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Farscape - Season 1 - Episode 11

Farscape - 1x11 - Till The Blood Runs Clear - Originally Aired: 1999-7-9

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.72

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Synopsis
After a close encounter with an unstable wormhole, Crichton and Aeryn take the Farscape Module down to the desert-locked Dam-Ba-Da Depot for repairs. They leave it in the hands of the money-grubbing mechanic Furlow. However, two wolf-like Blood Trackers, Rorf and Rorg, are hunting the crew, and when they capture D'Argo, Crichton actually takes part in torturing the Luxan to maintain anonymity. Meanwhile, Aeryn considers a secret offer from Crais: a tempting proposition to sell out the crew in exchange for her old Peacekeeper life back. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Essential plot advancement concerning wormholes and the Crais chase. Also, Zhaan's photogasms and Crichton's enhanced module are relevant again later. We will also see Furlow again later in the series.

Problems
- Right after John says "D'Argo, cover me!" and he stops leaning on the wall, you can see that the wall was hollow on the inside rather than the solid rock it's supposed to appear as because Ben Browder's weight was depressing it inward slightly.

Factoids
- This episode establishes that reproducing the wormhole phenomenon is within Crichton's means and wasn't just some completely crazy fluke in the premiere.

Remarkable Scenes
- John flying his module around, enhanced by technology on Moya.
- John encountering another wormhole by doing the slingshot thing around a planet during stellar flare activity.
- Zhaan's photogasming.
- Crais' bounty beacon.
- Crichton playing alpha male.
- Crichton referring to himself as Butch and Aeryn as Sundance.
- Alien bounty hunter: "I am Rorf." Crichton: "Worf?" Rorf: "Rorf!"
- Aeryn unlocking Crais' offer of amnesty from the beacon.
- Furlow and Crichton picking at each other for wormhole knowledge.
- Blinded Aeryn.
- D'Argo attacking Crichton.
- Crichton's bluffing against Rorf finally failing.
- Aeryn and Furlow reprogramming Crais' message.
- John giving up his wormhole data as payment to Furlow.

My Review
This episode is sort of a mosaic of different ongoing plots. Advancement on all of them is appreciated but there's also a bit too much going on at once which renders the story slightly out of focus. The most obvious highlight is the return of wormholes. We now know with more study and luck, John may be able to create wormholes and possibly find his way home. He's confirmed that stellar flares and doing his slingshot maneuver in his module can create new wormholes, but this finding is a long way from being able to create a stable and directed wormhole.

It was interesting that John was so tantalized by his accidental discovery that he was willing to fly into the wormhole blind. He was lucky to survive the last trip through a wormhole and of course the odds that this new random one he created would take him anywhere near Earth were astronomically low, but something in him wanted to keep the faith that it might take him home anyway, even though it almost certainly wouldn't.

Paralleling this tragedy for John was Aeryn confronting Crais' apparently insincere offer of amnesty. She knew all along it was insincere, but like John wanting to believe a random wormhole could lead to Earth, Aeryn wanted to believe Crais was offering a sincere amnesty. Both of them just wanted to hold onto their hope. Despite this, the pragmatic sides of them are still clearly invested in their present situation. Aeryn assists in repairing John's module and John forms the beginnings of a real friendship with D'Argo.

The parallelism between John feigning alpha male with the bounty hunter aliens and John confronting D'Argo about his need to always be an alpha male was a nice touch. The bounty hunters contributed little else to the story though except some manufactured danger and an excuse to do gun fights and have action scenes. Maybe these scenes would have been more enjoyable if the scoring wasn't in the heavy metal style like Throne for a Loss.

In any case, the real weakness of the story is pairing the Crais chase bounty hunt with the wormhole story in the first place. A more enjoyable episode would have been either all chase, or all wormholes. I suspect I would have enjoyed a story focused solely on John haggling with Furlow for the entire episode. I would like to have seen more of her lust for wormholes fleshed out; perhaps even some kind of collaboration between them. Overall though this is a solid story.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DK on 2012-07-30 at 12:27pm:
    Not that it made much sense but I liked the exposition of Zan's  pau levels.  Wish the writers had the imagination to put even more structure to the level attainment and the abilities they confer especially since the levels seem so central to the idea of being a pau.
  • From Hugo on 2014-12-27 at 4:23pm:
    Not a bad episode. I liked the design of the station in the desert, looked very cool.

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