|Original air date||
October 21, 2002
than the first time
someone puts a gun
to your favorite head
and asks you to dance."
Major Korgo Korgar,
"Last Of The Lancers", AFC 32
"Cui Bono" is episode 4 of Season 3.
Andromeda is coming to the rescue of a courier ship that is being attacked by pirates, the latest in a series of similar attacks. After the pirates are destroyed, the courier asks for safe passage for a passenger, a candidate for the Triumvirate, Beka's Uncle Sid. Beka is shocked, and Dylan is none too pleased, himself.
Sid comes aboard the Andromeda, despite Beka and Dylan's misgivings, but Dylan sees it as a simple mission: Take Sid to the world of Golden Harvest, then on to Xinti for the election. Beka reminds Dylan that Sid drugged her and tried to kill her, and says that she expects that he will try to rig the election. She wants to prevent Sid from getting to Xinti, so that he will not even have a chance. Dylan has more faith in the process, and accepts that he has to follow orders.
Beka rants to Tyr as she is working out. Tyr says that Sid is no worse than some of their other allies, but Beka asks him what he would think if Dylan had proposed an alliance with the Drago-Kazov Pride. Tyr reminds her that, sometimes, it is useful to have your enemies where you can keep an eye on them.
Sid is praising Dylan for what he has accomplished, when Beka bursts in, brandishing a copy of the recording that she still has from their earlier meeting. She threatens to release it to the media, but Sid laughs it off. He says that it has already been made public, but his spin doctors have managed to turn his history into a story of the "bad guy made good", which he has been able to use for public support.
Dylan chastises Beka for her "cowboy behavior", and demands that she apologize to Sid. As Sid and his assistant, Gretchen Rania, have already gone down to the planet, he sends her to pick them up. Beka agrees, although she makes it clear that she still does not trust Sid.
Beka enters Sid's office to apologize to him, at least in the sense that he has "won", and finds him unconscious with a bullet wound to the head.
Trance is treating Sid in medical, back on the Andromeda. She thinks she can save him, but is not absolutely sure. Dylan is concerned about what Sid's death, while under his protection, might do to the credibility of the Systems Commonwealth, and his credibility specifically. While considering this, he notices Sid's Dataport.
Dylan assigns Beka to investigate Sid's assault, on the theory that she knows him the best of any of them. Beka says that she is not sorry that Sid got shot, and she is probably the prime suspect, but agrees to the assignment.
Dylan tells Rommie and Harper to hook up Sid's dataport, and see if they can communicate with him to find out what happened. Harper is not sure whether it will work, depending on what level of brain function Sid still has.
Gretchen finds Tyr painting on the Ops Deck. She tells Tyr that Sid has a "revenge fund", and there is a 15 million guilder bounty on the head of his assassin. She encourages Tyr to pursue it. Tyr points out that Sid is not actually dead, but Gretchen considers him as good as dead.
Beka, Dylan, and Tyr head for the planet on the Eureka Maru. Tyr speculates that there are likely several people after Sid's revenge fund, which will complicate matters. He has discovered that Sid's new partner, from Quantum, has made several recent large payments to a company known to be a front for mercenaries. As they move to investigate this, Quantum's headquarters are destroyed in a large explosion. They return to the Andromeda.
Violence on the planet is escalating, primarily directed against Sid's enemies.
Harper informs them that he has Sid jacked into the Virtual Reality matrix. He has played a few games of Vedran Whist against him, and Sid cheats. Dylan is going to talk to him, but Beka says that she knows him better, so she should talk to him. Dylan agrees, and Beka dons the VR goggles.
Beka tells Sid about the situation on the planet, and ask him what he remembers about being shot. Sid claims that he doesn't remember anything, one minute he was sitting at his desk, the next he was playing cards with Harper, who cheats.
Sid says that "memory is tricky", and asks Beka what she remembers about her 10th birthday. Beka thinks that he is avoiding the question, but he insists. She says that her father brought candy eggs, and hid them in the Eureka Maru for her and her brother Rafe to find. She remembers the eggs tasting funny. Sid says that they tasted funny because he had injected them with a vitamin supplement, since her father was not feeding them properly. In fact, her father spent that day sleeping off a Flash binge. Beka protests.
Dylan receives a message from High Guard command, ordering him to get Sid to Xinti. Jack Fremont, the Acting Minister of War, warns Dylan that he is not as popular as he once was. The Sabra-Jaguar Pride is making things difficult, the Perseids are still upset about Hohne, and the Castalian Republic has been voicing it's anger; so he had better follow orders. There is even talk about transferring fleet command to one of the other ships, perhaps the Wrath of Achilles. Dylan is not pleased.
Beka is, again, working out and talking to Tyr, wondering what Sid really wants. Tyr speculates that he might want to be loved as well as feared, and he may value Beka's opinion of him because she knows him so well.
