“Episode 17: We Were Family”
Kudos to Dark Matter stunt coordinator John Stead for the phenomenal job directing this episode. Loved this episode’s western feel, the beautiful character moments and, of course, his trademark action sequences!
This episode ran long so we had to lose some dialogue, and a few scenes, to get it to time. Much of it I don’t miss. Some, I’m sorry didn’t make the final cut…
Following the flashback tease of the kid in the closet, we go to our opening sequence, then, in the original script, would have opened the episode with a scene involving TWO and THREE on the bridge. The script was timing long and I made the decision to cut this scene that, ultimately, has most of its salient points covered in ensuing scenes anyway:
INT. RAZA – BRIDGE
TWO stands at one of the consoles, checking out the onscreen data. THREE walks in.
TWO: Looks like we’re about an hour out from the space station.
THREE: We’ve got half this galaxy looking for us. You really think stopping anywhere is a good idea?
TWO: We’re out of food. We don’t have much choice short of going into stasis.
THREE considers, then walks back and hits the console, sealing the door so they can’t be overheard.
THREE: And what’re we doing about our guests?
TWO: That’s something we have to discuss. (beat) Nyx wants to stay. She says she has nowhere else to go.
THREE doesn’t seem all that enthused with the idea.
THREE: And the others?
At which point we segue to a shot of the ship in flight, then go to the TWO/DEVON scene in the infirmary. A few lines of dialogue were deleted from the director’s cut – some of it pertaining to Devon’s backstory…
TWO: You can contribute something. Your medical training makes you an asset.
DEVON: I can think of less dangerous ways to make a dishonest living, thank you. No offense, but this ship is a magnet for trouble.
TWO: Got someone out there?
DEVON: Parents who I don’t talk to anymore. I’ve grown to love my alone time.
TWO: So, what does this mean? When are you planning to leave us?
DEVON: Soon. Maybe just…not right away. If that’s okay?
TWO: Your call.
Then, we go to the THREE/Arax mess scene. We had to lose some dialogue in the editing suite. It always kills me to lose the funny bits but, alas, it was either that or trim actual story beats. Arax’s pitch is similar to the one he gives TWO in the previous episode so I didn’t feel bad losing part of it here.
INT. RAZA – MESS
THREE chows down in rather boorish fashion, mouth open, fishing into his back tooth to dislodge a piece of food. REVEAL Arax seated across from him, staring in disbelief.
ARAX: I’ve seen some mighty horrific things in my days, but that ranks right up there.
Arax gets up, goes to the coffee table and pours himself a drink.
THREE: You know how a near-death experience gives you a greater appreciation for life, making you really cherish the moments you have left? Well, switch out near-death experience for prison food.
ARAX: Can I pour you a double?
THREE: It’s not even lunch yet. (beat) Single shots fine.
Arax pours another one. THREE notices the bottle.
THREE: Hey, where’d you get that bottle?
Arax walks over, hands him his mug and takes a seat.
ARAX: Found it in the store room, behind a crate.
THREE (pissed): That’s my private stock. It’s for special occasions – weddings and such.
Arax raises his glass in toast.
ARAX: Come on. This IS a special occasion. A toast – to our new partnership.
THREE: You sound like a guy who’s sticking around. Well, thinks he’s sticking around anyway.
ARAX: Ah, you guys would be crazy to dump me.
Off THREE –
ARAX: I’ve got connections, pull with criminal outfits from here to the edge of colonized space. Weapons, back-up, intel – I’m your guy.
THREE: When you put it that way, you’re right. We’d be crazy to dump you. And you’d be crazy to stay. We’ve pissed off the G.A., Traugott’s gunning for us –
ARAX: And you’ll stay one step ahead of ’em, like always. I’m confident in your abilities – which I plan on making use of somewhere down the line. Partnerships run both ways, right?
Okay, now THIS is where it gets painful. The director’s cut of the scene in FIVE’s quarters included an exchange in which FIVE references the events of the season 1 finale and apologizes for accusing TWO of selling them out. TWO is understanding and the exchange concludes with a hug and an understanding that their relationship remains strong. At the end of the day, you could argue it’s unnecessary, that their actions confirm as much, but I still think it was a sweet exchange and a nice bonding moment for the two characters.
INT. RAZA – FIVE’S QUARTERS
FIVE, sitting at her desk, re-jigging some piece of gak. TWO steps up to the open door and KNOCKS.
TWO enters –
TWO: Did you get a chance to finish that sketch?
FIVE grabs a sketch sitting on a nearby table and walks it over to TWO. INSERT – A sketch of the setting from TWO’s memory (Episode 203) – the alley with the distinct building in the B.G.
TWO goes to leave but FIVE stops her with a –
TWO glances back at FIVE, awkward, looking like she’s got something she wants to say. She hesitates, then –
FIVE: I’m sorry.
TWO: No need to apologize. You had to stop me. If I got control of the ship –
FIVE: Not for that. For ever doubting you. When the G.A. were about to take the ship. I should’ve trusted you but…
TWO: There was a lot of mistrust going around that day. We all made mistakes.
FIVE: Sure but I guess I just wanted to know – to make sure…well, we were pretty good friends once and –
TWO: And we still are. Best of, okay?
TWO brings her in for a hug. FIVE is palpably relieved.
TWO looks at the sketch.
TWO: You did a really nice job.
FIVE: I don’t get it. Something really bad happened to you there. Why would you want to go back?
TWO: I don’t, but I have a feeling that, sooner or later, I may not have a choice.
Off TWO –
Now a rare case where an entire scene was excised from the director’s cut, this one involving almost the entire crew meeting up at the airlock before heading onto the space station. Some funny bits with FIVE and the Android, THREE and Arax being frat boys, and, of course, TWO calling the shots and playing the role of den mother. The scene also includes a very subtle hint that FIVE is developing a crush on Devon. The director’s cut was actually peppered with these subtle little looks from FIVE that I, ultimately, felt wasn’t really working so I ended up losing. Interestingly, some reviewers have nevertheless picked up on the possibility that FIVE is smitten with the ship’s new medic.
INT. RAZA – CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THE AIRLOCK
TWO, Nyx, THREE, Arax, and Devon are waiting at the airlock. FIVE and the Android round the corner and approach.
ANDROID: Sorry to keep you waiting.
They all stare back at the Android.
ANDROID: FIVE has asked me to accompany her – for her protection.
FIVE: Yeah. Space stations are scary.
Of course no one is buying it.
THREE: You sure we don’t need her here?
ANDROID: My neural link allows me remote access to ship’s systems. I don’t need to be on board to ensure its security. Besides, FOUR has elected to remain behind.
TWO: Alright then. Group A –
Motions to her and Nyx –
TWO: We’re on research. Group B –
Motioning to FIVE who smiles up at Devon –
TWO: You’re on med supplies. And Group C –
Motioning to the boys –
TWO: You’re on –
TWO: Right. Any sign of trouble, get in touch –
She taps her comm –
TWO: And fall back to the ship.
She hits the console. The airlock slides open and they’re off.
I leave you with this interview in which I discuss the episode – and its ramifications – with Kelly Townsend of TV Junkies.
More behind the scenes goodies in tomorrow’s blog entry!