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Farscape - Season 2

Farscape - 2x01 - Mind the Baby - Originally Aired: 2000-3-17

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.1

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 25 8 2 4 5 9 6 9 16 15 11

Synopsis
Crichton, Aeryn and D'Argo are stranded in an asteroid field while Scorpius searches for them. Their safety depends on Crais, who is nearby in Talyn. Aeryn teaches Crais how to control the young Leviathan - the only thing she can offer in return for the lives of her friends. When Moya returns to the asteroid field to look for her offspring, and Crichton decides to remove Crais from control of Talyn, Scorpius finally sees his chance to strike. [DVD]

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

Problems
- When Talyn offers his neural interface to Crais, a puppeteer's hand is visible at the bottom of the screen controlling the tentacle.

Factoids
- D'Argo's makeup looks significantly different starting with this episode. I wonder if it is permanent scarring from his little spacewalk?
- This episode establishes that Chiana can jump really high.
- Hynerians experience airway seizure in situations of very strong emotions.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Sheyangs firing on Moya.
- D'Argo's reaction to Talyn: "Awful name."
- D'Argo: "As John once said, I would rather go down on a swing!" John: "... Swinging. You wanna go down swinging."
- Scorpius having some sort of blue rod inserted into his skull.
- D'Argo and John playing rock paper scissors.
- D'Argo tongue whipping Aeryn.
- Crais signaling Scorpius.
- John arriving on Moya with captured Crais and seeing jumpy Chiana (WTF?) and spacey Zhaan.
- Aeryn meeting with spacey Zhaan and giving her a hard time for refusing to have worldly concerns any longer, taking personal offense at Zhaan's unwillingness to help them.
- Talyn firing on Moya and demanding Crais be returned to him.
- Talyn embedding a neural implant into Crais.
- Crais kicking Aeryn off Talyn.
- Crais telling Scorpius that he killed John.

My Review
Mind the Baby is almost like a second series premiere for Farscape. There are many similarities between this first episode of season two and the first episode of season one. Once again the plot is largely wrapped up into a neat little package by the end of the episode, partly at the expense of depth. John is relatively safe for the time being, but has a different "insane military commander" chasing him. These similarities are so striking that John's monologue in the opening credits doesn't even need the slightest tweak.

There are important differences of course. Most remarkably the overarching story has grown in depth and nuance. Crais and Talyn being out there on the loose as ambiguous allies and probably guests in future episodes is certainly a fun prospect and Scorpius is definitely a more compelling villain than Crais was in season one. But at the same time, this season premiere makes it clear that we're once again not too terribly likely to see either of these two characters very frequently which is a trend I quite disliked in season one.

As for this episode's merits by itself, what we get is mostly good. Crais manipulating everybody was fantastic and Talyn himself is turning into quite a fascinating character. John's and D'Argo's antics in this episode were unusually funny and Aeryn dealing with Talyn slowly slipping away from her was touching, especially given the fact that she seems to have adopted Talyn acting as a sort of godmother to him.

But for all that the episode is jam packed with nice character moments, it's a bit too packed in. Several pieces of the story weren't given enough time to be really fleshed out and others were simply poorly executed. The most glaring weak portrayal for me in this episode was Scorpius. His role in the episode is distinctly uncomplicated. Chase Moya. His scenes amount to little more than your typical mustache twirler. As a character, he gains no more depth which makes him seem like little more than manufactured danger for our protagonists, which is a real shame after how strong he resonated as a deep and nuanced bad guy in Nerve.

Other oddities are things like Moya being attacked by the Sheyangs for no coherent reason and Chiana's strange reference to Zhaan having been put on trial during interim between last episode's cliffhanger and the events of this episode. What are they talking about? What happened? Speaking of Zhaan, her spacey behavior in this episode seemed out of character to me. Same goes for Rygel's emotional asphyxiation and Chiana's ridiculous jump hug. All of that was over the top and frankly campy. When I'm being reminded of Galactica 1980, then the story isn't doing a very good job.

But those oddities were brief and minor and much like the season one premiere, the season two premiere overall works and is quite satisfying, even if it's not quite perfect and could have been better in several ways. In the end, in the overarching plot sense we basically get more of the same, but it's more refined, it's deeper, and has more potential than season one did. I'd have certainly preferred something braver and darker, but this story certainly delivers in spite of that.

No fan commentary yet.

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Farscape - 2x02 - Vitas Mortis - Originally Aired: 2000-3-24

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.45

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 26 9 7 8 7 17 18 12 5 12 7

Synopsis
D'Argo drags the others on a search for an old, dying Luxan, Nilaam. She turns out to be an Orican - a Luxan holy woman who wants D'Argo to help her die. D'Argo has no choice but to take part in the Luxan death ritual, but as Nilaam starts to cross to the next realm, she sees a chance to alter her fate. Changing the ritual, Nilaam, instead of dying, uses D'Argo's life force and emerges as a beautiful young Luxan. However, it soon becomes clear that the energy she used was not from D'Argo, but from Moya, and the consequences for the living ship are catastrophic. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- No significant exposition, events, or consequences. And a lame episode on top of that.

Problems
- When Nilaam did her death ritual at the end of the episode and D'Argo's qualta blade fell to the ground, the ground shook visibly when the blade struck it, indicating that it wasn't solid ground with dirt on it as it was supposed to appear, but rather some flimsy surface constructed for the set in order to fake the appearance of solid dirt ground.

Factoids
- The title of this episode is Latin which literally translates to "Life Death" or more roughly translates to "Escaping Death."
- The tattooed markings on the bottom of D'Argo's face indicate that he is a general. However, this was a ruse to protect the real general that D'Argo served under from being interrogated because that general wouldn't be able to survive the interrogation.
- Nilaam has psychic and telekinetic powers which implies that these are natural Luxan abilities. However it's possible only certain Luxans can wield these abilities, explaining why D'Argo appears to not possess them himself.
- The normal lifespan of a leviathan is over 300 cycles. Pilot's species can live for over 1000 cycles. However, when they bond with leviathans they live no longer than leviathans do, drastically cutting their lifespans short.

Remarkable Scenes
- John to D'Argo: "You've got the bar codes of a general but you aren't one."
- Chiana getting frozen in Moya's amnexus fluids.
- Moya's inner hull breaching, Rygel being blown toward the breach, then Rygel's ass sealing off the breach.
- Aeryn taking a shot at Nilaam and D'Argo diving in front of the blast, only to be saved by Nilaam.
- Nilaam dying and restoring Moya's youth.

My Review
While this is a fairly enjoyable character piece on some levels, this episode feels much more like "Thank God It's Friday, Again" than the more recent, considerably better material. Some of the worst cliches were thankfully avoided though, such as Nilaam being an established alien species (Luxan) rather than a new alien species of the week and she wasn't evil, nor did she have a hidden agenda.

The particular highlights of this episode are the small character details sprinkled about. John, Zhaan, and D'Argo are sporting classier new looks, which while being more interesting for the audience to look at in superficial ways also more importantly reflects their growing success in coping with life in the uncharted territories. If John's finding time for fashion, you know he's starting to grow into his place in the universe.

Likewise, this episode plants seeds of an upcoming serious relationship between Chiana and D'Argo and we get some more fascinating information about D'Argo's background with the explanation of what his chin tattoos mean and why he donned them. Finally the tidbit about how Pilot sacrificed a large percentage of his lifespan in order to bond with Moya is fascinating as well.

But the little details aren't enough to sustain a great story. They just make a largely unremarkable story a bit less drab.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2015-03-12 at 4:12pm:
    I found this the worst episode so far, worse than Jeremiah Crichton!
    * No, not magic, please
    * We are thrown in to the story a little too abruptly, no background on how they got there, and why...
    * The sudden style/dress change for Zhaan, Crichton and Aeryn felt jarring to me
    * I found a story a too one-way: and no b-story, no twists, no mysteries

    Although I do appreciate the background details on the characters!

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Farscape - 2x03 - Taking the Stone - Originally Aired: 2000-3-31

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 3.03

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 36 19 6 28 5 5 2 7 5 9 4

Synopsis
Distraught at the death of her brother Nerri, Chiana blasts down to a royal cemetery planet and joins a gang of nihilistic young aliens. Crichton, Aeryn and Rygel fly down to the planet to try to talk Chiana into coming back to Moya, but she insists on taking part in a potentially deadly local ritual called "Taking the Stone", a leap into a chasm using sound waves to slow the fall. Crichton tries to intercede, but must realize that this new, aberrant behavior is something Chiana has to work through herself. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- No significant exposition, events, or consequences. And a lame episode on top of that. The exposition about Chiana's brother will become relevant later, but it isn't necessary to watch this episode to understand that plot arc later.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Chiana had a brother named Nerri who is believed to be dead as of this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- Chiana taking off and stealing Aeryn's prowler because her "life disk" went dark, indicating that someone close to her had died.
- Chiana revealing that it was in fact her brother who died.
- The weird cult jumping into the sonic net and one of them dying in the process.
- Zhaan torturing Rygel with her prayers in an attempt to compensate for his grave robbing.
- John taking the mushrooms.
- John attempting to drug and drag Chiana back to Moya and Aeryn stopping him from doing so; telling him that it won't help her after all because she'll just find another way to kill herself.
- Crichton punching Molnon.
- Chiana jumping and surviving.

My Review
The idea of doing a story where one of our characters discovers that a close relative has died then having that character forced to grieve the loss is a decent notion. Such a premise offers the possibility for some solid character development. But this episode mostly erodes any of that potential by delivering a story that is largely incoherent and annoying.

Firstly the danger posed to Chiana in this episode is wholly manufactured; she did it to herself. The whole episode is focused on talking her down from her death wish. Perhaps a realistic happenstance, but it manifests itself in largely petty ways. Crichton doesn't have time for Chiana, so a temper tantrum ensues amidst trippy nonsense, almost no scoring, a dreary looking set, and a bunch of annoying lightning flashes. The end result is a rather boring episode that tells us almost nothing about Chiana's brother and what he meant to her.

