FARSCAPE Revisited Mini-caps / Season 4, Episodes 10-13

23 Mar
Farscape season 4 minicaps: where the "unrealized reality" is another season.

Farscape season 4 minicaps: where the “unrealized reality” is another season.

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

Hey, fellow travelers of the Uncharted Territories, its time for another round of mini-caps on the fourth and final season of Farscape.  So, we got some tension on Moya this season with Scorpius being a helpful if slightly suspicious traveler on the Leviathan, and Crichton has been having some tension with Aeryn.  Not that she’s trying to patch things up, but between his taking some alien version of Ritalin and his growing wormhole zen, that’s a long way to go.  Speaking of wormholes, they play a BIG role is this batch of minicaps.  So, time?

“Coup by Clam”

The lesson of this episode is: mollusks are bad, especially those given out by a talkative alien doctor intent on extorting you.  So the gang gets dragged into a planetary revolutionary war between men and women, all to find a cure for the virus that will eventually kill them.  If you’re a fan of bodily fluid comedy, then this is one for you.  Plus, you get Crichton in drag and he pulls something out of his pants!  (It’s a laser pistol, you pervs)

“Unrealized Reality”

Crichton goes spacewalking and gets sucked into a wormhole, and meets an advanced interdimensional being who wants to understand why he has the wormhole knowledge, and teach about some unintended consequences that can come from wormhole travel.  Those unintended consequences are changing time itself, and through Crichton’s trips through these “unrealized realities” does he see the true threat the knowledge he has represents.  This is might be one of my favorite eps of Farscape, because of how much it brings back of the series’ history and explains Crichton’s wormhole mojo of the season (and Moya’s disappearance), while leaving us with a pretty jawdropper of an ending.  Crichton ends up going through the wormhole to Earth!

Home sweet, um...oh, I didn't think this through.

Home sweet, um…oh, I didn’t think this through.


The problem of last episode’s cliffhanger becomes not if Crichton can get back to Moya (that problem is solved rather quickly), but when in Earth’s history he’s ended up.  Its near Halloween 1985, and thanks to John’s arrival, his dad becomes the commander of the Challenger, so Crichton and gang head down to prevent him from taking that doomed mission.  Besides being a fun episode, you get some moments worth a surprise, like another twisted cliffhanger where Crichton arrives back on Moya in the present…and John’s dad is there!  Um, it seems the gang screwed with history a bit too much…

“Terra Firma”

So, Crichton and gang are allowed to come down to Earth, and find the culture shock a bit odd.  Not that Crichton is doing any better, discovering the world is a bit different from when he last was there (remember, this came out just after 9/11, and it seems real time has passed since Crichton went down the wormhole).  That would be enough to deal with if it wasn’t for the unknown Peacekeeper assassin left on Moya last episode making its way to Earth, causing lots of trouble.  Not sure we needed the extra tension of an alien killer in the works of this, but it’s a good end to this arc.

Really, “Coup” is an adequate enough episode, but it’s the remainder of this batch of minicaps where things get really interesting.  It was pretty ballsy to have Crichton return to Earth midway through the season, if at the least, to set up the stakes of what the knowledge of wormholes could mean for his home.  That Crichton would willfully go back across the galaxy to keep humanity safe is a pretty heroic thing, and a sacrifice that would be worse to handle by the last episode.  The first half of this season was always a bit spotty, but here is where things get really good for Farscape this season.

–Yep, we get some flatulent humor in “Coup by Clam”, which is probably better than the orgasm D’argo has.  And watching Noranti relieve herself wasn’t all that pleasant either.

–You know the second they made the doctor’s nose so large, that something bad was going to happen to it, like say, Rygel chomping a big bite of it off.

Got your nose!

Got your nose!

–Scorpius spends most of his time vomiting and convulsing because of mollusks.  Not opposed to watch him wither in pain some more in this case.

–I almost forgot to mention the woman mechanic plotline on Moya in this episode, mostly because it was ok, but didn’t add too much other than to explain what the man/woman conflict on the planet was.  Plus, it did give a good Scorpius killing in that pig of a boss she had.

–Great.  Even doctor’s offices halfway across the galaxy have muzak.

