Farscape: Back and Back and Back to the Future

After Moya rescues two escapees from a sub-atomically disintegrating ship, D’Argo plays gracious host to the secretive new guests while Crichton plays Billy Pilgrim (or Desmond Hume, if you prefer) in an increasingly disastrous series of future flashes.

Between Crichton’s “temporal dislocation” issues and the subterfuge with the rescued Elonics, this episode had a lot of engaging and twisty material. Watching Crichton react to the initial flashes with Matala (which I’m assuming was her working her “psychic Spanish fly” mojo on him) was pretty funny. I also enjoyed slowly learning what Matala and Verell were really up to as Crichton repeatedly lived through ever more horrific confrontations with them. Plus, Zhaan’s and Aeryn’s befuddled reactions to Crichton’s future knowledge were highly entertaining.

But, in terms of meaty character development, the real star of the episode was D’Argo. We got to see several different sides to him during his interactions with Matala and Verell. Prior to this episode, he was pretty much just the hostile, quick-tempered warrior, but with his genetic cousins and blood allies, he was calm, serious, and deferential. I loved the scene when Verell told him about the Scorvian War, and he asked if the Luxans had been honorable allies. “And the Luxans? Do they fight at your side?” The timbre in his voice in that moment, and his later insistence that he could not join their war due to the nature of his true crime, demonstrated how deeply he values the concepts of honor and duty (at least when it comes to blood allies). I also thought it was interesting that he felt compelled to explain his behavior with Matala in his final scene with Crichton, given his general opinion of Crichton’s uselessness. “Crichton, I am normally unaffected by females during a crisis. It’s just … it has been so long.” The way he said that last line conveyed such longing and sadness that I’m becoming even more intrigued about his background and his true crime.

Speaking of that true crime, for an honorable warrior like D’Argo, killing your commanding officer would likely be considered a pretty heinous offense. Yet he’s comfortable telling people that’s what he did, rather than his true offense. What could be so much worse that he wants to keep it secret? Very interesting development.

Other Thoughts

Matala’s voice really bothered me. Both versions.

Aeryn was sporting an interesting new look this week. Was she working out when the emergency arose, or is this her new outfit? She’s got great abs, but the outfit doesn’t seem very practical.

Apparently Rygel’s ears (or eyebrows?) are very sensitive. He seemed extremely uncomfortable when D’Argo was pulling on them.

New fake “swear” word: mivonks, which means testicles. “Well, she’s clearly leading D’Argo around by his mivonks and I think she’s having some sort of an effect on you.”

I’m guessing I shouldn’t think too hard about the mechanics of the time flashes, but it seemed like Crichton started flashing with a fairly benign moment with Aeryn in the hallway and then rapidly skipped ahead to flashing on his moment of death. Why? And why keep jumping to that point? Why did the flashes stop after Matala made a break for it and they starburst away to safety? Were the flashes linked to the continued presence of the quantum singularity and not just Crichton’s limited exposure to it?

Rygel is disgusting. Watching him gorge himself was just gross. “Must you jabber while I’m eating? Or at all?”

I liked that once D’Argo learned the Elonics were field testing a new weapon, his first question was “Is Moya in any danger?” Good to know that his desire to assist his Luxan blood allies didn’t supersede the welfare of his ship and her crew.

Zhaan’s glass mask was pretty neat. I once gave a Zhaan action figure to a friend as a gift, and it came with a tiny version of that mask and its display pillow. It was fun to see it in action again.

I love that the “try something new” plan was to tell D’Argo that Rygel wanted to present “a bill for the rescue and transportation of our guests” to the Elonics. Hilarious! And absolutely believable.

Quotes

D’Argo: “You must excuse the Hynerian. His manners match his size.”

Crichton: “I’m just gonna get some air.”
Aeryn: “We have air in here. What is the matter with him?”
Zhaan: “He is Crichton.”

Crichton: “Open your ears, or your tentacles, or whatever orifice it is you listen with! I think the woman is dangerous.”

Crichton: “This is not happening. It’s just not happening.”

Zhaan: “Premonitions. Future flashes. The concept is a fascinating one.”
Crichton: “It could just still be a concept. You know, I could just be going plain old bonkers here. I guess it’s about time for that to happen.”

Crichton (incredulously): “You captured a piece of a black hole, and you’re going to use it as a weapon?!”

Zhaan: “He says he is experiencing the future.”
Aeryn: “The future? He can barely function in the present.”

D’Argo: “Do you mock me?”
Crichton: “D’Argo, I mock all of us.”

Final Analysis: A solid “unstuck in time” main plot with some good character development for D’Argo, including an intriguing twist regarding his “true crime.”

Jess Lynde is a highly engaged television viewer. Probably a bit too engaged.

1 comment:

Diane C said...

When I watched this episode first (and second) time around, I didn't think much of it! I really couldn't put my finger on exactly one, but I just found it rather contrite and a bit silly.

However, on this occasion i decided to watch the episode in its entirety and without the need for constantly pressing the FF button on my remote. And I have to say in all honesty it wasn't too bad after all.

The whole back-to-the-future and trying to change future events, has been done a million billion times before, and this episode really didn't escape from that. However, it was still good fun seeing John flashforwarding into a number of slightly varying conclusions - most of which saw the demise of a few lead characters.

This episode is very much a standalone, and bore little significance to the just-blossoming storyline between John and Aeryn. In fact unlike the previous episode there was very little room for character development other than for D'Argo's troubled secret.

I have to say it right here and now, but I cannot take Rygel seriously! Not the character so much, but the fact he is a Muppet - which is a huge distraction that remained throughout the entire Farscape franchise, and for me was always the weakest link in trying to take the show seriously.

The only other thing I would say about this episode is that Aeryn looks terrific with that muscular bare midriff. in fact she looks positively dynamic and incredibly sensual with her hair loose over her shoulders!

3/5