On top of that, John takes an irrationally extreme and unnecessary risk taking those mushrooms to try and help Chiana and the whole idea of an entire planet being dedicated to being a graveyard seems like an obnoxious waste. As for the Rygel "curse" plot, perhaps the less said, the better. Overall, this is the worst episode of Farscape so far.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DK on 2013-04-14 at 11:54pm:
    "Taking the Stone"? A better title would have been "Jumping the Shark".

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Farscape - 2x04 - Crackers Don't Matter - Originally Aired: 2000-4-7

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.35

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 59 7 6 6 13 7 8 11 11 18 24

Synopsis
The crew returns from a commerce planet with a load of crackers and a meek alien called T'raltixx, who promises he can alter Moya's electromagnetics to make her untraceable. Crichton is skeptical; it seems too good to be true. As they pass through a constellation of five pulsars, an intense paranoia affects the crew, turning them violently against each other. Crichton must fight against his own paranoid delusions to work out what T'raltixx is actually doing and how to stop him. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This is the first episode to feature Hallucination Scorpius.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode establishes that humans have poorer eyesight than Luxans, Sebaceans, Nebari, Pilot's species, Delvians, and Hynerians.

Remarkable Scenes
- Zhaan beginning to photogasm as Moya passes through the pulsars.
- T'raltixx: "Crichton, and the rest on Moya. Do you like them?" Pilot, looking as though he never considered the question before: "You know, I don't think I do like them."
- D'Argo tongue lashing Zhaan.
- Pilot, about humans: "You have no special abilities, you're not particularly smart, can hardly smell, can barely see, and you're not even vaguely physically or spiritually imposing. Is there anything you do well?" John: "Watch football."
- John: "I hate it when villains quote Shakespeare."
- Hallucination Scorpius telling John to shoot D'Argo: "Go on, John, do it, then we can go to the beach! I know a place with naked Sebacean girls and margarita shooters!"
- John shooting D'Argo and assaulting Chiana.
- Hallucination Scorpius in a Hawaiian shirt.
- John: "Nobody has margaritas with pizza!"
- Chiana: "You've got the worst eyes out of all of us. That's why your optic nerves aren't being affected." John: "I got great eyes! They're better than 20/20 and they're blue!"
- John being equipped into his ridiculous protective suit to prepare for battle with T'raltixx.
- John's ridiculous battle with T'raltixx.

My Review
You'd think an episode all about how some pulsar light makes the crew bicker more might be cliched and annoying by now, but Crackers Don't Matter has that special comedic touch which makes it a fine episode in the tradition of The Flax. The absurdist comedy makes for an incredibly entertaining story while the danger of the actual plot manages to be both compelling for the immediate danger posed by T'raltixx as well as for the overarching danger posed by Scorpius.

The inclusion of a hallucinatory Scorpius was indeed a nice touch. This adds a delightful new element to the character of Scorpius, even if it's all in John's head. The real Scorpius of course isn't prancing around in Hawaiian shirts and talking about pizza and margaritas, but the next time John sees him will be colored by this experience. In effect, the experience of this episode adds a great deal of texture to how John perceives the character.

On a related note, this episode sees an uptick in the magnitude of irrelevant references to Earth, or John Sequiturs as I prefer to call them (others call them Crichtonisms). We now have clear evidence that the more crazy John is going, the more John Sequiturs get sprinkled into his dialog and internal monologue. It seems clear by now that these references are a kind of defense mechanism from letting his experiences make him completely insane.

Finally, it's worth noting that D'Argo's sincere apology to Rygel for the force feeding is more significant than it may appear, as in DNA Mad Scientist it was established that Luxans are not prone to apologies; it's incredibly hard for them to offer them. Overall, Crackers Don't Matter is an incredibly entertaining story, even if it doesn't advance the overarching plot much at all.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-07-11 at 10:53pm:
    This isn't about the episode, but I just wanted to let the readers of this site know that Crichtonisms.com has expired as of 6.20.10 and is no longer available.

    Here's hoping it'll be renewed soon...

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Farscape - 2x05 - The Way We Weren't - Originally Aired: 2000-4-14

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.28

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 27 6 7 8 10 8 2 12 27 18 13

Synopsis
A datacam tape is uncovered showing Aeryn as part of a Peacekeeper firing squad that executed a previous Pilot aboard Moya. The rest of the crew wants answers but Aeryn is recalcitrant about revisiting her past - especially her relationship with Velorek, the man charged with forcibly bonding a new Pilot to Moya. Pilot too refuses to communicate with the crew, not wanting to reveal his own complicity in the murky circumstances surrounding his instatement as Moya's guide. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Essential character development for and exposition about Aeryn and Pilot along with some important continuity with regards to Pilot beginning a natural bonding process with Moya and why Moya was equipped with a contraception device in season 1. Velorek will also become significant again in season 4.

Problems
- When Pilot is bonded to Moya, he sees images which are implied to be Moya's memories, but they are images of things which have not happened yet.

Factoids
- Pilot's ancient language is too complex for the translator microbes to properly translate, so in order to communicate with other species, Pilot must simplify his language.
- Pilot was not Moya's first pilot but instead was bonded artificially to her, a process that left Pilot in a great deal of permanent pain, up until this episode when the artificial bonding was severed. Pilot having to bond with Moya naturally will result in reduced control for up to one to two cycles.
- Velorek installed the Peacekeeper contraception shield to prevent Moya from reproducing so that Crais' project would never come to fruition.

Remarkable Scenes
- The flashback to Aeryn participating in the execution of Moya's original Pilot under Crais' orders.
- Aeryn revealing that she and Velorek were lovers.
- Pilot discovering the tape and assaulting Aeryn.
- The flashback to Pilot being installed into Moya.
- Velorek to Aeryn: "You can be so much more."
- The revelation that the artificial process which bonded Pilot to Moya left him in a permanent state of a great deal of pain.
- The flashback to Moya waking up to a different pilot.
- Pilot severing his connection to Moya, ending the pain.
- John and D'Argo playing rock paper scissors to determine which one of them will try to talk sense into Aeryn.
- The flashback to Aeryn betraying Velorek.
- John and Aeryn doing battle with Pilot's DRDs.
- Pilot revealing that he was rejected by the elders to serve as a leviathan pilot, leading him to have no choice but to participate in Velorek's shady business if he was to ever be bonded to a leviathan at all.

My Review
The Way We Weren't is a magnificently dark story which drudges up all sorts of uncomfortable memories for Aeryn and Pilot and fleshes all of it out quite well. What makes it such a strong story isn't simply that Aeryn participated in the execution of Moya's original pilot, but that Aeryn demonstrated at least some level of willful complicity in her actions aboard Moya when she chose to actively work against Velorek to service her own interests.

The tragedy of the story is that Aeryn's interests were not with her cover story of preferring Prowler duty, but instead with running away from her feelings of true love for Velorek. In effect, Aeryn's inability to deal with her feelings of love for Velorek led to not only his (probable) execution, but also cost Moya and Pilot their freedom, assuming Velorek's plan to stop Crais' black project could have been carried out successfully without Aeryn's interference.

In addition, other nice tidbits of texture are strung about as well. Aeryn rightfully sees hypocrisy in Zhaan's, D'Argo's, and Rygel's outrage at Aeryn murdering Moya's old pilot under Peacekeeper orders while they were willing to cut off one of Pilot's arms (even if they do grow back...) of their own free will out of selfish desire to go home. Likewise, Pilot is shown to not be entirely innocent either when he reveals that he knew that fulfilling his desire to be amongst the stars would cost one of his own kind its life.

This brings up the episode's only true weakness of course, which is at times Pilot's turbulent emotions cross the line into being significantly less rational than might be realistic. As Velorek said, Moya's original pilot's fate was already sealed, so Pilot's guilt is irrational. Likewise, Pilot's outrage at Aeryn is also irrational, though perhaps less so. However, as a consequence, Pilot's behavior and rage throughout the story seems grossly out of character.

It's worth noting that Pilot having lived in a constant state of pain for the last few cycles might easily substantiate his explosive breakdown in this episode, but the story may have been better if this were stated explicitly. Instead, we can't really know whether or not Pilot would have acted that way pain or no pain, which at best is an omission in the writing and at worst disservices Pilot's character. Overall though, the broad takeaway from this story is that it's an outstanding piece of drama and character development and among the best episodes of Farscape so far.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Eva on 2015-05-16 at 11:39pm:
    This is great. I have seen this episode dozens of times and I never connected these dots, at least not consciously:

    "The tragedy of the story is that Aeryn's interests were not with her cover story of preferring Prowler duty, but instead with running away from her feelings of true love for Velorek.... but also cost Moya and Pilot..."

    Wow. Mind blown. Of course that was the result, much the way Chiana and Rygel's greed in A Bug's Life kicked off Scorpius' involvement in Crichton's life. Glad I found your site.

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Farscape - 2x06 - Picture If You Will - Originally Aired: 2000-4-21

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 5.42

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 10 2 1 2 5 7 2 4 8 11 3

Synopsis
Chiana returns to Moya with a fortune-telling portrait she picked up from a passing trader. The picture foretells the deaths of the crew, and one by one, they start to die off. Zhaan realizes her old foe Maldis, an evil sorcerer, is behind the terrifying goings-on. He is trying to re-corporealize and is feeding on the fears of Crichton, D'Argo, Chiana and especially Zhaan. When Zhaan and Crichton are the only ones left alive, they are forced to travel into the sorcerer's dimension and confront him face to face. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- No significant exposition, events, or consequences. A fairly enjoyable episode, but completely arc-irrelevant, unless you are dying for more closure regarding the fate of Maldis from That Old Black Magic.

