Previously on Vagrant Queen, we were treated to a good old-fashioned Clue-style murder mystery…but make it space! The Winnipeg was boarded by a group of agents from the Intergalactic Parking Authority and soon after, a series of murders led the crew to an unlikely culprit — a giant spider laying eggs inside each of her victims. Did I mention that Amae and Elida had a drunken hand hold and several near kisses?! Because that happened too. And all of this took place as the Space Friends headed to Arriopa to take down Lazaro.
We pick up this week in an underground facility where the days have seemingly been marked off on the wall; something I think we all can relate to as we enter another month of quarantine. There’s an extremely fit man, known only as “598”, doing tricep dips before he’s interrupted by soldiers asking him to come with them. Apparently the last time a group of guards tried to take 598, he attacked them because he didn’t like the way they looked at him. 598 is pro-monarchy and has no idea that even though the Republic has fallen, they’re under new leadership in the form of Lazaro. As 598 is led into a room, he doesn’t get very far before Lazaro shoots him with a new weapon that melts him away. That and an array of new tools now at Lazaro’s disposal are made specially to harness the power of the Sterzaad, now sitting in the middle of Lazaro’s chest a la Tony Stark. Our scientist friend from the Sunshine Express train is there too! Lazaro put her to work helping to power up his new ship.
The Winnipeg has landed on Arriopa and before they all head to the party, Amae asks Winnibot to send a message to Chaz. She doesn’t want to speak with him live because she knows he’ll try to talk her out of this mission. In her message, she tells him that she knows this is crazy but it’s the right thing to do and they’ll be fine because they have a plan and they have Elida. At that moment, Elida comes up, overhears Amae’s message, and smiles sweetly at her. Isaac has a massive hangover and somehow remembers nothing from the literal murder mystery from the previous night. Both Amae and I are aghast. As they say goodbye to Winnibot, Isaac asks her to tell their heroic story if they die, and Amae reminds her of the updated protocols in case anything goes awry. The crew loads their weapons and heads out.
Before we get into the real meat of the episode, I’m going to be very honest — there was a LOT of Lazaro this week, and while I usually turn to my “stories” when the real world is bumming me out, I had a hard time watching a white male villain with Daddy Issues try to convince a galaxy that his way of ruling was the only way and everyone else who came before him was wrong. Someone whose supporters donned (no pun intended) red hats and signs with “Make Arriopa Great Again” on them. I understand the parallels being drawn here (Lazaro=BAD!), but forgive me if I don’t go as in depth as usual considering the Real World events of this week.
Lazaro heads to Rykal’s cell to deliver another villain monologue to what he perceives as a captive audience since Rykal literally can’t respond to him thanks to the Sterzaad. As he waxes on about disappointing leaders, we flash back to 22 years ago to a young Lazaro (in bisexual lighting, I might add) getting home late on the day his parents are hosting a big party. Young Lazaro was a bit of a rebel by his parents’ standards — he was late because he was out at a protest against the monarchy. According to him, the monarchy has been responsible for countless deaths and Lazaro believes they should be dismantled, giving the people power to rule themselves.
Back on present day Arriopa, crowds are starting to arrive for the Big Event. There are vendors selling Lazaro merch and anti-Lazaro protestors in the streets. Amae realizes that it’s the first time Elida’s been here since she was a kid, and asks her if she ever thinks about what she would do if things were different and she was Queen now. Elida’s answer is quick: she would put Amae in charge because everything would be taken care of and Elida wouldn’t have to worry! Amae points out that in no world would she allow Elida to go off and have all of the adventures while she’s stuck home ruling. And it’s all very cute and wholesome and I just love them a lot! Meanwhile, we see someone trailing the group and informing someone via comm device that they have eyes on her.
Back at the dinner party young Lazaro was late to, the Arriopan elites do whatever fancy people do at parties, and Lazaro is doing his best to play nice. His version of playing nice however, includes bad mouthing the monarchy in front of the Duke and Duchess. Lazaro’s father refuses to be embarrassed by his son, so he takes him aside, threatens him, and says that in a choice between the monarchy and Lazaro, he would choose the crown. As Lazaro wipes away his tears, a man comes over and asks if he’s heard about the Book of Mormon. Just kidding, but he does give Lazaro the opportunity to join the Revolution against the monarchy.
Which brings us back to the present where Lazaro is still monologuing.
In Arriopa City, our friends are still being trailed by someone, but Elida senses it from a mile away. It turns out, he’s working for Terex, the scavenger who gave Elida that job 2 episodes ago. You see, when we were all rejoicing that Elida decided to forgo the job in favor of rejoining her friends, Terex was losing a whole lot of money and now she plans to take Elida, Isaac, and Amae as collateral. Our friends aren’t going that easily though! They do a modified version of the Stun and Run complete with what I’m going to call Color Run Powder and evade capture for as long as they can until they’re finally out of runway. Just as Terex and her crew have the Space Friends cornered, shots ring out and the scavengers all go down at the hands of Volun (royal sympathizer) and his team.
Volun, Isaac, Elida, and Amae meet to discuss the plan for Lazaro’s take-down. Another sympathizer, General Desais, plans to bomb the city, but there are political prisoners who need to be rescued just in case she goes through with it. Since Isaac and Amae can only go so far with Elida, the decide to help Volun once they part ways.
