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The Peacekeeper Wars, Part I - Originally Aired: 2004-10-17

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.38

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 18 1 1 3 4 46 2 7 34 14 31

Synopsis
John Crichton, Earth astronaut, has spent the last four years lost in a far distant region of the galaxy. He has experienced many fantastic adventures, confronted countless amazing alien species - but nothing he has encountered has prepared him for the journey about to come. With Aeryn, his exotic alien love, about to give birth to their first child, Crichton finds himself in the middle of nothing less than a galactic war that threatens millions of innocent lives. Desperate that his child not be born into a world in the midst of an all-encompassing war, Crichton must put himself directly at the center of the conflict, and bring these two all-powerful, uncompromising combatants to peace. Somehow.

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

Problems
- Scorpius' command carrier would not be visible from the surface like it was when John's and Aeryn's first attempt at a wedding was interrupted.

Factoids
- The Farscape series was canceled late in season four and unfortunately the producers were not able to wrap up the plot by the end of the season so it ended quite infuriatingly on Bad Timing's cliffhanger. The series was not wrapped up until over a year later with the broadcast of this film which was only greenlit in large part due to massive fan outrage at the abrupt cancellation of Farscape.
- Among the many unexplained visual and audio changes in the main characters since season four, the most remarkable is Pilot's voice. At times he sounds more like Crais than Pilot.
- Sandy Gore, who plays Muoma in this episode, also played Vreena in Prayer and We're So Screwed Part I: Fetal Attraction.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Peacekeeper and Scarran fleets going at it in the opening scenes.
- 3D swimming Rygel.
- The Scarrans declaring war on the Peacekeepers because of Scorpius' preemptive attack.
- Moya's crew reassembling John and Aeryn.
- Scorpius sensing that John Crichton is alive.
- John telling his story to the aliens who shot him to bits.
- Pregnant Grayza.
- Aeryn's baby accidentally being transferred into Rygel.
- Chiana regarding the locals: "So what's their problem then?" Stark: "Fear, abject fear." Noranti: "Of what?" Stark: "Their fear extends to the point of not talking about their fear."
- John's and Aeryn's wedding being interrupted by the arrival of a command carrier.
- Noranti realizing the aliens on the water planet are Eidolons.
- Scorpius confronting John and revealing that he is in communication with Harvey.
- John: "As long as there's a war on everyone's after me because I'm the winner take all weapon guy."
- Rygel receiving a message from his cousin who deposed him begging him to return to Hyneria to help him unite them against a Scarran attack on their territory.
- Rygel, pregnant with John's and Aeryn's child, performing a wedding ceremony aboard Moya for them only to see it interrupted again this time by an attack by mercenaries.
- Moya starbursting away from the mercenaries while being shot at.
- John stumbling on Jool on the Eidolon planet.
- Aeryn revealing that the baby will be fully gestated within a matter of days, due to the accelerated nature of Peacekeeper pregnancies.
- The Scarrans nuking the Eidolons' temple and Jool along with them.
- Moya attempting to starburst and the Scarrans disabling Moya.
- The head Eidolon priest revealing that his people originally created the Peacekeepers to compliment their mediation abilities and that the ancestors of the Peacekeepers were humans from tens of thousands of years ago taken from Earth.
- Ahkna firing on D'Argo's cloaked ship, destroying it.
- John taking Staleek to Einstein.
- Chiana and D'Argo directly exposed to space.
- The Eidolon priest beginning to tame the Scarran.
- Grayza assassinating the Peacekeeper chancellor.
- Jothee rescuing D'Argo and Chiana.
- Ahkna taking out the Eidolon priest.
- Rygel requiring an emergency transfer of the baby to Aeryn whilst the Scarrans start gassing their jail cell.

My Review
We couldn't get a season five, but we got the next best thing: season five compressed into a three hour, two part miniseries. In many respects the first half of the miniseries is the first eleven episodes of Farscape season five compressed into an hour and a half by cutting down on less-than-essential plot threads and excising the filler. You can almost see the points where roughly every ten minutes of this story constitutes enough plot to have filled an episode in a hypothetical expanded version of this story spread across half a season with some filler used to pad it out.

There are numerous signs that this story was originally intended to be spread out over a longer period of time, as there are enough events in a few days worth of story time here to fill up a whole year. Likewise, Aeryn's pregnancy has been accelerated into a few days as well. Imagine Rygel being pregnant with Aeryn's child for the first quarter of season five instead! In compressing so much material into such a short amount of screen time, we lose a lot of potential for texture, but at the same time we gain a great deal of intense pacing. They did leave some of the filler in though. That whole sidebar with the mercenaries attacking Moya struck me as a filler episode compressed into ten minutes.

