Sunday, September 2, 2007





Flashy, for once.

A big man can freely admit when he is wrong, so, to that end, an even bigger man can freely admit to being really wrong. Granted I did, honestly, give the first two episodes of the series their due respect (very little, as it turned out) and I did openly state that if the third edition didn’t immediately turn me around, that would be it. Well, at least I was hopeful enough about that to want to say: I was wrong. I just watched the tertiary story, and, I really got into it fully and completely.

First of all, it was nice to really see a bit more of Mongo this time, in fact, over half of the time was spent there, so that was an accepted difference. Not only were we treated to the local flora, but also the native fauna in the form of two wayward Joy Bugs that escaped Mongo via an errant Rift. As it seems these rifts have been popping up all over and generally causing much concern and strife between Rankol (Jonathan Walker) and Ming (John Ralston). Rankol is warned that he needs to find a way to repair these issues or else face consequences.

Back on earth, Flash (Eric Johnson), Dale (Gina Holden), Baylin (Karen Cliche) and Nick (Panou) are headed to a wedding for Nick’s brother when, along the way, they are warned of an opening rift by Zarkoff (Jody Racicot). They investigate and Nick ends up becoming the unwary recipient of a Joy Bug’s attack, which renders him uncharacteristically euphoric until he, ultimately, dies. Baylin tells them that the only known cure is, of course, back on Mongo in the form of a liquid held by the makers, the O’Madrians. Flash and Baylin leave Dale and Zarkoff to monitor Nick and, as it turns out, keep him irritated as to stifle the Joy Bug’s poison. But, since he’s going to a wedding, this turns out to be much more of a trial than Dale bargained for.

On Mongo, Flash is captured by the O’Madrians and, through some quick-witted thinking, talks his way into assisting them by returning an urn that Baylin had stolen moons ago on the request of Ming. Baylin and Flash schmooze themselves into the castle, enlist the aid of Aura (Anna Van Hooft), and, after a few missteps and tense moments, recover the urn.

The wedding goes off and Nick has fallen prey to the Joy Bug’s toxins and is having far too good a time for his safety. Dale does everything short of punching him while Zarkoff feeds her info from his lab. Nick succumbs and faints while Dale patiently waits for Flash’s return.

Once Flash and Baylin return to the O’Madrians, Flash must convince them that Baylin had no personal interest in hurting their tribe and, once doing so, is free to return to earth with cure in tow. They rescue Nick in the, ahem, nick of time, and all is seemingly well though Baylin is still on earth and much closer to Flash now that he has saved her several times.

The episode was a ride: tense and enjoyable and I will continue to watch and monitor and just hope for best in future installments. So, there you go: an about face. For both of us.

Stew Miller

*** It has been brought to my attention just now, for some reason, that SciFi has canceled my favorite series of last season, THE DRESDEN FILES. Right now I am in a bit of shock since I assumed it was doing very well. I, for one, loved the show and was ready to sit back and enjoy a second season. So, for now, SciFi channel has barely a duo of redeeming shows to hold my interest or, as far as I'm concerned, can disappear into oblivion. A pox on you, SciFi!***


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