Farscape Rewatch! — “Exodus From Genesis,” “Throne For a Loss”

WEEK TWO

First thing’s first: where are all you people? I had like a bajillion comments on the Introduction post, and then you all disappeared. Are you dead? Is somebody else dead? If somebody isn’t dead, then you should all be ashamed of yourselves. (I apologize if somebody is in fact dead.) Also, please please please comment if you read the post. I have mentioned in the past that I am a total comment whore, and that hasn’t changed. Plus: it’s a rewatch. Discussion is the point! Consider yourself spanked. (Also, feel free to skip over some of the stuff I write. I know it’s a lot. The summaries are pretty long, but if you paid attention you don’t need to read, etc.)

Now that the lecture’s over, I also have a tiny plea, and then we’ll get on with it. If you are a first time viewer, I beg you to hold out until “A Human Reaction,” which is when I fell in love with the show. My experience with Farscape is that because it’s so bizarre, people often have a hard time connecting to it in the beginning, but I promise you it’s worth it. Take these episodes as an example. When I first watched them, I wasn’t very impressed. Because I wasn’t used to the tone of the show, and because I hadn’t seen where the show would eventually end up, I had a hard time getting through some of these early suckers. I remember that “Throne For a Loss” was particularly grueling for me, but watching it a second time, I can’t remember why I thought that. It’s delightful for such an early episode. Naked Zhaan, Rygel in a bag . . . and in “Exodus From Genesis,” Crichton gets beat up a lot. What’s not to love?

1X03 — “EXODUS FROM GENESIS”

Rygel is painting a portrait of himself and D’Argo is teaching John how to use a maggot-like creature to clean his teeth when the ship shakes fantastically. In Command, Aeryn thinks that what looks like asteroid debris has given them some sort of interference. Outside the big portal, it looks like a cloud of shiny shimmery stuff. It’s very pretty, so it’s probably very nasty. Via holograph, we learn that the mysterious cloud is actually preventing a nearby Peacekeeper ship from scanning them. The ship passes but the cloud remains, and the crew doesn’t see as it enters Moya. And it ain’t no cloud. It’s bugs.

John and Aeryn talk about the “Marauder” and Aeryn tells him the team on board are called Commandos. He notes that the appearance of the ship “shook her up.” While Aeryn and John have their first real conversation, a bug watches from the shadows. Aeryn starts complaining about the temperature, and then a bug sticks Aeryn without her knowledge. Zhaan and Crichton have a heart to heart about how Aeryn and D’Argo don’t have any patience for Crichton, and how he needs to develop patience in order to survive. “With Aeryn and D’Argo everything’s a test,” he says. She tells him that they’re soldiers; win their respect. Then Crichton captures a bug and whacks it death. Zhaan dissects the bug and finds Crichton’s DNA. Meanwhile, we learn about Sebacean Heat Delirium.”Sebaceans lack the gland necessary to regulate extreme thermal increases.” If the temperature gets too high, they slip into a condition known as The Living Death. It’s irreversible. “Zhaan” attacks Crichton and then spits blue shit up all over the heat controller thing. He finds Aeryn on Command, thinks she’s having heat stroke, and then she beats the shit out of him, too. And then he rips her arm off.

Turns out they’re replicas made by the bugs. Replica Aeryn lies on the table with her arm off while real Aeryn watches, sweating buckets. “We will kill them all. On sight,” says D’Argo. “And how will you tell us from them?” asks Zhaan. D’Argo wants everyone to “cut off the tip of [their] small finger for identification,” which is hilarious because of how everyone reacts to him, and John just ends up spraying them all with orange paint. D’Argo throws Rygel into a hole in Moya’s corridors so he can find the nest. Meanwhile, Aeryn and Pilot have an awesome bonding scene where she confides in Pilot and tells him that she “can’t hold a thought or a weapon.” He says: “It is strange to be so close to a Peacekeeper I do not fear. That is a compliment.” He opens Moya to vent temperature to space, but it doesn’t really help. John confronts D’Argo about wanting Aeryn to die. “You hate her, right?” Even though D’Argo says she’s a comrade, John gets pissed. It’s intense. “Look, human, for what it’s worth, the part of me that wants Aeryn to live is greater than the part of me that wants all Peacekeepers to die.” Back in Pilot’s den, Aeryn starts removing clothing. “Why would the others care?” she says. Her kind locked them up and abused them. Elsewhere, Rygel finds the nest. Just after Zhaan finds a substance to dissolve the goo, a creature spears her with a large pincer. Aeryn has become almost unconscious. Another John drops from the ceiling, mimics the orange hand spot, beats the crap out of John, etc. Rips his double’s head off. Aeryn is delirious. Zhaan comes in to command with the stinger in her and then starts channeling the hive queen. She identifies herself as Monarch of the Drakh.

