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Farscape - Season 1 - Episode 22

Farscape - 1x22 - Family Ties - Originally Aired: 2000-1-28

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.84

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Synopsis
When Rygel offers Moya's crew to Scorpius in exchange for his own freedom, it falls to D'Argo and Crichton to engineer a diversion that will allow Moya to escape. On board the Command Carrier, Rygel is witness to Scorpius supplanting Crais as Commander, and also to Crais' own crisis of faith. Crichton sees only one way for Moya to escape: he and D'Argo must carry out a spectacular suicide mission to stop Scorpius in his tracks. [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode establishes (for the first time on screen) that Scorpius is a Scarran/Sebacean "half breed" as Crais calls him.
- Many attempts have been made to create hybrid Leviathans like Talyn, but none were successful because all the mothers had control collars.

Remarkable Scenes
- Rygel fleeing Moya in a transport pod.
- Aeryn: "Remember Rygel, Moya's baby has weaponry!"
- Rygel offering the Peacekeepers Moya and her crew in exchange for his freedom.
- Rygel bringing Crais aboard Moya and Crais asking for asylum from Scorpius.
- Zhaan: "You went there to sell us out, Rygel." Rygel: "You bet your shiny blue ass I did. But I didn't. So make the most of it now."
- Crais to John: "Do you think it's no accident our species are so much alike?"
- Crais admitting that he understands that John didn't mean to kill his brother; that it was an accident.
- Crais being pronounced irrevocably contaminated by Peacekeeper high command.
- John's response to Rygel asking why he'll let Rygel have all his possessions if he dies: "You're a material kind of guy, Rygel, have some material."
- John to D'Argo in the middle of their transport pod stunt: "How you doin'?" D'Argo: "I have to pee."
- Aeryn naming the baby Leviathan Talyn, after her father.
- John and D'Argo blowing themselves into space and the transport pod crashing into Scorpius' research base, destroying it.
- Crais stealing Talyn.
- Moya Starbursting, leaving John, D'Argo, and Aeryn behind.

My Review
Family Ties is perhaps the most epic story of Farscape so far and features the boldest stunt yet from Moya's crew: the targeted destruction of Scorpius' entire research base! On top of that, both Rygel and Crais undergo some radical character development which takes both of them to fantastic new places. Rygel's turncoat move was both something that doesn't surprise me at all but at the same time shocks me. I'm glad the Peacekeepers weren't buying what he was selling, but at the same time I'm glad the writers went there with the duplicitous green little slug. As for Crais, he quasi-forgives John, but at the same time abducts Talyn. (I wonder if Crais even knows Talyn's name?) I love the gray portrayals of these too dangerously selfish characters.

John takes his heroic growth to the next and bravest level yet, as does D'Argo in their collective stunt to destroy Scorpius' research base. I loved watching the two of them bond over their mutual bravery and I especially enjoyed watching John giggle like a madman, taking an almost perverse pleasure at destroying Scorpius' work. The episode also offers valuable little tidbits too, such as confirming beyond a shadow of a doubt that at the very least Aeryn experienced John's false Earth from A Human Reaction too and that rather than a planned genetic selection, she was conceived out of her parents' love, a taboo in the Peacekeeper ranks.

But unfortunately there are too many of these tidbits which makes the episode just shy of being worthy of a perfect score. While most of Aeryn's stuff was fantastic, the episode gave us way too many warm and fuzzy character moments. Everyone's so busy telling each other how they feel and saying goodbye because they all think they're gonna die, that the pace of the episode begins to drag at times. Certainly the show has earned most of these character moments by now by painting a deep and nuanced cast of characters, but it often felt overwrought, such as when Chiana whips up everyone's favorite dishes. And what's with her coming onto John like that? On a lighter note, I wonder if Moya can grow more transport pods? ;)

Overall Family Ties is a stellar end to the season. While it's pretty clear that John, D'Argo, and Aeryn are probably not going to die here, it's at the very least possible they may end up stranded in a very miffed Scorpius' captivity. I can only imagine what means of interrogation Scorpius could cook up to extract information from Crichton in the absence of his Aurora chair.

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