Well, now that the Liberator has a full crew again, an episode like this sets up how this group will work together and set up something of a new status quo.
It’s also a fairly packed episode given its length.
Here’s a very rough outline of what happens in this episode: Dayna and Tarrant teleport down to the surface of the planet Obsidian. There’s a volcano on the planet. Only one, and it’s been erupting for about 20 years now. Dayna’s father was friends with a man who lives here, and the hope is they can find a place to set up a temporary base and maybe recruit some more people. Back on the Liberator, Avon, Cally, and Vila are monitoring things. VIla thinks the whole thing stinks, and for once, he’s right.
Servalan is also on her way there.
See, the man Dayna is looking for set up a colony there that the Federation, for some unknown reason, leaves completely alone despite the strategic importance of the planet itself. This man, Hower, believes humans have advanced as far as they have, so his whole colony, where his adult son is head of security, has its residents, particularly those born there, basically brainwashed into pacifism. No weapons are allowed in there, and this doesn’t look like the kind of place that will be very helpful. However, Hower’s son has already made a deal with Servalan. She’s planning on both capturing the Liberator and taking the planet for herself. There’s a space battle, Cally and Orac are taken prisoner, but she uses her telepathy to guide both Dayna and Tarrant to rescue them, and Avon manages to bluff his way into keeping Zen up and firing on Servalan’s fleet. Even Vila comes up a bit helpful as he manages to keep Avon in one piece, and he turns out to be more right about the situation than expected.
Oh, and the volcano is covering a nuclear weapon that Hower says he will set off in the event of an invasion by anyone. He isn’t bluffing, and it’s been leaking radiation through that volcano for so long, all the people of Obsidian are dying anyway.
That’s a lot of plot to cover. I think this may be the most “crowded” episode the series has ever done. Usually, it’s got a slow pace like Doctor Who, but considering all the plot, I can say I have a good idea of what the series is going to do going forward.
For one, the thing Avon and the others are looking for the most is Blake. Likewise, without Blake’s presence, Servalan doesn’t see the point in hunting down the Liberator for now. The crew is made up of criminals now, not revolutionaries. She needs to clamp down on power first, and then she can come back for them.
But what does the current crew do? Excluding Orac and Zen, here’s the basic rundown:
- Avon is more or less the man in charge, making the most moves, and figuring things out while making withering comments.
- Cally makes her own withering comments, but she’s much more benevolent in her demeanor, and the series sometimes remembers she’s a telepath (like it did here).
- Vila may be a coward, but he’s not as dumb as he pretends to be. He just knows enough to keep himself out of danger.
- Tarrant is a true-believer who doesn’t quite trust the others yet, but he’ll come through in a pinch.
- Dayna is more inclined to see the good in people, and she’s got a strong moral streak, but she knows how to kick the most ass from the way things stand.
And that’s how things appear to me now. I am sure the next episode will somehow change my mind.