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Farscape - Season 3 - Episode 01

Farscape - 3x01 - Season of Death - Originally Aired: 2001-3-16

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.85

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Synopsis
Although Scorpius's neural chip has finally been removed, Crichton feels he has no reason to live - Aeryn is dead, his power of speech is gone, and the clone of Scorpius's personality inexplicably remains in Crichton's mind. What's more, the crew of Moya discovers that they have more than just Crichton and Scorpius to deal with. Lurking somewhere in the Medical Facility is a murderous Scarran. [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- The opening credits of this episode were revised for the first time since Chiana was added to the main cast and were revised much more significantly this time. Crais, Scorpius, and Stark were all added to the main cast and a brand new opening monologue for John was recorded. Also, the action shots montage is completely different.
- Starting with this episode the name of the episode is shown just after the opening credits.

Remarkable Scenes
- John discovering that he still has Harvey in his head even though the chip is gone. But Harvey doesn't want to be there, so he's decided that John must die!
- John: "You should be gone! How come you're not?" Harvey: "I don't know, but this, this is intolerable for both of us! End it John! Free us from one another! Scorpius has beaten you, Aeryn Sun is dead, your power of speech is gone! The only one you'll ever talk to again is me! Is that how you want to live? End it John..."
- Scorpius puppeting Grunchlk.
- Zhaan trying to euthanize John.
- Stark killing one of the donors.
- D'Argo to John: "Do not make me tongue you!"
- John telling Harvey what for now that he realizes he can control him.
- Scorpius forcing Grunchlk to bite off one of his fingers.
- The Scarran going after John and D'Argo.
- Zhaan bringing back Aeryn.
- Aeryn saving John and D'Argo.
- Talyn getting into a space battle with Scorpius' forces.
- Zhaan revealing that she's dying.

My Review
A great story that serves as a good wrap up for the previous cliffhangers while delivering more good drama. As expected, Aeryn was saved and John's speech was restored. What it cost to save Aeryn though was an interesting and unexpected twist. Will they kill off Zhaan? Maybe, maybe not, but for once the writing has placed a character in danger of dying without it seeming insincere. Ending the episode on Zhaan revealing that she's dying was a strong choice. Even if Moya visits some mystic Delvian healing planet next week, at least this one ended on a strong note.

Similarly, they finally handled the fake death of Scorpius properly. I rolled my eyes the moment Talyn shot down Scorpius' marauder. Luckily, a minute later it was revealed to the audience that it was all a ruse to fake out our heroes to make them think Scorpius is dead so John and company wouldn't hunt him down. Indeed, it's a delightful irony and a lovely role reversal right down to parallels to previous episodes. In Mind the Baby, Scorpius hunted down Crais in his command carrier. In this episode, Crais hunted down Scorpius with Talyn.

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of this episode signaling the end of Harvey. I'd love to see Harvey kicking around in John's head some more. But I suppose with Harvey controlling John, then John wouldn't really be John. It's just sad because the plot seems to have rearranged itself so that we'll see less Scorpius, just like season two's long stretch of episodes without Scorpius. This is especially curious now that they've made him a main character. Maybe we'll see isolated Scorpius plots now separated from Moya. It might be fun to see what Scorpius' command carrier does when it's not hunting down Moya.

Another theme for the season appears to be the illicit relationship between Jothee and Chiana. It ain't gonna be pretty when D'Argo finds out about that. Finally, I'm not sure what to make of Talyn and Crais either. They offered Aeryn a chance to spend time guiding and molding Talyn, but everyone seems to have forgotten about that. Given that Zhaan's dying, I can understand why Aeryn might be distracted, but why isn't Crais bringing the issue back to the forefront?

Overall this episode does a fine job of setting the stage for season three, but it had to wade through some crusty exposition and cleanup to do it. If the last four episodes were stronger stories with fewer weaknesses, season three could have opened with a bigger bang, but what we got was still of course quite spectacular.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-13 at 3:26am:
    This was the best season premiere yet, in my opinion. Many small details and well-played scenes contributed to a satisfying whole.

    The music throughout seemed to be above average for Farscape, the "can I get a hell-yeah" scene was hilarious, and Crais got a great moment when he gives his overblown order to fire on Scorpius' ship.

    And the new title sequence is great. "If I open the door (are you ready?)..."
  • From zirtoc on 2013-08-19 at 11:33pm:
    My favorite Farscape episode, bar none. Can I get a hell yeah!
  • From Kethinov on 2013-08-20 at 2:55pm:
    Hell yeah!

    I love your enthusiasm. While it's not my favorite episode, it's definitely a great one!

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