|Exalted Reason, Resplendent Daughter|
|Original air date||
January 19, 2004
The Trickster flies.
Catch him, catch him--
If he doesn't lose you,
Lose you when he flies!"
Perseid Child's Game,
"Exalted Reason, Resplendent Daughter" is episode 10 of Season 4.
With Dylan Hunt not on board, and Telemachus Rhade in command, the Andromeda is in hot pursuit of Kulis Bara, a notorious pirate. They are finding him easy to follow through slipstream, because his ship is leaving a trail of Antiprotons, but when they exit slipstream, they find that they have been following a decoy drone, and Kulis has escaped. However, they receive a message from the planet Misculon that they are under attack. They move to assist, guessing that Kulis may be behind the attack. However, the ships from Misculon open fire on the Andromeda, claiming that the Commonwealth attacked them first, under orders from Shineoa San.
Shineoa San is the king of a sizable empire that is part of the Commonwealth, and he has a daughter, Aleyiss San. He informs Dylan (now back on board the Andromeda), that Aleyiss was captured by Kulis, and he thought that Kulis was on Misculon. He attacked the planet seeking revenge, as he does not believe that Aleyiss is still alive. Dylan is not prepared to give up hope, however.
Rhade and Beka Valentine work their way through the seedier parts of several planets, seeking information about Kulis or Aleyiss. Eventually, Beka is recognized by a disreputable looking man, Sy, who accuses her and her father of abandoning him on a job, and pulls a knife on her. Beka overpowers him, and says she will let him go and "call it even" if he tells her about Kulis. He tells her of a bar where she can find him. She and Rhade go to this bar, where they find Aleyiss with two thugs, who attack and overpower them.
Trance Gemini, Dylan, and Seamus Harper are headed to an orbital space station, the last place that Aleyiss was seen, in search of information. Just as Trance expresses nervousness, the station explodes. Andromeda returns to orbit around the planet where Beka and Rhade are, while Dylan and Harper review records of the explosion in order to determine the cause. They suspect sabotage, but do not know if it is related to their investigation, or just an attack against Shineoa San, who owned the station.
Aleyiss, who seems to recognize Beka, does not seem to be held against her will, and does not want to leave. She says that she and others will die if she goes back.
Beka and Rhade meet with Kulis, and warn him that Shineoa San will not give up until he gets his daughter back. Rhade offers to let him run if he lets Aleyiss go, but he refuses. Kulis says that his reputation as a dangerous criminal is important, and pulls guns on Rhade and Beka.
Dylan meets Shineoa San, who is planning a memorial for Aleyiss. Dylan warns him that he believes there is a conspiracy to overthrow his government, but Shineoa San does not agree. He says that Kulis is his only enemy, and he intends to deal with him. Dylan is still not willing to believe that Aleyiss is dead, but promises to "take Kulis down".
Aleyiss interrupts Kulis before he can kill Beka and Rhade, and kisses Kulis passionately. She says that Beka and Rhade will be allowed to live, on a backwater planet. As they are being led away, Beka pretends to trip, and kicks the guard. She and Rhade fight their way free, and report their findings about Aleyiss and Kulis back to Dylan. They return to Kulis' base, and find it empty. Dylan orders them to find Aleyiss. They know that some of the people in the attached club must know where Kulis went, but they are uncooperative. They patch Dylan into the communications system in the club, and Dylan threatens to fire on the club if they are not forthcoming with the information. They do not believe him, but he uses one of the Andromeda's beam weapons to fire a precise, low-powered strike into the club, which changes their minds.
As they arrive out of slipstream near the planet Kulis and Aleyiss are hiding on, Andromeda detects Shineoa San's ship landing on the planet.
Following their new information, Beka and Rhade head for Kulis' camp. Rhade notes that Beka seems to have an issue with Aleyiss in particular, and upper-class people in general, but Beka is evasive. They stake out the camp, and manage to take Aleyiss captive. She begs them to leave her there. Beka wonders why Aleyiss was on a cargo transport in the first place, when she was captured by Kulis, and Aleyiss claims that she was deliberately put in danger by her father, because she was becoming more popular with the people than he was. She originally protested her father's reckless decision sending cargo transports on a dangerous trade route. When their people started supporting her, it was the last straw for her father. She also accuses Shineoa San of having her mother killed. Aleyiss claims that Kulis is really a good man: He only steals from the rich and corrupt, in order to help poorer and weaker planets. Beka and Rhade are skeptical.
Aleyiss says that she realizes why Beka looks familiar: Aleyiss knows Beka's mother, Talia Waterkurk, the senator of Oedekirk. Beka refuses to comment.
Rhade tells Aleyiss that if she wants to prove herself, she should turn Kulis over to them.
Dylan arrives, and confronts Kulis. Kulis warns Dylan that, if he is killed, there will be 1000 planets united in seeking to avenge him. Dylan expresses doubts about this. The confrontation seems hopeless until Harper arrives, gun drawn. He tells Dylan that Beka, Rhade, and Aleyiss are trapped in an enzyme swamp, and Kulis escapes.
Rhade, Beka, and Aleyiss are stepping from rock to rock through the enzyme swamp, to a more stable ledge. Kulis arrives, and tells Aleyiss that he will save her and leave, but she insists that he help save all of them. Shineoa San arrives and shoots Kulis, wounding him threatening to kill them all; he also smugly states that his people will forget Aleyiss just like they did her mother. But before he could, Dylan and Harper arrive. Pretending to be distracted, Shineoa San tries raising his weapon, only for Dylan to shoot it out of his hand, causing Shineoa San to fall into the swamp. Rhade and the others are still trapped on the ledge, but Harper calls Andromeda to use her cryonic beam to freeze the swamp temporarily, allowing them to walk to safety. However, Shineoa San's hand bursts from the ice and attempts to grab Beka, but Dylan fires a few shots that takes him down.
Back on the Andromeda, Beka and Aleyiss have an awkward conversation. Aleyiss apologizes to Beka, and Beka tells her that she kept her past a secret for a reason.
Dylan tells Kulis that Aleyiss' claims about him checked out, he is not a murderer, and he has more than 1100 worlds loyal to him, populated primarily with freed slaves. Dylan admires his leadership and his good intentions, despite his unorthodox methods. He offers to let Kulis go, if he will bring his planets into the Commonwealth, and "play by the rules". He also let lets Aleyiss into his study, who agrees to merge their two empires. Before Dylan could inform them of a few conditions, the two started kissing passionately.
Some time later, the crew returns from Aleyiss and Kulis' wedding. Harper complains that if he had another piece of cake, he'd hit himself. Rommie sarcastically tells him that she'd never let him do that.
Beka tells Rhade how her mother abandoned her and her father when Beka was 7 years old, because she grew tired of domestic life, and went back to her power and money. Beka doubts that her mother even misses her.
Up on the Observation Deck, Trance asks Dylan how he's going to explain to the Triumvirate about allowing Kulis to join the Commonwealth. He admits that since they are not due at Tarazed for a few months, he has enough time to come up with something.
Dylan: Don't beat yourself up.
Rhade: A Nietzschean never beats himself up – we're self-absorbed, not masochistic.
Rhade: So, this place we're going – sturdy, hardy, tests survival skills. I think I'm going to like it.
Beka: Clamp down on the Nietzschean observations, will you?
Dylan: Don't be smart!
Harper: It's hard not to, when you're a prodigy.