Farscape Rewatch! — “Season of Death,” “Suns and Lovers”

WEEK TWENTY-THREE
[Permanent Archive Here]

So. Season three of Farscape. The season nearly everyone agrees is when Farscape goes from a good show to a great one. More on that in future installments, of course. These two episodes are very good, especially “Season of Death” (and that’s saying something, because it had a lot to live up to coming after “Die Me, Dichotomy” like it did, not just because that episode is awesome, but also because it had to clean up after that wrecking ball of a story). I found “Suns and Lovers” to be a much darker episode than I had remembered from my first go-round (probably because mostly I was only concerned with Aeryn and John my first go-round–“all-consumed” is probably an accurate phrase).

Both episodes are actually concerned with the same two things, structure-wise: they both resolve or further storylines from “Die Me, Dichotomy” (the first with bringing Aeryn back and fixing John’s brain, the second with the love triangle between Jothee, Chiana and D’Argo), and they both rather sneakily downplay the introduction of conflicts that will dog them for the rest of the season (some, for the rest of the show).

3X01 — “SEASON OF DEATH”

Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 6.28.22 PM

So, as if things weren’t bad enough, it turns out not even getting rid of the chip has removed Harvey from John’s brain. Meanwhile, Scorpius and Braca are stuck on the ice planet and do everything they can to remain so, not out of fear of the Moyans, but from Crais and baby gunship Talyn. He manipulates the hell out of Grunchlk in pretty much every way possible (including taking over his neural functions and speaking and acting with Grunchlk as his living puppet) in order to distract first, the Moyans, and then the Scarran set loose on the base by a surprisingly prescient and well-prepared Grunchlk. He doesn’t want any of them to know he’s still nearby. Thanks to Rygel, they manage to save Tocot the Diagnosan, who in turn restores Crichton’s mind and language center (after some conflicting opinions and morals involving all parties, most notably Crichton, who just wants to die) with the use of one of Grunchlk’s “donors.” While a newly restored Crichton and D’Argo are chased out into a blizzard by the Scarran, Zhaan and Stark realize that Aeryn’s body is still being maintained, most likely because Grunchlk wanted to keep her as a donor. Zhaan knocks Stark out cold so she can attempt to save Aeryn’s soul. She knows Stark will not allow her to do it, because it’s so dangerous. Zhaan makes unity with Aeryn’s soul and pulls her back to life, sacrificing her own energy in the process. A newly revived Aeryn rescues D’Argo and Crichton by killing the Scarran with D’Argo’s Qalta blade. John and Aeryn reunite, professing their love for one another, but Aeryn says they can’t be together. She won’t have her mind clouded in battle by feelings, and she won’t let anyone else sacrifice themselves for her. The episode ends with the Moyans believing Scorpius dead, but it was only a decoy pilot Scorpius sent out, knowing Crais and Talyn would chase him down and destroy it. Scorpius has the wormhole information–who knows what he’s going to do with it.

Trivia

  • Lani Tupu, Wayne Pygram and Paul Goddard are all added to the opening credits as of this episode.
  • A new piece of theme music is introduced to replace the show’s original theme, and Ben Browder recorded an updated opening monologue which replaces the original reference to him being hunted by “an insane military commander” to instead wondering aloud whether he should protect the earth from the dangers he’s seen, or share with it the wonders.
  • Thomas Holesgrove plays both Tocot and the Scarran Plonek, effectively playing a scene where he murders himself.
  • According to a deleted scene on the DVD, it was Rygel who swam to the bottom of the lake to cut Aeryn’s body free and return her for burial.
  • [SPOILER] Since she was only going to appear in a limited number of episodes as of Season 3, Virginia Hey wore a bald cap, whereas in previous seasons she had shaved her head.
  • [SPOILER] The “season of death” is also a nickname given by fans to season three in general due to the abundance of main characters killed during this year. Aeryn starts the year off dead and at some point during the season, Zhaan, D’Argo, Chiana, Rygel, Harvey, both Johns, Crais, and Talyn all either die or reach death before being revived. Additionally, in the final episode of the season, John experiences a vision where Jack, Pilot, Rygel, D’Argo, Chiana, Jool, and Aeryn are all killed.

