Once again, Minkowski really needs to actually listen to Hera first time instead of dismissing her. Hera always knows what’s up. This time that being that Doug is alive and back on the Hephaestus, even though she can’t actually quite believe in herself. Doug is so small and broken after his time away, he just seems so worldly weary, like he can’t be bothered with anything any more. But he’s glad to be alive and back with his crew.
There are going to be a lot of changes aboard the station. Starting with the fact there are three new crew members – the people who rescued Doug at the end of Mayday – and Kepler, Jacobi and Maxwell seem to be in it for the long haul. I definitely don’t trust them but at the same time I can’t help but like these new additions to the crew. Even though Kepler has taken command away from Minkowski. When this is announced, it’s the first time in the episode we see signs of the real Doug, rising to the defense of the commander he knows would have done everything in her power to save her crew and wouldn’t ever give up on them, something no one trusts these newcomers to do. His monumental hissy fit is my favorite past of this episode. Just a massive “No screw this” even though he knows he can’t actually do anything about it.
While Kepler and Jacobi are talking with Doug, Lovelace and Minkowski (read: distracting them), Maxwell gets on board the Hephaestus and – being an AI expert – starts to work on ‘helping’ Hera. Which in some ways she does but at the same time, it’s clear by the end of the episode that not all of her modifications are good. Hera straight away accepts the change of command, not even noticing when she reverts to calling Minkowski ‘Lieutenant’ even though when Hilbert took command she called him the commander with the highest amount of malice possible for an AI to produce. The fact she’s accepted Kepler’s command without any hint of a fight is deeply concerning as to what they could do to her.
In comparison to this the rest of the crew refuse to call Minkowski anything other than Commander and this discussion takes place once they have finally been reunited and are alone together, but not before Minkowski has given Doug a bone crushing welcome home hug.
None of the crew members are happy about Kepler’s promise of a phase 2 and even longer spent about the Hephaestus. But it’s okay because Lovelace has a plan which even involves rescuing Hera! Hilbert does not approve of this plan, as it is likely to get them all killed. Looking forward to seeing how these new crew members cope with Captain “I invented being paranoid” Lovelace.