The Human Division Listen-A-Long, Episode 3: We Only Need the Heads

The Human Division: Episode 3: “We Only Need the Heads,” by John Scalzi, read by William DufrisLength: 1 hour, six minutes

Hello, and welcome back to our latest Listen-A-Long for the Human Division. Be warned, as this is a discussion post, so spoilers ensue. Okay, let’s get moving.

Recap!

We kick off with Hart being summoned by Abumwe to watch as the Clarke is being dismantled both literally and figuratively. Abumwe’s diplomatic team is being split up, and she’s left with her least favorite diplomat: Hart. Poor Hart. He puts up with a lot of shit. She explains that they’re going into diplomatic negotiations with Bula over their uncolonized planet Wantji. Only problem is, a wildcat colony has taken up residence there, and while Abumwe and Hart are negotiating, Harry Wilson and the CDF will attempt to remove the colony, or traces of it’s existence.

Unfortunately, everyone in the colony (New Seattle, apparently, which was where last week’s entire episode was set – looks like they didn’t find the cargo) appears to be dead. One of the CDF Redshirts (Jefferson) pukes at what they find. The colonists appear to have been eaten.

Worse yet, Harry realizes that two of the dead people are CDF marines themselves, undercover. Harry has their heads (thus the title, kind of) taken back up to the ship to be scanned, and sure enough, they have BrainPals. Stupid CDF. After some more work, Harry figures out there was very likely a third CDF spy. They’ve found his body planetside. Bad news, though – his head is missing. Before they can get everyone off the planet, Bula ships show up, weapons hot.

Abumwe and Hart pretty quickly figure out that something is off with the ambassador they’ve been meeting with. Cols. Egan and Rigney show up to explain to Abumwe that yes, the CDF had planted spies in the wildcat colony. They order Abumwe to lie to her Bula counterpart if questioned.

Well, Abumwe is definitely questioned. She lies, saying she had no knowledge of the colony or the CDF. The Bula ambassador breaks off the negotiations, and presents Hart and Abumwe with a box. A box which contains something the Bula are returning to the CDF.

Well, you don’t have to be Brad Pitt or Morgan Freeman to figure this one out – even a headless CDF marine knows what’s in the box. But instead of having Abumwe and Hart open it, Scalzi chooses to let them stare at it in abject horror.

TO BE CONTINUED!!!

My Thoughts!

Okay, I love this episode. It may be my favorite thus far. (I know we’re only three in. Still.) We’re back to our B-Team, and it’s great to watch them do what they do best. Especially when their best, at least at this point, just isn’t good enough to win the day.

Abumwe maybe moreso – we kind of hate how she keeps picking on Hart, calling him useless, etc. But I didn’t completely expect her to lie to the Bula ambassador at the end, and you could tell it cost her. Not only the negotiations, but something personal.

Harry is still smart, still figuring stuff out before most everyone else, but he’s not quite fast enough this time, and it looks like he and his new CDF compatriots will be captured.

I have to admit, I didn’t realize this wildcat colony was New Seattle at first, primarily because none of the characters from last week’s episode were found. Perhaps they’ll show up, somewhat intact, later? At least, I don’t think they were? Was one of the body’s found a medic? Is that who was recording the transcript last week?

Also what the hell is going on with that wildcat colony? Where’s Chen, and the medics? Who set them up? Why are the CDF spying on them? Is it just to gauge how the Conclave will react? We still don’t know who boarded the colony’s supply ship, or why. Part of me is wondering how innocent Col. Egan is in all this.

Narration-wise, Dufris continues to be in top form, here. No hyperventilating, no begging for water, just a little bit of vomit. Good job, Dufris! NOW JUST TELL US WHAT’S IN THE BOX! (Even though we already know!)

Those are my thoughts! What are yours?

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6 Responses to The Human Division Listen-A-Long, Episode 3: We Only Need the Heads

  1. montsamu says:

    I just don’t have much to add is why I took so long to join in this one. It’s a pretty straightforward episode, with Hart and Harry split up. I enjoyed the Abumwe-Hart banter, particularly to start the episode. And yes, you nailed it. Lying at the end definitely cost Abumwe something personal, let alone how much it FUBARed the negotiational trust on the higher stakes level.

    So. How much *does* it cost to ransom back a CDF ship, captured investigating an illegal “not 100% wildcat” colony?

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