Friday, 18 August 2017

Reviewing Roddenberry's Andromeda

"Andromeda" is a TV Series that began airing in October of 2000. Initially based on notes left behind by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, it was developed for television by Robert Hewitt Wolfe (a writer for Deep Space Nine), and starred Kevin Sorbo (of Hercules fame). Somewhat incredibly, it ran for five seasons, despite jettisoning a lot of it's original premise (Robert Hewitt Wolfe's writing was deemed "too intelligent", and he was let go in mid-Season Two).

In 2017, the Space channel in Canada started re-airing the old episodes. I'd remembered seeing a number of them back in the day (along with reading Jammer's Reviews), so I thought I'd partake again.

After a few months of this, I realized two things. First, courtesy of reading the comments section on Jammer's site, there were no reviewers out there who actually stuck through an episode-by-episode analysis to the end. So that's a void on the internet. Second, somehow, I found I'd ended up seeing more than 4 seasons worth of the thing by the time Space had cycled back to the start of the series.

So, what the hell. I watched some of the episodes I missed as they came up again, tracked down later ones on the Internet to fill in all the gaps, located a transcript site to refresh my memory as needed, and assembled this post. I now present to you, a ranking of all 110 "Andromeda" episodes.


First, to be clear, my system won't look at each episode in a stand-alone sort of way. If you want that, Baron Samedi did a decent job in the comments of the aforementioned Jammer's Reviews, and I'll link to some other review sites below.

Instead, this will look at each episode in terms of the series as a cohesive whole. Which episodes you can toss out, versus which ones you can keep, versus which ones you can enjoy, so that when you finally reach the end, you're not completely lost. (Sorry, you will still be a little confused. The series goes downhill, and the ending doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm either braver than most, or crazier, for attempting this.) With that said,

My scale:
FORGETTABLE. Might be better to think that this episode never happened.
NECESSARY. Not good, but by skipping this, you’d miss something interesting and/or relevant.
ADEQUATE. Average fare. Worth taking the time to watch, but (in my opinion) that's about it.
SUPERIOR. More than worth watching, here certain things are being done well.
MEMORABLE. Has the potential to stick with you on some deeper level.

I'll keep a running total at the end of every season. Let's get to it.

SEASON ONE (2000-2001)

001. “Under the Night”. ADEQUATE.
 Sets the stage, introducing the characters and the situation. No harm, no foul.

002. “An Affirming Flame”. SUPERIOR.
 More like the second of a two parter, finishes the setup on a strong note.

003. “To Loose the Fateful Lightning”. NECESSARY.
 Rommie gets her body, the ship gets a Nova Bomb, but it’s pretty weak.

004. “D Minus Zero”. SUPERIOR.
 Might be ranked generously, but some good character work here, which is interesting since it’s first in production order. The device to fool ship sensors is plot relevant later.

005. “Double Helix”. SUPERIOR.
 Some weak acting and plot conveniences pull down an otherwise fascinating look at Nietzscheans. Key long term plot points drop here too.

006. “Angel Dark, Demon Bright”. MEMORABLE.
 Even with my time travel bias, others rank this outing highly as well. Very well done, and written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who knows the big picture.

007. “The Ties That Blind”. FORGETTABLE.
 Harsh? Yes, it has Beka’s brother, our first real look at Wayism, and introduces the Restors, but none of it means much of anything, and for once you can get these necessary plot points elsewhere. I also want to forget Beka talking to herself in a dorky way.

008. “The Banks of the Lethe”. NECESSARY.
 The clever time travel has some plot relevance (including 030), but it’s more the teleporter that bumps this up from ‘forgettable’ (except you’ll need to wait long for the payoff). Still, nothing of real consequence.

009. “A Rose in the Ashes”. FORGETTABLE.
 Well. That was a thing on a prison planet.

010. “All Great Neptune’s Ocean”. NECESSARY.
 Ranked as such because it has details like force lance mechanics, it uses personality quirks, and it provides context for all the dumb fish puns that will not die after this episode.

011. “The Pearls That Were His Eyes”. NECESSARY.
 Needed for the “Flash” drug connection, while John de Lancie’s also good in his role, but otherwise forgettable.

