One of science fiction’s most popular tropes is the use of parallel or alternate dimensions. The alternate reality that the Raza crew encounter is even darker and more cruel than the dark reality they have just departed.
This episode reminded me of the Original Star Trek episode, Mirror Mirror, in which Captain Kirk and a few of his crew travel to an evil, dictatorial universe where there is very little morality and everyone seems to focus on getting ahead at the expense of those around them.
The only exception is Mr. Spock who continues to use logic to save the day. A memorable line said by Captain Kirk, that could easily apply to the Android of the Raza in both universes states, “You are a (person) of integrity in both universes”.
For the Raza crew in this episode, the alternate universe is lacking in the authoritarian political system, but it contains a few changes in crew and some surprises that challenge the crew. As usual for our stalwart cast, a plan never seems to come together flawlessly. There are always bumps and hurdles to contend with.
The special effects of the space battle that the Raza accidentally drops into are very impressive. Kudos to Lawren Bancroft-Wilson‘s Visual Effects team in this one!
Stuff To Steal, People To Kill:
This episode, Stuff To Steal, People To Kill, begins right where last week’s episode left off. The Raza crew are testing the Blink Drive, now that they know what it is. Naturally, this does not go well. Instead of ending up on the other side of the universe, as they had hoped, they end up in an alternate time line.
It turns out that the space station they escaped from in the previous episode is not only deserted, but it is in really bad shape. It appears to have been in a battle and come out of it in pieces. The Raza crew also have no idea where Nyx (Melanie Liburd) and Devon (Shaun Sipos) are.
The destruction of the space station is the first clue, but seeing an identical Raza involved in a battle with ships from the Nikei Corporation provides them with evidence that they are not in Kansas anymore.
It also appears that the other Raza’s Blink Drive is functioning, because they keep, well, blinking in and out of the area as they continue the fight. Two tells everyone that if they want to get back to their reality, they will need the alternate Raza’s Blink drive.
They are then fired on by another Nikei vessel and become disabled. They contact the vessel only to have a not so friendly chat with Commander Truffault (Torri Higginson). Truffault will spare their lives if she is permitted to board them and retrieve their Blink Drive.
Four (Alex Mallari Jr.) who impersonates himself, as Emperor, lures the Raza in, setting up a trap for a Two (Melissa O’Neil) and Three (Anthony Lemke) from the alternate ship and take their places. Boone and Two, who trade places with their evil counterparts, turn out to be exactly as expected, cruel and heartless felons with a lust for profit. They would fit in perfectly with the crew of the alternate Enterprise.
There are a few surprises in this universe, for example Six (Roger Cross) discovers he is dead at the hands of two, and on board the other ship, the real Jace Corso (Marc Bendavid), is there, and, apparently, acting like a boss.
They are about to steal the Blink drive on the alternate ship, but before they can, the Raza engages its engines and leaves for another job, trapping them on board for the trip.
Before they switch places, the other Boone and Two are shown being in an intimate relationship. Three was pretty busy being the sex object of the episode as shortly, thereafter, he is having an intimate experience with Tash. Bad boy. Three, you deserve everything you get.
When they go planet side, on a mission to deal with some miners, in a replay of one of the season one episodes, and when Two tries to change things for a more peaceful way of resolving the dispute, Wexler kills the miners they are meeting in cold blood.
Two then has to knock him out in order to enforce her way of thinking. In other words, by trying to avoid killing everyone. She finds out they plan to nuke the settlement, and orders Corso to stand down. He ignores her orders, and launches the nuke anyway in an attempt to kill her. She fails to prevent this, but she manages to escape.
The episode gives us a glimpse of the real Jace Corso, in place of the one that we are familiar with. As usual for the alternate members of the Raza crew, he is a real psycho with homicidal tendencies he likes to indulge in.
Back on the ship, Boone knocks Corso out – a much more humane treatment of the man who killed One at the end of the first season. Two’s timing is not the best lately. She gets involved in a fight with Tash, who gets the upper hand when Two’s nanites start acting up. We are given the opportunity, here to be teased with an upcoming story line. Maybe they will call it, “Two’s Nanites Fight Back”. Just as Tash moves in for the kill, the Android intervenes, saving Two’s life by stunning Tash with a gun. This is a perfect example of the Spock logic we find in the Android when she explains that it is part of her job to save the crew from coming to harm, even if it is from another member of the crew.
Boone and Two manage to steal the Blink drive. As they head back to their Raza, Truffaut betrays their deal and threatens to start killing the other members of the crew unless they turn over the Blink drive.
Two has a trick or two of her own (sorry, Two) and out maneuvers Truffault, attacking the Nikei ship and damaging it so it is vulnerable to being destroyed by another attack. This is where turnabout is fair play.
Truffaults vessel is now in the same position that the Raza was in at the beginning of the episode, Without much choice, they come to a deal for the return of her crew, and the Raza. At this point, I thought, instead of just stealing the Blink Drive, maybe they should also take the weapons tricked out alternate Raza. What a pity that they did not.
When they return to their ship, and release their evil counterparts, the androids from both ships meet. During their brief encounter, it is revealed by the other android that she feels indebted to Two, because she says, she made her what she is. Awe…
It appears that the alternate universe android is identical to the original Android before her upgrade happened and she began exhibiting her recent changes.
Five (Jodelle Ferland) installs the Blink drive, and they return to their own reality only to find that someone from the alternate universe has hitched a ride in the other Raza’s Marauder, attached to their hull. It escapes before they can stop it.
Obviously, Joe Mallozzi and his writing team will have to provide us with the answer to this new mystery sooner rather than later.
Something to think about:
– There was not alternate Five on board that Raza, which [for a lack of a better term] “Our” Six believed made some of the differences between the counterparts; her absence in that parallel reality really did make a difference;
– Six was given the Android’s shut down code. Does that now mean that he can turn her off whenever he wishes?
– Nyx was retrieved from the space station, but Devon neither showed up to meet her nor did he respond to any of their calls. The Raza crew obviously has no idea what really happened to him – with only Five showing any real concern for him – will they learn the truth about what happened to him;
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