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Farscape - Season 1 - Episode 07

Farscape - 1x07 - PK Tech Girl - Originally Aired: 1999-4-16

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.53

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Synopsis
Aboard a derelict Peacekeeper Command Carrier, the crew discovers a young female Tech, Gilina. Crichton is immediately attracted, and Aeryn finds herself fighting unfamiliar feelings of jealousy. Rygel is also uncomfortable, forced to confront his convict past. When a gang of fire-breathing Sheyang scavengers arrive and commence hostilities, Zhaan helps D'Argo play diplomat, a role that goes against his Luxan training, but one he must play to keep them all alive. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode has long term arc significance due to critical character development and significant plot events. Gilina will also come back in a later episode.

Problems
None

Factoids
- The Zelbinion was the first ship Rygel was tortured on.
- John has a doctorate in "cosmic theory."
- D'Argo reverted to his native language when he was enraged, which implies that when Luxans experience certain levels of rage, the translator microbes have trouble keeping up. Either that or perhaps D'Argo was just uttering unintelligible gibberish that the translator microbes couldn't make sense of.

Remarkable Scenes
- The crew discovering a derelict Peacekeeper command carrier.
- John, Aeryn, and D'Argo stumbling on a surviving crew member that Aeryn recognizes from her old ship.
- The Sheyangs preparing to attack Moya and Zhaan transmitting enraged D'Argo's image to them to scare them off.
- John telling Gilina that killing Crais' brother was an accident.
- The Zelbinion shield absorbing the blast from the Sheyangs.
- Rygel confronting the corpse of his former torturer.
- The Sheyangs sending pods to attack Moya.
- John: "They spit fire?! How come nobody tells me this stuff?! How come nobody tells me they spit fire?!"
- John saying goodbye to Gilina.
- John: "Hey." Aeryn: "A greeting I shall never understand." John: "It's kind of all purpose. Lets the other person decide what they want to talk about." Aeryn: "What if they don't want to talk?" John: "Then they say hey back." Aeryn: "Hey."

My Review
This is the first episode since the Premiere to move things forward in a significant way. Aside from being a fantastic character piece for several of our main characters, the episode also furnishes Moya with a spiffy new (okay, slightly used) defense screen which they can use to raise some defensive shields in the event of another attack. This could perhaps buy Moya some time to starburst which could make the fugitives harder to catch.

The episode is also furnished with several nice tidbits of continuity. I liked the touch about how Gilina was astonished that John was not Sebacean, as well as how impressed John was with Peacekeeper technology, despite its purpose being for war. I also enjoyed the detail about how Aeryn's entire unit was demoted upon her defection, though this continues the somewhat annoying theme of Crais acting significantly less than rational.

The space battle with the Sheyangs was a nice spectacle and the tactics used were unusual and amusing. I quite enjoyed how Zhaan was thinking on her feet when she used D'Argo's rage to their advantage. And the Sheyangs firing on the Peacekeeper shield right as it's finishing its deployment was a very nice piece of visual effects. Unfortunately, the Sheyangs themselves were not the most compelling aliens. Had the antagonists been more interesting, the episode might have been worth another point.

The two most compelling pieces of storytelling in this episode were Rygel confronting his demons and jealous Aeryn. Rygel's story finally made me have some sympathy for his otherwise difficult to care about character. Nobody, not even Rygel, deserves the torture he endured. Though we only got a small glimpse of it in a flashback, Rygel's pronounced emotional reaction was touching and tells us all we need to know.

As for jealous Aeryn, this plot point could have been painful and gimmicky, but instead came off as awkwardly touching. She likes John, but the culture she comes from made it difficult for her to express those feelings. What's worse is that culture she holds in such high regard doesn't necessarily apply to all Sebaceans; the tech girl clearly had fewer inhibitions. John's gallivanting with Gilina was overplayed at times, but the overall thrust of the plot was a strong choice, so I mostly forgive it.

In total, this episode is a nice change of pace from all that filler. Farscape needs more episodes like this. And it could have been even better with a bit more polish.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Dana on 2012-07-29 at 1:02pm:
    Don't know of star trek did it first or not but the antagonist is very much the same as the one in season 3 episode 7, day of the dove. Also, chriton mispronounces Crais's last name; calls him 'bly-ar' in one scene.
    Enjoyed the work of the actor who played Maldis, in the beginning at least.

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