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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

"Promises, Promises"
TV Episode

Written by: P.K. Simonds
Directed by: Felix Enriquez Alcala


Uly's improving health takes a turn for the worse when the Terrians attempt to get a message across to the humans.


Read the full summary of "Promises, Promises" at


Notes from the Earth 2 chronology


Julia indicates that she and Alonzo had been talking about the kind of prisoners that may have been dumped on the planet and doubling the group's security. This would tend to suggest that the episode takes place immediately after the events of "Life Lessons", in which they learned the true reason for Gaal's presence on the planet. Also, True later wants to tell Uly she's sorry that his horse ran away, also seen in "Life Lessons". I bring this up because of the somewhat tortured chronology behind the upcoming "Natural Born Grendlers".


Didja Notice?


Alonzo narrates this episode, stating they've been crossing the planet for weeks.


Alonzo, who normally drives the red ATV, rides in the yellow DuneRail with Julia as the episode opens. A nice detail is that, as the camera delivers a close-up of Alonzo's eye as he's receiving a dream communication from the Terrians, the details of the yellow DuneRail can be seen reflected in his cornea.



When it starts to rain, the group runs for cover in and under the TransRover. Julia scans the downpour and announces it is not toxic in any way, a reference to the pollution of Earth, where most rainfalls are probably acid rain.


Morgan mentions that he's a lawyer.


Danziger refers to Terrians as "diggers" here and continues to do so a number of times throughout the series.


Gaal mentions the Terrians existing in tribes.


Julia is finally able to get close enough to a Terrian to scan one. The device is unable to identify the life form as either animal, vegetable, or mineral. But Julia will later refer to the Terrians' bodies as "plant-like" in "After the Thaw".


Alonzo says that the Terrian has told him that all Terrians are male.


Alonzo thinks that the healing the Terrians have done for Uly created a bond to the beings such that when the Terrians are suffering, Uly does too. That is why Uly has started to get sick again.


At 27:43 on the DVD, as Devon first raises the jumpers (electro-binoculars) to her eyes to look at the lone Terrian below, notice that a couple of other Terrian heads poke up in the bottom of the viewer, even though she's supposed to be seeing an empty scene. The shot was obviously taken from the one that occurs about 30 seconds later, when Gaal's controlled group of Terrians shows up.


After Devon and Danziger report that they spied Gaal in the area, Magus describes the weaponry the group has available: Commander O'Neill's old hunting rifle, 2 Mag-Pro rifles, one handgun, and one Mag-Pro grenade launcher.


At 30:17 on the DVD, as Gaal is preparing his own weapons, it sounds as if he may be humming "Ride of the Valkyries" from Richard Wagner's 1870 opera The Valkyrie.


During his monologue as he ponders the slaughter he plans to inflict on the Eden Advance group, Gaal indicates there are 17 members. But there are only 16 unless Zero is counted as a member.


We see that Gaal has his own Mag-Pro rifle and grenade launcher.


At 33:55 on the DVD, a wheeled box labeled Mobile Repair Unit can be seen behind True. It appears to hold tools and devices used by Danziger in his work as a mechanic.


Gaal reveals to True that he has discovered that Terrians can not strike at their own kind. He wears a necklace of Terrian bones which keeps him safe from them. I don't know why the Terrians wouldn't be able to work around the difference of an actual Terrian and some other species wearing a bone necklace.


Gaal mentions to True his having read the Iliad and refers to the Trojan Horse. This lets us know that he was aware of her deception regarding the TransRover from the start and is prepared to destroy it to kill her father and the other group members within. However, the Iliad, Homer's epic poem from ~8 BC, does not mention the story of the Trojan Horse; that story is most widely known from Virgil's Aeniad, written between 29-19 BC.


Despite his programming against firing a weapon, Yale manages to do so in order to blast Gaal's Mag-Pro away from him, though the action appears to strain him. 


Unanswered Questions


Is Gaal dead? We see him dragged underground by the Terrians, kicking and screaming. But did they end his life? We do not see him again after this episode.


Did the Eden Advance group manage to salvage any of Gaal's equipment, such as the Mag-Pro weapons and telescope device? 


How do the Terrians reproduce if they are all male?


Memorable Dialog


a fierce, cold breed.wav

I will consider anything that will help my son.wav

every digger on this planet could get croaked and I could care less.wav

come and meet your fate.wav

it's time to sin again.wav

is that a problem, pet?.wav

more in common with a mosquito.wav

I would've missed your whole childhood.wav

that part might have been true.wav


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