Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 11: Mind-Net

Hi everyone! I took a break, but now I'm back to my recaps.

Today's episode is called Mind-Net! This is notable because there was a device called the "Mind-Net" introduced last episode. Isn't that convenient?

I mock, but to be fair, we ARE talking about an 80s show here. I think it was generally more common for our Suddenly Very Important MacGuffins to be introduced in the episode directly focused on it. So the fact that the Mind-Net is introduced an episode before is actually fairly significant.

Of course, this is cancelled out by the fact that the episodes were shown in such a haphazard order (and are STILL occasionally misordered in certain the DVD sets, which occasionally ends up very obvious) that I'm stuck relying on fan timelines for episode order. Oh well.

It IS worth it to see it in order. Now, mini-rant aside: onto the recap!
Bad Impostors, Stolen MacGuffins, and Homoerotic Fighting

This episode begins with Goose flying into "Longshot airspace." We've actually heard mention of Longshot in a previous episode or two, but this is the first time we see it. It's a fairly standard science-fantasy research place. Lots of big computers and people in lab coats.

One such labcoated person, who has a vaguely German accent, walks the halls with an armed fellow in what looks like a slightly inappropriate amount of leather. They're discussing Mind-Net. Apparently leather-man is not happy about Mind-Net being stored in a research facility rather than somewhere "maximum security."

The doctor, I presume, actually agrees with him, but takes more of a "what can ya do?" attitude. Apparently their job is to keep testing it until the Board Leaders makes up their mind about it.

Good to know that bureaucratic inconvenience is still strong and hale in the next hundred years or so.

Leather-man kind of has an Animated Richard Hatch-in-new-BSG thing going on. Which is pretty impressive considering that new-BSG is about twenty years from being invented yet. Still he totally looks like Tom Zarek. Which is what I'll probably call him until I hear a name.

Which I do, actually, just after I finish typing that last paragraph. Not!Zarek is actually "Security Chief DeSilva." So the trick to getting this show to give me character names is to resort to annoying nicknames! Works for me!

Anyway, DeSilva gets a call on his nifty wrist thingy, and we learn why Goose is there. Apparently the Board of Leaders has sent him with orders to collect Mind-Net. I'd bitch about poor security, but Goose is usually fairly effective as long as he's not crashing his spacecraft.

They greet Goose, who's surprisingly abrupt. Goose isn't the most sociable guy, granted, but he's usually fairly polite when not pissed. Early Clint Eastwood-tip the hat, give a one-liner, and ride off into the sunset, kind of thing.

Also, his voice sounds a bit higher pitched and more breathy than usual. Kind of like when an inexperienced drinker downs their first shot of whiskey, and feels the burn for the first time, and spends most of the next few minutes trying not to cough. (This happens to me a lot when I try to drink.) It's a little peculiar.

When DeSilva demands identification, Gooseman leans into his personal space and pretty much shouts "ID? Get serious?" It's more than a little peculiar now. Goose decides to verify his identity not by presenting his credentials, but by walking straight toward the electric shock field, grinning maniacally, and shoving his hand into it. His fist gets all bio-defense-y, naturally.

DeSilva's smarter than your average bear though and points out that while they worked on the Series 5 Implant that the Rangers use to access their powers (exposition: mine), they ought still get confirmation. I may love you Not!Zarek. The Doctor agrees and leads them down a nifty walkway past huge climbing multi-story vines in a tank, toward the Mind-Net lab.

As they pass the tank, the Doctor points out two dolphins as "your friends." I believe this is the first time we've encountered the pet dolphins. Awesome. Their names are Icarus and Winter (why does everyone name things after Icarus? Naming things after Daedalus makes sense, because he invented the damn things, but Icarus was just an idiot who flew too damn high. Why make overstepping your abilities to lethal consequences worthy of immortalization?)

Goose doesn't acknowledge the dolphins as he passes, causing one of the dolphins' weird harness thing to light up and a high pitched voice to protest being ignored. The two humans in underwater gear look at each other. One queries that he thought Goose was their friend and the other agrees and decides to contact security just in case.

