This episode was nuts, and I mean that in the crazy sense. Although I imagine there were nuts available in the bar Crichton ended up going to several times. That crazy bar with Pilot on the drums. Anyway, the plot of this one pushed things about as far as possible, but it totally worked within the context of the episode.
The opening felt familiar with John waking up on Earth, except this time he isn't going to be fooled by his obviously false surroundings. His actions, although violent, made total sense given how frequently his mind has been messed with. It was perfectly reasonable to believe this was yet another illusion by some enemy known, or unknown. Still, I'm not sure attacking his father was the most rational choice.
Even with Aeryn in the room, there was no way to know for sure he was really in a fantasy of some sort. There was a momentary and very real possibility she was the real version of a person he projected into prolonged nightmare or delusion. Although it probably would've been more believable for him to wake up from an extended coma. As is, if he did crash land after the mission he would've had at least a few injuries, which was the first major clue nothing was going to be all that realistic in this Earth episode.
Then things dove directly into the deep end of zanyville, with Zhaan showing up in a suit. Actually, I thought she looked kind of stunning in that suit, and I loved the way their conversation danced around the obvious (that she was an alien). I liked how every single question he asked and she reflected back towards him could've been interpreted in a totally different way. It upped his frustration early on, which was good. His exasperation with the wrongness of this clear illusion, delusion or fantasy world was the best part of the episode.
At first I honestly didn't know what was going on, with crew showing up as completely different characters. D'Argo and Crais in particular stood out as really bizarre. Of course John was having none of it. He tried so hard to subvert whatever was happening -- that is, until his mother showed up. Talk about pushing buttons. The delusion simply unraveled then, and quickly descended into outright torture.
That scene in the bar with John's withered mother was well done, and watching him suffer so horribly at her taunts was painful to watch. Zany or not, watching John lose it like that isn't fun at all. It brought home the realization that this wasn't a pleasant dream, it was something far more sinister. That contrast between the threat of real insanity and the absolutely off the wall leaps from one creepy crazy vignette to the next was too much, like a literal interpretation of the merry-go-round broke down. In the end it was really a type of torture, being inflicted on Crichton by a Scarren. Those manifested delusions combined with nightmares delved into the deepest corners of John's mind and eventually conjured up something that's been lurking for several episodes: the full reveal of Harvey, the neural clone of Scorpius.
Although Harvey protected John this time, it is still slowly eating away at his mind searching for the elusive Wormhole technology the Ancients implanted in his subconscious. The fact that John won't be able remember Harvey at all makes things even worse. John's sanity is at stake here, and Harvey is a dangerous and insidious new enemy. It speaks to how determined and conniving Scorpius is, that he would resort to this kind of invasive technology. It also shows that he's a far more effective adversary than Crais ever was.
Crais: "Freeze. You're under arrest. You have the right to the remains of a silent attorney. If you cannot afford one... tough noogies. You can make ONE phone call. I recommend Trixie: 976-Triple-5-LOVE. Do you understand these rights as I've explained them to you?"
Crais: "Then I can't arrest you!"
Crais: "I like your style, hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer, theft of police property, illegal possession of a firearm, five counts of attempted murder. That comes to 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, check or credit card?"
D'Argo: "John, I really need to just unburden myself on you."
D'Argo: "Well, lately I've been thinking about you in a very different way."
Crichton: "Uh huh."
D'Argo: :Mmm hmmm, and I was wondering if you would mind participating with me in a little Luxan bonding ritual. Here's the thing okay? What we need are some chains, uh, my Qualta blade, just a little squirt of lutra oil and- Oh! Chiana."
D'Argo: "Yeah, she wants to watch."
Crichton: "Oh, no."
D'Argo: "Oh, yes."
Aeryn: "I'm a doctor, just relax."
Zhaan: "I can wear a Freudian slip."
Aeryn: "I'll find new places to take your temperature."
Chiana: "I can teach you the left-handed Latvian Rodeo Torture."
Rygel: "All of you bitches out... now! Crichton is mine!"
Crichton: (checking out the women's room and surprising a woman) "Sorry, thought it was co-ed. "
Woman: "Co-ed? What planet are you from? "
Crichton: (to himself) "Not this one... "
Crichton: "On Earth, psychiatrists don't come in blue. "
Zhaan: "Do you have a problem with people of color? "
Crichton: "I have a contextual problem. You're an alien! "
Zhaan: "Yes, that's true. But I do have a green card."
At times brilliant, but often this episode goes just a bit too far. 3 out of 4 Sets of Red High Heels and Leather Bondage Gear
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.