Retro Recap: seaQuest DSV S1, E4 ‘Games’

seaQuest is in the Bering Strait near the Arctic Circle, where a lone criminal is imprisoned on ice, and the crew has been asked to evacuate the prison. No one knows who the prisoner is or why he’s been incarcerated so far from civilization, but the warden says that they’re the only two left alive. With some hesitation Ford and Hitchcock allow them aboard, and the icy criminal is placed in a safe area while the warden is given a tour of the ship by Dr. Westphalen (Stephanie Beacham). She relishes the opportunity to question him about the prisoner, who is revealed to be biochemist and war criminal Rubin Zellar (Adam Scarfe).

But in a chilling scene, the capsule housing the frozen prisoner begins to thaw, and mixed with the melted ice is blood from its deceased occupant. It doesn’t take them long to realize the warden is dead and Zellar is the one loose on the ship, currently playing chess with Dr. Westphalen.

Once he’s secured, he claims he hid a toxin inside the chest cavity of the dead warden, and now it’s somewhere on the ship. Without his help, they’ll never find it. Captain Bridger and Security Chief Crocker agree to keep him off ice if he leads them to the toxin, but he traps them next to the moon pool. Fortunately, a smart dolphin isn’t far away, and Darwin splashes the electronics, releasing them.

Lucas shares with Bridger what little he’s been able to access from the classified files on Zellar. He killed a science team led by James Westphalen–Kristen’s brother.

But the next play in the game is when Zellar demands they destroy Pearl Harbor to send a message to the UEO. Bridger and Ford have a showdown over the decision, but ultimately what the Captain says goes, and they turn the keys. The bridge tries to stop the missiles, but even Lucas can’t intervene. 

Then it’s revealed it was all a charade. They dismantled the warheads as soon as they realized Zellar was loose on the ship. At that moment, Dr. Westphalen appears with a gun, prepared to shoot Zellar in revenge for her brother. Bridger tries to talk her down, but then she produces a vial and tells Zellar he’s not the only biochemist on the ship. She throws it in his face, and he covers his eyes, screaming, only to realize it’s harmless. She only wanted him to experience fear. 

He’s put back on ice, and Bridger asks the doctor for a game of chess. She says she may never be able to play it again, but suggests poker.


The Science

Bob Ballard once again shares insight about seaQuest. He says that seaQuest is the deepest diving submarine in 2018 (in the show’s timeline), and outer compartments are flooded to protect the crew from “the tremendous pressures of the deep.” Interestingly, in 2012 (in our timeline), director James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) made a solo trip in a submarine to the deepest part of the ocean–the Mariana Trench. The nearly 7-mile depth had only been reached once before, in 1960, by a team of two explorers. Cameron was the first to make the trip solo.


Where are They Now?

John D’Aquino (supply and morale officer Ben Krieg) has appeared in multiple episodes of Cory in the House; In Sanity, Florida; JAG, and as Ulysses in Xena.

He is now a teacher/consultant and holds workshops in Burbank.