The queen needs warmth to lay her eggs, and she will kill them if they threaten her Genesis. Crichton figures out that they didn’t attack until he killed that first bug. They just have to wait until the queen has birthed her young, and then everything will be back to normal. She still has half to go. They remove to Aeryn’s chambers, where she is prostrate on the bed. And then the fucking Peacekeepers show up: the same Marauder from before. They find the dead Aeryn Replicant — assuming it’s the real Aeryn — and start shooting at all the different Replicants, which reignites the war with the Drakh. Rygel negotiates for them gets the Moyans to be released, and they turn up the heat with Aeryn’s permission, in order to disable the new Peacekeepers. Aeryn makes John promise to kill her if the living death should take her. John doesn’t look happy about this. Zhaan takes her to the shower to keep her cool. Crichton, using the doubles, bluffs their way out of trouble and scares the shit out of the Peacekeepers. After this incident, D’Argo has a newfound respect for Crichton for facing off with the Peacekeepers by himself. The Drakhs leave, and the temperature is back to normal. Zhaan and Crichton have a metaphysical talk, and then Crichton finds Aeryn on the observation deck. She basically calls him a lower species, and he falls even more in love with her, which is logical, if you think about it.

Trivia

  • The red paint streak on Rygel’s face re-appears and disappears after Zhaan has cleaned it off.
  • Pilot uses the unit of time “hours” instead of arns when referring to how long before the temperature reaches “optimum plus fifteen.”
  • Until the miniseries, this was the only episode directed by Brian Henson.
  • John’s reference to Animal House was originally excluded from the U.S. airing, only making it into the European version.
  • The “dentic” is introduced in this episode: the dentic is a wormlike creature used to clean one’s teeth. It crawls around inside one’s mouth eating all the bacteria and excess food particles in one’s mouth. NEVER swallow a dentic.
  • Originally, writer Ro Hume called the Drak Monarch “The Sultana,” as in the wife of a Sultan. This was changed for fairly obvious reasons.
  • This is the first episode where the entire show takes place aboard Moya.

Metaphorically Speaking

Farscape episodes are structurally unusual for a couple of reasons: 1) Because of European broadcasting standards, they are all fifty minutes long as opposed to the traditional forty-two, and 2) Instead of the traditional A and B stories, Farscape usually has A, B, and C stories interweaving together. This episode is the perfect example of both. The A story is John’s. He’s becoming acclimated to his new surroundings, and is frustrated not only by his inability to do the simplest things, but by the attitudes of those around him. Of the “aliens,” Zhaan is the only one who respects Crichton as a person. Aeryn and D’Argo are completely perplexed by him, and Rygel couldn’t give a shit about ANYBODY. So it’s nice by the end of the episode for Crichton to have proved himself to both Aeryn and D’Argo; D’Argo, by facing off the Commando leader by himself, and Aeryn, by showing her sympathy. But Aeryn’s realizations don’t really have so much to do with Crichton’s actions as they do with her circumstances. Which bring me to . . .

