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Farscape - Season 2 - Episode 11

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 6.06

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Synopsis
The crew travels to a planet under the rule of a benevolent monarchy. The Queen-to-be, Princess Katralla, has had her DNA altered by agents working for her avaricious brother, Prince Clavor. As such, she cannot find a compatible partner - one of the requirements of becoming monarch. By pure chance, it turns out that Crichton is a compatible partner, and he is encouraged on all sides to marry. Crichton thinks the proposal ludicrous, and Aeryn keeps quiet on the matter, refusing to reveal her hurt feelings. But when Empress Novia threatens to hand Crichton over to Scorpius should he leave Katralla standing at the altar, Crichton consents to the marriage. [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 that Scorpius' father was Scarran and his mother was Sebacean.
- Scarrans have superior strength than that of Sebaceans and possess a remarkable paralyzing heat emitting ability that seems to allow them to invade their victims' minds.
- Ro-NA was played by Ben Browder's wife, Francesca Buller.

Remarkable Scenes
- John walking in on D'Argo and Chiana having sex.
- John being coerced into marrying the princess.
- Scorpius confronting D'Argo.
- Scorpius giving John a big hug.
- The empress forcing John to choose between her daughter and Scorpius.
- John walking in on Chiana and D'Argo having sex to tell them that the royalty's planning to turn him and his new wife into statues for 80 cycles.
- John being assaulted by the rival prince's thugs.

My Review
Moya quite literally stumbles into relevance in this episode, her aimless wandering finally delivering the crew into non-filler plot advancement which has been sorely lacking in the season thus far. Unfortunately, the execution leaves much to be desired.

It's nice to finally see a full-blooded Scarran and his capabilities, as well as see the romantic relationships between the crew clarified. We now know for sure that D'Argo and Chiana are dating each other and that John and Aeryn would like to but can't sort out their feelings.

However, the relationship exposition isn't entirely new information. Most of this info was slowly disseminated over previous episodes. Astute fans would have already drawn these conclusions. What is new in this episode is the plot dealing directly with these relationships.

But the plot focusing so much on these relationships is part of the reason this episode doesn't work very well. Chiana and D'Argo are amusing comic relief, but John and Aeryn are just annoying. Frankly, Aeryn's behavior during this whole episode is highly irrational; since she's doing it to herself, I have little sympathy for her sadness.

But that's just the beginning of this episode's remarkable lack of focus. What I found even more striking was Zhaan's and Moya's role in this episode and especially Scorpius' role, or in both cases I should say lack thereof.

I'd like to think Scorpius just hanging out on the sidelines like this, waiting for things to happen is part of his clever scheming, but instead it comes off more like he was backed into a corner by the local royalty and has no choice but to play by the rules. That doesn't sound very Scorpius at all to me.

As for Moya and Zhaan, the broader implications of Moya's wandering into the (alleged) leviathan "builders" domain remain to be seen. Overall the episode is a disappointment. I don't care about the breakaway Sebacean colony and I'd prefer these long term story arcs to be handled with better focus to enhance the dramatic effect. Aimless wandering makes for a boring drama.

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