Heaven help us all, COMPETENT underling characters, taking their own initiative even! You'd think I'd be used to it in this show, but it still feels like a sign of the apocalypse. :-)

Anyway, the diver taps a button and blasts out of the water.

The Doctor leads Goose over to Mind-Net. Apparently Mind-Net is the helmet, rather than the weird thing that got shoved inside last episode. That's good to know because I wasn't completely clear on that. Goose picks it up.

Suddenly, an underling announces to DeSilva that Security's on line one. Goose doesn't take too kindly to this, and does a nice leaping kick, knocking the gun out of his hand, and punching poor Not!Zarek across the room. The Doc picks up the fallen gun, and calls for security.

Okay, while I do think you guys are unexpectedly competent through most of this opening sequence, it might have been good to verify his orders BEFORE letting him into the room with the Mind-Net!

Goose exhales in the poor Doc's face, and the Doc keels over. That's some breath! Goose, in his -just-drank-whisky-for-the-first-time high voice tells him to enjoy the nap and heads over to the Mind-Net.

They really SHOULD have realized that something was off when he didn't growl at them. Hmph.

Anyway, he picks up the helmet and runs to the hanger bay, which seems like an impractically short distance to run if this Mind-Net really is as powerful an dangerous as they say, wouldn't it be better to keep it under more security? But then, perhaps that's DeSilva's problem.

The entire facility starts firing at him, but he gets away. Mind-Net in hand. Eek. Once free, "Goose" gleefully explains that not only did he get the Mind-Net, but when they look for the thief, they'll go straight to Gooseman. Then he pulls off his face.

This fellow is decidedly NOT Goose. In fact, he's clearly quite a bit older. Dark haired. One dark blue eye, and one cloudy eye with a big scar running through it. He has a strong jaw and a blinding grin...and naturally a much deeper voice.

I have to compliment the people planning this show for the voice thing actually. A lot of shows would have had the original character's voice actor do the voice for the impersonator as well. This is fine if they have naturally similar voices, but a deeper voiced person affecting a higher pitched voice tends to sound very different than someone naturally speaking in that range. He sounded so weird because he was a baritone trying to speak in falsetto.

On the other hand, I have to gripe about the mask thing. Sure, it LOOKED cool. And the two characters have slightly similar facial structures. But there are some differences. (The impersonator looks like he has a thicker jaw and more protruding nose. Goose has sharper cheekbones. Et cetera.) And I have doubts that even the best mask would look right stretched over a different set of bones.

But then I'm probably being nitpicky and should file this in the same part of my brain that enjoys Mission Impossible episodes. :-) [And honestly, there probably is something ridiculous about bitching about MASKS in a show with robot horses, psychic bugs, and emotion dolls.]

So anyway, the impersonator continues his monologue by declaring that soon everyone will know that Goose is not the best of the Supertroopers, and he gives us his name: Ryker Kilbane.

Two episodes after the initial, un-dramatic reveal that Shane Gooseman is indeed a Supertrooper, we get our first renegade counterpart. Awesome!

Also, I hate to say this but while Ryker Kilbane might have some sort of recognition complex, he certainly lucked out namewise. "Kilbane" is kind of an awesome name. Certainly more awesome than "Gooseman." Where the hell do genetically engineered supersoldiers GET last names anyway?

I'm returned from my digression by the sight of Niko, Zach, Waldo and Zozo in a really odd situation. The three men (or men-type creatures) are in this strange bowl-shaped inflatable looking thing, while Niko stands on what looks like a diving board over it. Each male-type-creature is in an odd circle. Zozo is bouncing about like a loon, it should be noted.

Apparently they're all trying to convince Waldo to take part in something called "Zero-G Gymnastics." Which kind of sounds like cheating if you ask me. But on the other hand, it also sounds like a lot of fun. Waldo appreciates the effort, but considers "Zero-G" to not be natural.

Um, Waldo. Isn't SPACE zero-g? Wouldn't that, ya know, make it NATURAL? I'm just sayin'.

Zozo is back to his awesome self by pointing out the same damn thing I just typed. "If it's unnatural, why's there so much of it?" Which is actually better than what I just typed. I love you Zozo.

