Andromeda: S02E09: Into the Labyrinth
“TO A GOD, A WALL IS BUT A LINE on THE PAGE.
WE ARE ALL NAKED, SEEN BEYOND SEEING.”
A.K.A. “The Mad Perseid”, 217 AFC
Today we find our Intrepid hero/Peacekeeper, Dylan Hunt, on a drift, having a meeting. with the delegates from the Charter Signatories. Today’s topic is an Interim Mutual Defence Pact.
A leggy Intergalactic Cheerleader, opps I mean, FTA Archivist, Satrina Leander (Jud Tylor), introduces herself to Harper, explaining that she would like an interview with one of “Captain Hunt’s” crew. I’m sure her short leather outfit and long brown hair would be enough to pique Harper’s interests but for Harper she has even more enticements: hardware. A data port, acoustic enhancer, and self-contained memory…ohh la laa.
Rommie steps into their conversation and suspiciously asks who the woman is. Harper suggests some un-gentlemanly action for the three of them to commence, which results in both women disappearing on him.
Meanwhile, the very yummy Neitzschean, Archduke Charlemagne Bolivar (whom we met in a previous episode as Elssbett’s husband), boards Andromeda, uninvited I might add, and announces to Dylan that he wants to join the Commonwealth. “This commonwealth of yours…sign me up.”
As he presents his case for the Sabra-Jaguars, listing reasons why they should and shouldn’t be allowed membership, the subject of Charlemagne’s wife, Elssbett comes up.
Apparently she is expecting their first child. He explains to Dylan that he needn’t feel paternal because:
“I checked that it was mine”
(Ohh, you should see the look on Rommies face as this news is dished out)
This accomplishes the amazing feat of shutting Dylan’s mouth.
Charlemagne swaggers off after telling Dylan that there’s no rush for his decision.
Back to our boy Harper:
Harper is in the machine shop in his shorts. He’s checking on his maggog babies when Satrina knocks (I think he should check out his maggog eggs, in his shorts, in every ep!). As he lets her in, she begins to interview his mouth…
He pushes her away!
He then explains to her that he is infested with maggog larvae (perhaps the Maggog larvae actually give him a conscious). Then the plot thickens! Satrina asks if Harper would do anything to get rid of them to which he, of course, answers yes.
She puts her hand right through into his stomach and pulls out one of the little beasties and squishes it between her fingers.
Satrina seductively presents her deal: She wants the Archives from the All Systems University (hereafter known as the library) and she will remove all of the larvae.
Because of her ability to “phase-shift” Harper realizes that she must be working for Jaeger (previous nasty who wanted the library, who works for the Spirit of the Abyss).
He declines her offer but he does start looking for the library. on the Maru he asks Trance where he left it. Knowing how dangerous the info is and the fact that Jaeger tried to kill Harper for the info last time he had it (see Harper 2.0, probably one of the best eps ever!) she refuses to help him.
Not persuaded by Trance, in any way shape or form…Harper continues his quest.
Not knowing what to do with all his guests, Dylan drags them around Andromeda for a tour. Which keeps them from bickering with each other and annoying him. Although Harper is trying to stay out of eyeshot while looking for you know what, he keeps running into everyone. First Dylan runs into Harper while giving the tour, which triggers Dylan’s suspicious little heart and then the Persied, Hohne, interrupts his search further:
Hohne thanks Harper for his help with the previous singularity experiments and then mentions that he has heard that Seamus is engaged with another fascinating experiment and that perhaps would he be willing to provide records of documentation. Harper is a little put off that the Persied thinks his battle to live instead of the maggog larvae is an “experiment” but the mention of records twigs something in his brain and off he goes to port into Rommie’s database. To his surprise he finds a holo of himself (doing a “cute” max headroom routine) the Holo Harper knows why he is there and a “Harper et Harper” fight begins and thus he gets himself booted out of Rommie…by himself…
Apparently Harper knows himself well!
