Farscape: Eat Me

"Then how do you know that I am not the copy?"

I'm kind of a fan of horror movies, and this is the sort of episode that should've been right up my alley, but it wasn't.

Starting with a cold open that feels like we missed a few scenes, John, D'Argo, Chiana, and Jool are all on a pod for reasons that are never mentioned. The ship is dying thanks thanks to Jool (who seems to be hated by everyone both on screen and off), but thankfully they run across a Leviathan within reach. Unfortunately it has a PK control collar, meaning they might be walking into a very dangerous situation.

Once they make it on board however, they discover this ship is nothing like they thought it was going to be, and in a lot of ways it's worse. The ship has become a death trap with a house of horrors vibe. The walls are torn to shreds and the ship is dying and diseased. There are cannibalistic Sebaceans that seem almost mindless, and it's clear some are identical in a creepy twin way.

John and D'Argo go off alone leaving Chiana to guard the ship and babysit a useless Jool. Chiana doesn't want to sit around doing nothing so she heads into the ship after them and immediately regrets it as she is attacked and has to run for her life. She finally catches up with John, who has been separated from D'Argo and they try searching for their friend together.

When they do find D'Argo, he is seemingly killed in front of them. From there things get really weird, when we see Chiana split into two people and one of them is killed. John kind of loses it, thinking his friends are dead, and he starts working with the pilot to try and gain control of the ship from the monster behind all the insanity, Kaarvok.

Apparently the ship is a Krishool, a PK prison ship for the criminally insane. Except there was only one prisoner, Kaarvok. In true Farscape fashion, the plot is barely held together by acting and character chemistry with a zany twist that makes it interesting. In this case Kaarvok has the technology to literally double a person. He calls it 'twinning' and states that each 'twin' is equal and original. That each of the twins are exactly the same, and neither one is clone of the other.

Which brings up some rather unsettling things about this episode. If Kaarvok is right about his technology, we had to watch as both D'Argo and Chiana were brutally murdered. Sure, we still have a Chiana and D'Aro, but in a very real way we just lost them both, too. That is pretty disturbing when I sat back and really thought about it. They weren't mindless clones or fakes, they were D'Argo and Chiana, killed off as if they didn't matter.

D'Argo's death was off screen for the most part, and the other D'Argo was taken captive so he had no chance to save his other self. Unfortunately Chiana had no such luck, and had to watch her 'twin' get murdered and there was nothing she could really do to stop it, although the fact that she ran instead of trying to save her 'twin' haunted her throughout the rest of the episode.

Which brings us to the final moments of the episode, as John destroys the ship and defeats Kaarvok, only to be twinned as Kaarvok's device blew up. The implications of this are kind of massive, since we now have two fully real and utterly indistinguishable Crichtons unable to even tell each other apart. This effectively gives us two leads, and it is a totally bizarre and kind of wonderful storytelling choice. This is the kind of thing that makes Farscape unique, and it kind of elevates this episode from stupid horror tropes and mostly forgettable, to one of the most important in the series.

Bits:

The b-plot involving Moya starbursting to find a crippled Talyn and an unconscious and injured Crais was almost an afterthought. It felt like it was there simply to have the rest of the cast involved in the episode. There were a few strong moments featuring Rygel being a self-serving coward, but it was mostly filler.

Kaarvok called the mentally damaged peacekeeper twins the Xarai after a pet he once had.

I'll give Shane Briant some props for creating a fairly creepy villain, even though the writing wasn't quite there for the character.

The poor Leviathan was named Rovhu.

John mentions Night of the Living Dead early on in the episode, hinting that the episode's going to be horror themed.

Quotes:

Kaarvok: "As you can see, once you've been twinned about 30 or 40 times, you're not much good for conversation... not that you're especially witty right now."

Rygel: "Listen, you bartantic bitch, Talyn's supposedly the meanest, deadliest, all-time yave-of-the-yuvo fighter ship, but somebody, some thing, beat the yotz out of him. And when they come back to finish him off, we'll be here with him. Unarmed."

Chiana: "I'm warning you, I'm going to end up killing that red-headed tralk."

Jool: "You know, we don't have weapons on our planet. We don't have violence. We don't have war!" (Chiana punches her)
Jool: "What the frell?!" (Chiana punches her again)
Chiana: (Jool punches her back) "See? Violence. You'll get the hang of it."

Jool: "I can do this, that's what my father told me, that's what my mother told me, and I've never doubted them before. (Something startles her and she screams) "Maybe once or twice."

Apparently this is one of the most controversial episodes of Farscape, and it's pretty clear to see why. Not only did it veer into some pretty disturbing themes, it featured the death of two main characters and the introduction of a major new character. While consequential, it was not especially good.

2 out of 4 Cannibalistic Peacekeeper Xarai
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J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

1 comment:

Mallena said...

Dark, twisted, wacky with tragic undertones, hey it's Farscape. If you can accept the premise that someone can be twinned with all their memories intact, not to mention their soul, than yeah, good times. The episode is more plot device, than anything else, but what a good plot. The show would not be complete without Aeryn and John getting together and breaking apart multiple times, and this allows that to happen in very dramatic ways. Strap on in, kids, it's going to be a bumpy ride.