Zach chimes in that Waldo should try it, it's easy. Then bounces in the circle, which is apparently a trampoline. It pushes him through a weird mess of bubbles at the ceiling of the room (hyper-powered trampoline!), and into a weird dome where he does tricks in mid air.

Zach's kind of annoying.

Anyway, Niko assures Waldo they won't let him get hurt as Zach hops back down to the trampoline in the background. There's something funny about that shot but I can't really explain why.

Waldo protests that it's all so undignified. Aw. Poor Waldo. Dignity really isn't any fun. That's why I made my blog the color of radioactive cotton candy.

Zozo gets bored with Waldo's whining, hops over to his Tram-am-poline, and hops them both up into Zero-G. He then invites Niko to dance. Our man Zozo has style.

Niko dives from the board, hops from the tram-am-poline, and into the zero g chamber, when suddenly her badge lights up and she gasps and faints. Zozo calls for help.

Goose is standing on the edge of some see-saw looking thing, and orders Doc to give him a boost, which he does so by leaping on the other end. Goose propels into the zero-g chamber and catches Niko.

I'm not entirely sure why that was necessary, or why he couldn't just use the trampoline thing. or why Zach who was closer couldn't use the trampoline thing. But okay.

Possibly it has to do with the whole leaping down a story or two once back in the non-zero-g area to land on a bunch of mattresses? Who knows. Anyway, Niko comes to and explains that something terrible has happened, while Doc scans her and announces that something activated her implant.

A fellow with blue hair and an oddly old-school Battlestar Galactica style cape appears on the view screen. He introduces himself as Senator Wheiner (pronounced "whiner") and explains that a) Mind-Net's stolen, b) Goose looks like the culprit, c) Zach's to bring the Rangers for a formal inquiry, and d) Zach's got to arrest Goose.

Goose is rather understandably indignant and announces that he took an oath. Zach tells Wheiner that he's making a big mistake. Wheiner hangs up. Dick.

Goose quietly thanks Zach for backing him, and Zach tells him that the day they don't trust one another is the day they're finished. Aw. Sure it's kid-soundbyte friendly, but it's a sweet sentiment.

Doc quips that he was just getting used to ONE Goose, while Goose asserts with some mild irritation that it wasn't him. Niko points out that they're dealing with a very dangerous enemy and they need to identify him/her.

The Rangers now stand before Commander Walsh. Zach asserts that Goose isn't a traitor, while Doc asks a pertinent question: "Just where are the other Supertroopers that survived?"

That survived? Now THAT's something that sounds like it has a story behind it! Anyway, Goose murmurs that he wishes he knew, before turning to Walsh and his awesome mustache and asking what exactly he was supposed to have stolen.

Walsh explains that the Mind-Net is "a means of artificially induced telepathy." Hmm. Considering that the Rangers actually used it last episode, I wonder if my guide wasn't mistaken about the order. I suppose we'll see if/when they get the Mind-Net back.

Walsh points out that on high settings it could allow control of intelligent life. Waldo, of all people, quips that it's fortunate Senator Wheiner is safe. Heh. I get the feeling he's not popular in this bunch.

Okay! Apparently the device IS both parts that we saw last episode, as Walsh explains that "the thief" only got HALF of the device and the other half is stored in BETA headquarters.

That's actually a fairly clever security measure!

Zach asks if the thief can get Mind-Net to function, and Walsh admits that he doesn't know. The stolen part has powers they don't completely understand. Which brings up the interesting question of where it came from, but no one asks. Normally I'd call that a blind spot, but in this show, it could very well just mean the characters already know and thus don't feel the need to ask.

I appreciate the show for that, but at the same time, it can be damn frustrating.

Niko points out that it does work and it activated her charge. Walsh is worried because the Board is "still sensitive about the surviving supertroopers." Which is definitely an intriguing as well as alliterative statement. Zach wants time to find Mind-Net, and Walsh tells them that he has 24-hours before he has to turn Goose over.