Back to Dylan, which so far and to my liking, has not had a big part to play in this ep:
As Dylan is finishing up the tour, our phase-shifting intergalactic cheerleader sidles up to him. Satrina purrs her thanks to Dylan for the tour and hits on him. After Dylan brushes her off she phases out behind him (I think this scene was added to give Hunt a few more chances to pose). Dylan asks Andromeda to keep an eye on her.
Well, talk about a woman scorned!
Satrina pops up in what might be inside a ship and starts ordering about a group of four waiting henchmen. one is all blue, one all red, another all white…and the last one…some kind of brown and green (all right, I don’t get the significance). She shows them pics of Dylan, Charlemagne, and Hohne and tells them to kill them when the time arrives.
Now to our favourite Neitzschean:
Tyr is jogging through the hallways and happens upon Charlemagne. (yum, I guess our two favourite Nietzscheans) Charles comments on how he feels weary just watching Tyr exercise and wonders why the Kodiak spent so much time on physical perfection. Tyrs lame response is to remind him that his pride did nothing to help his when they were sabotaged and killed.
In this scene, Charlemagne gets all the good lines.
The Kodiak have “such imaginative hairstyles” and they would have been better served by breeding for important things like “Treachery, cunning, proper table manners”. When asked by Tyr what he would like he replies: “The usual, hundreds of grandchildren, utter domination of known space, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in terrible, highly improbable accidents that can’t be connected to me.” In all the bantering that occurs, Charles does offer one of his sisters to Tyr and then fishes about a rumour that the progenitors bones have been stolen form the Drago-Katsov and been replaced by a fake. Tyr tells him he doesn’t listen to gossip and exits stage left.
Harper et Harper is at it again. This time Harper notices that Holo Harper is wearing a funny little button with a sun on it.
Back on the Maru, Hohne bends Harpers ear again and yada, yada, yada finally gets down to the fact that he belongs to the Allsystems Special Collections and that he is there to retrieve the library.
Satrina shows up, once again, when Harper returns to the machine shop. She basically slithers all over him and Harper laps up the attention but once she phase shifts outta there, Harper reveals he was using the opportunity to take some technical recordings of her phase shifting (but I won’t be surprised if a Satrina Holo or perhaps calendar, pops up in the future).
Harper goes off and asks Rommie for details on phase density shifting. Rommie tells him about “Tesseracts, an area of space warped across multiple dimensions” Someone who created them could travel through them.
Next we have a short scene wherein Harper remembers where he put the Library. Trance tells him off for continuing his search for the library and storms off. As she is walking away Harper notices a sun tattoo on her shoulder blade and it reminds him of the “sun” button his holo was wearing. “A sun, I hid it in a sun…how the hell did I do that?”
Harper says that he is going for parts in the Maru and heads off for the Library. Trance stows away on board. He wants to take her back to Andromeda as this mission is too dangerous and she might get hurt (Blah, barf). But she of course gets to stay because otherwise she will tell Dylan what Harper is up too. They head off for the sun where Harper hid the data in “the standing wave of the sun”. (Just HOW did he do that anyways?)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Rommie has been trying to keep tabs on Satrina. This is a little difficult since Satrina keeps disappearing. Rommie is also suspicious of Harper and Trance’s whereabouts. Dylan is more concerned about the feasibility of letting the Sabra-jaguars join the commonwealth. He likens it to Earths history when Churchill allied with Stalin (who, you know, killed his own people).
Beka takes it upon herself to bully Charlemagne (you ladies were perhaps wondering when we would get back to him, no?). She floats gracefully into his quarters, rests comfortably and eats his fruit…you know, out of the fruit bowl. A muscular and nicely bare-chested Charles, in satin pyjamas, clearly enjoys her challenge. She tells him that if he is planning a double-cross that Dylan might tolerate it but the rest of his crew would not. (It was a nice scene that one, except for the fruity pyjamas) (I mean really, what kind of man wears satin PJ’s…I can tell you what kind of man does.)
