Space Ramblings

Andromeda ‘It Makes a Lovely Light’ review

Summary: Just say no to drugs. Really, just say no to drugs because they’re… well, bad for you. And only losers use drugs while winners stay clean. And if you can think of no better way to spend your time than an hour of these cliches, you’ll love It Makes A Lovely Light. Oh and Andromeda gets hijacked… again.

There are times when It Makes A Lovely Light actually seems like it might be a good episode or at least a decently watchable one. After all, Andromeda has come closest to success with episodes like Mathematics of Tears, which actually make use of the rich Andromeda backstory, instead of relying on cheap gags and cliches. And it was this same rich universe that seemed to have won Andromeda a large fandom before a single episode even aired. Unfortunately, under the direction of Ethlie Ann Warren (A Rose Among the Ashes, The Pearls that were his Eyes) it makes a baffling turn from being a story about Dylan locating his home and the capital of the Commonwealth to a series of dreary anti-drug cliches.

There’s very little about this story that makes any sense. Beka suddenly becomes obsessed with reaching the capital of the Commonwealth and starts manufacturing and using Flash. It’s not clear why she’s so obsessed that she would risk her life and become addicted to a deadly drug in the process for something that has no reason to actually matter to the character. Tyr decides to try and jump ship because he’s worried about the danger, though just about everything the Andromeda does is foolish and dangerous. Meanwhile Trance is having seizures. Her seizures don’t add much to the story beyond demonstrating that the actress is actually less annoying that way. Maybe she should go into seizures more often.

The one thing this episode does point up all over again is why Dylan needs a new crew pronto. From the opening of It Makes A Lovely Light, his crew throws him a birthday party by faking a core meltdown. Faking a real life threatening emergency onboard a starship is only something an idiot would do. Not just any idiot, but dangerously incompetent idiots of the kind that don’t belong on the bridge of a starship. This is then followed by Beka deciding to operate Andromeda while under the influence of a drug. Most of the crew knows about her actions but chooses not to tell anyone. And this is capped off by the revelation that Harper had secret overrides in place designed to take over the Andromeda at Beka’s command.

So, in essence, Dylan’s entire crew besides RevBem is completely untrustworthy. Four of them conspired to cover-up drug use by their commander, and at least two of them had a secret plan in place for hijacking the starship. This is without counting Tyr, who had his own plan for doing the same thing. The only positive aspect of this is that the writers finally came up with a plausible reason for why it was so easy to hijack the Andromeda.

Fortunately, the episode avoids addressing such complex and ambiguous issues and instead throws out one anti-drug cliche after another as if the Federal government were buying ad time. We have a checklist of all the drug cliches. Beka even claims she can quit any time, at which point Dylan of course asks her why she hasn’t stopped yet. Maybe it’s because the plot is so mind-blowingly boring she needs to escape from it through mind altering drugs.

Next weel: The Magog attack…finally

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