|The Right Horse|
|Original air date||
February 17, 2003
for it is only what he knows.
A wise man is aware of
when to share the truth."
Vedran Empress Yoweri XXIII
"The Right Horse" is episode 14 of Season 3.
While Dylan Hunt is away at the Xinti Stratgetic Defense Summit, Rommie, Trance Gemini and Seamus Harper discuss the planet Veras, where Beka Valentine is currently testifying at a trial for a friend who is accused of committing a crime. Rommie explains that lying has been eradicated from the Verasites' culture and that the inhabitants live in a world of absolute truthfulness.
At the Vera city prison, Tyr Anasazi waits as Beka takes the stand in hopes of defending her friend, Able LaDrone, for stealing DNA. In her testimony, Beka tries to give a positive spin to the accusations but is repeatedly caught lying by the polygraph machine’s beep. Her frustration grows with each beep until she’s had enough. Realizing Able has no chance in these people’s hands, Beka grabs a guard’s gun and breaks Able out. She informs the Andromeda of the situation as the three of them make a run for the Maru.
As the Maru docks on the Andromeda, Marshall Orac of Veras Fugitive Retrieval is hailing the ship. They know Able LaDrone is aboard and demand his return or they will attack. The crew knows that Veras is part of Technocore, a small system of companies manufacturing weapons and defense systems. If the Verasites attack, Technocore is sure to step in. Andromeda is no match for their firepower and a fight would make the crew criminals in the eyes of the Commonwealth.
While discussing their options, Able inquires about a gadget Harper is fooling with on his belt. Harper hands it to Able and a small shock stings him when he takes it. Trance confronts Beka, upset that she is willing to put the rest of the crew in danger for a man from her past. Beka argues that she is being a loyal friend, and stomps off, angry that she isn’t getting the same from her friends. She meets Able aboard the Maru and he tells her of the material he stole, that its curative uses are innumerable but it could be a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands. They plan their escape as they await Technocore's impending arrival.
Rommie interrupts their conversation, calling Beka to Command. The Verasites are coming aboard and Beka cannot believe the crew is allowing them on. Rommie knows Technocore’s military is preparing to attack unless they give the Verasites an audience, but Tyr will allow it only as soon as Able is locked in the brig. Beka refuses, deciding if the two of them leave, the rest of the crew will no longer be in danger. She and Able take the Maru to hide on the planet where they first met, and Beka listens to him explain what he’s mixed up in. He tells her he has memorized some of the stolen information and the rest is camouflaged in nanobots imitating vital organs in his body. Only a few biotechs in the galaxy are capable of removing them without killing him.
While Marshall Orac and Lieutenant Lyra are aboard the Andromeda learning of LaDrones’s escape, Harper examines a cartridge from the gizmo that shocked LaDrone. The device has taken a sample of LaDrone’s DNA which Harper analyzes, gaining his first clue as to what Beka’s friend is carrying. As Harper works, Rommie and Tyr set off in Slipfighters to find the Maru before Technocore does. Their departure comes just in time because as Beka and Able are sharing a moment, four Technocore assassins board the Maru. They get into a battle with Beka nearly getting herself shot when Rommie and Tyr show up to help. They defeat the assassins and Rommie pulls Beka aside to tell her that according to Harper’s analysis, LaDrone may not be who she thinks he is.
On Andromeda, Harper and Lyra are in the conduits, talking and having a moment. They briefly kiss before Beka pulls him out of the conduit, resulting in an argument between them.
They return to the Andromeda and as Harper, Beka, and Rommie discuss who or what LaDrone may be, the Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence announces that dozens of Technocore ships are heading toward the Andromeda. Beka and Able take the Maru, in an attempt to even the odds, and both ships begin taking fire. Beka relays a plan to Harper about using the plasma cannon to create “phantoms,” or energy echoes that will appear to the enemy as a bunch of cloaked ships.
The Andromeda is being hammered as Harper fires two salvos from the plasma cannon. Nothing happens at first and the enemy ships close for the kill. At the last second the Technocore fighters all stop and turn as if to face ships behind them. About one hundred blips show up on the monitor, appearing to surround the closing fighters. Thoroughly distracted, the enemy fails to see Dylan sneak through in his Slipfighter. Beka also takes advantage of the lull to ask Able just what is really going on. He tells her his genetic components were experimented on while he was in prison, which is why his DNA is modified. Just then Harper calls them to Command; Technocore has accepted what they think is Dylan’s proposition: returning LaDrone to Veras. In reality they have staged a mock fight in which Dylan shoots and kills him. The two emissaries that Technocore sent are fooled by the show and they depart, satisfied that their secrets are safe. Beka, who was also fooled for the sake of the charade, is beside herself with grief over Able's death when Harper comes in with Able LaDrone, who is very much alive. Harper created a Golem, a genetic template of a living person, to fool them. Able's secrets have given the Commonwealth more than enough information for them to investigate Technocore's dubious practices, and he and Beka are free to pursue their love.
On Andromeda command, Harper is trying to reach Lieutenant Lyra, but is hopeless in all attempts, leaving him rather discouraged. Dylan tells Harper that the truth has set him free, but Harper wants to be with Lyra. He gives Trance a look, yet she walks then runs away from him.
- The title refers to a phrase from "Dictionary of Phrase and Fable": "Set the saddle on the right horse." and "Lay the blame on those who deserve it."
- The title refers to the sport of horse racing. The victorious gambler will back the right horse when betting.
- Veritas is Latin for truth.
Harper: Well that sucks. I guess that's why they say space is a vacuum.
Rommie: No. They say space is a vacuum (Tyr joins in) because space is a vacuum.
Harper: We're in big trouble boss, with the capital word SCREWED!
Harper: A world of polygraphs? I get paranoid just thinking about it!
Harper: Did you know your name is Greek for Harp? Well no-one plays the Harp better than the Harper.
Andromeda: (interrupting Harper being alone with Lyra) Harper?
Harper: Yes, oh Glorious-Creation-Of-Mine-With-The-World's-Crappiest-Timing?
Harper: Wait a minute...that can't be right. But then, that would mean that I, Boy Genius, am wrong.
Lyra: Sorry for interrupting. Are you really a genius?
Harper: Now usually at this point I'd beg for mercy, but if I were you, I'd run like hell.
Dylan: Mr. Harper. I think maybe you and I should run like hell.
(they both run off the Maru)