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Farscape - Season 4 - Episode 08

Farscape - 4x08 - I Shrink Therefore I Am - Originally Aired: 2002-8-2

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 3.93

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When Moya is raided by bounty hunters working for the Peacekeepers, every crew member is captured except for Crichton and Noranti. The armored intruders shrink the captives and imprison them inside holding cavities in their torsos - if Crichton harms them, he endangers his friends as well. Finding that Scorpius is also free and on the run, Crichton teams up with him to fight off the menace, unaware that the leader of the bounty hunters has a hidden agenda. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode contains plot relevant bits concerning John's drug use and Moya entering tormented space. This is also the first episode to depict a ruling-class Scarran and the first episode where the crew starts to go a bit easier on Scorpius, largely due to the fact that they learn that Scorpius can break out of the jail cells at will but has simply chosen not to up until now.

- Despite Rygel's objections to the technical problem, Sikozu is right. They were too small to breathe the air. The only way to rationalize this is to assume the technology is capable of restructuring their anatomy so as to overcome this issue somehow.

- Sikozu designed replacement cooling rods for Scorpius, but they don't function as well. As such, Scorpius gets overheated in times of stress.

Remarkable Scenes
- John: "Let me talk to Captain James T. D'Argo." Then Noranti laughing at the joke as if she somehow gets it.
- Pilot tipping off John that something's wrong by describing very unusual behavior in the crew as to why they're unable to receive him when he arrives in the pod.
- John evacuating the pod with Noranti and slamming it into the boarding party's docked craft.
- John encountering Scorpius and Scorpius revealing that he had a means of escape at his disposal the whole time he was on Moya but never chose to use it until now, when he needed to to avoid the bounty hunter boarding party.
- John teaming up with Scorpius to go after the bounty hunters.
- John: "This is John Crichton paging the head Cylon. Pick up the phone, Imperious Leader!"
- The bounty hunter aliens shrinking some of Moya's crew.
- John's bear trap.
- Scorpius saving John.
- The head bounty hunter revealing himself to Scorpius as a Scarran.
- John revealing to the bounty hunters that their leader is a Scarran in disguise.
- The Scarran executing all his officers once they discovered he was a Scarran.
- Shrunken Aeryn riding 1812.
- John shrinking the Scarran and then stepping on him. John: "One small step for man..."
- John forgetting that Noranti was outside the ship and asking D'Argo to take care of that.

My Review
This episode is kind of a mixed bag. It's a delightfully fun story for the most part, containing such memorable scenes as shrunken Aeryn riding DRD 1812, John singing the episode score to himself while going bad guy hunting, John ramming the pod into the bounty hunter ship, and John squishing the shrunken Scarran, but there's a number of wrinkles in the plot that wreck some of the potential for the episode to rise above merely average. For one, the science behind the shrunken people is a wee bit dicey, but most importantly the ending's silly, half-hearted cliffhanger concerning "tormented space" was just lame.

Honestly, tormented space? Really? What a groan-inducing line. Anyone else getting bad memories of Star Trek Voyager's episode The Fight, which focused on the similarly bizarre concept of the so called chaotic space? Or how about the fact that Pilot says tormented space is filled with wormholes? Or the fact that everyone on the ship already seems to have known about this region of space for some time, including John? If it's so commonly known, why didn't Scorpius do his wormhole research in the vicinity? The whole bit of exposition is just sloppy and annoying. Oh well. Decently fun ride of an episode otherwise.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Simon on 2015-11-20 at 1:34am:
    Reconstruction their anatomy would leave their brains to fable to function properly.
  • From Margaret J on 2019-07-31 at 11:28pm:
    If you just accept the silly shrinking bit this is surprisingly a pretty good and entertaining episode. Chianna trying and failing to seduce the bad guy was hilarious. We learn that Sorpius Could have gotten out of his cell anytime he just chose not to. And we see that John has been taking the forget herbs for what he thinks/says is simply assisting him deal with the Aeryn situation. I see a big addiction story coming. I only hope it is done well and does not take up a whole lot of time or episodes. I rated this one a seven(7)
  • From Gary on 2020-08-20 at 4:01pm:
    Shrinking, ugh. This has all the hallmarks of a common Star Trek mistake - someone thought a tech would be cool for whatever reason (and yes, it is quite entertaining to see the Scarran squished), so without thinking of the consequences they introduce a tech which:
    (a) makes no sense, Rygel's "just go with it" notwithstanding, and
    (b) which is an incredible weapon they should use constantly from now on. Non-lethal yet instantly incapacitating, even rendering weapons (like the overload) ineffective, and working against otherwise-tough opponents like Scarrans. Screw wormhole technology, the Peacekeepers should be arming everyone with these, and waltzing all over any Scarrans they meet. Now our heroes have picked up about a half-dozen of these super-weapons (and one overpowered shield belt). Moya may be unarmed, but on the ground there is nobody more dangerous than our fugitives.

    Yes, one can - and hopefully the show will - find ways to minimize the shrink-ray. Maybe it's short range - but just slap it on a DRD and use it in ambush! Casually, carelessly throwing in game-changing tech is Star Trek's stupidity, I don't need it spewing all over other franchises.

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