some great scenes that effortlessly suggest their past together. Tyr seems to be enjoying himself and is even socializing. If you put aside the jarring way that Beka, Harper, and Trance seem like their first season selves, while Dylan, Rommie, and Tyr are second season-- I excuse it as the Maru folks getting back into the nostalgic jazz --and how Beka can get stupid over a man, this is a fun episode. (Missing in action crewmember: Rev.) [long and detailed review]
#204 Pitiless as the Sun: An alien race trying to join the Commonwealth interrogates Trance and gets the Andromeda in trouble with a second, powerful alien race. What are the Inari really up to? The Trance scenes have no tension at all because you know sheís playing, sometimes cruelly, with her interrogator and canít be hurt, and she barely reveals anything about herself or her people, but the rest of the episode is good. The Pyrians and Andromedaís new bridge design premiere. Dylan seeing the redesigned bridge for the first time was great, as is the fact that it took them a while to repair the ship after the events of "Widening Gyre." Another member of the mysterious Tranceís race is blamed for having caused the devastating Inari civil war. [long and detailed review]
#205 Last Call at the Broken Hammer: Our heroes go searching for Isabella Ortiz, a great government leader who might be helpful to their effort to reestablish the Commonwealth. They get pinned down by enemy fire in a bar with a woman they think is their quarry. This episode, dull and interminable, could be used as a cure for insomnia. Beka gets relegated to "glad to be here" sidekick, the aliens look dumb once we finally see them, and did anyone really think that handing a gun to the hysterical, desperate pregnant woman wouldnít lead to tragedy? Trance loses her tail, to the anger of most of the audience. We had no idea that this was just the beginning of changes to Trance.... (MIA crewmembers: Rev, Harper.) [long and detailed review]
#206 All Too Human: Spotlight on Rommie as she tries to get a whistleblower off a planet and to Dylan in time to protect another planet from a powerful warship that could obliterate it. Meanwhile, Harper, Tyr, and Rev sink to the bottom of the ocean, with Harperís Magog infestation, forgotten over the last few episodes, providing more problems and dangers. Dylan, Beka, and Trance have to choose between saving their friends and saving a planet. Rommie, perhaps the first Roddenberry artificial life-form thatís proud to be artificial, gets to kick ass and take names while getting as taste of the kind of split-second decisions her crew has to make. Tyr does battle with his Nietzschean instincts for self-preservation and Revís platitudes. Suspense abounds. [long and detailed review]
#207 Una Salus Victus: When the Andromeda crew goes off to fight a plague, they have to split up to handle it all. Beka in the Maru defends some lost medical supply and personnel ships, "Captain" Harper has to use the Andromeda to try to protect the rest, and Dylan and Tyr try to take over a missile base to help in the protecting. Crazy Dylan is back and scaring the hell out of Tyr. Crazy Dylan is a lot of fun, especially for those of us whoíve predicted his eventual breakdown and are looking forward to it. Beka shows off her nerve and engineering skills. We find out that Harper has been with her for five years. Harper, who has neither the training nor the temperament for command, makes some really difficult choices while Rommie resents him for not being Dylan. Dylan finds out about Tyrís secret cargo. And I love the hug near the end. (MIA crewmember: Rev.) [long and detailed review]
#208 Home Fires: The Andromeda crew is led to a hidden planet thatís the last bastion of the Commonwealth, started by Dylanís fiancee to help him when he would need a fleet 300 years later, and Dylan finds the genetic duplicate of the best friend who betrayed him. Parts of the episode work while others drag. The worst drag is how the climactic fight is drained of momentum by the editorial decision to splice footage of the original Dylan/Rhade battle in "Under the Night" amongst it; itís like the brakes keep getting put on. The audience also knows that Tarazed wonít vote to join with Dylan. Dylan seems zombified throughout. But the rest of the ensemble shines, particularly when theyíre sneering at how incompetent the Castalians are. The Castalians are a favorite verbal target of Bekaís, since she zings them again next episode. She also puts a fun, extra zest in her exposition about personally inspecting the Lancers, while Harper continues his career of devilís advocate in ways calculated to amuse instead of offend. And Harper isnít enthused about democracies, being too cynical about people to believe that they can work. Unfortunately, everything involving Dylan sucks. (MIA crewmember: Rev.) [long and detailed review]