By now our boy Harper has returned to The Andromeda and is waiting in the machine shop for Satrina. She does the fairy godmother routine with a “poof” I am here and let me get rid of those maggogs. She removes 6 more of the larvae and then asks him the give her the data. He asks her to remove the rest before he gives her the disk but she refuses to until she has the data, so he caves in and gives her the disk and she laughingly tells him she has double-crossed him and zaps outta there. She takes the data back to her ship, which is a maggog ship attached to Andromeda’s hull (in a “phased” state so it can’t be detected) and begins to access the data unaware that Harper has loaded the data with a Trojan horse virus named Sea biscuit (Sea biscuit, famous racehorse…ha ha). The virus will allow Harper to see what data Satrina is trying to access and then destroys all the data, with a big kaplowie and puffs of smoke.
Trance enters and asks Harper if he remembers anything about her from the archive (In Harper 2.0 it was downloaded into his head). He tells her he remembers something about a backwater planet where the people worshipped a naked purple goddess and remembers that he once sang her one of their hymns, Trance reminds him that she is his friend and pleads with him not to look at the archive. Harper remarks that he liked it better when he thought she was harmless, her reply? “me too”.
Something in the background “bings” and Trance leaves while Satrina appears. She wants a clean copy of the library and tells him that because of his little double-cross trick that The spirit of the abyss has a job offer for him. As she tries to leave Harper steals her phase shifting thingy (Portable tesseract generator), ties up Satrina leaves her there! He then attempts to try the device himself. He can put his hands right through anything solid, except into himself. Satrina comments on his stupidity. She phases right outta there, without the tesseract device! She’s really miffed now and summons her henchmongers to begin their attack.
All heck breaks out on The Andromeda as the red, white, blue and muddy green guys go to work. An Inari delegate is smoked right away. Andromeda’s internal defences have no effect on the attackers, the gun fire seems to pass right through them. Delegates run screaming everywhere, except Charlemagne. With a fricken huge gun he nonchalantly rescues the quivering Hohne (what is it with these Nietzscheans and their, erm …huge guns?).
Harper is confronted once again by Satrina when with Darth Vader like breath, The Spirit of the Abyss calls to him to join his team. He gives Harper a taste of his power, so that Harper can phase out and watch the battle going on in a dream like state. The power is almost overwhelming, but Harper pulls back into himself and has used his taste of power to figure out how to get rid of Satrina and her henchmen. He grabs Satrina and phases to her ship. She pleads with him, actually fearing what will happen to him, as she believes that he cannot fight the Spirit of the Abyss and he should join her. Harper shrugs her concern off and tells her that he is nobody’s pawn. Meanwhile Chalres has run out of ammo when Tyr arrives. They take on the muddy green guy, Tyr removes its tersseract generator and then kills it. Another one arrives and they kill that one too. on Satrinas ship, Harper has set the power supply to overload, thus blowing up the generators. Now the creatures have no way to phase shift and they are all killed. Harper wonders what to do with them and Satrina when they all disappear! Trance comments “They cheated.”
After things have calmed down, Harper hands over the library to Trance and tells her that he will find another way to remove the remaining larvae and she asks him when they can start (awww). Charlemagne gets to sign the charter and become a commonwealth member. He asks Dylan what will happen once they have dealt with the Maggog threat, the Drago-Katsov, and whatever it was that they had just been attacked by. Dylan just gives him the “we’ll cross that bridge when it happens” speech and Rommie adds the Sabra-Jaguars emblem to the commonwealth board.
As with all “Harper” episodes, this one was better than the usual fare offered up on Andromeda. Charlemagne a.k.a. James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) was great as usual and is welcome to come into my home anytime…via television 🙂 Jud Tylor (also credited as Judy Tylor) gave a sincere performance. If you want to read more about James check him out in our Buffy guide. The best info I could find on Jud is at www.stuffmagazine.com/cover_girls/html/girl_240.html. As an aside, have you ever noticed that the male guest stars are always stellar and have great lines while the female stars, while never crappy, seem to be picked on whether or not they fit the costume? (Maybe this is just a girl view, you’ll have to ask Saddy!) Which is strange really, since the show consists of three great female characters, four if you split Andromeda/Rommie.
All in all I would rate this episode 80,000 out of 10. What did you think?
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