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Crichton: "You know what I say? I say we lock all of Moya's doors. We don't let anyone in, we don't let anybody out. That way we get no alien critters, no shape shifting bugs, no mind altering viruses, no freaky-deeky artifacts."
- Chiana burning up in the freezer.
- Aeryn: "Pilot, is my prowler ready?" Pilot: "No, it's still undergoing maintenance." John: "Take my module." Aeryn, visibly annoyed: "Bucket of dren."
- D'Argo being stabbed by Aeryn's prowler.
- Aeryn intimidating the junk dealer.
- Zhaan's mind meld with John revealing her true plan telepathically, shortly before she pretends to give up and push John into the electrical current.
- John to Maldis: "Haven't you read the super villain's handbook? This is where you're supposed to twirl your mustache and gloat." Maldis: "I don't have a mustache, John."
- Aeryn killing the junk dealer.
- Zhaan taking out Maldis in the virtual world.
- Zhaan shooting at Maldis in the real world with a DRD.
- Chiana explaining Maldis' convoluted plan to Rygel.

My Review
I wrote in my review of That Old Black Magic that Maldis was arguably more interesting than Crais as an antagonist because of his overwrought, almost deus ex machina level of abilities. As a consequence, in that episode, Crais seemed to be a less significant threat than Maldis, the malevolent super-alien who feeds on suffering. As such, it's logical to conclude that an episode which features Maldis as the primary (and only) antagonist might be a better story.

Unfortunately, it simply didn't work out that way. The first half of the episode was wasted on the rather drowsily paced "mystical painting that can see the future" plot and it isn't until the second half of the story that Maldis is actually confirmed to be behind the scenes. By the time we actually get to see him, he barely gets to do any mustache twirling at all before Zhaan swiftly dispatches him.

Along the way nothing new happens; it's basically just a repeat of the last encounter, but with less trial and error. Zhaan just takes him out like a well trained assassin, leading me to roll my eyes at her closing line of having been more scared in that moment than any in her life. I can certainly see why John would assume her panic was all an act. Zhaan's work was ruthless and professional.

That said, Zhaan's highly effective tactics are also what make this story as enjoyable as it is. A better story would have exposed Maldis earlier and made Zhaan's plan take longer, but the surgical precision with which Zhaan's plan was executed was delightful to watch. Plans which work right the first time are a rarity on Farscape indeed! We also get more tender character moments between Chiana and D'Argo, continuing to hint at a budding romance between the two. All in all, the episode is nothing special, but not so bad either.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2015-04-17 at 4:52am:
    Oh no, not another magic/metaphysical episode... ! I was waiting for a moment where Rygel would justify his presence on the ship, but that didn't come.

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Farscape - 2x07 - Home on the Remains - Originally Aired: 2000-6-16

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 3.92

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 31 5 8 17 4 2 2 18 11 7 4

Synopsis
The crew, starving and desperate, head for a mining colony within a giant Budong carcass. When they arrive, they must contend with B'Sogg, the camp's overlord. Each of the crew goes to work in different ways to obtain necessary supplies. When a miner is attacked and killed by the Keedva, a vicious creature that roams the mining tunnels, Crichton soon discovers that B'Sogg, the colony's self-styled Keedva slayer, is in fact controlling the creature. B'Sogg unleashes the Keedva on an unarmed Crichton, leaving him to kill or be killed. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- No significant exposition, events, or consequences. And a lame episode on top of that. The relationship subplot between Chiana and D'Argo will become more important later, but it isn't necessary to watch this episode to understand that plot arc later. If you do decide to watch this one, you'll need to watch the even worse "Taking the Stone" first, as this episode references that one.

Problems
None

Factoids
- A Budong, which appears to be a space faring animal, is one of the largest creatures there is.

Remarkable Scenes
- Aeryn shining intense light on Zhaan.
- John and Rygel being attacked by the creature.
- Pilot venting Moya's atmosphere.
- The creature taking out Chiana's friend Altana.
- John fighting the creature and impaling it with the door.
- Chiana shooting the Budong and spilling its toxins onto B'Sogg's arm, causing parts of his arm to melt away.

My Review
Another less than stellar Chiana's past episode brings us to a dreary mining colony where she once mingled with some disreputable folk. Well some more than others anyway. Chiana brings Moya and her crew here because they're all desperately short on food. Conceptually, it's a decent idea for a story, but the details leave much to be desired.

Neither the plot down on the dead Budong nor the plot aboard Moya quite shines. Zhaan's extreme (over)reaction to starvation struck me as adding an unnecessary artificial urgency to a problem that seems straightforward enough already. They'll all starving. We didn't need Zhaan's crazy alien reaction to starvation to understand why starving is bad for our heroes.

But down on the Budong what we get isn't much better. It sure was convenient that Moya just so happened to show up just as B'Sogg killed his brother. Not that I cared much though as none of the people from Chiana's past in this episode were terribly interesting anyway.

Just about the only thing that was interesting about this episode was D'Argo and Chiana struggling to define the terms of their budding relationship. The kiss at the end is a nice payoff to this. But even then, they end up more or less where they started. The latent attraction between the two was obvious several episodes ago.

In the end, while this episode has a few enjoyable scenes such as Zhaan's pollinating or John fighting the creature and is certainly worth an extra point for the D'Argo and Chiana character moments alone, nothing in this episode was indispensably important. You wouldn't be missing much by simply skipping it and thus it doesn't warrant a very flattering rating.

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Farscape - 2x08 - Dream A Little Dream - Originally Aired: 2000-6-23

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.41

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 19 6 6 7 11 16 2 10 18 4 2

Synopsis
While desperately searching for news of Crichton, the rest of Moya's crew find themselves on the planet Litigara - a world where lawyers comprise ninety percent of the population. Zhaan is jailed for a minor offense - a major complication given that Pilot is having difficulty stopping Moya from StarBursting away to look for Talyn. Zhaan is then unwittingly drawn further into the ugly domestic politics of Litigara when she is framed for murder. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This episode plugs minor plot holes present in 2x01 Mind the Baby.

Problems
- This episode and its original version Re: Union (available as an extra on the home video releases) are mutually exclusive because of one (admittedly minor) detail. In Re: Union, the vision of John's death was originally Rygel's dream, not Zhaan's.

Factoids
- This episode was originally called Re: Union and was going to be the season premiere. However it was decided not to use this episode as the season premiere and instead the material was reused and edited for this episode with the addition of the flashback framing device.
- There are only three differences between this episode and Re: Union. 1. The removal of the first and last scenes from Re: Union. 2. The addition of the flashback framing device so Zhaan could tell the story to John. 3. In Re: Union, the vision of John's death was originally Rygel having a nightmare, not Zhaan.
- The writer of this episode "Steven Rae" is really a pseudonym for series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon.

Remarkable Scenes
- Zhaan, regarding heart attacks: "My circulatory organ does not seize up!"
- Zhaan in the flashback correcting herself from calling John a human, deciding instead to call him a Sebacean so the people in the bar might know what she's talking about.
- Zhaan referring to Rygel as "dren-faced."
- Zhaan being framed for murder.
- Rygel's helium fart during court.
- Chiana's hyperactive behavior in court after consuming Rygel's drugs.
- Chiana and Rygel lighting the chair's leg on fire to trigger the "light of truth" and simulate the parable in the sacred texts.
- Zhaan to John: "Most of the time I have no idea what you're saying."

My Review
This episode was originally meant to be aired as the season premiere without the flashback framing device. However, after watching this episode, it's pretty easy to see why they opted to go with Mind the Baby as the premiere instead, despite the fact that it introduced some minor continuity errors that might leave you scratching your head when Chiana mentions in that episode Zhaan having been on trial along with Chiana and Rygel seeming so unusually happy to be reunited with John, Aeryn, and D'Argo. Had this episode (without the flashback framing device of course) preceded Mind the Baby, those scenes would have made sense. But it would have been a dreadfully boring season premiere.

The basic thrust of the story is to depict Zhaan's inability to assume a leadership role now that John, D'Argo, and Aeryn are unavailable. This by itself is a reasonably interesting exploration of Zhaan's character, but the plot device used to get us there is dreadful. Introducing: Litigara, the hyper-litigious planet where 90%(!) of the population is lawyers. Zhaan gets thrown in jail for jaywalking, then gets framed for murder. It's obviously supposed to be satire of a society's obsession with legal code run amok, but the portrayal is so ridiculous that it's painful to watch.

Frankly, everything about the satire is overwrought. How could a society function where 90% of the population is lawyers? Why imprison someone for jaywalking? What possible sense could it make to have lawyers suffer the same fates as their clients, even in the scenario where the attorney is arguing their case in bad faith? And finally, how the frell could the judge be so damn stupid as to be fooled by Chiana's, Rygel's, and Pilot's parlor trick with the "light of truth" simulation? And even allowing for that, why would she consider that admissible evidence? The whole damn thing is nonsense.

In spite of this though, the character moments the silly plot device affords Zhaan, Chiana, and Rygel are touching. Had they been integrated into Mind the Baby and the silly Litigara plot device been ditched, it certainly would have made for a nice season premiere. All in all, while I'm glad we got an explanation for the plot holes in the season premiere, I'm also glad this episode never ended up being used as the season premiere. That would have been even more annoying than it was as a flashback after the fact.

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Farscape - 2x09 - Out of Their Minds - Originally Aired: 2000-7-7

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.12

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 6 8 0 2 6 4 22 14 10 9 12

Synopsis
When Moya is attacked by Halos-1, a hostile ship, the crew discovers that rather than being injured, they have all swapped minds. Zhaan, on a diplomatic mission to the alien ship, is the only one unaffected. The Halosians then plant an acidic weapon in Moya's neural cluster, so that not only is the crew in a state of bodily confusion, they must also deal with the acid burning through Moya's circuits. Zhaan, with no way of getting to the crew, must contend with the Halosians on her own. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- First appearance of Talyn and Crais since the season premiere. They have little screen time, but the events here will become more significant later.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Zhaan has the capability to collapse her fiber structures at will, sort of like intentionally breaking bones. This is what allowed her to escape her shackles. But doing so poses to her an extreme danger of losing full motor control.

