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Space: Above and Beyond, episode 6 (1.6)
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03
On a mission to resupply troops on a distant moon, the 58th finds itself the target of advanced Alien germ warfare, which infects them with a self-destructive psychosis that turns them against one another and threatens to destroy them from within.
Vanessa Damphousse is under a preliminary inquiry by Ross for the "failure to obey an order" and "misbehavior before the enemy." She recalls this episode as she looks at the blood on her hand.
The 58th is on its way to drop supplies on Planet Tartarus which has experienced the worst casualties since the beginning of the war; not from aliens, but from friendly fire. As they land, a private without a helmet is killed from behind by a Marine. The Marine stalks the 58th citing the following camp cadence, and is eventually killed by a laser mine (buzz beam);
"Born in the woods, trained by a bear,
double set of dog teeth, triple coat of hair,
'M-mean as hell,' 'A-all the time,' 'R-rough and tough,'
'I-In the mud,' 'N-never quit,' 'E-every day!'"
As they retreat to the ISSCV, the 58th is hit with strobing lights which causes burns on their skin. Wang, in trying to kill a cockroach, ruins the radio. Damphousse, after seeing blood on her hand, feels covered in it and tears her uniform trying to get away from it. Hawkes, affected by his feeling of claustrophobia, can't stand to wear his helmet and tries to pull it off while outside. West could swear he hears a woman screaming. Vansen, afraid of the dark, insists on using her flashlight exposing the squadron's whereabouts.
To fix the radio, all but Damphousse exit to locate a cluster of 'uplink proms' from the dead Marine's field pack. After the proms are collected, they enter a bunker filled with eight Marines who apparently killed one another. After evaluating the bunker massacre and their own experiences, the 58th discovers that the strobe lights release an electronic nerve gas which intensifies a person's greatest fears.
Upon their return, Damphousse, unable to enter the radio room because of her intensified fear of blood, instructs Vansen on how to fix the radio. They succeed in making contact with McQueen and are evacuated from the planet.
In closing, McQueen tells Damphousse that the Inquiry Panel has acquitted her of all charges and voted against further investigation.
By Kate Duncan on 08 Jul 2003 08:03:53
Following the excellent "Eyes
", the seventh episode of "Space: Above and Beyond" was, unfortunately, a letdown. Still, even a weak installment of this series is better than most television these days.
" attempts to explore the innermost fears and strengths of the 58th squadron - a gutsy character study for so early in a series' first season. Told in flashbacks, the story opens in a briefing room aboard the Saratoga, where Lt. Damphousse is being interrogated by Colonel McQueen and...
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