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The Zeta Project episode
TheHologramMan
"The Hologram Man"
Airdate: August 10, 2002
Production Number: 26
Airdate Order: 26
Animation Services by: DR Digital Co., LTD.
Written by: Robert Goodman, Joseph Kuhr
Directed by: Rob Davies
Episode images (6)

"The Hologram Man" is the second season finale of The Zeta Project.

Plot

Zeta shows Ro a top secret NSA debriefing outpost—hidden in plain sight, with synthoids going in and out. Disguising Ro as a fellow synthoid, they sneak through the complex. Zeta explains to her that he use to report to this place after every mission, where his memories are scanned and cataloged, right until his last mission wit Brother's Day. He is very concerned over the module in his head. Knowing that it's not part of the Zeta Project, nor Brother's Day, he believes that he had a memory lapse that was unaware of and intends to compare notes in the base's databases. As they step out of the elevator disguised as government agents, across from them is Dr. Selig. Selig heads into the Sub Rosa terminal, part of the government's top secret network. Unfortunately, Zeta can't just go in and talk to him, because he lacks a valid retinal pattern for the security checkpoint. Worse, NSA agents are searching the building, forcing them to leave after Selig downloads something from a computer.

Meanwhile, at NSA HQ, Agent Rush informs Bennet that Selig was spotted. Bennet is confused, as Selig hasn't been out in the open for over a year. Rush then gets a call form Colonel Lemak, who wishes to meet Bennet at the Sub Rosa.

Zeta and Ro follow Selig to a junkyard, where he is meeting Titus Sweete, a high-ranking soldier with Brother's Day. Selig is apparently trying to back out of a job Sweete had him do, but Sweete pulls a gun on him to remind him of his commitment. Reacting, Zeta, disguised as a yard worker, leaps into action. Sweete leaves the scene while his lackeys try shooting Zeta. Zeta manages to best all of them before introducing himself to Selig. Unfortunately, they discover that this is not Selig. He was really Dr. Marcus Edmund, holographically disguised, who designed Zeta's holographic emitters.

At Edmund's apartment, he explains to the duo that Brother's Day fears that synthoids may one day overthrow the human race, so they are going to destroy the government's highest synthoid lab, the Gnosis. Ro is confused as to what they are talking about, so Zeta explains that it's the lab where he was created. Its location is completely top secret, as it is a mobile sea base. Therefore, they forced Edmund to pose as Selig and download the lab's coordinate. They also want him to pose as Selig again in case they get stopped approaching the lab. He is scared of doing it, but he can't afford to run with agents of Brother's Day being everywhere. Zeta suggests that he infiltrates their mission as him and stop on the inside; also, since the Gnosis is Selig's lab, it may be his one chance to find him. Changing into Edmund, Zeta says that if everything goes well, then Sweete would go to prison, thinking he cooperated. Just then, Sweete's henchman Curtis comes barging in to pick Edmund up. But when he sees two doctors, he pulls out a gun, demanding answers before he starts picking one, only for Ro to knock him out. She then asks Edmund for a holographic device so that she could take Curtis' place. Later, at the docks, Edmund shows Ro how to use his device. Disguised as Edmund and Curtis respectively, Zeta and Ro board the Brother's Day sub. While en route, they notice a bunch of explosives, which Zeta tries to disable.

At the Sub Rosa, Lemak checks the terminal's activity logs. He then finds out that Selig was downloading the location of his own lab and asks out loud why would Selig get what he already knows. Bennet then realizes that it may not have been Selig. Applying a holo-filter, they see Edmund as the real culprit. Lemak then calls HQ to inform them that they've been compromised.

As they approach the Gnosis, Sweete's sub is hailed by perimeter aircraft. Switching to Selig's appearance, Zeta attempts to fool the sentries into letting them pass. Unfortunately, the sentries tell "Selig" that they are on alert and his sub will have to boarded. Sweete, however, has no intention of going to jail again and accelerates the sub and tells Curtis/Ro to fire weapons. Luckily, with Zeta by her side, he manages to shoot down the attacking aircraft, though the pilots eject. Unfortunately, they are outnumbered and they would risk being destroyed if they continue resisting. Sweete considers surrendering. Unfortunately, Zeta fears that if the government arrests them with Brother's Day, it would only serve to confirm everything Bennet believes. He and Ro hijack a minisub to make their escape. This gives Sweete the idea to plant explosives on the extra sub to trick the sentries into thinking they had been destroyed.