Without a doubt the outbreak of war between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans couldn't have been depicted in a more suitably epic fashion. Fleets of command carriers and dreadnoughts going at it, internal political strife on both sides, and John and his friends caught in the middle. It's simply spectacular stuff. On top of that we finally have an answer as to why the Sebacean race looks exactly like humans: they are humans! Humans from tens of thousands of years ago taken from Earth and their genetics messed with by the Eidolons in order to create the original Peacekeeper army.

The Eidolons were surprisingly not as annoying as I had expected. Right when the scene where Staleek is being tamed by the head Eidolon priest was reaching its maximum levels of annoying absurdity, trusty old Ahkna comes in and takes the guy out. I let out a sigh of relief that such an incredibly intense war story wouldn't anticlimactically fizzle out due to some overwrought science fiction telepathic calming plot device. The only thing that bothered me about the Scarrans was there wasn't any mention of their ongoing quest to procure more Strelitzia flowers. You'd think that would have been brought up by now.

As for the Peacekeepers, I'm glad the plot was contorted in such a way that both Grayza and Scorpius control separate and distinct factions within the Peacekeeper army. Grayza assassinating the chancellor whilst being pregnant with his child was certainly a bold and sinister move. It's scary to think she might now ascend to ruling the entire Peacekeeper army. As for Scorpius, I enjoyed how he regarded the Eidolons. Yes, he considered them irrelevant just like the Scarrans did, but unlike the Scarrans, Scorpius has no desire to wipe them out. That makes old Scorpy boy more sympathetic in my book.

The cliffhanger was skillfully framed. While it's obvious the main cast isn't going to be killed off in the Scarran jail cell gas chamber, pairing their imminent deaths with Rygel's little medical emergency of needing to transfer the baby to Aeryn immediately was a nice touch. It ratchets up the suspense above the level of a simple cookie cutter cliffhanger. What seals the deal beyond all this is fantastic cameos like Jothee and Jool. Killing off Jool in this manner was a nice touch and really helped to set the stakes. Overall the first half of The Peacekeeper Wars is outstanding.

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The Peacekeeper Wars, Part II - Originally Aired: 2004-10-18

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.49

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 7 19 2 2 5 24 7 18 15 34

Synopsis
John Crichton, Earth astronaut, has spent the last four years lost in a far distant region of the galaxy. He has experienced many fantastic adventures, confronted countless amazing alien species - but nothing he has encountered has prepared him for the journey about to come. With Aeryn, his exotic alien love, about to give birth to their first child, Crichton finds himself in the middle of nothing less than a galactic war that threatens millions of innocent lives. Desperate that his child not be born into a world in the midst of an all-encompassing war, Crichton must put himself directly at the center of the conflict, and bring these two all-powerful, uncompromising combatants to peace. Somehow.

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

Problems
- Why hasn't Grayza had her baby yet? She was much further along before Aeryn even started showing. Not only that, but Aeryn said her pregnancy was taking forever because it's half human.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Sikozu combusting the gas and breaking them out of the jail cell.
- John transferring the pregnancy from Rygel to Aeryn in the middle of the gun fight.
- Grayza stalling the vice chancellor of the Peacekeepers so she can remain in command of her command carrier longer.
- John unlocking his knowledge of wormhole weapons to protect Aeryn and the baby.
- Moya starbursting into the middle of a Peacekeeper and Scarran crossfire.
- Moya crashing herself into the ocean and then taking on water on all tiers.
- John: "Stark! I know what you're feeling. You've got something in your head that everybody wants. Something that never should've been there in the first place."
- Chiana finally accepting D'Argo's offer to go to Hyneria together.
- The Scarrans attacking our heroes' position, taking out the diagnosan.
- Scorpius uncovering Sikozu as a Scarran spy.
- Aeryn demanding that Stark marry her and John while she's giving birth.
- Rygel giving back the ring John gave Aeryn.
- Aeryn giving birth to a baby boy in the midst of the battle.
- Jothee taking out the Scarrans with his ship.
- Aeryn taking out Ahkna.
- D'Argo sustaining a mortal wound and staying behind to cover everyone else's escape.
- Pilot revealing that he had the DRDs construct the wormhole weapon to John's specifications as he was swayed by John's argument after all.
- John to Scorpius: "You wanna see it? The thing you've been chasing my ass all over the universe for? Torturing me, my wife, my friends for? The wormhole weapon. You wanna see it?" Scorpius: "Yes." John: "Beg." Scorpius: "I beg you." John: "That's not good enough, say please." Scorpius: "Please." John: "Pretty please." Scorpius: "Pretty please." John: "With a cherry on top." Scorpius: "With a cherry on top."
- John unleashing the wormhole weapon against the two fleets.
- The wormhole weapon devastating both fleets and destroying the planet as well.
- John: "Wormhole weapons do not make peace. Wormhole weapons don't even make war. They make total destruction. Annihilation. Armageddon. People make peace."
- The wormhole weapon finally convincing Staleek and Grayza to make peace.
- Einstein stopping the wormhole weapon and taking John's knowledge of wormhole weapons away from him.
- The Peacekeepers and Scarrans signing a peace accord.
- Harvey dying in John's head because John's wormhole knowledge is gone.
- John and Aeryn naming their baby D'Argo Sun Crichton.
- John to his son, holding him up to the stars: "This is your playground."

