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The Things We Cannot Change


Production #


Original air date

April 8, 2002

Written by

Ethlie Ann Vare

Directed by

Jorge Montesi

Developed by

Robert Hewitt Wolfe


Sherry Gorval

Executive Producer

Allan Eastman
Majel Roddenberry
Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Josanne B. Lovick
Jay Firestone
Adam Haight
Kevin Sorbo

Production Designer

Richard B. Lewis

Guest stars

Steve Bacic as Gaheris/Telemachus Rhade
Cynthia Preston as Liandra
Ryan Drescher as Ethan

Preceded by

In Heaven Now Are Three

Followed by

The Fair Unknown

"Home is the sailor, home from the sea
And the hunter home from the hill."
Fragment of Ancient Earth Text, CY 6800

"The Things We Cannot Change" is episode 17 of Season 2.


The Regular Cast of Andromeda Season 2


This episode includes several scenes with Dylan in a vision or alternate reality. Sections in italics represent these scenes.

Andromeda is near a spinning singularity, doing research. Dylan is in the Maru, which can get closer to the Black Hole, because of its smaller mass. Suddenly, there is a hull breach in the Maru, and Dylan just manages to get his helmet on before the window blows.

Dylan wakes up in bed with his wife, Liandra. His young son, Ethan runs into the room.

Andromeda is trying to rescue Dylan, but cannot get close enough, because of the gravity.

Dylan is making pancakes for his son for breakfast. He remembers discussing children and family with Cuchulain Nez Pierce.

Harper rigs a Slipfighter so that Beka and Tyr can get closer to the black hole.

Liandra asks Dylan if he is having dreams again. She tells Dylan that she loves him, and Dylan remembers saying goodbye to Sara Riley. Liandra reminds him that he was planning to resign his commission in the High Guard.

Beka and Tyr are on the Maru, but the window is broken, and Dylan is not there as he has been sucked out, and is floating free in space.

Liandra is getting rid of Dylan's High Guard uniforms, and he remembers talking to Tyr about teamwork. Dylan insists that he is needed there is a war going on. Liandra says that he has a memory problem and that they are at peace, and Dylan has been having visions "since the black hole", and he needs help.

Beka and Tyr work on fixing the Maru. Beka is concerned about Dylan's air supply in his EVA suit.

Dylan is playing soccer with his son Ethan. His son says that he cannot wait until Dylan retires, so they can play all the time. The pattern on the ball reminds Dylan of the Magog World Ship, and he confronts Liandra about this, asking how they can be at peace with the Worldship out there. She claims that she has never heard of "Magog". This convinces Dylan that this vision cannot be reality.

Beka is scanning for Dylan from the Maru, but cannot find him.

Dylan searches for evidence of the truth where he searches the closet, drawers, and checks himself in the mirror, looking for surgical scars. Liandra says that she was worried that this was going to happen, claiming that he has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). As Dylan finds his Force lance, Liandra tells him that he was clinically dead for 2 minutes, after he ran out of air in his EVA suit.

Harper and Trance are trying to rebuild the teleporter that allowed Dylan to meet with Sara by using a black hole, since they are close to a black hole again. They hope they can use it to retrieve Dylan.

Dylan remembers incidents of violence: His fight with Telemachus Rhade, the attack by the Nietzscheans on the ice planet, and himself and Gaheris Rhade killing Ferrin on Mobius. He snaps, and fires his forcelance at the mirror several times, but the mirror does not break. Liandra screams, and Dylan comes back to his senses, and apologizes. Liandra insists that he is out of control, and must retire.

Harper has the teleporter assembled, but cannot retrieve Dylan without his exact location. Rommie says that she thinks the black hole is too new for the teleporter to work properly.

Beka worries that she is running out of time, when Tyr locates Dylan with the sensors.

Dylan considers that Liandra is right. He says that, in that case, he could take medical leave and recover. He insists that he can still serve, and his ship and crew need him. Liandra tells him that the Andromeda was lost, and the crew was killed, when they were sucked into the black hole. Dylan does not want to believe this, remembering comforting Rommie after she had to kill Gabriel.

Dylan confronts Liandra in the kitchen, where she is cooking. She spills some oil, starting a fire, and reminding Dylan of the Spirit of the Abyss throwing fireballs. The fire goes out, and Dylan accuses Liandra of trying to stop him. He points his forcelance at her, and remembers talking to Trance shortly after she changed, about whether he could trust her.

Harper and Trance rig the teleporter to communicate with Dylan. Trance appears in Dylan's vision, superimposed over Liandra, encouraging him to break out of it.

Liandra demands that Dylan resign, or she will take their son and leave. Dylan says that if it comes down to his career or his family, he belongs with the High Guard. Liandra tells Dylan that the Commonwealth is, in fact, trying to get rid of him, because he messes up. Dylan recalls failing to catch the slipfighter carrying the Nova bomb from High Guard Station GS-92196, and failing to stop the Magog from infesting the Hajira on Serendipity. Liandra tells him that he is being offered a graceful exit, but Dylan insists that no, he knows what he is doing, remembering Ne'Holland, and using the Planetfall Defense Bot.

Tyr dons an EVA suit, and goes out to get Dylan, attaching himself to the Maru with a cable.

Dylan speculates that maybe Liandra is some part of him that wants to give up. He remembers leaving Sara to return to his mission. He says that he has a choice, remembering asking Beka to continue his mission if he did not survive the Magog attack. He says that he knows what his choice is, and throws away his resignation letter, which bursts into flame.

Tyr gets to the end of the cable, and Dylan is just out of reach.

Ethan begs Dylan not to leave.

Tyr unhooks the cable, wraps it around his hand, and extends his other arm.

Dylan asks Liandra: Why are you doing this? Liandra's voice changes, and her eyes begin to look like black holes as she says, "You're killing my people".

Dylan revives, sees Tyr reaching for him, and reaches out and grabs his hand.

Back on the Andromeda, Rommie says that Dylan's experience was consistent with hypoxia. Harper wonders about that it was not a hallucination, but Trance says that she is sure it was just a dream, although she says that they can still learn from it.


  • The title seems to be taken from the Serenity Prayer.
  • A parody of the Serenity Prayer from "Firefly" is: "God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the firepower to make the difference." - A common prayer for the Rim planets.
  • The opening quote is used in "Requiem". It is the sequel to "The Man Who Sold the Moon".
  • The style of episode using a thinly woven story to incorporate scenes from previous episodes is known as a clip show. The episodes are used primarily for the purpose of saving money, particularly if an upcoming episode will require bigger production values or a previous episode went over budget. Several Sci-Fi series have utilized this to save money, including "Star Trek: The Next Generation" with "Shades of Gray" and "Stargate SG-1" with "Disclosure".

Memorable Quotes[]

Beka: Why is it that the most beautiful things are always the most dangerous?
Tyr: They do it on purpose.

Tyr: It's like scanning mud.
Rommie: No, it's not. Mud I can see through, gamma-radiation I can't.

Tyr: Unfortunately, I don't always share the little professor's unswerving confidence in his own engineering-ability.

Beka: (to Tyr) So, all these dangerous, macho-things you do it's to impress the chicks?

Harper: We played hide-and-go-teleport with one of Trance's fish in hydroponics.
Beka: And?
Trance: Tuna tartare.

Beka: Are you nuts? You're throwing yourself against a black-hole?
Tyr: That's what the cables are for.
Beka: If you're doing this to impress the chicks, Tyr. (kisses his faceplate) I'm impressed!