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Farscape - Season 1 - Episode 06

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 3.26

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The crew follows D'Argo down to the city of the Sykarans, and is made welcome by the monarch Volmae. D'Argo, along with the general populace, has become a slave to the addictive, mind-altering tannot root. The artificially euphoric people work endlessly for the powerful Volmae, their minds clouded by the tannot. In his efforts to free D'Argo, Crichton encounters the Sykaran resistance movement who force him to let a large live worm eat its way into his belly as protection against the tannot. In order to free them all from the planet, Crichton realizes that he must break Volmae's hold over her people. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- No significant exposition, events, or consequences. And a lame episode on top of that. The stuff about Luxan hyper rage comes up again later, but it's not necessary to watch this episode to understand the later material.


- This episode establishes that Luxan males periodically experience bouts of poorly substantiated "hyper rage" which is directed at other males.
- The Sykarans are distant cousins of the Sebaceans.

Remarkable Scenes
- The crew explaining Luxan hyper rage to John.
- D'Argo going from hyper rage to silly contentment.
- Aeryn: "She gives me a woodie." John looks at Aeryn strangely. Aeryn: "Woodie. It's a human saying. I've heard you say it often when you don't trust someone or they make you nervous they give you--" John: "Willies! She gives you the willies."
- Rygel's explosive body fluids.
- Aeryn breaking off one of Rygel's whiskers.
- John faking the contentment.
- John defying Snow White.
- Rygel's explosive pee.
- Zhaan discussing D'Argo's mutually exclusive dreams with him.

My Review
Another slow, largely filler episode. This one's better than most of the others so far because there are a few nice details. John makes note of the fact that the Sykarans, humans, and Sebaceans all seem like similar species, and Aeryn confirms that the Sykarans are distant cousins of the Sebaceans, but the overall significance of this remains unexplored. Also, the brainwashed slave labor serving a purpose in the Peacekeepers' military industrial complex was a nice touch. Finally, unlike Throne for a Loss, this episode has some very nice scoring.

But aside from these amusing tidbits, the episode is largely a flop. By far the most annoying detail is Volmae's trippy behavior. She constantly talks reeeeally sloooow and is always acting like she's spaced out on hallucinogenic drugs, despite being established in the plot as immune to the tannot root. Likewise, similar to the narcotic plot point in Throne for a Loss, the plot point in this episode about expanding Aeryn's horizons with science is overplayed to the point of being preachy and doesn't quite resonate as a consequence. Overall, a fairly weak story, but at least better than the last two.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Boscalyn on 2015-02-08 at 2:57am:
    I actually have a soft spot for this episode. I mean, the climax is literally "Rygel threatens to pee on a minefield," but there are so many cute character moments here: D'Argo's atypical bliss, John and Aeryn's ridiculous fake smiles, D'Argo and Zhaan's talk at the end, etc. And John's adorable pink vest is adorable.

    Some very cool satire here as well-- I mean, it's basically about a massive organization which forces local farmers into monocropping for said organization's exclusive benefit, undermining their economy, right? So basically Monsanto. And it's on a plantation run by a lady who is literally white. I mean, the white supremacy subtext is done a lot better (and funnier!) in "Crackers Don't Matter" but doesn't everything come up short compared to that film?
  • From Margaret J on 2019-06-07 at 12:02am:
    I liked this one much better than the last one (Back, Back and Back to the future). Even though the albino alien had similar speech/voice inflections they did not seem so pronounced and did not interfere with my immersion and hence enjoyment. Does anyone know if the episodes had the same director???
    I enjoyed the story it kept me entertained. I also liked that Aeryn and Pilot bonded more with Pilot sharing his secret that he is not good at analyzing scientific data and only understands a "fraction" All in all I gave the episode a 6
  • From Scorpius Drumkit on 2021-09-27 at 11:17pm:
    I don't get Volmae either. It almost feels like a producer decided that there weren't enough "weird aliens" in the episode, so they slapped a bunch of makeup on her actress and told her to talk weird. I literally can't figure any other reason for it.

    The rest of the episode is solid, if somewhat bland. Without too much work one could have just as easily made it a cookie cutter Star Trek episode. That's fine, but Farscape is at its best when it's giving the middle finger to Trek tropes.

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