Starhunter–Dark and Stormy Night (2001)   8 comments

Dante Asking for the Truth

EPISODE #15

Dark and Stormy Night picks up where episode #14 leaves off.  This is a combination of three-person drama (Dante, Luc, and Darius) and clip show.  The clips come from all but three of the previous episodes, the exceptions being Trust, Siren’s Song, and Peer Pressure.  This is, however, an effective clip show, for it connects the dots and reveals the conspiracy, including one aspect which shocks both Dante and Luc.

The clip show nature of this episode is a mixed blessing.  On one hand, it does make Dark and Stormy Night an essential reference piece for most of the previous fourteen hours.  In fact, I watched it more than once in preparation for previous summaries and reviews.  Yet the repeated use of clips between original scenes can prove irritating to one with an encyclopedic (or nearly so) knowledge of the series.  I am among these individuals, and the clip show element is the sole factor restraining me from declaring Dark and Stormy Night the finest episode of Starhunter.

One definition of irony in drama is that the audience knows facts some characters do not.  By that standard, Dark and Stormy Night erodes the irony greatly.  We, the viewers, know already that Luc really works for the Orchard, which she distrusts, that she has a strained relationship with Darius, her father, and that some of the bounty hunting assignments have originated with the Orchard.  We know also that the Orchard, which is dangerous, is trying to control the Divinity Cluster, and that the Orchard is divided into at least two factions:  those of Pacquette and those of Darius, both of whom are ruthless.

Pacquette, from The Divinity Cluster

Pacquette, however, is more ruthless.  She wanted to kill Eccleston in The Divinity Cluster; Darius wanted to capture and question him.

Dante

Dante learns most of this from Luc and the rest from Darius, when the latter boards the Tulip.  The captain is angry to learn of the conspiracy that has been playing out under his nose while he was oblivious to it.  He feels manipulated (justifiably) and objects to the fact that Luc has lied to him repeatedly.  She has even placed the Tulip, Percy, and himself in danger.

Darius

Luc apologizes.  She says that she did not think or know that her work for the Orchard, done at the behest of her father, would lead to such consequences.  “I made a mistake,” she says.

She tells Dante what she knows about the Divinity Cluster.  We, the observant viewers, knew all these details already.  But only now is Dante beginning to understand the big picture, at least partially.

“But,” as Ron Popeil says, “there’s more.”

A shuttle arrives from the nearby Orchard ship.  The airlock doors open to reveal Darius.

Darius

Darius says he is there to apologize and to ask for help.  He claims not to be Luc’s assassin, despite the events of the previous episode.  And he denies involvement in the death of Eric, Luc’s ex-husband.  Darius also explains that the Divinity Cluster entails the ability to move backward and forward in time, thereby bestowing immortality.  And, he states, the seeming deaths of Eccleston and others were really disappearances into other dimensions.  So Eccleston is really moving across dimensions, and Darius seeks help from Dante and Luc in locating Eccleston before Pacquette and her people do.  Darius, you see, O reader, wants to suppress knowledge of the Divinity Cluster.  But Darius wants to share this knowledge with humanity in time.

There is just one problem:  The Orchard needs Eccleston’s injection device, and does not know where it is.

And Darius drops a bombshell:  Penny, Dante’s late wife, was an Orchard scientist involved in the earliest stages of research on the Divinity Cluster.  She might have discovered the Cluster had she lived.  Eccleston built on her research to discover said Cluster.  Then Darius asks a telling question:  “Did Penny ever experiment on you, Captain, Montana?”  She did not, but did she experiment on Travis?  At this point the Travis and Divinity Cluster story arcs merge.

Darius offers to help Dante find Travis in exchange for assistance in foiling the plots of Pacquette and members of her faction.  Can Dante trust Darius, the man who was willing to kill him just a few hours ago?

As Darius departs it is obvious that the relationship between father and daughter is quite cold.

Eccleston’s Injection Device

Back on the Bridge, Dante tells Luc that he does not believe much of what Darius has said.  Then Luc shows Dante Eccleston’s injection device.  She has concealed this from Darius all along.  She can trust Dante, but not her father.  Luc will play along with the Orchard, obtain information from them, and maintain her cover as a bounty hunter.  But she will work for Dante from now on.  The two of them establish a mutual understanding and peace.

Darius

Back in his shuttle, Darius speaks to a computerized voice.  He has placed a tracer program on board the Tulip.  “They will lead us to the child,” he says.  The Orchard wants Travis Montana because they suspect that Penny experimented on him.

The Death of Darius

The shuttle explodes.  It is not an accident.

Luc

Luc, on the Bridge of the Tulip, says to herself, “They murdered him.  Cold-blooded murder.”

Thus we have one of the most devastating episode finales.  Luc has lost her estranged father.  She grieves for him, yet she could not trust him in life.  Which emotions is one supposed to feel at such a time?

Certain plot threads, other than the nature of the Divinity Cluster and the struggle to try to control it, remain for exploration at this point in the series.  One is the purpose of those genetically-enhanced seeds from Goodbye, So Long.  And there is the continuing search for Travis, of course.  Those two threads become one, by the way.  Starhunter is a nicely integrated series in terms of plot threads.

Next, however, we have a standalone dramedy called Super Max, which is more comedy than drama.  It is time to lighten the tone for one episode.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 10, 2011 COMMON ERA

I used the Power DVD program to obtain screen captures.

Posted January 10, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Starhunter (2000-2001)

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8 responses to “Starhunter–Dark and Stormy Night (2001)

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  3. Thank you for the summary. I hate clip shows & was finding the Dante/Luc argument to be too dreary to make it through this episode, but later episodes indicated that something important may have happened in the original bits.

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