The Andromeda crew meets Casper the Friendly Borg and his big brother, who proves to be a barrel of laughs (not really).
Andromeda comes across a bunch of space debris that gets inside the ship and forms a humanoid called HG-966HXCN5, or HG for short. He represents the Consensus of Parts, an organization of machine beings whose existence has been rumored but never confirmed until now. He is its emissary and has been sent to guide Andromeda and her crew to the Consensus.
On the way, HG spends some time with the Andromeda crew getting to know them, and grows exceptionally close to Trance. She becomes teary-eyed when she learns that HG was only created to deliver Andromeda to the Consensus, and now that he’s accomplished his directive, he is to be terminated. He says goodbye to the entire crew and gives them each a piece of himself to remember him by before finally disassembling.
HG’s Big Brother
The Andromeda finally rendezvous with the Consensus ship, and our heroes meet the humanoid machine that speaks on its behalf, VX90210 – or VX for short. VX is interested in Andromeda and wants it to join the Consensus, but Rommie says no thanks. VX doesn’t like her answer and the Consensus ship starts attacking.
Meanwhile, all of the parts HG gave everyone before his demise interface with Andromeda; HG lives on in the computer systems (including Rommie) and he gains control of the ship at this inopportune time, taking it back to the debris field at the beginning of the episode.
HG calls out to the machine parts in the debris field and they attach to Andromeda’s hull and fire weapons at VX’s Consensus ship, destroying it. The machine parts, along with HG, then leave Andromeda and form a new Consensus, Outcast Consensus One.
Stories of machines learning to go against their programming are pretty commonplace in science fiction; however, Andromeda‘s execution had a very Saturday-morning cartoon feel. It was patronizing, with its forced sentimental music trying to make the audience feel sadness and sympathy for the sickly-sweet HG when we couldn’t care less.
When I got to HG’s goodbye scene 20 minutes in, I honestly thought I had reached the end of the episode already. That must have been the point where I had had enough and wanted it over.
I have to give kudos to the actor who played HG, Matt Smith (not that Matt Smith). I’m familiar with his voice over work, but this is the first time I’ve seen him in live action and I couldn’t recognize his voice at all!