The Cynics Corner

Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda

"Harper 2.0"

by David E. Sluss

22 February 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Finally, we seem to be getting somewhere, but is it a place we want to go?

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 8.5 (B)

GOOD THINGS OF THE WEEK: It seems as if this is the first episode of any real substance in quite a while, and it has a pretty good blend of characterization, action, and mystery. The notion that there may have been some grand conspiracy to bring down the Commonwealth seems to be a worthwhile, if unoriginal, development. Trance was back, being mysterious and stuff, but fortunately not being used as a deus ex machina; when she walked onto the command deck with the enhanced video of Brandenburg Tor, I figured she would "guess" Harper's location, a la "A Rose in the Ashes," but we lucked out. Or did we? Are we being set up for an Order/Chaos thing, as in Babylon 5, with Trance as Kosh and "Enigma" in the role of the Shadows. If so, message to Wolfe and company: "Get the hell out of our galaxy!"

MYSTERIES OF THE WEEK: So there is apparently a cadre of librarians still keeping the Commonwealth's knowledge and data intact; maybe this explains the various magical mystery databases we see so often in this series? One mystery solved, perhaps, but so many opened up:

  1. The librarian exhibited signs of being shot, stabbed, poked with a tiny instrument, and irradiated, presumably by Jagermeister. If so, why would Jagermeister do all of that instead of extracting the data in the manner he intended to do with Harper?
  2. For that matter, how did the Perseid escape in the first place, and procure a space beach ball capable of opening hangar doors on alien vessels?
  3. If the Brandenburg Tor data is indeed the only important file, why was the librarian carrying around all the other stuff? Alternately, why didn't Hunt seem all that interested in the data, when it could very well have been just as important or revelatory? For all he knows, that Perseid was the Last Librarian carrying the Only Copy of the Commonwealth's vast store of knowledge. Someone trying to resurrect the Commonwealth would do well to be a little less cavalier about this material.
  4. The question of where the data wound up I presume is one that will be answered definitively at some point. But how consistent is Trance's behavior with regard to the data? She seems to want the data destroyed, but she was the one who enhanced the Brandenburg Tor file and piqued Hunt's interest in the data in the first place. Twins?

COMMONWEALTH INSECURITY OF THE WEEK: With all the lip service Hunt pays to loyalty, protecting one's own, etc., I had to laugh at the following sequence:

  1. Harper, while left alone in the hangar and observed on video, is attacked and nearly decapitated by Jagermeister.
  2. Tyr and Hunt manage to repel the attack, but Jagermeister escapes using "phase density shifting."
  3. Harper is left alone in the hanger, despite the known danger of an assassin who can literally walk through walls!

I guess it would have been a bad break if Jagermeister had come after Harper again, and Tyr had been on the john or something...

CLICHE OF THE WEEK: Omniscient/Omnipresent/Supersmart Guy using a meathead as a henchman.

LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK: Hunt pores over the fragments of data in Harper's mind and asserts: "There's something here; I can feel it!" What gave you the third clue, Herc?

NON-LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK: Andromeda: "I didn't know you were such a cunning linguist." Pretty juvenile stuff; not even a master debater could argue that...
   

Previous: "Music of
a Distant Drum
"
Next: "Forced Perspective"
NEXT WEEK: Hunt falls victim to the "three strikes" provision of the anti-speechifying statute.

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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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