Metaphorically Speaking

Let’s get this first thing out of the way: yeah, Aeryn’s alive. And no, I don’t think that cheapens the narrative, for two reasons:

1) We want her to be alive. We want her to be alive sooooooo badly. It would be working against the flow of the narrative on this show to keep her dead–the audience would never have accepted it. As discussed in my previous post, Farscape isn’t the sort of show to just kill characters for added darkness and flavor. While the characters may go to dark places (and some yes, even die, though that may not be the case here), the ultimate end-point for the narrative on this show was never going to be, say, a realization of the meaningless of the universe and the futility of human action to create meaning in such an environment. Instead, a first-time viewer who’s paying attention will be expecting our heroes to come out the other side, having found their way through darkness to some sort of light and optimism (and strange beauty and wonder). The natural conclusion of the story they’ve built up here is Aeryn’s resurrection (and her inevitable and very satisfying reunion with Crichton), and the fact that we just know it’s coming doesn’t diminish that satisfaction in the slightest. Sometimes, you just have to give the audience (and the story) what it wants.

And 2) Aeryn doesn’t just come back to life and la-di-da everything’s back to normal. Farscape may not be ‘dark’ sci-fi per se, or even have the commitment levels of your Firefly’s, your Battlestar Galactica’s or other golden age science fiction when it comes to realism or even loyalty to the ‘science’ part of the science fiction, but it has always been a fictional world where actions have consequences. Somebody had to pay the price for Aeryn’s death, if it wasn’t going to be Aeryn herself. Reviving Aeryn without some sort of in-world ramifications would undermine our trust in the cohesiveness of the storyworld. We’d never believe anything bad would or could actually happen to these characters. Although, as Zhaan isn’t dead by the end of the hour, even by the end of episodes two or three, I think I’m safe in saying that the show is definitely toying with our expections. Nowadays with so many shows unafraid to kill even their main characters (thanks, Game of Thrones!), we’re always prepared for the worst. I would be very interested to know what fan thoughts were at the time, and I’d bet that most people were convinced Zhaan wouldn’t actually die (unless of course Virginia Hey had already publicly announced her departure from the show, in which case, many people probably did believe she wouldn’t be making it out alive). And even setting aside the actual ‘death price’ here, as we’ll see in upcoming episodes, this whole incident will have long-lasting effects on the characters, particularly John and Aeryn.

So no, I don’t think this is the show taking the easy way out.

It’s probably a good idea to take a moment and examine the characters’ headspaces here, just as a sort of baseline for the coming season. Rygel is . . . Rygel. He’s still almost as likely to act against the interest of his shipmates if it will save his butt, but he has moments where you realize he does care about the others, and expresses his affection in his own limited way (seriously, the deleted scenes in this episode are very worth your time, for Rygel alone). The only good thing that came out of Rygel trying to bail on the other Moyans this time is that he found Crichton before things got too bad. Chiana and Jothee are being treated like children by D’Argo, so they in turn act like children. It’s also clear that a break is coming, and very soon, between not just D’Argo and Chiana, but D’Argo and his long-lost son as well. D’Argo is perhaps the happiest in this episode. He’s got his son back, he helps John get his mind back, he’s going to ask Chiana to marry him (and in his mind, that equates to almost being married), and once Aeryn is back, he’s really got nothing to complain about. Crais and Talyn are all about asserting their fierce independence, but also have a loyalty to Aeryn that comes from their shared PK histories. (Crais only really sticks around in this episode to retrieve Aeryn’s body for the space burial he knows she would have wanted.)

Stark goes where Zhaan goes, but he’s very affected by the ‘donors’ Grunchlk keeps in his facility, saying they’re all in spiritual agony. I never know what to say about Stark. He killed that Interon, but saw it as an act of mercy. He’s hard to read, because he hears things no one else can hear. He’s drawn to Zhaan, perhaps because she’s similarly spiritual. It’s a nice moment when he tells Crichton he killed the Interon because his pain was GREATER than Crichton’s, and Crichton wanted to die. But Stark’s not going to let that happen, not when he knows Crichton’s pain is one that can be healed with time. As for Zhaan, even at her most ‘savage’ moments, she’s always been the most empathetic member of the crew, and she’s been rededicating herself to the Delvian Seek for the greater part of a year by this point. Her sensitivity to the pain of others is at a max, and she can’t bear Crichton’s pain, especially after she joins in Unity with him while’s he’s agonizing, tied to the exam table without his language, and wanting to die. From my perspective, and I thought about this a lot, Zhaan’s decision to sacrifice her life force in order to bring Aeryn back from death makes no sense. This is perhaps because I very much like being alive, and can’t imagine a scenario where I would be willingly persuaded, even eager, to let that go. But for Zhaan’s character, I think it does make sense. If she’s that empathetic, meaning she feels and understands Crichton’s pain as if it were her own, then she understands the only way to stop that pain is to bring Aeryn back. And with that pain fresh in her mind, she is presented with an opportunity and doesn’t let it pass her by.