We go to a weird tower on a barren moon type thing, where Kilbane is presenting Mind-Net to the Queen. Eek. She's upset though, because she wants ALL of Mind-Net, not just one part. Kilbane insists that half would still boost her powers, but the Queen knows how to play him and snaps back that he'd told her he was the most powerful of the Supertroopers. But in actuality, he's just able to imitate Gooseman's powers for a few seconds.

Kilbane and his Massive Ego does not like this, and he insists that Gooseman needs his implant to work his powers, where Kilbane summons his at will. He also pops out a set of Wolverine-esque claws, which HAS to be an intentional homage. He then beats up a pillar.

Oh, for the record, Ryker Kilbane apparently belongs to the Ricardo Montalban as Khan Noonien Singh school of fashion. He's wearing an orange bandanna, black pants, and an open vest. Also, he's got a mullet and is wearing finger-less gloves. Actually, he kind of looks like him in the face too. But that might just be me being fooled by his horrible clothes.

Oh, I see! The bad clothing choices are a supertrooper thing! That makes perfect sense. I mean, think about it. Say you breed up a bunch of soldiers who escape (as they are wont to do), to find them, just look for the most idiotically dressed people in the crowd! Perfect!

I'd totally genetically engineer super-soldiers that way. But then I'm also insane, so there you go.

Kilbane declares himself to be Gooseman's superior in every way and declares that he'll bring her not only the rest of Mind-Net but the Galaxy Rangers!

The Queen tells him that if he fails her again, he'll end up in a psycho-crystal. Um, from what we've seen so far, if she does end up using his brain to power a Slaver Lord, I suspect the poor zombie robot will starve. I'm just sayin'.

Then for no apparent reason, she blasts the REST of the pillar that Kilbane already attacked. That poor poor pillar. It's like a battle to see which of them can be the most short-sighted and melodramatic villain around. But at least the Queen is better dressed.

Meanwhile, back at Beta, Zach warns Niko that her powers are going to be stretched to the limit. Apparently the plan involves some sort of computer link-up. Doc's helping of course. Niko's willing to do whatever it takes to clear Goose.

Where the hell is Goose anyway? Wouldn't it be a good idea to keep him with you, since you know there's an impostor running around?

Anyway, apparently Zach and co. are not supposed to be here, as we know because an odd robot wearing glasses quickly warns Captain Foxx that someone is coming.

AH, that's what they're doing. Doc gets the computer to release the other part of Mind-Net, so Niko can use it to find the missing half. It's a reasonable plan, but seems like it's also an invitation to someone to come steal that one as well, now that it's under very little guard.

Huh, apparently the Rangers have some communal abilities as well, as they all huddle in a circle, one hand together, and one hand touching their badges. Niko's the only one not activating her implant, as her hand is on the other part of Mind-Net.

She tells Goose to picture the other Supertroopers in his mind and holy hell, apparently no one was breeding for looks. EGADS.

Goose is a fairly good looking guy when he's not scrunching his face up to look prematurely forty-ish, and except for the scar, Kilbane's got the Ricardo-Montalban-Khan thing going on. But they're apparently the flukes out of the deal, if the rest of these folk are any indication. Yeech.

Anyway, the vision focuses on Kilbane, and Niko affirmatively identifies him as the Mind-Net thief. Doc apparently doesn't need to touch computers to work 'em like this, and Kilbane's datafile shows up on the monitor. Goose mutters that he should have figured.

They finish just in time, as a group of soldiers force the door open. Niko points out that they can't let the soldiers stop them, and both Niko and Zach turn to face the poor saps. Chief poor sap tries to get them to stand down as a bunch of other soldiers surround them. Zozo gets the drop on him, kicking him in the back of the knee and knocking him down.

Welcome back, awesome-Zozo! I missed you! He and Waldo do the same judo-throw/ring-zap combo that they pulled off during Phoenix (first episode) and I'm very glad to see it. In the background, the sunglassed robot flutters a bit anxiously, but his babbling manages to distract one so Zach can punch him. Goose, Niko and Doc do their thing too, with varying amounts of picking people up by the scruff of the neck and whamming them into each other, kicking them in the face, or wisecracking.

