In the face of relentless doubt."
Brother Carmen Jane
A Case For Consciousness
"Decay of the Angel" is episode 4 of Season 5.
As the Andromeda Ascendant comes under attack, Doyle is crawling through a conduit. Suddenly, Doyle is awakened from this nightmare by her own scream. Seamus Harper hears her and comes over to her cot. She explains that in the dream she feels at home in the Andromeda, working with Dylan, but she doesn’t understand why.
Dylan Hunt is aboard the Andromeda, struggling with the Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence circuits. He finally gets a picture on the screen, filled with static and broken sentences but it’s more than he’s had since they arrived in the Seefra System. Through the fragments, the Artificial Intelligence tells him it’s detected a Slipstream event on the edge of the solar system. Dylan wants Beka Valentine to tow the Andromeda with the Eureka Maru so they can travel out of the system, but she drags her feet because he can’t pay her. Both Telemachus Rhade and Dylan remind her that she too will be free from this remote area of the universe and she reconsiders.
Seamus Harper and Doyle are scavenging for parts on Seefra-1 when they come across two thugs threatening a cowering man named Argent. Doyle steps in and dispatches the muggers with a couple of well-placed kicks and they run off. The would-be victim is duly impressed and tails his saviors, insisting he repay them, while Harper tries to brush him off. The man notices Doyle’s hand was sliced open during the scrap and is bleeding freely. Before Harper can bind it, Argent also notices that she bleeds not blood, but a thick white fluid, and he pressures Harper into letting him tag along. Once they are back at Harper’s room, Argent corners him. He knows Doyle is an Android that was made to think she is human, even to the extent of seeing blood where there is actually superconductor fluid. Harper manages to dodge the questions, threatening to throw him out if he doesn’t drop the subject.
As the Maru and Andromeda approach the Asteroid field where the slip-point originated, Andromeda detects missiles locked on to them. Without the ability to maneuver, Dylan has the ship’s water tanks vented as a diversion and the missiles crash harmlessly into the ice. Andromeda detects a surge of power from within one of the larger asteroids just before a brilliant light flares and the two ships vanish.
Doyle serves Argent dinner while he questions her about her nightmares. She can’t give an explanation so he offers his own. Harper is unable to stop him. Argent tells her that what he saw in her injured hand was not blood, but fluid and components. She thinks it’s all a joke until Argent hands her a vial of super-cooled liquid, asking her to submerge her hand. She looks to Harper, then puts her hand in the liquid. Feeling no pain, she has her answer.
The Andromeda and Maru float in unfamiliar space, with most operating systems fried by the energy pulse. As Dylan and Rhade discuss options, they feel an unmistakable jolt as intruders board their ship. The two split up and watch as heavily armed troops with high-tech repair equipment infiltrate the ship and restore power.
Back in Harper’s room, Doyle asks Argent who he really is. He tells her he came from the future where he hopes to restore a great ship to its former glory. She doesn’t understand and scoffs when he tells her she is famous in the future. Harper comes in and agrees with Argent, but tells Doyle that she would be known as Andromeda. She sits him down and he tells her why she has nightmares. After Rommie was destroyed, all he had left was her core Artificial Intelligence, which he installed in Doyle’s body. But without the learned relations and experience, all she did when he powered her up was attempt to return to Dylan and the ship, so he buried her memories as best he could.
Argent tells them about the asteroid belt and a hidden tesseract generator there that was used to transport Andromeda to a safe place. He offers to take them there. He brings them to the tesseract control room but when Doyle asks him about his plans for Andromeda, he turns mean and cold, pinning her against the wall. When Harper tries to intercede, Argent seizes him and sends a fierce jolt through his body knocking him unconscious. He smashes Doyle into a wall and taunts her until her anger surfaces. She peels his finger off her throat and snaps it easily, revealing artificial components. He calls her Andromeda and tells her not to be afraid before he tesseracts out of sight.
