OK, so, it sure does seem odd that Servalan is on-hand most episodes. It’s a big universe. Surely other people can plot against the crew of the Scorpio!
But this time around, there’s an actual reason for her to be there! There’s even less of a reason for the Scorpio to be there, but that’s for later.
Anyway, out on some desolate planet covered in green sand, a lone man is calling the Federation for help. Servalan gets the message and opts to investigate the signal herself. She has a reason for it, revealed later. Likewise, the Scorpio gets the signal and likewise opts to do a rescue because they’re the good guys and that’s what they do.
Upon arrival, Tarrant and Dayne teleport down, but Dayna gets winged and sent back. Meanwhile, Servalan’s ship is being buried in the sand, and the two men with her are acting a little weird. The Scorpio is somewhat stuck in the planet’s atmosphere as its arrival literally caused a violent storm to spring up around it. Lots of wind and the like. Oddly enough, after Dayna gets back to the ship, the teleporter stops working quite so well. Same with Slave. Heck, Orac turns into a big romantic softie for…well, Avon maybe. The point is, the computers are all useless. And down on the surface, Servalan’s first man dies inexplicably, and the second seems to be going a little nuts until he and Tarrant engage in a shoot-out, leaving only Tarrant alive. There’s Servalan, unarmed. Can he shoot her?
Man, that would solve a whole lot of problems, but Tarrant has to have morals or something.
With the storm and the weird sand everywhere, Tarrant and Servalan take shelter in the base where it turns out the man who sent the signal has been dead for a very long time. He’s still warm and there’s no rigor mortis, but he’s pretty darn dead. What gives?
OK, here’s what I like about this episode: Servalan basically explains herself. It turns out the dead man is her former lover, a man she still cares about. But they separated, and Servalan’s next love interest was power, and she threw herself into it because she missed that dead guy a whole lot. Then she and Tarrant knock boots a bit between scenes apparently. It’s implied. She even says she escaped the Liberator thanks to a power surge in the teleporter, landing herself on a Federation planet far away, but she was gone long enough for others to seize power, so that’s why she’s hiding under an alias.
That…makes a lot of sense, actually. Oh sure, the teleportation thing seems like a bit of an stretch, but it fits within the confines of this world.
Regardless, it turns out the green sand is alive. It has some insidious mental influence over others, and it wants one male and at least one female for…breeding purposes from the looks of things. That’s Tarrant and Servalan on the planet’s surface. And, since there’s some of that sand on the Liberator, it’s doing something to Vila. Fortunately, Avon figures out the sand wants the dominant male alive, so he’s OK. He even figures out water kills the sand. Tarrant figures out the same thing when he sees what Servalan’s tears did to the sand.
Wait, was Anakin Skywalker right about sand all along?
From there, Avon reasons that a rainstorm on a planet where it never rains will fix everyone’s problems. Taking the Scorpio closer, since it is already causing bad weather, should do that…but, you know, only if there’s water vapor in the atmosphere. Rain doesn’t come from nowhere, ya know.
Ah, never mind. It works. Servalan gets back to her ship and the (still living) pilot while Tarrant waits just long enough for her ship to leave to say it was her down there to the others’ general dismay. Orac and Slave are working normally again. And Servalan, well, she’s just going to have a good cry.
Lucky for her Tarrant is the noble one on that ship…
Though the women of the Scorpio seem inclined to mock Avon a bit for his “dominant male” talk. His smile when that happens is…creepy.
But I never thought I’d feel bad for Servalan. That probably won’t be happening again when she reappears the next time.