Andromeda: S02E10: The Prince
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Which is a problem if you are powerless.”
A distress call hails our intrepid leader to the rescue, and what a can of worms that opens:
Dylan, Tyr, and Beka board the ship and are met with some resistance of whom they assume to be pirates. They notice a coat of arms. Andromeda warns them of imminent hull breaches. Dylan sends Beka to power up the Maru for take-off while he and Tyr look for survivors. As they approach a room they start getting fired at, and Dylan cautiously introduces himself. Inside the room is a young man surrounded by bodies. Near him, his dying father, King Florin, recognises Dylan’s name and tells his son, Eric, to put down his weapon. Knowing he is about to die, the king appoints Dylan and Tyr co-regents for Eric and passes his crown. Tyr discovers a manservant, Yanos, in another room, still alive. Everyone takes off in the Maru while the Royal ship, with all of Eric’s older and deader brothers and sisters explodes.
Safe on Andromeda, Trance works on restoring the manservant’s state of consciousness. Eric watches her work and his sob story unfolds. Apparently this royal family wasn’t as smart as Earth Royalty, and put all their eggs in one space-like canister. This gave their archrival Constantine and “the five barons” to send in their shock troops and wipe out the whole family. Poor baby Eric (about 16?), the third son, was not raised to be king. Ahh- and here’s the kicker, in order to become king, he must be crowned on his planet of N’Holland and it is the co-regents responsibility to see that it is done.
On to our favourite mistress of the AllSystems Library: Rommie. on the bridge we have this episodes history lesson. Rommie tells us how N’Holland was one of the first planets attacked by the Maggog due to its position on the slipstream nexus. After the Maggog moved on, the planet fell into a hundred years of anarchy until Vincent the first conquered his rivals and united the planet. Thus Eric’s family has had rule for 200 years. Not all is peace and happiness now however. Constantine and the five barons who own most of the land had a falling out with King Florin. According to Eric, the barons have killed millions of his people in their civil war and also were responsible for the killing of is family.
The co-regents confer with one another. Dylan is greedy to acquire N’Holland as an ally. Since it sits on a main slipstream nexus and Dylan wagers that the Maggog world ship is most likely to appear there and would like N’Holland to put up a fight. Tyr has looked up his job of co-regent and discovered that it makes he and Dylan Eric’s equals. Dylan decides to work his charm on Eric and win him to the commonwealth side.
The barons who now legally control N’Holland send up a ship to collect Eric as he has be found guilty, in absentia, of corruption, torture and genocide against the N’Holland people. Rommie accesses the database of said ship and compares the late kings records against the Five Barons records. It all around bad but Dylan and Rommie figure the barons are a tad worse. Tyr believes that backing the barons is a better idea, since they are more powerful and better organized. Dylan doesn’t think Eric is tainted with his fathers’ crimes and also that Eric would be easier to manipulate than the barons. The military ship that’s supposed to collect Eric hails Andromeda again but Dylan tells them that even a warning shot from the Andromeda might blast them to pieces. Tyr, who feels an affinity for Eric since they both watched as their families were killed, takes it upon himself to teach Eric hand-to-hand combat techniques. Tyr also gives him reading recommendations like “The Art of War”.
Dylan, on the other hand, tries to teach Eric diplomacy by teaching him to find out what the people need and get it for them to create a win-win situation in economics and public opinion.
Yanos finally wakes up in a state of shock in medical and Trance calms him by telling him that he and Eric are safe aboard the Andromeda. Yanos begs to speak to Eric immediately and is taken to the Obs deck where he meets alone with Eric. Yanos reveals that he thought Eric’s father was a monster who should have relinquished power to the five barons and that it was he himself who damaged the slipstream drive so that they could be attacked. Now he must kill Eric so that he doesn’t follow in his father’s footsteps. He attacks, and Eric defends himself using the moves Tyr taught him. Tyr and Dylan enter the room and each make differing comments on Yanos’s usefulness. Yanos makes it easier for Eric to follow Tyr’s direction as he makes one more attempt to kill Eric and Eric kills him. Score one for Tyr! Erm, actually not, the death affects Eric deeply and Dylan hopes that this revelation will enable Eric to become a different kind of ruler than his father was.
