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Farscape - Season 3 - Episode 08

Farscape - 3x08 - Green Eyed Monster - Originally Aired: 2001-6-22

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 4.92

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Synopsis
When Talyn is swallowed by a giant space creature, a Budong, Crais's neural connection to Talyn malfunctions, and he asks Aeryn to accept the 'Hand of Friendship' to help him control the hybrid gunship. Warily avoiding the Budong in a Transport Pod, Stark and Rygel come up with a way for Talyn to escape, but Crichton's jealousy complicates the plan... [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode resolves the long running plot thread involving Crais pressuring Aeryn to join him in commanding Talyn. There is also a small reference to the events of this episode in a later episode in this season, Fractures.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode was written by Ben Browder, the actor who plays John Crichton.
- The title of this episode is a reference to dialog in Shakespeare's Othello: "O beware, my lord, of jealousy. It is the green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on."
- Stark spent five cycles on a Budong mining operation.

Remarkable Scenes
- John being irritated by one of Talyn's DRDs.
- John: "That's no moon." Ah, the irresistible Star Wars reference.
- Talyn getting swallowed by a Budong.
- John, Aeryn, and Crais anchoring Talyn to the Budong's throat.
- Rygel's and Stark's near miss with the Budong.
- Stark: "You're loose!" Rygel: "Not half as loose as Chiana."
- Crais begging John to kill him because of the pain Talyn is inflicting on him.
- Stark proposing that they make the Budong vomit out Talyn.
- Rygel: "Sebaceans are ugly, not stupid!"
- Stark feeding the Budong ice from the gas giant's rings.
- Aeryn sharing her deepest feelings for John with Talyn (and Crais?) just prior to disconnecting herself from Talyn.
- The Budong vomiting out Talyn.

My Review
The first episode of Farscape not to feature Moya, Pilot, or D'Argo tells a much different sort of story, fitting for a story in which Talyn is finally a central character rather than merely a minor character at best or a MacGuffin at worst as he's been before. The green eyed monster, a clever Shakespeare reference, isn't just the Budong, it's the jealousy that plagues John, Crais, and even Talyn. It's fascinating how Crais' latent feelings for Aeryn seem to have been twisted into something completely different by Talyn when combined with his own perspective and Peacekeeper programming. Talyn, for better or worse, is his own personality and acts more radically than even Crais would prefer.

It's almost as if Talyn's perspective and demeanor represents what Crais would be with fewer inhibitions. The physical toll Talyn takes on Crais' body when the two of them are not of like mind is a marvelous development and helps to reassure the viewers that the two exist more frequently in a symbiotic and egalitarian fashion rather than the hierarchical fashion that was previously assumed with Crais commanding Talyn unilaterally. This theme is also consistent with Talyn's prior penchant for erratic behavior.

Another nicely done theme was the constant running gag of John trying to open doors aboard Talyn only to be denied entry. This running gag of course culminates into a life threatening situation when Talyn nearly kills John. The Stark and Rygel story was remarkably less satisfying as they were being used as the typical cliched Farscape bickering and panic comic relief. I also could have done without all the misdirection as to who was jealous and plotting against who, but despite these wrinkles this episode ends up being a very strong story.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Arachnea on 2013-10-01 at 9:21pm:
    What I find interesting is how the symbiotic link has evolved: Crais took control of an infant Talyn at a time when himself didn't really know what to do with himself, very conflicted, very manipulative and still very selfish. Had Aeryn taken control in the first place, Talyn's behavior would certainly have been very different. We see how Crais reacts to Talyn's panic: by panicking himself, while Aeryn responds with calm. Is Talyn panicking in response to Crais or is it the contrary ? Does Talyn panick so often because Crais is rarely serene ?

    Here, Talyn is like a rebellious teenager who makes himself heard by violence and Crais seems incapable of reasoning with him.

    The deceptions in this episodes are very interesting: where does Crais' begins and where does Talyn's ? Crais is obviously attracted by Aeryn and jealous of John. Talyn considers Aeryn like a guide (or a second mother). If Crais wasn't jealous, would Talyn consider John a threat ? The video Talyn shows Crighton is obviously a deception to make him leave, but it can also be perceived as a fantasy of Crais.

    Who did really try to kill John ? "the Peacekeeper lies" can be attributed to Crais or Talyn himself.
  • From Hugo Ahlenius on 2015-12-02 at 2:53am:
    I had a problem with the beginning of this - this is the first time we see more of Talyn - and I had the impression that T was very small - that there was basically just one room (the bridge) - more like a Star Trek shuttle (or prehaps the Delta Flyer, just a tad bigger). But now we see corridors and quarters. And the same with the Budong, we just see brief glimpses of it without no impression on how huge it is. (by the way, isn't it a bit odd that it moves so fast - I would have expected a creature like that to move VERY slowly...)

    And the first bit, before they are moored, I found confusing - it wasn't clear to me where they were and what was happening.

    Speaking of nothing - at Moya they are talking about tiers - but we have never seen any elevators or stairs... !

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