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Farscape - Season 2 - Episode 19

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 6.47

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Synopsis
Stark returns with a plan to buy the lot of slaves that includes D'Argo's son, Jothee. He proposes that the crew rob a Shadow Depository - a high-security bank for ill-gotten wealth - run by the powerful, insidious alien Natira. An apparent hitch in the plan leads to D'Argo's capture, and though the heist kicks into action, its objective now includes retrieving the Luxan. Incredibly, it transpires that the currency the crew plans to steal belongs to Scorpius, who has just arrived to make a transaction! [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- The title of this episode trilogy comes from the Warren Zevon song Lawyers, Guns, and Money.
- The title of this part of the trilogy comes from the novel/film A Simple Plan. The plot of that story also featured a highly convoluted plan.

Remarkable Scenes
- Moya's crew rescuing Stark and Stark telling D'Argo he knows a way to save Jothee.
- Zhaan masquerading as a criminal matriarch.
- Aeryn and John seeing Scorpius arrive at the depository from the security monitors.
- Aeryn and John observing Scorpius' cooling rod ritual for the first time and deducing its purpose.
- Rygel: "The blue bitch said this would be easy!"
- John and Aeryn sabotaging one of Scorpius' cooling rods.
- Scorpius finding John.
- John to Scorpius: "What the frell did you put in my head?"
- Scorpius commanding John to save him from the defective cooling rod, using the chip in John's head to attempt to force him to comply.

My Review
A fast paced action plot with lots of great suspense and danger but very little payoff. Almost nothing of consequence happens in this episode despite all the high stakes. The two most significant events are the return of Stark and Scorpius zeroing in on John. But saving D'Argo's son still remains conspicuously untended to and the bounty Moya's crew acquired from the Shadow Depository turned out to be sabotaged for some reason. I'm particularly annoyed with this cliffhanger. If they had gotten away with the money, the episode might have been worth another point, but sabotaged money that transforms into deadly spiders just isn't a very interesting plot point.

Stark's return is certainly a welcome one. If they're going to plant seeds like they did in The Ugly Truth about how Stark's probably maybe not really dead, they should at least follow through with that wishy washiness and bring him back. Fortunately, they did exactly that and wasted no time doing so. I'd have been irritated if they dragged it out, but they didn't. So good job there I guess. What's especially notable though is Stark's behavior post-resurrection seems even more erratic than pre-resurrection, much to my amusement. Watching his convoluted plan slowly unfurl was lots of fun and the fact that his crazy plan wasn't so crazy after all adds a lot of credibility to the character, as D'Argo made note of.

The centerpiece of the story though is John's spazzy behavior as a consequence of John's neural implant being in close proximity to the real Scorpius. I loved how John had no reservations about assassinating Scorpius, but it was obvious that the chip in his head was preventing him from directly attempting to do so. The scene where Scorpius commands John to save his life is one of the most powerful scenes in the series so far. It's delightful that John was able to overcome Scorpius' control, but not completely. John was unable to will himself to kill Scorpius when he got away and what's more leaving the cooling rod within Scorpius' reach was clearly the wishes of the chip in John's head.

Overall the first part of this multi-part episode is off to a good start, cliffhanger notwithstanding. Hopefully the next installment ratchets up the intensity and relevance even more.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-07 at 1:55am:
    By far my favorite of the Liars, Guns and Money trilogy; "With Friends Like these..." suffered a bit from middle-of-the-trilogy syndrome, and there were several little things from "Plan B" that annoyed me. I also have an aversion to Jothee, somewhat...

    This one was class all the way through, though, to borrow a British expression.

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