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Farscape - Season 4 - Episode 19

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.5

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# Votes: 4 17 7 4 2 27 36 5 10 18 8

Moya's crew tracks Aeryn to a Scarran Border Station, where the freighter she is imprisoned upon is about to leave for Katratzi, a Scarran base. To keep the ship docked and under quarantine, Noranti gives Rygel a deadly, contagious disease. Though this gives the crew time to come up with a plan to rescue Aeryn, they do not figure on the cunning and ruthlessness of Aeryn's Scarran captor, Jenek. [DVD]

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



Remarkable Scenes
- Moya arriving at a Scarran border station.
- Rygel projectile vomiting everywhere to cause a medical quarantine of all ships.
- Noranti infecting Rygel with a real disease to keep up the ruse.
- John taking out the nurse and locating Aeryn.
- John getting captured and interrogated by the Scarran only to be saved by Scorpius.
- The nurse dying of the disease.
- Chiana being abducted so that Aeryn's baby can be transferred to her because Chiana is immune to the disease.
- Sikozu disabling the power grid on the station and on the Scarran freighter.
- Scorpius fighting the Scarran captain and getting captured in the process.
- John bringing Aeryn back to Moya.
- Harvey showing back up in John's head compelling him to go back and rescue Scorpius.

My Review
This skillfully written action story has a number of bold plot points that really make it shine. The first is Noranti actually infecting Rygel with a highly contagious disease in order to prolong the ruse. I loved that the implications of this were fully explored. Not only was it actually useful, but it we got to see people get infected and die as a result of Noranti's actions. On top of that she takes time at the end of the episode to reflect on this. Good writing there.

The second most remarkable bold plotting of the story was the horrific idea of killing Aeryn, taking the baby and transferring it to Chiana as a surrogate mother. It was obvious that this wasn't actually going to happen, but it was a fantastic way to ratchet up the intensity just prior to John boarding the Scarran freighter and taking Aeryn back by force. Finally, having John compelled to rescue Scorpius was a fantastic ending.

My one quibble with the plotting is that while I love the return of Harvey, I think the series has earned the concept of John desiring to rescue Scorpius on his own, without intervention from Harvey. For instance, Aeryn may have felt honor-bound to rescue Scorpius for his many roles in saving her life and the baby. I believe even John may have been able to concede this on his own and stick his neck out for Grasshopper. Whatever the reason though it's still good plotting.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From jeremy grego on 2012-11-13 at 12:35am:
    Agreed. To much effort put into humanizing scorpius for everyone to still utterly revile him.
  • From Margaret J on 2019-08-11 at 1:45am:
    This was great. Loved everyone working together. The writers having the old lady (Wrinkles/Noranti) infecting Rigel with the real disease was genius. Everything just seemed flow seamlessly, I gave it a perfect score of ten (10)
  • From Gary on 2020-08-31 at 5:18am:
    Overall excellent, great tension. Snagging Chiana as a surrogate was yet another great Farscape-style move, though I wish its execution hadn't been so absurd. Really, Moya can't notice when thugs have boarded and are strolling through, twice engaging Chiana? And what happened to Chiana's super-human ability to hide, especially on Moya with no end of places to squirrel away?
  • From Jon Reremy on 2021-01-03 at 4:53pm:
    I mean I love Scorpius and I would've cherished seeing John's un-tampered willingness to go back for him, but at the same time I completely understand why John would still choose abandonment. That introductory 2-parter from season 1 was.. so messed up. It's hard to rewatch it, just the way Crichton almost could've avoided capture and the worst of what he ended up suffering if Scorpius wasn't wandering the promenade there and caught sight of him. Scorpius only had his spidey sense to go on.. Anyway, John never recovered from that torture, even before it got really bad for him after the season 2 premiere you could see in season 1 in the standalone episode(s) just after 'Nerve' John is just a little bit more wild with unnatural bursts of laughter in tense situation. A little heart-breaking. I've never seen a main character of a show so broken down to his core like John was, besides the Hannibal TV series.
    As much as I want him to, John owes him absolutely no softening-up-to

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