Stewart here…and fair warning, some spoilers lie within…
Well, fellow travelers of the Uncharted Territories, its time for another round of mini-caps on Farscape. We’ve gotten to season two, and considering what happened at the end of season one, its good the wait between seasons is next to non-existent now, as opposed to when I watched the show for the first time, waiting MONTHS for a resolution for John and D’argo’s seemingly fatal spacewalk/setting a planet on fire stunt. Of course, the big piece of trivia is the season was going to originally open with that particular plot point unresolved and focus on the remainder of Moya’s crew, but wiser heads prevailed (but that original season premiere would come back later on in the season). Without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we?
“Mind The Baby”
John and D’Argo are dead and Aeryn failed to save them. Just kidding! The trio are alive and hiding on an abandoned mining colony in the asteroid field, all thanks to a secret alliance with Aeryn and Crais, the price being helping Crais control Talyn. Speaking of Talyn’s mommy, Moya and crew go back into the asteroid field, and there’s still the matter of Scorpius somewhere out there. It’s a pretty packed season opener (though not the intended one, and a wise choice to replace the original opener with this, IMHO), and sets up the conflicts of the season nicely.
A Luxan priestess is dying, and D’argo helps in a ritual to end her life. The opposite happens, and she is made young again, and for some reason, Moya is acting strangely. A pretty good D’argo-centric episode, with a pretty tough decision to make: save a woman he has become attracted to or save Moya? Also, Rygel seals a hull breach with his ass.
“Taking The Stone”
Chiana discovers a loved one is dead and runs off to join a cult of thrill-seekers who don’t live long, either from radiation or their ritual of “taking the stone”. Probably the weakest episode in this batch, although its not for lack of trying, with the Logan’s Run-esque story, a bit more backstory on Chiana, and the b-story of Rygel dealing with cursed treasure. Plus, Crichton gets high on alien mushrooms.
“Crackers Don’t Matter”
The strongest episode in this set involves an alien experiment to help Moya that seems to be driving the crew insane. The first truly standout episode of season two involves our heroes going all kinds of bonkers and violent towards each other, often to darkly humorous results. Aeryn goes all commando, Zhaan gets all zonked out on light, and John is still somewhat sane, even with hallucinating Scorpius in a Hawaiian shirt. But hey, he’s offering margarita shooters and pizza if Crichton kills his fellow shipmates, so temporary insanity can’t be all that bad. All kinds of dark Farscape fun.Either because of the slightly shorter running time (the international cuts for season one ran near 50 minutes, while in the U.S. and globally from season two onward, it was below 45 minutes per episode) and/or the darker tone, the opening of season two feels a bit more immediate in its drama. It also starts the trend of the involvement of Moya’s crew in other civilizations affairs not ending well for said civilization. Its not the darkest the series gets (that’s for season three), but it strikes a solid balance of humor and drama.
–The makeup crew took D’Argo’s time out in space to change his makeup to be a bit more tanned. A nice way to use a plot point to alter any makeup problems.
–Also, Zhaan references the original episode that was to open season two, “Re: Union”, which eventually was repurposed as a flashback episode later on this season titled “Dream A Little Dream”.
–We get to see the cooling unit in Scorpius’ head. Where’s his brain then, exactly?–Chiana can fly, or least defeat gravity longer than most people can, anyway.
–Boy, Talyn, knowing what I know later on in the series, you were better off choosing Aeryn to be your captain.
–Fun little call back to “A Human Reaction” when John asks Aeryn how close they’ve been. “(nervously) Just the once.”
–D’argo’s reply to Crichton teaching him Rock, Paper, Scissors: “My coma was more entertaining.”
–“As Crichton once said, I would rather go out on a swing.”
–“If Crais had killed Crichton, he wouldn’t tell me.”
–In another case of an actress reappearing later on in the show, the actress who plays Nilaam reappears as a different character who ends up in Moya’s crew in the final season.
–Speaking of which, de-aged or not, D’Argo just made out with an older woman. Kind of eewww.
–“So, if she wants to rip out your liver, snack on it with a Chianti, she can do that?”
–“I wonder if I’ve got any grenades left.”
–“We got lucky. Sparky’s got a big ass.”
–Love that John’s home is referred to as “Erp” instead of “Earth”.
–If I’m really honest with myself, these zonked-out people dying irradiated deaths doesn’t sound all that bad. No loss to the universe there.
–Rygel, you shouldn’t have eaten that worm! You don’t know how long its been with that mask!
–Not sure I understand why the women on that planet have transparent stomachs you can see babies gestate in, but…
–“Why does it always end in tears?”
–In retrospect, its interesting to see how this hallucination of Scorpius plays into the season, even though its played here as Crichton being driven nuts by T’raltixx instead of…well…
–That near-rape on Chiana is pretty creepy, but effective in showing how far off kilter everyone really can get.
–Lots of what I call intentional “drunken stumbling camera” action here.
–You think they were all pranking John on the basin having symbols, or worse, is my eyesight bad too?
–“But D’Argo, I need you to understand…that crackers don’t matter.”
–“The only thing you’ve ever assaulted is a plate of food cubes!”
–“I hate it when villains quote Shakespeare.”
–“Go for number 345.”
–“Of course, they stole the crackers.”
–“OK…then where’s my ice cream?”
–“Is she smiling?”
–“Are you cracking up, little man?”–“Kill her, then we’ll have pizza, and margarita shooters!”
–“I’m not deficient. I’m superior! Humans are superior.”
NEXT TIME: A pretty dark secret connection between Aeryn and Moya is revealed in “The Way We Weren’t”, space wizard Maldis returns to torment the crew in “Picture If You Will”, Zhaan gets hungry for meat (get your minds out of the gutter) in “Home on the Remains”, and remember that original season two premiere I mentioned? Well, see how it got turned into “Dream A Little Dream”.