In an episode that basically shows Avon being a very clever bastard, hat’s off to Vila for faking drunkenness to get out a potentially dangerous work assignment, something that gets the approval of both Dayna and Soolin. As much as this whole episode plays at how Avon is the smartest man in the room, it’s nice to be reminded Vila is not as dumb as he often appears to be.
That said, the only reason the crew needs to go looking for anything was Avon’s plan to skim an asteroid doesn’t quite work despite the fact everyone, including Slave, warned him not to do it. But then they spot a trio of Federation ships…which are soon destroyed for some reason. A quick look over the video shows a very fast-moving two-person vessel blew them up, and it has a logo.
It was the Space Rats!
Yeah, that’s the name they went with. Anyway, Vila knew of them from one of his times in a penitentiary. They aren’t friendly, like, at all, and Vila wants nothing to do with them. So, naturally, Avon decides to send Vila down to deal with them on the nearby planet they seem to be staying on. Dayna goes along because someone has to.
By the by, the Space Rats look a lot like the Cirque du Soleil idea of what punk rockers should be. Oh, and their leader is a fraud who says so to a scientist reluctantly working for them when he starts with an “as you know.” If she knows, he doesn’t have to say so. We in the audience don’t know. Such a silly trope…
Oh, this scientist is one Dr. Plaxton. She developed a revolutionary new stardrive that runs faster than, well, anything, With one of those, the Scorpio could outrun even the best Federation ships. So, can Vila and Dayna find one?
Well, not on purpose. Especially since that isn’t what Avon sent them down to do.
No, he sent them down to distract everybody before he follows with Soolin and Tarrant. Avon doesn’t share that part. He even knows he’ll be beaming down at about the point where Vila spills his guts. He’s mostly right. Vila and Dayna manage to bluff their way in to see Plaxton. She’s regretting the Space Rats involvement mostly because they’re hostile idiots who either steal rides or blow stuff up while they race around on any vehicle they can get their hands on. Buncha speed idjits…
All that means is Avon, Soolin, and Tarrant show up at the right time and rescue Vila and Dayna. Plaxton agrees to go and bring the stardrive because the Scorpio is big enough for it even as the Space Rats’ ships aren’t. So, yeah, she’s not going to be a new castmember, so what happens to her? Well, she goes to set up the stardrive just as three more Federation ships are starting to show up. Avon orders them to activate it as soon as it’s set up…which would be before Plaxton could get free of the reactor room. So…she dies when the stardrive goes online with a big power surge. And when asked about her, Avon just asks, “Who?”
Damn…he really is a magnificent bastard, isn’t he?