|To Loose the Fateful Lightning|
|Original air date||
October 16, 2000
"Those who fail to learn history
are doomed to repeat it;
those who fail to learn history correctly--
why they are simply doomed."
"The Illusion of Historical Fact"
"To Loose the Fateful Lightning" is episode 3 of Season 1.
After docking, Beka, Harper and Dylan enter the Guard Station, and find signs of recent battle, including a dead Magog. They come under fire, until Dylan identifies himself as a High Guard officer, then they are greeted by a group of children chanting "Hail the High Guard". Their leader, Nassan, is the oldest – she is about 20 years old, and seems very ill. Dylan and Beka guess that this may be because of radiation poisoning.
The children present a play to Dylan, telling the story of their fighting off the Magog and Nietzschean slavers. They identify with the Commonwealth, and frequently use words that are derived from High Guard terms, but somewhat warped over time. They tell Dylan they have been waiting for the return of the High Guard, and present him with a crate filled with Magog cheek horns and Nietzschean bone blades, taken from dead enemies.
Dylan, looking for a way to combat the kids' xenophobia, takes Trance to meet them. After some initial suspicion, they seem to take to her.
Dylan and Harper are taken to "The Room of Knowledge" – a storage area for old High Guard blueprints, including one Harper finds for "The Ship Made Flesh". Nassan claims to have the blueprints memorized, but when tested on this by Dylan, her memorized version is inaccurate, and he discovers that she cannot read. Harper comes back from "looting" the Drift, with Quintaflop Logic Chips, Flexis, and New Bayern Weissbrau. After showing Rommie his bounty, he locks himself in the Eureka Maru, working on a project that he will not share the details of.
Using Andromeda's scanners, Beka locates the radiation leak, in an area identified as the "Noble Shrine". Dylan is able to open the door to this "Shrine" with his High Guard command codes, and they find a hangar filled with 24 slipfighters, armed with Nova bombs. The voltarium in these nova bombs (or as the kids call them "Noble Bombs") is the source of the radiation. Tyr suggests that Dylan could use them to restore the Commonwealth, but Dylan is not willing to either use force, or sell them and "buy" his Commonwealth.
Dylan tries to teach peace to the kids, but they only understand force. They ask him to "bless" two "holy warriors", and he complies.
Trance has determined that Nassan and the older generation of kids are incurable, but the younger ones can be saved, by using medical nanobots and getting rid of the voltarium.
Tyr sneaks into the Guard Station, reporting his progress back to Andromeda.
Dylan tries to get Nassan to teach peace, but her understanding of "peace" involves the death of her enemies. While he is talking to her, two fighters leave the hangar – the two boys that Dylan "blessed" have taken fighters to the Dyhedra system. Dylan pursues in the Andromeda, but they are only able to retrieve one fighter, the other destroys the sun. Beka and Harper indicate that they have something set up with the remaining fighters.
Harper is supportive of the kids' efforts to destroy the Magog – when he was growing up on Earth, two of his cousins were infested with Magog eggs, and his family were forced to kill them to prevent the eggs from hatching.
While Hayek, Nassan's second-in-command, is giving a speech about bringing "peace to our enemies", meaning their destruction, Dylan talks to Nassan that some of the Magog on Dyhedra were innocent. Nassan finds the concept of an "innocent Magog" to be laughable, but Dylan introduces her to Rev Bem. Over the course of an hour, Rev convinces her that there may be some Magog that are not bad. As Dylan and Rev (concealed in a hooded robe), are returning to the Andromeda, Hayek calls Dylan away.
In the Maru, Harper is still working on his secret project. He "steals" a hair from Beka's head.
Hayek has captured Rev, strung him up by the ankle, and the children are beating him. Dylan intervenes. Hayek says, "If you're really our Messiah, you'll beat this Magog to death yourself." Dylan responds, "I am your Messiah," but orders them to cut Rev down. Hayek complies.
While Trance treats Rev for some serious internal injuries, Tyr's activities on the Station are revealed: he has rigged the fighters for remote control from the Andromeda. Dylan decides to leave the Station. The kids have been injected with nanobots, and he will remove the fighters. He declares that he cannot base the Commonwealth on lies (i.e. claiming he is their Messiah).
As they are preparing to leave, Mapes, the third-in-command of the station contacts Trance. He asks to come along with them, or he will be killed, because Hayek suspects him of being "compromised". Trance opens the doors, and the kids board in force and overrun the Command Center.
The fighters launch from the Guard Station, and Dylan attempts to take control of them, but Hayek informs him that he has the communications jammed, and the fighters are headed for 22 separate systems. He orders the crew of the Andromeda executed.
Harper brings Nassan on board to overrule Hayek, but Hayek gets Dylan to admit lying about being their Messiah – he is just a man who wants their help.
Finally, Harper's secret project is revealed; Rommie, the android avatar of Andromeda emerges from the Maru – the "Ship Made Flesh". Using the ship's Artificial gravity field, she disables the kids. With the jamming disabled, she uses the remote controls to eject the fighter pilots, transits the fighters to slipstream, and has them self-destruct.
Back at the Guard Station, Mapes is in command, speaking of preparing to join the new Commonwealth.
On the Andromeda, Dylan has saved the nova bomb from Mapes' slipfighter, which he places in secure storage.
- "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" provides the title, specifically the first verse.
- "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
- He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
- He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
- His truth is marching on."
- "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is a song made popular during the American Civil War. However, the episode has more in common with Mark Twain's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Updated".
- The "doomed history" refers to a quote by Winston Churchill and George Santayana.
- Harper's offer to have Rommie taste the New Bayern Weissbrau is a reference to "Forbidden Planet" and Robby the Robot.
Beka: These kids are very in touch with their inner savage.
Rommie: Dylan may not be a god, but on this ship, I am.
Harper: That is the Andromeda I know, love, and gave human form to!
Rev Bem: (as the kids take the bridge) Suddenly my ribs hurt again.
Dylan: I'm used to talking to you on the holo screen. Waking up in the morning, having breakfrest, you see me...
Rommie: ... getting out of the shower.
Dylan: Let's just say on many occasions, okay?
Rommie: Of course.
Dylan: So... I hope your new avatar won't change our...
Rommie: Sir, Commonwealth protocol prohibits anything other than a purely professional relationship.
To Loose the Fateful Lightning was released on DVD in a variety of formats. For more information see:
|Andromeda: Season 1 Volume Releases|
|Andromeda: Complete Season 1|
|Andromeda: Series 1 Volume Releases|
|Andromeda: Complete Series 1|
|Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection|
|Andromeda: The Complete Boxset|