Niko wants to take the component with her, so she can trace the rest. Which strikes me as a good idea and a bad idea. A good idea, because well, she probably CAN trace it. But a bad idea, considering that it amounts to bringing the other half of the Mind-Net right into the hands of the people who want it. They get into the ship and blast off. (Apparently sunglassed robot is coming too!)

As they take off from Earth, we see Mustached Man of the Comanche again. So now I'm not entirely SURE whether this episode is before or after Traash. I'm tentatively guessing after. It's possible that only Niko knew what the Mind-Net was for, after all.

Mustached Man tries to order Zach down, but Zach replies "No can do." Goose maneuvers them into "commercial traffic" and the Comanche loses them.

Niko psychics out that they're going to the barren planet from before, which turns out to be Sorry End on Tortuna. Goose finds this amusing.

Yay, Stock footage of Ranger One beneath that one particular Tortuna rock cropping! It's a good thing the Queen's forces never found that spot, or the animators would have to draw something else!

And...ROBOT HORSES!!! Joy! The Rangers are dressed as Zanguil again, too. Niko Mind-Nets herself another vision, and determines that Kilbane is very near.

Zach orders Waldo, Zozo and "Buzz" (presumably the sunglassed-robot) to stay with the ship and guard the Mind-Net component. Zozo protests, but Zach's counting on them, so he reluctantly agrees.

The Rangers walk their horses through the town. Some lizard/fish type guy seems to recognize them as human, but Shane scares him off. They make their way to a big metal door, and all draw their weapons. As usual, Niko's gun is biggest.

Kilbane apparently is inside and trying to use the Mind-Net. Sorry Ryker, but I think you have to HAVE a mind to net. Shane kicks in the door and they run to Kilbane, who cackles and reveals both himself and the Mind-Net on his head to be a fake. Metal walls crash down, trapping the Rangers. Then the floor opens beneath them.

When they land, they're in the Ranger Uniforms, the discarded disguises strewn about. Kilbane cackles and greets them. The Queen is there as well, and reveals she'd planted the images in Niko's mind to draw her here! Uh-oh! I underestimated you, Queen!

Kilbane and Gooseman have their own sort of bizarre brotherly reunion. Kilbane gloats that the "Runt" is "still a loser." Shane calmly retorts that he's still the man that Kilbane never beat. The Queen however is having enough of this and wants the rest of Mind-Net. If they won't give it to her, she'll burn their minds out of them. The Mind-Net starts to glow, and the men start groaning and recoiling, but Niko taps her badge.

The other rangers quickly put their hands together to lend her their power. The Queen's got another attack though, and she blasts them apart.

Goose has an ace in the hole though. Because the only thing more powerful than Mind-Net in this room is Kilbane's ego. He challenges him to a one-on-one fight "like the old days." With the winner getting both halves of Mind-Net. Niko protests, and the Queen is offended by the defiance. But Kilbane is intrigued.

It takes one accusation of fear, and Kilbane's ego wins out. The Queen vetos, but Kilbane points out that she has them either way. So he wants to fight. I want them to fight too. A super-soldier...sorry "Supertrooper" vs. "Supertrooper" fight ought to be a blast. Even if "Supertrooper" still sounds silly and makes me start singing Abba.

The Queen decides that this looks interesting after all, and we soon see why, as the two genetically engineered fighters stand shirtless in the middle of a big room.

I'd judge, but I'd totally make men do that if I had the power to. She tells them that there are weapons in the room, if they can reach them.

In the arena, Gooseman wants to know about the other Supertroopers: "Gravestone, Dark Star and the rest." Supertroopers have weird names. Kilbane retorts that Goose shouldn't worry. They'll live longer than him. Looking at them side by side, Kilbane appears to have a slight size advantage. He's kind of pasty though.

Kilbane attacks first with his halitosis attack. Goose counters via badge, and goes kind of lizardy. Kilbane pops his claws. Goose gets a good hit in, but it enables Kilbane to grab a weapon first and shoot him. But then that's what bio-defenses are for, and now he's an ARMORED lizard-bug thing.

Kilbane rambles about Goose being the weakest and not being good enough to be a Supertrooper, while Niko watches with concern. Aw.

