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As the episode opens, Garth is understandably unhappy that Devon has managed to get the trio lost in some sort of grotty service tunnel. A dirty little boy sneaks up on the group while they sleep and steals Garth's crossbow. Garth gives chase.



Garth exits an oddly huge airshaft to find himself in a lab. The scientists in the lab express hope that he can help them but offer no useful advice as to what he and his companions can help them with. We soon learn that the little boy is mute, the grandson of scientist Brant and that his filthy condition is typical of the standard of living for the common folk in this dome even though the dome possesses advanced technology. We also learn that the scientists are craven cowards who will immediately rat out their allies as soon as the security forces come sniffing around.

The official story about what is going on is that widowed Queen Serena, who has withdrawn to her apartment following the death of her husband, still hopes to improve the living conditions of her people. She deals with the outside world largely though a man named Roloff (Donnelly Rhodes, who plays Doc Cottle on BSG). Her progressive legislation [1] is continually blocked by the Council even though the Queen has graciously allowed the Council and other members of the elete to be implanted with intelligence-boosting devices developed by Brant in an attempt to help his mute grandchild. Out of a sense of self-sacrifice, the Queen and Roloff have decided not to be implanted until all the people of the dome are given implants.

What's really going on is that Roloff is using the Queen's isolation to take control of the dome and a large part of his plans involves the implants, which are not the IQ-boosting sort at all but rather linked into the brain's pain centers. People who oppose him are tortured and the pain is bad enough that anyone exposed to it will do whatever Roloff demands to avoid a second dose. Roloff is rather pleased with his plan and when eventually someone asks why, he cheerfully admits to being evil.

Roloff immediately sees that Devon and his friends could be a danger so he arranges for Devon to get an implant so that Devon can better help find a solution to the problems facing this dome. Devon is not quite dumb enough to submit to the implant procedure without seeing it done to Roloff first but Roloff zaps Devon with a wand that Roloff has been carrying and then demands that Brant implant Devon with a pain device.

Roloff's smug glee once Devon wakes is short lived because as Brant explains he implanted Devon with a defective device incapable of inducing pain. Roloff decides to retreat for the moment at which point the scientist admits to Devon that it was all a bluff and that Devon's implant is perfectly functional. Devon and the scientists retreat to plot their resistance. We learn that the boy has been working the resistance all along (which is why he stole a weapon). He may well be the most effective agent they have.

Roloff notices the grubby boy sneaking around; recognizing the boy's hostage value and use as a confidant who will never blab, he explains to the boy that the implants also let him track the people with them. He knows where they congregate and has arranged to have a large quantity of explosives planted there. The boy is no dummy and as soon as an opportunity (inthe form of the queen overhearing Roloff's evil monologue of evil) presents itself, he steals the detonator and escapes to warn the resistance.

Roloff is aware that the scientists are plotting against him but he is sure they are conditioned to fear him and that after they are allowed to run riot for a while, he will be able to intimidate them back into submission. Just in case this does not work, he takes the queen prisoner, storing her in what seems to be a large electronic fly-trap in her quarters. When Rachel shows up, he takes her prisoner as well. Garth tries to rescue Rachel but of course is himself captured when a cunning guard takes the boy prisoner.

Devon and the scientists, now implant free, show up to confront Roloff. Roloff refuses to unlock the flimsy plastic doors that protect him from the irrate scientists and he reveals that he has a number of hostages with him. The boy manages to break away from Roloff and does a flying leap to slap a green foam matt in front to the door, which apparently unlocks it even every other door of this sort we've seen required the buttons on the key pad to be mashed. Roloff tries to catch the boy but he falls down for no apparent reason, and seems to knock himself silly on a padded chair. The resistance bursts in and all is saved.




Comments: One wonders why nobody thought to teach the child some form of sign language. Or writing. Being related to a great scientist doesn't seem to have done the kid much good.

Every time Roloff captures another person, the camera includes a little more of stage right to reveal the presence of yet another closet of imprisonment. Why exactly the queen's apartment has facilities to store at least three prisoners is never explain.

An awful lot of this episode involved people going from one room to another, narrowly missing each other in the process. It was like a French bedroom farce, only not French, with no sex and in no way funny (at least not intentionally).

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