Space Precinct episode 21: “The Fire Within, Part II”

It’s all as I said last time: Haldane didn’t murder Samina Podly, it was a cunning ruse to get the cultists onside and get them to reveal their ultimate plan. Which is, of course, a con: provide signs that the end of the world is coming, get the believers to give the priests all their worldly possessions in exchange for a spot in the sacred bunker, then burn everyone in the sacred bunker to death while absconding with the loot.

And then things go into classic Space Precinct WTF territory, as the cathedral turns out to be a spaceship and the cult leaders fly off into a high-speed-space-chase with the police. I honestly can’t believe I just typed those words. But that’s basically what happens. Followed by another cop series cliche as the heroic characters trapped with the bad guys wrest control back just in time to save the vehicle from crashing into the police station. Except the vehicle is a cathedral.

Apparently the cult leaders have done this sort of thing before and plan to do it again, which seems odd since that is the sort of modus operandi that it would be pretty easy to get local police stations to look out for (“New apocalyptic cult in town? Check their cathedral for booster rockets”), but there you go.

More continuity this episode, as the Tarn judge from “Protect and Survive” turns up refusing to give the police a warrant to arrest the cult leaders. I wonder if this wasn’t intended as a season finale at some point, given the number of shoutouts to earlier episodes, and that it’s traditional for this kind of space opera to have an exciting, or something, two parter as either a season finale or a mid-season hook.

Space Precinct, however, is always pushing the envelope, or something (see “the cathedral turns out to be a spaceship”, above), and so we have one more standalone episode and one more two-parter to go.

Also, my autocorrect has learned the word “Podly.” This is not a good thing.

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Fiona Moore

Academic, anthropologist and SF writer, living, teaching and working in a global city.

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