Alvis is on Scarback Necropolis getting ready for a big night on the town, Scarback style. It’s Reckoning Night, he tells Quin. (In case you forgot, we last saw Quin when the team rescued her from the Unseeing back in The Hullen Have Eyes). She brings him a special set of knives and he tells her what’s up.
He recounts to her the story of the 13 who went to Arkyn, when the devil came to the Quad. We’ve heard this tale before but he’s giving her insight into how the Scarbacks came to be. (Quick recap: the only way to reveal the defiled aka the Hullen, was with a blade.) The 13 swore to kill the devil but failed. But the night before they left, they each went to someone they either loved or hated and needed to reckon with. So now, before a battle, the tradition of Reckoning Night is to give a blessing or a curse.
Meanwhile, Dutch is either A. practicing with her junior chemistry kit, or B. more likely, simply borrowing Zeph’s lab. For some reason, she felt the need to give D’avin an impromptu (and wholly unnecessary) training regarding what happens to a secondary source of green goo when the original source is tainted. Short answer: it dies too.
She reminds him Aneela is her original source, so when she dies, Dutch dies too. D’avin doesn’t get why the only answer is to kill her and Dutch is like, are you kidding? She’s super cray with daddy issues, that’s why. If anyone knows the type of force Aneela is, it’s Dutch.
Unconvinced, D’avin wants to discuss things with Johnny. But before Dutch can successfully beat the idea out of his head, the alarm goes off. It’s an enemy black root ship approaching! What’s worse, it blocked their sensors and they can’t scan it.
Our peeps are gunned up to gills and are totally ready for whatever happens, until they see Typhoid Kendry approaching, aka Johnny’s living nightmare. Even more ominous…she’s obviously supremely pregnant.
She says she’s there as an emissary of Aneela’s to parlay with them. But she’ll only deal with Johnny, of course. And they’ll agree of course when she tells them she’s preggers with D’avin’s baby. Because she’s Delle Seyah Kendry and that’s how she rolls.
D’avin’s like 99% sure he ain’t the pappa, barring a few missing hours after drinking too hard on his vacation to the Bahamas several months back (but that’s another story). Dutch scoffs at the notion. If Kendry said it, it’s most certainly a lie, just like this meeting.
Johnny tosses a monkey wrench in that idea however when he assures her it is a legitimate but ancient rite before a battle for each side to meet and state their demands one last time. And per the rules, neither side can harm the other during this meeting. He doesn’t want to do it because HELLO… but both Dutch and D’avin tell him it’s necessary to stall for time as long as possible.
So he meets with Kendry, even giving in to her wish he recite the verbiage to start the parlay. After a little saber rattling…something to the effect that Aneela will transform Westerley into a smoldering wasteland should they refuse to let her leave, she makes her demand. Dutch, of course. That and total surrender and she’ll ensure Johnny and D’avin are spared. Johnny gives her offer all the consideration it deserves.
Back at the RAC, Alvis bumps into Dutch and urges her to participate in Reckoning Night since no one knows if they’ll be returning. Dutch knows she won’t be of course but she gives in before rushing off to the command center to scan for signs of Aneela.
D’avin and Zeph interrupt her efforts. In fact, he clears the room because they super need to talk to Dutch immediately if not sooner. Zeph reports there’s no way they can get the sonic ready in time to frack up the Black Root ships but perhaps they can utilize Khlyen’s cube. What for? They want to set a trap for Aneela to keep her contained just like she was way back when.
The only thing they know for sure is Aneela wants Dutch dead so what if they plant a memory into the Hullen goo stream that makes them think Dutch is in that cube? Aneela would for sure go there to get her, right?
Dutch thinks the idea is nuts because it totally is. But D’avin’s insistent. This could work and if so, Dutch doesn’t need to die. I don’t know if she’s really feeling it but she green lights Operation: Memory Swipe and off they go.
First stop, kidnap Pippin. Remember him? Last time we saw our adorable little black market broker was in Boondoggie at the start of this season. Back then, he helped the team get a Hullen beacon. Now they need him for something even more specialized: a memory swapping device.
Now if only they had a captured Hullen they could use for their master ploy. But wait, they do! Enter Lucian Kitaan, still tied up Hannibal Lecter style minus the straight jacket and creepy face mask. This time, Dutch goes to see her to prep her for this little quest. And by “prep” I mean ram a blade between her 2nd and 3rd vertebrae to keep her immobilized for transport.
