You know, I think this is exactly the kind of thing they were shooting for when they started making this series. This is the target they were hoping to hit from the outset, but have managed to miss every week prior to now. This is actually a genuinely good episode, well-told, if a bit padded out during the “Meanwhile back at the ranch” stuff. The only thing more frustrating than a doomed, ham-fisted, boring show is when said show actually manages to hit all the right notes more-or-less by accident, and you see what it *could* have been. Read on…
PLAY BY PLAY
A grizzled, crazy old dude stagers into town, and hits the bar. He attempts to pay for his drinks with diamonds, which starts a bar fight ‘mongst the greedy patrons. Cass and Fleur show up to break it up, and he runs off. They give chase, and he just kind of teases them on enough that the don’t quit. They camp for the night since it’s too late to get back to Forthaven, and when they wake up in the morning to find the guy just staring at them. He convinces them to follow him, and they run into The Rude Boys, whom he says he’s lived with on and off for years. They grant the man and the cops safe passage, and they head on to the ocean.
En rout they find an ejector seat, and the man explains that he was Patrick Baxter, first man on Carpathia, and after his freakout he ended up here with broken legs. A Golden Retriever showed up and got him wood to splint his legs and convinced him to go on. He survived for 11 years, and now that he’s dying, he wanted people to be with him when the end came.
When they finally get to the ocean, he says he’ll lead them to some bodies, but then he wanders off, accompanied by his dog (Who Fleur and Cass can’t see), staggers into the surf, and dies.
MEANWHILE, back at Fort Haven, everyone’s got the diamond greed, and it’s causing all those people who don’t do anything all day long to behave in…uhm…a manner where….uhm…they do stuff….which…I guess is bad…or something. Seriously: we’re supposed to believe that Fort Haven is barely hanging on, and this greed is endangering their survival, but since we’ve never seen any sense of industry - or even seen a farm - it’s not very believable. Everyone just seems to be kinda’ sitting around doing nothing all the time, as we’ve discussed. As one of our readers pointed out, it’s much like the 40 or so survivors from Lost who just wandered around on the beach for 4 years, doing nothing.
Tate, Tipper, and Julius are pretty upset about the whole greed thing and the nascent capitalism it might engender, and in fact Julius attempts to use it to make a power play. He addresses the colony about their greed. It’s not a very good speech. He also tells Tate that he wants to be a senior councilman and get basically a job in charge of a ministry or government department: Nebulously defined as “Public welfare.” Tate says he’ll oppose this. Julius says he’s popular enough in the council to go over Tate’s veto, but Tate says he won’t make it easy for Julius.
MEANWHILE, the Boss Cop Lady and Jack have figured out that the old coot was Patrick Baxter, and head out to find him and Fleur and Cass, and also to see the Sea because Boss Cop Lady just kinda’ wants to. There’s some guff about finding out where Life on Carpatia began, but mostly she just wants to. There’s a tedious dustup with the Rude Boys that they get through with a loss of only one redshirt, and they make their way to the ocean, where they meat up with Fleur and Cass.
There they discover human skeletons of a man, woman, and child. These are not fossils, and reasonably recent. Not particularly yellowed, either, which means (On earth anyway) they’d be a decade or less old. They leave the bones (Why?) and head home.
MEANWHILE, back at Fort Haven, Dr. Smith calls Aoleus 14 Umbra…oh, excuse me: Julius calls a transport ship in deep space, telling them Tate has failed in his mission, but that he (Julius) will overthrow Tate and have things in order when the ship arrives.
NEXT TIME AS YOU’LL RECALL
The next episode (Which we’ve already reviewed