The planes return to the Gnosis, holographically disguised as an island. Zeta and Ro manage to get in by coming from below. They copy the isolation suits the Gnosis' staff is wearing and discover Selig's new work: synthoids with a synthetic skin laced over them to seem more human. Zeta then notices Andrea Donoso, Selig's assistant and knows if she is here, then Selig is too.

Meanwhile, Sweete's sub arrives undetected below the Gnosis. Sweete and three of his goons then sneak on board, planting explosive. At the same time, Bennet arrives in a hovercraft. He meets with a security guard to confirm if Zeta was on board Sweete's sub. He then notices Sweete's group. Immediately, security attempts pursuit. Bennet chases after Sweete himself. He manages to pin down Sweete with a door, before demanding to know where Zeta is, believing that Brother's Day reprogrammed him. Sweete stated that he doesn't use synthoids. Bennet then runs off to find out Zeta's real purpose for being here.

Zeta and Ro walk into the very lab where the former was built. Selig then walks in on them, reminiscing about the Zeta Project on the day that his newest synthoids are coming online. He then decides to tell them a little secret: the module in Zeta's head was meant to be his conscience, so that he could rethink his programming. However, he believes that the module never activated and Zeta remained a killer like the rest; he had plans if it had activated. On the side, Bennet had overheard the whole thing.

Unfortunately, Sweete manages to detonate all the explosives. The Gnosis' entire personnel then evacuates into lifepods. Andrea rushes Selig to one as well. Zeta tries calling out to his creator, trying to explain who he is but his pleas go unheard. Sweete then notices Selig and shoots down his pod just as it launches, before Bennet captures him. Shocked that his only hope of proving that he's innocent is dead, Zeta picks up Selig's lost watch before escaping the Gnosis with Ro. Unknown to both of them, a hand comes out of the sea, regenerating its synthetic flesh.

Continuity

  • The function of the mysterious module from "Wired, Part II" is explained.
  • The DNA sequences on aquatic life regeneration Selig obtained in "Quality Time" is touched upon.
  • Bennett has still been looking for Selig even after being warned off in "Absolute Zero", following attempts in "Wired" and "Quality Time".
  • Final appearance of Agent Bennet.

Background information

Production notes

  • The episode's cliffhanger at the end, in which Dr. Selig is apparently killed, was mandated by Warner Bros.. Since the series was not renewed for a third season, it is unknown how this plot element would be played out.[1]
  • The synthoid hand at the end is Andrea Donoso's; she is a synthoid assigned to protecting Dr. Selig. This has been confirmed by producer Robert Goodman[2] and writer Joseph Kuhr.[3]

Production inconsistencies

  • Selig doesn't recognise the Zee disguise, even though they met in "Absolute Zero".
  • Zeta supposedly disabled the bombs, but Titus Sweete was still able to set them off.

Trivia

  • There are six figures shown in the Project Zeta photo, one of them a woman. The show only had time to introduce five men from it.

Cast

Actor Role
Diedrich Bader Zeta / Zee
Julie Nathanson Rosalie "Ro" Rowan
Kurtwood Smith Agent James Bennet
Michael Dorn Colonel Lemak
Dominique Jennings Agent Rush
Hal Linden Dr. Selig
Michael McKean Dr. Edmund
Robert Costanzo Titus Sweete
Grey DeLisle Andrea Donoso
Gregg Berger Agent
Chad Einbinder Squad Leader
Rodger Bumpass Sub Captain
Kevin Michael Richardson Curtis

Quotes


Previously produced episode:
"The River Rising"
Episodes of
The Zeta Project
Next produced episode:
None
Previously aired episode:
"The River Rising"
Next aired episode:
"The Wrong Morph"

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