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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
"Church of Morgan"
TV episode
Written by: Michael Duggan
Directed by: Joe Napolitano

 

Stress tears at Bess and Morgan's marriage; Uly manifests Terrian abilities.

 

Read the full summary of "Church of Morgan" at the Making of Timelines Yahoo Group

 

Didja Know?

 

The episode's title "Church of Morgan" is probably meant as a play on the Church of Mormon, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

Didja Notice?

 

During Morgan's musical session on the VR gear, notice his bass drum has the letters MM on it, for Morgan Martin. Like all of his dreams of glory and wealth, the jazz band is probably named after him. Something like the Morgan Martin Quartet perhaps?

 

This episode is narrated by Julia. She remarks that it is Day 38 on the planet and 7600 kilometers from New Pacifica. That equals about 4,722 miles. We keep getting different figures of higher and lesser distances to New Pacifica between the episodes of the TV series and novels. Earlier calculations suggested New Pacifica was only about 3200 miles away in "First Contact" Part 2.

 

At the beginning of the episode, Bess is bathing in what appears to be a large plastic storage container. The water has wisps of steam rising from it; was a large amount of water heated beforehand and dumped in or is the container actually a heating unit for baths?

 

Bess implies she is Catholic when she asks Yale if he has religious data on file, particularly Catholic, because she'd like to make a confession.

 

When Julia reports Terrian-related changes in Uly, Reilly wants to harvest his pineal gland as the possible location of the human soul. Some researchers of a metaphysical bent have attributed the pineal gland as the seat of the soul ever since the theory was first proposed by French scientist and philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650).

 

Growing upset about Bess' confession to him that she'd had random thoughts about having an affair with another, Morgan disgustedly remarks it must be one of the men they're on an "extended camping trip from Hell" with and who has probably seen him naked. The nudity reference is probably to "A Memory Play", in which Morgan had to trade the clothes off his back to a Grendler in return for the creature's antiseptic spittle.

 

Morgan refers to Alonzo as a sleep jumper. This must be a reference to the pilot's long periods of sleep during interstellar voyages.

 

Julia tells Riley she has access to Terrian remains and we see a Terrian finger bone in a specimen container. But how did she get it? I suppose she could have some bone fragments from Gaal's shattered necklace of Terrian bones from "Promises, Promises", but it did not appear to have a whole skeletal finger on it.

 

Bess remarks on Devon's father having designed the stations that are in Earth orbit. The novelization of the pilot episode ("First Contact") states that Devon was the foremost designer and developer of the space stations in the solar system from Venus to Neptune. This is how she became one of the wealthiest women in history. Presumably she was not the designer of most of the Earth-orbiting stations since page 27 of that book tells us that Earth's population moved to the space stations six generations ago.

 

Devon remarks to Bess that she had fantasized, as a child, of a romantic, life-and-death existence on Earth, but that her parents would not take her on a trip down. But pages 6-7 of the pilot episode novelization ("First Contact") reveal that Devon's parents took her on a trip to Earth when she was 7 years old; she remembers seeing the Statue of Liberty, only the feet and the hem of the gown remaining due to acid rain.

 

Through a discussion between Julia and Reilly, this episode reveals there was something called the Faith Wars at the end of the 21st Century. During the conflict, experiments with the pineal gland were conducted on POWs. Many of the POWs died and some devolved into vicious primates.

 

Bess remarks to Morgan that he used to refer to some people, particularly Earthers, as NOCD, "Not Our Class, Dear." This is a put-down used by the British upper-class, especially during the 1940s-50s.

 

Notice that Julia performs the surgical procedure on Uly outside. That seems a risky move since I doubt she drugged everyone in camp (despite us seeing her drug Walman, on guard duty, and Devon in her and Uly's tent).

 

A Terrian appears in front of Julia while she's performing the procedure on Uly. The Terrian transforms into an image of Alonzo in order to communicate its message about Uly's importance as a connection between humans and Terrians and the evolution of humanity on G889. It seems as if Alonzo himself was brought in during his dream state, yet the next morning he says he did not have any dreams. In the past, he seems to remember his Terrian dreams, so why not this time? Did the Terrians prevent him from remembering? It makes things convenient for Julia's secret to stretch out a little longer, but why would the Terrians not want him to remember?

 

When Morgan speaks to the VR version of Bess' father, the man has what appears to be some kind of small gasmask-like contraption around his neck. Bess said earlier her father was a miner on Earth, so the gasmask makes some sense.

 

During the marriage ceremony, Yale states that the marriage contract renewal acts of the late 21st Century were intended to strengthen birth rates in Earth's environmentally red-tagged areas.

 

During the marriage ceremony, Yale reveals that Morgan's middle name is Horatio and Bess' full maiden name is Bess Amelia Klempt.

 

The "until death do you part" portion of the wedding vows reveal that Morgan and Bess have decided not to have a standard short-term marriage commitment, but to remain together for the rest of their lives.

 

As Devon is holding her son at the end of the marriage ceremony, he looks at Julia with less than his usual boisterous features, as if maybe he suspects she did something to him last night.

 

The VR simulation the group all participate in at the end of the episode is a sort-of 1930s-style wedding reception.

 

At the wedding reception, most of the group members are dancing with VR simulations. Danziger is seen dancing with a redhead. Maybe she is a simulation of the redhead who broke his heart, as mentioned by Alex in "A Memory Play". Danziger also later grabs Devon for a dance. True is seen dancing with a VR boy.

 

In the last shot of the episode, Zero appears to be guard duty over the humans as they prance around the clearing during the VR wedding reception. 

 

Unanswered Questions

 

To paraphrase Baines...who was the lucky guy Bess was attracted to? Yale can probably be ruled out since he's the one Bess chose to confess her sinful thoughts to. Alonzo, ever the ladies man, claims he'd know if he were the object of her affectionate thoughts (though Bess does later tell Alonzo in "The Enemy Within" that he's every woman's type). But notice she never actually says it was a guy. With that in mind, her personal discussion with Devon about their individual perceptions of each other's lives from 18:15-20:52 on the DVD is...interesting.

 

Reilly tells Julia that the Council knows the Terrians have some kind of symbiosis with the planet and they can't be killed or enslaved without killing the planet. How does he know this? Did the Council already kill a large number of Terrians and see the planet weaken as a result?

 

Memorable Dialog

 

cheated on my husband.wav

medical ethics.wav

only woman in the world.wav

a rhetorical question.wav

you're thinking about having an affair.wav

an extended camping trip from Hell.wav

whose nest to feather.wav

whenever you get the urge.wav

his kind of people.wav

kind of romantic.wav

some kind of princess.wav

a woman like you.wav

a cuckold on some distant ball of dirt.wav

witch hunt.wav

who the lucky guy is.wav

the last wildflower on Earth.wav

will you marry me?.wav

nothing like the love of a woman.wav

a very powerful position.wav 

 

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