D’avin and Pip go to an underground source where we learn way too much about Pippin’s … um… appetites and the dude there gives him the device they need. Just jack it into someone and you can make them believe they experienced whatever you want. It’s totally and completely black market, and it’s perfect for their needs.
Back at the parlay, things are going just about as you’d expect between Kendry and Johnny. At least he has a chance to vent his spleen a little about her murdering Pawter. She’s bored with him bringing that up again. Besides, he killed her right? So they’re even.
Add to that, they’re family now thanks to the bundle of green joy she’s carrying. He calls bull and she doesn’t blame him for it. She offers herself and her kidlet to be tested so they can all see for themselves. He almost doesn’t bite but she actually really needs to know the truth and somehow this moment of sincerity breaks through his resolve to tell her to go screw herself sideways. She even confides that the whole parlay thing was just a means to an end so she can be tested.
Meanwhile, D’avin and Dutch prove to be really horrible actors. Thankfully Pippin leads them into the right direction so they can record the memory they want implanted and have it be believable. After they finally get their perfect take, they wheel Kitaan in for the implantation. Dutch jabs her in the neck with a needle and they all think she’s down for the count until she starts screwing up their tests.
Speaking of tests, Zeph and Johnny run a few of their own on Kendry and her baby and find out indeed, she is carrying a child. Sans claws. Zeph thinks she’s about 5-6 months along but Kendry corrects her. She’s only been in her current state for 3 weeks.
The paternity test confirms her claim too about D’avin being the daddy. But before Johnny can get a proper freak out going on about that, something weird starts happening to Kendry. Given the entire situation is weird, that’s saying something. At any rate, it looks like the kid is trying to escape ALIEN style and she’s in pain. Thankfully, Zeph is there to zeph a solution for her; she played it a lullaby and sent it to Hullen baby dreamland.
Zeph is worried about the readings she’s picking up and she drags Johnny off for a somewhat awkward sidebar. But the bottom line is this: if the Hullen can reproduce, they have no reason to keep humans around at all. Kendry’s baby signals the extinction of all humanity.
Back on Lucy, Kitaan is on the bridge (still strapped down of course) and she needles Dutch about Aneela, ie the Mad Commander. I’m guessing it’s because she just can’t help herself. Dutch responds with blunt honesty. They’re going to use Kitaan to implant fake memories to lure Aneela into a trap. Kitaan is amused by the plan but Dutch plays her hand. Kitaan is on the bridge for a reason. Dutch wants her to see where they are, which is right near where the plasma that made Kitaan Hullen exists. Dutch verbalizes the threat, not that she needs to: Play nice or we’ll destroy the goo and turn you back into a plain ol’ human.
At the RAC, Fancy goes to visit Turin (he only had to knock one guard out to do it, too). He was surprisingly moved when Alvis approached him earlier in the episode and apologized for not being there for him when he needed him. And now it’s his turn with Turin. He takes the same knife Alvis used and left for him and he cuts himself before freeing Turin. It’s war and in war, there are no more warrants.
He’s giving Turin the chance to prove him wrong. Turin’s cynical of the whole thing of course, but I found the moment to be a powerful one for Fancy. He could be mired in bitterness but instead, he’s proving himself to be a man of honor and integrity. Hopefully Turin’s paying attention.
Meanwhile, D’avin and Pip are working their mojo editing Kitaan’s memories. The convo she had with Dutch where she outlined the whole plan? DELETE. New fake memory of Dutch and D’avin chatting? UPLOAD COMPLETE.
Time to celebrate! Dutch and D’avin assume everything’s great and they let their hair down for a drink. Except all is not great. Pippin is left with Kitaan who wakes up. Dun dun duuuuuun. Lucy suggests she alert Dutch but Pippin thinks he can handle Kitaan on his own. #headdesk I mean seriously. Even if he doesn’t call Dutch at first, surely he’ll do it once Kitaan tells him the knife slipped out from her neck right? RIIIGHT??? Nope.
Lucy’s barely able to give Dutch some warning before she crashes into an astroid. And then with Lucy down and out and D’avin unconscious, Dutch is on her own. She tries to gain entrance into the cockpit but an irritated Kitaan is there with Pippin, who crashed Lucy in the first place.
Kitaan gloats. She knows everything about the plan thanks to Pip squealing to her. She just needs to get to some green goop to warn her people. THANKS PIPPIN.
