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Farscape - Season 4 - Episode 08

Farscape - 4x08 - I Shrink Therefore I Am - Originally Aired: 2002-8-2

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.3

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Synopsis
When Moya is raided by bounty hunters working for the Peacekeepers, every crew member is captured except for Crichton and Noranti. The armored intruders shrink the captives and imprison them inside holding cavities in their torsos - if Crichton harms them, he endangers his friends as well. Finding that Scorpius is also free and on the run, Crichton teams up with him to fight off the menace, unaware that the leader of the bounty hunters has a hidden agenda. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This episode contains plot relevant bits concerning John's drug use and Moya entering tormented space. This is also the first episode to depict a ruling-class Scarran and the first episode where the crew starts to go a bit easier on Scorpius, largely due to the fact that they learn that Scorpius can break out of the jail cells at will but has simply chosen not to up until now. But these plot points are not essential. You could skip this episode and pick up the important parts in context later.

Problems
- Despite Rygel's objections to the technical problem, Sikozu is right. They were too small to breathe the air. The only way to rationalize this is to assume the technology is capable of restructuring their anatomy so as to overcome this issue somehow.

Factoids
- Sikozu designed replacement cooling rods for Scorpius, but they don't function as well. As such, Scorpius gets overheated in times of stress.

Remarkable Scenes
- John: "Let me talk to Captain James T. D'Argo." Then Noranti laughing at the joke as if she somehow gets it.
- Pilot tipping off John that something's wrong by describing very unusual behavior in the crew as to why they're unable to receive him when he arrives in the pod.
- John evacuating the pod with Noranti and slamming it into the boarding party's docked craft.
- John encountering Scorpius and Scorpius revealing that he had a means of escape at his disposal the whole time he was on Moya but never chose to use it until now, when he needed to to avoid the bounty hunter boarding party.
- John teaming up with Scorpius to go after the bounty hunters.
- John: "This is John Crichton paging the head Cylon. Pick up the phone, Imperious Leader!"
- The bounty hunter aliens shrinking some of Moya's crew.
- John's bear trap.
- Scorpius saving John.
- The head bounty hunter revealing himself to Scorpius as a Scarran.
- John revealing to the bounty hunters that their leader is a Scarran in disguise.
- The Scarran executing all his officers once they discovered he was a Scarran.
- Shrunken Aeryn riding 1812.
- John shrinking the Scarran and then stepping on him. John: "One small step for man..."
- John forgetting that Noranti was outside the ship and asking D'Argo to take care of that.

My Review
This episode is kind of a mixed bag. It's a delightfully fun story for the most part, containing such memorable scenes as shrunken Aeryn riding DRD 1812, John singing the episode score to himself while going bad guy hunting, John ramming the pod into the bounty hunter ship, and John squishing the shrunken Scarran, but there's a number of wrinkles in the plot that wreck some of the potential for the episode to rise above merely average. For one, the science behind the shrunken people is a wee bit dicey, but most importantly the ending's silly, half-hearted cliffhanger concerning "tormented space" was just lame.

Honestly, tormented space? Really? What a groan-inducing line. Anyone else getting bad memories of Star Trek Voyager's episode The Fight, which focused on the similarly bizarre concept of the so called chaotic space? Or how about the fact that Pilot says tormented space is filled with wormholes? Or the fact that everyone on the ship already seems to have known about this region of space for some time, including John? If it's so commonly known, why didn't Scorpius do his wormhole research in the vicinity? The whole bit of exposition is just sloppy and annoying. Oh well. Decently fun ride of an episode otherwise.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Simon on 2015-11-19 at 8:34pm:
    Reconstruction their anatomy would leave their brains to fable to function properly.

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