Goose reverts and from the peanut gallery, Zach mutters at him not to use his charge up.

The two characters have very different fighting styles, interestingly. Kilbane's more of a brawler, I think. Using brute force and strength. Shane's style has more gymnastics and skill. Kilbane is not without transformative ability though, and when Shane challenges why he's the one backing away, Kilbane uses it to get all scary and ogre-y.

He dives at Goose, who leaps out of the way, and kind of headfirsts himself into the wall, reverting back to Kilbane in the process. Heh. Both get their hands on weapons, which quickly run out of charge, but not of knives to poke out of the top! Awesome!

It's funny that the others keep urging he save his charge, but except for the first time, Goose really isn't making any move toward his badge. It brings to mind what I said about what New Frontier indicated about their use of their abilities. Doc and Niko (and now Zach) use their abilities as tools, so naturally, they expect in this situation, Goose to be using the charge for an advantage.

But Goose has never been like that with his abilities. As far back as New Frontier, we've seen that his use of his power is automatic and fairly unconscious. But it also only tends to be when he NEEDS to use it. Otherwise, he's perfectly fine with using the multitude of other destructive skills at his disposal. They're projecting their own tendancies onto him.

Anyway, Kilbane's technique doesn't work very well for blade fighting, and despite a halitosis attempt, our man Goose is victorious. Shane urges Kilbane that "it doesn't have to end this way" and "we can help you." "And be like you? A slave?" Kilbane retorts.

The Queen's had enough of vague homoeroticism and puts an end to it, by claiming the Mind-Net back, as they never made the bargain with HER. Niko agrees. She can have it if she lets them free. Of course, she has a plan. The Queen agrees.

When the Queen's presented with the other half of Mind-Net, the Rangers are freed (sadly, Kilbane and Goose are clothed again), and Niko warns cheerfully that she should use the low setting. The Queen is not inclined to listen, and as she places the Mind-Net on her head, the Rangers gather around and share power, so Niko can shield them.

Meanwhile, the Queen and Kilbane, both in the range of the Mind-Net, get a glimpse of the other's thoughts. Naturally they intend to double cross the other, while even the robots are having issues of ambition. The Queen and Kilbane begin fighting over the cylinder component of Mind-Net as the robots fight too.

The Rangers watch and then fight. Doc gets to punch two out, while Niko gets a fun somersault kick on another. Zach punches out a slaver lord, which must be cathartic. Shane, for his part, faces Kilbane, who's in the midst of a number of robots. Kilbane cryptically announces that "WE know you're coming after us, and I'll be waiting for you." With a surprising gutteral scream, Goose attacks the robots. Kilbane escapes though.

Niko tries to stop the Queen, but gets grabbed by a Slaver Lord. Fortunately, Buzzwang (the robot) saves her ass by swiping Mind-Net and whamming the evil robot with it. Yay, Buzzwang!

But I'm distracted by Shane and Kilbane, as Shane tells him to WARN the others. He's not a supertrooper anymore and won't be again. Kilbane demands then to know what he is, if he's not human NOR a supertrooper. Gooseman, of course, answers that he's a Galaxy Ranger! Yay!

Back at Longshot, it's revealed that the Mind-Net was damaged when Buzzwang saved Niko with it. Zach doesn't necessarily think this is a bad thing though. The Doctor says they won't experiment again without better safeguards. Walsh is just happy that the Board had to recognize Goose's innocence.

The Doctor points out that a lot of Longshot's inventions could use "unusual people" to test them. Shane likes the idea of an inside hook-up to more things to blow up. Doc is more skeptical, but is open to the idea of useful inventions like "stunt clones" and video for robots. Everyone laughs and the episode ends.

--

I love frame-up episodes. I admit it. There's nothing like seeing the team band together to save one of their own from injustice. :-) It really emphasizes the all-for-one/one-for-all element and it's really the best wish-fulfillment part of being on a team like this. Someone's always got your back!

I'm enjoying that the show has FINALLY figured out what they want to do with Niko. The fainting psychic thing did make a brief return here, but was overpowered by general awesomeness such as outwitting the queen and kicking people in the face.

