When the Alphans find a new and “well endowed” planet, Koenig launches an exploratory mission, when a missile is shot at their Eagle. Unable to avoid it, Carter readies for an explosion that never comes. The crew land and take the missile, now deemed some form of probe, into their base where it begins emitting gas. Before too long, more start raining down on the moon. And then a lovely thing happens: the gas is actually air and the moon is given an atmosphere. The group decide to enjoy the great outdoors for a while before Koenig sends Helena, Alan, Sandra and Paul out for a recon of the whole moon. During the flight, the Eagle crashes and buries itself where no one can spot it.
For the bulk of the episode, we’re watching Swiss Family Robinson with the 4 crewmen lost on the moon. With an atmosphere, the temperature goes from summer to winter overnight. During the crash, Sandra was injured so she’s suffering a fever and possible concussion. Meanwhile the limited rations they have on the Eagle have been contaminated. Paul goes out one night and collapses but lands right next to some convenient calzones… I mean mushrooms. (But man did it make me want Italian food today!)
This was a very enjoyable episode. One thing I noticed is that the last two were quiet, somber affairs while this was an upbeat one. When the Alphans go out exploring, Paul and Sandra are the first to experiment with removing their helmets. Their joy is palpable. Then the kiss, finally cementing their budding romance. There’s a sense of the lighthearted to the episode even with the dangerous situation going on for 4 of the crew. It’s a more colorful episode too, which I find plays a part in the attitude. But the writer seemed to teeter on an idea which was rapidly abandoned for the Swiss Family part of the story. When it starts raining, Koenig realizes the Moon Base is in a crater that will fill with water, and when the moon moves out of planetary range, the water will freeze and crush the base. … And that’s the last we ever hear of it because it wasn’t a concern once the rain stopped.
So since the main threat is not knowing how the 4 will survive, the story focuses heavily on them and once Paul ate the mushrooms, he starts going off the deep end, deciding to have the 4 of them restart humanity. It ends up being nothing more than a mushroom induced trip and that too ends without incident. Helena blows up the crashed Eagle as another passes overhead, finally securing their rescue. They get back to the base as the moon begins to drift away from the planet and the probes leave. Just as we think the episode is about to end, I was stunned when one of the probes stopped, sent a beam to the base and addressed them in English saying they we desperate to keep the humans off their world, so they gave the humans what they’d wanted most: a home.
This episode flew by faster than an Eagle searching for missing crew but I enjoyed every bit of it. The shock ending was really impressive to me. I was dumbfounded that this is the second episode in a row without a death and equally amazed to find there are 27 “serviceable Eagles” back at base. Does that mean that’s it, or does it mean there are others in the repair bays? I will say that there have been a number of oddities with language in this series. I hate that “computer” is called “computer”, as if using “the” in front of it would demean it somehow. Siri I call Siri. I don’t call it “the Siri”; same for Alexa. But “Computer”? But this episode adds to the verbal oddities with Eagle 2-8. As in Two Eight. Me? I’d call it “twenty eight”. Alan didn’t say there were “two seven” serviceable Eagles at the base!
Ok, if that’s the biggest nit to pick, we’re in good shape. After a few mediocre episodes, I needed a bright and cheerful one. The moon continues on its course and the Alphans lose the atmosphere they got to enjoy which is a bit sad, especially as they watch the last sunset fading into the distance. But I don’t mind a melancholy ending provided it gave me a good run throughout. I just hope for the best for this crew. It doesn’t look like they get much in the line of happy endings, does it? ML
The Last Sunset can indeed be a nice refresher for the Alphans, and a reminder of how being lost from home can sometimes be a blessing if it gives you something special to explore. Thanks, ML, for your review.
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