knife-fight in a dirt-floored bar:
And if they get you down,
you best get back up."
Gunnery Sergeant Hywell Cy'rabia,
"Last Call at the Broken Hammer" is episode 5 of Season 2.
Dylan Hunt, Beka Valentine, Tyr Anasazi, and Trance Gemini are on the Eureka Maru, searching for Isabella Ortiz, a political leader who managed to form an alliance of 20 worlds, although the alliance was destroyed by the Kalderans.
As Trance drops a tool on her tail, Tyr wonders why they brought her along. Out of the blue, Trance notes that the world they are heading for came through the war with the Kalderans relatively unscathed, but a woman like Ortiz would go to where her help was needed, mentioning another world that suffered much more. Dylan indicates that that is why they brought Trance, and orders a course change.
The planet Trance selected has only one settlement, based around an ore processing plant for the mining that takes place there. Beka lands the Maru nearby, while speculating to Dylan whether Ortiz will be interested in helping, or if she will have had enough of the politics. They enter the local bar, and receive a cold reception.
Dylan shows the bartender a picture of Ortiz, and Beka offers money for information on her whereabouts. The bartender recognizes the picture, but says it is the local doctor, Cory, not Ortiz.
Cory enters the bar in the company of a large man, Gorejon. When Gorejon hears that they are looking for Ortiz, he pulls his gun, but Beka shoots him in the leg before he can fire. At this, everyone in the bar draws a weapon, but Dylan and Beka talk them down, based on the fact that Gorejon drew first, and Beka used non-lethal force.
Dylan tries to talk to Cory, but she blows him off. The bartender, Saphia, tries to convince her to talk to him, and she agrees to, provided he surrenders his forcelance. He does, and she realizes he is serious.
Hsigo, a large, ugly alien, accuses Tyr of being a spy for the mining company, but Tyr quickly convinces him that he is not.
Cory tells Dylan that she is not Ortiz. She claims that she was Ortiz's doctor, and Ortiz is dead. Ortiz helped them set up a clinic, and had the off-world contacts to get supplies. A bounty hunter tracked her down and killed her, but they killed the bounty hunter before he could leave. Cory took Ortiz's identity to maintain access to the supplies, and did not even know whose face she was wearing until later. She offers a DNA sample and/or a brain scan to prove that she is not Ortiz.
Dylan does not seem to believe this, and tells her that he is trying to get to Ortiz before the Kalderans do. At this point, the Kalderans arrive, and start shelling the bar. Jadis, a pregnant woman who was at the bar to meet Cory, her doctor, starts to panic, but Saphia reassures them that the bar used to be a bomb shelter, so it should hold out for a while. Cory insists that they have to protect the people, and Dylan takes that as proof that she is Ortiz.
While Trance comforts Jadis, Dylan and Tyr go out to deal with the mortars. They set some Force lances to intercept the shells, which will keep them safe for a while. Dylan plans to go and take out the mortars directly, but Tyr tells him that he is better-suited organizing the people in the bar while Tyr takes out the mortars.
As Dylan is ordering the people to place portable heat lamps, to confuse the Kalderans using infrared vision, Trance is looking worried. Hsigo suggests just handing Ortiz over to the Kalderans, but Trance steps in his way and threatens him if he tries to do so. He is surprised by this, since she is physically much smaller than him, but he complies.
Jadis tries to flee the bar, but Dylan stops her. They exchange small arms fire with the Kalderans outside, and Gorejon is killed. Saphia is almost shot as well, but Trance dives, saving her. In the course of the action, Trance's tail is shot off.
Afterwards, Cory treats Trance, patching up her injury, and giving her a bottle of alcohol as "pain killer". Trance drinks the whole bottle, mourning the loss of her tail, and passes out.
Dylan is organizing the people in the bar to defend it. At the same time, he is trying to convince Cory to join in his quest to restore the Commonwealth. She is reluctant, as she keeps seeing things getting worse.
The Kalderans blow open the door, and Tyr runs in. He has taken out the mortars, but another ship is landing, so they are running short on time.
Saphia gives Jadis a gun, to allow her to protect her baby.
The Kalderan fire stops they are regrouping.
Cory states that she is willing to give herself up to ensure everyone else's safety, but Dylan declines her offer. He calls her over to talk, but as she stands up, she is shot dead by Jadis, who hopes that with Cory dead, the Kalderans will go away. Dylan quickly disarms Jadis, and asks Trance to look after her.
Out of the line of direct fire, Trance reassures Jadis that despite what she has done, she can create a proper future for her daughter.
Saphia blames herself for Cory's death, since she gave Jadis the gun.
Hsigo is blaming Ortiz for ruining his life, by giving him hope. He fought for the alliance, and saw many friends killed. However, he never actually knew what she looked like, and did not know that Cory was Ortiz. Beka tells him that he should thank her for giving him hope she could not have given him hope if he did not want it.
Dylan asks Saphia what would happen if they did give the Kalderans Cory's body. He notes that looks are easy to change, and he believes that Cory was not actually Ortiz, but that Saphia is. Saphia admits that she is Ortiz, and she and Cory swapped identities.
When Hsigo discovers that Saphia is really Ortiz, he pulls his gun on her, but Tyr and Beka are quicker, and shoot and kill him. They realize that he was the Kalderans' inside man.
They put Cory's body out for the Kalderans, to buy some time, knowing that they will quickly realize that it is not really Ortiz. While the Kalderans are examining the body, Tyr attacks their position.
Finally, the Kalderans storm the bar in force, but the defenses hold, and the Kalderans are all killed. Even Trance shoots one of them.
Dylan offers to leave and claim that Ortiz is dead, but she agrees to come along to help negotiate the new Commonwealth constitution.
- "Last call" is an idiom with meaning: last chance to buy a drink or come in for supper.
- "Operation Broken Hammer" was the code name for NATO operations against the Serbs in 1999.
- The planet's name "Svarog's Anvil" in combination with the name of the bar can be taken as a hint to the slavic idiom "between hammer and anvil" (with the same meaning as "Rock and a Hard Place"). In Slavic Mythology Svarog was the God of Fire, similar to the Greek's Hephaestus.
- There is saying that one can be or hammer, or anvil.
- "Hammer into Anvil": "George Orwell disputed Goethe when he wrote in "Politics and the English Language" that "In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about." As it is Number Six (the Anvil) who breaks Number Two (the Hammer), this may have been understood by the writer."
- Last call is a term used to inform people that a bar is about to close.
- Dylan quotes a Latin phrase which when translated means "It must be destroyed". It originates from the sentence "Carthago delenda est", meaning "Carthage must be destroyed" (no matter the cost). It voices the hatred of ancient Rome against Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War as well as persistence in general and acquired fame because Cato the Elder, a Roman statesman ended every speech with it, included ones without any link to Carthage. The Kalderan-Vedran War ended with Kalderash's destruction.
- Jadis, the pregnant woman in this episode, is played by Gordon Michael Woolvett's wife, Michelle Morand. At the time of shooting, she was pregnant with their son, Rogan.
- Gordon Michael Woolvett (Harper) does not appear in this episode.
Trance: Alcohol doesn't affect me the same way it does you.
Beka: Yeah, right, like that time on Diphda V . Next, you'll tell me you've got a hollow leg.
Trance: No, but I know where to get one.
Trance: (to Hsigo) I know this may be a stretch for you, but think. You're twice as big as me, and you look pretty scary, but I'm still standing up to you, so either I'm crazy, or I am really, really dangerous. Would you like to guess which? I didn't think so.
Trance: (to Tyr) My tail itches.
Tyr: Then it's not really gone then, is it?