Farscape: Look at the Princess: Part 2: I Do, I Think

John: "We're so screwed, and we're gonna die."

This episode was all over the place, like a groom having cold feet and running wild on the night before his wedding day. I hate to say it, but it's all Aeryn's fault.

I'm not gonna harp on this for very long, but I have to bring up the singular fact about the entire situation. It all could have been stopped if Aeryn had just told John the truth about her feelings. She's had several chances so far, and he would've happily run away with her. Instead, he got frozen in carbonite.

The whole statue stuff wasn't the only impossible sci-fi gimmick used in this episode, but it was definitely the most disturbing. The other, John's spacewalk sans suit was absurd. He would've died in seconds. However, neither of those things really bothered me that much.

In fact I ended up liking a few things about this one. I thought the political stuff was kind of interesting, and that John's choice wasn't entirely based on his own survival. He knew that Katralla was the only way to maintain a delicate peace between these neutral colonies and the inevitable war brewing between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrens. I liked Chiana's and Aeryn's attempts to intimidate the various sides into revealing their complicity in John's brief disappearance. And I loved John's break down with Braca. It may have been an act, but at the same time it kind of wasn't.

John's mental state is an interesting subject. Here is a guy totally removed from everything he's ever known, without more than a handful of Earthly possessions. He's found a new group to be a part of, and they have become his family, but they are strange and are constant reminders of his distance from home. He's been put in a situation without an obvious escape, except for one that is no longer appealing because of Aeryn's reluctance to express her feelings for him. Also, he's hearing voices now. And it isn't just any voice, it's Scorpius whispering in his ear. I'm honestly surprised he isn't already a nutter.

I should probably mention the side stuff. It was revealed in the first few moments that Jena is actually a Disruptor, a Peacekeeper Special Directorate operative. The servant ro-Na was working for Scorpy because he provided her with an opportunity for massive wealth, which was something her species was prohibited from ever pursuing. Rygel is a surprisingly effective, albeit manipulative diplomat... who knew. And finally, the builders of the Leviathans are a peaceful race that built the massive ships for the sole purpose of conveying that peace throughout the galaxy.

The whole Moya/Zhaan subplot was interesting in one respect, and that was having Zhaan argue with basically a god about the value of Moya's life. But it didn't really mesh too well with the other plot. Even with common themes, it felt off every time the show cut to those scenes. That being said, I loved Zhaan's goodbye to Pilot. It was very touching.

Bits:

I would've liked to have seen more of D'Argo and Scorpius. Their scenes in the first episode of this trilogy were fun.

There was a parallel theme of Moya shutting down physically and John shutting down mentally. Of course Moya thinks of the Builders as her gods, and she willingly shuts down because she is capable of giving birth to ships of war.

Moya's voice was appropriately haunting.

Aeryn going off with Dregon at the end of the episode was disappointing, but I won't restate my opinion on her actions.

Quotes:

Aeryn: "Don't feel bad, it's not you, it's me. I don't like you."

Aeryn: (To Katralla and Jena) "I don't know what game is being played on this little planet of yours, and I don't care. What I care about is that a good friend of mine is not hurt, in any sense of the word. And if he is, I will personally take revenge on both of your overly made up faces."

John: "Gimmie the bad news first."
D'Argo: "The bad news is that you're married, and you must endure as a statue for eighty cycles on a strange world."
John: "What's the good news?"
D'Argo: "Chiana and I are having fantastic sex."

A bit uneven, but it had some elements that I liked. I'm a bit surprised that I'm not feeling as negatively about this trilogy as I did the first time around.

An unknown number of living statues out of four.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

5 comments:

Ric said...

Hello! Nice review :). Keep it up till the end is nigh. As for the spacewalk, like you, I found it ludicrous, but then I read afterwards in another review that it is possible to survive in the vacuum for a minute or so depending on if you exhale all the air in your lungs beforehand(I'm paraphrasing here) -who knew :P. Anyways, have been waiting for the reviews for months! great to see them back.

Suzanne said...

Great review. I enjoyed this trilogy so much more this time around than I remember from before, just like you. The space walk was unreal, but I wondered if that part of space was different from ours for some reason. Regardless, I loved John's freak out. Browder plays that so well and the look on Bracca's face was priceless.

I also loved Aeryn threatening the two women (in the scene quoted above). She is my favorite touch female character even if she is to blame for her actions here. I think it is next to impossible for her to admit feelings at this point given her past. It is just part of the show, and it works as well as it can. I don't think it is out of character for her, though. Of course, we can still be mad at her character for putting John through this. We do have to remember that she is an alien and doesn't behave or react as we humans would or should. The great thing about Farscape is that each character is a different type of alien so none of them understand the way the others react and each of them views situations differently.

I really love this show.

Jess Lynde said...

Yeah, I didn't like this one. Way too many machinations, murder attempts, and disconnected side plots that I just did not care about. Plus the sound design and editing was really terrible. Very obvious and over the top. And unlike, J.D. and Suzanne, I really can’t stand it when John goes bat guano crazy, so his play with Braca did nothing for me (even though I quite liked the way he realized his uniqueness meant Braca couldn’t do a damn thing to him). But I agree that his escape through open space was really, really ridiculous. There’s no freaking way he should have survived that.

On the plus side, the reveal that the fiancĂ©e was from the Peacekeeper Special Directorate was pretty cool, and I liked a couple of the smaller character beats. Aeryn telling Dregon that it was her, not him, cracked me up. And Zhaan saying goodbye to Pilot was a genuinely moving moment. (His comment about the stars was a particularly powerful touch.) I was also entertained by D’Argo’s "good news."

Like Suzanne, I agree that Aeryn's attitude is perfectly in character for her at this point. She's still struggling with a lot of changes and things from her past, so she just can't let herself open up completely yet. Of course, I also agree with everyone that it is frustrating as all get out to watch. But, as I said last week, I think it still works from a character perspective.

So, Moya’s builders were Centauri. Who knew?

Suzanne said...

Jess, your comment about Moya's builders being Centauri is priceless! I thought the builder looked familiar. He was like a cross between Londo and a Greek God.

As for John going crazy, if I remember my patience for it only lasted so long. I enjoyed it here since he seem to start by putting it on as a show but then became so caught up in it that it became real.

Anonymous said...

All three episodes gave this a movie feel to it.

It was great entertainment with good acting, character development, effects, plot twist, etc.

Sometimes I think folks take these shows way to seriously..

remember it just SCIENCE FICTION..LOL