Not surprisingly, Crichton and Aeryn have the biggest development. The thing I love about this show is that Crichton’s reunion with Aeryn is only the second biggest moment of the episode. Certainly he was miserable without her, and all the more so because he believed himself responsible for her death, but for my money, I’d say the centerpiece is actually Crichton’s confrontation with the remnants of Harvey the neural clone that are sticking around in his mind. As discussed ad nauseam in my last post, Crichton is broken in pretty much every way possible. Through the first third of this episode, he just wants to die, a feeling only escalated when Harvey shows himself. Not even removing the chip could save Crichton from being tortured mentally by a devil wearing bondage gear. Until Stark points out what should have been obvious, and then Crichton gets just enough of a spark in his head to get his motor going. If Harvey really wants Crichton dead, why doesn’t he just do the deed himself, like he did back in “Won’t Get Fooled Again”? Because he can’t. All he’s got left is threats. And then we’re off to the races. Or rather, off to the WWE wrestling match. Crichton takes back his power and his mind by mentally kicking the shit out of Harvey and then slamming his prone body in a dumpster. It is awesome. And it is such a relief. Crichton’s never going to be that innocent, happy-go-lucky guy again, but at least he’s got his mojo back. As for Aeryn, her decision to pull back from Crichton is a frustrating one for us viewers, mostly because it doesn’t make logical sense. Not acting on their feelings for each other isn’t going to prevent them from affecting their decisions, and it’s certainly not going to prevent either Crichton or Aeryn from trying to sacrifice themselves for the others. But these are just Aeryn’s words, and she’s speaking them out of two fears: 1) Her fear of ever having to bear any more guilt over the death of another person, stemming from Zhaan’s actions in saving her life, and 2) Her fear of the uncharted waters of having an emotional, sexual adult romantic relationship, of which she has ZERO experience, and is understandably frightened, perhaps made worse by the unexpected strength of her feelings for Crichton. Easier to ignore than to face them. It’s like she’s being pulled in two different directions. Half of her wants to reach out for Crichton and never let go, and the other half wants to run away as fast as she can. This solution is a way to do both, sort of. (And this dual-mindset of hers is a good indicator of what’s to come in the rest of the season, for pretty much everybody now that I think of it.)

Other stuff: We may have resolved the ‘Scorpius chases Crichton for his wormhole knowledge’ plotline, but it’s resolution makes it clear that there are bigger forces at play besides Scorpius being power mad or something. He’s after the technology for a lot of reasons, probably (my memory is a bit fuzzy on future eps), but he makes it pretty clear that the main reason for doing so is to arm the Peacekeepers against the threat of the Scarrans, who up until this point we’ve only seen a couple of times. Apparently, though, they are a Big Deal (as can be evidenced by the presence of the frozen Scarran-come-t0-life in this very episode), and they REALLY don’t like Scorpius. But then, he also eats the bit of Crichton’s brain stuck to the neural chip at one point, so I really can’t blame them. The reunion scene between Crichton and Aeryn really is lovely and very satisfying, with her kicking ass and saving the boys, and her hair blowing in the snow like that. And then, Crichton not thinking it’s really her at first. He’s learned not trust anything at this point. And finally, so begins the Season of Death, with references to the deaths of: Aeryn (who is technically dead for the majority of this episode), Zhaan (who has just sealed her own death warrant), Tocot the Diagnosan (who is baked to death by the Scarran), the arrogant PK pilot (who Scorpius uses as a decoy), and “Scorpius” himself, who everyone believes dead at the end of the episode–shot down by Crais and Talyn–but who is very much alive, and ready to start making wormholes. Yippe-ki-yay, motherfuckers!

Trash Bin

It’s so satisfying to see everyone put back together, it’s hard to find any fault here.

