FARSCAPE Revisited Mini-caps / Season 1, Episodes 17-20

1 Aug

Theme music time! Still not dubstepped to the best of my knowledge…

Stewart here…and fair warning, some spoilers lie within…

Welcome back, fellow travelers of the Uncharted Territories, for another mini-cap on Farscape.  When last we left our crew of derelict prisoners, things got a little steamy between John and Aeryn, they picked up another prisoner in thief and likely cold-blooded killer Chiana, John got stranded and grew a bad beard (less said about that particular one the better), and he got to go home, albeit in a bizarre simulation by a race of aliens.  Of course, the last part turns out to be more eventful than even he knows, which leads us into the next batch of episodes…

“Through the Looking Glass”

To keep the group from leaving during her pregnancy, Moya goes into Starburst prematurely, and gets stuck in a dimensional rift, splitting her between parallel realities.  An effective enough bottle episode (in that its all using sets already made for the show, and not much else), and really a spotlight on our group of heroes working together to solve the dilemma they’re in.  It’s probably the last real fun episode of this season, and shows how much these characters have evolved since episode one.

I was waiting for this scene to freeze frame and end like an 80’s sitcom here.

“A Bug’s Life”

In order to distract a disabled peacekeeper ship, the crew has to pretend to be a prisoner transport.  This would be fine, except said Peacekeeper ship has a cargo that happens to get loose, a cargo which happens to be a living virus that controls its victims.  Both cons and soldiers have to team up to find out who’s possessed and soon, before the virus spores and turns them all into servants.  Some nice dark turns, like Crichton killing two peacekeepers (technically one was while under the virus’ control, but the other was pretty deliberate) and Aeryn getting shived in the guts.  The latter incident (along with the reveal of secret Peacekeeper base in the Uncharted Territories) plays a big part of what comes next…



Aeryn is dying from her injuries in “Bug’s Life”, but can be saved with a tissue graft from a compatible donor.  But, the closest place to look is the secret Peacekeeper base, so Crichton tries to sneak in, only to run into two things: Gilina from “PK Tech Girl”, and not quite human Scorpius, who captures Crichton and uses his mind scanning Aurora Chair on him.  Lots of firsts here, like Scorpius, the show’s multi-faceted villain appears here, and he is kinda creepy in that gimp suit and scaly face of his.  Also, the first appearance of Stark, an alien driven mad (sort of) by the Chair, who will likely be an questionable inclusion later on in the series’ run.

Plus, Chiana torches a Peacekeeper.  And Gilina really misses Crichton, even though he’s risking his life for Aeryn.  That can’t end well.  Speaking of which…

“The Hidden Memory”

A lot of the plots of this season come to a head here, with most of the crew (and a slightly recovered Aeryn) going to the base to rescue John from Scorpius, Crais arriving to take revenge, plus Chiana and Rygel having to help Moya deliver her baby.  Lots of explosions, lots of shooting laser guns, lots of payback, and a tragic death fill out this jam packed episode.  This marked the end of Farscape’s first two parter (and is probably among its best multi-part epics ever), and sets up Scorpius as the big bad from here on in.  And Rygel farts helium in an enclosed place…one with Chiana in it.  Have to appeal to the “Rygel bodily fluids” crowd of these minicaps.

When the weakest episode in this set in an episode involving a virus possessed Crichton murdering someone, you know it’s a great batch.  I have to admit, I kind of lapsed watching the show midway through season one when it first aired on SciFi, but I stayed a consistent viewer after “Nerve”/”The Hidden Memory”.  A lot of big plots were spun out of it, including the conflict between John and Scorpius over wormhole technology, the discovery of the wormhole technology in Crichton’s head (remember when I said “A Human Reaction” had a connection to “Nerve”?), and something else that comes from the Aurora Chair that spills into season two.

And now, note time (in episode order):

–Some nice John/Aeryn sign language comedy.

–Kinda torn about John’s lava lamp talk with the inter-dimensional rift alien.  Maybe because Battlestar Galactica did the same thing years later and it didn’t really work for me there either.

–“Should I disrobe so its memorable?”

–Aw, the days when Moya’s crew had fun having dinner.  The good old days, I believe they’re called.

–Crichton pulls a Die Hard 2 on the infected Peacekeeper ship, only with Starburst instead of a lighter.

–I’m sure this is not the last time Chiana and Rygel endanger Moya and crew.  Just saying.

–Almost forgot Crichton’s ruse would have been noticed by the one person who isn’t really human: Scorpius.

–Hope you like crazy Crichton, because it will be a trend from here on in.

–You want to know how lethal Scorpius is: watch how he gets Crais’ subordinates to take their captain prisoner by just explaining how pointless fighting him really is.

–What a nice visual gag referencing James Cameron’s Titanic with the foggy container and Rygel’s hand.

Wow, this matches that scene from Titanic in every icky way.

–Be honest: that was a cheerworthy moment when Aeryn gave Crais an extended dose of the Aurora Chair, wasn’t it?

–And hoo boy, is Crais in trouble after the murder of his subordinate back in “That Old Black Magic” gets revealed to Scorpius.

–Oh, poor Gilina.  Sniff.

–Love the wonderful callback to Stark giving that memory to share with dying Gilina.  Got a bit choked up at that point.

–“You know what I give you?  Your life.”

NEXT TIME:  In the last minicap of the first season of Farscape, two aliens get Moya’s crew involved in a hunt in which things aren’t what they seem in “Bone To Be Wild”, and loyalties shift on all sides as the crew tries to save Moya and her baby in the season ending “Family Ties”.  Plus, I look back at the highs and lows of season one in my impartial and sarcastic way.  Prepare yourself!

3 Responses to “FARSCAPE Revisited Mini-caps / Season 1, Episodes 17-20”

  1. elizabeth ann August 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    I thought this disk had some of the best episodes so far- really, these are the episodes that say what Farscape is and keep you coming back for more. And while Scorpius makes for an interesting nemesis, I like “Harvey” better. 😉

    I really like episodes of series that utilize the other senses to show something- or even just break things up via um… I guess color would be the easiest descriptor. Like “Through the Looking Glass” does. I started to feel vaguely nauseated as I rewatched it- which, in my mind, brings the audience more into the universe. Firefly utilized a similar thing in “Out of Gas”- each time period was a different hue. I like it.

    And the comedy moments… not subtle at all. But also, not in your face-you-must-laugh-at-us-we’re-funny either.

    We’ve seen, essentially, the intelligent virus idea in most sci-fi series, however, I find that this one was very well done. Though… I was grossed out by the sheets licking.

    It was a fitting end to Gillena, but I liked that she was brought back and able to have some more possible loving with our boy, Crichton. Though, as a woman- how she couldn’t grasp that he was head over heels for Aeryn and thus not going to do more than be friends with her… well, makes me sad.

    And pretty much all I have to say about the rest is- bring it! From here on, the series is a roller coaster of awesome.

  2. stewartmoncure August 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    I was tempted to quote many of the lines Rygel belts out in the dimension he’s stuck in.
    I’m kind of hard pressed to remember an episode that was an innocent as “Looking Glass” later on in the show’s run.
    In retrospect, I’m surprised how much material spills out from the two-parter (and the last two episodes of the season): Scorpius, Stark, wormhole tech, Moya’s baby, and John’s…well, you know.

    • elizabeth ann August 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      As they said in the commentary, they didn’t know if there’d be a season 2 when they made that season finale. I feel like they did what they did in order to tie things up… sort of.

      And yeah… innocence is definitely lost from here on. But… we get Looney Toons! So that’s cool.

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