In the thirteenth episode of Crusade, the crew is sent to Earth for a mysterious mission. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Crusade.
I enjoyed this episode! I feel like the show is starting to settle into a decent stride, though I recognize that this is the last episode in the DVD order, so… what a place to get hit with a cliffhanger if you just picked it up and started watching this show. But from my perspective, the arc of the plague is moving forward in a way that feels significant without it also being an unbelievable leap. Instead, we get a better sense of why there is a five-year timeline and how those in the know on Earth are beginning to panic.
Before that moment comes—and lord, is it CHILLING when it does—I was beautifully frustrated by “Each Night I Dream of Home.” I’m supposed to be! An annoying, arrogant Senator from Earthgov arrives on the Excallibur, and he manages to become despised in less than ten minutes aboard the ship. Y’all, I did not like that Senator at ALL, and it didn’t help that he was drawn so cartoonishly gross, either. But I didn’t mind that so much because I understood the role he was supposed to play. Earthgov had to conduct this mission in secrecy! I believe that Gideon would have agreed to it if he’d known upfront what it was, but the risk here was real. So, couple that with the fact that the Senator was also one of the only high-ranking members of Earthgov to be off of Earth when the plague hit, and it’s easy to see how this dude let it all get to his head. He felt SPECIAL. He also seemed to delight in knowing more than others, so it was real funny when he tried to go toe-to-toe with Gideon about Earthgov regs, only to have Gideon pull some malicious compliance stunt to follow everything to the EXACT letter of his demands. I LOVE GIDEON’S PETTINESS, OKAY. (I should note, though, that there’s a very consistent character quality here: Gideon never leaves anyone behind.)
However, this episode becomes a rather somber exploration of love and desperation once we find out what’s actually happening. I want to first talk about Mr. Williams, the man who willingly volunteered to have himself infected with the Drakh plague. I appreciated both the simplicity and the complexity of his decision. It’s such a scary proposition, too! What if there isn’t a cure found? What if this damns you to certain death? To many people—probably all those on Earth—Mr. Williams is lucky. Indeed, this episode gives us two very different takes on those who are lucky. Would that Senator have ever volunteered himself to take part in this experiment? Most definitely not. Gideon even pointed out that he felt safe bringing that life pod on board because the Senator would not have truly risked his own skin unless it was safe!
But Mr. Williams had a much more personal reason for returning home, even if it was at great personal risk to himself. It made me wonder if there were others who did the same, who went back to Earth knowing they’d become infected, but did so to be with those that they loved. It’s about the quality of his life. What good is life off of Earth if you can’t live with the person you love? What good is surviving without living?
At the same time, WOW, this went to a DARK fucking place. I was so, so happy to see Dr. Franklin, and this was the perfect episode to introduce him in. Why? Because, whether this was the tenth (as in my case) or thirteenth episode of Crusade, it provides an emotional anchor for the audience. Dr. Franklin was a comforting sight, and “Each Night I Dream of Home” needed that. We knew that those back on Earth were frantically trying to find a solution to the Drakh plague. But we didn’t know how bad things had gotten, and Dr. Franklin helped me to understand Earth’s desperation. Of note: it’s very possible that humanity doesn’t have five years total to figure out a cure. That’s just what is statistically likely as the Drakh plague mutates IN REAL TIME in order to find the best way to kill off humanity. The deaths have already started! And is humanity any closer to a cure? Oh, not at all, mainly because they have no idea how the virus infects a host.
Hence this experiment. It’s an important step in finding a cure, as was the discovery that the virus is apparently a self-communicating nano-virus. Which???? HOW THE FUCK. I loved the callback to “Memory of War,” too! Maybe that wasn’t my favorite episode, but I’m getting that the Drakh love nanotechnology. So, is that the key? Is that how they’ll eventually find a cure?
Of course, it’s weird writing about all of this knowing that there are only four episodes left. I doubt this was the intended run of the first season, so… I’m not getting a solution, am I? Regardless, I enjoyed most of this episode. I thought Lochley’s inclusion was a little odd and pointless, but otherwise? Not bad.
The video for “Each Night I Dream of Home” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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