Remarkable Scenes
- John regarding the hostile vessel: "Have we sent the don't shoot, we're pathetic transmission yet?"
- Zhaan discovering that Talyn had previously attacked the aliens.
- Moya taking fire from the hostile aliens, protected by the defense shield.
- Moya's crew exchanging personalities.
- Chiana inhabiting D'Argo. I love how you could tell just by the signature body movements.
- The aliens showing Zhaan the recording of Talyn attacking them.
- Pilot talking D'Argo through administering Moya's many functions.
- The Polaroid DRD.
- Rygel in John's body having to go pee at an inopportune time.
- Yoz revealing that Talyn merely defended himself and that they in fact fired first.
- John taking the opportunity to grope Aeryn's breasts while inhabiting her body.
- Everyone switching bodies again but still being in the wrong bodies.
- Zhaan convincing Yoz to take command.
- Zhaan escaping and taking over the alien ship.
- Everyone trying to explain to Zhaan why she needs to fire on Moya again.
- D'Argo to Chiana: "I really, really enjoyed being inside your body."

My Review
This episode is a great deal of fun. Watching the actors play each other's characters might sound like a silly farce, but the actors do a great job of selling it both realistically in the sense of exploring the implications of this science fiction plot device and delivering the inevitable resultant comedy.

On top of that this episode finally gives us some insight into what Crais and Talyn have been up to. Although I'd have preferred their involvement in the story to be more pronounced. Likewise, the alien antagonists of the week were not terribly compelling either.

Other than that, there's little else to say about this story. There's some cute relationship stuff between Chiana and D'Argo, as well as John and Aeryn, and the episode is filled with delightfully awkward switched-character moments.

I suspect D'Argo, and to a lesser extent Chiana now have some deeper understanding of just how different Pilot's life is compared to the rest of them, similar to though perhaps not as deep as the bond Pilot and Aeryn developed in DNA Mad Scientist. All in all, this episode is mostly just some good fun and great comedy. Not unlike The Flax or Crackers Don't Matter.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Dan on 2014-07-16 at 12:53pm:
    The Halosians look suspiciously like the "The Dark Crystal" Skeksis which are puppets engineered by Jim Henson.
  • From John Meacham on 2016-04-01 at 10:24pm:
    Although it was just a line or two, I felt this episode actually had some fairly important characterization for Moya. Namely that Moya was super excited to hear Pilot's stories about what it was like to be in the other bodies to the point she was hounding pilot to tell her all about it.

    It was the first time I think that we have seen Moya express something pointing to an inner life that wasn't purely focused around the utilitarian aspects of being a ship or a mother. It is intriguing that she honestly wonders what it is like to be one of the passengers instead of the ship.

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Farscape - 2x10 - My Three Crichtons - Originally Aired: 2000-7-14

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 6.19

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 4 7 4 0 10 4 9 10 10 14

Synopsis
A mysterious energy sphere implants itself inside Moya and envelops Crichton. When Aeryn fires upon it, it ejects not one, but three Crichtons! One of them is the original, one of them is a de-evolved 'Ape-Man Crichton', and the other is a super-evolved 'Future Crichton'. The energy sphere turns out to be a dimensional portal, and a transmission from this portal demands that unless one of the Crichtons is sent back, Moya will be pulled though in her entirety. It seems obvious to everyone to send the ape-Crichton back, but when he cannot be found, the original Crichton finds himself at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- No significant exposition, events, or consequences. And a lame episode on top of that.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is the first episode of the series that is truly a bottle show. No new sets and no guest stars. The only new elements required to film this episode were new visual effects and props related to the green sphere.

Remarkable Scenes
- Chiana encountering neanderthal Crichton.
- Another John emerging from the green sphere.
- The sphere demanding one of the Crichtons back.
- The neanderthal John sacrificing himself and the other clone to save the original John and the rest of Moya's crew.

My Review
This episode is like Star Trek Voyager's "Tuvix" but without the well played moral dilemma. Unlike Tuvix, the super smart John in this episode is portrayed as unlikable and self-absorbed to the point of being dangerous to the rest of the crew. That happenstance is merely a convenient trap door for the episode to get a free reset button. Now we don't have to deal with more than one Crichton, or deal with the issue that if only one Crichton can remain, a solid case could have been made to keep the smarter one around.

When John wondered and worried that the smarter, more evolved version of himself was the inevitable future of his race, D'Argo quite correctly consoled him by assuring him that it's only one possible genetic path. I enjoyed this detail, but it also underscores the more interesting question, what if the genetic path the sphere delivered was a likable, non-self-absorbed, non-dangerous version? What if super smart Crichton was as harmless as the original?

That would have made for a more interesting story. But, again, the episode's trap door makes it so we don't have to tackle the tough questions. Instead, we get a cliched action show and a set of confusingly preachy moralizing scenes. For example, Chiana sets neanderthal Crichton free to make some kind of high minded moral point, but as D'Argo said it was merely stupid. That move very easily could have cost everyone on Moya their lives.

Then original John paradoxically agrees to sacrifice himself just as he finishes lecturing his super-smart counterpart about the evils of him being remarkably indifferent to the lives of Moya's crew. Why would John do that? By this point he had all the evidence he needed that his smart counterpart would be the worse version for Moya to keep around, despite his enhanced abilities. John should have kept fighting for his life. I found it profoundly out of character for him to just give up like that and horribly convenient that his neanderthal counterpart let him off the hook.

That said, the poor neanderthal Crichton's story was indeed touching. Imagine living your whole life as a regular person, then being transformed into... that. In your diminished capacity, you're just lucid enough to know what you've lost, but not lucid enough to ever regain it. Indeed tragic. But the implications of John being cloned like this could have been much deeper and much more interesting. It's a shame the episode didn't explore it well.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2015-06-13 at 7:57pm:
    It is still a very entertaining ep!

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My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 6.04

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 4 0 9 2 8 4 25 7 18 6

Synopsis
The crew travels to a planet under the rule of a benevolent monarchy. The Queen-to-be, Princess Katralla, has had her DNA altered by agents working for her avaricious brother, Prince Clavor. As such, she cannot find a compatible partner - one of the requirements of becoming monarch. By pure chance, it turns out that Crichton is a compatible partner, and he is encouraged on all sides to marry. Crichton thinks the proposal ludicrous, and Aeryn keeps quiet on the matter, refusing to reveal her hurt feelings. But when Empress Novia threatens to hand Crichton over to Scorpius should he leave Katralla standing at the altar, Crichton consents to the marriage. [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode establishes that Scorpius' father was Scarran and his mother was Sebacean.
- Scarrans have superior strength than that of Sebaceans and possess a remarkable paralyzing heat emitting ability that seems to allow them to invade their victims' minds.
- Ro-NA was played by Ben Browder's wife, Francesca Buller.

Remarkable Scenes
- John walking in on D'Argo and Chiana having sex.
- John being coerced into marrying the princess.
- Scorpius confronting D'Argo.
- Scorpius giving John a big hug.
- The empress forcing John to choose between her daughter and Scorpius.
- John walking in on Chiana and D'Argo having sex to tell them that the royalty's planning to turn him and his new wife into statues for 80 cycles.
- John being assaulted by the rival prince's thugs.

My Review
Moya quite literally stumbles into relevance in this episode, her aimless wandering finally delivering the crew into non-filler plot advancement which has been sorely lacking in the season thus far. Unfortunately, the execution leaves much to be desired.

It's nice to finally see a full-blooded Scarran and his capabilities, as well as see the romantic relationships between the crew clarified. We now know for sure that D'Argo and Chiana are dating each other and that John and Aeryn would like to but can't sort out their feelings.

However, the relationship exposition isn't entirely new information. Most of this info was slowly disseminated over previous episodes. Astute fans would have already drawn these conclusions. What is new in this episode is the plot dealing directly with these relationships.

But the plot focusing so much on these relationships is part of the reason this episode doesn't work very well. Chiana and D'Argo are amusing comic relief, but John and Aeryn are just annoying. Frankly, Aeryn's behavior during this whole episode is highly irrational; since she's doing it to herself, I have little sympathy for her sadness.

But that's just the beginning of this episode's remarkable lack of focus. What I found even more striking was Zhaan's and Moya's role in this episode and especially Scorpius' role, or in both cases I should say lack thereof.

I'd like to think Scorpius just hanging out on the sidelines like this, waiting for things to happen is part of his clever scheming, but instead it comes off more like he was backed into a corner by the local royalty and has no choice but to play by the rules. That doesn't sound very Scorpius at all to me.

As for Moya and Zhaan, the broader implications of Moya's wandering into the (alleged) leviathan "builders" domain remain to be seen. Overall the episode is a disappointment. I don't care about the breakaway Sebacean colony and I'd prefer these long term story arcs to be handled with better focus to enhance the dramatic effect. Aimless wandering makes for a boring drama.

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My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 10 5 11 6 6 5 9 16 6 9 15

Synopsis
Agents working for Prince Clavor try to assassinate Crichton, but their efforts are thwarted by Clavor's fiancee, Jenavian Charto. She turns out to be a secret Peacekeeper Operative on a mission to stop Clavor from taking the throne and making a deal with the Scarrans. Crichton goes into hiding, assisted by the Royal retainer, ro-Na. Meanwhile, Zhaan, Moya and Pilot meet the 'Builder' Kahaynu, one of the Leviathan creators. Angry over the birth of the gunship Talyn, Kahaynu orders nothing less than the immediate death of Moya. [DVD]

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

Problems
- John's exposure to vacuum in this episode was a bit lengthy for it to be realistic. Had the scene been about a quarter of the length it would have been a bit more realistic, if less cool. :)

Factoids
- The leviathan builders genetically engineered the leviathan species and gave them intelligence.
- Ro-NA was played by Ben Browder's wife, Francesca Buller.

