Farscape - Season 3 - Episode 10
Farscape - 3x10 - Relativity - Originally Aired: 2001-7-6
The Peacekeeper Retrieval Squad lead by Aeryn's mother, Xhalax Sun, traces the crew of Talyn to a Jungle Planet where the gunship is recuperating. When Crichton, Aeryn and Crais easily divert the squad away from the gunship, they surmise that Talyn might not be the only target of the Peackeepers' mission. When Aeryn's attempts to reason with Xhalax fail, she realizes that the pursuit of Talyn will not stop until Xhalax is dead. [DVD]
0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Not filler mostly for the Xhalax plot.
- Stark: "Friend or foe? Friend or foe? Friend or foe?" Rygel: "Will you shut the frell up? Of course it's a foe! We have no friends!"
- John: "Okay, welcome to the butt hole of the universe."
- The gun battle and Aeryn being unhappily reunited with her mother shortly thereafter.
- Xhalax escaping and taking out Aeryn, Stark, and Rygel.
- Xhalax revealing that she killed Aeryn's father to redeem herself in the eyes of the Peacekeepers to make up for breaking regulations and conceiving a child out of love rather than duty.
- John killing the tracker aliens using Crais as a decoy.
- Crais killing Xhalax.
The much anticipated reunion of and confrontation between Xhalax and Aeryn is mostly well executed except for a few details. Rygel and Stark's bickering was once again a less than stellar attempt at comic relief and John betraying Crais was almost unforgivably stupid. I don't understand what exactly they were fighting about or what exactly Crais wasn't up front about with John to begin with or why it should matter. They're both being hunted by the Peacekeepers for being outlaws. What else is there to know that's at all relevant? I tended to side with Crais on this one. John just seems to be grasping at straws to have a reason not to like Crais.
That said, there's much to love in this story. Despite Rygel's whining, I loved his pitiful attempt at being heroic. Granted, only profound desperation could motivate him to challenge Xhalax after she already took out Aeryn and Stark, but it was touching to see Rygel try as might and get himself possibly mortally wounded in the process. More importantly though, Aeryn having to confront her mother was quite well done. She was mostly unflinching in her conviction to have Xhalax killed if it were a choice between Xhalax or Talyn, which was admirable, if gut-wrenching.
The aesthetic choice to focus on Aeryn's face while Crais executed Xhalax was also a nice touch since the episode is basically a story about Aeryn's emotional journey in having to face the fact that her mother is an irredeemable liability to be dispensed with rather than someone she can bring into the fold like John did for her. Aeryn's sense of guilt over her inability to turn her mother is also well played. The acting makes it clear that Aeryn's rational mind knows it couldn't have gone down any other way but in her heart Aeryn may always believe she could have or should have done something different to save her mother and turn her against the Peacekeepers.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Hugo on 2015-12-17 at 2:27am:
Not a bad episode, but...
Seems like Stark is the new Zhaan - the character that they don't know what to do with really - but he is great with Rygel - and the stitching with his vest made me smile.
So the whole retrieval squad was just Xhalax and the scouts? The commander goes alone without much backup? The rest of the squad?
Xhalax' scar was not explained either... !