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Farscape - Season 3 - Episode 16

Farscape - 3x16 - Revenging Angel - Originally Aired: 2001-8-10

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 3.64

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A fight between D'Argo and Crichton over the malfunction of D'Argo's mysterious new ship ends with Crichton being knocked unconscious. The Scorpius Clone in Crichton's mind tries to convince John that revenge against D'Argo is the only way to settle the conflict, but John prefers to resolve it in his own head, acting out a Crichton vs. D'Argo cartoon battle set in Road-Runner land. Meanwhile, the ship malfunction leads to the activation of a self-destruct sequence that threatens to blow Moya to pieces should D'Argo fail to deactivate it. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This is the episode where D'Argo begins to unlock control over his ship. However the plot advancement is relatively minor and can be understood in context later. There's also a slight reference made to Chiana's budding premonition abilities.


- D'Argo's ship appears to be of ancient Luxan design.

Remarkable Scenes
- D'Argo's irrational freakouts.
- Cartoon Harvey.
- The cartoon chase between D'Argo and John.
- D'Argo gaining control of the ship by speaking ancient Luxan.
- Jool confiding in D'Argo.
- Cartoon Aeryn.
- Harvey in scrubs.
- A DRD injecting D'Argo with some translator microbes programmed with ancient Luxan.
- The ship telling D'Argo that he could gain control of it using his qualta blade.
- Pilot telling Jool that she's walking through the droppings of some kind of symbiotic parasite inhabiting Moya.
- Harvey conducting a funeral.
- John: "Marty Goldstein stole my bike when I was seven. I went over to his house and I gave him a bloody nose."
- John: "I don't wanna stoop that low. Kirk wouldn't stoop that low." Harvey: "That was a television show, John."
- Jool retrieving D'Argo's qualta blade and D'Argo using it to gain control of the ship.

My Review
A bold humor episode that successfully channels Looney Toons to deliver a highly entertaining comedy juxtaposed with an equally effective ticking time bomb story concerning Jool's accidental triggering of the self destruct on D'Argo's new ship. I enjoyed the various bits of texture present in this episode. For example, D'Argo hyper-raged on John without cause and felt shame for it all episode. Jool was he real culprit, but only because she wanted to become closer to the ever more isolated D'Argo. This isn't Farscape's signature bickering, it's nuanced characterization.

As for John, his juvenile retreat whilst in the coma and struggle against Harvey's predilections for revenge ranged from amusing to at times profound. We learn a lot about John in this episode. He's a pacifist at heart. At the end he tells D'Argo that nothing D'Argo could ever do to him could make him want to take revenge on D'Argo. This seems a bit like an overstatement; I'm sure if D'Argo for some reason turned evil and started working for Scorpius or something, that might get John to be a bit revengey, especially considering his now deceased counterpart's treatment of Crais in Relativity.

However, John's statement need not be terribly honest for us to learn something about his character from it. What the statement does tell us is that John is highly reluctant to resort to that sort of behavior, even if he's not being terribly honest with himself about his reluctance being supposedly unmitigable. On the whole he sees good in everyone, perhaps even in Scorpius, and he's thus ultimately predisposed to turn the other cheek, a quality rarely exhibited in many of Farscape's other constantly bickering characters.

My only real complaint about this episode is the timing certainly could have been better. They should have aired this before Infinite Possibilities to avoid this silly farcical story directly following such a powerful dramatic piece. A silly farce can be fun, but only when timed properly. Airing this episode right after Infinite Possibilities is sort of like telling jokes at a funeral to lighten the mood. Not a terribly effective approach!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Mike chambers on 2014-10-10 at 6:04am:
    Why didn't Chiana and D'Argo's translator microbes translate the ancient Luxan for them?

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