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Farscape - Season 1 - Episode 21

Farscape - 1x21 - Bone To Be Wild - Originally Aired: 2000-1-21

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.12

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Synopsis
Still on the run from Crais, Moya responds to a distress call and lands on a highly vegetated asteroid. The crew saves a helpless alien, M'Lee, from a formidable monster, Br'Nee, and in the struggle their transportation is disabled. Stranded for the moment, the crew discovers that Br'Nee was in fact part of a research team that was annihilated by the 'bone eater' M'Lee. When Zhaan then disappears, it seems there are even darker truths to be revealed. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Zhaan's body temperature self regulates under most conditions which causes her to be unaffected by profound cold temperatures.
- The opening credits of this episode were altered to add Chiana to the list of main characters.
- Zhaan is flora, not fauna. She has cartilaginous fibers instead of bone.
- Zhaan has a natural camouflage ability, though perhaps only when around other plants.
- Scorpius is physically stronger than Sebaceans.
- M'Lee was played by Ben Browder's wife, Francesca Buller.

Remarkable Scenes
- D'Argo and John accidentally shooting up the transport pod flushing out the monster, trapping them on the asteroid.
- Aeryn boarding Moya's baby.
- Zhaan revealing that she evolved from flora, not fauna. John: "Ah... that's why you like the light so much. Photosynthesis."
- John almost being eaten by M'Lee.
- Crais: "You've gone too far, Scorpius. You've directly questioned my command." Scorpius: "Your command begs question."
- M'Lee asking John to take her off the asteroid so she won't starve.
- Crais attacking Scorpius.
- D'Argo offering the Peacekeeper vessel to M'Lee.
- John getting Zhaan back from Br'Nee, killing him in the process.
- John feeding Br'Nee to M'Lee. John: "Bon(e) appetit."
- M'Lee working her way aboard the command carrier.

My Review
"Bone To Be Wild" is not as compelling a story as the previous two episodes but still manages come off as a fairly strong piece. I was contemptuous of the whole "distress call targeted at Moya" plot from its very inception and it indeed wasn't a very noteworthy story for much of the episode. We've already seen enough episodes where a monster attacks our heroes. However, M'Lee and Br'Nee both redeemed themselves by being slowly revealed as nuanced and interesting characters. They both took their turns as monsters, then we learn that they're in fact both sentient and complex life forms.

M'Lee was a particularly pleasant surprise. The notion of a sentient life form that can only dine on bones trapped in a place where people are her only source of food is terrifying both for us and for her. I was pleased that the plot humanized her by making her willing to try and serve the greater good. She did indeed control her hunger on numerous occasions so that she and her would-be meals could figure out a solution that would better benefit both of them. I was less interested in Br'Nee, but I did at least enjoy the parallelism with regards to how he exploited M'Lee for his own personal gain as well as attempting to repeat the same sin with Zhaan.

Even though M'Lee and Br'Nee turned out not to be anywhere near as boring as I had expected, the real meat of the story is with Aeryn's bonding with Moya's baby and with Crais' conflict with Scorpius. I found it fascinating that after all Scorpius was able to subject Crais to, that ultimately Crais was able to retain command of his carrier and that Scorpius had to spend much of the episode slowly undermining Crais' command rather than just take it from him instantly by revealing Crais' history of dereliction of duty to the crew. It was clear that Scorpius didn't immediately carry much weight aboard the command carrier and had to slowly earn his credibility.

As for Aeryn, her Peacekeeper past and her experiences in DNA Mad Scientist converge in a fantastic way making her the perfect candidate to establish a dialog between Moya and her new baby. All the scenes aboard the new hybrid Leviathan were fascinating and I can't wait to see more of the ship. I'm also especially curious about exactly what Peacekeeper project ultimately led to this hybrid's conception. As John said in the previous episode, I'd very much like to know "who the daddy is." We know it's the Peacekeepers, but who? Crais, since Moya was in his fleet? Or someone else?

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2015-02-24 at 8:40am:
    The scenes with Crichton running around in the woods chased by a man in a monster suit - that reminded me of the Space:1999 episode "Rules of Luton"
  • From Hugo on 2015-02-24 at 9:11am:
    Where did Stark go... ?

    The trope twisting was Whedon-esque!

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