Episode 8: “Rebirth”
Directed by Mark Tonderai
Written by Michael Golamco
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Transmission” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Icarus” – click here
Rowan (Angus Sampson) and Karl (Eoin Macken) are stuck on the other side of the glass watching helplessly while Tessia (Miranda Raison), Captain Roy Eris (David Ajala), Dr. Tobis (Gwynne McElveen) are stuck quarantined in the medical bay. Roy takes the dead child from its grieving mother’s arms. He puts the shell of its corpse in a locked container, then Dr. Tobis finds “the infection” from the child is “airborne.” This means they have to keep the three of them quarantined until the others can figure out how to protect the rest of the ship. First, a “cell sample” is needed from the baby, and the captain offers to do it himself. This might help Rowan find an antidote. Or, y’know, things could just get a whole lot fucking worse, couldn’t they?
There are, as usual, other pressing matters. Thale’s (Sam Strike) not reacting well physically, or mentally, to the power he’s exerting. This is when D’Branin decides to tell Melantha (Jodie Turner-Smith) about Agatha (Gretchen Mol) being an L-telepath herself. Melantha worries Karl doesn’t have his head in the right place, and she’s probably right, too.
On top of everything else, the Volcryn object’s emanating energy “a billion times” or more of what’s coming off the L1 on the Nightflyer. That’s scary, especially after seeing what happened to Thale recently + its effects on those around him. Plus, Agatha’s struggling desperately to keep her own powers under control, and there’s no telling just how strong she’s become over the years, either.
In her room, Lommie (Maya Eshet) gets a visit from Melantha, who’s very concerned about everything that’s happening on the ship. She needs Lommie to come help them “link the systems” of the Nightflyer. Lommie mentions the little girl part of Cynthia’s still free “behind the firewalls” back at Greywing Manor. And if Cynthia’s not all gone, it means there’s always a risk of her crawling back out. Melantha takes her concerns to Auggie (Brian F. O’Byrne), though he’s only concerned with the mission, no matter if Cpt. Eris is on the bridge with him or in the quarantine. In his quarters, Auggie calls out to Cynthia, longing to hear her voice. He wants to give her back the Nightflyer and restore her as captain.
When Lommie helps get everything setup in the lab she makes Rowan suspicious. He wonders if Cynthia killed the baby. Rowan uses glasses to see the spores in the air within the quarantine, like “black mould” hanging everywhere. Obviously they’ve next got to start checking everyone’s respiratory systems. When Dr. Tobis starts going into shock she gets some of the antidote Rowan’s working on, but without any time to test it. Eris and Tessia are each okay, for now. The antidote starts to work on the doctor, however, it isn’t long before she falls off the table, letting a cloud of black smoke emanate from her throat into the air.
Agatha’s hanging on by a thin thread, taking her suppressants to keep those telepathic powers to erupt. She’s hearing terrible noise, which only gets worse in a “psychic feedback loop” when she and Thale are in the same room. Melantha wants her to talk to Thale, to try and get him to communicate with the Volcryn.
On her own again, Lommie hooks up and goes back into the system— back to Greywing Manor. Inside, she hears footsteps but sees no one. She hears little Cynthia’s voice echoing through the halls. She questions the girl and asks if she’s been hurting people on the ship. It’s really not a good sign to find a doll stabbed into a door with a knife. The young girl version of Cynthia is NOT a happy camper right now. And with that, Lommie gets knocked out. Yikes!
Tessia’s trying to be realistic about a potential “decontamination cycle” in case Rowan doesn’t figure out a proper antidote. But, as Cpt. Eris points out, this would kill everything within the quarantine. She’s pretty willing to accept this, though Eris isn’t so keen on letting that happen. If not, the ship could wind up infected if any spores get out.
In the memory suite, Karl talks to his daughter again. He questions Skye about a memory from the past, which she perfectly remembers. He touches her, holding hands, and he’s finally come to believe she’s real. Only she’s a “Volcryn fantasy“— and she vanishes. Melantha’s shut things down, realising D’Branin is obsessed. Meanwhile things are deteriorating on the Nightflyer and real people are on the edge of dying.
Lommie is taken to the locked room upstairs at Greywing by little Cynthia wearing a plague doctor mask (interesting when you consider the spores and their Black Plague-like qualities). Father’s waiting with his belt alongside grown Cynthia, who takes her young self in as a part of her then leaves Lommie there to experience everything she experienced.
“Now you can taste my Hell”
Agatha goes to see Thale. When they touch hands, they see indescribable visions. All of a sudden she’s hit with a burst of power, throwing her to the floor. Karl rushes in to take her away before the two telepaths kill each other. He brings her to the lab to take more drugs, where Rowan’s trying to save Tessia and Cpt. Eris. Agatha sees the spores in the quarantine, which is what she’s been hearing this whole time. She feels the infection trying to chew its way through Tessia. She locks eyes with Tessia, transmitting a dying message to Rowan: “Don‘t let it poison your heart. Remember love.” When the spores are about to break through the glass, Eris is forced to order the decontamination, and Tessia evaporates along with everything else inside. All that remains is Roy, though he isn’t quite right— what IS he, exactly? We’ll find out soon.
And nobody’s quite safe with Cynthia coming back to use Lommie’s body for her nefarious purposes.
What an episode! Father Gore loves this series. Sure, it’s nothing wildly original, yet space horror’s such an underused sub-genre nowadays, so the fact this is a well-made story with fascinating characters (and wonderful performances) makes things real exciting. The penultimate episode “Icarus” is next.