012. “The Mathematics of Tears”. FORGETTABLE.
 Another harsh rank, but it didn’t grab me, and like 007 above, rogue AIs doesn’t add anything that we won’t get elsewhere. (Another similarity with 007? We get ‘teleplay’ along with ‘story’ credits, implying the script wasn’t done by the people who came up with the ideas. Could be coincidence.)

013. “Music of a Distant Drum”. ADEQUATE.
 It’s definitely necessary for the Nietzschean angle, and either Robert Hewitt Wolfe’s writing or Keith Hamilton Cobb’s acting as Tyr (or both) elevates it past that.

014. “Harper 2.0”. ADEQUATE.
 It’s even more necessary than the last episode (hi Abyss), and again there’s enough in here to elevate it to being worth taking the time to watch.

015. “Forced Perspective”. NECESSARY.
 The actual plot’s a bit forgettable, but it’s the first good look at what Trance can (and cannot) do, done in the context of key elements from Dylan’s past. So it’s needed for those who like that big picture.

016. “The Sum of Its Parts”. NECESSARY.
 More necessary in terms of “what could have been”, in that the Consensus was destined for a larger role. If you don’t care about that original plan, it’s forgettable. (And you can swap this rank with 012 if you want tech fluff done better.)

017. “Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way”. FORGETTABLE.
 The Tarn-Vedra diary appears, so literally anything else would make this necessary, but no, we didn’t need to see Gerentex posturing, so who cares where the diary came from.

018. “The Devil Take the Hindmost”. SUPERIOR.
 An entry I might have ranked generously (the acting’s weak), but we finally get a better look at Wayism (compared to 007), and Rev Bem, and the Magog, and see there’s down sides to fighting for a cause. Definitely adequate?

019. “The Honey Offering”. SUPERIOR.
 Good Nietzschean maneuvering (along with Dylan himself) and it sets their factions up for the broader picture too. Even if that whip breaks physics.

020. “Star-Crossed”. ADEQUATE.
 Another key episode in the overall tapestry, and better done than 012. If only Michael Shanks hadn’t (presumably) been asked to act without emotion, this could have been even higher.

021. “It Makes a Lovely Light”. ADEQUATE.
 The “Flash” and “Tarn-Vedra” threads entwine here in what is finally a watchable episode for Beka’s character.

022. “It’s Hour Come Round at Last”. ADEQUATE.
 I might be elevating this one due to it’s pivotal role in the whole series (the plot’s a bit contrived), but there’s things to enjoy here too, including Andromeda’s conversations with herselves.

Season One Tally:
Forgettable: 4   Necessary: 6   Adequate or Above: 12

SEASON TWO (2001-2002)

023. “The Widening Gyre”. SUPERIOR.
 It is almost a reinvention of the series, with some good character work. Works much like 002 was a better follow-up at the start of the show, in how the peril is resolved in a satisfactory way.

024. “Exit Strategies”. NECESSARY.
 Has follow-ups to Harper’s issues, Rev’s character, and Tyr’s bones plot, but not much more than that.

025. “A Heart for Falsehood Framed”. NECESSARY.
 A better look at Beka’s past than 007, with some interesting twists en route, but cheesy. All it amounts to overall is a map, a plot which is swept aside after 038.

026. “Pitiless as the Sun”. NECESSARY.
 Necessary to see some character work for Trance and a decent guest star in William B. Davis (of X-Files fame), along with introducing the Pyrians. Not really necessary for any other reason.

027. “Last Call at the Broken Hammer”. NECESSARY.
 That is, kind of necessary? I’d say it’s forgettable, except Trance gets her tail shot off, we meet the Kalderan race for the first time... and the story WAS by Robert Hewitt Wolfe so the Ortiz stuff must have once meant something. Damned if I know what.

028. “All Too Human”. MEMORABLE.
 Yes, I’m putting this top shelf. It’s got some fascinating interplay between Tyr and Rev Bem regarding Harper and his issues. It’s got an interesting setup with the AI issues in the main plot, with plot consequences to match, and good guest stars in both Bruce Harwood (of Lone Gunmen fame) and Roger Cross (of 24 & First Wave). Beka even name drops Mobius (from 015) if you’re paying attention. All helps me overlook minor issues.

