In true Farscape form, this episode didn't fully work on a logical level. But at least it was a moderately fun ride.
The logical holes in the plan to steal money from a Peacekeeper shadow depository were big enough to fly Moya through them, yet that wasn't really the point. This was about how the crew have become a family in the truest sense of the word. Sure, D'Argo's actions were almost entirely irrational, and his anger was understandable if more than a little unfair, since committing to a plan that on paper looked suicidal wasn't exactly sane. If it had been any other situation, D'Argo would've been the first one to question Stark's jumbled, incoherent, and plainly risky plans.
But in the end the crew came through for D'Argo, partly because they had no other choice. Still, they would've done almost anything to help him, and he should've known that. Yet without D'Argo's actions there would've been no plot, so I guess that's fine. Even though he was trusting Stark of all people, who may have initially delivered the news about Jothee to begin with, but isn't exactly what I would call trustworthy.
Speaking of Stark, um, he isn't a corporeal being? That just doesn't make a lot of sense. If he were a being from another dimension, why is he so materialistic? The inconsistencies in his character is the main reason why I've never liked Stark. He's nuts, opportunistic, and often goes against what is good for the crew. This episode was a prime example of why, because every single time the crew needed to depend on Stark, he failed.
Eventually D'Argo had to take over for Stark and save the day. It was frustrating, but at this point not unexpected at all. I'm not sure why the Stark character has always been written in such an uneven way, but since he isn't a main character I guess it doesn't matter too much. Unfortunately, his presence does diminish Zhaan a bit. I honestly have no idea what she sees in him, and her romantic interest in Stark makes her seem less enlightened.
Okay, enough Stark bashing for now. The plot itself was also more than a little confusing. Rygel had to be smuggled into one of the vaults, but what did he actually do besides provide a nice scene capture for a future credit sequence? I guess he was the one who switched the vaults, but did we actually see that? I think they stole the vault full of currency that Natira promised Scorpius, but I'm not sure about that. Primarily I think the whole Rygel plot was a set up for that final moment where Zhaan and Chiana used the immobilizing gas to escape.
Natira was an interesting character with an amazing and uncomfortable looking costume and makeup. She might be one of the more successful and creepy looking aliens we've seen on the show, but there's something about her that doesn't work for me. Maybe it's because the Peacekeepers are notoriously xenophobic. Would they really entrust this woman, who is clearly not trustworthy, with one of the most secure facilities in the galaxy? Scorpius I get, he's half Sebacian and has skills that would appeal to the Peacekeepers. Natira, I don't get. She's cool looking, but that's about it.
In the end though, this entire episode was mostly about Crichton's struggle with the neural chip that Scorpius put in his head. It was painful to watch him fight to do everything, and even worse when he discovered what was wrong with him. Going crazy given his circumstances is understandable, losing his mind to something invasive and knowing he can't do anything about it, that's so much worse. Crichton knows he doesn't have long, and the only thing he really needed to say, he couldn't even manage. Thankfully he didn't have to say it, because Aeryn already knows how he feels. The way she reacted to John was kind of tragic. She can't do anything to help him and it's clear how frustrating it is for her.
Yet those exchanges between Aeryn and John couldn't come close to the biggest and most powerful scene in the episode. That moment between Crichton and Scorpius was just awesome. It couldn't have been easy to film either, but both actors just committed to it completely. Crichton looked like he was about to have an aneurism as he literally fought for control of his own body. This was the second time he had a chance to kill Scorpius and couldn't quite pull it off. The punch line, of course, is he thinks he succeeded and feels guilty about it.
One of my favorite moments was when Stark started going manic and insulted John using D'Argo's name and John put a gun to his head and forced him to be honest.
Zhaan in an eye patch was delightful, and I loved the scene where they put Rygel inside a statue.
The vault reminded me of Gringotts bank in the Harry Potter universe, but with fast moving vaults instead of carts.
John's plot to blow up Scorpius was fun, and paid off the whole cooling rod special effects for Scorpius.
Of course the loot was not what it seemed. The currency is actually some kind of mechanical bug that looks like money.
Aeryn: "What are you doing?"
Crichton: "Doin' what guys do best. I'm looking for Baywatch."
Stark: "You want revenge."
Crichton: "No, I don't. I wanna kill him. That's justice."
John: "Aeryn, listen, if Scorpius gets me..."
Aeryn: "I know, shoot you."
John: "No! No, no, shoot him!"
John: "You ever heard of KFC?"
John: "It is to my knowledge, unique in the universe and unique is always valuable. Now, we have managed to procure all eleven secret ingredients..."
Scorpius: "You cannot let me die, any more than I can sacrifice you."
John: "That's what you're telling me in my head, but I think I'll give it a shot."
Rygel: "Ten percent of this plan is lunacy! Fifty percent of these riches is not enough! One hundred percent of dead is dead!"
Scorpius: "Insert the rod, John!"
Crichton: "You're really not my type."
Akkor: "May I help you?"
Zhaan: "No. Bring me whoever is in charge here."
Akkor: "I assure you madam, I am more than capable . . ."
Zhaan: "Don't elevate yourself. I know a functionary when one crawls in front of my face. Now fetch me your master like a good little minion."
Not the best episode, but the character stuff for Crichton was very strong.
3 out of 4 Cooling rods coated in explosive gel
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.