–“Think about baseball, math, isosceles triangle, rusty razor blades, gravel…”

–“Jurl power!”

–“You put your hand on my ass again, I’ll kill you.”

–The kick of this is when “Unrealized Reality” first aired and when I saw it, news broke that Farscape got cancelled.  I’ll write more about this when we get to the series finale write-up, but this was quite a gut punch for fans, especially on the eve of this episode coming out.

–I actually did do a double take when I saw it was Aeryn appearing as Chiana.

–Also love the actors playing different versions of themselves, like Rygel as D’argo, and Chiana as Noranti.  Plus, pay close attention to Sikozu as Stark for some vague hints to where Crichton will end up at the end of the season.

Now come on.  That's just a beautiful shot.

Now come on. That’s just a beautiful shot.

–The whole interview stuff with those missing and/or dead Farscape characters like Zhaan, Crais, Jool, and Stark ended up being the impetus for the documentary episode that comes up later this season.

–What a great cliffhanger shot to end the episode.  Especially John’s little “whoops” at the end.

–“Oh, I guess company’s coming.  I can make some skinberry muffins. ”

–“What is the matter with you PEOPLE?  Tongue!”

–“Do you know what it is?”  “Time.”

–The whole scene with Aeryn gleefully watching Sesame Street was hilarious, especially the reaction that the little girl was slow.  Also, weird choice with the Cher-esque wardrobe, but, um, I can live with it.

Do not begrudge me on Aeryn's wardrobe choice, OK?

Do not begrudge me on Aeryn’s wardrobe choice, OK?

–Here’s an interesting consideration: John didn’t really alter the timeline too radically because since John’s dad was alive when we met him, younger John getting stuck in the fire and saved by Jack was supposed to happen.  The timeline has a way to correct itself, and Jack was supposed to survive, so John was supposed to end up back in time to keep Jack from dying.  Mindbending to think on that.

–You know, maybe its for the best Crichton doesn’t remember his younger self had sex with Chiana, ahem, I mean “Karen Shaw”.

–Rygel discovered candy, and is now a sugar fiend.  Good thing he discovered pumpkin carving to pass the time.

–Hopefully D’argo will learn more than, “Yes”, “No”, and “Bite me” as his experience here dealing with humans shows.

–Chiana flipping the bird while saying: “Hello, wrinkles.”  Speaking of flipping off people, there’s a lot of that in this episode, and considering cable TV, more than the allowed amount of zero.

–OF COURSE Braca was Scorpius’ mole.  Oh, and something had to have been up when Grayza didn’t do anything to Moya,

–“Hello, Cookie Monster.”

–“Wheee-el of For-tun.  Wheel!”

–Great callback to season one’s “A Human Reaction” to end the episode: “Was it a bass or a trout?”

–I really enjoyed that icky through line of Grayza telling Braca they’ve been sleeping together after every time she contacts the alien hunter.

–its weird watching this episode knowing how prescient it was about the post 9/11 atmosphere that Crichton was returning to.

–Well, John’s best friend DK is dead, and man, what a nasty way to go.

–Obviously Rygel and Noranti would take to being on Earth better than anyone else.

–So yeah, Scorpius and Sikozu seem to be hooking up, which is…hang on, I’m trying to get that image out of my head.

–Here’s an time-related fact: the script suggests that the events of this episode happened between autumn and Christmas of 2003.  So at least two or more months have passed.

–Boy, I almost cried when Aeryn asked Crichton if he wanted her to leave the house.  That he couldn’t explain why he was being so distant is something that’ll come up in the next round of minicaps.

–“She’s too smart.”

–“Well…merry frelling Christmas.”

I suspect this kind of greeting is being done to any politician in D.C. violently right now.

I suspect this kind of greeting is being done to any politician in D.C. right now.

NEXT TIME:  The pickup of an abandoned slave girl leads to some weird behavior in “Twice Shy”, D’argo runs into the killer of his wife in “Mental as Anything”, the crew stumbles into a secret Peacekeeper/Scarran summit in “Bringing Home the Beacon”, and Crichton sees a documentary from Earth that may help him find a secret Scarran base in “A Constellation of Doubt”.

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