029. “Una Salus Victus”. SUPERIOR.
 Doesn’t feel like it hooks into the main plot as much as the prior episode (where they got a ship), but still has a lot to like in terms of character work on three fronts - with the sad exception of Rev Bem, who is referenced but doesn’t appear. Also, oooh, that ending. (Alas, goes downhill from here.)

030. “Home Fires”. NECESSARY.
 Absolutely necessary for the overall plot (Rhade returns later), and interesting in and of itself, yet upon taking a step back, it somehow feels like wasted time.

031. “Into the Labyrinth”. ADEQUATE.
 Gordon Michael Woolvett as Harper singlehandedly pulls this episode out of the forgettable category, tesseracting plot or not, then guest star James Marsters pushes it higher. Helps remind us that Harper’s not as goofy as he acts.

032. “The Prince”. FORGETTABLE.
 I want the contrasting Dylan/Tyr perspectives to mean something, but really, do they? Not in the new direction the show will go.

033. “Bunker Hill”. NECESSARY.
 At least here Harper’s Earth origins DO mean something (even in context, given how the show ends), and the Nietzschean tactics lead to Beka doing her thing. So it’s skippable, but good if you like the overall experience.

034. “Ouroboros”. NECESSARY.
 The very *definition* of the necessary category. You need this episode to know why Rev Bem’s no longer around, how Harper’s cured, why Trace suddenly becomes gold, why tesseracts become a thing in later callbacks, and yet it is such a waste otherwise. The last episode by Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

035. “Lava and Rockets”. FORGETTABLE.
 Tourism! This one doesn’t even have interesting Dylan/Tyr perspectives (Rommie/Tyr is no substitute).

036. “Be All My Sins Remembered”. NECESSARY.
 Mostly necessary for the backstory it weaves in, if you’re a completist (or if you like redhead Beka). There’s also Harper foreshadowing that never comes to fruition, because the series was already taking that new direction.

037. “Dance of the Mayflies”. FORGETTABLE.
 Zombies! Trance may be dead, yo! Wait, we knew that.

038. “In Heaven Now Are Three”. NECESSARY.
 Ugh, it’s ALMOST adequate. We’ve got Trance meeting another of her kind, more foreshadowing that stalls in place (with the Engine of Creation)... and the rest feels like a rehash. Can’t give that an average ranking.

039. “The Things We Cannot Change”. FORGETTABLE.
 That’s sure one way to do a clip show.

040. “The Fair Unknown”. NECESSARY.
 There’s a Vedran going toe-to-toe with Dylan, and they’re kind of important to the overall mythos (along with Tarn Vedra), so that’s something.

041. “Belly of the Beast”. NECESSARY.
 Less necessary for mythos, more for having some fun with the characters. The show also takes pride in making decent use of Physics here.

042. “The Knight, Death, and the Devil”. ADEQUATE.
 Some interesting discussion about the sentience of Artificial Intelligences (beats 012), and actually connects to the ‘new’ Andromeda mythos, with the guest appearance of Christopher Judge as a ship.

043. “Immaculate Perception”. ADEQUATE.
 It almost ranks as superior, given Tyr’s bones plot comes to fruition, with echoes throughout the series, but the Knights of Genetic Purity thing is very eeeeehhh.

044. “Tunnel at the End of the Light”. NECESSARY.
 Almost forgettable, except now there’s a Commonwealth Charter, and its saboteur angle is junked in favour of a bizarre attack being the reason for Gold Trance. I suppose it also has to be seen to be believed.

Season Two Tally:
Forgettable: 4   Necessary: 12   Adequate or Above: 6
Forgettable: 8   Necessary: 18   Adequate or Above: 18

SEASON THREE (2002-2003)

045. “If the Wheel is Fixed”. NECESSARY.
 Necessary only because we need to see Beka and Tyr return from The Tunnel. With a kitten. Welcome to Andromeda making no sense. Includes some bizarre split screening effects that would persist for a while (see the first few minutes post-intro), Rommie changing her hair colour, and Tyr removing his arm braces (very end).