The B plot, which is Aeryn’s. One of Aeryn’s basic assumptions in life is that “lower life-forms” are useless and inferior to herself. It’s a very black and white view of the world, and this episode takes steps to shake up that world view. Another of her basic assumptions is that violence is always best, so the very idea that violent actions (Crichton killing the first bug) were what led to the conflict in the first place, is kind of shocking to her. She starts out the episode saying to John, “Family? Friends? I want neither,” and she continues, insulting John: “What could I possibly want from you?” So later when she starts to lose her faculties because of the heat delirium, and she does have to rely on Crichton (and the others) to help her, her ego is taken down a peg. To lose control of the mind and body, and to die in a non-combat situation, is the worst death a Peacekeeper can imagine. She’s probably never been so close to it before. If what John needs is patience (he’s naturally adaptable), then what Aeryn needs to learn is how to adapt, both in ideas and in actions. The bugs are a kind of representation of this. Their main defense is mimicry, adaptation. The mirror image is a Farscape trope that will come back again and again, and this is the first real use of it.  When the Replicant Aeryn is lying on the table, the real Aeryn watching, it’s like she’s seeing herself for the first time. I also enjoy Aeryn and Pilot’s scenes in this episode. There’s something about the relationship between those two that is very poignant, perhaps because he is so kind and vulnerable and SO alien. He is everything she is supposed to hate, and yet she finds it easiest to talk to him out of all the Moyans.

The C story, then, is the bugs themselves and what they represent. (Some of you will probably disagree with me that this is the A story and the others are B and C, but I tend to place more importance on emotion than plot, so just suck it or whatever.) The bigger picture of the thing is that it’s all about perspective, and to a lesser extent, the futility of communication. I could also get into an extensive discussion of Othering and Post-Colonial theory, but I think that might be taking it too far. The obvious parallel is that the Moyans declaring war on the bugs is analogous to Crais declaring war on Crichton without speaking to him first. In both cases, gut reaction assumptions are made, and in both cases, those assumptions are wrong. The reason Crichton’s bluff to the Peacekeeper Commandos is so successful is because he’s taking that lesson and pushing it to the max. The Commando leader asks him, “What kind of creature are you?” (in reference to the fact that there are like twenty Crichtons popping up everywhere), but his question has thematic resonance, too. That’s a question that neither Crais, nor the Moyans, nor the Peacekeepers in general, seem to ask of themselves. They’re just pests to be destroyed. Dentics. Microbes. It’s all the same thing.

Trash Bin

I actually think this episode holds up really well, especially considering that it was the first one filmed, even before the pilot. There are obvious places where, if it had taken place later on in the series, this episode would have been much, much different, but for the third episode of a new series, it’s pretty dang good.

1X04 — “THRONE FOR A LOSS”

The Moyans are preparing for guests, apparently called the Tavleks, whom Crichton calls the “Tavloids.” Everyone’s nervous and fighting, but they need the supplies. They are out of food. D’Argo notes that the cargo they’re about to carry is probably contraband, but he’s the only one that seems to care. Rygel, posing as their leader, intends to greet the Tavleks with supreme arrogance. As a consequence, when the Tavleks inevitably attack as soon as the doors are opened, all hell breaks lose, and Rygel is tossed into a bag and shunted out the door, still in his Thronesled. But the Tavleks left one of their own behind, and D’Argo, even though he fails to get it to work, is now in possession of one of their super bracelet things. Whoopee. BTW, the Tavleks are super ugly.

Almost right away, D’Argo gets even more violent than usual and starts throwing things around, giving stupid orders, kicking DRD’s. Things like that. He refuses to take the bracelet off. Crichton and Aeryn pull info out of the Tavlek hostage that they’re going to have to knock D’Argo unconscious to get it from him, so Zhaan does some hocus pocus that she calls science and whips up a sleep mist. Too bad the sleep mist fails, despite Crichton’s excellent water balloon throwing skills. And amidst all this, the Tavleks call, demanding not only the return of their boy, but also some other thing which I was too lazy to try and spell. Finally they manage to knock D’Argo unconscious and the bracelet pops off. Down on the Tavlek homeworld, Rygel has been buried in mud up to his neck inside a cell. He meets a creepy green alien, and they compare Empire sizes. It’s very penis related. Back on Moya, Pilot is having troubles and it’s Rygel’s fault; he borrowed a part from Moya — a red crystalline structure — and now she needs it back. Aeryn has a plan this time, to go down to the planet and get it back, but Crichton doesn’t want to go. She knocks him out and stuffs him in her Prowler.