– – –

3X02 — “SUNS AND LOVERS”

The Moyans, newly rich, have stopped at a commerce station to resupply and see if they can get a lead on possible planets for Zhaan to recuperate on. She has accepted her death, but the others (especially Stark) are determined to try and save her. The station is hit by some sort of space storm, causing mass destruction and loss of life. The Moyans attempt to save as many people as they can, but Pilot tells them another storm is on its way, having made a ninety degree turn to come straight at them. This means someone is actively trying to destroy the station. Turns out it’s Crichton’s new friend Borlik, who is a religious fanatic bent on destroying all three of the stations that were constructed in what she considers holy space, that’s doing it. She magnetizes herself to the station and refuses to leave. Crichton and the Moyans manage to remagnetize her to one of the Interon’s cryogenic containers, while D’Argo and Crichton untangle Moya from the cables tying her to the station, despite D’Argo practically being suicidal during the spacewalk. He’s despondent because he’s just found out about Chiana and Jothee’s ‘extracurricular’ activities, and he refuses to speak to either of them. The plan is to use Moya to divert the storm away from the station, and then release Borlik into space. When she magnetizes herself to Moya instead, Crichton doesn’t hesitate to space her, and everyone is safe. Meanwhile, Aeryn saves a bunch of kids, takes her top off in a pipe, and offers to have sex with Crichton to “relieve tensions.” They both decide casual sex isn’t for them, and Jothee leaves Moya without saying goodbye to D’Argo. He apologizes to Chiana, who in turn confesses to having used him to push D’Argo away. D’Argo watches the whole thing via DRD. You might say things are awkward.

Trivia

  • Producers would have liked to keep Matt Newton on the show as Jothee, but the actor had too many other offers which he chose to pursue instead.
  • Justin Monjo decided he wanted to make Moya‘s crew run into its own tempest after reading The Perfect Storm.One of the most-repeated phrases from Farscape, “frell me dead” makes its debut.

Metaphorically Speaking

So remember back when I said D’Argo was the happiest person on Moya these days? Yeeeeeaaaahhh. It was good while it lasted. Now he’s the angriest. And the most suicidal. I guess that’s what happens when the two things making you so happy start boning each other.

“Suns and Lovers” opens with Rygel watching Chiana and Jothee having sex via DRD, so right away you know there’s no way this secret isn’t coming out, and soon. There’s no way that little perv could ever keep something like that to himself. (Let’s talk about Rygel here for a moment, and how yuck he is. I mean, he’s usually gross in every way possible, but he’s exceptionally awful this episode, demeaning Chiana sexually in ways I won’t repeat . . . that’s all I have to say about Rygel, actually.) What this episode does (what I didn’t remember it doing the first time around, because again, too fixated on Aeryn/Crichton) is give D’Argo a nice character setpiece. That that setpiece happens to be EXTREMELY depressing is another matter. But it brings to light all the things he’s been stubbornly doing for the viewer, without having it be a Very Special Episode.

Actually, I don’t even think D’Argo really realizes to what extent his own actions influenced the two people who are making him so miserable. Because D’Argo is a just tad bit egocentric. And by ‘tad bit,’ I mean A LOT. He’s the polar opposite of Zhaan, who’s all about sensing what other people are feeling, and acting accordingly. D’Argo is so single-minded, it’s like he assumes everyone else is having the exact same experience and wants that he is. He has absolutely NO CLUE how freaked out Chiana is by their relationship and his pending proposal. He’s so sure she’ll say yes he’s already considering himself engaged. Not even John pointing out to him the flaw in his thinking is enough to sway him. He is VERY stubborn. But John is right (he usually is about these things). And Chiana, instead of feeling like she can go to D’Argo and tell him what’s going on with her, knows that D’Argo either a) Won’t take no for an answer because he won’t be able to understand how Chiana is feeling, and will push Chiana into marrying him anyway, or b) Will freak the hell out on her and will completely overreact to her, because he won’t be able to understand how Chiana is feeling. Those two may have a fantastic sexual relationship, but that’s as far as it goes. They can’t communicate worth a damn, and they are definitely not on the same page.

