Harper inherits a library’s worth of information in his brain from a dying alien, but that knowledge comes at a price.
The episode begins with Beka and Harper aboard the Maru, returning to Andromeda after a supply run. On the way, they find and recover a lifepod – inside is an injured Perseid, who pours energy out of his mouth and into Harper’s neckport before dying.
Harper is brought back aboard Andromeda, which receives a hail from a bounty hunter named Jeger, who is after the Perseid for stealing something. Because the Perseid is dead, Captain Hunt hands the body over without a fuss, sending Jeger on his merry way.
The New Harper
Meanwhile, Harper shows signs of having a dramatically increased intellect (obviously given to him by the Perseid), and we learn that he now has an entire Commonwealth library in his brain. The downside is that this newfound knowledge comes with violent nightmares.
Inside an asteroid somewhere, Jeger takes the Perseid’s body to his boss, an enigmatic shadowy guy. Shadow Guy quickly determines that the information he needs is no longer in the Perseid’s brain.
A New Mystery
Harper freaks out when he sees Rev Bem and attacks him. This incident spurs Trance to hook Harper up to the ship’s computer and attempt to extract the library from his brain.
The transfer causes Harper pain, so Trance is only able to remove a tiny bit – video footage of a vicious Magog attack on a colony. She looks at the footage and does the whole zoom-enhance thing from CSI, and finds a shadowy figure giving the Magog orders. The very same shadowy figure we saw with Jeger earlier.
Jeger attacks Andromeda and tries to get Harper by walking through walls, but the Andromeda crew proves to be too much for him to handle and he retreats. His shadowy figure master is none too pleased and absorbs him for his failure.
Harper figures out a way to get the data out of his brain and keep it somewhere safe, but we’re not told how or where, just that it has something to do with Trance’s tattoo.
We deal with another popular trope in science fiction, where a main character suddenly becomes super smart…but why, oh why, did it have to be Harper? He’s already the show’s most annoying character, and in this episode he’s turned up to 11. I will say that his actor, Gordon Michael Woolvett, does a really good job with the material, but this isn’t an episode I’d enjoy revisiting.
Then we have the action with Jeger. It was nice having a strong opponent for the crew to go up against, but nothing in the fight scenes were particularly riveting.
There’s a scene towards the end where Harper says something in a strange alien language that only Trance recognizes (her native tongue?) that causes her to believe his new knowledge is dangerous. I thought that was an interesting moment.
This is a fairly important episode in the series, though, as we’re introduced to a new villain, the shadowy guy, who will definitely return later on. If there’s any reason to watch this episode, it would be for his first appearance.