When he wakes up, Crichton is very pissed off, and tells Aeryn that when this is over “you and I are going to have a serious talk.” Back on Moya, the young Tavlek decides to get saucy with Zhaan, and shows her his ugly little naked body to freak her out. She hilariously tells him that he’s “quite respectable for his age,” and surmises that his culture must be ashamed of their bodies. He retorts that at least they don’t look like her, but she just takes off her robe and stands naked in front of him. Second time I’ve seen a naked blue butt in four episodes. Awesome. On the planet, Aeryn puts on the bracelet — rather, the Gauntlet — and wreaks violent havoc. On to Plan B. She’s gonna kill everyone with her bare hands. When John tries to take the Gauntlet from her, she tries to kill him, too, and D’Argo has to tongue her to knock her out. (This is not as dirty as it sounds.) Zhaan kicks more Tavlek ass, as the Tavlek starts going through withdrawals. The crazy bitch puts drugs on her lips and kisses his ugly face. What a nutbag. Meanwhile, Rygel gets killed for trying to escape, but his cellmate revives him. All in a day’s work.

And once again, it’s up to Crichton to save the day. Both Aeryn and John are out of commission; Aeryn, because of Gauntlet hangover, and D’Argo because he’s watching over her. And, once again, they bond over their mutual contempt for Crichton: “Imagine, somewhere out there there’s a whole world full of Crichtons, how useless that would be.” But then Aeryn ruins the moment by insulting Luxans, and D’Argo is awesome and drops her. In his cell, Rygel goes crazy and starts laughing about how no one likes him and how he’s a ruler without any subjects, so the joke’s on the Tavleks, but he doesn’t know that John, Aeryn, and D’Argo are in fact planning on rescuing him. When they get to his cell, Rygel is gone, and there’s a fight, in which D’Argo is injured. Aeryn has to beat him up until the wound starts flowing with clear blood. Eventually, Crichton talks the Tavleks out of holding Rygel by telling them he’s worthless, but Moya can’t leave until Rygel poops out the gem he swallowed, which we get to hear him do. I love this show.

Trivia

  • Originally, Crichton was still conscious after Aeryn punched him. But Ben Browder protested, saying there’s no way his character would voluntarily get on the Prowler with Aeryn after she had assaulted him. So they rewrote it so that Crichton would be knocked out cold.
  • Although the planet is supposed to be a wilderness area with no structures, a footbridge can be seen in one of the scenes.
  • Both D’Argo and Aeryn correct John throughout the episode when he calls the Tavleks “Tavloids”.
  • “Good night, sweet prince” is a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and continues “And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
  • The movie in which John Wayne plays Genghis Khan is actually called The Conqueror.
  • This episode is the first in which we learn about Zhaan’s superior physical strength, and hints at a darker side to her than what first appears.
  • In the beginning of filming the series, Ben Browder complained that he didn’t have time to work out so they let him work out while filming, i.e. the scene where he’s running through the woods to get to Rygel.
  • At this point in filming, Claudia Black was still in the middle of Pitch Black, which was also shot in Australia, and she was consequently exhausted.
  • [SPOILERS!] Rygel has the dubious honor of being the first character to “die” on the show.

Metaphorically Speaking

There were lots of little things in this episode that added up to the whole, the whole being that these people still have no clue how to function as a group, or even that they should be trying. Rygel, being an ex-Dominar, has been trying to be their leader all along, which he showcases perfectly in the first five minutes (and which gets him kidnapped), and the first thing that D’Argo says under the influence of the Gauntlet is, “This ship needs a leader.” Even Aeryn and Zhaan are prone to making unilateral decisions, as evidenced most notably by Aeryn’s punching Crichton out in Act Three. When he wakes up in her Prowler, he is outraged by her actions, but not really because she hit him. He’s mad because her way of doing things is to charge headlong into danger without talking or thinking. She disagrees with Crichton, and instead of finding some way to compromise with him, she knocks him out and does what she wants anyway. This episode also gives us a glimpse of the fact that Rygel gets his sense of self from his leadership. He’s an Emperor without an Empire, which is really sad if you stop and think about it, but he’s such a little asshole all the time that we rarely do. The scene after Rygel has his maniacal freak-out to Jotheb and starts whimpering when he realizes that no one cares for him and that no one wants to rescue him, is one of the most vulnerable times we ever see him in the first season. He realizes he’s done it to himself. It’s almost a shame that the crew needed the control crystal because then we would have seen if they would have rescued Rygel anyway. My money is on yes, because of John, but I’m willing to listen to reason.

