About The Show
Harlan and Bova are playing Minbar Chess in the command post. Bova wins. Harlan insists that he is a good chess player, but needs real stakes to win. Bova is not convinced.
Suddenly, an alien spaceship appears, headed straight for the Christa. Harlan tries to perform evasive maneuvers, but can't figure out how. Seconds before impact, the alien ship screeches to a stop. The pilot of the alien ship introduces himself as Yee Haw Jones, Salesman Supreme. Harlan and Bova let him on board.
Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is trying to figure out how the Christa's engines work. The ship didn't come with an instruction manual, and Thelma isn't very helpful. Catalina assures everyone that her invisible friend Suzee is an engineering genius who can explain everything, but the others don't take her imaginary friend seriously. Goddard is tolerant of Catalina's delusion; Miss Davenport is not.
Bova comes to engineering and tells the rest of the crew that the salesman is on board. They go to a cargo bay to meet him, and find it filled with junk from all over the universe. Jones slips something into his mouth, and eagerly introduces himself to everyone. His breath is so foul that it actually brings Goddard to his knees. Everyone is devastated by Yee Haw's breath... except Radu, who doesn't seem to notice. Yee Haw makes his first sale to the crew: nose plugs.
Yee Haw is fascinated to meet Radu, because Andromedans are very rare and reputed to be incredibly strong.
Commander Goddard chews Harlan out for letting Yee Haw on board, noting that Yee Haw could have been dangerous.
Meanwhile, Thelma meets Yee Haw's android assistant, Jesse, Jovian Environmental Solar Servant. They seem to hit it off.
Yee Haw overhears Bova and Rosie talking about how their trip home will take seven years, and gets an idea. He sells Harlan a worm-warp drive converter kit, which will turn their ship into a portable wormhole generator. He promises Harlan an "easy payment plan." Catalina is convinced this is a bad idea, but Harlan is determined to impress Commander Goddard by getting them home. He signs the contract. Catalina tries to stop him, but can't. Then she tries to tear the contract up, but she can't do that either: it's iron clad.
Yee Haw reveals the terms of the easy payment plan: they have to give Radu to Yee Haw. Harlan has no problem with those terms, but Catalina is horrified, and Goddard is furious when he finds out. Yee Haw wants Radu because Andromedans are rare and strong: he would be valuable as a sideshow exhibit, or as a slave.
Radu is also furious when he finds out, but the crew is in a jam: the salesman's guild is powerful, and they dare not violate the contract. Goddard and Yee Haw threaten each other. Thelma appeals to Jesse. Jesse talks Yee Haw into taking an alternative payment: Thelma. The crew thanks Thelma for making this sacrifice and says good-bye, but Thelma is not sure she wants to go.
Harlan talks to Thelma, and learns that she isn't sure she wants to go. Worse, her feelings seem to be hurt because everyone was upset about Radu leaving, but nobody cares about her leaving. She is confused, because she's not supposed to have feelings. Harlan explains that they thought Thelma wanted to go with Jesse, and he apologizes.
Yee Haw's device is attached to the engines. Catalina tells Goddard and Davenport that Suzee says the device is causing problems. Davenport doesn't take Suzee seriously, but isn't willing to bet her life. Upon investigation, they discover that the ship can't handle the power, and is going to blow.
Meanwhile, Yee Haw spots the Minbar Chess board. Harlan challenges him to a game. Harlan plays better than he ever has before. Harlan baits Yee Haw into a wager: the contract against the Christa. Then Harlan uses the same "unbeatable" maneuver that Bova used on Harlan earlier... except that Yee Haw knows how to beat the maneuver.
Meanwhile, the ship is about to blow up. Following Suzee's advice, transmitted through Catalina, Goddard saves the ship at the exact moment that Harlan defeats Yee Haw in the chess match.
Yee Haw beats a hasty retreat. Jesse says a fond farewell to Thelma.
Commander Goddard commends Harlan for cleaning up his own mess. But when he finds out how Harlan did it, he explodes, as the ship sails off into the sunset.
The episode spends a lot of time revealing the back story, but most of it is information that is familiar to the fans. Here are some character developments that were not found in the series:
Bova: Drazi offense, developed on Pluto in 2153. If you leave yourself open for it,
there's nothing you can do to beat it.
Harlan: I need pressure to be at my best: tournament play, high stakes. You know
the old saying: when the going gets tough, the tough get--
Thelma: I can answer any questions you may have.
Yee Haw: (showing his wares): Makeup! Eyeliner! Eyelashes! Eyeballs!
Goddard: How could you possibly have messed this up?
Goddard: You screw up one more time and you'll spend the rest of the trip in a box in the cargo hold. (Turns and walks away, and says...) If I can find it.
Radu: (after finding out that Harlan sold him to Yee Haw): You did WHAT?! (lifts
Harlan over his head)
Thelma: I guess I will go pack my things. (Turns around and leaves through the jumptube)
Thelma: Would you like a beverage?
Bova: I've never seen you play this fast.
Yee Haw: Life is like a sock. It starts out feeling real good, then it begins to stink.
These questions could all be relevant or not, depending on the changes made between the unaired pilot, and the regular series episodes. Nevertheless, we're asking them here, just in case they are relevant.
(Notes from co-creator Peter A. David)
This page was last updated on November 8, 1999.