FARSCAPE Revisited Mini-caps / Season 1, Episodes 5-8

24 Jun

Stewart here…

Well, its time for another mini-cap on Farscape.  Here’s a bit of trivia for those of you coming in new via DVD and streaming: I saw almost all of season one when it first aired on Sci-Fi Channel back in 1999, and like many shows, aired their first batch of episodes out of order, starting with some of their strongest episodes up front.  And that lack of strength in the early run of the show led to some concern among the channel’s execs about ordering more episodes, which started to be put to rest around the time the episode “PK Tech Girl” (a personal favorite of mine in the show’s run) came into production.  Obviously this delay in dropping the hammer on the show was for the best, because the show starts coming into its own.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it:

“Back And Back And Back To The Future”

Crichton experiences déjà vu as two scientists take shelter onboard Moya.  Unfortunately, that déjà vu turns out to be caused by temporal displacement (he’s shifting back and forwards through time) and each time ends up with him dead.  One of the darker episodes of the early season, and with the promise of an interesting mystery behind D’Argo’s imprisonment (or rather, the real reason he was a prisoner).  Plus, you get Aeryn in workout clothes beating the snot out of some alien spy and said alien spy almost mounting John, so there’s a little something for everyone.

“Thank God It’s Friday…Again”

D’Argo goes all blood rage and takes off, only to be found days later happy as a clam in a work commune.  Everything looks great, except for Rygel’s bodily fluids (again with the puppet toilet humor) turning into volatile explosives, and Crichton becoming aware of what the commune is working on and who for.  It’s a decent episode, brought up a bit by the reveal of the unknown benefactor of the commune’s labor.  Also, Rygel has exploding pee and Aeryn gets to use her head for something other than head-butting some alien skull.

“PK Tech Girl”

Probably one of my favorite episodes of Farscape ever, this one takes Moya’s crew aboard a derelict, legendary Peacekeeper battleship, where they encounter a tech girl from Crais’ ship who bonds with Crichton, and pirates who looks like giant toads (albeit toads who belch fire).  Some great character stuff here, like Rygel’s past onboard the derelict years ago, and Aeryn revealing John probably did have a shot at her (hey, kind of late news to bring up while he’s canoodling with a Peacekeeper who’s lower in rank than you, Aeryn!).  Some pretty good action stuff, and certainly the first real all out classic ep of the show.

“That Old Black Magic”

Leave it to a hate-feeding evil sorcerer named Maldis to bring Crichton and Crais back together to have some talk time about things.  Of course, Maldis wants one of them to kill the other, so hugging it out seems unlikely.  Its up to Zhaan to reach into her dark past to find the strength to save Crichton from Maldis.  Another good episode, and a not so upbeat end with Zhaan not quite over her trip to the dark side.

Good to see midway through this batch of episodes the show is really finding its footing on where it wants to go.  And with that, some nice questions about Zhaan’s “savage” past, D’Argo’s big secret, and more about Rygel’s time imprisoned by Durka (good thing we won’t see him again…hint hint…).  Plus, Crichton finally seems to be adjusting to life in the Uncharted Territories, in that he isn’t being beaten to a pulp every episode.  Well, in one episode in this batch, at least.

And now, some notes:

–Man, I can only wish to be as happy as Maldis is when he’s making people kill themselves!

–Crais’ superiors would like him to break off his search for Crichton, but he’s more determined than ever to kill him.  He’s even gone to killing subordinates now!

–Rygel’s exploding pee.  That’s all that needs to be said.

Someone’s due for a trip to the Space Free Clinic for a VD exam!

–Not sure I blame Crichton for not wanting Zhaan as a bunkmate in “Thank God Its Friday…Again”.  Um, what’s her hand doing there?

–If I’m honest, not really opposed to Aeryn being in slightly more revealing clothes like in “Back And…”, and at least its tastefully done.  Besides, she still hands a toady Sheyang its ass in “PK Tech Girl”, so no worries about her being dumbed down to some kind of sex doll, all right?

–Hey, Crichton makes a Titanic reference before Titanic references were commonplace.

–Aeryn’s response to Crichton’s leaps through time in “Back And…”: “The future?  He can barely survive in the present.”

–“Hey, gas-hole!”

Next Time:  Aeryn bonds with Pilot in a not so pleasant way in “DNA Mad Scientist”; D’Argo and Moya reveal some pretty big things in “They’ve Got A Secret”; John and Aeryn try to outwit some bounty hunters in “Till the Blood Runs Clear”; and, Zhaan must save the crew from a mad Delvian priestess in “Rhapsody In Blue”.

3 Responses to “FARSCAPE Revisited Mini-caps / Season 1, Episodes 5-8”

  1. elizabeth ann June 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    “Back and Back” is a favorite early series ep of mine. I have a soft spot for time jumping eps, apparently. This one has an interesting flow- and tosses that whole butterfly effect onto the table because he does make changes, but the ripples that occur aren’t positive until he has all the information- until Crichton truly knows the whys of what happened. I just think that’s interesting.

    The best part, IMO, of “Thank God it’s Friday” is the effect of the food on Rygel. I like that though the show’s science isn’t remotely perfect (as discussed in the last post) they do remember, occasionally, that the main characters are different species and thus won’t always react the same to every environment/etc. So yeah… explosive bodily fluids amused me.

    It was nice in “PK Tech Girl” that you can see that Aeryn has grown some in her time on Moya, and that even Peacekeepers can grow- if only when exposed to Crichton’s unique pheromones or whatever- but hey, growth! Plus we got a rival for Aeryn and backstory for Rygel- which, I’m glad we aren’t getting the character backstories all at once, but spread out as the characters get more depth. It’s more “real” that as the relationships change and deepen they would share more with Crichton.

    I’m one ep behind… so I’ve no comment on the last ep this week. 😦

    Overall, there’s was a lot of good with this group of eps- though some slow points. And I wasn’t super fond of the planetside characters in “TGIF”… they annoy me. I really wanted to punch them.

  2. stewartmoncure June 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Yeah, “TGIF” is hampered by its aliens, but I chalk that up to it being early in the show’s run when they were figuring out how to approach alien cultures & there wasn’t much footage to show actors what Farscape was. Probably the lesser of the four in this batch of episodes, but the others are pretty good. Also, frozen Rygel. Wonderful.
    Make sure to leave a reply on the ep you missed, since one of the commenters on your recent Science post is the credited writer on that episode. Just saying.

    • elizabeth ann June 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      Oh, it’ll be watched tomorrow and then commented on. I recall that I held of because it was one I had vague memories of and wanted complete focus for- I was doing homework through the rest of this disk.

      I was OK with the not spaced out of the the “TGIF” aliens… but the leader chick… her cadence, behavior, everything- I just wanted to punch her. Clearly, I am not the appropriate person to have in a group for first contacts because if you come at me stoned, I’ll deck you. Or mock you on the internet.

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