046. “The Shards of Rimni”. FORGETTABLE.
 Dylan’s on the run, because of a vase, in a plot likely retooled from the ‘Engine of Creation’ in the old mythos. Harper will get a medal, there, saved you 40 minutes.

047. “Mad to be Saved”. FORGETTABLE.
 Insane people take over the Andromeda and kidnap Tyr. It’s just that easy.

048. “Cui Bono”. NECESSARY.
 Necessary if you want to see what happened to John de Lancie’s character from 011, but if you forgot that one, forget this.

049. “The Lone and Level Sands”. ADEQUATE.
 There’s actually some interesting interplay here between the characters and those on the lost Earth ship. Also more info on slipstream. Didn’t feel like a waste.

050. “Slipfighter the Dogs of War”. NECESSARY.
 Trance’s mystic origins connect to nova bombs, as Tyr has confidence issues. Not very sensible, but not terrible, having elements from the big picture. Also, fun music.

051. “The Leper’s Kiss”. FORGETTABLE.
 Assassins. With a cute twist at the end. The twist doesn’t help.

052. “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. NECESSARY.
 Rev Bem gets quoted at the start. And the ghost plot is, while not adequate, at least interesting, showing what’s typical these days.

053. “And Your Heart Will Fly Away”. ADEQUATE.
 A second “average” episode this season, we get more on Tyr (including mention of the loss of those bone spurs on his arms), and there’s even some plot twists that work. Kinda. It’s better than 050.

054. “The Unconquerable Man”. ADEQUATE.
 And a third! Ranked adequate for how it uses the tesseracting and revisits the Memorable Episode 006 in a fascinating way. It’s superior for how it portrays Rhade, except it’s also a clip show, so I can’t in good conscience boost the ranking more.

055. “Delenda Est”. FORGETTABLE.
 Cats are extinct, meaning that whole thing at the start of the season makes even less sense now. That shouldn’t have been possible. (At least the dimension guys leave for good.)

056. “The Dark Backward”. SUPERIOR.
 A rather fascinating look at Trance, and her connection to Harper, and how to fight an enemy who always sees you coming. I’m nudging this one above the ‘Adequate’ line to make it the first “above average” for the season.

057. “The Risk All Point”. FORGETTABLE.
 Nietzschean Errin Shohashi is easy on the eyes, and the escape pod linking visual is neat too, but that’s not enough. That new ship fits into the big picture not at all.

058. “The Right Horse”. FORGETTABLE.
 Forgot I’d seen this one until I checked a summary. Why must they make Beka look brash and stupid? There’s a twist at the end, yet again, about who lives/dies.

059. “What Happens to a Rev Deferred?”. NECESSARY.
 Necessary solely to see what becomes of Rev Bem’s character amid the clips. Though he’ll come back once more in a marginally better outing next season.

060. “Point of the Spear”. ADEQUATE.
 The presence of the Pyrians (and Trance’s reaction) makes this necessary to the overall universe. The look at some of the individual pilots, seen though Beka, elevates it.

061. “Vault of the Heavens”. FORGETTABLE.
 Written by Gordon Michael Woolvett (Harper), showing he understands the series vibe of “women want to sleep with Dylan Hunt”. Alas, there being a twist doesn’t make it good.

062. “Deep Midnight’s Voice”. NECESSARY.
 This sets up the “Route of Ages” for next season, while calling in the plot patrol for what Tyr’s been doing. Otherwise, meh.

063. “The Illusion of Majesty”. FORGETTABLE.
 Out-conning the con artist, or something like that.

064. “Twilight of the Idols”. NECESSARY.
 Sets up the Patriarch (Michael Ironside), who will return later. He runs the Genites, those Knights of Genetic Purity from the end of last season. Gee, good thing we brought those guys back.

065. “Day of Judgement, Day of Wrath”. SUPERIOR.
 In a fascinating development, Michael Shanks and Christopher Judge return as ship AIs (from near the end of Seasons 1 and 2, respectively). Meanwhile, Tyr’s plot heats up in the B-Story. It starts the season end on a high note (the highest of any season, in fact).

