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Farscape - Season 2 - Episode 16

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

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.95

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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.

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

- 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.
  • From Margaret J on 2019-06-26 at 7:08pm:
    Ok on the surface this was a good episode. I always like when a scifi show plays with time and I did this time as well but it had some pretty big issues. I get the writters wanted to keep the mystery of what happened as long as possible but in this case that should have been as soon as Areyn returned to Moya the first time. Also the Areyn John story could have had more focus, like them getting older together on the planet and IMO it should have been a show us not tell us story.
    I did like the Dargo and Chianna stuff and the acknowledgement that they are very differnt and maybe not compatable. I also liked the end teaser about Jothee and the fact that Stark is back. I gave the episode a 6

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