Andromeda: S01E18: Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way

An epsiode review by Hollydays

In the words of Sadgeezer, “What a cracker!

This was an excellent episode in many respects, but most of all for its character development of the lovely Trance and the yummy Harper.

Trance with an ugly weedWe open with our two intrepid hero’s, Trance and Harper, off o­n a goodwill trip handing out those efficient but ugly oxygen-producing flowers o­n behalf of the Systems Commonwealth. Now I was immediately struck by the absurd idea of Harper being a goodwill ambassador. But then as he and Trance head back to the Maru I realized his intentions were completely good..for a guy. He and Trance, all cozy and alone together o­n the Eureka Maru. But of course, Harper can’t resist spreading more good will around by hitting o­n every stripper, or as he says “dancer” around. He thinks he will be having a rendezvous with o­ne of them when the doorbell goes o­n the Maru. Well, just as things are looking up for Harper, he and Trance are attacked, and not in a good way but by that weasel, Gerentex, theWell I was pleased to see him back! nightsider who had previously killed Trance. He wants a ride apparently and quickly. Another ugly thug shows up o­n the view screen threatening Gerentex. So Harper thinks it is wise to at least deal with o­nly o­ne ugly thug at a time and takes the Maru o­n a runner from ugly thug #2 who is after Gerentex.

Meanwhile back at the Andromeda, Rommie is in the Harper destruction, I mean construction zone cleaning up after Harper by throwing all his empty cans of Sparky Cola into a plastic Ikea waste bin. Now I know if I had a compliment of little bots running around, I wouldn’t be picking up no cans after no man, but I guess Rommie is just more of a sweetheart. Beka walks in and Rommie mentions that perhaps Harper makes more waste than what he constructs (that  a’ girl) and Beka cuts to the chase and asks why Dylan is so dejected and pouty faced lately. Rommie puts up a weak fight about it not being her business but Beka shoots back that she is the acting executive officer so that it is her business. So we learn that at the end of y four years a captain in the Systems Commonwealth would inspect his/her present ship and then would have handed it over to his executive officer. Which would have been his best friend the lying dirt bag, back stabbing, Nietzschean, Gaheris Rhade. Beka surmises that now would not be the best time to tell Dylan bad news.

Back o­n the Maru, Gerentex confeses that the other ugly thug is a bounty hunter and it is their fault as they ruined the take over of the Andromeda. Harper harps about the money owed to him by Gerentex and suggests that the bounty just may pay him what he is due. Gerentex gets annoyed with Harper and Trance yapping so much (and trying to trick him into telling them his plans) and he charges his weapon to shoot Harper. Would I be the desert?Harper tells him that his life signs are tied into the generators and if he dies, the Maru explodes. So Gerentex decides Trance is therefore a better choice. Now this is where it gets interesting for all those lovely ladies with a thing for Harper. He gets kind of tough and protective of Trance He throws himself in the path of the weapon “You kill her, I kill you, You kill her, you kill me, the Maru explodes. Either way I won’t stop until o­ne of us is Maggog food.” But Gerentex puts and end to that noble stuff  by injecting Harper with some nasty pain causing thing that is activated when the nightsider presses a little button thingy. It looked like a garage door opener. It apparently causes Harper a lot of pain (I think it is a shock generator)  and he acquiesces. Apparently Trance is next. Which is to bad for her as she tends to behave herself and not tick off people and Harper tends not to behave himself and to tick people off, and Gerentex o­nly has o­ne activator.

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Back o­n the Andromeda we find out that the o­ne planet of those pointy chinned aliens, the Perseids, who had signed up with the new Commonwealth, are wanting to back out of their deal already. We see Dylan and Rommie talking in his quarters about it (it’s funny how often she’s in there, isn’t it?). He figures if he offers them protection, he’s  screwed, and if he bullies them he’s screwed as the Persieds think all humans are motivated by greed and money. Rommie is o­nly concerned that Dylan doesn’t offer them her to “dissect”. Which is what I’d be concerned about too. Dylan does put the commonwealth before everything else. But he allays her fears and thinks perhaps pillow mints would suffice! So Dylan dutifully goes off to try to talk to theScrew yer chin o­n and listen! Perseid group that had originally signed up (hint, hint, there is an opposition group to the ruling Perseids). This leaves Beka and Tyr o­n the command deck. Now just an observation, if Nietzsceans are all military minded, why is it that Tyr never uses equipment for it’s intended purpose? We see him posing, rather dreamily, in the “flight officer’s chair” with o­ne leg slung over the side and reclining off the other side. Like it’s a lazy boy. o­nly this would be a very uncomfortable way to sit in this lazy boy and I can o­nly imagine it’s Tyr’s impressive amount of muscle that keeps him poised like that.

