Episode 4: Cassandra


    Opens in the cell...again. Lister has signed up for the "Canaries" which he believes is a singing troupe..."You light up my life..". Unfortunately, Canaries is a group with a difference purpose. In the 19th century, coal miners lowered a canary into pits to test for noxious atmospheres. If the bird died, they didn't go in...if it survied, they'd send in the important people. Rimmer laughs describing the places Canaries go into,"the most noxious, dangerous and smeggy situations". Lister has even worse news...he signed Rimmer, Cat, Kryten and Kochanski up for the program as well. (btw, Rimmer says that Canaries stands for Convict Army, Nearly All Retarded, Inbred, Evil Sheep-Shaggers)
    The first canary mission they're involved with means exploring a sunken spaceship with no signs of bodies, skeltons, or of a crew at all. At the meeting they meet Killcrazy, a guy whose name is very fitting. He's waaaay too excited for the job and ends up knocking himself unconscious before they even begin. Once onboard the ship Kochanski locates the mainframe, Cassandra. She predicts the future with 100% accuracy and knows Arnold by name when they first arrive. Rimmer asks her how Lister dies...he goes out at 184 years of age, trying to remove a bra with his teeth and chokes to death! Kryten tells his friends that Cassandra's ship has no remains because there was never a crew. The Space Corps sunk her here to get rid of her as a computer that predicts the future with 100% accuracy is far too dangerous...how did he know? He read their mission directive ;) Soon they sit around drinking coffee and facing the predicted deaths of all canaries, and Rimmer (although Cassandra says that Lister, Kochanski, Cat & Kryten to survive). Finally, Rimmer's ignorance pays off, as it allows him to see hope and develop a plan to cheat fate. He puts his jacket (and the name Rimmer) on Mr. Knot then takes him to see Cassandra. Just as predicted, the man known as Rimmer dies of a heart attack and the real Rimmer thinks he's in the clear, but Cassandra tells him that he'll die anyway.
    Rimmer decides that there is no hope for him. Since the others are invulnerable, Kryten suggests they shield him all the way to the escape pod, but Rimmer falls through a hole in the floor and hurts his ankle. Kochanski is lowered down to save him, but a flood of water ends up separating them from the rest of the party. Arnie returns to Cassandra who tells him that he dies when Lister catches him and Kochanski going at it and shoots him through the head with a harpoon gun. Suddenly, death looks a bit brighter. Rimmer reports his findings to Khristine, who is stunned and a bit disgusted. Unbe-smegging-lieveable! She swears that she won't undress and get into the bed he's created, but a burst of water soaks her clothes and she decides not to tempt fate. Back on their escape vessel, Lister tells Krytie & Cat that he's going back to save Khris. Rimmer is warming up as Kochanski waits in bed. She's never been seduced by predetermination theory before ;)
    Lister figures it all out. Cassandra hates him because she's always known how she dies. She's trying to punish him by predicting a false future (the one where Khris & Arn sleep together). After telling Rimmer and Kochanski (one of whom is very upset at this turn of events), Lister returns to Cassandra and tells her that he believes in Free Will, and that he's not gonna kill her. Then, as he leaves, he puts his gum on the wall and sets off a chain reaction that blows Cassandra up. Smeg.


    Pretty nifty episode...except that I hate the idea that we're just actors in some one else's script. Possible? Sure. But like Lister, I don't wanna believe that. Who does? Its depressing and it takes away any responcibility we have for our actions...oy. Anyway, Geraldine McEwen is hilarious as Cassandra...the floating crystal ball-head ;) and Jake Wood's Killcrazy is totally funny.
I'd say...Four & 1/2 Stars =)
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