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Farscape - Season 2 - Episode 21

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.15

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Synopsis
Crichton has given himself up to Scorpius in exchange for D'Argo's son, Jothee. The rest of the crew decides to rescue him, hoping also to steal enough loot to pay off the mercenaries. Scorpius reveals to Crichton that he placed a neural chip inside Crichton's brain, a chip that contained a clone of Scorpy's personality. While searching out Crichton's wormhole knowledge, the Clone has been infecting and warping Crichton's identity. So, even as the spectacular rescue gets underway, it seems that Crichton will forever be a prisoner in his own mind. [DVD]

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

Problems
- On some issues of the DVD release there was a vertical blue line through the center of the screen during several shots while Aeryn was communicating with Crais just prior to Talyn's assault on the depository. This was fixed in subsequent releases though, including the Blu-ray release.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The mercenaries revolting and trying to take over Moya because there's no longer any money to pay them.
- Talyn and Crais responding to Moya's distress call, to heal her.
- Rygel carrying around Durka's decapitated head.
- Natira taking Rorf's eye.
- The assault on the Shadow Depository.
- The Sheyang blowing himself up to destroy the generator because he couldn't spit fire normally.
- Talyn destroying the Shadow Depository.
- Moya's crew finally scoring riches in the process of rescuing John.

My Review
The epic rescue of John is a densely packed action show and a great deal of fun. We get to see Talyn strut his stuff, only Rorf and the Sheyang die in the process, nobody else is captured, and the crew makes off with riches! I have to agree with Rygel for once. For a Farscape plan, that's quite a successful haul.

A particular highlight of the story for me was the subtle character development of Jothee. He doesn't have many scenes, but the ones he has count. He starts off indignant, refusing to help rescue John. Then he realizes that he's not comfortable with his cowardice and changes his mind, volunteering to assist his father.

D'Argo though is mindful of Jothee's feelings and gives him the honor of playing a less risky role in the rescue. I liked that Jothee seemed to have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, he didn't have to risk (as much) life and limb. On the other hand, he seemed to truly desire to prove himself to his father in battle and didn't get his chance to. The ambivalence was nicely portrayed.

The centerpiece of the intrigue in this episode was of course once again John and his struggling against Harvey. John seems to have lost more control over his actions than ever before; having to be knocked out by Aeryn and carried out of Scorpius' clutches by D'Argo. John didn't even once assist in his own rescue aside from buying time by distracting Natira.

There were only two minor blemishes that prevent this episode from getting a perfect score. The first is the same complaint from before about the mercenaries. They were annoying. Of course they were far less annoying in this episode than the last one, but they were still a bad idea to begin with because as I wrote in my last review none of them are terribly interesting characters.

Thus when two of them nobly sacrificed themselves, it was hard to really feel for them. They were little more than a distraction from the interesting parts of the plot to begin with. On top of that they didn't even matter that much in the end anyway. It was Talyn that made the difference in the battle, not the mercenaries. Some of them even got in the way, like the pirates.

The second blemish on the plot was the alleged death of Scorpius. This wasn't framed well. We didn't see him die; it was only mentioned in passing. So if he did die, he got a fairly unceremonious death, unworthy of such a fantastic antagonist. If he's not really dead, then the plot's doing a fairly poor job of convincing us that he is. Either way it's a poorly executed plot point. But overall this is an awesome episode of Farscape.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-12 at 9:09pm:
    Your complaint about Scorpius' death/near-miss is just the tip of the iceberg. At the end of A Not so Simple Plan, Scorpius is left dying in a corridor; at the time of airing there was a debate about whether Scorpy was dead... now, it's reasonable to assume that Braca got to him in time and saved him. This incident is relatively no big deal.

    Now in Plan B, Scorpius is in a room with an exploding Sheyang, and then is alive is a following scene. How the FRELL did he escape? It's not explained in any way.

    ADMITTEDLY MINOR SPOILER ALERT FOR BELOW




    In the next episode, Scorpius is alive - with no explanation... again.

    The writers made him invincible. This annoyed me.

    As for this particular episode, I quite liked it even in light of my above complaint and some of the action being weirdly scattershot and bombastic (something that's often the case in Farscape gun skirmishes).

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