Farscape - Season 1 - Episode 05
Farscape - 1x05 - Back and Back and Back to the Future - Originally Aired: 1999-4-2
While evacuating survivors of a disintegrating Space Cruiser, Crichton is exposed to a mysterious force field that causes him to jolt randomly back and forth through time and see possible futures. One of the survivors, the seductive Matala, entrances D'Argo, but harbors a more insidious purpose. As Crichton uncovers Matala's plan, his visions of the future become more and more disastrous; no matter what he does, he repeatedly perceives his actions resulting in Moya's destruction. [DVD]
3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- No significant exposition, events, or consequences. And a lame episode on top of that. The stuff about D'Argo's "true crime" is brought up again later; it's not necessary to watch this episode in order to follow that arc later.
- The Ilonics are blood allies to the Luxans.
- D'Argo's been away from the Luxans for 8 cycles.
- 3 cycles ago a war broke out between the Scorvians and the Luxans/Ilonics. The Scorvians were the aggressors.
- Rygel's been aboard Moya longer than anyone else besides Pilot.
- This episode establishes that D'Argo has been hiding his true crime. Only John knows this.
- John discussing his flashes of Matala with D'Argo.
- John discovering that he's seeing future events.
- John discussing his future flashes with Zhaan, speculating that they might just be him going crazy.
- Matala pitting D'Argo against Crichton in a future flash.
- Aeryn revealing that Matala is a Scorvian.
- John confronting Matala in a future flash and Moya subsequently imploding.
- John telling Aeryn and Zhaan all the things that won't work.
- John confronting D'Argo about his true crime.
- Matala imploding.
This slow paced episode has very little to offer except some interesting character development concerning D'Argo. Apparently his "true crime" is something he's even more ashamed of than his previously stated crime of murdering a superior officer. The Ilonics as allies to the Luxans along with their mutual war with the Scorvians adds some interesting texture to the geopolitical status of this part of the universe, but instead of showing us the war itself, all we get is this rather silly Scorvian spy plot.
The idea to develop a weapon out of a quantum singularity is an interesting one, but given far too little of the plot's time. A better story would have given us not only more focus on the politics between the Luxans, Ilonics, and Scorvians, but also the motivation for and implications of developing a black hole weapon. Instead it's merely the episode's MacGuffin, serving as a plot device to do the quirky time jumps John was experiencing and as a way to create some generic conflict.
Overall this is Farscape's weakest offering so far. Between its almost total lack of relevance and the generally boring plot, this one's a real dud.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Ben on 2010-02-08 at 4:54pm:
Always considered this one of the best of the early episodes. It's a pity we don't see the Scorvians or the Ilonics again, but I always thought the time travel here was interesting and well-stylized. And John deliberately smashing the mask is such a great moment - it's a perfect insight into his frustration and a great example of the constant defiance of his lost/confused/isolated status that makes him such a great character.