#209 Into the Labyrinth: A mysterious woman, Satrina, offers to cure Harper of his Magog infestation if he hands over the disk from last seasonís "Harper 2.0" to her and her boss, the leader of the Magog. He has some moments of temptation, considering that he doesnít have a cure for the spawn and especially when some new and astonishingly powerful technology gets thrown to him too. Trance shows her Machiavellian side. Meanwhile, Dylan has to decide whether to ally himself with a certain Nietzschean Pride, the representative of which has set out to tempt Dylan and Tyr with a few special offers. Harperís spawn load gets lightened a bit. Harperís great, but the script isnít. The episode doesnít quite work. That the actress playing Satrina is so awful that she can barely talk, let alone act, doesnít help. James Marsters is great fun as the Nietzschean Pride leader, Charlemagne Bolivar. (MIA crewmember: Rev.) [long and detailed review]
#210 The Prince: As Dylan and Tyr try to protect a prince and get him safely crowned as king, their dueling philosophies on proper ruling come into play. And will Tyr betray them? The Matt Damon clone playing the prince wasnít awful, but his character is a sullen brat, and we canít really care if he gets his throne. The episode would have been far more interesting if Dylan and Tyr had debated their philosophies directly to each other, as they briefly do at the end, instead of using the prince as a middleman. And where is everybody else? It looks like only Dylan, Tyr, and Rommie are on the ship. Beka's around for three seconds during the fight at the beginning, then gone, while Trance has only two short, "move the plot along" scenes. (MIA crewmembers: Harper, Rev.) [long and detailed review]
#211 Bunker Hill: A call from his cousin leads Harper to try to start a rebellion against the Nietzschean overlords on his homeworld of Earth, while the alliance Dylan started with Sabra-Jaguar Pride leads to him committing the Andromeda to fight against Drago-Kazov Pride. Dylan promises to finish the battle in time to help Earth, but the actions of the Sabra head may make that impossible.... Harper suffers throughout. Itís stunning how indifferent Dylan and Rommie are to Earthís suffering, with them dismissing it as just another slave world out of thousands. And they donít intend to ever help those slave worlds either, since thereís "no strategic value." Even if they donít care about the billions of people on the planet, could they at least care that a crewmember cares about it very deeply? You end up being frustrated at almost every character of the regular cast in this episode, while Elsbett seems to have lost all charisma and at least 50 IQ points since her last appearance in "The Honey Offering." Harper has a moment that seems very out of character, and it turns out that footage that made more sense regarding his decision had been cut to keep the episode within its time limit. They would have been far better off cutting something else. (MIA crewmember: Rev.) [long and detailed review]
#212 Ouroboros: Harperís larvae are about to hatch and kill him, so he calls for some Perseid help on completing the machine thatís the one hope he has for a cure. Unfortunately, the machine starts to warp time and space, with mayhem ensuing. The Andromeda crew faces enemies both past and present, Rev leaves the show, Rommie suddenly has blue hair, Dylan and Rommie admit that Tyr and the Maru crew have become family to them, Harper tries to joke through the pain, Dylan comes close to losing it a few times, Trance changes, and Harper gets a very difficult choice put on him. The action works, the characters are very much themselves, and the glimpse into one possible future was very interesting, especially where Bekaís concerned. The Magog infestation storyline is completed. Great episode. [long and detailed review]
