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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
"Natural Born Grendlers"
Teleplay by Jennifer Flackett and P.K. Simonds
Story by Carl Cramer and David Solmonson
Directed by Michael Grossman

 

At the group's latest camp site, Bess becomes a successful trader with the local Grendler; Alonzo is depressed about his condition and being trapped on the planet.

 

Read the full summary of "Natural Born Grendlers" at TV.com

 

Didja Know?

 

The episode's title "Natural Born Grendlers" is probably a reference to the controversial film Natural Born Killers which came out that same year (1994).

 

The B-story of this episode, Alonzo's attempted suicide, was originally written and shot as part of "Life Lessons". But the episode was running too long, so Alonzo's story was cut. A new episode was then written to feature the already-shot footage along with the new A-story of Bess' successful attempts at trading with a Grendler and her conflict with Devon. This shuffling of stories makes "Natural Born Grendlers" somewhat difficult to place in the chronology. See mentions below.

 

Didja Notice?

 

In Alonzo's dream, notice that the small landing pad has G889 (the name of the planet) painted along two edges.

 

When the Terrian appears in Alonzo's dream, he asks it if it has seen a large F-class cruiser around. This is the only time we hear of an F-class cruiser and we never do get a look at one.

 

Yale narrates this episode, but does not state how long the group's been on the planet at this point. A statement by Devon about the food supply suggests they've been on the planet for 4 weeks.

 

At 4:06 on the DVD, Yale is making notations on a printed map of a portion of G889. Presumably it represents the area in which the group currently finds itself. Unfortunately, the screen image is too blurry to make out any of the words printed on the map.

 

Devon reveals that they'd estimated their food supply to last 8 months, but it's already 1/3 depleted after just 4 weeks.

 

This episode marks the first appearance of VR (virtual reality) gear, used mostly for entertainment purposes by members of the group.

 

Alonzo reveals to Julia that he is 109-110 years old.

 

Alonzo also reveals that, as an interstellar pilot, the last several weeks of their lives on G889 have been the longest he's been out of hypersleep.

 

Upon analyzing the fruit Bess trades for with the Grendler, Julia announces it is mostly glycosaccharide and fibroin. Glycosaccharide is a sugary carbohydrate. Fibroin is a type of protein normally associated with the production of silk by silkworms on Earth.

 

Uly remarks that the new fruit traded by the Grendler looks better than "that gross spirulina." This may be a reference to Spirulina, a microalga that can be consumed by humans and is high in protein and many other nutrients. The Eden Advance group has been seen eating it in previous stories.

 

Notice at 20:42 on the DVD that the source of light in the Grendler's cave appears to be a greenish-glowing pool of water. Possibly some kind of bioluminescent organisms in the water are creating the glow.

 

While attempting to check in on Alonzo, Julia discovers his tent empty, his homemade crutches still leaning against his bunk at 24:01 on the DVD. But how did his crutches get there? We saw Alonzo using them earlier to get to the ATV on the edge of camp and leaving them on the ground as he drove away!

 

At 25:31 on the DVD, we see that Alonzo has obtained a large gash on his right temple from the crash of his ATV. This is one of the continuity items that make this episode problematic to place in the chronology. The scar is also seen at the beginning of "Promises, Promises", whose dialog and circumstances place it before this episode in the chronology.

 

Alonzo's dream sequence, as he continues to lie unconscious from the ATV crash, introduces us to one of his old flames, a woman named Lydia from the Garsonia star base.

 

Notice that the very large necklace Bess brings to the Grendler for trade is made up of metal kitchen utensils.

 

Bess trades with the Grendler for the geo-lock in its possession, setting up events that will occur later in "Better Living Through Morganite" Part 1. (However, the geo-lock depicted here is about half the size of the one used in the later episodes!)

 

When Alonzo finally wakes up from his spill, he looks around and sees the ATV sitting upright nearby. The Terrian who prevented him from driving off the cliff must have righted the vehicle for him while he was unconscious because we saw that it was on its side after the crash.

 

At 35:08 on the DVD, we get a glimpse of Uly's horse, Pegasus, partly obscured by a makeshift tent awning. This is another indication of the Alonzo story's original placement in the middle of "Life Lessons", in which the horse was grown from an artificial womb and ran off after being stolen by True and Gaal. 

 

Unanswered Questions

 

If the group has been on the planet for 4 weeks as stated by Devon (and travelling towards New Pacifica most of that time), then they must be quite distant from the site of the cargo pod that was broken into by Grendlers in "First Contact" Part 1. Not to mention, there is an immense canyon hundreds of miles long between them and the crash point, as depicted in Leather Wings. So how did all the stolen equipment manage to make it so far in Grendler hands, as is seen here? One explanation is that the equipment seen here was actually pilfered from a different cargo pod, since several of them were lost in the accident when the Eden Advance ship reached orbit in "First Contact" Part 1.

 

Did the group ever manage to repair the faulty hover scout they traded for? We don't see it again in any future episodes.

 

Memorable Dialog

 

F-class cruiser.wav

interesting-looking fella.wav

look what I've got.wav

bedside manner chromosome.wav

dead set on being miserable.wav

I thought we didn't like Devon.wav

a few magic beans.wav

you'd be amazed at the things I know.wav

I'd rather see you suffer.wav

better than any flight you've ever taken.wav

I'm worried about me.wav

only so much reality a man can take.wav

I'm really getting the shaft.wav

that's all I did at work was crack these codes.wav

why is that again?.wav

you know who's going to get the credit.wav 

 

Back to Earth 2 Episode Studies