Remarkable Scenes
- A Peacekeeper spy saving Crichton, believing him to also be a Peacekeeper spy.
- The floating orb trying to assassinate John and the princess.
- Rygel scheming with the empress.
- John trying to get Braca to mortally wound him, knowing Braca would be hesitant to do that since Scorpius wants him alive.
- John getting the orbital satellites to fire on the cargo vessel.
- John jumping from the cargo vessel to the transport pod into open space while the orbital satellites were taking shots at him!
- D'Argo to John just before he is to be statued: "Chiana and I are having fantastic sex."

My Review
Part 2 is basically a repeat of part 1 except it brings some fantastic action into the mix. John's spacewalk is of particular note. It's among the most badass scenes I've seen in all of Farscape so far! Unfortunately though, this episode does little to mitigate the previous episode's issues with focus. Aeryn is still incoherent and useless, Moya's still off in la la land with Zhaan, and the rest of the characters are unable to help John get out of his predicament, rendering them almost as useless as Aeryn.

As for Zhaan, we now know why Moya wandered off, but the reason isn't a very good one. It's intriguing to meet the leviathan ship builders, but for a race so advanced they seem to have rather primitive critical thinking skills. They can build leviathans, but seem to lack the ability to sterilize them. Thus, they decide to kill Moya to prevent her from reproducing further. A plot so ludicrous it almost belongs in the technical problems section.

Perhaps the most interesting thing in this episode was John hearing Scorpius' voice in his head telling him to focus in order to survive. Could this be a slow resurgence of hallucination Scorpius from Crackers Don't Matter? A less comical, more serious version of that Scorpius that exists solely to act as John's anti-panic mechanism would indeed make for some fascinating drama. As for the real Scorpius, I'm glad we saw him make an actual play to try and grab John, but it too was rather weak. I expected more from Scorpy.

Finally, on a lighter note, it was fun watching John masquerade as a Peacekeeper again in the teaser. I sometimes wonder if they'll be abusing that cliche for its endless comedic effects for the rest of the series. Overall, this episode is a step up from the last one, but not by too much. Scenes like John's spacewalk were undeniably badass, but do little to mitigate general poor plotting. Hopefully the next installment is a grand slam.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-05-09 at 2:01am:
    I was laughing through that entire scene in which John acts insane and manages to escape Braca. That was just hyperactivity at its finest.

    It also reinforces to me how much Ben Browder got to do, and how far he stretched, in Farscape and how little during his time on Stargate SG-1.

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My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 6.06

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 1 3 7 3 9 7 1 5 8 13

Synopsis
Now married, Crichton and Katralla are frozen into living statues so that they may watch over the presiding governments of the next eighty cycles. Immediately, Clavor and the Scarran emissary Cargn attempt another assassination. Jenavian Charto again comes to the rescue, and she and the restored Crichton escape into the barren lands. Unfortunately for D'Argo, Chiana and Rygel, Empress Novia threatens the execution of every off-worlder on the planet if Crichton is not found. When finding John becomes a life and death matter, D'Argo turns to someone equally desperate to locate the astronaut: Crichton's enemy, Scorpius. [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- The Scarran heat ability can be used in lethal ways.
- This episode establishes that Scorpius, like any Sebacean, is weak against heat. But his Scarran side loves heat, making him paradoxically even more vulnerable to heat than ordinary Sebaceans. Scorpius must thus wear a cooling suit. The rods inserted into his head are cooling rods.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Scarran decapitating John's statue and dumping the severed head into acid to burn away.
- Scorpius retrieving John's head, only to be assaulted by the Peacekeeper spy.
- Zhaan assaulting the leviathan ship builder.
- The Peacekeeper spy discovering John's not a Peacekeeper.
- The leviathan ship builder revealing he was testing Zhaan's worthiness to inhabit Moya, not trying to euthanize Moya.
- The Scarran killing the prince.
- John taking out the Scarran.
- The empress revealing that the princess was impregnated with John's seed.
- John recommending that Tyno take his place as regent, declaring that he'd be a good father to the child John will never know.

My Review
Part 3 mostly fixes the focus issues at the expense of some of part 2's action gains. John and Aeryn have sort of kind of maybe probably worked out their relationship tension, but it took extreme separation anxiety and near death experiences for them to sort of kind of maybe probably accept their feelings for each other. Meanwhile, John got a princess impregnated with his child, though not by his own choice. The idea that his daughter won't be born for another 80 cycles is intriguing, but also a convenient way for us to dispose of this plot thread forever, rendering it largely inconsequential.

The only plot of actual consequence is John's time with Scorpius. We get some interesting exposition about Scorpius and what his big black suit and the weird rods being inserted into his head are all about and we also get to see Scorpius both fail and in some respects deal with failure. At first I was annoyed that Scorpius couldn't hack it on Sebacean royalty planet, but now that we've spent more time with his character, I can see why. Scorpius isn't Crais. He's interested in getting John, yes, but he won't sacrifice his career in the process. Thus, we see a more nuanced Scorpius here.

We also see a weaker Scorpius. His thermal regulation weakness has been exposed and in fact Scorpius was mere inches from being killed by John. Why John didn't kill Scorpius in that moment I may never know. As D'Argo said, it was a mistake. A huge mistake. Maybe it's just a flaw in John's character. He can't kill poor old Scorpy even when he knows he should because he's just too darn nice a guy. Whatever the reason, it should have been made more clear to us. Instead, it looks like a quirky, snap decision John makes for no good reason. Overall, the three parter was decent, but largely a disappointment. With better focus in all 3 parts it could have been a much stronger story.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Ulkesh on 2010-05-09 at 2:44am:
    As for why John didn't kill Scorpius...

    I got the distinct impression that Harvey (the neural implant Scorpius in John's head) was exerting some kind of subconscious influence, preventing the killing stroke.

    This seems the only halfway-reasonable explanation at this point, but my knowledge of the implant is limited; I'm watching the series for the first time and am just about where you are in the reviews.
  • From DK on 2012-08-06 at 8:24pm:
    The indecisive and flip-floping attitude of the princess and Aeryn were both so outrageous I don't know where to begin.  I guess the most outrageous part is that apparently we the viewers are to believe that this is acceptable behavior.  Although come to think of it, it is typical female behavior so I can't knock the show for being unrealistic but it did make me wish someone would choke the both of them.

    I did enjoy some of the original sci-fi thinking such as the *sweet or sour kiss* and viewing your unborn children at any age and being turned into a statue for a while to learn the government.  

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Farscape - 2x14 - Beware of Dog - Originally Aired: 2000-8-11

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.96

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 17 5 14 10 27 4 6 13 24 20 1

Synopsis
Chiana returns from a Commerce Planet with a cute little creature called a 'Vorc'. When D'Argo is attacked by a vicious beast, the crew utilize the Vorc to track down the unwanted guest. Troubled by hallucinations of Scorpius, Crichton has also been catching glimpses of a ferocious creature eating its way through Moya. The rest of the crew doubt his sanity, until it is discovered that the docile Vorc and the voracious animal Crichton saw are one and the same! [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- All the exposition about hallucination Scorpius offered in this episode can be gotten in context later.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Zhaan made a reference to D'Argo having more than one heart.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Vorc humping Aeryn's leg.
- The creature attacking Chiana and D'Argo.
- The revelation that the Vorc is the parasite.
- John speculating that the Vorc only takes the form of the parasite to hunt it.
- John and Aeryn injecting translator microbes into the Vorc.
- John shooting at an imaginary Scorpius beside Aeryn.
- The supposed parasite leading John and Aeryn to a cocooned Rygel.
- Rygel helium farting to prove his identity.
- John and Aeryn exterminating the real parasites.
- John and Aeryn attempting to console the dying Vorc.
- John revealing his flashes of Scorpius to Aeryn.
- John revealing that he tried to kill Scorpius when he had the chance, but couldn't because something inside of him stopped him.

My Review
All this Vorc and parasite nonsense for what amounts to a single scene of important exposition. This episode almost couldn't be more annoying. Instead of dealing directly with the issue of why John is seeing Scorpius everywhere, that much more interesting issue is treated as a subplot so we can get yet another generic alien of week story with our heroes running up and down Moya chasing and shooting the pesky critter.

I grant the episode an extra point solely because the John and Scorpius stuff is so interesting and that it answers my primary question from the last episode's review, which was why didn't John kill Scorpius when he had the chance? Now we know why. John, for some reason, couldn't. It's possible Scorpius has messed with John's mind so much that John is now susceptible to mind control to a certain extent. A fascinating idea indeed.

But we'll have to wait for another episode which deals with this plot thread in more depth before we can truly begin to explore it.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DK on 2012-08-06 at 9:18pm:
    This is easily one of my favorite episodes of Farscape.  The Vork humor was very funny to me.  The juxtaposition of the Vork and Aeryn hunting the bad guy, each in their own way cracked me up.  I especially loved the face Aeryn made when she was attempting to describe, and look like the Vork.  The look was dead on and hilarious.  
    Had to do a double take to understand the plot twist at the end.  I didn't catch when Rigel got made into a pod the first time around.

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Farscape - 2x15 - Won't Get Fooled Again - Originally Aired: 2000-8-18

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 4.98

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 18 5 13 10 6 13 7 2 16 11 14

Synopsis
Crichton finds himself back on Earth, apparently safely returned from his failed Farscape mission. Immediately suspicious, Crichton then starts seeing the crew of Moya one by one in various earthbound guises - Aeryn as a doctor, Zhaan as a psychiatrist, even Rygel as an executive. Eventually, Scorpius too appears, but unlike the others, he claims to know what is really going on. He tells John that this new earth is a hallucination created by a Scarran agent, and that in reality, John is a captive. The Scarrans know that Scorpius is interested in John, and through this freakish interrogation technique, they intend to find out why - at the expense of Crichton's sanity. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Contains essential exposition about hallucination Scorpius.

Problems
- The road signs were on the wrong side of the road in the scene just before John head on collides with the bug truck. (This is due to the show being filmed in Australia despite the episode being set in Florida.)

Factoids
- Scarrans naturally emit heat at higher levels than most humanoid species. So much so that standing near one would make humans sweat.
- John's nickname for hallucination Scorpius "Harvey" is a reference to the 1950 film Harvey. In the film the protagonist sees a giant invisible rabbit which only he can see named Harvey.

