|The Torment, The Release|
|Original air date||
January 26, 2004
are subject to the word and intent
of the Commonwealth Triumvirs.
There is no exception.
There is punishment accordingly."
"The Torment, The Release" is episode 11 of Season 4.
The Commonwealth fleet approaches the Andromeda, with weapons armed and ready for combat. Tri-Lorn contacts Dylan Hunt, and informs him that he is under arrest for treason; related to his refusal to surrender Telemachus Rhade and other incidents, and he must go to Tarazed to stand trial. Dylan asks to talk to Tri-Jema, but his request is refused. Tri-Lorn indicates that he is willing to take Dylan by force, if necessary. Dylan agrees if he can talk to Tri-Jema first, Tri-Lorn accepts the compromise, but states that constant security will be present.
Rhade offers to surrender himself, to save Dylan and the Andromeda. Dylan refuses to turn him in, he says he will hide Rhade from the Commonwealth.
Trance Gemini tells Dylan that he has betrayed the Commonwealth, while he has upheld the principles he has tried to build the Commonwealth around, he has acted against the Commonwealth's leaders.
Dylan arrives at Tarazed for his trial, and finds Pish Tryan acting as prosecutor, with the Triumvirate acting as judges: Tri-Lorn, Tri-Jema, and Tri-Camille, who has replaced Tri-Ortiz. Pish accuses Dylan of being allied with the Spirit of the Abyss and the Magog. He also brings evidence of Dylan breaking Rhade out of Commonwealth custody.
Dylan insists on speaking with Tri-Jema privately, and his request is granted. Tri-Jema tells Dylan that she is doing what she has to do to look out for her own position and interests. Dylan tells her that it is the Collectors, led by Pish, who are trying to get rid of her; but she insists that Dylan's actions are tearing the Commonwealth apart.
The guards attempt to seize Rommie for "reprogramming", but she resists. Tri-Lorn demonstrates to her that he is able to take control of the ship, and she decides to cooperate. She is taken to the trial as a witness, but refuses to provide evidence against Dylan until Pish threatens to take it by force from her deactivated body, and an assurance that she will never serve or see Captain Hunt ever again.
Pish presents evidence showing that Dylan lied about the Andromeda being damaged calling it "strategic truth", he is worried about factions in the Commonwealth's command structure. Dylan counters by accusing Pish of collaborating with the Nietzscheans, specifically Tyr Anasazi. Pish accuses Dylan of killing Citizen Eight and destroying the planet Samsarra, only stating facts, not the reasons for Dylan's actions.
Beka and Rommie discuss the situation. Rhade is still in hidden where they had placed him, and they all plan to support Dylan in whatever decision he makes. Beka gives Rommie the flexi provided by Harper, with details of their plan.
Shig and Lipp-Sett testify against Dylan, despite his protests of their bias against him. They lost a great amount of currency and resources as the result of his success.
Pish provides a record of Dylan sending a courier to an undisclosed location, with the implication that this was against the best interests of the Commonwealth. He summarizes his case by saying that Dylan plays by his own rules, disregarding the Commonwealth chain of command. He claims that the Collectors are trying to save the Commonwealth, and Dylan is interfering with this.
Harper is called to the witness stand, and interrogated about File-D. A record is presented where he explains how it could be used to wipe out the Commonwealth senate, and Pish notes that File-D is currently hidden on the Andromeda. Harper evades all of his questions and uses technical jargon to annoy Pish Tryan.
Pish questions Trance, and accuses her of sharing Commonwealth secrets. She admits to "having her own way", but is evasive and even vaguely threatening.
Beka and Rommie prepare to put their plan into action, and bring Rhade out of hiding. The Commonwealth guards attempt to take Rhade into custody, but he overpowers them. They inform Dylan that they are ready to run, and the entire crew will support him, but Dylan insists on staying. He says that he cannot place himself above the law, trial, or the justice system. If he flees then others will lose all respect for the law. Hunt needs to know how deep the corruption has spread and if he has any allies left.
Beka is questioned by Pish, who brings up her 351 outstanding piloting violations, as well as her role in Able LaDrone's jailbreak. Beka ridicules Pish and refuses to supply evidence.
Dylan is on the stand again, and Pish brings up the destruction of Citizen Eight's ships. Dylan reminds him that Eight's confession was broadcast, but Pish claims to have no record of said confession.
Pish accuses Dylan of creating havoc and ignoring the legal system. Dylan says Pish cannot tolerate his idealism.
Dylan is invited to tell his side of the story. He says that he fought to restore the Systems Commonwealth, and that this trial is a mockery of its ideals. The Triumvirate is destroying dreams and the future. Pish ends the trial. Dylan says Pish's "lust for power" will not surivive the Magog World Ship and the Spirit of the Abyss.
Dylan returns to his office and finds Tri-Lorn there. Tri-Lorn claims to be on Dylan's side, but tells him that he has been found guilty. However, Tri-Lorn tells Dylan that he has given the security codes for the Collector Ship's to Harper, and that he controls the other warships. He says that the Collectors are trying to take control of the Commonwealth, and says that they must be stopped, although he acknowledges that this will start the Second Systems Commonwealth Civil War. Dylan asks Tri-Lorn why he is doing what he is doing, and Tri-Lorn replies "you're my hero."
Dylan offers to let any of the Andromeda crew who wish to avoid legal repercussions to leave the ship, but none do. The Collectors' ships arm weapons, but Rhade insists that they cannot fire the first shot, and Dylan agrees. The Collectors open fire, and Andromeda returns fire, fighting her way through the blockade. Tri-Lorn's ships move in on the Andromeda, and Tri-Lorn contacts Dylan, wishing him luck, and escorting him out of the system.
- The title may be in reference to the Friedrich Nietzsche quote from "Human, All Too Human": "Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man."
- On that basis, the loss of hope would, in fact, be a release.
- Another reference is the Greek story of Tantulus, told in the "Stargate SG-1" episode "The Torment of Tantalus". What Tantalus wanted most, fruit and water, was always inches away; but moved out of reach whenever he grabbed for it. Dylan's dream of a new Systems Commonwealth it out of reach until Tri-Lorn reveals his loyalty. However, the revelation comes after Dylan realizes that the Second Systems Commonwealth Civil War has begun.
- Dylan is "tormented" in the show trial before being "released".
- The comments about "truth is relative" was heavily explored in "Babylon 5".
- In "Severed Dreams" of "Babylon 5", Sheridan allows the military crew and civilians to leave the space station to avoid the legal aftermath. During the campaign against Clark, Sheridan and his crew always allow the Clark loyalists to fire the first shot. This aids Sheridan's political manuevering.
- Dylan says "Stop the universe, I want to get off". This is a variation of the phrase "Stop the World – I Want to Get Off", which was the title of a musical by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.
- The episode contains a flashback with a deleted scene. During the conversation between Pish and Dylan when Dylan says "What? She was a robot created by the Neitzscheans. She drugged me, then tried to kill me." it shows a female robot wielding a monomolecular lash being killed by Dylan.
Pish/Trance: "The truth is relative".
Pish/Trance: "You are finished".
Pish: I'll ask the questions.
Trance: I will as well, but I will have the answers.
Beka: He was making a joke. You got to know about jokes, you are one.