The other thing about this episode that really interests me is the deepening of the Crichton/Aeryn dynamic.  She’s violent, he’s a pacifist. He’s a thinker, she’s a doer. He’s a lover, she’s a fighter, etc. They push and pull against each other constantly. The thing that kills me is that their differences could so easily be an asset, but they won’t stop arguing long enough to figure it out. Constant, constant bickering, and not just on Moya. Everyone fights with everyone, all the time. The ending of this episode is classic Farscape. The violent crazy way has failed, and John just straight up tells Bakesh the truth: Rygel is worthless, and they have no money. His honesty gets them farther than Aeryn’s trying to kill all of them ever would have. I also love that John’s instinct while wearing the Gauntlet was to stun rather than kill. “Guess I’m not that kind of a guy.”

Also of note: this is the first episode that we get an inkling of Farscape‘s predilection for nakedness and scatology. Zhaan’s naked showdown with the young Tavlek was hilarious and thought provoking, and Rygel pooping out the control crystal and then handing it to Aeryn was priceless. I think it’s very telling of what kind of show this is that this completely ridiculous scene involving a pooping puppet is followed up by an unhappy ending. The serious and the ridiculous constantly being juxtaposed is partly what I love about this series. There was also a weird thing going on with lips and healing: Zhaan putting her “blood” on her lips and kissing the Tavlek, Rygel being brought back to life by Jotheb’s tentacle, etc. Actually, everything in this episode is about bodies. Think about it. Other thoughts?

Trash Bin

D’Argo’s Qalta blade . . . really? I like the backstory of the Qalta — noobs, you’ll have to wait for it — and I like that it becomes a bad-ass rifle, but as a sword I’ve always thought it was kind of stupid. I mean, just look at it. The blade is completely dull! Physically, somebody explain to me how that is even a blade. I can’t remember if the Qalta evolves throughout the series, but for now, it’s pretty unbelievable (as a sword).

I probably shouldn’t be thinking this hard about a plot point so early on, but the Gauntlet is the ickiest thing ever. Needle sharing, anyone? First the ugly Tavlek boy, then D’Argo, then Aeryn, and finally John . . . if somebody had something, they’ve all got it now. G-R-O-S-S.

– – –

Crichtonisms

  • Aeryn: “I’m sure your world has no force so ruthless, so disciplined.”
    Crichton: “Oh, we call ’em linebackers. Or serial killers. Depends on whether they’re amateurs . . . or professionals.”
  • “At least they know where they are, how things work. It takes me ten minutes to open a door.”
  • Aeryn: “How much longer?”
    Crichton: “I don’t know. We didn’t cover the life-cycle of deep-space insects at JFK high.”
  • “I got a plan.”
  • “Rygel is an obnoxious gasbag, and who’s gonna shell out for that?”
  • To Rygel: “Don’t you tempt me, Fluffy!”

PuppetWatch!

  • The alien bugs were creepy, and apparently very expensive. I love DVD commentaries, and Farscape‘s are very good. If you have time to listen, I highly recommend it.
  • The nest of the Drakh was very elaborate, but the scene where we saw it pushing out eggs was disgusting.
  • Jotheb the alien was creepy, and I’m not sure what to make of him. I remember being severely disturbed the first time through, but this time less so. I like that John calls him a “critter.”
  • Rygel: Fantastic use of the puppet in this episode. It is absolutely hilarious when actors beat up the puppet: kicking it, falling on it, choking it, etc.