066. “Shadows Cast by a Final Salute”. ADEQUATE.
 Nietzscheans attack Andromeda, which is part of Tyr’s plan - or is it? The final showdown between Dylan and Tyr, as everything gets revealed between them, and around them.

Season Three Tally:
Forgettable: 8      Necessary: 7    Adequate or Above: 7
Forgettable: 16    Necessary: 25  Adequate or Above: 25

SEASON FOUR (2003-2004)

067. “Answers Given to Questions Never Asked”. NECESSARY.
 The Commonwealth is doomed? Or not? Sets up ‘The Collectors’ as being a secret group hoping to seize power, ‘the Abyss’ as being able to take over people, and ends right before a speech by Dylan which might have explained whatever just happened.

068. “Pieces of Eight”. FORGETTABLE.
 A new Abyss minion uses a fortune teller to go after Dylan.

069. “Waking the Tyrant’s Device”. NECESSARY.
 The guy who built the Magog worldship is making another one? It uses plot points (such as a detachable Maru cockpit) and is ludicrous enough to not be forgettable.

070. “Double or Nothingness”. ADEQUATE.
 It’s... weird. Goofy. Unpredictable. Sure, why not, if Collectors and Nietzscheans really ARE working together, it might explain the Abyss in the end. Plus we get Harper’s fate and Peaches’ mom.

071. “Harper/Delete”. ADEQUATE.
 Nietzschean politics, as Harper tries to defuse something called “File D”. I’ll give it extra latitude for making me smile and clock it in as another average outing.

072. “Soon the Nearing Vortex”. SUPERIOR.
 Tyr escapes captivity and resumes his games, luring Beka in. Rhade (from 030) also returns, becoming a series regular from this point. The Route of Ages is sought, and ties into Trance’s origins. Lots going on here - and it’s done well.

073. “The World Turns All Around Her”. ADEQUATE.
 Tyr’s fate, and the Abyss appears as more than mere background noise. Pity that doesn’t elevate a main character’s arc conclusion any higher.

074. “Conduit to Destiny”. FORGETTABLE.
 It’s kind of clever, and Sebastian Spence does his best with a guest role, but I can’t recommend it at all.

075. “Machinery of the Mind”. NECESSARY.
 Sets up “radical isotopes” as a way to identify Abyss minions while reminding us of the Magog issue. Grace Park appears briefly.

076. “Exalted Reason, Resplendent Daughter”. FORGETTABLE.
 Missed the first part of this episode. Felt like I didn’t miss much.

077. “The Torment, the Release”. FORGETTABLE.
 Dylan’s arrested by Collectors and sentenced to a clip show, oh nuuuu. Farewell Tri-Lorn, the twist at the end is overall inconsequential.

078. “The Spider’s Stratagem”. FORGETTABLE.
 The ultimate power of living armour. But even sillier than that sounds, because they try to explain it.

079. “The Warmth of an Invisible Light”. NECESSARY.
 Much like 041, less necessary for mythos (unless you count Trance), more for having some fun with alternate universe characters. Though Harper is actually cybernetic, shout-out to original mythos?

080. “The Others”. FORGETTABLE.
 The degree of lampshading before the credits is impressive. Then it’s less funny, with a disease, and a wall, and people squabbling.

081. “Fear Burns Down to Ashes”. NECESSARY.
 Shockingly, Rev Bem is BACK! And it’s a “Collectors” story that doesn’t suck! And Harper’s useful! I wish all that was enough to make it good (or at least average).

082. “Lost in a Space that isn’t There”. FORGETTABLE.
 The plot we just did with Dylan and Rev Bem we do with Dylan and Beka instead. But worse. Why? (A callback to the equally forgettable 078, I suppose.)

083. “Abridging the Devil’s Divide”. SUPERIOR.
 Gordon Michael Woolvett’s second writing outing is MUCH better. The Patriarch returns, Harper gets a lot to reflect on, and temporal causality comes into play. (FYI, the last time we see this ranking.)

