|The Unconquerable Man|
|Original air date||
January 20, 2003
so long as we die better men than we
imagined we could be --
and no worse than we feared."
- Drago Museveni CY 8451
"The Unconquerable Man" is episode 10 of Season 3.
Seamus Harper is bringing Gaheris Rhade's body out of cryogenic storage, so that Dylan Hunt can give it to Rhade's family on Terazed for proper burial. Harper is reluctant to allow them to give Rhade a hero's burial, since he tried to kill Dylan, his own best friend.
While checking the body over, Dylan notices a scar on Rhade's hand that he does not remember. Harper says that he probably just does never noticed it before.
Rommie announces that Telemachus Rhade has arrived to collect the body.
Captain Gaheris Rhade is about to destroy Harper's tesseract machine, when Beka Valentine and Trance Gemini appear. Trance tells him not to destroy it, but he demands an explanation. Trance tells him to remember how he got here, and Rhade thinks back.
Rhade remembers the Battle of Hephaistos, and Andromeda heading towards the Black Hole, but instead of Dylan killing Rhade in the fight, Rhade quickly kills Dylan upon entering the Command Center. As he is placing Dylan's body in cryogenic storage, Andromeda (in hologram form) confronts him, and the ship is frozen on the event horizon of the black hole.
300 years later, the Eureka Maru crew pulls the Andromeda out. Andromeda is reluctant to accept Rhade as her commanding officer, but Rhade threatens to erase her, and she realizes that she has little choice. She realizes that 300 years have passed, and that they are being boarded. They strike a bargain: if the Commonwealth has won the war, Rhade will surrender. He goes to deal with the boarders.
Rhade first confronts Harper, and Harper tells him that the Commonwealth has fallen, and there is no Nietzschean Empire.
After killing the other mercenaries and Gerentex, Rhade confronts Tyr. He tells Tyr that he kept him alive to help him save the universe, and Tyr accepts this.
Some time later, Rhade has had Harper create an Artificial Intelligence/hologram "Go partner" of Dylan for him, using the ship's records. Rommie takes the opportunity to criticize Rhade for killing Dylan in the first place, but Rhade claims that he did what he had to do.
In the middle of the discussion, Trance takes the ship into slipstream, taking them to the Witchhead Nebula. Shortly after their arrival, the Renewed Valor arrives. Rhade intends to maintain radio silence, until he hears the message that Captain Borotep Yeshgar is sending, and realizes that they have gone back in time 300 years.
Rhade decides to tell Yeshgar that her orders have changed, and tells her to follow them through Slipstream, so that she will end up in the future with them, but before she can follow, the Nietzschean fleet arrives, destroying the Valor.
Rhade discusses the situation with the Dylan hologram, and comes to the conclusion that the Nietzsheans will eventually turn on each other anyway, and not form a civilized Empire, so Rhade asks Harper to build the Antiproton Fusion Catalyst, which he then deploys, destroying 2/3 (66.667%) of the Nietzschean fleet.
After their return to the future, Tyr confronts Rhade about his massacre of the Nietzscheans, surprised that the "Angel of Death" of legend was, in fact, a Nietzschean. Rhade says that Nietzscheans were meant to be civilized, not in-fighting bullies, and that present day Nietzscheans are inferior.
A year goes by. Rhade is discussing the situation with the Dylan hologram, and he concedes that he is having "less than optimal results" in his endeavours. He reflects on the Magog World Ship, thinking that it should be enough to convince worlds that they need a strong central government and military, but things are not working out that way. He has declined the support of his Pride, and the rest of the Nietzscheans, because of their in-fighting and treachery. Charlemagne Bolivar has been blackmailing the leaders of various worlds, making them reluctant to sign on. Rhade notes that the modern Nietzscheans have forgotten the "enlightened" in "enlightened self-interest".
Rhade no longer trusts Tyr, and has realized that he will have to be dealt with.
Beka comes to Rhade's ready room. She tells him that she is no longer sure about his mission, that there are things she is not comfortable with, such as having to kill Parvati Quechua during the Acheron mission. Beka tells Rhade that she is leaving the Andromeda, because she needs to "clear her head". She kisses Rhade, they have clearly been lovers, and leaves, saying "See ya 'round the universe."
Rev Bem leaves with Beka, but Harper and Trance stay. Harper figures that the Andromeda is his only chance to get rid of the Magog larvae, and says that Rhade is the only person he knows who hates Nietzscheans more than him.