– – –

“Crackers Don’t Matter!” (Miscellaneous Thoughts):

  • Farscape Glossary / Interstellar Swearing: “Faputa” is a exclamatory remark, with several meanings, including bastard, or “Like Hell!”; “Yotz” is an expletive analogous to “hell”, as in, “What the yotz was that?”
  • “Success measured by body count,” says Aeryn, but it says more about her than about the Commandos.
  • We see Rygel walking for the first time, and we see him forcibly removed from his Thronesled for the first time as well. Also, the painting he makes of himself is fabulously ridiculous, and very narcissistic.
  • I love Aeryn-in-danger episodes. John gets so squishy. In the DVD commentary, Brian Henson says that “Exodus From Genesis” is the episode where John first fell in love with Aeryn, doing the “typical American thing” and being her protector. He also said that this becomes a constant state of annoyance to Aeryn in future episodes, as she feels she doesn’t need protection.
  • John: “It’s just you and me.”
    D’Argo: “Actually, it is just me. And you.”
  • Crichton: “Time and patience. Is that your answer for everything?”
    Zhaan: “Yes, because it is always the right answer.”
  • I’m probably going to say this a million times over the course of this Rewatch, but Claudia Black is a damn fine actress. She says more with a look in her eyes than some people can say with their mouths over an entire lifetime.
  • “Do as I say, or I’ll rip off all your arms!” Yeesh, D’Argo. The way that Anthony Simcoe delivers that line makes it hilarious. But also [SPOILER] very prescient, as you’ll soon see in a couple episodes or so.
  • Even in these early episodes, I’ve noticed that Crichton takes every opportunity he possibly can to touch Aeryn. Granted, he’s a tactile kind of guy, but there’s clearly something else going on. And there’s lots of yummy “hiding in small spaces” scenes in “Throne For a Loss,” so YAY!
  • [SPOILERS!] “That is the very last time I’ll go along with one of your plans!” Not likely, Aeryn. His plans may be stupid, but they nearly always work, and he’s got lots of them.

– – –

Classic Moments in Farscape, #2

[The observation deck. Aeryn is crouched down, staring out into space. Crichton enters.]
John: Remember me? Didn’t we meet at a party a few years back?
Aeryn: [Slight pause, as if she’s thinking carefully about what she’s going to say.] Some of what happened I can’t recall, but almost everything else has come back.
John: How are the shakes?
Aeryn: [Holds her hand out flat and steady.] I’ll be fine. [She rises and starts to walk away, but turns back.] You know, I always thought that lesser lifeforms were useless. Just something to be squashed.
John: Yeah, it’s humbling when you realize that . . . [he sees the look on her face] . . . You’re not talking about the Drakhs, are you?
Aeryn: [Smiles at John, the first real smile she’s ever given him. Just shakes her head.]
John: Fine. Well, on behalf of lesser life-forms everywhere, I accept the . . . compliment.

– – –

Coming up on the Farscape Rewatch: “Back and Back and Back to the Future,” “Thank God It’s Friday . . . Again”

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Comments
16 Responses to “Farscape Rewatch! — “Exodus From Genesis,” “Throne For a Loss””
  1. Emily says:

    You have pretty hair :)

  2. Dan says:

    Good call on the Qalta “Blade”…the silly thing does look more like a Cricket bat than an actual sword (bad-ass rifle mode notwithstanding).

    Looking back, some of these early episodes were really cheesy. Now, I like cheese…but, I’m amazed at the way the show grew, and in just a few episodes.

    • Ashley says:

      I watched the commentary for both of these episodes, and Ben Browder and Claudia Black had some interesting things to say about how much influence particular directors had over the tone of the show. The guy who directed “Throne For a Loss,” Pino Amenta, is basically responsible for all the crazy humor. It was his thing. Later on, the show started to get darker when Rowan Woods came on, but it kept some of the crazy humor as well.

  3. myoctober says:

    “Stuffs him in her Prowler.” That’s what she said.

    I agree with the ABC thing. Even with procedurals, I pay waaaay more attention to any sort of continuity to plot. It’s why Alias disappointed me in the end, it’s why I LOVE Buffy, it’s why House and Bones make me happy. And it’s why these episodes are worth seeing again. Because I didn’t like “Throne for a Loss” all that much, and come to think of it, I sort of just ignored the bugs in “Exodus from Genesis.”

    I think the reason why I was immediately attracted to this show in the first place was the complete ridiculousness of it. It felt like some crazy ass dream that could never make it on television and I was like “what the hell” and couldn’t stop watching. I was still living with Annie when I watched it, so I got a lot of weird looks. She often asked me why I liked it so much. I gave her a good answer, but it doesn’t really answer why it was any good now.