Chiana actually has a more functional relationship with Jothee than she has with D’Argo, and that’s pretty fucked up. It’s Jothee she tells her feelings to about D’Argo, because she knows he’ll understand. He’s not even that upset about being used to push his father away, because he DOES understand. Take away the sex, and he’s got the same exact issues with his father that Chiana does. They both feel that D’Argo has expectations for them they can’t fulfill, and he has been completely unwilling thus far to extend any sympathy the other way. They have expectations for him, too, and they both feel completely shut out. Not to say that what they do is right–it’s not. But it is understandable. What sucks the most for D’Argo is that the very thing that severed his relationships with Chiana and Jothee is what made their betrayal all the more shocking to him. He had NO IDEA about ANYTHING, and because he wasn’t tuned in to what was actually going on with his loved ones, the actual state of things completely blindsides him. He funnels into a state of rage and depression that’s pretty frightening. Only time will tell if he’ll be able to forgive them, and come to a place where he can actually acknowledge his own flaws.

And, oh, by the way, D’Argo has this meltdown while the Moyans are trying to prevent a space storm from taking out the commerce station they’re parked at, and taking Moya with it. The alien cult/religious destruction plot isn’t all that interesting, and the episode wisely knows that and plays to its strengths. Even the characters are like, seriously, not this shit again? They are remarkably blase about the whole thing. (Except when Moya is in danger. Well, Moya, and the kids Aeryn saves.)

But again, all of that is background. What the episode is really concerned with is relationships. While D’Argo, Chiana, and Jothee are busy imploding, Aeryn and Crichton are feeling their way around each other and the restrictions Aeryn has placed on their relationship, and Zhaan and Stark are pulling each other separate directions. Zhaan has made peace with her imminent death, but Stark won’t accept it. It’s a really nice moment when Zhaan points out that he’s supposed to be the expert on death, and he replies “I’m just not an expert on you dying.” Meanwhile, Aeryn and Crichton CLEARLY want VERY BADLY to have sex with one another. While they’re climbing in the plumbing of the station (ahem) Aeryn tells Crichton they could “relieve tensions” by having sex. Crichton immediately responds no this (because now that he knows they won’t be relationshipping one another, it would mean something else entirely–sex with Aeryn isn’t just sex, not anymore). He tells her he doesn’t need her charity. She says she doesn’t need his emotions, but “we can have sex if you want.” And then she takes off her shirt! Of course, then she immediately falls down a collapsed pipe. What’s interesting to me about this is how they’re navigating the stuff they’re not saying. Aeryn thinks by not talking about the love stuff, they can continue on and everything will be compartmentalized, even if they have sex. John thinks there’s no way he can have sex with Aeryn and not fall even harder for her. Of course, they’ve reversed positions by the end of the episode, so things are clearly not set in stone with them.

Actually, now that I think about it, this entire episode is about people being on different wavelengths. Neat when that happens.

Other stuff: John tries drunkenly to convince himself everything is great: he’s rich, Harvey is gone, they’re shopping on a nice commerce station . . . but things are not great, as the rest of the episode certainly proves. I like seeing the Moyans visit places and act commonplace. It adds to the illusion that these people have lives when the cameras aren’t on. Crichton’s reputation has finally preceded him, and it absolutely kills him that people are getting things wrong. One of the two Interons finally goes off like Chekhov’s Gun this episode, dying after Chiana and Jothee accidentally release him with sex. When will the other one go off? And finally, it’s absolutely chilling that Crichton kills the cult member, and doesn’t even seem to feel bad about it. He’s hardened now, and it’s sad.

Trash Bin

Borlik and her chanting is annoying as hell. I know it’s supposed to be, because it’s supposed to make the characters want to kill her or rip off their own ears, but dammit, we as viewers have to listen to that shit, too! Anyway, nothing really objectionable about this episode (besides Rygel, of course, who is supposed to be objectionable), but it’s not spectacular, either. Just solid.

– – –

Crichtonisms

  • “CAN I GET A ‘HELL YEAH’?”
  • “Freeze or fry!”
  • “Warm up the hot cocoa, baby, here we come . . .”
  • “Whoa, whoa. Where . . . where do they get these stories? Let’s set the facts straight. First off, there was no raping, very little pillaging, and Frau Blücher popped all the eyeballs.”
  • “My grunt does all my killing. I’m strictly R&R.”
  • Rygel: “I don’t give a sisil’s ass about a trapped girl.”
    John: “Yes, and that’s what makes you a great humanitarian, Buckwheat, but we are not leaving. Scooby Doo time.”
  • “Hey, fridge magnet! I got something for you to feel!”

PuppetWatch!