Dutch lures her out of the cockpit with the promise of plasma she has on hand. They fight and unfortunately, Kitaan wins. Her hands in the slime before D’avin arrives to zap her. The plot is foiled. Curses! With no reason to keep her around, D’avin spaces her.
On Westerley, Pree is increasingly amused by a customer who drinks like a fish and Gared’s getting increasingly frustrated with him. Finally Pree’s had it with him and he forces Gared to spill. It turns out the answer is quite simple. He’s upset Pree has nothing to say to him for Reckoning Night. Pree sets him straight: what’s important is what we say and do when we don’t think we’re going to die. And the fact is, he’s coming home to be with him. Gared’s pleased, and so is the drunk customer, who’s also Gared’s mom!
Back with Johnny and Kendry, he’s got some news for her. They know who daddy is and mommy? At first the computer’s confused and says it’s Dutch because it doesn’t know Aneela. But in truth, it’s Aneela. Armed with this info, Kendry’s ready to leave. Parlay over. Johnny tries to get her to stay but Kendry isn’t fooled. They actually have a true moment about love and loss though because now Kendry, presumably because of her relationship with Aneela, knows what it means to love.
She heads on out and is stopped by Johnny who isn’t threatened a whit by the thousands of missiles prepped to launch at Westerley. Why? Because they have what matters to Aneela, and that’s Kendry and the Hullen heir she carries. No, Delle Seyah Kendry, you don’t know Johnny at all, which is why you continue to underestimate him.
Or does she? Once on her own in her cell, she seems calm. Pleased. That means nothing but trouble.
Meanwhile on Lucy, D’avin’s ticked off at Pippin for telling Kitaan everything. Lucy intervenes and reports her radio silence was all part of Pippin’s plan to stall for time, supposedly. Lucy keeps “helping” Pippin by relaying the rest of what he said to Kitaan, how he’d be happy to negotiate with Kitaan should Dutch and D’avin be killed. She couldn’t hear everything he said however because he was a sobbing, blubbering mess.
Pip leaves D’avin and Dutch to talk. To come to terms with where they are now. It’s not good. Dutch accepts her fate and now she wants D’avin to tell Johnny the truth of it so she doesn’t have to. It’s a bit cowardly but I get it. D’avin spouts off at her and it’s cathertic for the both of them as the conversation evolves and they talk about the little random things about each other that mean so much to each of them. They laugh. They reminisce. And then they kiss. Wait what?? (Actually I totally ship them so I’m a-okay with that scene. *insert evil grin here*)
And as Pree takes the stage and sings his gorgeous derrière off, a montage begins. Turin arrives at the Royale and toasts the fallen. Johnny returns to Lucy and D’avin tells him the bad news. Dutch wants the verdict and Johnny promises he and D’avin are all in. She leaves them to go take care of something and the Jaqobis vow to do everything the can to make sure things work out differently than Dutch envisions.
Back at Scarback Necropolis, Dutch arrives to speak with Alvis. It is still Reckoning Night so he’s not surprised to see her. Except it’s not Dutch at all, but Aneela dressed as Dutch. She grabs him by the neck and lifts him off the ground. He tries to defend himself but she quickly angles the knife he picked up and shoves it into his chest. Alvis falls to the ground a bloody heap.
Reckoning Ball delivered on several fronts while getting things ready for the battle ahead. Firstly, we saw our team do what they do best: fight for one of their own. Their loyalty and commitment to each other knows no bounds. Even though their scheme fell apart in the end, that doesn’t negate their ties to each other. Secondly, we got some very key moments of Fancy making the choice of what kind of man he wants to be. I can only hope Turin follows his honorable example.
Thirdly, we know who Kendry’s baby’s parents are, though I don’t suppose the reveal was all that shocking given what we already knew. Most importantly, Johnny has her in the brig but I continue to think that’s not necessarily as good a thing as he thinks. Just look at her expression during the last montage. In his voice over, Johnny is bragging they have her right where they want her. Meanwhile we see a serene and smiling Delle Seyah Kendry. Coincidence? I think not.
Finally, we have the soul crushing loss of one of our own: Alvis. I can’t say I’m hugely surprised this happened. After all, Aneela did vow to ensure Dutch would be alone before she killed her. I suspect Alvis won’t be our final loss, and definitely won’t be Aneela’s last target.
I give Reckoning Ball 9 soulfully singing Prees out of a possible 10.