The episode is important and notorious for introducing a plethora of new elements into the canon of seaQuest DSV, such as new characters like Seaman Lonnie Henderson, Lieutenant James Brody, Seaman Tony Piccolo, Dr. Wendy Smith, and Dagwood. This episode was also the first seaQuest DSV episode filmed in Florida after production had changed locations from Los Angeles from the previous season, and the change in direction, having more of a sci fi/fantasy style to the episodes.
Quick Overview: The new seaQuest DSV 4600 shoves off from New Cape Quest in Florida, bound for a parade in New York City, however, the shakedown cruise is soon interrupted when Genetically Engineered Life Forms (G.E.L.F.s or "Daggers") revolt and seize control of their UEO colony. The GELFs then infiltrate the main headquarters complex of the entire UEO with a speedboat and two small, motorized inflatable rafts.
- dag-ger n. 1. a short, pointed, sharp-edged weapon used for stabbing. 2. a reference mark used in printing. 3. a genetically engineered life form manufactured in the early 21st century. see dark age of genetics.
- dark age of genetics: A period dating between 2001 and 2003 when genetically engineered, human-like life forms were manufactured solely for the purpose of waging war. Outlawed in 2004 by United Nations Resolution G-932.
Lieutenant James Brody speeds along the ocean surface bound for the G.E.L.F. Colony (also known as "Dagger Island"), returning from a well-deserved vacation. As he arrives, he notices the G.E.L.F. prisoners engaging in their daily exercise in the main yard. From his observation post, his crewmate, DeNado, muses to himself that the G.E.L.F.s, about to celebrate their 21st birthday, are hardly human, a notion that Brody does not necessarily agree to. But, in the blink of an eye, Brody notices that the G.E.L.F.s have mysteriously disappeared. "Quick little devils, aren't they?" DeNado cracks. Brody quickly locates them; safe and secure in their cage.
Meanwhile, in New Cape Quest, Captain Nathan Bridger speeds along the city streets on his way to the drydock where the new seaQuest DSV 4600 submarine awaits orders to shove off and roam the seven seas. While marvelling at his pride and joy, Bridger notices his young friend Lucas Wolenczak speeding along the water on a jet-ski, accompanied by a lovely young woman. When the girl asks Bridger for a ride on his motorcycle, Bridger claims he can't afford anymore points on his license. Claiming that the seaQuest crewmates are boring, the girl leaves Lucas' side, leaving him to wonder if she would have waited for him at the end of seaQuest`s tour of duty.
Meanwhile, back at the G.E.L.F. Colony, the inmates plan to show a demonstration of their resolve; they no longer wish to be imprisoned and some of the G.E.L.F.s are willing to go to extreme lengths to obtain their freedom. As DeNado visits the leader of the G.E.L.F.s, Mariah, she uses his moment of lust to steal his weapon and hold him hostage.
Aboard the seaQuest, the new crewmembers begin to arrive, including Lieutenant Lonnie Henderson, a first-generation navy officer who is not totally versed in protocols, a lesson she must learn the hard-way when Commander Ford confiscates her stuffed teddy bear. On the bridge, Captain Bridger takes a stroll around the new command center of the UEO flagship, when he meets Dagwood, the prototype G.E.L.F., and learns that his "effective fighting" skills didn't quite develop right, and thus, he has been reassigned as "effective cleaning personnel" for the seaQuest, but, Dagwood is hardly somber, for he believes that everything works out in someway.
Back at the colony, Brody is puzzled when he can't find anyone; the inmates or DeNado. Little does he know that the G.E.L.F.s, the ones who allegedly are unable to reproduce, are in attendance for the birth of the first G.E.L.F. baby. Mariah is resolute, the new baby proves that they are human and deserve freedom.
In the bowels of the seaQuest, Lieutenant O'Neill struggles with the vid-link; instead of showing sensor data, the viewscreen shows nothing but old wrestling matches and Woody Woodpecker repeats. A tweak or two more and the vid-link works correctly, but, just as it does, a large turbine that O'Neill was working underneath collapses onto him, cutting off his breathing process. When Captain Bridger, Commander Ford and Miguel Ortiz cannot move the turbine, Dagwood comes to O'Neill's rescue and uses his genetically engineered strength to easily move the turbine and save O'Neill's life. Captain Bridger is impressed, and offers Dagwood a chance to remain aboard the seaQuest, to which Dagwood agrees.
