How’s everyone’s hearts after this week’s episode? I’m still recovering myself, so let’s just get right into it!
Previously on Vagrant Queen, some new members joined our ragtag team of space heroes on a mission to get into Republic Space and begin the journey to rescue Elida’s mother. The team was able to sneak into the port, but before they ended up fighting their way out, Isaac was captured and tortured by Lazaro, and both Ihred and Clive met their untimely ends. They managed to make it into Republic Space but crash landed on an unknown planet after encountering a storm of debris. And that’s where we pick up this week!
Luck must be the name of the game because wouldn’t you know it, the Winnipeg crash landed on the Planet Wix–the exact place our team needed to end up. Isaac’s been thrown from the ship thanks to his ejector seat and there’s nothing but sand as far as the eye can see. Well, nothing but sand and a creature that at first glance appears to be super cute! Isaac soon realizes it’s not that cute at all when the equivalent of a space demogorgon bursts out of the sand, screeches, burrows back down, and slithers toward him. Isaac finds a blaster just in time and kills the incredibly goo-filled creature.
We take a journey to the past (5 years ago to be exact), and arrive at planet called Jupiter. Wait, I know this one!! A clean-shaven Isaac is video chatting with his wife Hannah who is visibly pregnant with their first child. They are SO cute together, cracking jokes about naming their child, food porn, and teaching their child how to blackmail their dad. We learn that at this point, Isaac only has 1 week left on this contract before he gets back to Earth and puts solo missions away for good. Toward the end of the call, Isaac’s pilot informs him that their meeting is being delayed because of some issues at the space station. Surely that’s not foreshadowing something terrible.
In the present, Isaac sees the Winnipeg smoking in the distance and inside the ship, Elida and Amae are shaking themselves off after the crash. They’re mostly in tact, but Krob sustained an injury that Amae quickly heals before the crew gathers supplies to head out. Out in the desert, Isaac finds that cute rabbit creature from the end of last week’s episode and immediately assumes it’s about to turn into something gross. I don’t blame you, buddy. Dengar, who went out to find Isaac, comes up behind him and reassures him that it actually is just a super cute space rabbit. Which is really great news since Isaac promptly passes out from his injuries.
Back to the past where Isaac is trying to text his wife, but soon realizes that their communications to the base are down. Before they can attempt to fix them, there are sudden explosions from the nearby storage facility, a vortex opens up, and Isaac’s ship gets sucked in.
Isaac wakes up on the Winnipeg to the sounds of Elida accusing him of getting injured just to get out of carrying gear. It’s exactly the kind of joke I’d make in this situation, which is to say, LOL Elida. She tells Isaac that Hath said her mother is being held in some kind of sovereign tomb, which prompts him to make an Indiana Jones reference that goes over Elida’s head. At least until he reminds her that they watched Temple of Doom during movie night and Elida proudly recollects, “Indy!” And then, in one of my favorite lines from this show so far, Elida wonders aloud how “he” could escape snakes but not carbonite. I needed to watch it 3 times to make sure I heard it correctly, but when I realized these writers managed to make an Indiana Jones/Han Solo/how does acting work joke, my already high level of respect somehow grew tenfold. The two friends play fight with each other, but then Elida turns serious, thanking Isaac for coming to find her.
Meanwhile, Winnibot is giving the crew a no-nonsense rundown of all of the dangerous creatures they’ll encounter on their walk to find the tomb. After the presentation, Elida offers Amae the same out that she gave Isaac–she understands if it’s too dangerous and if she wants to hang back. At first, Amae appears relieved which gives Elida the sads, until she realizes that Amae is being sarcastic. Amae quotes Elida’s “if one of us falls, we all fall” back to her and starts to head out, but not before making sure Elida knows that moms love her! Now, I’m not saying that Amae meant that in a “don’t worry about introducing me to your mom as someone you’d like to date” way, but I’m not not saying it either.
On Arriopa, the admirals are meeting to discuss Lazaro’s recent actions. They’ve had about enough of his delinquency, so they send an army out after him.
As Team Rescue Elida’s Mom treks through the desert, Elida questions Hath about any intel on the tomb while Amae and Isaac bond over their shared desire to punch Lazaro in his very punchable face. Before long, they come across those snake creatures from Winnibee’s presentation. They might have made it through too, if it wasn’t for that pesky space bunny thumping its thumper feet and eventually getting squeezed to death by the creature. As they start to run, the creature entangles everyone except Isaac. He cuts them all loose and we’re treated to some more kickass freeze frame fighting as they defeat the creature. In a bit of role reversal, Elida patches up Amae with the last of that magic wound spray.
In the aftermath of his ship’s crash, Isaac wakes up to find his pilot dead, comms down, and his ship in a different (albeit way more colorful) galaxy. I don’t know who I harmed in a previous life to deserve this next bit, but Isaac cries and Isaac screams, and it ripped my heart in two watching him realize the helplessness of this new situation. The chiron then changes to “Another galaxy. Definitely not yours.”, and this time, it hurts.
Two weeks after the crash, Isaac’s got the beginnings of a beard growing and is eating the remaining rations, when the light from another ship illuminates the space.
Back in the present, that unruly heart of mine that was ripped in two earlier? Well, it’s about to shatter. Hath and the other loyalists pause at the top of a hill overlooking what turns out to be a mostly buried facility of some kind. Elida and I are both confused because there are no guards; the place looks abandoned. And that’s when Hath comes clean. He orchestrated this entire plan solely to get Elida to this place because she’s the only one who can retrieve the Sterzaad (Remember that thing? From Episode 3? Much power? Much responsibility?) . Not only was Elida’s mother never here, but she died years prior. Realization crosses Elida’s face as she listens to her oldest friend try to explain away his betrayal. Hath is the one connection Elida has to her past and the one person she thought she could trust, despite her best efforts not to trust anyone. Hath continues on, preying on Elida’s desire for revenge, hoping that will get her to see that what he believes is in fact, the right thing. But honestly, I don’t think Elida hears half of it. You know that thing when you get bad news and you hear the beginning, but everything after is super fuzzy because your brain is trying to protect you from completely and utterly breaking down? That’s the space I believe Elida is in right now.
