While searching for a new ally, Captain Hunt, Beka, Tyr, and Trance get stuck in a saloon and have to fight off an impending army of unfriendly aliens.
The Eureka Maru (crewed by Hunt, Beka, Tyr, and Trance) heads to a Wild West-type saloon on a mining planet hoping to find a woman named Isabella Ortiz, who once was able to form an alliance between twenty worlds before it fell to the hands of the Kalderans (yet another antagonistic alien race). Hunt believes Ortiz could become a powerful asset in rebuilding the Commonwealth.
As our heroes enter the saloon, they’re greeted by a bunch of miserable, unwelcoming patrons. A woman matching the photo of Ortiz later enters, and Hunt thinks he’s found who he’s looking for, but she claims to simply be a doctor named Cory.
When Kalderans Attack
The Kalderans start attacking the saloon with long-ranged weapons; they heard Ortiz was there and want her dead. Hunt and co. try to get everyone to safety – Trance’s tail gets hit by a random shot.
Despite Cory’s denial, Hunt still believes she’s Ortiz and keeps bugging her to help him restore the Commonwealth, but she’s undecided. As the Kalderans continue their attack, Cory, now appearing to actually be Ortiz, considers giving herself up to save the lives of the remaining saloon patrons.
This turns out to be one idea Cory doesn’t have to entertain for long because she ends up getting shot in the back by one of these patrons, a whiny pregnant lady (played by Harper’s actor’s wife! I wonder whose spouse will show up next in this show?). The whiny pregnant lady hopes that presenting Cory’s body to the Kalderans will prompt them to cease their attack. Well, tough luck, lady! It’s now revealed that Cory isn’t Ortiz at all – the bartender was Ortiz the whole time.
Showdown at the Broken Hammer
The Kalderans finally reach the saloon, but Hunt’s group fights them back and easily kills them all. Isabella decides to join Captain Hunt and returns to Andromeda on the Eureka Maru with the rest of the group. Welcome aboard, Isabella!
Wait, hold on. You mean she’s not in the next episode’s opening credits and we’ll never see her again?
This reminded me a lot of a 1960s Patrick Troughton Doctor Who “base under siege” episode, where he gets stuck in a base with a bunch of jerks he must work with to thwart an attack from an alien menace. Only a lot more boring.
The question of Isabella Ortiz’s true identity was a nice little layer thrown into the story, as she comes to terms with who she is and finally makes a decision to join Captain Hunt in rebuilding the Commonwealth. But where does this episode go wrong?
The boring stock villain in the form of the vicious, animalistic Kalderans. Not long ago, we saw the crew of Andromeda fight a million vicious, animalistic Magog, and the result is the same – boring fights (“zap zap, you’re dead”) that leave our characters mostly unscathed (RIP Trance’s tail), with dead alien bodies littering the floor. Yawn!
Damning of all is the fact that after all this hard work, recruiting Isabella doesn’t mean anything in the end because we never see her again and she only gets one mention in a much later episode. Too bad, I liked her.