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Farscape - Season 2 - Episode 15

Farscape - 2x15 - Won't Get Fooled Again - Originally Aired: 2000-8-18

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.04

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Synopsis
Crichton finds himself back on Earth, apparently safely returned from his failed Farscape mission. Immediately suspicious, Crichton then starts seeing the crew of Moya one by one in various earthbound guises - Aeryn as a doctor, Zhaan as a psychiatrist, even Rygel as an executive. Eventually, Scorpius too appears, but unlike the others, he claims to know what is really going on. He tells John that this new earth is a hallucination created by a Scarran agent, and that in reality, John is a captive. The Scarrans know that Scorpius is interested in John, and through this freakish interrogation technique, they intend to find out why - at the expense of Crichton's sanity. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Contains essential exposition about hallucination Scorpius.

Problems
- The road signs were on the wrong side of the road in the scene just before John head on collides with the bug truck. (This is due to the show being filmed in Australia despite the episode being set in Florida.)

Factoids
- Scarrans naturally emit heat at higher levels than most humanoid species. So much so that standing near one would make humans sweat.
- John's nickname for hallucination Scorpius "Harvey" is a reference to the 1950 film Harvey. In the film the protagonist sees a giant invisible rabbit which only he can see named Harvey.

Remarkable Scenes
- John waking up in a hospital with his father.
- Aeryn as a human nurse.
- John checking places he's never been to try and dispel the Earth fantasy again, falsely assuming it's a repeat of events from A Human Reaction.
- Zhaan as a psychologist.
- D'Argo the hotshot astronaut.
- Scorpius and Pilot playing in the bar band.
- John observing a second Scorpius at the bar.
- Rygel the IASA executive.
- John: "The guy is a 2 foot green slug on a golf cart!" John's dad: "What does the man's disability have to do with anything?"
- John tossing executive Rygel off a ledge.
- Chiana the astronaut groupie.
- John head on colliding with a big truck and coming out of it unscathed.
- John reaching out to the wrong Scorpius.
- Crais the cop.
- Crais, while inexplicably carrying a dog named Toto, fining John $29.40 for charges of assault on a police officer, theft of police property, illegal possession of a firearm, and 5 counts of attempted murder.
- Scorpius revealing to John that the illusion is induced by a Scarran interrogation technique.
- Scorpius revealing that he's an implant left by the real Scorpius designed to slowly unravel access to the wormhole knowledge left in John's brain.
- John nicknaming the Scorpius in his head Harvey.
- Dominatrix Rygel, cross-dressing Crais, and gay D'Argo.
- John briefly dying, then reviving, and killing the Scarran by overloading his pistol and shoving it into the Scarran's mouth causing it to blow off the Scarran's head.
- Harvey revealing he stopped John's brain function for a few moments to divert the Scarran in order to save John's life.

My Review
Introducing: Harvey. He's both John's protector and tormentor. Poor John was captured by the Scarrans off screen just prior to this episode and was sure to be done in. But the enemy of John's enemy turned out to be his friend. Scorpius implanted Harvey into John's head during the events of either Nerve or The Hidden Memory to protect John's life at all costs. If John were to die, everything Scorpius is after would die with him. Thus, while Harvey will stop at nothing to keep John alive, he'll also stop at nothing to unravel John's brain to get at that wormhole knowledge. A delightful impasse.

Structurally and dramatically, this episode is everything the previous episode should have been. What little exposition we got out of the last episode explaining hallucination Scorpius was reiterated here and then some. And the complete answer we got is, as I've said, delightful. There are all sorts of fascinating possibilities. It's clear Harvey can exert some amounts of control over John. He can affect his physiology (even stop his brain!), he can prevent John from killing Scorpius, and he may even be able to prevent John from revealing the full extent of what Scorpius' neural clone really is to his shipmates.

Whatever the capabilities of the neural clone are, it's sure to play a big role in John's increasingly unstable behavior. Simply being stranded away from Earth and on the run was making John crazy enough, but to have his pursuer literally inside his mind messing with him adds a lovely new layer of danger to the story. John's being attacked on two fronts now. Not just in space, but from within as well. In short, this episode manages to be successful at not just telling a great, fun story by itself, but also setting up the rest of the season for more great storytelling. Well done.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rob UK on 2015-01-24 at 2:42am:
    Bondage Rygel makes me burst out laughing everytime i see him (currently on my 4th run through the show from start to finish), the only time i've loved Rygel more is the episode where they are all back on Earth at Halloween (S04E12 Kansas) and he gets wasted on all the trick or treat candy he stole from the children and asks John if this dren is legal high as a kite on sugar.

    Great episode "This is for fluffy 'whip' this is for buckwheat 'whip', whatever that is"

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