#213 Lava and Rockets: Chased by assassins, Dylan commandeers a bystanderís ship... and the bystander, Tyr and Rommie try to find him to help him, and the new flavor of Trance tries to win a suspicious Harper over. The episodes starts out well but starts to go wrong as it becomes more "rah rah" for Super Dylan and Molly has to fall for him. He looks ever sleazier, and the ending makes me want to throw things and bash his head against a wall. Tyr and Rommie are a great team, snarking and suspicious of each other. Itís fun watching the crewís fear of the new Trance, and Harperís suspicions of her seem plausible. Fast-forward through most of the Dylan sections, and youíll have a good episode. [long and detailed review]
#214 Be All My Sins Remembered: Beka, Harper, and Dylan go to settle the affairs of her dead former love and crewmember, Bobby, but Bobbyís turning out to be one pesky dead guy. The best part of this episode is the flashbacks, as we get to see Beka and Harper during Harperís first job with the Maru. She was much more ruthless and self-interested then, though she apparently has a history of being meek and stupid when involved with a guy. (But while we know the real world reason why Rev doesnít appear in the flashbacks, it can be jarring from a story sense.) Beka, Harper, and Dylan show off the sparking chemistry that makes me wish they had more scenes all together, and the beginning of the episode gives us a primo Beka/Tyr wrestling match too. Not even Costas Mandylor as Bobby could wreck the first half. The second half of the episode goes bad, though, as it becomes all about Dylan persuading their captors, Beka losing the ability to do much more than catfight, Tyr having to trust in Super Dylan, Harper ceasing to exist, and Dylan kicking ass in improbable ways. Margot and the aborigine come off offensively. Watch it up to the point where the Maru is boarded; most of the rest sucks. [long and detailed review]
#215 Dance of the Mayflies: A lethal contagion gets on board the Andromeda. If you leave your brain at the door and try not to worry about all the plot holes and improbabilities, this can be an entertaining episode. Itís just like watching a grade-B horror film. Beka gets infected. Tyr, weapons officer, is relegated to the bridge, while Dylan, our captain, goes out to risk his life wearing tight leather and a tank top as he tries to kick undead ass. And fails miserably at kicking undead ass because he has no idea of what he needs to do to defeat them. Tranceís mystery continues to deepen, and this may be the most hard-bitten weíve seen new Trance be up to this point. I enjoyed the Rommie/Trance fight, okay? Harper and Tyr get some good lines, though Harper has to improbably share credit for the solution with Dylan, who comes up with it simultaneously, out of the blue. Just try to avoid thinking about the plot. [long and detailed review]
#216 In Heaven Now Are Three: Beka, Dylan, and Trance go treasure hunting for the Engine of Creation. This episode made me want to throw things. Itís like a lost and very bad episode of Hercules. Dylan needlessly undercuts Bekaís authority at every step, but because the episode is Dylancentric she has to like it and admit that heís a better leader and that his ideas are better and she really loves him as a friend and.... Shoot me now. At one point Beka and Trance seem to forget how to use their weapons just so Dylan can save the day. Then the end really made me want to throw something. The best part of the episode is Tyrís very brief bit, where he gets to react to being told that if he goes on the hunt with them, heíll die. And we never find out what "educational" trip Harper and Rommie went on. Though we do find out that Tranceís race sees her as a meddling renegade and wants her to come home. [long and detailed review]
#217 The Things We Cannot Change: Dylan hovers near death in an alternate reality. Or in his own head-trip. Or while under the influence of aliens. Or something. Weíre as confused and frustrated as Dylan is, and not in a good way. Clip show. *yawn* This is the second time in the run of only five episodes that we get to see Dylan in bed with a naked, skinny blonde. *retch* Beka having to explain the principles of physics to their engineer is the second worst moment of this episode. Stupidity and boredom abound here, even if I do laugh when we find out that Dylanís wife hid his oh-so-phallic force lance in the closet. Freudian, much? [long and detailed review]