Remarkable Scenes
- John waking up in a hospital with his father.
- Aeryn as a human nurse.
- John checking places he's never been to try and dispel the Earth fantasy again, falsely assuming it's a repeat of events from A Human Reaction.
- Zhaan as a psychologist.
- D'Argo the hotshot astronaut.
- Scorpius and Pilot playing in the bar band.
- John observing a second Scorpius at the bar.
- Rygel the IASA executive.
- John: "The guy is a 2 foot green slug on a golf cart!" John's dad: "What does the man's disability have to do with anything?"
- John tossing executive Rygel off a ledge.
- Chiana the astronaut groupie.
- John head on colliding with a big truck and coming out of it unscathed.
- John reaching out to the wrong Scorpius.
- Crais the cop.
- Crais, while inexplicably carrying a dog named Toto, fining John $29.40 for charges of assault on a police officer, theft of police property, illegal possession of a firearm, and 5 counts of attempted murder.
- Scorpius revealing to John that the illusion is induced by a Scarran interrogation technique.
- Scorpius revealing that he's an implant left by the real Scorpius designed to slowly unravel access to the wormhole knowledge left in John's brain.
- John nicknaming the Scorpius in his head Harvey.
- Dominatrix Rygel, cross-dressing Crais, and gay D'Argo.
- John briefly dying, then reviving, and killing the Scarran by overloading his pistol and shoving it into the Scarran's mouth causing it to blow off the Scarran's head.
- Harvey revealing he stopped John's brain function for a few moments to divert the Scarran in order to save John's life.

My Review
Introducing: Harvey. He's both John's protector and tormentor. Poor John was captured by the Scarrans off screen just prior to this episode and was sure to be done in. But the enemy of John's enemy turned out to be his friend. Scorpius implanted Harvey into John's head during the events of either Nerve or The Hidden Memory to protect John's life at all costs. If John were to die, everything Scorpius is after would die with him. Thus, while Harvey will stop at nothing to keep John alive, he'll also stop at nothing to unravel John's brain to get at that wormhole knowledge. A delightful impasse.

Structurally and dramatically, this episode is everything the previous episode should have been. What little exposition we got out of the last episode explaining hallucination Scorpius was reiterated here and then some. And the complete answer we got is, as I've said, delightful. There are all sorts of fascinating possibilities. It's clear Harvey can exert some amounts of control over John. He can affect his physiology (even stop his brain!), he can prevent John from killing Scorpius, and he may even be able to prevent John from revealing the full extent of what Scorpius' neural clone really is to his shipmates.

Whatever the capabilities of the neural clone are, it's sure to play a big role in John's increasingly unstable behavior. Simply being stranded away from Earth and on the run was making John crazy enough, but to have his pursuer literally inside his mind messing with him adds a lovely new layer of danger to the story. John's being attacked on two fronts now. Not just in space, but from within as well. In short, this episode manages to be successful at not just telling a great, fun story by itself, but also setting up the rest of the season for more great storytelling. Well done.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rob UK on 2015-01-24 at 2:42am:
    Bondage Rygel makes me burst out laughing everytime i see him (currently on my 4th run through the show from start to finish), the only time i've loved Rygel more is the episode where they are all back on Earth at Halloween (S04E12 Kansas) and he gets wasted on all the trick or treat candy he stole from the children and asks John if this dren is legal high as a kite on sugar.

    Great episode "This is for fluffy 'whip' this is for buckwheat 'whip', whatever that is"

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Farscape - 2x16 - The Locket - Originally Aired: 2000-8-25

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5.02

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 9 6 20 13 15 9 16 5 7 13

Synopsis
Returning from reconnaissance near an unknown planet, Aeryn appears on board having aged one-hundred and sixty cycles! After warning the crew that Moya is stuck in time, she then returns to the planet, leaving a desperate Crichton to follow her. Years pass on the planet surface. Aeryn has raised a family and is content with her life, but Crichton is a bitter and disillusioned old man. On Moya, Zhaan and Stark combine their powers to discover that Moya is trapped in a 'Center Halo', a region where time does not exist. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode is largely pointless but contains two essential tidbits of continuity. It's the episode where Stark returns to Moya (which happens off screen and has to be explained in dialog) and it's the episode where D'Argo learns the whereabouts of his son Jothee. I thus reluctantly classify this episode as not filler.

Problems
- During a scene down on the slow time planet, you can see a car drive by in the background.

Factoids
- Sebaceans live for over 200 cycles.
- John has a line where he says, "I am told old for this shit!" When this line originally aired on television they dubbed it to "I am too old for this ship!"

Remarkable Scenes
- Old Aeryn.
- John meeting Aeryn's granddaughter.
- John getting stuck on the slow time planet.
- Zhaan and Stark sharing unity.
- Old Crichton taunting Harvey.
- Aeryn dying of old age.
- The reverse starburst.
- Stark revealing the whereabouts of D'Argo's son, Jothee.

My Review
The Locket is an episode which had a lot of potential to be a fantastic Aeryn and Crichton character story but it was wasted because the details just didn't tell a very touching story. Instead we got something of a jumble.

Aeryn got old on some planet where time slows down, had children with some man we learn absolutely nothing about, then John goes down there with her (accidentally) and gets old too. The point of the story seemed to be about Aeryn's unrequited love for John, given that they were separated for so many decades, but that drama was understated to the point of barely existing, if at all.

Meanwhile, Stark's now back on the ship randomly and knows the whereabouts of Jothee, D'Argo's son. His presence adds almost nothing to the story except to enhance Zhaan's mystic powers, a cliche they abused not once but twice. Likewise, the whole idea of rapidly aging the characters and then resetting them to normal age is something of a science fiction cliche by this point as well.

The most annoying detail though was how Aeryn thoroughly failed to coherently explain to John when she first returned to Moya exactly what had happened to her. She insisted instead that Moya's crew trust her so she wouldn't have to explain, but she spent more time insisting this than explaining would have taken! Overall the episode is somewhat a flop.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Emily on 2012-04-04 at 1:22am:
    While I agree that the story was muddled, it's clear to me that there is still residual tension between John and Aeryn even as an elderly couple. It's unclear to me whether John has ever told Aeryn he's in love with her, perhaps preferring instead to show her and never say the words. It seems clear to me that John doesn't know for certain that she felt the same for him until he opens the locket.

    Still, though, it seems in 55 years they could get over their issues, right? Overall, it's a silly episode, and it could have been an incredible story - I'm reminded of two episodes of Stargate SG-1 that touch on similar themes of being stranded and moving on (yet holding on to an old love) and do a much better job of it.
  • From Aaron on 2013-08-01 at 7:51pm:
    I agree that it wasn't a very good episode, and I was frustrated also by Aeryn's first appearance and her inability to explain the situation. Crighton easily explained it when they returned the second time. Speaking of Crighton, where are all the 'Crightonisms' from old John? Surely he hasn't given up on talking about Yoda and John Wayne?

    Once correction on the synopsis. Time did not slow down on the planet - Time was slow on Moya, to the point of almost stopping. Time flowed normally on the planet, which caused the apparent aging difference between Moya's crew.

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Farscape - 2x17 - The Ugly Truth - Originally Aired: 2000-9-8

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.94

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 2 5 4 13 11 20 7 21 6 12

Synopsis
Crais invites Crichton, Aeryn, D'Argo, Zhaan and Stark on board Talyn, and announces that he is going to remove the young gunship's weapons and replace them with a non-lethal Plokavian weapon called a 'Dampening Net'. When the Plokavians arrive with the device, Talyn suddenly targets and destroys one of their vessels! Crichton and the others are captured after Crais starbursts away with Talyn, and their situation becomes a desperate 'whodunnit'. Each is interrogated in turn by the Plokavians, who intend to execute the person they deem responsible. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode is not filler for a number of reasons, but most importantly because of the cliffhanger at the end of the episode.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Novatrin gas is one of the six cargoes leviathans are forbidden to carry.

Remarkable Scenes
- Crais inviting Moya's crew aboard Talyn and requesting assistance disarming Talyn due to his alleged increased aggressive behavior.
- Talyn shooting the Plokavian ship out of the sky then starbursting away.
- The transport pod being captured by the remaining Plokavians.
- John describing their jail cell as "some kind of floating hubcap."
- John referring to the Plokavians as "Plakavoids."
- Crais banishing Moya's crew from Talyn after Talyn destroyed the Plokavian ship.
- Stark telling the Plokavians that Crais deliberately attacked them.
- D'Argo implicating Stark as the one responsible for making Talyn fire on the Plokavians.
- Pilot: "Moya feels guilty." Chiana: "Why? Because Talyn blew up some weapons dealers? If you ask me, they had it coming."
- John: "Ten Plakavoids see a fender bender, you get ten identical reports?" The Plokavians: "Yes."
- Everyone in John's account referring to the Plokavians and the "Plakavoids."
- Stark confessing for the crime.
- The Plokavians dispersing Stark.
- Moya's crew deducing that Talyn fired on the Plokavians of his own volition because he was scared and was trying to protect Moya from the Novatrin gas in the possession of the Plokavians.

My Review
An amusing and fascinatingly framed story with a dramatic twist at the end. Stark's noble sacrifice was abrupt, surprising, and moving. Though like in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan we can be all but certain Stark isn't dead. He's been given a get out of death free card due to his mystic powers and his method of execution.

I am frequently irritated by deaths framed in such a way in science fiction stories because despite how moving Stark's death was, the fact that we cannot know that it is certain death robs it of much of its dramatic appeal regardless of whether or not we ever see him again. Nevertheless, the ending is a great dark twist despite its shortcomings.

The next most remarkable thing in this story is the delightful framing device of most of the episode's plot being told via the dramatized accounts of each of the five prisoners. Each prisoner's subtly different account of what happened aboard Talyn was delightful in its own way. There are too many amusing details to list.