Brody continues to remain tense; things are quiet, too quiet. Little does he know that the G.E.L.F. inmates have systematically captured the entire naval crew on the island. They soon go after him, but, before he can be captured, Brody is able to scramble into an escape pod and leave the island. Notwithstanding his escape, the G.E.L.F.s declare victory and show the new baby to the stunned navy officers.
As Brody sends out a distress signal to anyone who might be listening, Captain Bridger is introduced to his new chief medical officer, Dr. Wendy Smith. As an awkward conversation between the two unfolds, Bridger soon learns two things: that his new doctor is a telepath and that her mother fired him from his first assignment.
Minutes later, two military police officers escort paroled Seaman Anthony Piccolo to the seaQuest. Captain Bridger is unimpressed by Piccolo's tough-guy image, but Piccolo reassures him that it is all he knows. No sooner do the words leave his mouth than Piccolo tries to escape; first through the docking bay, then through the aqua tunnels. The crew is astounded that Piccolo was able to hold his breath for as long as he did, but, he soon answers their question; he has gills; as part of his parole, the UEO used him as a proverbial guinea pig for their gill experimentation. Seeing as how Piccolo is now a part of seaQuest`s crew, Bridger assigns him as Lucas' roommate, much to Lucas' irritation, when he finds that Piccolo has adorned model centerfolds all over the room and claimed the top bunk for himself.
On the bridge, the crew picks up on Brody's distress call and rescues the lieutenant from the pod. In the ship's sick-bay, Brody lays everything out for Bridger and the crew. Consulting with General Thomas, Bridger is conflicted when Thomas orders him to destroy the G.E.L.F. Colony when Thomas believes that there is no way to negotiate with "something that came out of a test tube."
Back at the colony, while Mariah takes a group of G.E.L.F.s away from the colony and heads for UEO Headquarters in New Cape Quest, Joseph, another G.E.L.F., contacts Bridger via a vidlink in hopes of negotiating a peaceful settlement. However, the G.E.L.F. Colony intercepts a message from General Thomas to the seaQuest, where he reiterates his order to destroy the island if the G.E.L.F.s do not release their hostages.
On the bridge, Brody informs Bridger that the colony's sensors are sophisticated enough to detect "anything more dense than a fingernail", such as weapons. With that in mind, Bridger orders Piccolo to swim over to the colony and try and find a way to get a rescue team onto the island. However, at the same time, Sarah, the mother of the G.E.L.F. baby, who overheard the intercepted message from General Thomas, puts her child into an airtight container and launches it away from the island, believing it the only way to save her baby from certain destruction. As the pod moves through the water, it is intercepted by Piccolo, who brings it back to the seaQuest and into the crew's care.
Meanwhile, at UEO Headquarters, the G.E.L.F. terrorists, led by Mariah and having arrived in a speedboat and two small, motorized inflatable rafts, infiltrate the main complex of the entire UEO and take General Thomas prisoner. In the panic, they are able to steal a docked UEO submarine and set a course into open waters. Realizing that G.E.L.F.s require less oxygen to survive than humans, Mariah uses Thomas' retina scan and security code, and seize control of a UEO orbital weapons platform and destroy an oxygen production plant in the Congo region, in an attempt to suffocate the human race.
Back aboard the seaQuest, Lucas calculates that if the G.E.L.F.s destroy four oxygen regeneration plants in total, all human life will die, except for the G.E.L.F.s. Mariah announces to the world that she intends to do just that if the UEO does not grant her people freedom. With three hours to total annihilation, Bridger demands that the UEO give Mariah what she wants. Though the UEO states that their policy on terrorists is not to negotiate, Bridger is able to trap them in a liar's paradox. Terrorists are humans who commit acts of terror for political gain, not broken machines or wild animals. By following their policy, they are, in effect, recognizing the G.E.L.F.s as human!