084. “Trusting the Gordian Maze”. FORGETTABLE.
 Out-conning the con artist like 063, this time from the inside, not the outside.

085. “A Symmetry of Imperfection”. FORGETTABLE.
 Kind of an interesting Rommie Versus Herself outing? But it’s been done better.

086. “Time Out of Mind”. NECESSARY.
 They get a weapon against the Abyss, out of Beka’s past. That we’ll never see again, boooo. Not forgettable though, and not merely because Erica Durance is a decent guest spot.

087. “The Dissonant Interval, Part One”. NECESSARY.
 An attempt to negotiate with Magog goes badly. Dylan learns he’s a Paradine. The deadly World Ship arrives. This should be more exciting, but somehow isn’t.

088. “The Dissonant Interval, Part Two”. NECESSARY.
 Rhade hits on someone who’s not his wife. Rommie’s blown up. Beka pulls a Han Solo. Harper comes face to face with his choices. Trance destroys her bonsai tree. Dylan escapes. Cue expressions of dull surprise.

Season Four Tally:
Forgettable: 9    Necessary: 8    Adequate or Above: 5
Forgettable: 25  Necessary: 33  Adequate or Above: 30

SEASON FIVE (2004-2005)

089. “The Weight, Part One”. NECESSARY.
 Dylan is now on Seefra-1, where he finds Rhade who arrived months earlier, and he learns this world is Tarn Vedra. (His home. But we know Dylan’s a heavy worlder, and the plot never explains this.) Well, there’s your context for this season.

090. “The Weight, Part Two”. NECESSARY.
 We add Beka and Trance back into the cast. There’s also a shady trading guy whose maneuvering isn’t totally forgettable.

091. “Phear Phactor Phenom”. NECESSARY.
 We add Harper and ‘Doyle’ back in, learning Rommie’s fate. Gordon Michael Woolvett makes this ALMOST adequate. Note: If you don’t see the episode, you might think everyone rags on Harper for the rest of the season because of something he did here. That’s not it, near as I can tell they’re simply jerks (he was stuck here the longest).

092. “Decay of the Angel”. NECESSARY.
 The combination of Doyle’s backstory and some interesting re-use of tesseracts helps elevate the monotonous to above forgettable. Despite the sword gag, har har.

093. “The Eschatology of Our Present”. FORGETTABLE.
 It tries to matter to the plot, but no. Guest star Don S. Davis (of Stargate fame) is the only thing to recommend in this episode.

094. “When Goes Around..." FORGETTABLE.
 The time loop makes no sense, the tech makes no sense, the ending makes no sense.

095. “Attempting Screed”. FORGETTABLE.
 Attempting plot. But nothing here has lasting consequences.

096. “So Burn the Untamed Lands”. FORGETTABLE.
 Harper’s affected by a crystal, but eventually we hit the reset button.

097. “What Will be Was Not”. NECESSARY.
 Infighting! Trance runs off and meets Orlund, “Chosen by the Vedrans”. Rhade reaches a crossroads, and Andromeda gets some power. We’d better tag it required. It’s not terrible.

098. “The Test”. FORGETTABLE.
 Oh no, Prieus is dead! Wait, who? Where did the background go? From the future what? We just did the infighting episode. Trance herself says this feels pointless.

099. “Through a Glass Darkly”. ADEQUATE.
 To really get it, I feel you had to see 034 and 008 (told you it was a wait for the payoff). But this is the first really decent outing for the season, where you kind of care about the fates of the characters. There’s even Paradine talk, if you like that big picture stuff.

100. “Pride Before the Fall”. NECESSARY.
 Tyr gets a name drop in this episode, and Beka learns she has some power over the Nietzscheans. Alas, like the Abyss Bell, that’s never put to good use (otherwise this might be adequate), but it is interesting. Episode 100 could easily have been worse. Also, gag reel.

101. “Moonlight Becomes You”. NECESSARY.
 This outing is kind of stupid (moon avatars?), but you need it to begin the plot of Trance’s sun returning, connected to Tarn Vedra issues. Well, and I guess Harper’s scenes with Doyle weren’t terrible.