Overall The Ugly Truth is a solid story. Along with Stark's noble sacrifice and the fun of the different accounts of the prisoners, it was great seeing Talyn and Crais again and this time they were used for more than just a silly cameo appearance. Hopefully they start to play a bigger and more frequent role in the ongoing story soon.

No fan commentary yet.

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Farscape - 2x18 - A Clockwork Nebari - Originally Aired: 2000-9-15

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.1

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 6 5 16 4 2 2 5 15 28 6 16

Synopsis
Aeryn and Rygel bring onto Moya two Nebari survivors of a Peacekeeper attack, Varla and Melak. Despite their weakened state, the ruthless Nebari manage to mind-cleanse the crew, and in the end only Crichton is unaffected, his mind protected by the Scorpius Clone. Crichton presses Chiana as to the motivations of Varla and Melak. It turns out that Nerri, the brother Chiana thought lost, is very much alive, and is now the leader of the Nebari Resistance Movement. The Nebari Establishment knows this, and intends to capture him using Chiana as bait. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Essential exposition about Chiana's brother and thus Chiana. Also, this is the episode where John names his gun Winona.

Problems
- The human eye can't be stretched in the manner shown in this episode. The only way for that scene to be plausible is if the Nebari have some artificial means to make the eye more robust so that it can survive this procedure.

Factoids
- Pilot's species is immune to Nebari mental cleansing.
- The title of this episode is a reference to A Clockwork Orange which also deals with brainwashing.
- Remarkably, this is the first episode in which Pilot uses a curse word when he cursed his "frelling collar."

Remarkable Scenes
- Crichton naming his gun "Winona."
- Aeryn and Rygel showing up mind cleansed along with a Nebari escort.
- Winona misfiring again when John tried to shoot the Nebari who boarded Moya.
- Chiana revealing that she was allowed to leave Nebari territory because they had infected her with a contagion her government wanted to spread across the galaxy to infect aliens.
- Mind-frelled D'Argo.
- Varla: "It is either mind-cleansing or death." John: "Hey isn't that against your Nebari Prime Directive?" Varla: "We are in difficult times."
- John undergoing the horribly disgusting eyeball removal mind cleansing technique.
- The Nebari revealing that Chiana's brother is still alive.
- Harvey helping John resist the mind cleansing.
- Chiana to John: "You're really not cleansed?" John, feeling up Chiana while she's restrained: "No. My thoughts are as dirty as ever."
- John discovering that because Rygel eats so much and has such a (relatively) good metabolism that the mind cleansing didn't work on him.
- Rygel: "I'm nobody's puppet!" Oh the irony, given that the character is an animatronic puppet.
- Chiana seeing a recording of her brother, letting her know that he's alive.
- John: "Shut up you miserable excuse for a life! I'm sick of you selling us out every chance you get!" Rygel: "I don't do it every chance!"
- Rygel getting Aeryn and D'Argo electrocuted.
- Pilot simulating a Peacekeeper attack.
- Melak turning on Varla.

My Review
This is an episode with very little plot advancement but lots of fun along the way. We learn more about why the nefarious Nebari government is so evil and we find out Chiana's brother is still alive, but aside from giving us some background exposition concerning Chiana, absolutely nothing of consequence happens. What's interesting about this episode is the little details.

Scenes like Harvey helping John resist the mind control, John naming his gun Winona, mind-frelled D'Argo, John chiding Rygel for always trying to sell them out, and so many others turn this otherwise average plot into a quite enjoyable story packed with an assortment of fun scenes. Though it's little more than that. The plot is somewhat deficient at times.

Melak's character is particularly foggy. The plot said Melak was "sent" to deliver Nerri's message to Chiana. But sending him under the guise of working for the Nebari government sort of defeats the purpose of delivering her a message from the resistance if he's duty bound to capture her in the process to maintain his cover. Given that logical contradiction I'm left wondering why Melak didn't just betray Varla right from the start. Oh wait, I know why. Because then we wouldn't have an episode. ;)

In any case, the episode manages to be well above average anyway. It's jam packed with fun scenes and while I'm starting to get irritated that the issue of D'Argo's son continues to be on the backburner, they manage to get away with it pretty well by implying that it's taking Moya some time to travel to the location where Jothee is being held. All in all A Clockwork Nebari is a strong story.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-06 at 12:55am:
    "She's gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha!"

    This episode has a couple fall-down funny moments; that was one of them.

    The Nebari were great antagonists; I understand that they'll never appear again? A shame.

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My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 6.47

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 1 3 3 14 6 0 33 16 12 13

Synopsis
Stark returns with a plan to buy the lot of slaves that includes D'Argo's son, Jothee. He proposes that the crew rob a Shadow Depository - a high-security bank for ill-gotten wealth - run by the powerful, insidious alien Natira. An apparent hitch in the plan leads to D'Argo's capture, and though the heist kicks into action, its objective now includes retrieving the Luxan. Incredibly, it transpires that the currency the crew plans to steal belongs to Scorpius, who has just arrived to make a transaction! [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- The title of this episode trilogy comes from the Warren Zevon song Lawyers, Guns, and Money.
- The title of this part of the trilogy comes from the novel/film A Simple Plan. The plot of that story also featured a highly convoluted plan.

Remarkable Scenes
- Moya's crew rescuing Stark and Stark telling D'Argo he knows a way to save Jothee.
- Zhaan masquerading as a criminal matriarch.
- Aeryn and John seeing Scorpius arrive at the depository from the security monitors.
- Aeryn and John observing Scorpius' cooling rod ritual for the first time and deducing its purpose.
- Rygel: "The blue bitch said this would be easy!"
- John and Aeryn sabotaging one of Scorpius' cooling rods.
- Scorpius finding John.
- John to Scorpius: "What the frell did you put in my head?"
- Scorpius commanding John to save him from the defective cooling rod, using the chip in John's head to attempt to force him to comply.

My Review
A fast paced action plot with lots of great suspense and danger but very little payoff. Almost nothing of consequence happens in this episode despite all the high stakes. The two most significant events are the return of Stark and Scorpius zeroing in on John. But saving D'Argo's son still remains conspicuously untended to and the bounty Moya's crew acquired from the Shadow Depository turned out to be sabotaged for some reason. I'm particularly annoyed with this cliffhanger. If they had gotten away with the money, the episode might have been worth another point, but sabotaged money that transforms into deadly spiders just isn't a very interesting plot point.

Stark's return is certainly a welcome one. If they're going to plant seeds like they did in The Ugly Truth about how Stark's probably maybe not really dead, they should at least follow through with that wishy washiness and bring him back. Fortunately, they did exactly that and wasted no time doing so. I'd have been irritated if they dragged it out, but they didn't. So good job there I guess. What's especially notable though is Stark's behavior post-resurrection seems even more erratic than pre-resurrection, much to my amusement. Watching his convoluted plan slowly unfurl was lots of fun and the fact that his crazy plan wasn't so crazy after all adds a lot of credibility to the character, as D'Argo made note of.

The centerpiece of the story though is John's spazzy behavior as a consequence of John's neural implant being in close proximity to the real Scorpius. I loved how John had no reservations about assassinating Scorpius, but it was obvious that the chip in his head was preventing him from directly attempting to do so. The scene where Scorpius commands John to save his life is one of the most powerful scenes in the series so far. It's delightful that John was able to overcome Scorpius' control, but not completely. John was unable to will himself to kill Scorpius when he got away and what's more leaving the cooling rod within Scorpius' reach was clearly the wishes of the chip in John's head.

Overall the first part of this multi-part episode is off to a good start, cliffhanger notwithstanding. Hopefully the next installment ratchets up the intensity and relevance even more.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-07 at 1:55am:
    By far my favorite of the Liars, Guns and Money trilogy; "With Friends Like these..." suffered a bit from middle-of-the-trilogy syndrome, and there were several little things from "Plan B" that annoyed me. I also have an aversion to Jothee, somewhat...

    This one was class all the way through, though, to borrow a British expression.

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My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.8

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 13 7 5 6 3 16 5 6 8 22 16

Synopsis
Moya's crew escapes the Shadow Depository with the loot, but the shipload of currency turns out to be a horde of insectoid creatures that start to eat Moya! What's more, Scorpius has purchased the enslaved Jothee, completely thwarting Stark's plan. The crew decides to hire mercenaries in order to break Jothee out. Individually, they set out to hire their squad - Bekhesh the Tavlek, Rorf and Rorg the Blood Trackers, Teurac the Sheyang, and Zenetan Pirates led by none other than Rygel's old nemesis, Captain Durka. [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- Natira designed Scorpius' original cooling system which explains why they have such a close relationship.

Remarkable Scenes
- Scorpius revealing that he captured D'Argo's son and will only give him up in exchange for John.
- Akkor: "A Luxan-Sebacean hybrid." Braca: "Despite Peacekeeper Command efforts to keep the bloodlines pure, there seems to be a few more of them every cycle." Scorpius: "Have you got something against hybrids?" Braca, nervously backpedaling from his faux pas: "No, of course not! Not at all!"
- Scorpius meeting with Jothee.
- Scorpius' creepy alien sex(?) scene with Narita and their ensuing casual conversation about how she was actually trying to kill him with those ingot-spiders.
- Rygel stumbling on Durka while trying procure the flax.
- Rygel killing Durka!
- Zhaan and Pilot setting Moya on fire to eliminate the spiders.
- Rygel throwing Durka's decapitated head to the floor.
- John giving himself up to Scorpius to save Jothee.

My Review
This episode is a riveting continuation of the previous installment's premise and I'm delighted to see that rescuing Jothee is finally the primary focus of the story. John takes one more stab at assassinating Scorpius in the process but his plan falls apart as plans always do on this show when the money turned out to be sabotaged. I was pleased the spiders didn't serve as the episode's primary antagonist but instead were treated more like a nuisance while the episode's much more interesting A plot marched forward. This focus made Moya's devastating injury far more shocking and dramatically compelling.