#218 The Fair Unknown: The Andromeda crew meets up with an alien of a type that hasnít been seen since the fall of the Commonwealth. The action in the first half of the episode falls as flat as the awful actress playing Maia, but things do improve. We get to see a Vedran for the first time, and, wow, are they superior. And paternalistic and convinced of their righteousness, if we can use Uxulta as a representative standard of her race. Dylan gets denied something he really, really wants and is very unhappy and petulant over it. Harperís response to getting to see his first Vedran is sweet. Will Dylan follow the orders given to him by a superior officer? Should he? This episode casts some shadows on Dylanís depiction of the Commonwealth as an egalitarian society. Given a character with six legs, the episode very cleverly shows her walking only at highly sped up time. [long and detailed review]
#219 Belly of the Beast: The Andromeda and the Maru do battle with a giant space creature. Some aspects of the plot make no sense, and sometimes things are once again too "rah rah" Dylan, but there are many excellent character moments in this episode for Beka, Tyr, and Harper, who are on board the Andromeda as itís slowly being digested. Dylan gets to be disgustingly superior and briefly learn the error of his thinking, Beka and Tyr flirt and philosophize, Harper tries to survive the efforts of his own unwitting crewmembers as well as save the ship, and Rommie seems to see a life without Dylan as not worth living. Trance, though, is a bit of a mess, as the writers canít decide on whether sheís the old one or new one. Tyrís continuing to move toward openly caring about the crew, and he and Beka get closer here. The crew dance scene is sweet. [long and detailed review]
#220 The Knight, Death, and the Devil: Dylan goes to rescue a group of prisoner of war High Guard ships, while Bekaís trying to get the 50th world to sign the Commonwealth charter. There are a lot of interesting concepts that this episode only glances over regarding the rights and possibilities of AIs. Another shadow falls on Dylanís depiction of the Commonwealth as an egalitarian society, and he looks like a racist. Yay! I canít believe the mistake the plot has Beka and Harper make, because theyíre too professional and the Andromedaís communication systems donít work like that. But itís great to have Beka articulate her commitment to the Commonwealth and why sheís committed. Rommie should have been given more opportunities to speak about her view of the events. Tyr has several good moments, and Michael Hurst and Christopher Judge are great as AIs. A competent enough episode, but not very exciting. [long and detailed review]
#221 Immaculate Perception: When a genetic purity group intent on exterminating Nietzscheans surfaces, Tyr gets a call for help from his wife. Not that he lets everybody else know that thatís why he has an interest here. And Freya has a little secret that she hasnít told him.... Beka suspects Tyr, Harper plots and suckers, Dylan takes pleasure in zinging the Genite leader, and the Orcas are too stupid to live. The Genites are interesting adversaries: twisted, rational on the surface, possessed of technology matching and sometimes surpassing Andromedaís. We find out that the only person on Andromeda who could be reckoned a genetically pure human is Harper, because Bekaís reflexes are genetically enhanced and Dylanís mother had been genetically modified to live on a high gravity world. Here comes the Nietzschean messiah, destined to unite the Nietzschean Prides. This audience member wonders if unification would be a good thing... and answers No. (MIA crewmember: Trance.) [long and detailed review]
#222 Tunnel at the End of the Light: An unfamiliar alien race disrupts a gathering of the signatory Commonwealth worlds and starts abducting and killing delegates. This was the series of events that Trance principally came back in time to fix. A mostly action episode, but it works, and all of the regulars have good character moments. Even some of the incidentals have small bits that define them. The aliens look like a mix between Alien and Predator but are still scary. Tyr and Beka definitely seem to be moving toward couplehood. Harper bombs while trying to entertain the delegates, but his capacity for destruction definitely proves to be handy at other times. Rommie gets to kick ass and tell Dylan to smile. Trance has some sweet old Trance moments, getting exuberant at fire control. But of course we get a season finale cliffhanger in here.... [long and detailed review]
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