You Can't Fly Away Fast Enough
"And Your Heart Will Fly Away" Plot Summary:
During an attack by a being made of dark matter particles, Tyr receives a secret message from a woman on a snow-covered planet and takes off in a newly-upgraded slipfighter. Another attack causes the ship to end up on course for the Elba system, where Dylan notes that someone seems to want them to go. 'Someone' turns out to be Bartolome Naz, a wheelchair-bound man who boarded the ship during the earlier attack, evading detection by giving the computer a virus. Bartolome says he knows where Tyr has gone and why: years earlier, he hired Tyr to kill Desiree D'Lene, a lover who had abandoned him, but Tyr fell in love with Desiree himself and hid her from Bartolome. The mechanical designer believes that Tyr has hidden her on prison planet Elba Nine.
Tyr finds Desiree -- whom he calls Medea -- and though she initially slaps him and flees from him, accusing him of abandoning her, he reminds her that he left her in the one place Bartolome wouldn't think to look for her. She notices that he no longer has his bone spurs and points out that now he is like her. As they renew their prior intimacy, Andromeda reaches the planet with a giant weapons platform in pursuit. Bartolome reveals that he designed the platform and snuck onto Andromeda because he knew he needed the ship to get past the deadly Elba security systems. Though he is angry at being manipulated, Dylan tells Beka and Harper to go find Tyr and Desiree. The two take the Maru, find the lovers and bring them back to Andromeda.
Rommie discovers that Bartolome's paralysis is treatable, but he chooses to remain in a wheelchair to feed his rage. He builds a weapon and attacks Tyr and Desiree when they return to the ship, but Beka, Harper and two new crewmembers protect the Nietzschean and the refugee. Because Desiree has such power, Beka doubts that she is human; she shoots at Desiree when the frightened woman tries to attack Bartolome, whose help Dylan needs to escape from the weapons platform. Trance treats Desiree and then Bartolome, who recovers the use of his legs and tells Desiree that she has her freedom from him.
Back on Elba Nine, Tyr tells his Medea that they are both great survivors and will have a pride of babies together. But Desiree, who like Tyr is a survivor of the Kodiak Pride, says that she won't live her life on the run with him, nor will she wait for him. He may remember her as Medea but her human clients know her as a different person. He weeps, but she insists that he leave her.
I tried hard to watch this episode with a camp sensibility like the sort necessary to enjoy the classic Trek giggle-fest 'Who Mourns For Adonais?', which I thought of immediately upon seeing the Giant Dark-Matter Dylan -- giant hands in space! But 'And Your Heart Will Fly Away' isn't campy, just silly, and not in a good way. If I took it seriously, I'd have to lose all respect for Tyr, so I'm trying not to think too hard about it. I must, however, mention a few things that just drove me nuts...
We're supposed to believe that the great love of Tyr's life is a hot blonde in a low-cut dress whose onetime boyfriend labels her the most beautiful woman in the galaxy. That would be fine if she was also a smart, funny, tough cookie like Elsbett Bolivar, but she isn't -- she's a stereotypical simpering babe who happens to have a mean left hook. From the time Tyr calls her 'Medea,' it's easy to guess that she's secretly a Nietzschean and thus avoid worrying about whether he's dating lower life form, yet it's rather a shock to discover that he has such dreadful taste in women. During the course of this episode, we get no indication that Desiree has intelligence, resourcefulness, wit or charm. She may have a Kodiak pedigree, but doesn't Tyr want a mother for his children who doesn't need to send simpering 'Save Meeee!' messages?
It's impossible not to compare Desiree very unfavorably with Beka, especially since Beka can't resist asking Tyr about his statement that he'd never fall for a human woman. It's nice continuity that she asks. It's a bit more annoying that she inquires like her feelings are hurt, rather than scoffing or laughing at him the way Harper laughs at her for her theories on Tyr and romance. 'And Your Heart Will Fly Away' provides ample reason to resist all the appealing Beka/Tyr 'shipper moments we've gotten this season. Lisa Ryder can act her way through almost anything, so she manages to keep her character sounding smart and snappy through some pretty dreadful scenes. But when Beka's given little to do besides envy one of Tyr's women to the point that she shoots the babe just for being a little too perfect, I'm ready to tune out.
There's so much technobabble in this episode that it's easy to get lost a few times. Much as I adore the dark matter inflatable Dylan Hunt (leading to the classic Beka line, "You're so big!"), I don't understand whether the Genite at the beginning and on the planet are creations of dark matter or real beings. Harper's explanation of the bath beads of dark matter makes no sense. Nor do I understand the relationship of the simulacrums to the virus that Bartolome gave Andromeda so he could sneak on board. And I really don't understand how the guy who designed the giant slipstream-navigating weapons platform doesn't know the first thing about how to navigate around it, particularly since it apparently uses his brain engrams the way Trek's M-5 used Daystrom's. I also lost track of whether all the slipfighters made it back to the ship, whether Rommie ever got her virus cleared up, and a few dozen other little details that I suppose are supposed to constitute a B-plot, but don't.
As for the A-plot, I've seen it many times on nighttime soap operas and haven't liked it any better there. Woman hooks up with the wrong man, gets her act together and dumps him; he goes psycho and tries to kill her; she ends up having to sabotage her life to get away from him. The recycled plot isn't that big a deal, but we're not given any reason to care about Desiree/Medea nor to trust her. The fact that she's Tyr's smoochie simply doesn't give us a compelling interest in her safety. Keith Hamilton Cobb gives his all for this silly plot, and is actually quite moving in the end when Tyr weeps over Medea's rejection, but it's hard not to rejoice that he won't have any additional ties to her. The writers need to stop depending on their cast to create drama when the scripts are this awful.
That's particularly true if the guest stars are all going to be as one-dimensional as Bartolome and Desiree. Barty's such an over-the-top caricature of a villain that it's hard either to fear him or to try to find something sympathetic. A guy who refuses to have his paralysis treated because it would interfere with his hatred? A guy with the power to manipulate Dylan into giving him a ride to Elba Nine (named for the site of Napoleon's first exile -- the one from which he returned, if that's not a plot giveaway), yet can't figure out a way around his own weapons platform, nor a way to bring down Tyr? I'm not sure whether we're supposed to believe Bartolome knows that Desiree is a Nietzschean, but my impression is that he doesn't, which makes him look not very smart. But then, how smart is Dylan for falling victim to this guy who could have gotten the whole ship destroyed had he been a bit more suicidal?
Like I said, I don't want to think about this too much. I want to move past it and hope the next episode is much, much better. Let's see some more of those new crewmembers who actually get something to do onscreen this week, though they don't seem to be competent at stopping the ship from being boarded or stopping suspicious hijackers from building weapons out of engineering components. Let's see some more of Beka's acerbic wit. Heck, let's see Dylan acting all heroic and Rommie doing her Matrix moves and let's see some more footage of slipfighters doing cool video-game maneuvers...so long as there's a worthwhile plot behind it all.