REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
SYNOPSIS by Bret Rudnick
REVIEW by Bret Ryan Rudnick
Kate Elliot (Lily)
Written by RJ Stewart
Directed by Rick Jacobson
Filmed in Auckland, New Zealand, by Renaissance Pictures in association with Studios USA. Executive producers Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, R. J. Stewart; co-executive producer, Eric Gruendemann; producer, Chris Black, Janine Dickins; co-producer, Mike McDonald, associate producer, Sam Clark; camera, Kevin Riley; editor, Cushla Dillon; music, Joseph LoDuca; casting, Marie Adams, Beth Hymson-Ayer, Tracy Hampton.
TV GUIDE PROMO
Sarge is reunited with her sister Lily when she, Hel and Cleopatra go on a mission to find the Betrayer robot factory. LogLine
Hel, Sarge and Cleopatra search for the Betrayer robot factory after confronting a new breed of robot.
The gals go in search of an enemy robot factory, but plot-schmlot--we just think it's funny watching futuristic bimbos shoot lasers from their wrists. Entertainment Weekly
Sarge is reunited with her sister Lily while on a mission to find the Betrayer robot factory. ExctieTV
This synopsis is by Bret Ryan Rudnick.
Another day, another bar, and the trio enter while Hel orders "Mash", a non-alcoholic beverage of water and soil that "fortifies you and cleans you out, all at the same time."
Hel and Sarge take the drink in good measure with little effect evident, but Cleo chokes on hers. While Cleo recovers, Sarge notices a newcomer to the bar and remembers him as someone she saw taken by the Bailies when she was a child. Yet this man appears no older. Sarge has him pegged as a Betrayer.
Voice urges caution, not wanting Sarge to go off half-cocked because someone might have "aged well." But too late, Sarge shoots first and may or may not ask questions later.
Sarge takes him down quickly, and wonders if perhaps she may have made a mistake since Hel noticed he bled (as opposed to oozing fluid as robots are wont to do). But no, the man wakes right up, morphs his hand into a weapon, and the shooting starts.
After a fierce battle, Hel and Sarge finally eliminate the Betrayer, but he's a new variety and Voice tells them they must find out how he's made if they're going to figure out how to destroy them. As Sarge and Hel walk off to sort out what to do next, Cleo appears confused.
On the surface, the trio sneak up on a village of "Dworks", people the Bailies tolerate on the surface. Hel explains these Dworks think the Bailies are benevolent aliens who sometimes take their people back to some "home planet". Hel and Sarge think the people taken are the models for new Betrayer robots. Sarge sees the next intended victim from the back and fires a device to "track" her. When the Bailies take her away, they'll be able to follow.
But when the woman turns around, Sarge recognises her as her sister. The mission now becomes a rescue and the trio grab the young woman and spirit her away while under heavy Bailey fire.
During a quiet moment of rest, we learn that Sarge's real name is Rose, and her sister is Lilly. "They named us all after flowers," Sarge explains. We see that the Baileys are still searching for the four fugitives, and one of them dispense several smaller units that take off to find them.
Meawhile, Hel and Voice hatch a plan and clue in Cleo, who mixes many sci-fi metaphors (including STAR TREK, STAR WARS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, and X-FILES) to convince Lilly that Sarge didn't attack the "emissary", but was merely trying to get its attention. Cleo tells Lilly that Sarge -- I mean Rose -- has made many trips to the home planet in their "starship", and it's imperative that Sarge is the next one to be taken by the Baileys. Lilly readily agrees.
As they walk along, the small Bailey searching machines have found them.
Like a swarm of angry hornets, the little "Baileyette" probes attack. After a brief fight, our heroines prevail and they are all destroyed.
Cleo and the others arrive back at the Dwork village. Cleo resumes her sci-fi babble in an attempt to convince the others that Sarge should be sent to the next "emmisary".
While the village elders are off in consulation, Lilly, Sarge, and Cleo speak in private. Lilly is very impressed with Sarge and hugs her, but Sarge is distant. She does not respect these weak villagers, and tells her sister it's all a lie -- the Baileys aren't emmisaries, Cleo is no "commander", and nothing is as it seems. Cleo continues with the act, telling "Rose" not to tease her sister. But Lilly is hurt and unsure. All her life Lilly has believed that the Baileys are emissaries from a benevolent alien race.
Hel, meanwhile, has been on the surface under the night sky looking at the stars and moon. Voice tells Hel this is where people belong. This is what they're fighting for.
It's time. Sarge is placed upon a platform in the village with everyone watching nearby. Three Baileys approach and are about to take Sarge. But Lilly intervenes and warns them that Sarge is from the underground, and she, Lilly, is the one meant to go. The trio's cover is blown.
As Sarge and Hel fight Baileys under the night sky, Lilly pleads to be taken away. Cleo runs up to escort her away, but too late. The Baileys have them both, and we have to wait until next week to find out what happens.
This review is by Bret Ryan Rudnick.
Is Cleo Catholic? She crosses herself as if she might be during the bar fight early on.
Sarge packs some interesting technology -- she has a lens that slides in front of an eye that enables some impressive GPS-like mapping.
Similarly, the Baileys aren't slouches when it comes to firepower. They can blast with energy bolts or shoot napalm- like fire.
Both the writing and the direction were excellent in this episode. We learn more about the Baileys but are tantalised even further by deeper mysteries. Where do they really come from? How do they communicate with the villagers?
More kudos to the direction and set design, especially in the second act for the night scenes. The Bailey searchlights over the crowd were ominous and helped in the suspense, and the contrast of the night fight and the Baileys against a background of stars were particularly memorable.
Indeed, the direction in general for this episode was fluid and cohesive. Each moment led right into the next, and the ep was tight and very entertaining.
More than ever before, this episode had me thinking of parallells with the BBC produced (and unfinished) series of THE TRIPODS, based on a trilogy by John Christopher. Well worth the read on its own merit.
This week's episode is also significant in that it is a two-parter. Indeed, this formula could work really well in the 30-minute format in that if one week is a chapter leading to the next, more and more of a cogent story can be told. While Renaissance personnel have said in the past that a serial format could be problematic (as Steve Sears commented once about XENA), this could be quite beneficial to a show like CLEOPATRA, in which 30 minutes at a time is just not sufficient to tell a good story in and of itself, especially when one discounts commercial and gunfire time
02-03-00. According to an enigmatic interview with RJ Stewart in STARLOG #271, this episode may be a two parter, concluding in next week's episode "Rescue".