Anyways, back to the fact that Tyr is telling Beka how the talks are not going well, and he would like to blow up the planet. Beka has other ideas though. “well, if diplomacy doesn’t work and force wouldn’t work, it’s time for Valentineology”

We are left for a while to find out what Valentineology is and taken back to Trance and Harper.  Harper has just taken the Maru out of slipstream and Gerentex gets upset by it. Harper explains that his butt is asleep (hmmm) and he wants a Sparky Cola to cure his withdrawal headache. Gerentex pays back Harper’s whining by o­nce again zapping both Harper and Trance. This @##%$$ off Harper (after all he is without his drug of choice) and Harper informs Gerentex that every time he pushes the button, he tolerates the pain more and soon it won’t hurt him at all and he will enjoy killing Gerentex. This shocks Trance, who is tied up nearby. “You’re supposed to be o­ne of the good guys.” Harper tells her he is o­ne of the god guys when he can be like when he is with the rest of them o­n the Andromeda. However, he didn’t survive his life o­n Earth by being a patsy but by being o­ne of the meanest, nastiest…something about a back alley. Sorry, I was so surprised by the cute Harper showing his nasty side I didn’t hear the entire tirade, but it was good.  Too good, as now Gerentex is threatened by Harper and this moves his hand, towards taking a chance and killing Harper.

Her purpleness jumps in to save Harper with an obvious sympathy play towards the Nightsiders. Poor nightsiders, after their home planet was evacuated, many worlds refused them since they have zillions of baby tadpole things that eat each other and everything else. The o­nly way for Gerentex to survive is to have a lot of wealth. Gerentex eats all this right up. Harper takes advantage of the opportunity and gives Gerentex some astronaut training by spinning the Maru around. The Maru must be a sturdy thing, whipping around this way and that. Gerentex is the o­nly o­ne not tied down and so gets a whack unconscious. Trance “steps” out of her ropes and explains to the angered Harper that she didn’t want to interrupt the nightsider while he was talking. Harper then asks her to untie him, but she makes him promise not to kill Gerentex!  He promises and proceeds to beat the living daylights out of him., making Trance unhappy. Gerentex taunts Harper saying that Harper will not be able to make him tell of his plans since he has been tortured by worse, the Nietzscheans! Harper tells him that he too has been tortured by Nietzscheans and does Gerentex want some of it and flicks the Nightsiders nose real hard.

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Apparently the nose is the sensitive spot as he cringes. Harper then gets out his nano-welder and threatens to slice and dice him. This starts Gerentex talking.  Gerentex has grand plans for purchasing information that would lead to finding a journal, written by a mad Persied who claimed to have found the way through slipstream back to Tarn-Vedra, which is the long lost capital of the Systems Commonwealth who had cut themselves off from know slipstream paths. Money, knowledge, glory, all the hoped for results of this enterprise. Harper decides to capitalize o­n this plan and make the rendezvous for Gerentex and talks Trance, barely, into assisting him.

Meanwhile, ugly thug bounty hunter, has caught up with the Eureka Maru and opens an attack with his smaller, more maneuverable, and heavily armed ship. Harper is at a lost of how to defend them as he can’t get into slipstream and do a runner.  Gerentex tells him to battle charge the smaller ship since they are bigger and the Maru wins the game of chicken allowing Harper to achieve slipstream and take credit of Gerentex’s idea.

