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Second Foundation
Review By Arsenal, Media by Stu

Episode #9 - Second Foundation
Original Airdate April 25th 1998

The Silver Surfer and Nova work together to find what they think is Zenn-La, and end up on the Skrull homeworld instead.

Written By: Larry Brody, Michael Steven Gregory
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahchi

Review: I’ve complained a few times that this episode “tells” too much and does not “show” often enough.

There is a wonderful moment at the beginning of this episode, where Nova is silently enjoying her power cosmic. (Why not? Who wouldn’t enjoy the ability to fly through space unaided.) She shoots a winsome smile at the Surfer and he reciprocates. The implication is clear: Surfer is happy to have the playful friend. It’s a cute scene, and I love that it is not spoiled by words.

Nova and Surfer have good chemistry. Their interplay is the strongest aspect of this episode. Neither character is perfect. Nova sometimes overacts and Surfer still talks too much, but this series was never better when these two shared screen time.

Nova’s presence softens Surfer and gives him someone to talk to, so he doesn’t always have to monologue. Also, she gets a couple solid punch lines.

The best one in “Second Foundation”: “I don’t make mistakes,” she says to Silver Surfer as they approach the Skrull nursery world. “Well… there was that nose piercing incident.”

When I heard that, I chuckled out line for the first time in eight episodes.

The plot in this episode is less engaging than the innocuous quipping. Some Skrull politicians plan a coup. The Skrull (like the Kree in this series) come off as anonymous aliens and don’t grab my attention.

That having been said, this episode is still one of the show’s stronger offerings. The difference between “Silver Surfer” with and without Nova is huge. It’s not that she’s a show-stealing character, but the interaction she draws out of Surfer is fun; and “fun” is definitely something that was lacking from earlier episodes.