Previously on Vagrant Queen, Elida got attacked and poisoned by some murder hornets that gave her some trippy visions, Lazaro used the power of the Sterzaad to take control of Arriopa, we got the most epic of Mannequin Challenges in the form of an Arriopan battle to the death, Elida decided leave her friends behind but before she could get on her way, they discovered that the Winnipeg was missing.
We pick up immediately after that moment, and Elida is talking to a very sunshine-y person at a ticket booth about how to get the Winnipeg back. The only way to do that is to go to the impound lot and unless you have a ship (which you presumably don’t have, considering the trip to the impound lot) the only way to get to the impound lot is to purchase an insanely expensive ticket on a train known as the Sunshine Express. Now, I know Chaz said that Carillo is a hot tourist destination but if I was on vacation and was accosted by this much sunshine and scammery veiled as happiness, I might actually combust.
As soon as the team boards the train, Amae pleads with Elida once more to stay with them. Elida has not changed her mind though, and she gives Amae and Isaac a soft “goodbye” before making her way to the train bar. It’s then that the train conductor informs all passengers that this is about to be the ride of a lifetime, so strap in folks!
It turns out, whether we’re in our galaxy or one that isn’t ours, people are still real dicks about making seats available on public transportation. Isaac and Amae have almost given up on finding a seat when, in an attempt to avoid sitting with a fairly gross-looking person, a woman beckons to Amae as if she’s been waiting for her the entire time. Like the excellent wingman he is, Isaac insists that Amae take the seat as he continues through the train to find a spot. Amae and her new seatmate crack open a drink and give each other the heartiest of heart eyes.
At the bar, Elida orders herself some alcohol (no really, she literally orders “alcohol”), and sends her mind to the flashback zone to when Bad Wig Lazaro killed her mother and (then) Eldaya was forced to take an escape pod solo. Two days after the attack, she’s floating in space when she receives a call from someone claiming to want to help her, but Eldaya shuts off her comms. Back in the present, a fellow scavenger recognizes Elida from back in the day and offers her some gigs, but Elida refuses.
Isaac is still looking for a seat on the train, but finally finds one next to a woman who is very clearly annoyed by both his presence and his loud snack chewing. In better seatmate news though, Amae is really hitting it off with hers! We get the tail end of a story involving Amae taking her pilot’s test half-naked and the woman is rightfully enamored with Amae. What do we need to do to get the rest of that story though???
Back in the bar, Elida overhears the scavenger from earlier talking to someone about Arriopa. Despite her prior refusal, Elida is now interested in and accepts whatever job it is that will take her to her former home.
Also a thing that still exists in space?? Morning news programs! Good Morning Carillo is playing on one of the train televisions and the mention of Lazaro jolts Isaac out of his sleep (against the shoulder of his seatmate, I might add!). The story the news is running with is that the council was executed for treason, but both Isaac and his seatmate don’t believe that for one second. Eventually, the two strike up a conversation, and by “the two” I obviously mean that Isaac asked her questions until she broke down and talked to him. We find out though that she’s a scientist on the run from the Arriopan government. Two bounty hunters are on the train looking for her because she has knowledge about harnessing all of the Sterzaad’s power.
Reader, when I tell you this next scene made me SCREAM. Amae is still chatting with her seatmate when the latter asks the former on a date once they’re off the train. The woman starts to go in for the kiss, but Amae hesitates and suddenly, clarity takes over her face. She can’t in good conscience go on a date with this woman because THERE. IS. SOMEONE. ELSE. When Amae realizes that her feelings for Elida are more than friendly, she looks like a giant weight has been lifted from her shoulders. She runs out of the car in search of her girl. Whew!!! Amida crew, rise up!!
I’m going to be really honest with y’all. Watching Lazaro mind control and torture people while he essentially builds a dictatorship on Arriopa is a tad too close to our real world for me. At some point, our unlikely band of heroes is going to head to Arriopa to take him down though, so suffice it to say, Lazaro continues his reign of terror, holds a press conference, and invites all of the galaxy’s leaders to Arriopa in what will almost certainly be a trap.
Meanwhile, Amae continues to run after Elida and makes it to the bar where the scavenger tells her that she JUST missed Elida. And to further prove her point, we watch Elida jump off the train and begin walking through a field.
Over on The Tales of Isaac and the Scientist, the bounty hunters find their mark, but what they didn’t count on was a bumbling Canadian dude who has no idea there’s a reward on the scientist’s head, but offers to turn her over in exchange for, wait for it, maple syrup and poutine. Timothy Rozon, my dear sweet man, you are perfect and I cannot imagine how fun this was for you. Isaac attempts to call his friends to get him out of this situation, but neither of them answer their comms, leaving the scientist to question their existence.
It’s flashback time again, but we’re now a full week after the attack and Eldaya is alone with her thoughts and the meager rations from the escape pod. Her comms go off again and the voice from before starts running through the events of his day in a way that makes clear this has been a regular occurrence since their first contact. This time though, Eldaya decides to respond. It’s in the moment when Stox asks her name that she realizes she has to lie; she has to give him a different name. And thus, Elida was born. A few days later, they’re still chatting and Stox offers to help Elida if she’ll just turn on her location. She hears her mother’s last warning of “trust no one” ringing in her head so she refuses yet again.
