In a last ditch effort to rid himself of his Magog larvae, Harper activates a machine that fractures Andromeda into different time periods.
The episode begins with the crew watching a holographic recording of Rev Bem. Remember him? We sure haven’t seen him in awhile! He says because of his experience on the Magog Worldship, he feels he needs to go out and find himself or something like that. He’s left the ship and, more or less, the show.
Harper collapses and Trance says the medication Rev Bem gave him isn’t working anymore, and the Magog larvae in his stomach are going to hatch soon. Harper has Andromeda head to Xinti, homeworld of the Perseids, to seek help.
In his lab, Harper meets with the same Perseids who boarded the ship in episode 8; he shows them a machine he built (using technology stolen from Satrina) that he hopes will allow him to remove the larvae.
As soon as the machine is activated, Andromeda gets fractured in time, with different parts of the ship leading to different time periods – one part of the ship leads to 300 years ago before the fall of the Commonwealth, while another part of the ship has a killer android from The Mathematics of Tears. The crew of Andromeda wander around, lost in these different time zones. Hohne, the lead Perseid scientist, falls to his death in the engine room.
Elsewhere, Beka gets a glimpse of her future cyborg self, then finds Trance and gets caught up in a fight with Kalderans. A stranger comes to their aid, who turns out to be gold-flavored Future Trance. She and Present Trance have a chat; Future Trance says she made a lot of mistakes that led to a crappy future, and they decide to swap places – Purple Present Trance heads to the future, while Gold Future Trance stays in the present to ensure a happier future.
The fractures on Andromeda get worse and start affecting Xinti. Harper theorizes that if he destroys his machine, he can stop the fractures from ever happening in the first place, which wold bring Hohne back to life. Though, as a result, Harper would have no way of removing the Magog larvae and he would die.
The new Trance saves everyone the trouble of making the decision and uses the machine to remove Harper’s larvae. The fractures stop and balance is restored.
Here to Stay
In the last scene, Hunt meets with the new Trance saying he doesn’t quite trust her, but she tells him everything’s cool and he decides to let her stick around.
This definitely wasn’t a boring episode, as it was full of action and had a quick pace – but it’s the type of quickness that leaves you out of breath and exhausted by the end. Star Trek Voyager already did the fractured in time idea a year earlier in Shattered, which took place towards the end of the series and served as a tribute to its seven year run. But in Ouroboros, I feel the time fractures were just an excuse for random stuff to happen on the ship so people could get into fights, and to provide a mechanism for the Trance swap.
Major changes occur in this episode that dictate the new direction Andromeda would take, making this one of the most, if not the most important episodes in the series.
End of an Arc
First, we get the end of the “Magog larvae in Harper’s stomach” arc that started in the season premiere. I was hoping to have more of a build up to this solution in the previous episodes, but what we got was fine. I do like the callback to Into the Labyrinth (itself an episode full of callbacks) of Harper using what he learned from Satrina to build the machine.
We also see the demise of Hohne, who we’ve seen a couple times here and there.
The most important aspect of this episode was that it was the last one showrunner Robert Hewitt Wolfe was involved in. He did retain a writer’s credit for one more episode, but other than that, he was done. The master, five-year plan he devised since the show began – everything he was building toward – was scrapped, and Andromeda would take a new direction.
Goodbye Rev Bem
This was also Rev Bem’s last episode as a member of the ship’s crew (he’ll pop up a couple more times before the show’s end). His appearances this season had been growing more and more sparse due to the actor, Brent Strait, having difficulty with the costume being very, very hot, and he was so exhausted that he just couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t blame him.
Wolfe considered replacing Rev with Hohne, Hohne’s assistant Rakeeb, or Satrina. Had Hohne joined, he “would’ve provided another point of view, one which valued knowledge over bigger concerns like good or evil, civilization and chaos, or living or dying.”
But I think Satrina would be an interesting addition as well and could have had some sort of redemption arc. Ultimately no one was chosen to fill Rev’s shoes.
The cutesy Purple Trance is also no more, having been replaced by intense Gold Trance, who is dressed a bit more provocatively. So what happened to Purple Trance? She has to stay in the crappy future? Sounds like she got the short end of the stick.
The reason for this change was that the studio wanted to shake up the cast and gave Wolfe an ultimatum – change Trance or kill someone off. I would think Rev leaving was enough of a shake up, but apparently not.
Wolfe on why Trance was purple: “Violet is the highest frequency color on the visible spectrum. Trance is either burning really hot or coming toward you really fast. Or both.”
One last change: the debut of Rommie’s blue hairstyle (a wig), which she now has…because she feels like it? We never get an explanation, but it looks really awful and cheap. At least Hologram and Screen Rommie keep the old hairstyle.
Would these changes prove to be for the better and allow Andromeda to reach its full potential as a quality science fiction series? Quite the opposite, really. From here on, the show will just keep getting worse.