The Cynics Corner

Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda

"The Pearls That Were His Eyes"

by David E. Sluss

28 January 2001

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: A decent outing, especially in light of recent episodes, but one which ends badly.


GOOD THINGS OF THE WEEK: Sets and visuals have shown a marked improvement since the series began, and the trend continued here. Shots of the drift and the planet looked pretty good. Oddly, the weakest visuals continue to be those of the Andromeda itself, which continue to invite the viewer to look for strings. Addressing Andromeda's supply issues again is a good thing. Seeing a few more aliens, just one week after I harped about it, is a good thing. The use of hair-nanobots as an information medium was kind of clever, though it's another step toward making the nanobots an all-purpose plot device, kind of like Trance and her "insights," on display here again as she hacks the window controls with little effort.

SOCIETAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: This episode probably showed us more about the state of the post-Fall universe than any previous episode, but it might have created more questions than it answered. For instance, these drifts apparently act as broadcasting stations for news, weather, and sports as well as personal email; it seems that when a ship drops into a sector, it can pick up the latest news and information from that sector. This gives us a way, perhaps, to rationalize away the surfing coverage we saw in "The Ties That Blind," but it also plays into my own thinking that people aren't doing nearly as badly post-Fall as the sanctimonious Hunt would like us to think. On the other hand, email and personal messages don't seem to propagate very well, as Uncle Sid's message languished for three years. It would seem that Beka would only get the message if she ever happened to be in this sector, which might make us wonder why he would have bothered trying.

PLOT HOLE OF THE WEEK: This isn't a major one, but it occurred to me that Sid's Nefarious Plan to set the Maru's autopilot to send the vessel into the sun had some holes in it. Like the fact that Beka only put the ship on autopilot, and was standing around staring at a console and not noticing that her ship was flying into the sun, because she was looking for the data in her hair. But of course, Sid thought Beka already knew where the data was and what information was there, and wouldn't really expect her to do that.

CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: The anti-forcelance-jacking shockaroo, introduced just last week in "All Great Neptune's Ocean," was put to good use here, though it doesn't cause amnesia in this case...

GROPE OF THE WEEK: Take a close look at the scene in which Andromeda "faints," and take note of The Harper's "strategic hand positioning" as he catches her...

CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: Sid notes that it's only after the second dose of flash that a person becomes addicted. How fortunate...

SCIFI CLICHE OF THE WEEK: The Space Storm threatens a ship that turns out to be Crippled At An Inopportune Moment.

GENERAL PURPOSE CLICHE OF THE WEEK: While most of the storytelling was pretty solid this week, I definitely did not care for the climax, in which Beka bluffs her way out of incineration using the old "I sent evidence to the cops marked 'Open on event of death'" cliche. God almighty, this isn't Murder, She Wrote or a damned Columbo movie! As if Sid wouldn't have deactivated or confiscated that all-expenses credit CD. As if he couldn't have checked whether or not that credit CD had in fact been used to pay couriers to deliver evidence to the authorities. As if the authorities, especially in the lawless universe in which Beka supposedly lives, would actually wait until Beka died to open it (and could even find out if and when she died), or that paranoid Sid would believe that they would and not kill Beka. That's all bull, plain and simple. This episode would have been a lot better if this hadn't been the ending.

Previous: "All Great Neptune's Ocean"
Next: "The Mathematics
of Tears
NEXT WEEK: Andromeda rejoices at discovering another Commonwealth ship and crew, but unfortunately they have a dark secret; an episode like this only comes along once every Equinox...



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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda is a trademark of Tribune Entertainment