Back to The Tales of Isaac and the Scientist, they’re joined by special guest Amae who really crackers up the situation by accidentally getting herself taken hostage after revealing that she and Isaac are friends. She wouldn’t be our Amae though if she wasn’t giving the bounty hunters constructive feedback on the real way to run a hostage situation.
Meanwhile, Elida’s made her way to the gig location to claim the ship she’ll be using to get parts from Arriopa. I had a moment (okay, several moments) when I thought this guy was going to end up being the man Elida was talking to in the escape pod eight years ago, but alas.
On the train, Isaac is really starting to flounder here. The scientist takes matters into her own hands and threatens to shoot herself unless they let Amae go. The scientist is worth more alive than dead and the bounty hunters know that, so they release Amae. Almost immediately after, train security bursts through and shoots the bounty hunters with…sunshine lasers. Isaac, Amae, and the scientist seize the opportunity and jump off the train! Later, despite being arrested and tied up, the bounty hunters manage to get out of their binds, steal some blasters, and take out train security.
As Isaac, Amae, and the scientist begin their long walk to the impound lot, Amae tells Isaac that Elida took a job and left. Amae is the kind of person who puts the needs of her friends in front of hers. She feels the weight of others’ suffering heavier than most and puts pressure on herself to fix things. It’s because of this that she believes it’s her fault Elida’s gone. That if she had just fought harder, maybe Elida would still be with them. Isaac won’t let Amae take that on. In fact, he tells her that he and Elida don’t deserve her or her Goodness.
We learn from the scientist that even though only royal blood can activate the Sterzaad, anyone with the tech can use it. It’s the most powerful piece of technology in the Universe, but it needs the right conduit to channel its powers. That’s why Lazaro needs these scientists on Arriopa; he has the necklace as his conduit, but needs deeper knowledge to understand just how to use it. The crew’s exposition is soon interrupted by their old pals, the bounty hunters shooting at them and a Republic ship appearing overhead.
Two weeks after Elida’s mother was killed, the former queen is still floating in space and finally decides to share her location with Stox. As soon as she does, she remembers her mother’s warning once more and shuts it off. Stox gets impatient with her and gives himself away by calling her “Eldaya”, even though she never once used that name with him.
We then get a seamless transition between young Elida pulling herself together in the escape pod, directly to present Elida on her way into Arriopan space to get revenge for her mother’s murder.
Down on the ground, the Republic soldiers kill one of the bounty hunters as an example, so the lady hunter runs off. The scientist instructs Isaac and Amae to get rid of their weapons, and she whips out her laser and starts shooting at the soldiers; it seems to use power from any weapons in the area to blast anything in its path. We then get another cool fight scene mannequin challenge, and the lady bounty hunter returns to kill the last of the Republic soldiers.
Do you remember when Amae made the metaphor of their group being an engine and each of them being integral parts of the engine that make it work? Well, Isaac does, and he uses it again to try to get Amae to join him to take down Lazaro. He says that he also wishes she were here because she’s an important spark cable (spark plug, Amae corrects), and THEN Amae reveals to Isaac that that spark plug became something more to her; became more like a turbocharger. Somehow Isaac manages to be soft and comforting but also absolutely clueless about mechanics at the same time and I just love this little family SO MUCH.
I know I said I wasn’t going to focus much on Lazaro, but I cannot ignore the fact that even though our scientist friend ended up on Arriopa, she managed to read Lazaro for absolute FILTH before he mind-controlled her and for that, I raise my glass to her.
Back on Carillo, Isaac and Amae have finally made it to the Impound Lot where they find out that the Winnipeg is in the system (hooray!!) but it’s not actually physically there (nooo!!). They’ll need to fill out a claim and the whole process will take a few weeks. You know that thing when you’ve had a string of shitty things happen and then you finally hit your breaking point and absolutely fall apart? That’s where our friends are at. Amae’s lip trembles (and my heart breaks) as the impound attendant directs them to the DEDICATED SADNESS AREA.
The two begin walking toward the Preyhound (yup) shuttle stop when Amae spots the Winnipeg in the distance! Not only is the ship there, but Elida’s there too. She swiped the Winnipeg from the impound lot in hopes that her friends would accept her back. She admits that she learned that being vulnerable isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength. And even though everything isn’t cool between them, she’s not going anywhere. I love that Elida is willing to work through everything that went down with her and her friends…with them. Something I’m getting used to personally is that it’s okay to have more than one feeling at a time; you can be angry and still miss someone; you can feel hurt and still want to make things work. Now, that isn’t always the healthiest move, but in this case, I think it shows huge growth that Elida is willing to put her pride aside to work through this with her people.
The episode ends with some very serious looking parking agents vowing not to let the Winnipeg or its crew get away. So THAT should make for an interesting episode next week!
What did you all think of tonight’s episode? Let us know in the comments below, and I’ll see you back here next week, Vagrants!
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.