There are so many infuriating things about this betrayal, but one of the biggest for me is that Hath gave Elida the impression that he respected the person she has decided to become. He started calling her Elida instead of Eldaya, he mostly stopped pressing her about retaking the throne, he stood up for her to the other loyalists. Ever since Elida was a young Queen, the adults around her made decisions that they believed were in her best interest, even though she had her own ideas of how to rule; and that’s part of what she ran from. And now here stands Hath, a living breathing example of what she tried to leave behind.
What jolts Elida out of her tear-filled trance, isn’t what Hath says, it’s Amae loudly and immediately jumping in when Hath dares to say that this is what Elida’s mother would have wanted. She sees how broken Elida is in this moment and refuses to let Hath break her down any more. She even calls him an “asshole” without apologizing for it after!! Elida starts to walk away and as Hath yells after her, she starts to yell at him before quietly threatening to kill him if he ever tries to find her. Adriyan Rae’s soft delivery of “you mean nothing to me” will haunt me in my dreams.
Amae starts to walk after Elida, but Isaac cuts her off at the pass. He tries to comfort her as she remembers that ironically, her mother is the one who told her not to trust anyone. Surprisingly (or maybe, not so much), Isaac agrees because everyone is looking out for themselves. He tells Elida she should do the same.
Two weeks after the explosion, Isaac’s on a rescue ship where he learns he’s in another galaxy nearly 3 million light years away from the Milky Way and he can’t get back. The only way to do so would be getting a really fast ship. And the only way to do that, is with a lot of money. Six months later, on the day Isaac’s child is supposed to be born, one of the crew members suggests that he should take up scavenging to earn some money. Isaac, in a drunken stupor, agrees.
Back on Wix, AMAE TAKES ELIDA’S HAND (ahem.) to reassure her that she’s not alone. Elida’s decided to go into the tomb, but she refuses to let Isaac and Amae in with them. Hath can barely contain his excitement at Elida’s decision as he tells them once the Sterzaad is activated, the tomb will begin to crumble.
The title of this episode is very appropriately, “Temple of Doom”, because boy howdy am I getting Indiana Jones vibes from this tomb. Elida activates some really cool looking runes with her super special royal blood that everyone keeps going on about, and that opens up the entrances to more chambers. They head toward a person-shaped opening in the wall, and Dengar offers to test it to make sure it’s safe for Elida. And wouldn’t ya know it, reader, but for his efforts, Dengar gets his arms ripped clean off! I know I complained a bit about Dengar and Ihred, but now that they’re gone, I kind of miss those two fools. Anyway, Elida realizes this contraption is only going to work for her because of her royal blood so she steps in. The Sterzaad appears and as soon as Elida pick it up, the tomb begins to crumble around them.
The group makes their way to the main chamber where they’re met by Isaac, Amae, a whole host of Republic guards, and Lazaro himself. He villain monologues for a bit and demands that Elida give him the Sterzaad. She hilariously thrusts it toward him, trying to channel its power, but nothing happens. Lazaro then threatens to shoot Amae, which is enough to get Elida to toss him the Sterzaad. Amae immediately runs to Elida’s side, but before Isaac can do the same, Lazaro stops him and reveals that the two of them were working together. A TWEEST!
*record scratch* Two days earlier, we’re back in Isaac’s holding cell, only this time, Lazaro has a photo of Isaac’s wife and is using it to get information out of him. It works, and Isaac tells Lazaro that they’re going to Wix to get Elida’s mother and the Sterzaad. In exchange, Isaac will get a Republic ship since they’re the only ones who can travel between galaxies. In his mind, everybody wins. Lazaro puts a tracker contact in his eye so they know exactly where he’ll be. And that my friends, is the reason Isaac’s been squirrely all episode. (Remember when he rubbed his eye earlier and Amae just thought it was because of his fight with Lazaro?!)
In the span of one hour (for us, and probably for her too), Elida has been betrayed by the two men she’s actually trusted. Like Hath, Isaac attempts to explain away his actions; insists that he didn’t know Elida’s mom wasn’t there or that Lazaro would show up. I’m willing to believe the former, but the latter? He was tracking you, Isaac, come on! Lazaro demands the conduit from Hath who turns it over, and then attacks Lazaro leading to a fire fight. By the end of the fight, Krob is dead and the rest of our team is scrambling to find a way out. Unfortunately, Lazaro makes it out of the tomb and is greeted by the admirals’ henchpeople. He activates the Sterzaad and commands them to follow rather than arrest him.
As they exit the tomb, Hath spots rocks falling from the ceiling, pushes Elida out of the way, and gets himself good and buried. Isaac and Amae pull a crying Elida out of the tomb before it completely implodes. Our team is back down to three, but in the words of Timon and Pumbaa, that trio might soon be down to two. Elida stands silently away from the others; not yelling; not shooting; just…defeated. As Isaac starts to talk to her, she won’t hear it. She tells him that they’re done for good.
My heart is absolutely aching for Elida after this episode. As soon as she starts to trust people, they go and prove why she’s always been reluctant to open up and do so. It feels strange to say I’m looking forward to next week’s episode, but I’m interested to see how Elida deals with the aftermath of these events. What do y’all think? Is Isaac’s betrayal as awful as Hath’s? Will Elida trust anyone again? Give us your thoughts 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.