Another nice detail was D'Argo admitting to struggling with giving John to Scorpius in exchange for his son. I liked both that D'Argo struggled with this as well as the fact that he couldn't quite bring himself to do it. Fortunately for D'Argo, the choice was made for him when John realized his plan had fallen apart. Now with no money to pay the mercenaries, John had little choice but to agree to Scorpius' terms.

Speaking of the mercenaries, this episode is a continuity gold mine or nightmare depending on how you look at it. I'm typically fond of well integrated stories where characters recur and aren't confined to single episodes, but the characters brought back in this story weren't Farscape's best offerings, with the possible exception of Durka. Seeing Rygel personally murder Durka was one of the best scenes of the episode; a worthy tangent. We'll have to see how the mercenary thing plays out in the next installment.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-07 at 10:13am:
    Natira didn't design the cooling system... that was the Diagnosan Tocot, right?

    This was again a good one; my favorite scene was the murder of Durka.

    I once heard it said on a forum that the scene with Rorf and Rorg in the caves with D'Argo was one of the worst-acted scenes in the series. That's pretty amusing, though it wasn't THAT bad.
  • From Kethinov on 2010-06-13 at 8:33pm:
    It's both. Natira designed the cooling system, but the Diagnosan installed it.

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My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.15

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 4 0 4 2 1 2 3 2 4 20 10

Synopsis
Crichton has given himself up to Scorpius in exchange for D'Argo's son, Jothee. The rest of the crew decides to rescue him, hoping also to steal enough loot to pay off the mercenaries. Scorpius reveals to Crichton that he placed a neural chip inside Crichton's brain, a chip that contained a clone of Scorpy's personality. While searching out Crichton's wormhole knowledge, the Clone has been infecting and warping Crichton's identity. So, even as the spectacular rescue gets underway, it seems that Crichton will forever be a prisoner in his own mind. [DVD]

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

Problems
- On some issues of the DVD release there was a vertical blue line through the center of the screen during several shots while Aeryn was communicating with Crais just prior to Talyn's assault on the depository. This was fixed in subsequent releases though, including the Blu-ray release.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The mercenaries revolting and trying to take over Moya because there's no longer any money to pay them.
- Talyn and Crais responding to Moya's distress call, to heal her.
- Rygel carrying around Durka's decapitated head.
- Natira taking Rorf's eye.
- The assault on the Shadow Depository.
- The Sheyang blowing himself up to destroy the generator because he couldn't spit fire normally.
- Talyn destroying the Shadow Depository.
- Moya's crew finally scoring riches in the process of rescuing John.

My Review
The epic rescue of John is a densely packed action show and a great deal of fun. We get to see Talyn strut his stuff, only Rorf and the Sheyang die in the process, nobody else is captured, and the crew makes off with riches! I have to agree with Rygel for once. For a Farscape plan, that's quite a successful haul.

A particular highlight of the story for me was the subtle character development of Jothee. He doesn't have many scenes, but the ones he has count. He starts off indignant, refusing to help rescue John. Then he realizes that he's not comfortable with his cowardice and changes his mind, volunteering to assist his father.

D'Argo though is mindful of Jothee's feelings and gives him the honor of playing a less risky role in the rescue. I liked that Jothee seemed to have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, he didn't have to risk (as much) life and limb. On the other hand, he seemed to truly desire to prove himself to his father in battle and didn't get his chance to. The ambivalence was nicely portrayed.

The centerpiece of the intrigue in this episode was of course once again John and his struggling against Harvey. John seems to have lost more control over his actions than ever before; having to be knocked out by Aeryn and carried out of Scorpius' clutches by D'Argo. John didn't even once assist in his own rescue aside from buying time by distracting Natira.

There were only two minor blemishes that prevent this episode from getting a perfect score. The first is the same complaint from before about the mercenaries. They were annoying. Of course they were far less annoying in this episode than the last one, but they were still a bad idea to begin with because as I wrote in my last review none of them are terribly interesting characters.

Thus when two of them nobly sacrificed themselves, it was hard to really feel for them. They were little more than a distraction from the interesting parts of the plot to begin with. On top of that they didn't even matter that much in the end anyway. It was Talyn that made the difference in the battle, not the mercenaries. Some of them even got in the way, like the pirates.

The second blemish on the plot was the alleged death of Scorpius. This wasn't framed well. We didn't see him die; it was only mentioned in passing. So if he did die, he got a fairly unceremonious death, unworthy of such a fantastic antagonist. If he's not really dead, then the plot's doing a fairly poor job of convincing us that he is. Either way it's a poorly executed plot point. But overall this is an awesome episode of Farscape.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-12 at 9:09pm:
    Your complaint about Scorpius' death/near-miss is just the tip of the iceberg. At the end of A Not so Simple Plan, Scorpius is left dying in a corridor; at the time of airing there was a debate about whether Scorpy was dead... now, it's reasonable to assume that Braca got to him in time and saved him. This incident is relatively no big deal.

    Now in Plan B, Scorpius is in a room with an exploding Sheyang, and then is alive is a following scene. How the FRELL did he escape? It's not explained in any way.

    ADMITTEDLY MINOR SPOILER ALERT FOR BELOW




    In the next episode, Scorpius is alive - with no explanation... again.

    The writers made him invincible. This annoyed me.

    As for this particular episode, I quite liked it even in light of my above complaint and some of the action being weirdly scattershot and bombastic (something that's often the case in Farscape gun skirmishes).

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Farscape - 2x22 - Die Me, Dichotomy - Originally Aired: 2001-1-26

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.93

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 12 6 7 9 24 2 4 19 14 30

Synopsis
The crew heads to the icy home of a famous surgeon, the Diagnosan Tocot, hoping he will be able to remove the neural chip from Crichton's brain. However, not willing to give up so easily, the Scorpius Clone takes over Crichton's mind, and a mind-controlled Crichton escapes from Moya. Aeryn takes chase in her Prowler, but a critical mistake plummets her, helpless, into a frozen lake. Crichton finally submits to Tocot for the surgery, but even as he lies on the operating table, it turns out that Scorpius himself has been one step ahead of them all... [DVD]

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- Hugh Keays-Byrne, who plays Grunchlk in this episode, originally auditioned to play D'Argo.
- The Diagnosan featured in this episode is the same one that installed Scorpius' cooling system.
- The dog montage when the Diagnosan was probing John's memory was actually a collection of photos of dogs owned by the various people involved with the production of Farscape.

Remarkable Scenes
- John in Socrpius' makeup.
- D'Argo discovering that Jothee mutilated himself because he hated being part Luxan.
- Jothee trying to tongue whip John, but getting his ass kicked instead, then D'Argo tongue whipping John shortly thereafter, catching him off guard.
- Jothee and Chiana discussing D'Argo's dreams about farm life and family.
- Chiana to Pilot: "You're high, okay?" Pilot: "I am no higher than I've ever been. My position is fixed."
- Pilot revealing to Chiana that D'Argo intends to propose to her.
- John, controlled by Harvey, sharing unity with Zhaan.
- John escaping in his module, signaling Scorpius.
- Aeryn chasing John's module with her prowler, trying to shoot it down.
- John, controlled by Harvey, puncturing Aeryn's prowler with the landing gear.
- Aeryn ejecting from her prowler as it crashes into the ice.
- Aeryn crashing into the frozen lake.
- Scorpius arriving at the ice planet and assaulting the Diagnosan just as it had removed the chip in John's head but before it restored his speech.

My Review
Another stellar episode just shy of being worthy of a perfect score. Repeating the same mistake as the previous episode, we all know Aeryn is not really dead, so why the big, dramatic funeral? The story plants the seeds of her resurrection quite clearly. The Diagnosan regularly preserves people at the moment of their death, keeping them alive in stasis. Clearly, unbeknownst to anyone in the story, the Diagnosan is (was?) planning to add Aeryn to its collection.

Once again, the audience isn't being clued into this hidden motive because the writers are trying to fool us, playing up Aeryn's alleged death with an overwrought funeral. But audiences are not fooled and even if we were, that's not how you write good drama. On a related note, were we supposed to act surprised that Scorpius was still alive? Nobody in this episode even acted like he was dead and nobody was surprised when he returned. It's as if the writers gave up on that ruse last episode.

The next most annoying detail of the episode is the Diagnosan itself. Scorpius said, "What irony! Sensitivity to heal anything but oneself." He's right, but the irony is pretty forced. It's like the planet full of lawyers. A good satire is nice, but it's hard to suspend disbelief that there is an entire species out there dedicated to a single craft, like healing or lawyering. Once again, Farscape delivers us another bad science fiction cliche.

That said, the season two finale delivers a lot of drama and intrigue. The icy dogfight between Aeryn and John controlled by Harvey was incredibly thrilling. And the little details tantalize as well. There is dialog suggesting that humans, Sebaceans, and perhaps other aliens are genetically closely related somehow and there's also a sequence of lovely scenes between Chiana and Jothee. Poor D'Argo. His girlfriend is about to become his daughter in law.

And finally, you can't help but feel for John. Aeryn's death may be a poorly executed sleight of hand, but John being robbed of his girl, his speech, and much of his memory is a terrible price to pay for getting that chip in his head removed. Like Aeryn's life, I'm sure John's speech will be restored, but I doubt this is the last we'll see of Scorpius.

It would be fun to see some sort of role reversal. Imagine Scorpius developing some kind of wormhole technology using John's recovered memories and then John hunting Scorpius both for a way home and for vengeance. But whatever does ensue, this episode definitely leaves me on the edge of my seat for more Farscape. This was an effective season finale and the season itself continued to deliver a delightfully dark drama.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-06-13 at 1:11pm:
    Seasons 1 and 2 ended up with the same number of points awarded and average rating... That's pretty remarkable.
  • From Kethinov on 2010-06-13 at 7:22pm:
    I was pretty surprised to see that as well after finishing the reviews. Certainly wasn't intended to work out that way. Especially seeing as how this season didn't earn any perfect scores on any episodes; that honor is still reserved solely for Nerve up to this point.

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