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Spoilers for Andromeda 3x04 Cui Bono ahead:

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I think this is a record for me of entries per day, usually I'm not that talkative.
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I'm almost current on Andromeda by now. Or maybe I am current, just not with Canada, but with the US schedule, whatever. Anyway, I've watched all eps up to 3x02 Shards of Rimni so far, so the aired Canadian ones are only two episodes ahead now.

The main entry will have some general thoughts on season 2, so no spoiler precautions for that, however my first impressions of Season 3 are in the cut-away (spoilers for 3x01 and 3x02).

So first, season 2. I can't do any detailed analysis, since I've watched all in a marathon, every episode only one time so far, and I didn't take notes (but I strongly recommend Viridian5's Andromeda essays and episode reviews for a more in-depth perspective).

I'm not sure, but it seems that there are less "team" episodes in season 2 than earlier, and I miss something when half of Andromeda's crew is absent. I understand the meta/production reasons for such episodes, but I like ensemble shows best when they are really ensemble shows. Also I miss Rev Bem.

And I'm not sure whether I like Future Trance better than purple Old Trance. During first season I was sometimes mildly annoyed at "the big mystery that is Trance" and it didn't really get better in season 2. I'm willing to give them the benefit of doubt and assume they know what they are doing (after all Andromeda's TPTB aren't Chris Carter) and that they didn't only want to change Trance from purple to golden and get rid of the tail, but -- before she was used as ad-hoc explanation for plot development or as deus-ex-machina in a mild way, because she could "perceive" the consequences of choices, now every other episode she invokes some dark future that might happen if they don't do as she says. It didn't really make me like the character more, though maybe it's not supposed to, and okay, I miss the tail. Also I liked the cute bubbly scam she had going on, especially those moments where it becomes clear that she plays it, like in "Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way".

Another thing I noticed is that I start to dislike that they never get hit when they are shot at, but they hit others all the time. Okay, they have these High Guard gadgets, but really, at least some of their enemies must be well enough equipped to have similar or better things. Though on the other hand I like that there is at least some explanation for this phenomenon (and I really liked the scene with Gerentex when he got to know the reason for why he was shot at so much and the others weren't).

Hmm. It sounds as if I'm only complaining, but really I'm not, overall I still had a lot of fun watching the second season. After all, I only bother to quibble if I like a show, otherwise it's not really worth bothering. Anyway, what I liked:

I liked a lot of the glimpses we got of the Commonwealth, because despite Dylan's propaganda talk it was obviously not perfect, nor all that well liked by all its citizens, which makes it realistic. First the Kalderans obviously had a very bad experience with being in this Commonwealth, brief impressions we got of the Vedrans in "The Fair Unknown" also make it look like an egalitarian approach with equal rights for all member worlds and citizens was at best theoretical and realized on paper, and that the AIs had really equal rights as citizens looks dubious after we get some of the warships perspectives in "The Knight, Death, and the Devil". Also because of Dylan's previous career the Commonwealth sponsored actions we see in flashbacks are dubious covert operations. I sure hope the series will deal with these conflicts between ideals and realities of the new Commonwealth, now that it is actually in existence again (though I thought the whole Commonwealth founding was a bit too much dealt with in fast-forward mode during season 2).

I also liked that Earth is not important to most of the crew, not even the humans, except for Harper, who was born there. It's a nice change from the usual in science fiction tv. I admit that Dylan's decision was hard, especially with its consequences for Harper (and of course the many dead on Earth), but the almost indifference to loss of life on an immense scale seems to be another constant from the old Commonwealth, especially if it suits some larger cause and can be rationalized as an acceptable loss. And I like that Dylan, despite his aspirations, is not the super-hero who can singlehandedly save all. And when he fails he fails on the same grand scale he sets for his goals.

I liked how Tyr changed getting closer to the rest of the crew, and I can see where Tyr/Harper slashers are coming from, though to me the Dylan/Tyr slash vibes pings somewhat stronger. I have a harder time to see Dylan/Harper, but hey, I expect I'll be flexible in my pairing preferences in Andromeda as long as it's well written. (I have read very little so far, mostly Viridian5's gen stories.)

On the note of pairings, I would really like TPTB to stop this habit they acquired of throwing BOTWs at Dylan. I don't mind him getting some action, but most of the BOTW plots in season 2 just were sort of dumb, like the Stockholm syndrome kidnap victim that he at the end of "Lava and Rockets" takes on a three week cruise?!? Even if the route might coincide with his Commonwealth building duties, my reaction was more or less "gah! he is doing what?!"

Overall I liked the Magog egg arc, while it wasn't handled perfectly (again, I recommend Viridian5's second season reviews for details), and I liked the glimpses into Harper's past in "Bunker Hill" as well as into his and Beka's history in "Be All My Sins Remembered."

I like Andromeda/Rommie a lot, how her warship self with its attitudes to the crew is in conflict sometimes with the Avatar self, how she is on the one hand experimenting with her emotions, but definitely not on some quest to become human, and more distressed that the crew is less durable and more vulnerable than she is.

Overall I hope they don't forget to resolve the dangling plots of the second season in the third, like the whole Nietzschean messiah thing.

Now some brief thoughts on 3x01 and 3x02... )

June 2017

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