Andromeda arrives at N’Holland and Eric delivers his speech to his people. He basically promises a brighter future and asks his royal forces to stand down and asks the Barons to follow suit, in the name of peace. Constantine contacts Eric on Andromeda, applauds his speech and offers that his government will pardon Eric if he endorses them and then goes into exile. Eric gets rather hot and bothered and has a teen tantrum: he is on the most powerful star ship and isn’t afraid to use it. Cooly, Constantine reveals that he has placed civilians in the military targets, just in case Eric starts a war. Like two cartoon “shoulder deities”, Angel Dylan finds Constantine’s use of human shields despicable while Devil Tyr finds the tactic applaudable.
Thus Tyr slinks off to the Maru to dicker with Constantine. Constantine wants Eric’s head on a platter but it is not revealed what dance Constantine has to perform in order to achieve this. Tyr then slithers off to push Eric into taking action against the Barons. He vows that the peace Dylan is working for is impossible and points our that no one will be there to protect Eric once Andromeda leaves so he should kill the Barons now. Eric resists him and wants to confer with Hunt. Tyr goes on to explain about trust and the fact that he will get the barons to trust him by offering Eric to them.
Meanwhile: the entire N’Holland fleet now surrounds Andromeda. Rommie calls everyone to the command deck but it apparently is not that serious as she could wipe the fleet out in seconds. Admiral Alexander, who formally worked for Eric’s dad, hails Andromeda. He acts relieved to see Eric alive and asks that Eric come aboard his ship “for his safety”.
Dylan, with is mighty ability to read every situation and person, invites Alexander over to Andromeda. Rommie decides to forgo the usual diplomatic offerings and instead gives the old Admiral a run down of her impressive weapons capacity. Dylan and he have a heart to heart and the Admirals rubber arm gets bent and he decides it’s best for his and his defence forces future to support Eric’s claim to the throne. Constantine hears about this pretty fast and puts his game face on and negotiates a peace treaty that would have the five barons and Eric sharing power.
Rommie delivers this news to Eric in the Obs deck. Eric has decided that Dylan and Tyr are both working against him.
So on we go to N’Holland for the coronation ceremony (Which is ridiculously held outside on a nice patch of green grass with Prince getting ready in a tent, honestly, it’s a wonder his family ruled for 200 years).
While Dylan and Rommie go over the coronation procedures, Tyr sneaks off to chat with Constantine. He shows him the holes he has left for Constantine’s snipers. Constantine chortles with glee and promises that once Eric is dead his snipers will kill Dylan giving Tyr command of Andromeda. He congratulates Tyr for choosing the right side. Tyr responds, “I have chosen the right side”.
Tyr visits Eric and tells him how everything is going to plan and how having Eric attacked first will give him the justification to eliminate the Barons and will make Eric look more blameless in the eyes of the people. Tyr bolts off and Dylan steps into Erics’ tent. It almost seems like Eric is about to enlighten Dylan on Tyr’s plans. Rommie interrupts, she detects security breaches. Next, my two favourite Andromeda characters land on N’Holland. Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, Andromeda’s planetary defence bots. They quickly go to work. Not one shot goes astray and kills a squirrel. Each shot slides into a sniper quickly and neatly and the perimeter is secured. While this was going on Tyr uses the opportunity to murder the Barons. (Constantine has “fallen victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is never go in against a Sicilian (or say, Neitzschean) when death (or power, or whatever) is on the line”- Vizzini, The Princess Bride).
Erik asks what Dylan has done, and Dylan tells him that he has done what everyone else seems to be doing, making plans. “Looks like mine worked”.
Erik steeps up and announces to his people that he is prepared to share his power with a democratically elected government with a“ Long live the people!” he seals his good fate. The people gathered, cheer. Tyr pouts next to Dylan while Dylan remarks that he wasn’t betting on Eric, but on the people.” Eric gets crowned king.
Well. Hmm. What to say?
On the good side, at least the writers didn’t go down that well beaten path about the “innocent” actually being the one that orchestrated the family slaughter in order to be king. And this episode did have Tweedles (I want a little Tweedle action-figure).
On the bad side this was just a filler ep and a huge let down from lasts weeks brilliant offerings. Like Christina Aguilara, Dylan turned uncharacteristically dirty. He knew Tyr would kill the barons and then used their money and land to support his cause. What about the barons’ families? What about using Eric so coldly? Hmm.
Anyways, because of Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum I’d rate this ep 45 out of 10
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