Time for some war games to see how D’avin’s army will do against the Hullen
The answer - they will be utterly destroyed because they’re completely outnumbered and outclassed. Also Johnny is giving D’avin shit for stealing Dutch’s army - because Johnny is so connected to Dutch it takes some time for him to accept that she basically abandoned the army. D’avin also didn’t expect that - he thought if he went in all critical she’d fight back, not cave. She never caves.
Meanwhile Zeph is still studying Dutch, Aneela and Hullen stuff and Dutch is avoiding everything.
But Johnny may have found a way to cheat - a signal that disrupts Hullen hive-mindness. They just need a big amplifier. Thankfully there’s a mine that has something like that. Unfortunately the security is through the roof and the miners are TOUCHY.
Dutch hears this and thinks old-timey heist just like the fun rollicking good old days and she’s super, creepily, chipper about the whole opportunity. Which sets off everyone’s worry radar
But an old timey heist - and I didn’t realise how much I missed the old hit of the week no grand epic meta episodes as much as I did. It’s a nice call back
Speaking off we go to visit an old friend, Borna, head of the wastelanders around Westerley who is willing to trade for information. She also has a new husband, Jelco (she says wife and he hurriedly corrects her which suggests a very different view of marriage beyond the multiple partners). Yes, Jelco, one of the Company people who we thought was dead. Still, no hard feelings and all that. They get lots of useful information about the scary scary scary miners and their scary security.
Step 1 of which requires an insider, which requires seducing a guard (Dutch fails. Johnny fails. D’avin’s big shiny gun sort of succeeds but only if drugging him unconscious counts. Pree doesn’t think it does).
The plan goes ahead with reminders of how brutal the miners are and how security conscious they are with dead people and handcuffed D’avin (apparently standard for their transport people). This means when they unleash the ambush there are also some issues they hadn’t anticipated but the biggest problem comes when Jelco launches his own attack to try and steal the crystals they mine (which Dutch doesn’t actually want). It all goes rather wrong - Dutch escapes with the sonic thing they need but Jelco and D’avin (and some extras are kidnapped)
Dutch wants D’avin back - and Borna wants her third husband back, he’s her “strategy husband”. With D’avin talking to Jelco it’s clear that Jelco also wants to return to Borna - that he truly loves her and he enjoys his place by her side. I’d be much happier with this (hey and a whole storyline with Borna and her three husbands) if there wasn’t also jokes about her punching him. And, for that matter, if all of Borna’s portrayal - of a big Black woman, wasn’t how strong and big and dangerous she is. Though I do appreciate an acknowledgement that he does love her and does find her attractive and we have something beyond the whole ”big and strong and dangerous”. Jelco also discusses not wanting to lead - and how D’avin, as another follower, needs to think on how he can best help Dutch
Naturally there’s a rescue and Borna and Jelco have their loving reunion. Everyone is reunited and it’s all shiny and they have their new weapon which may help them against the Hullen even though they have superior numbers still. Dutch has a plan - while they all distract the Hullen she can assassinate Aneela in person - because the Hullen don’t have the numbers, they have one person who runs a hive mind. Destroy the original and everyone else falls
Except Dutch still has issues. Zeph has concluded Dutch and Aneela have identical DNA - but Dutch’s is flipped. Dutch explains her origin to Zeph - how she was created from Aneela’s Hullen goo and Zeph grasps the problem - Aneela is Dutch’s original goo.
Which is something Dutch explains to D’avin when he pushes her further on what she’s hiding. If Aneela is Dutch’s original then when Aneela dies so will Dutch -it’s Hullen 101. D’avin’s obviously not a fan of this but Dutch point out she’s dead if Aneela wins anyway and she pushes for the assassin plan (I’m a little concerned that the whole plan relies on Dutch being able to defeat Aneela in single combat).
They agree not to tell Johnny because he would never agree to sacrificing Dutch
Hmm, I'm not sold. Let's face it I don't see Dutch dying and this becoming the central tension of the show seems... unlikely. Honestly I want Dutch to step up more as well, this episode has kind of underscored how absent she feels. And I get she's supposed to be because shock horror alarm, but still. Dutch is awesome. More Dutch
Over to Aneela and she is looking for Delle, torturing people, especially Gander, and generally tearing up the place. You can understand why Brynn, a free Hullen not a slave Hullen, is supporting Aneela because she fears her more than Gander
As they explore the ship, Brynn explains more about how Aneela has been kept. How they take samples of every Hullen pool they pass and put it in Aneela’s bath and the goo she drinks to ensure she gets samples from all the Hullen (and filling her head with memories) and how they used her for research
This leads for more Gander torturing (using his guts for garters which was, apparently, not nearly as fetching as she’d hoped) and him taunting her that she won’t use the green to read his mind - to avoid an ominous “Lady”.
Of course, Aneela being Aneela, she does just that and learns where Delle is. But then the whole fleet changes course, the Lady has found them and she controls the Green, the core green - and with that she controls the slave Hullen, the ship, even Aneela herself
At least temporarily until Aneela resorts to bleeding her own Green directly into the Core Green that controls the ship, seizing back control.
They find a pregnant Delle just as reinforcements from the Lady arrive. Between Aneela and a little intervention from Delle they don’t last long.
Delle is horrified to find she’s pregnant and near hysterical. To which Aneela comfortingly suggests they torture Gander for a bit. And then have ice cream
I’m a terrible person for laughing at this but I did.
Gander tries to mock Delle about how insignificant she is but that never works on her. She makes a speech on free will - and how that has been grossly violated by her forced pregnancy. So she’s going to do something similar - and have Gander and the rest of the free Hullen transfused with slave goo, much to Gander’s horror. Brynn is sparedbecase she’s picked her side wisely
We get some more revelation about the Lady - she’s stuck in the goo and wants out. Which makes Delle’s pregnancy extra ominous. Aneela has a plan to stop her (and Dutch) but it’s probably going to involve the baby
She also has a nice moment of telling Delle what she means to her - with her head full of memories and images, Delle is her tether to reality