Rommie alerts Rhade that Tyr Anasazi is "making his move". Rhade confronts Tyr in the storage room where he is keeping the bones of Drago Museveni. Tyr throws a shurikan at Rhade, injuring his hand, but Rhade and Rommie use the artificial gravity to pin Tyr in place. Tyr notes that Rhade will always have the scar on his hand, but Rhade shoots and kills Tyr.
Holo-Dylan notes that Rhade has started to lose frequently, and that worlds are leaving his Commonwealth. Rommie informs him that Harper's Magog eggs have started to hatch, and that Harper wants to go to Xinti, hoping the Perseids can help him out. They do, and Harper, Hohne, and Rakeeb start to build the tesseract machine.
Beka returns to the ship to help Harper out. She tells Rhade that she is not staying, and that their relationship "can't work", but Rhade is glad to see her anyway.
The events of the tesseract machine start to be felt on the ship, everyone starts to "jump" between decks, Rhade sees Stam and Thompson from the battle of Hephaestos, Beka and Trance are attacked by Kalderans on the Maru, and Trance changes places with her future self.
Rhade, Beka, and Trance arrive in the machine shop. Rhade is going to destroy the machine, but Trance stops him. She tells him that his mission is failing. She thought that he was the one to lead civilization out of chaos. Now that he has lost all his allies, she now knows he is not the one, but knows who is, Dylan. She says that he now has the opportunity to re-shape the universe. When Andromeda tells him that Hohne has just fallen to his death, and that on Xinti, the planet is physically crumbling, Beka declares that the situation is too desperate not to try, and Rhade agrees to Trance's plan.
Rhade kisses Beka good-bye, and Trance takes him through the tesseract, back to Hephaestos, just as the Andromeda is heading for the black hole. Trance kisses him on the cheek, tells him it is now up to him, and disappears.
Rhade surprises the earlier version of himself, kills him, and takes his uniform. He heads to Command, and, instead of shooting Dylan immediately, launches into a speech, pausing just long enough at a critical moment in the fight for Dylan to kill him.
Flash back to Harper and Dylan with Rhade's body.
Harper says that he almost feels like he knew Rhade. Dylan says that he will never know why Rhade did what he did, but he believes he had good intentions. Harper does not place a high value on intentions without actions, and says that he feels that Rhade got what he deserved. Harper states that "The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions".
Dylan insists that every man is the hero of his own story, even Gaheris Rhade.
- There would appear to be a connection to the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Here the theme reflects "The Joyful Wisdom" assertion: "I look with a good or an evil eye upon men, I find them always at one problem, each and all of them: to do that which conduces to the conservation of the human species. And certainly not out of any sentiment of love for this species, but simply because nothing in them is older, stronger, more inexorable and more unconquerable than that instinct, -- because it is precisely the essence of our race and herd."
- The title is a reference to the word Invictus. It was the Roman deity that personified the concepts of “unconquered” and “invincible”.
- A direct reference to Invictus is that the Nietzschean species is known as Homo sapiens invictus. Rhade states that the Nietzscheans failed to live up to the ideal and deserved to be destroyed.
- Another reference is the poem “Invictus”, by William Ernest Henley.
- Harper makes the reference to the film "The Green Mile" with the line: "Dead man walking, dead man walking, walking the mile, walking the mile." In the film "Dead Man Walking" the phrase is: "Dead man walking! Dead man walking here!"
- This episode had numerous characters from past seasons, many of them dead, appear in the episode as archive footage.
Harper: Dead man walking, dead man walking, walking the mile, walking the mile.
Harper: What? Us standing here over a dead Nietzschean on ice? Yeah, it's kinda strange, but it's also kinda nice, isn't it?
Harper: You give me a corpse from down in deep freeze, and I give you a worthy Go partner, with all the knowledge and memories I could dig up or extrapolate... You're kinda creepy, you know that?
Rhade: Our people were meant to be living gods, warrior-poets who roamed the stars bringing civilization, not cowards and bullies who prey on the weak and kill each other for sport. I never imagined they'd prove themselves so inferior. I didn't betray our people – they betrayed themselves.
Rhade: Keep your friends close, keep your enemies under constant surveillance.
Rhade: You can lead a Nightsider to water, but you can't make him spawn.
Rhade: (to Beka) I don't suppose you have any witty, but only marginally helpful, bon-mots to offer?
Beka: No. I wish I did.
Rhade: History will judge me a traitor for what I am about to do, but if he fails, if Dylan fails, imagine how they'll judge him.
Trance: With silence.
Harper: Good intentions. Hell. You draw the map.