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Farscape - Season 2 - Episode 22

Farscape - 2x22 - Die Me, Dichotomy - Originally Aired: 2001-1-26

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.92

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Synopsis
The crew heads to the icy home of a famous surgeon, the Diagnosan Tocot, hoping he will be able to remove the neural chip from Crichton's brain. However, not willing to give up so easily, the Scorpius Clone takes over Crichton's mind, and a mind-controlled Crichton escapes from Moya. Aeryn takes chase in her Prowler, but a critical mistake plummets her, helpless, into a frozen lake. Crichton finally submits to Tocot for the surgery, but even as he lies on the operating table, it turns out that Scorpius himself has been one step ahead of them all... [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- Hugh Keays-Byrne, who plays Grunchlk in this episode, originally auditioned to play D'Argo.
- The Diagnosan featured in this episode is the same one that installed Scorpius' cooling system.
- The dog montage when the Diagnosan was probing John's memory was actually a collection of photos of dogs owned by the various people involved with the production of Farscape.

Remarkable Scenes
- John in Socrpius' makeup.
- D'Argo discovering that Jothee mutilated himself because he hated being part Luxan.
- Jothee trying to tongue whip John, but getting his ass kicked instead, then D'Argo tongue whipping John shortly thereafter, catching him off guard.
- Jothee and Chiana discussing D'Argo's dreams about farm life and family.
- Chiana to Pilot: "You're high, okay?" Pilot: "I am no higher than I've ever been. My position is fixed."
- Pilot revealing to Chiana that D'Argo intends to propose to her.
- John, controlled by Harvey, sharing unity with Zhaan.
- John escaping in his module, signaling Scorpius.
- Aeryn chasing John's module with her prowler, trying to shoot it down.
- John, controlled by Harvey, puncturing Aeryn's prowler with the landing gear.
- Aeryn ejecting from her prowler as it crashes into the ice.
- Aeryn crashing into the frozen lake.
- Scorpius arriving at the ice planet and assaulting the Diagnosan just as it had removed the chip in John's head but before it restored his speech.

My Review
Another stellar episode just shy of being worthy of a perfect score. Repeating the same mistake as the previous episode, we all know Aeryn is not really dead, so why the big, dramatic funeral? The story plants the seeds of her resurrection quite clearly. The Diagnosan regularly preserves people at the moment of their death, keeping them alive in stasis. Clearly, unbeknownst to anyone in the story, the Diagnosan is (was?) planning to add Aeryn to its collection.

Once again, the audience isn't being clued into this hidden motive because the writers are trying to fool us, playing up Aeryn's alleged death with an overwrought funeral. But audiences are not fooled and even if we were, that's not how you write good drama. On a related note, were we supposed to act surprised that Scorpius was still alive? Nobody in this episode even acted like he was dead and nobody was surprised when he returned. It's as if the writers gave up on that ruse last episode.

The next most annoying detail of the episode is the Diagnosan itself. Scorpius said, "What irony! Sensitivity to heal anything but oneself." He's right, but the irony is pretty forced. It's like the planet full of lawyers. A good satire is nice, but it's hard to suspend disbelief that there is an entire species out there dedicated to a single craft, like healing or lawyering. Once again, Farscape delivers us another bad science fiction cliche.

That said, the season two finale delivers a lot of drama and intrigue. The icy dogfight between Aeryn and John controlled by Harvey was incredibly thrilling. And the little details tantalize as well. There is dialog suggesting that humans, Sebaceans, and perhaps other aliens are genetically closely related somehow and there's also a sequence of lovely scenes between Chiana and Jothee. Poor D'Argo. His girlfriend is about to become his daughter in law.

And finally, you can't help but feel for John. Aeryn's death may be a poorly executed sleight of hand, but John being robbed of his girl, his speech, and much of his memory is a terrible price to pay for getting that chip in his head removed. Like Aeryn's life, I'm sure John's speech will be restored, but I doubt this is the last we'll see of Scorpius.

It would be fun to see some sort of role reversal. Imagine Scorpius developing some kind of wormhole technology using John's recovered memories and then John hunting Scorpius both for a way home and for vengeance. But whatever does ensue, this episode definitely leaves me on the edge of my seat for more Farscape. This was an effective season finale and the season itself continued to deliver a delightfully dark drama.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-13 at 1:11pm:
    Seasons 1 and 2 ended up with the same number of points awarded and average rating... That's pretty remarkable.
  • From Kethinov on 2010-06-13 at 7:22pm:
    I was pretty surprised to see that as well after finishing the reviews. Certainly wasn't intended to work out that way. Especially seeing as how this season didn't earn any perfect scores on any episodes; that honor is still reserved solely for Nerve up to this point.

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