Dylan plans to meet Beka Valentine and Rhade in the Command Center but when he arrives, he finds them captives of the intruders. After they are led to the conference room and left alone, Dylan opens a wall panel where he finds a large sword and wig (an apparent Easter Egg referencing Kevin Sorbo's role in "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys") along with several force lances. After handing out the force lances they sneak aboard the Maru and escape, then fire the Bucky cables and rip the intruder ship free of the Andromeda. Argent appears aboard the Maru with a complement of guards and a huge fight breaks out. Meanwhile, Doyle helps Harper come to after he was knocked out by Argent. Coming to grips with her identity, she tells Harper that she's ready to fight, not just as Doyle, but as a warship.
Aboard the Maru, Dylan knows they are hopelessly outnumbered and orders Beka to destroy Andromeda so no one can take it. Argent tesseracts back to the asteroid control room where Doyle has fought off the guards. He shows Dylan and the crew on a monitor as they fight for their lives, hoping she can forget her past and come with him to his future where androids are superior. Instead she tesseracts herself aboard the Maru and turns the tide of the fight. Argent rushes to the controls but Harper has hacked in, leaving a trap that tesseracts Argent into eternity. Two intruders are still at the Maru’s controls and two more hold off Dylan and Doyle but they don’t see Rhade who drops in from an access hatch. The intruders try tesseracting to safety but Harper’s trap has them floating helplessly in space. Dylan orders Rhade to dispatch them with the Maru’s lasers before Harper brings them all back to the asteroid belt. Doyle approaches Dylan; she is still confused about who she is, but feels at home aboard the Andromeda and feels comfortable with Dylan calling her “friend”.
- The title would appear to be that of a Japanese novel, "The Decay of the Angel", published in the early 1970s. It references the Buddhist concept of "Devas" or "mortal angels". In Buddhist scriptures, the 5 signs of the decay of an angel are:
- 1. The flowery crown withers,
- 2. Sweat pours from the armpits,
- 3. The robe is soiled,
- 4. They lose self-awareness, or become dissatisfied with their station, and
- 5. The body becomes fetid or ceases to give off light, or the eyelids tremble.
- The concept of such a "sacrifice of grace" appears in Wim Wenders' 1987 film "Wings of Desire", as well as the Hollywood movie "City of Angels" from 1998 loosely based on it.
Beka: Dylan, Dylan, Dylan. What is the point of this? Are we pretending we're a crew again?
Dylan: Oh, believe me. I won't make that mistake five times.
Harper: Anyone ever tell you you're beautiful when you're mad?
Doyle: You, everytime you make me mad.
Dylan: Feels like old times.
Rhade: Sure. If you ignore the fact that the ship's (Andromeda) a giant paper weight which is being towed by the Maru, then, yes, I suppose it does.
Dylan: You know, there is objectivity Rhade, and then there's raining on my parade. Learn the difference. (gets shot at) Now THAT is someone raining on my parade.
Rhade: Battlestations? We're being towed.
Dylan: I know...It's just...force of habit.
Dylan: 2000 years of genetic engineering and Nietzschean's can't eliminate the gene for the blues.
Dylan: You heard me.
Rhade: That would be self-defeating. Depression is a survival strategy. Without it, we'd keep doing the same, useless things, over and over and over again. It's Nature's way of saying that what you're doing is futile, and it's time to let go. Got it?!
Dylan: Depression is Nature's way of weeding out the weak and the useless, Rhade. Which one are you?
Doyle: There's something else, Harper. He also called me Andromeda. And for the first time in my life, I knew, I know who I am. I am a warship. And I don't like running away from a fight.
|Aired:||October 15, 2004|
|Writer By:||Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz|
|Directed By:||Jorge Montesi|
|Created By:||Gene Roddenberry|
|Developed By:||Robert Hewitt Wolfe|
|Executive Producers:||Majel Roddenberry|
Josanne B. Lovick
|Production Designer||Brian Kane|
|Intro||The Universe is a dangerous place. But in our future my crew and I fight to make it safe. I am Dylan Hunt, Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, and these are our adventures.|
- Kevin Sorbo as Dylan Hunt
- Lisa Ryder as Beka Valentine
- Steve Bacic as Telemachus Rhade
- Gordon Michael Woolvett as Seamus Harper
- Laura Bertram as Trance Gemini
- Lexa Doig as Rommie
- Brandy Ledford as Doyle