  • The Scarran. Oh, man, you guys. THE SCARRAN IS SO RIDICULOUS. I mean, the Scarrans in the “Look at the Princess” trilogy and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” were pretty great (as in bizarre), but they hadn’t quite finalized the look yet. This one, HA HA HA. Why does it have nipples!!??! And so much leather bondage gear! And it’s head is soooo big. And, honestly, how many sit-ups did that thing have to do in order to get that 36-pack going?

– – –

“Crackers Don’t Matter!”

  • A Farscape Glossary: “Nilits,” a unit of speed; “Parsims/Parrisans,” a measure of distance; “Cacking,” slang for dying, analogous to “croaking.”
  • Interstellar Swearing: “Yarbo,” a pejorative used by Grunchlk to describe Crais; “Trasnik,” analogous to “jerk.”
  • Ben Browder is so good in the scenes where all he speaks is gibberish. Somehow, you still know exactly what he means.
  • Moments of grossness: Grunchlk biting off his own finger is only topped by Scorpius EATING A PIECE OF CRICHTON’S BRAIN.
  • D’ARGO: [to a depressed and incoherent Crichton] And as for you, do NOT make me tongue you.
  • D’ARGO: [to Tocot] Hey, where are you going?
    TOCOT: Must excrete.
  • Aeryn is frickin gorgeous with her hair blowing in the snow.
  • BORLIK: See, I see your fear, worm . . . but the holy Gezma will embrace even you, if you repent!
    RYGEL: Repent? We have less than an arn. I was a dominar; take me longer than that to repent!
  • “Frell me dead”: truly one of this show’s finest legacies.
  • CRICHTON: Been, uh, thinking about that thing we talked about, about charity, and uh, maybe–
    AERYN: Maybe you were right . . . we should do nothing.
    CRICHTON: What about body fluids?
    AERYN: [smiling] There’ll be a backlog.
    RYGEL: Fluid levels? Backlog? Is there some kind of problem?
    JOHN: Shut up.
    RYGEL: Hmm? What did I say?
    JOHN & AERYN: [unison] SHUT UP!
  • Pop Culture References: Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Merchant of Venice (“the devil quotes scripture”), Scooby Doo, The Little Rascals, Heavy D, Sons and Lovers.
  • Season of Death Tally: And just for kicks, I’m going to see if I can tally up the dead from season three. The first episode has us at four (Tocot, the Scarran, the Interon Stark kills, and the PK pilot). Add in the second and it gets rough. Counting only identifiable characters, we’re up to seven (adding the alien barkeep, the ill and thawed out Interon, and Borlik). But also a crap ton of people on that station died. Who knows how many.
  • Number of times each character has “died” as of “Suns and Lovers”: Crichton, 9; D’Argo, 4; Rygel, 3; Aeryn, 3; Zhaan, 1; Pilot, 1; Moya, 1; Chiana, 1; Stark, 1.

