Everything last week did not go as planned, which results in a very sad Dutch. With the death of the awesome Banyon at her hands, the death of three RACs not at her hands but still as part of her war she’s feeling super sad and is getting super drunk
D’avin is there to provide a pep talk and she moves in to kiss him. And he backs off.
As Johnny puts it, walking in on them having sex would be less awkward than this. Dutch responds to this by giving D’avin the silent treatment.
The gang has to go to the Scarback monk’s necropolis to have the funeral for all the RAC agents which is awkward because Turin bows out to deal with the refugees from the other RACs and Dutch is both torn by guilt and grief and giving D’avin the silent treatment all making it even more awkward. D’avin ends up having to give the speech before the religious ceremony because Dutch just can’t, she’s too torn by it.
They also have an ulterior motive - they want the 9 to support their war against the Hullen, especially with their very very very big bank accounts
Johnny thinks they have an in with Luella, Pawter’s dead sister and head of a 9 family, but Luella is pissed over Pawter’s death still. And the rest of the 9 aren’t exactly on board anyway, especially Kala, who seems to be the most influential, who would rather stick his head in the sand and blame Dutch & co, even when Dutch points out it was the ancestors of the 9 who got them in this mess in the first place with their deal with the Hullen
Of course it wasn’t going to be easy
Then we have technical difficulties with Dutch and D’avin stuck in a space lift with 8 of the 9 while Johnny and the angry Luella are outside trying to get it moving again. Everyone is paranoid and then one member of the 9 dies.
This does not increase everyone’s trust. Particularly of Alvis since he’s actually carrying a weapon and had a beef with the dead woman shortly before they died. Dutch didn’t think he did it though because of the awesome line of the episode:
“I could never accuse you of murder because you’re an attention whore activist who would scream it from the rooftops before I ever had a chance”
Alvis concedes it’s accurate. I want to raise the question of the complex religio-political dynamic that has Alvis be considered on the most fierce anti-company (and anti-9) activist in the Quad, up to the point they were willing to arrest him as a terrorist while at the same time him having the respect and kudos to be the one performing hippy-vegan communion. Because that must be a doozy of a complicated relationship.
The argument between Alvis and the dead woman is that she wanted to buy a “tolerance” (basically an indulgence) from Alvis for the whole 9. He doesn’t know the details because he gave them a resounding hell no, not being in favour of people buying off their sins.
At which point another woman dies - this time vomiting blood, pretty much absolving Alvis of stabbing anyone. Guided by Zeph, Dutch performs an autopsy and finds that her insides are basically soup - caused by a sharp little insect that buzzes out of the corpse.
Definitely not a stabbing
They make the not-so-great link that it must have been something they ate: but the 9 hate each other so much they certainly don’t share a meal. But they did all partake in the hippie-vegan communion together. So did Dutch, D’avin et al
Outside the lift there’s a bigger revelation - Johnny traces the murder bug to something designed by Adeline Sims - Pawter and Luella’s mother - to aerate and irrigate soil. At which point Luella tases him and starts using her prayer beads to activate all the bugs to “slow painful” death to give our heroes chance to stop anyone important dying.
After using shenanigans and awesomeness to get everyone else out of range of her prayer beads, Johnny confronts Luella. It’s time for some epic speeches and not-so-subtle lessons about vengeance, murder, shame and closure. Revenge feels good but only for a while - after it passes you’re left as just as murderer (which she actually already is so she might as well go for the whole set). And while it’s super easy to kill people at a distance, killing Johnny who is sat right there in front of you? A bit harder. Anyway this isn’t about the plot or Luella but more of Johnny’s murder angst.
Everyone lives and Dutch drags Kala to Pree’s bar - among the gritty common folk he’s usually above - to shame him into helping. She rightfully guessing that that whole tolerance thing was the 9 trying to assuage their guilt over basically running away: planning to escape to some distant corner of the Jay never to face a Hullen again
Dutch isn’t having that - it’s only delaying the inevitable since the Hullen are everywhere and taking everything and while his ancestors may have had no choice, Kala and his fellow 9 (7?) have a choice - her. Now get out and get on side.
Go Dutch, twist that knife. She then gets some more awkward silence with D’avin and a final agreement to discuss The Thing but instead Zeph calls her to say the Remnant thing she’s been working on contains lots of brainy bits with memories on them. I’m going to say now they’re Aneela’s since apparently it’s Dutch’s DNA
Can i say now that i really really really really really do not want, do not care and do not need tension between D’avin and Dutch. Have them shag or not but put this to bed now please. Relationship drama is not needed.
Now let’s get to the real plot line - because let’s face it while following up on the 9 and actually getting them on side is important - and Pawter definitely deserved a call back - not a whole lot happened in this plot line. Honestly I’m a bit frustrated by this - because the 9, getting them on side, the whole way politics work is something that could have been really delved into- especially with interesting add ons like how the 9, for all they regard Alvis as a terrorist - also religiously respect him enough to buy indulgences from him. There’s so much that could have been done here, getting the 9 and the Company’s vast resources onside should have been a major plot line, not a side note.
Now to Aneela and Delle who are having a great time in bed together and Delle is ruling everything, totally building a solid bond with Aneela and now near top of the ladder. Except when Aneela goes to perform more experiments on D’avin’s blood (which doesn’t seem to make her happy), Gendry takes the opportunity to kidnap her and reveal the actual truth
The Hullen have existed for thousands of years across multiple species - no Aneela is not top of the ladder. Not even close. And this isn’t her ship - it’s her prison. Everything is all about manipulating Aneela to make her think she’s in control while secretly taking notes on all her shiny green abilities which no-one else has. Also Aneela, with her destruction of all the RACs last episode was just a bit of a liability
They also prey on Aneela’s vulnerabilities by leaving her alone, utterly deserted (a major fear of her’s) and she dives into the green to explore memories: where again she is being manipulated by a fake Khlyen to pass on all her discoveries and knowledge
But Gendry completely underestimates Aneela - his dismissal of her connection with Delle, of the strength of Aneela’s feelings (and the loyalty of Bryne, one of Aneela’s servants) and it all comes back to bite him when his contempt means he does a bad job of imitating Khlyen
Aneela emerges from the green ANGRY and unleashes a whole lot of death. Not by stabbing - but by saying “die” and the Hullen around her just drop dead. She kills Gendry with pure Darth Vader-force killing then rages through the halls demanding to see Delle while Hullen around her collapse and die without her touching them or even looking at them
Aneela is a one woman Hullen weapon of mass destruction. Oh I am liking this, yes yes I am. Oh Gander you forgot why you were indulging her whims in the first place!
I’m also glad to see that Aneela’s passion for Delle is what has driven her: and Gendry’s dismissal of Delle as a pet has been so completely undermined.
But Delle is in a vat somewhere and she is… pregnant?