We’re now back at Queen Eldaya’s crowning 15 years earlier, except now we see it from Lazaro’s perspective. After the crowning, he tells his parents that he’s off to introduce himself to some of the visiting Arriopans, but instead he heads to a secret Revolution meeting. The group is discussions plans to overthrow the crown, but Lazaro doesn’t seem too think the young Queen poses a threat; the one they actually need to worry about is the Queen Mother. Lazaro suggests storming the palace much to the amusement of the Admirals. He maintains that the people deserve to rule themselves, but Rykal follows it up with “with some guidance.”
I need to take a second to shout out Tim Rozon’s performance as Isaac. He is having so much fun playing this goofball with a heart of gold and as a viewer, it’s fun for me to watch him! In this next scene, Isaac’s walking around fully decked out in Lazaro swag and pretending to be a lost tourist. He goes up to distract two guards while Elida and Amae take their places behind the giant map Isaac is holding in front of his face. Once they’re in position, Isaac puts down the map and the women take out the guards. So often we see female characters playing the role as the “distraction” while the men do the heavy lifting, and this was such a fun twist on that.
As a rogue guard relieves himself outside of the palace, he catches the crew trying to sneak around the grounds. No sooner has he spotted them than Amae shoots him WITH THE GUN THAT SHE STOLE! *wipes tear* They grow up so fast. Anywho, they’re searching the grounds because Elida is looking for the entrance to the secret passage. She hasn’t been here since she was little so it’s taking her a bit longer to remember where it is. Isaac commiserates re: forgetting things because he still can’t remember the day before! To which Amae hilariously reminds him, “Again, a lot of murders.” She doesn’t need it, but I will protec Amae forever and always. The team discovers that Elida’s secret passage is now a sewer. They jump down into literal shit and try not to puke as they make their way through the tunnels.
In a flashback we’ve seen before, members of the Revolution are storming the palace while Xevelyn tells young Eldaya that they don’t respect her. Only this time, we watch them get away in a spacecraft just before Lazaro can get to them. He starts rounding up monarchists to put them on trial in the new court he’s establishing.
In the present, Lazaro is welcoming foreign leaders to Arriopa, while our friends continue to traverse the sewer. Volun tells them that the path to the detainment cells blocks all communication so their devices won’t work past this point. The Space Friends slowly realize that there’s a chance this is goodbye for good. Isaac gives Elida a squeeze before letting her and Amae have their moment. Elida does the thing where she uses humor to deflect her true feelings while Amae starts to tell her to be careful. Volun apparently doesn’t know how to read the room and interrupts them. Thankfully, Isaac is Team Amida and buys them more time. The two women stare at each other for an excruciatingly long time before grabbing each others hands and then Elida walks away. The camera lingers on Amae’s face so we get to see her stop, realize that she’s not going to get this moment back, and folks…Amae shoots the shot of shots and kisses the girl she wants to kiss! I love a slow burn as much as the next girl, but WHEW IT IS ABOUT TIME!! Their first kiss might have been in a sewer as they went off to two separate but equally dangerous situations, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
15 years prior, Lazaro’s rounding up people he’s accused of conspiring with the monarchy. If they plead guilty, they’re sentenced to imprisonment; if they plead not guilty, well, their punishment is death. Unsurprisingly, Lazaro’s father does not admit any guilt, so he dies at the hands of his son.
In the present, Lazaro is still talking about starting anew, Elida is taking out guards in the palace, and the rest of the team takes out guards near the detainment cells. I don’t know if the Amae is still feeling the power of the kiss, but she tells her team to cover her as she dives from their hiding place, shoots at the guards, and gets her very own Mannequin Challenge before she gets hit and slams against the ground. Y’all, I knew they wouldn’t Lexa this up, but I didn’t expect them to go full on Officer Haught Bulletproof Vest! What a world we’re in when the queer bulletproof vest becomes a bit.
Back to Lazaro rambling about how real leadership takes sacrifice. Which explains the next flashback in which his mother is brought forth for treason. Younger Lazaro hesitates at first because he’s always had a soft spot for his mother and believed she was merely following his father blindly. She doesn’t take the out though, so Lazaro kills her.
In the present, Lazaro calls out the leaders in attendance for ruling unfairly and uses the power of the Sterzaad to compel them all to stand, admit their guilt, and then kill themselves. Which they do in front of a shocked crowd and viewing audience. Down in the tunnels, Isaac and Amae are releasing the prisoners and find out there are even more down below. Lazaro’s back down where Rykal is being held delivering yet another monologue (does he ever tire of this?) about how he liberated the galaxy, but it turns out, Rykal was shot in the head? That’s not the shocker though. After Lazaro leaves, the camera pans passed Rykal and over to a figure sharing the cell with her; one that we recognize as Xevelyn, the Queen Mother.
Can you believe that was the penultimate episode of the season?! I, for one, hope that Lazaro gets what’s coming to him next week and Amae and Elida can start their relationship with a win!
Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments below!
Vagrant Queen airs Thursdays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SYFY and Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Citytv.
Nic is a Digital Product Manager who lives in Queens, NY. She spends way too much time thinking about queer fictional characters, Tessa Thompson, and Janelle Monae. When she's not busy consuming every form of fiction, you can find her cosplaying as Valkyrie. You can find Nic on Twitter and Instagram.