My Review
This epic conclusion to Farscape has it all. Wormhole weapons, John's and Aeryn's baby is born, the dramatic death of a main character (D'Argo), and John's actions causing the Peacekeepers and Scarrans to make peace. This ending offers almost all the closure you could ask for with only a few minor gaps. From a hardcore fan's perspective, it certainly would have been nice to know a few important details. For instance, does John no longer have any knowledge of wormholes at all? We know his knowledge of wormhole weapons was purged, but along with that did he lose the ability to ever return to Earth?

And what will become of the Scarrans without their Strelitzia flowers? Will Rygel really be able to return to Hyneria and resume his role as dominar or will he, Chiana, and Jothee have to depose Rygel's cousin? Had Farscape been given a fifth season we probably could have gotten answers to these questions. But even without answers to these questions, Farscape's ending was easily satisfying enough to earn a perfect score across the board.

Farscape was a story that started out as an action adventure story about a man lost on the other side of the galaxy trying to get home but ended as a story that makes a profound statement about weapons of mass destruction. The philosophy of the show is that once weapons of mass destruction become suitably massive, they will destroy you right along with your enemy. Best not to open Pandora's Box as whatever sacrifices you need to make to have peace aren't worth mutual annihilation. The ending works well at a meta level as well. The characters on Farscape had to be shown the power of wormhole weapons before they could back down from their ambitions. They didn't have a Farscape TV series to watch to teach them that lesson. Will we, the real world humanity learn this lesson from simple fiction like Farscape?

There are many other details to love about the ending as well. Jothee's cameo continued to delight. There was a lovely scene where D'Argo made note of the fact that Jothee showed up just as he and Chiana were finally starting to trust each other again. Throughout the finale, both men understood where each other was coming from. Had D'Argo lived, I have no doubt the two would have reconciled their differences. Jothee proved himself not only in battle, but off the battlefield he proved himself a gentleman as well when D'Argo interacted with him.

Another nice touch was Stark having to be the sole bearer of the Eidolons' ancient mediation knowledge for a time. John's line to him saying that he knows how Stark felt referring to having knowledge in his head that everyone wants; knowledge that he never should have had in the first place is a nice bit of parallelism, as is the injury above John's left eyebrow. If you recall Infinite Possibilities, Part II: Icarus Abides, the John Crichton from that episode had an identical injury just prior to gaining the knowledge to build wormhole weapons.

In the end, Farscape leaves us with an incredibly satisfying ending that makes a profound statement on its way out while leaving the rich Farscape universe wide open for a sequel some day. I must say I would certainly relish the idea of another Farscape series focused around D'Argo Sun Crichton or a number of other surviving Farscape characters. I'd love to see what Earth does with their newfound advanced technology and knowledge of alien life and I'd love to see if the Peacekeeper / Scarran peace lasts. Indeed, Farscape is one of the richest settings ever crafted in science fiction. Bravo.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-08-01 at 4:05am:
    Congratulations on finishing your Farscape reviews. It has been a lot of fun following your reviews as I see the series a second time.

    The wormhole weapon scene is one of my three favorite Crichton scenes, and was a devastating climax to this excellent miniseries.

    So, what's next for the Kethinov reviews?
  • From Kethinov on 2010-08-01 at 5:14am:
    Thanks!

    Next I'll be going back through Star Trek in order of air date, starting of course with TOS. The Star Trek reviews will get Farscape's "filler quotient" system along with nicer screenshots and more commentary with deeper analysis in the reviews.

    As for new content, I'll be reviewing Caprica as it airs in 2011. I currently have no plans to do reviews for any other shows, though that could change in the future. Solid contenders for future reviews include HBO's Rome (would break my sci fi theme, but who cares, Rome is awesome), possibly some select feature films, and maybe even Babylon 5.

    But it could be many years before I get around to doing that. So for the foreseeable future all that's going to be here are reviews for Star Trek, BSG/Caprica, Farscape, and Firefly. Over the next year or so I'll be touching up and polishing all that review content as noted above. I'll also stay current with new releases in those franchises. (e.g. Star Trek XII and Caprica)

    Anyway thanks for reading. Love your comments.
  • From Ben on 2010-08-01 at 12:52pm:
    A great ending to a great show. As you said, the Peacekeeper Wars did a fantastic job of compressing a season's worth of material into three hours of stellar storytelling. The one thing that annoyed me is D'Argo's death, which seemed like to occur for no real reason other than to kill off an important character, and naming the son after him was too predictable and kind of corny. Still a phenomenal ending. I love how big of a role Stark got, too. Also, it was a real pleasure reading your reviews! Very well done!

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