Dylan warns Gretchen to cancel the revenge fund (thereby cutting down on the violence on the planet), or he will arrest her.
Dylan enters the VR matrix to talk to Sid. He notes that the assassination attempt is working to Sid's advantage, since his rivals are being killed. Sid tells Dylan that the Commonwealth needs men like him to get things done, and men like Dylan to clean up the messes they make along the way. Dylan does not accept this evaluation, and tells Sid that he has to clean up his own messes.
Gretchen attaches something to Sid's dataport, which causes his vitals to flatline. Rommie detects this immediately, and notifies Dylan (who is still in the VR matrix). He sends Tyr and Trance to medical, Trance stabilizes Sid, and Tyr arrests Gretchen. Dylan does not think that Gretchen was behind the initial assassination, but that she was just taking advantage of the situation, as Sid would have taught her to do.
Dylan doubts the wisdom of allowing Sid to assume office, saying that he would rather feed him to the Magog. Rommie notes that Sid has not been elected yet, and Dylan's best choice now is to just do his job.
Beka is back in the VR matrix, talking to Sid. He says that he does remember something about the assassination attempt. He remembers talking to Gretchen about their concerns about Beka, Sid trusted Beka, but Gretchen did not. After Gretchen left his office, he got a communication from one of his biggest rivals, Caylor Ragatz. This communication triggered the weapon that shot him.
Dylan, Beka, and Tyr go back to the planet to investigate Ragatz. Dylan and Beka burst in on him, with weapons drawn, attempting to arrest him. He is surprised that they are not trying to kill him, and collect the revenge fund. He tells them that the hit was a fake, set up by Sid, in order to gain public sympathy. Beka demands more evidence, but the power is cut off, and Ragatz' security burst in. Beka and Dylan escape through the window as Tyr arrives in the Maru, and takes out the security guards with a missile.
Beka states that they now have the proof they need against Sid, but Dylan points out that they have only the claim of an unreliable, dead person. He says that they need to have faith in other people to do the right thing.
Beka is on the Maru, debating her options. She sees reminders of both her father and Sid throughout the ship, and wonders what her father would do in this situation. She seems to come to a conclusion, grabs her gun, and heads for Sid's bed in medical.
When she gets there, Sid is gone. Andromeda alerts her that the Maru is launching, Sid has taken it.
Beka gets on board the Maru, and Sid admits that he faked the assassination attempt. He claims to be a "good guy", but Beka reminds him about what he did to her, and that he made her father a criminal and an addict. Sid counters that her father did it to himself, and Sid looked after Beka.
The Maru is attacked by two fighters. Beka sends a mayday to Andromeda, but the bounty hunters board the Maru. Beka hands Sid a gun, and they fight off the boarders until Andromeda moves into range and destroys the fighters. Dylan and Tyr take a Lancer Drop Pod and board the Maru, just as Beka and Sid are finishing up the fight. Sid is injured, but not badly.
On Xinti, Sid loses the election, Dylan had surveillance equipment on the Maru, and recorded Sid's confession. Sid is, surprisingly, not unhappy about losing. Many of his rivals are dead, and he is not committed to holding a political office, so he figures he is ahead of the game.
While Beka is coming to terms with her father's shortcomings, and the fact that, in his own way, Sid cares for her, Dylan reminds her that her father is not gone, but lives on in her.
- A Latin phrase generally translated as "To whose benefit?", the title is first found in extant literature in the writings of Marcus Tullius Cicero, who attributes it to the Roman consul and censor Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla. The implication is that, in a criminal investigation, the culprit can be identified by an analysis of who stands to benefit, most often, but not always, materially and financially. In this case, it proves to be true, as the person who stands to benefit the most, turns out to be the actual culprit, Sid. It is often replaced by the Watergate inspired phrase of "follow the money".
Beka: I think that somebody should tell these guys that it is rude to ransom other people's mail for cash… and I think it should be us.
Tyr: Sometimes, the situation requires that we hold the hand of our enemy. The difficult part is not letting them see you while you use the other hand to draw the knife.
Dylan: If this is rekindling the light of civilization, I miss the Dark Ages.
Sid: I guess I should have been shot in the head years ago.
Dylan: That's funny, 'cause that's what Beka says.
Dylan: We're going to be walking into an ambush.
Tyr: That's why I always assume I'm walking into an ambush – prevents unpleasant surprises.
Beka: Dylan, no! Head wounds are so messy – shoot him in the chest.
Dylan: If the Commonwealth we built is worth anything, we have to trust it to do what's right. We have to have faith in somebody other than us.
Beka: And if that faith is misplaced?
Dylan: Well, then we have bigger problems than your Uncle Sid.