– – –

Classic Moments in Farscape, #23*

[John has retreated back into his mind. Harvey is still standing on the dock in Sawyer’s Mill, ready to try convincing John to kill himself once again. John has removed his dorky IASA jacket, but is still wearing the white t-shirt and khaki pants.]
John: Hey, Harvey. Let’s have a little chat.
Scorpius/Harvey: [acting peevish and appallingly self-involved] I don’t wish to ‘chat’, John. I wish to leave. That is why you must die.
John: [tossing out a macho challenge] Why don’t you kill me? You did it before – stopped my brain function cold. What’s the matter? You lost your touch?
Scorpius/Harvey: [sullen] Circumstances are different now.
John: [He sticks a piece of gum in his mouth, the better to look carelessly cool as he mocks the clone.] Yes, they are. You got no connections, no backup, no power supply. No place to hide. I’m going to make some rules now.
[He throws an arm around Scorpius/Harvey’s shoulders and takes him for a short walk down the dock. John’s chewing his gum and talking like a character from a 50s teen gang flick. And, like the inevitable dork in such a film, Scorpius/Harvey is completely at a loss as to how to deal with the tough/cool kid.]
John: C’mon – lemme show you what I mean.
[And with that he stops and shoves Scorpius/Harvey, who goes flying and lands on his back – transition to a different place in John’s Head: This place looks like a dark, empty warehouse, moonlight streaming in through high windows – the setting for a movie rumble. Scorpius/Harvey isn’t too flexible, he wildly flails his arms and legs, like a beetle on its back, until he flips himself over and scrambles awkwardly to his feet. John has followed him into this place and also changed into all black as he swaggers up to the clone.]
Scorpius/Harvey: [gasping for breath as he tries to regain the upper hand] Now John – you listen to me–
John: [slurping around his gum] Not this time, Scorpy — this brain ain’t big enough for the two of us.
[And with that, he delivers a deluxe knuckle sandwich to his unwelcome Headmate, who staggers backwards, stunned.]
Scorpius/Harvey: Now Crichton – I’m warning you!
John: [He is well in control of this movie script. He shakes his hands out and does a little boxer’s dance as he mocks Scorpius/Harvey.] I’m sorry, sweetheart! [He gives the clone another vicious jab.] Come on, Scorpy! Come on, man – show me that ugly grin!
[He lands another heavy punch on the clone’s jaw. Scorpius/Harvey just staggers back with every blow and seems helpless to resist John, except to hurl very inneffectual threats.]
Scorpius/Harvey: [Mad and completely impotent, he waves his balled up fists like the dork John has him playing, and growls.] I’m warning you, Crichton! Now you stop!
John: [He’s dancing and bobbing like a movie boxer now, all swagger and machismo.] Ooh – no, no, no, no! I don’t think so! Remember? Out with the old – in with the new! [He knocks Scorpius/Harvey to the floor with a powerful right hook, then roars to an imaginary crowd of fans.] CAN I GET A “HELL, YEAH!”? [Sure enough, the imaginary crowd roars back with an enthusiastic “HELL YEAH!”]
John: It’s your time to pray, Scorpy.
[Scorpius/Harvey looks alarmed as he struggles to stay upright and watches John coming for him. He takes another heavy blow that sends him reeling.]
Scorpius/Harvey: [grunting hoarsely] Ugh! Crichton! [John just keeps coming, grim now.]
John: Pray for your soul, Scorpy- if you have one. And pray for the soul of Aeryn Sun!
[Scorpius/Harvey is doubled over from the beating he’s taking and John borrows a move from a martial arts movie now to deliver a kung-fu style kick to his head. That sends the clone sprawling back onto the dirt covered floor of John’s imaginary arena.]
Scorpius/Harvey: [gasping and spitting blood, he yells] Cri- Crichton!
John: Shut up!
[And with a final nod to movie fights – this time cartoon ones – John picks Scorpius/Harvey up and flings him across the room into an open trash dumpster.]
John: YEAH! [The imaginary crowd cheers wildly as John throws his arms up in a victory salute and prances up on top of the dumpster where he kicks its lids shut before flopping down on top of it in triumph.) HOO-WUH!

*Normally I type up my own transcript for this feature, but this one was taken from Terra Firma.

– – –

Coming Up on the Farscape Rewatch: “Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part I: Could’a, Would’a, Should’a,” “Part II: Wait for the Wheel”

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Comments
5 Responses to “Farscape Rewatch! — “Season of Death,” “Suns and Lovers””
  1. Charlene says:

    So glad you are still watching and commenting! I just found your blog last week, and I was sorry that I missed out since I just re-watched the show. But, you are still posting, so yeah!

  2. Charlene says:

    Just in case you hadn’t heard the news–Ben Browder will be at Phoenix Fan Fest in December: http://phoenixcomicon.com/page/1 !!!!!!

  3. Charlene says:

    I agree about Aeryn’s hair in this episode. I also loved how it looked in the “Look at the Princess” trilogy (well, the first two episodes before she gets the pony braid and goes to the badlands). It just looked so glossy and beautiful!

  4. Larry says:

    Season of Death:

    The thing that tickles me the most about this episode is seeing Scorpius, in the height of his victory, with neural implant and wormhole knowledge in hand, trapped. Things aren’t going his way. He formulates one escape plan after another, each falling apart… HAHAHAHAHAHA, this is immensely gratifying. A chink in the perfect villain armor. It’s rare we get to see things from the villain’s side of things, and it’s not smooth sailing. Normally, Scorpius operates from a position of strength, knowing all vectors and likely outcomes. This time, he’s gone out on a limb: he hurried here without enough support and finds himself in the sphere of influence that is the Moyans’ lives. Things just seem to happen for all the wrong reasons! It’s nice to see Scorpius getting frelled in his moment of glory. I give Grunchlk so many points for playing the Scarran card; cagey bastard.

    As a further indication of tables turning, Harvey getting his butt kicked, all wide-eyed and incredulous, just drives the point home that Scorpius is not omniscient nor omnipotent.

