Also known as the episode where Paul realises he’s been spelling Hullen wrong for so many reviews
So Johnny is back which means he has to be reinstated as part of the RAC which means interview with Banyon-designated-evil-lady-who-Dutch-hates. She is super angry about all the RAC agents who went missing, including Johnny. Johnny objects that he went AWOL for personal reqasons afvter Pawter died and it had nothing to do with any kind of RAC issue.
Baynon isn’t buying that but hey she’ll run with it if Johnny is willing to spy on Dutch and implicate her on the AWOLs. Johnny is clearly not having that. He has a counter proposal: why is she making an enemy of the one agent who came back when he could be their poster boy
Banyon: I thought you were the funny one
Johnny: I multi-task
He has the best lines. She also tells him to remove the finger banger- which he displays to her (it’s on his middle finger). Still he does have it removed and rejoins the crew
He also meets Zeph, he’s not a huge fan, there’s definite nerd competition going on here; she has an organic specialty she doesn’t, but he’s not here to be replaced or out-alpha nerded so lots of conflict follows.
Their mission of the week is a weird Hollen ship that has arrived on Lethe, now they need to get on board and figure out what’s going on with it. Nerding follows and they track it to a specific point of origin. This involves a little awkwardness with Johnny fitting back into the group dynamic - and him being nerdy and careful before they set off while Dutch just pushes D’avin’s hand onto the button
“I skipped to the fun part, you know you wanted me to.”
Yes, yes Dutch we did.
They arrive at a cold forested world and Dutch and D’avin get off to investigate. There they discover background radiation and regular solar flares that fry people and destroy eye sight so it’s best not to hang around. There’s also a creepy old fashioned town dating back 100 years that was protected by a radiation shield but isn’t any more. There’s a hologram in the middle of the town that basically tries to teach people basic things like smiling
This town is a Hollen training camp, it exists to train empathyless Hollen on how to take basic human interaction.
At which point a solar flare arrives, the ship’s automatic safety features make it flee to orbit complete with nerds) leaving Dutch and D’avin to run around with their eyes clothes, have their guns taken by creepy capering people and trying to hide in a building. There they’re met by a woman with her eyes sewn shut (something she calls a blessing) leads them to the basement tunnels which is another huge complex… where they’re captured, held at gun point and thrown in cages.
Meanwhile with Johnny teaching Zeph about the need to keep calm and focus in a crisis (a definite contrast between lab experience vs field experience) as well as emphasising how much nerds save the day. Sure, the warriors charge in, but it’s the nerds who come up with the solutions - and nerds gotta nerd when the shit hits the fan
They get the ship back down again and… Johnny is captured again. While Zeph runs off with the ship at the sight of danger.
All three in a cage we have D’avin and Johnny discussing the slight awkwardness of things after he came back (D’avin, who has experiences of running off and returning, points outbefore we’re introduced to the underground people. So we have the Guardians. These are heavily scarred and run around in creepy fetish gear on the surface, they’re scarred because of the many solar flares they’re exposed to
We also have the unseeing, most of the population. They’re blind due to the solar flares and have interpreted this as a sacrament from their gods, the undying - to such an extent that they sew their own kids’ eyes shut as babies. The undying would be the Hullen of course - these remnants were the human pets they had to help them learn that human interaction who built a whole religion around the Hullen - who then had to make sense of the world after the Hullen abandoned them and took down the radiation shield
Guiding them is the Last Seer, basically a Hullen, he can see (since Hullen heals radiation damage) and when the whole crew starts worshipping Dutch & co as the Undying returned he proves it isn’t the case by threatening to cut out a child’s eyes. Naturally Dutch intervenes - proving she’s not a Hullen who wouldn’t give a shit.
Naturally they escape, there’s some fighting, and Dutch gets some more exposition from the Last Seer - who is angry and upset when he learns his boss, Khlyen, yes Aneela’s father/Dutch’s father figure, is now dead and not coming back and he’s been having all these people sew up kid’s eyes for nothing. The fact he cares about this shows another thing - he was “purged”. He was Hullen and became human again when they killed the Goo Tree. In the interest of his new humanity Dutch implores him to reveal the truth to the Unseeing. He points out that’s not going to happen because they would kill him and rightly so. Just a reminder that you don’t have to be Hullen to be an arsehole.
Quinn, the eyes-sewn girl helps out a little because she tells them D’avin asked her to when he was there a few days ago. Yes, D’avin has been here before. No he doesn’t remember it. He’s freaked out, Johnny, more pragmatic, remembers that D’avin used to blow up Hullen heads with his mind so what’s a little 2-places-at-once-amnesia-mojo?
Johnny pulls out some nerdery which distracts the Last Seer and gets everyone to the surface about the same time Zeph gets the ship back and a solar flare hits - the Last Seer is fried, helpful eyes-sewn girl is rescued, Dutch is saved and they have a nifty little box thing Khylen left on the planet to play with.
On the ship they un-sew Quinn’ eyes and plan to get her to the Masochist monks which is apparently an improvement. And Johnny has it out with Zeph - she had a great idea that the ship needs Dutch’s DNA to work and she used swab to get back in control which was awesome - but she ran out on them. Not only is it cowardly but it shows the same lack of team-thinking that had her fail her initiation. Johnny benches her with an awesome speech on what the nerds do: the heroes like Dutch and D’avin charge in bravely without question - but they’re guided by the nerds. If Johnny tells Dutch and D’avin to run into fire they will, and he has to be sure he can get them out. That’s a nerd’s job
I love this summation throughout these last two episodes of the need for “nerds” in the RAC and on the team. Because time and again Dutch and D’avin need to trust Johnny, follow his instruction without question not because he’s the leader but because he can’t explain things to them quickly enough for them to understand. There’s a bond of trust that comes from a) the nerd knowing what they’re doing/saying and b) the nerd thinking of their team’s survival. Zeph has the first down but she has shown herself to be pretty shaky on the second.
She is left to figure out Khlyen’s box and if she does then they can look at her on field work again once she can control her ego. I like the storyline but it’s a shame Zeph is being benched.
Johnny and Dutch also rethink that it was Dutch’s DNA that started the ship - she never touched the controls, she pushed D’avin’s hand. They assume this is due to D’avin and Khlyen having the weird mind meldy thing last season
Over to Delle Sayah who is on the Hullen fleet with Aneela. She begins by looking down on the help and assuming she’s in the top echelons - and it seems to work. Aneela respects her and she’s even had a goo transfusion - apparently there’s grunt-Hullen goo and Boss-Hullen-goo and she just got boss hullened. Everything’s going so well and she’s sure she’s manipulating Aneela perfectly until she mentions Khlyen is dead - and Aneela goes into a killing frenzy
Still, as the help, Gander points out, stabbing and slicing they can take and heal, it’s the decapitations and limb severings she occasionally does which are such a problem. He also forces Delle Sayah to her knees to clean up the blood that is her fault - clearly trying to put her in her place
So, humbled by the help and terrified by her new leader it’d be reasonable to expect Delle Sayah to huddle in a corner
Nope, she’s Delle Sayah - she goes to the grieving Aneela and has an awesome speech about getting up and moving on because Queens can’t lead from their beds and queens rise and it’s just kind of epic.
She also plans to help her get lots of revenge on Dutch