102. “Past is Prolix”. FORGETTABLE.
 Orlund returns, and his worship of Dylan is funny, and there’s negative consequences, but it’s all pretty much by the numbers.

103. “The Opposites of Attraction”. FORGETTABLE.
 Black holes now have avatars, just like suns and moons. But they’re mentally deranged.

104. “Saving Light from a Black Sun”. NECESSARY.
 This ep is needed for the Broken Artificial Sun plot to wrap and the Pick-A-Trance plot to start, but Harper’s reaction when he thinks the others died is almost worth the bump up from forgettable by itself.

105. “Totaled Recall”. FORGETTABLE.
 As Gordon Michael Woolvett’s third written effort, I want this to rank higher, but while some alternate reality scenarios are interesting, they’re ultimately meaningless.

106. “Quantum Tractate Delirium”. ADEQUATE.
 Rommie returns, and it’s kind of badass. Enough to make this more than merely a plot requirement for the inevitable Doyle clash.

107. “One More Day’s Light”. FORGETTABLE.
 Despite this being the first of a two parter, in the big picture, it’s largely setup. Add the inexplicable reappearance of Nietzscheans, lampshaded by Dylan, and flushing this episode away might help continuity more than hurt it.

108. “Chaos and the Stillness of It”. NECESSARY.
 The Abyss was behind the last ep, and Pick-A-Trance concludes (mostly). The Seefra System is saved. Harper’s passcode is revealed. Ends the season’s arcs, though not the series’.

109. “The Heart of the Journey, Part One”. NECESSARY.
 Ugh, it’s ALMOST forgettable like 107, except this is the episode that gets them out of the Seefra System. By making a deal with Trance’s other sun identities. Owing to all the Paradine being dead. They leave behind a refugee mess (unresolved), learn the Magog World Ship survived (bad writing), reunite Rhade with his wife (out of nowhere), and botch an attempt by Harper to leave the crew (I WANTED to feel sad), all things I’d rather forget.

110. “The Heart of the Journey, Part Two”. NECESSARY.
 Earth blows up. The Commonwealth doesn’t. The Abyss being behind the Nietzscheans attacking is never clear. The Abyss being behind Trance’s suns is clear but makes no sense. The only part that feels real is Doyle deciding this isn’t her fight, and wanting to leave, only to stick around for Harper’s sake. The crew finally win using the logic from episode 056. I think. At least, they say they win, why would they lie?

Season Five Tally:
Forgettable: 9   Necessary: 11   Adequate or Above: 2
Forgettable: 34  Necessary: 44   Adequate or Above: 32

CODA: The written fanfic by Robert Hewitt Wolfe himself. I’ll label it SUPERIOR, and note it explains why a couple items were tagged the way they are (like “Broken Hammer”), based on what could have been. It’s not a long read.


And that's it! Even if we add in "Coda", the Forgettables outnumber the Adequate+. What am I doing with my life. (Well, I'm also running Series Scans on anime, like Erased, if you want to see my take on something that's done better.)

For some opinions of others on "Andromeda", that are much more in depth, and more individually ranked (put out as the series originally aired):
-Cynic's Corner got as far as Episode 40.
-Get Critical got as far as Episode 53.
-Jammer's Reviews got as far as Episode 44, but if you go into the comments section for his Season Two Recap you can find the remarks by Baron Samedi, who offers rankings on later seasons.
-Here's the site I used for transcripts.

You're also welcome to leave your own comments here, on things you agree with, or are opposed to, or perhaps there's items that you feel I left out. I mean, I'm not the only person to have seen some of this stuff, right? ... Oh well. Have a good day!


  1. I had a blast reading this! And I'm glad that you also appreciated "Abridging the Devil’s Divide". Your cataloguing of all the recurring plot points is certainly interesting, as many of those details are easy to miss and they do add up over time to enrich the Andromeda universe a bit. - Baron Samedi

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the read, thanks for dropping by! Yeah, I have a particular interest in time travel done well, and thought that it was done well for that episode. (I think we even had similar opinions a few times?) Though I do also tend to be a continuity hound. And who knows, perhaps the universe will be rebooted some day, like everything else of late? Either way, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate it!