    I give Braca points for looking disturbed at how easily Scorpius commits atrocities with others. The pilot just sneers in ignorant arrogance, but Braca realizes Scorpius can, will do this to anyone, including his henchmen. Braca works very hard to remain the right hand of whomever is top dog.

    The Aeryn-Zhaan unity moment is stunning. Aeryn trapped in her Prowler seat is a powerful symbol of her mostly-dead state (if she had become a ghost you could see what it would be like). Likewise, her freezer suit outfit is stunning; too bad they didn’t keep it.

    I would add that Zhaan’s decision to sacrifice herself also stems from Zhaan’s need to “do her part”. Unlike Crichton, D’Argo or Aeryn, she isn’t a front-line fighter, rushing into the thick of battle. She’s the medic, chemist, preacher, and mediator. She always works behind the scenes. But I expect Zhaan is keen to do more; she wants to show that she’s willing to lay her life on the line for the others, and reviving Aeryn lets Zhaan do that. The events after the destruction of the Gammek base still dog her steps: how she fell apart when called on to lead Rygel and Chiana, and ultimately had to withdraw and let them save her. Not the stuff of heroes. The cauterization of Moya also hit her hard; it was the lesser of two evils, but she couldn’t take Moya’s place. We as the audience know that’s not what her role is about, but I imagine Zhaan feels her failings keenly. And maybe her sacrifice will atone for the murder that got her stuck on Moya in the first place.

    Of course, there’s a lot of guilt going around as well: in addition to Zhaan, now Aeryn and John have survivor’s guilt over being brought back from the dead at the expense of others. John’s response, to bring the frozen Interons with them, is weird. I get that the idea that if Aeryn was revived, these guys can be, Crichton’s desperate to do good to those he inadvertently harmed, he doesn’t know the cost, but still… I dunno. It’s a hint of illogical desperation that will flare up later, and it makes me sad.

    The shot of John’s shadow racing in the background of Zhaan’s chamber before him: amazing.

  5. Larry says:

    Suns and Liars:

    Chiana and Jothee being watched by someone makes a lovely bookend to the episode: Rygel watching them go at it in the beginning, D’Argo watching them say their goodbyes at the end. Nicely done. Although, it does trouble me that it sets a precedent that the Moyans can invade each other’s privacy so easily. Thankfully, it’s never explored again.

    The Chiana-Jothee thing just weirded me out. I get the reasons why: D’Argo can’t see past his Dream of Getting Married and Settling Down, Chiana doesn’t want to be tied down, the thought frightens her to her core, so she reacts in the worst possible way, burning her bridges, and Jothee follows along because he’s an idiot hormonal kid. It’s awful to watch. I blamed Jothee and his stupid teenage “can’t really grow a proper mustache/goatee” face for coming onto the ship and upsetting the apple cart, but he was simply a wedge that got driven into the cracks already forming. D’Argo and Chiana are responsible for screwing themselves over. That said, D’Argo’s despair is pretty awful and total, but well acted.

    To me, this episode is more suitable for the title Season of Death. Zhaan is dying just as her relationship with Stark is getting started; D’Argo and Chiana’s relationship flames out as spectacularly as it started, leading D’Argo to contemplate suicide; Aeryn and Crichton are trying to pick up the pieces of their relationship after near-death experiences. Meanwhile people on the station are dying left and right. The Moyans can’t go anywhere nowadays without leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

    Aeryn’s reactions are important here: She asks Crichton “What are you afraid of?” which applies as just as easily to her. Previously she was reluctant to recreate with Crichton, now she offers it freely as a substitute for romance. But, as her falling through the shaft after removing her shirt shows, there are always consequences. Hilarious slapstick in this case, but in general, uncomplicated sex never is (see D’Argo and Chiana’s relationship). Also, her doggedness to save the kids, despite all else going on, is a telling reminder of her own survivor’s guilt.

    As awful and pervy as Rygel is, he is the first to remind Chiana of the dangers in what she’s doing. I also agree with him about shooting Borlik. Why do they stand and watch as she chants herself up to the hydrosteel? Shoot her already!

    Pilot has some fantastic moments here: he tells Crichton to shut up, and cackling manically when venting Borlik into space. Nice to see him showing frustration and glee.

    And the DRD that Crichton damaged in the first episode is “One Eye”…. AW!

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