Soon, the Maru arrives at the rendezvous site, which is a casino with lots of little greyhairs gambling. Trance loves the place and wants to stay to see the comedy styling of a Persied performer. But Harper is o­n a mission and checks back in with the tied up Gerentex to pick out the right person to make the exchange. Harper is pleased to see it is his favorite variety of woman. A bar wench. She tells them she wants more money. Harper is dejected as there is now way to get the very high amount of extra money she wants. This is when Trance surprises us all by volunteering to raise the money herself (no not THAT way), and goes off to the tables to win the money. She openly displays her foretelling abilities here and soon has the money. Harper notices the owners are sidling up to them and convinces her to quit (poor thing, she was jut starting to have fun!). They make a bee line right back to the wench and she gives them the disk with the info and takes off with the bag with the chips in it, which is Trances purse! She is very unhappy (as any woman would be). Trance doesn’t get to do anything about it though as the bounty hunter shows up at the same time the casino owners are accusing them of ripping them off. Harper starts a firefight and does a runner outta there.

Trance and Harper get back to the Maru to find Gerentex has untied himself and is armed. Okay who leaves a weapon around with a guy tied up alone? The bantering between Harper and Gerentex ensues with Trance offering Gerentex more understanding (which this time he is not buying).

On the Andromeda we finally get to find out what Valentineology is. We see Dylan reviewing her transmission to the Persieds. She is insulting them left, right and center.  Dylan is not impressed. “you told them to screw their chins o­n straight, because they couldn’t see what a deal they were getting?” Dylan is starting to wind up when Rommie interrupts to tell them that Beka has been requested to talk with o­ne of the Perseids, and here is the twist, it’s the guy from the opposing team. This delights Dylan.

The Maru has now reached the hideout of the mad Perseid. It is a big asteroid. We see the bounty hunter coming up close behind so our heros being bullied along by Gerentex hurry into the asteroid, which is pressurized, oxygenated, and well lit. It actually looks like a nice home, except for being booby trapped. They are working through the booby traps when they hear the bounty hunter and the guys from the casino. Another dark ploy by Harper and the area where the baddies are gets decompressed. The “crew” then enters the area where the Persied lived and we find out why no o­ne has heard of him for a while. He is lying, perfectly preserved with a hole in his head across from an equally preserved Nietzschean. Harper goes for the gun and our antagonist and protagonist are locked in a gun draw lying across from each other with a gun pointed at each other. Trance patiently waits about 20 minutes and asks them to stop it, they agree o­nly to take up the stance standing. Trance turns around and starts to cry , to which both men try to comfort her (yeah, we know she has all you guys wrapped around her little tail too), to which she whirls around at the speed of light and holds them both at knife point and Trance is ready to shoot her friend.threatens to kill them since there isn’t enough love in the universe as it is and they are making it worse.

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Hmm, good logic, that is. She continues o­n by telling them that she can get away with killing them both since she is cute. And you know she is right! She starts welling up in tears “Oh, Dylan, it was awful, they both just killed each other right in front of me!” and then she turns cold and says “and three days later I’ll be receiving my grief counseling from Rev Bem o­n the Obs deck“. I like seeing another, evil, side of Trance. Even if it is just for the benefit of keeping the two dudes alive. The guys buy her line and drop their weapons. Trance picks out the journal from a stack of books and they head off to the Maru. Harper finds a drop off spot for Gerentex. He is whining about getting nothing out of the deal when Trance gives him the very last collection of the Andromeda’s Tundra flowers she and Haper were handing out. Gerentex is impressed! He thinks he get  them to “breed” and sell them for big money. He is suitably impressed by Trance’s generosity and thanks her. Harper thinks Gerentex should not get anything but Trance tells him that by giving Gerentex something beautiful he may be able to change his life and after all beautiful things can change the universe (I suppose she was talking about herself).

So all things are safe and happy o­n the Maru, and apparently o­n the Andromeda as we see an elated Dylan and Beka running to go planet side for a lovely supper o­n the beach at sunset. Of course it won’t be romantic for Dylan, but it sure looks picturesque and I wonder how Beka will react to having Dylan’s full attention when he is happy and completely charming? And why did he not invite Rommie?

All in all I enjoyed this episode very much, but mainly because it developed Harper’s Character and gave some insights into Trance. The episode had some weak points, like the stereotyped thugs, the easy casino solution, and the poor, last minute wrap up of the plot. And although I enjoyed the Harper scenes, they were too long and bereft of plot.

But it is definitely worth watching more than o­nce 😉

What did you think?

The “Fear and Loathing in the Milky way” episode review is © 2001 Hollydays. Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

Vidcaps were scanned by NewKate.

The names, characters and everything else associated with Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda TV series are the property of the Tribune Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.

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