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Farscape - Season 3 - Episode 22

Farscape - 3x22 - Dog With Two Bones - Originally Aired: 2002-4-26

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.4

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Synopsis
Moya transports the remains of Talyn to a sacred Leviathan burial ground. Those on board are at a crossroads, each wanting to pursue a separate path. Crichton dreams of returning to Earth with Aeryn at his side, but Aeryn is unsure. Upon entering the graveyard, Moya is attacked by a huge Leviathan. The crew must team up once more to save their home, but it seems that no matter which way the battle goes, their intertwined fates are sure to unravel. [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- Melissa Jaffer played the old woman in this episode. We've seen her before. She played the old Luxan woman from Vitas Mortis.
- There is an unusually large number of deleted scenes for this episode, many of which are (equally unusually) quite good.

Remarkable Scenes
- Moya colliding with another leviathan.
- The old woman making John freak out, D'Argo tongue whipping John and then knocking out the old woman.
- Moya getting attacked again and asking the crew to kill the rogue leviathan.
- D'Argo grossing out John by telling him that he covered all the controls of his ship with his DNA (somehow) so others could work the controls.
- D'Argo, John, and Aeryn destroying the rogue leviathan.
- John imagining the massacre of everyone he cares about by Scorpius.
- John: "It's a nightmare." The old woman: "What is?" John: "My life, my dreams. Earth and my friends. I try to merge the two but they're incompatible."
- Aeryn: "What do you want?" John: "You." Aeryn: "I'm afraid it's not that easy for me. You see, you died. I watched that happen and yet you're still alive. I have to go."
- John realizing that the old woman had told him Aeryn was pregnant while he was drugged.
- A wormhole randomly appearing and sucking Moya away.

My Review
John's final line: "You have got to be kidding me."

I couldn't agree more. This cliffhanger is so stupid and random that I have a hard time taking it seriously. They should have ended on the reveal that Aeryn was pregnant. That would have made for a stronger ending than this. Why? Because I can't suspend disbelief on these stakes. Some magic science fiction plot device created this cliffhanger and some magic science fiction plot device is going to mitigate it. I couldn't possibly care less what that will be, especially given its arbitrary nature.

What I do care about is the deep level of introspection this episode at times excels at, even though it also at times overdoses on it. Our old witchcrafty guest takes John's subconscious feelings and magnifies them for him with her bizarre drug cocktail, leading us to see all of John's deepest desires and deepest fears all mingled together. The fantasy flashes to Earth are sometimes highly effective and other times feel like non sequiturs, but they work as a whole. My favorite line of the episode was when John said that he wants to merge his alien friends with his prior life on Earth, but they're incompatible.

This is a reasonable fear because John's idealized image is, of course, ridiculous. Previous episodes such as A Human Reaction have more realistically explored the what if idea of John's friends returning to Earth with him and those scenarios were all fraught with unpleasant prospects. So now that John's freed himself from being hunted by baddies, reunited with Aeryn, and begun to master wormholes, he's contemplating the larger issue of whether or not his ultimate goal is one even worth striving for.

Meanwhile, Aeryn's got doubts of her own. I had a hard time understanding just what they were throughout most of the episode because she clearly wasn't acting rationally. It was clear she wanted to stay with John, but she kept pretending like she didn't and needed time away from him. Ultimately by the end she left, John none the wiser to Aeryn's pregnancy until it was too late. The pregnancy could explain Aeryn's less than logical behavior, but it seems like a cop out to blame it on that alone. I'm hoping it's more nuanced than that. Also you've got to wonder whether or not she's pregnant with the other John's child.

The subplot concerning Talyn's burial was well executed and the humor throughout the episode pertaining to nobody knowing who the old woman was or how she got on board Moya was highly amusing. I like that it was finally explained by the end of the episode that she was a prisoner freed when John destroyed Scorpius' command carrier, but they dragged out the humor of the mystery just long enough for it to be effective without it being annoying. It's also amusing that Aeryn has her own personal prowler again, the first since her original was shot down in Die Me, Dichotomy.

Overall though the episode comes off as a mixed bag, especially as a season finale. Some parts work pretty well like the rogue leviathan, some of the Earth fantasies, and the deep exploration of John's hopes and dreams, but other parts of the story drop the ball pretty hard, such as the less than coherent reasoning for Aeryn wanting to leave John and especially the cliffhanger. As a season though, this has been the best season so far. Season three as a whole was great and has raised the bar for what will come next.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2016-04-08 at 3:30pm:
    The rogue leviathan was great! It felt like the episode wanted us to get all emotional with the farewell to Talyn, but I can't say that I was moved - it is hard to develop any relationship with Talyn or Moya.

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