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Farscape - Season 2 - Episode 08

Farscape - 2x08 - Dream A Little Dream - Originally Aired: 2000-6-23

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.41

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Synopsis
While desperately searching for news of Crichton, the rest of Moya's crew find themselves on the planet Litigara - a world where lawyers comprise ninety percent of the population. Zhaan is jailed for a minor offense - a major complication given that Pilot is having difficulty stopping Moya from StarBursting away to look for Talyn. Zhaan is then unwittingly drawn further into the ugly domestic politics of Litigara when she is framed for murder. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This episode plugs minor plot holes present in 2x01 Mind the Baby.

Problems
- This episode and its original version Re: Union (available as an extra on the home video releases) are mutually exclusive because of one (admittedly minor) detail. In Re: Union, the vision of John's death was originally Rygel's dream, not Zhaan's.

Factoids
- This episode was originally called Re: Union and was going to be the season premiere. However it was decided not to use this episode as the season premiere and instead the material was reused and edited for this episode with the addition of the flashback framing device.
- There are only three differences between this episode and Re: Union. 1. The removal of the first and last scenes from Re: Union. 2. The addition of the flashback framing device so Zhaan could tell the story to John. 3. In Re: Union, the vision of John's death was originally Rygel having a nightmare, not Zhaan.
- The writer of this episode "Steven Rae" is really a pseudonym for series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon.

Remarkable Scenes
- Zhaan, regarding heart attacks: "My circulatory organ does not seize up!"
- Zhaan in the flashback correcting herself from calling John a human, deciding instead to call him a Sebacean so the people in the bar might know what she's talking about.
- Zhaan referring to Rygel as "dren-faced."
- Zhaan being framed for murder.
- Rygel's helium fart during court.
- Chiana's hyperactive behavior in court after consuming Rygel's drugs.
- Chiana and Rygel lighting the chair's leg on fire to trigger the "light of truth" and simulate the parable in the sacred texts.
- Zhaan to John: "Most of the time I have no idea what you're saying."

My Review
This episode was originally meant to be aired as the season premiere without the flashback framing device. However, after watching this episode, it's pretty easy to see why they opted to go with Mind the Baby as the premiere instead, despite the fact that it introduced some minor continuity errors that might leave you scratching your head when Chiana mentions in that episode Zhaan having been on trial along with Chiana and Rygel seeming so unusually happy to be reunited with John, Aeryn, and D'Argo. Had this episode (without the flashback framing device of course) preceded Mind the Baby, those scenes would have made sense. But it would have been a dreadfully boring season premiere.

The basic thrust of the story is to depict Zhaan's inability to assume a leadership role now that John, D'Argo, and Aeryn are unavailable. This by itself is a reasonably interesting exploration of Zhaan's character, but the plot device used to get us there is dreadful. Introducing: Litigara, the hyper-litigious planet where 90%(!) of the population is lawyers. Zhaan gets thrown in jail for jaywalking, then gets framed for murder. It's obviously supposed to be satire of a society's obsession with legal code run amok, but the portrayal is so ridiculous that it's painful to watch.

Frankly, everything about the satire is overwrought. How could a society function where 90% of the population is lawyers? Why imprison someone for jaywalking? What possible sense could it make to have lawyers suffer the same fates as their clients, even in the scenario where the attorney is arguing their case in bad faith? And finally, how the frell could the judge be so damn stupid as to be fooled by Chiana's, Rygel's, and Pilot's parlor trick with the "light of truth" simulation? And even allowing for that, why would she consider that admissible evidence? The whole damn thing is nonsense.

In spite of this though, the character moments the silly plot device affords Zhaan, Chiana, and Rygel are touching. Had they been integrated into Mind the Baby and the silly Litigara plot device been ditched, it certainly would have made for a nice season premiere. All in all, while I'm glad we got an explanation for the plot holes in the season premiere, I'm also glad this episode never ended up being used as the season premiere. That would have been even more annoying than it was as a flashback after the fact.

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