This strikes a chord with the UEO leaders, and combined with the realization that if they do not comply with Mariah's wishes, the entire human race will certainly die, causes the UEO leaders comply to her demands. However, Mariah does not believe them, having been lied to by humans all her life, and destroys another station. With one to go, seaQuest moves to stop her stolen submarine at all costs.
seaQuest is able to deplete Mariah's stock of torpedoes. In a last-ditch effort, she contacts Bridger and warns him that if he fires on her, she'll destroy the final oxygen regeneration station. Unbeknownst to her, Dr. Smith had discovered that through spontaneous evolution, the G.E.L.F. baby requires just much oxygen as a human baby would. Still, Mariah does not believe what she is told. However, Dagwood takes the baby in arm and urges Mariah to believe him when he says that the seaQuest crew is telling the truth. Mariah does and relents, turning herself over to the UEO. Bridger, staying true to his word, conveys the G.E.L.F. Colony members their freedom and returns their baby to them. He warns them however, that now that they have their freedom, they'll have to abide by the world's laws, just like anyone else.
With the crisis averted, Bridger finds Dagwood and thanks him for telling the truth, even though Dagwood didn't know what else to tell. As a token of his esteem, Bridger presents him with a seaQuest DSV baseball cap, making him an official crewmember. Meanwhile, in the ship's laundromat, O'Neill sorts through his underwear when Henderson walks in. Rather embarrassed, O'Neill attempts to go about his business, but he finds Henderson's teddy bear mixed in with his things. Returning her treasured item to her, he commends her on her skill on the bridge during the battle. Henderson admits she was scared, but O'Neill does as well. As she leaves, she gives him a friendly good-bye, suggesting to O'Neill that there might be something between the two of them. In Lucas's quarters, he, Piccolo, Ortiz and Wendy engage in a game of poker. Despite Piccolo's overly-complex rules, Lucas bets Piccolo the top-bunk, to which he agrees. Thinking he's won with three sixes, Lucas trumps him with a full house and wins back the top bunk. And in the ward room, Commander Ford reads through a novel when Brody enters. Recognizing the book, Brody reveals the ending, "the police captain is the murderer", much to Ford's annoyance. Brody maintains that it would be a waste of time to read an entire book to discover a lousy ending, and believes that the crew of the seaQuest had wasted enough by destroying the old seaQuest the year prior. Ford, however, believes that it was for a higher good, but Brody claims it does not matter, but reveals that Captain Bridger has asked him to sign onto seaQuest to ensure something similar will not happen again.
In its original airing, the episode contains a glaring continuity error; just prior to the GELF invasion of UEO Headquarters, an establishing shot of the complex is shown on screen with the seaQuest still in port (the shot having been recycled from earlier in episode), despite the fact that the seaQuest is established as being located just off of the GELF colony island. When this episode was later split into two-parts for reruns and syndication, the error was corrected with the seaQuest CGI being removed from the shot.
General Thomas makes reference to the Secretary General of the UEO (a position last held by Admiral Noyce as recently as "Higher Power", but, not explicitly by name. In the next episode, McGath would make his first appearance, though, not identified by name, and not established as being the Secretary General until "The Sincerest Form of Flattery."
The seaQuest cap that Captain Bridger gives to Dagwood would later be seen in Dagwood's "quarters" (actually, just his small compartment at the end of a corridor) in "The Siamese Dream."
The flirtation between O'Neill and Henderson would later be followed up on in "Vapors."
The end credits feature the last time the original seaQuest DSV theme song would be used in the series. The second season would use a shortened version of the original theme and would be replaced entirely by the third season. Unlike the rest of the season, there are no "seaQuest Sea Facts" presented in this episode.
- Lucas: No big deal or anything, just a parade for the new seaQuest and I've got to be there on account that I'm one of the crew. And...the president's going to be there.
Cindy: The president?
Lucas: Yeah. I guess he wants to see the new boat.
Cindy: What happened to the old boat?
Lucas: It sunk.
Cindy: What happens if this one sinks?
Lucas: I'll swim back to take you for another ride.
- Captain Bridger: You can read minds and you couldn't tell I was the captain?
- Captain Bridger: What were you in for?
Piccolo: Armed robbery; I held up a health food store with a slice of pizza.
- Piccolo: This is my bunk.
Lucas: Oh, yeah? Dream on.
Piccolo: I will...from up here.
- Lieutenant Brody: Forgive me for not saluting, sir, but my arms fell asleep.
- Lucas: (after winning back the top bunk) You're going to have to dream on...from the bottom bunk.
| Preceded by:|
|seaQuest DSV episodes|| Followed by:|
"The Fear That Follows"