Jumping around our strange order again we go from the final episode to one close to the start. Patterns of the Soul is a have a nice self-contained character episode. There is some good developing characters Eilerson (about time) and Chambers while adding some hints for a longer-term arc story that was never fulfilled and some interesting titbits for Dureena.
I like Eilerson. In general he is a bit of an arse and he gets massive abuse from everyone because of it . If that was B5, where were people only did annoying things if they had some motivation for deliberately obstructing others then I could understand why he gets treated as the bad-guy but this is Crusade. In this series everyone is rude and obnoxious yet only Eilerson ever gets called out for it and he gets disproportionately more heat than he ever causes. It is good to see Mr Self-absorbed a chance to show he can be one of the good guys and also interesting to see that he is under great pressure from his bosses. It can’t be nice being pulled between Gideon and is corporate boss.
Once again the Excalibur is the ship that gets called in to do some basic clear-up work. Nothing in this episode is about finding a cure for the plague. I am sure some other ship could scan the inhabitants and transport them back to Earth. It is especially egregious if you consider that the Excalibur was just moments away from beginning investigations into a very promising planet. They detect the virus was present in almost instantly. Their expertise was not required. The only advantage that they *might* have is the virus shield which enables them to go into potentially infected locations.
I like the way that Gideon’s security clearance comes up early in the episode. It is a nice hook for later and that the question is actually resolved in this episode is amazing! It isn’t held as a show-running mystery but is introduced as an asset and explained in a way consistent to his character.
It is disappointing to see that the only way the crew can work together is via threats. This time it is Durenna that is abusing Chambers. Fortunately she quickly runs off to help when Chambers gets into trouble and it is more of a threat made when angry and stressful as opposed to the base treachery committed by Galen in Well of Forever. Then we have Eilerson getting abused by Chambers when he suggests that she should tell Gideon everything he needs to know. It is strange to think that Eilerson is probably the least likely member of crew to withhold relevant information. Fortunately it seems as though Chambers agrees with him. There seems to be some double-standards from Gideon when he claims that people need to be more trusted. This is the first time that anyone actually demonstrates that the crew can be trusted and Gideon never trusts anyone, including the people that he works with. Gideon acts as though only he should be trusted and given sole discretion over what everyone else knows. The unanswered question in the titles is “Who do you serve and who do you trust?” I think Gideon’s answer is himself.
This is a nice little episode. For once most people act sensibly and no one plays the fool. There is also some interesting virus (can you tell I like that stuff?). Apparently Dureena’s people only having one year because they are a closer match to the template. The virus on earth acts by copying Earth diseases, killing a small sample each day until I finds the best killer. One would imagine that a small colony on an uninhabited world might have a very small subset of infections and viruses with which the Drakh plaque can work. I suppose that on this planet it is operating in less of a trial and error method and sticking mostly to the base programming, or a small population can be killed off more quickly. I also wonder if there is any potential in mapping the infection through a second race (to provide a second research group?). I suppose that there is little gain since Earth can already get better results from comparing against the local mammal species.