I guess that the Queen using the Mind-Net helmet also explains away the stupidity of bringing the half of the device she doesn't already have straight to her. Which makes me feel a little better about that.

We also learn that the Rangers can lend power to one another via Implants. Well, at least, we know they can feed power to Niko. It remains to be seen if it can work in any other direction.

I spent most of the episode trying to figure out if this episode possibly should have been BEFORE Traash, but the damaging at the end pretty much settles the issue. I suppose Walsh had to explain what the Mind-Net did just to remind the audience why we care. It's just a bit odd, because normally they're really good about things like that.

-

Of course, the biggest part of the episode was the appearance of Ryker Kilbane and the tidbits of information about the Supertroopers.

Before this episode, all we really knew about the Supertroopers came from Shane's comment about genetic engineering (Chained), that the program had been shut down a few years back and DNA was still being smuggled out (Smuggler's Gambit), and that apparently Supertroopers are known for their temper. (One Million Emotions.)

Now we know a bit more. And it's all pretty ominous.

The most ominous part is probably that whole emphasis on the surviving Supertroopers. That's never a good choice of words. At all. Moreover, we learn that certain people on the Board of Leaders are very leery of Supertroopers, Goose included.

This episode does seem to explain a lot of the mixed feelings that Shane appears to have about the whole Supertrooper thing. Especially if, as the end implied, the majority of the surviving Supertroopers have more in common with Kilbane than they do with Goose.

Actually, it looks as though Shane is specifically set AGAINST the other Supertroopers. Kilbane doesn't say "We know you're coming FOR us." He says, "We know you're coming AFTER us." Which is a completely different implication entirely. Especially considering that he wants Kilbane to WARN them. But at the same time he does appear genuinely concerned/worried for them. And even after being set up, he tries to convince Kilbane that they can HELP him.

Whatever happened to the Supertrooper program must have been one heck of a doozy. But it does indicate that for all that Goose insists he's not a Supertrooper anymore, he does still feel a connection.

And we have a few more questions: Are the Supertroopers considered human or not? And what did he mean by being made into a slave? What IS the deal with Gooseman and the Galaxy Rangers? (He certainly doesn't seem at all reluctant or forced to be there...) Hopefully, we'll find these out as the series continues.

As a dark mirror to Goose, Ryker Kilbane is an interesting character. They have the same powers, but they use it differently. As mentioned before, Shane uses his powers unconsciously or automatically. Kilbane, in contrast, flaunts his powers. It's one of the many giveaways that the Shane Gooseman we see at the very beginning of the episode is an impostor.

It's pretty awesome actually that it IS so apparent that the impostor is fake. He might LOOK like Shane Gooseman, but he talks differently (as I mentioned previously, he SOUNDS like a baritone trying to force himself into tenor range), he gets angry differently (Shane growls, he doesn't shout), he even walks differently (Kilbane-as-Shane has more of a swagger) and then there's the GRINNING!

We also get the impression that Goose, at least, spends a fair bit of time in Longshot. Long enough at any rate, that while the doctors and security chief may or may not seem to know him well, (to be fair, they did intend to test him further), the dolphin-minders definitely do.

And I love that they're just randomly all "Oh, look. Your dolphin friends!" Of COURSE Goose would have dolphin friends that just get gratuitously pointed out in this episode!

I love this show.

But anyway, Kilbane's definitely interesting as a contrast. He's loud, crazy, ego-driven and at the same time, incredibly insecure. I suppose that's not really surprising though, because if you consider Kilbane as super-soldier type material, he fails miserably.

Granted, he has POWERS and is clearly physically strong. But he cares only for his own self-interest, doesn't follow orders, and is, to put it bluntly, pretty stupid. And since this is not a show that tends to dumb down its villains, that means something. Where Goose himself is a fairly good indicator of how scary a functioning Supertrooper could be (Powers + intelligence and the capacity for subtlety), Kilbane's like a rabid animal. Dangerous, but not all that scary. At least for now.

I definitely enjoyed the shirtless fighting though. :-)

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