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Both Sides
Season 2, Episode 8

Episode Details

Plot Summary | Ongoing Story and Character Developments
Unanswered Questions | Memorable Lines | Glitches
Trivia, Inside Jokes and References | NotePAD

Plot Summary

The kids are arguing about who has it easiest. Davenport appears, her head swollen to enormous proportions, and turns them all into each other. Radu is now human, Harlan is Andromedan, Bova is Mercurian, Rosie is Uranusian, Suzee is an android and Thelma is humanoid.

Radu, now an Earth man, starts to take charge, and Harlan has a hard time accepting this change in status. He's also having a hard time adjusting to his Andromedan strength and hearing. Thelma, on the other hand, is thrilled to be alive and to have feelings.

Meanwhile, the crew is having trouble controlling the Christa. It won't respond to Radu's commands, and turns the engines back on after android Suzee shuts them down.

Ms. Davenport finally appears and explains that she accidentally downloaded the Christa's infocore into her brain, and has become incredibly intelligent. She used the ship's morphing and healing capabilities to transform the crew, because she heard their arguments and thought it would be an educational experience.

The Christa takes off on a direction chosen apparently at random, and the crew has no control. Harlan uses his Andromedan sense of direction to learn that they are headed straight into Spung territory. Radu can't think of a plan, and Harlan can't even hear himself think.

Harlan tries to get Ms. Davenport to change him back to a human, but she decides that the risk to him is too great.

Thelma has come to the conclusion that being alive isn't so great after all. She desperately misses being one with the ship, and Ms. Davenport is completely insensitive to her plight.

The ship is out of control, because "key operating cells" are missing. Bova and Rosie go into the protomix transfer tubes to shut the engines down at the source, but the ship perceives them as alien intruders and traps them in the tubes, where they will be be fried when the ship goes into hyperdrive. Radu can't come up with a plan to get them out. He needs Harlan to take charge, but Harlan feels incapable because he is Andromedan. Radu convinces Harlan that he is still capable of being the leader. Harlan uses his Andromedan strength and his martial arts training to get Bova and Rosie out of the tubes before they blow.

Radu realizes that the "key operating cells" that are missing are the crew, which the Christa doesn't recognize because of the transformation. Also, the realize that they're not satisfied with their transformations; they want to go back to their former selves. They go to Ms. Davenport to change them back, but she is unwilling to end the experiment.

Davenport reveals that if she gave her knowledge back to the Christa, the Christa might be able to change them back. The crew forces Davenport to give the information back, and the ship returns them to normal, except Davenport, who is still bald <grin>.

They're in Spung territory, but Harlan does some fancy flying and gets them away.

Ongoing Story and Character Developments

  • Thelma is apparently more organic than previously revealed, because she was able to be transformed into a human, and Suzee was able to be transformed into an android like Thelma without suffering any harm.
  • Thelma is "stuck" with the ship, virtually one with the Christa.
  • Andromedans have to train themselves what to listen to and what to screen out, and it takes a lot of practice and concentration.
  • Andromedans have a finely attuned sense of direction.

Memorable Lines

Bova: Wow! Harlan! You're Andromedan! And Radu! You're an Earth man! And you guys look great! I mean that! ... I'm Mercurian, aren't I?

Thelma: I want to… sing!
Radu: Please don't!

Thelma: Wow! I smell something wonderful! Is that food?
Suzee: Actually, I believe it's engine lubricant.

Bova: It looks like Commander Goddard is making pretty good progress. Well, at least he got off without being affected by the transformations.
Rosie: Yeah. He probably would have ended up hysterical with a snooty accent.

Davenport: I've found the missing link in evolution ... and invented a sandwich spread that glows in the dark.

Davenport: If I tried to change you back, I could possibly tear you apart and turn you into small bits of goo. That would be an extreme waste of material, and who'd have to clean it up? Me. Forget it.

Davenport: Thelma, I have one thing to say to you: In order to make an omlette, you have to break a few eggs.
Thelma: That's what I get for talking to an egghead.

Radu: Being human isn't enough to make you anything! Human, Andromedan, it's not what you are, it's who you are! Harlan Band is still Harlan Band! You want to be leader? That's fine! But if you're going to lead, get up and do it!


  • The klaxon sound effects aren't well timed to Harlan's reactions to the noise.
  • Harlan walks into the ComPost and ditches the earmuffs Rosie gave him, trading them in for something that looked more like a 60s transistor radio headset. Where did that come from, and why?

Trivia, Inside Jokes and References

  • The episode's title is taken from a Joni Mitchell song.
  • Davenport looks suspiciously like the character Jim from MTV's The Head (his head is big because there is an alien living inside it).
  • Harlan, when using his Andromedan sense of direction, refers to Centauri and the Narn Homeworld, both part of the Babylon 5 universe.
  • When Radu tells Rosie and Bova to be careful, Harlan accuses him of "trying to take charge because he's the human now." This an unfair accusation, because Radu said exactly the same thing to Harlan in exactly the same tone in King of the Hil when Radu was Andromedan.
  • Many of Davenport's most outrageous discoveries never made it to the screen. Peter David has mentioned the following: "I've just figured why fools fall in love, and who put the ram in the ramma lamma ding dong." And "I've just found a cure for the common cold......and also figured out why men never stop to ask for directions."

Unanswered Questions

  1. Why did the Christa head for Spung territory when it believed it was under alien control?
  2. Would Bova and Radu want to be changed back to their normal selves if not for the danger to the ship? (all the others expressed a clear opinion on this; they did not).

(Notes from co-creator Peter A. David)

  • None available at this time.

Episode Details provided by Tracey Rich.
This page was last updated on November 4, 1997.