    Definitely agree about the Qalta blade. I never got it.

    Haha linebackers! And serial killers.

    I love John’s nicknames for Rygel.

    Also love the John-Aeryn getting tossed around Moya thing.

    “That’s the last time I go along with any of your plans.” Made me laugh and laugh.

  4. Jen says:

    OMG, Jen is so far behind!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ashley, I am loving your re-caps. They are so well thought out. You rock.

    Since there was such a big break between when I watched Exodus and when I watched Throne, I’ll just share my newbie observations on the second one…. if anyone is interested.

    Observations of “Throne for a loss”

    – the music during the first fight scene sounds like music from some sort of 8-bit video game. It is awesome.
    – Since it is so rare that a sci-fi show centers around technology/a space program that wasn’t developed by humans, or with the help of humans, it is so interesting when all of Crichton’s sci-fi-isms completely don’t make sense to the rest of them. “What is a tractor beam?” It is intriguing because that has to be so incredibly frustrating for him and he makes it hilarious for us to watch.
    – I like that the aliens don’t all look like humanoids with some sort of random makeup. Yay muppets! (though I do find Star Trek’s silliness charming)
    – D’Argo remarks that “we don’t know if this planet rotates. It might never get dark” that doesn’t seem very scientifically plausible to me…..
    -DRDs are so cute. I was so sad when the Tavlek started ripping wires out of it.
    -When Crichton passed out and fell on the bag containing Rygel, I laughed so hard. Good times.
    – Does anyone else draw parallels between D’Argo’s race and the Klingons? The obvious difference being that Bat’leths are actually sharp :P

    I like your observations about the tone of the show. It definitely isn’t squeaky-clean.

    Wow, that comment was long.

  5. Larry says:

    I don’t have much memory of Exodus from Genesis, except that it capitalizes on the “any plan you might have went out the window, just wing it and hope to come out on top.” Beset by two forces, the Moyans pit one against the other, which works out well for the Moyans and the Drakhs. Flying by the seat of their pants becomes their fallback position here on out, and it works for them, but not without serious consequences building up. The dren will hit the fan sometime. And does around season 3.

    I loved loved loved Throne for a Loss for several reasons:
    A) John’s inability to get the Tavlek name right;
    B) Rygel gets his comeuppance for being self-centered and pompous;
    C) Rygel discovers that being so abject and utterly low actually saves him from becoming Jotheb’s thrall;
    D) Naked Zhaan time!
    E) despite Zhaan’s attempts to get the young Tavlek off the adrenaline Gauntlet (an anti-drug message), he decides to go back to the Gauntlet and be part of his group again, and Zhaan humbly accepts his decision (a much more subtle message that you can’t fix everyone; you can only open their eyes to other possibilities and let them make their own choices);
    F) Crichton does what he does best when stripped bare of other options – he’s open and honest.

    I thought the interplay between Aeryn and Dhargo was perfect. He has warmed up to her, as a warrior, and makes a stab at further bonding. She still holds onto her Peacekeeper attitude and throws the attempt back in Dhargo’s face, which gets her knocked out. The bonding process can have many setbacks. Aeryn hasn’t been brought low enough to set aside her prejudices.

    As for the Qualta blade not being sharp… most medieval European swords (excluding rapiers) weren’t sharp. Killling someone by bludgeoning to death was perfectly acceptable. For beheadings, only nobles were allowed to ask the executioner to sharpen the blade so the head would come off in one, maybe two strokes. Anyone else would have to have their head hacked off with however many whacks it took. Besides, when you’ve got a Luxan’s brute force behind a blade, who needs an edge to be sharp?

    • Ashley says:

      I would buy your Qalta blade explanation, except that I’m almost certain there are several scenes that DO involve it being sharp. Which is not plausible at all, just by looking at it.

      • Larry says:

        Maybe it’s vorpal sharp. Yeah, that’s it. Deceptively made blunt to hide the fact it will split atoms. Or it’s just SFX not living up to assertions in the story :P

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