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Farscape - Season 2 - Episode 04

Farscape - 2x04 - Crackers Don't Matter - Originally Aired: 2000-4-7

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.35

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Synopsis
The crew returns from a commerce planet with a load of crackers and a meek alien called T'raltixx, who promises he can alter Moya's electromagnetics to make her untraceable. Crichton is skeptical; it seems too good to be true. As they pass through a constellation of five pulsars, an intense paranoia affects the crew, turning them violently against each other. Crichton must fight against his own paranoid delusions to work out what T'raltixx is actually doing and how to stop him. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This is the first episode to feature Hallucination Scorpius.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode establishes that humans have poorer eyesight than Luxans, Sebaceans, Nebari, Pilot's species, Delvians, and Hynerians.

Remarkable Scenes
- Zhaan beginning to photogasm as Moya passes through the pulsars.
- T'raltixx: "Crichton, and the rest on Moya. Do you like them?" Pilot, looking as though he never considered the question before: "You know, I don't think I do like them."
- D'Argo tongue lashing Zhaan.
- Pilot, about humans: "You have no special abilities, you're not particularly smart, can hardly smell, can barely see, and you're not even vaguely physically or spiritually imposing. Is there anything you do well?" John: "Watch football."
- John: "I hate it when villains quote Shakespeare."
- Hallucination Scorpius telling John to shoot D'Argo: "Go on, John, do it, then we can go to the beach! I know a place with naked Sebacean girls and margarita shooters!"
- John shooting D'Argo and assaulting Chiana.
- Hallucination Scorpius in a Hawaiian shirt.
- John: "Nobody has margaritas with pizza!"
- Chiana: "You've got the worst eyes out of all of us. That's why your optic nerves aren't being affected." John: "I got great eyes! They're better than 20/20 and they're blue!"
- John being equipped into his ridiculous protective suit to prepare for battle with T'raltixx.
- John's ridiculous battle with T'raltixx.

My Review
You'd think an episode all about how some pulsar light makes the crew bicker more might be cliched and annoying by now, but Crackers Don't Matter has that special comedic touch which makes it a fine episode in the tradition of The Flax. The absurdist comedy makes for an incredibly entertaining story while the danger of the actual plot manages to be both compelling for the immediate danger posed by T'raltixx as well as for the overarching danger posed by Scorpius.

The inclusion of a hallucinatory Scorpius was indeed a nice touch. This adds a delightful new element to the character of Scorpius, even if it's all in John's head. The real Scorpius of course isn't prancing around in Hawaiian shirts and talking about pizza and margaritas, but the next time John sees him will be colored by this experience. In effect, the experience of this episode adds a great deal of texture to how John perceives the character.

On a related note, this episode sees an uptick in the magnitude of irrelevant references to Earth, or John Sequiturs as I prefer to call them (others call them Crichtonisms). We now have clear evidence that the more crazy John is going, the more John Sequiturs get sprinkled into his dialog and internal monologue. It seems clear by now that these references are a kind of defense mechanism from letting his experiences make him completely insane.

Finally, it's worth noting that D'Argo's sincere apology to Rygel for the force feeding is more significant than it may appear, as in DNA Mad Scientist it was established that Luxans are not prone to apologies; it's incredibly hard for them to offer them. Overall, Crackers Don't Matter is an incredibly entertaining story, even if it doesn't advance the overarching plot much at all.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-07-11 at 10:53pm:
    This isn't about the episode, but I just wanted to let the readers of this site know that Crichtonisms.com has expired as of 6.20.10 and is no longer available.

    Here's hoping it'll be renewed soon...

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