Farscape: Out of Their Minds

When Moya is attacked, seemingly without provocation, Zhaan attempts to talk down the aggressors, while the rest of the crew deals with a strange and unsettling side effect of the attack: everyone has switched bodies.

What a thoroughly delightful change of pace! After several episodes that ran the gamut from meh to forgettable, it was a real treat to get an outing that featured a wonderful blend of humor, fun, utter weirdness, and some genuine tension. Plus, we got several nice character revelations or developments along the way.

Obviously, the highlight of the episode was watching our cast channel each other. What giddy, hilarious fun! For me, Claudia Black was the real standout, doing a marvelous job as both Crichton and Rygel. I laughed myself silly when ‘Crichton’ had to tell ‘Rygel’ how to handle his equipment, and again when ‘Crichton’ finally took a gander at Aeryn’s goodies. Claudia’s facial expressions in those scenes were a riot. And she was even more hilarious as an increasingly irritable ‘Rygel,’ especially when he got pissy with Zhaan for not wanting to follow “his” direction. “Shoot the damn gun, you blue-assed bitch!”

I also rather enjoyed ‘D’Argo’ Pilot, ‘Pilot’ Chiana, and ‘Chiana’ D’Argo (if that makes any damn sense). Gigi Edgley was very effective as a far more measured and calm character, and Anthony Simcoe was a hoot adopting Chiana’s very distinctive body language. Still, I may have laughed the hardest at the usually mild-mannered Pilot channeling the very angry and aggressive D’Argo. Something about seeing Pilot saying such harsh and nasty things just cracked me up!

‘Pilot’: “Zhaan, tell the monarch he’s clear to come over. But remind him we’re in no mood for yotz! One trick, one transgression, and I kill him.”
Zhaan: “Pilot, what has happened to you?”
‘Pilot’: “I’m fine. Just send him over.”

‘Pilot’: “Crichton --- Rygel --- whoever you are, I’ll rip your head off, if you don’t shut up!”

Even beyond all the body-switching hilarity, ‘Out of Their Minds’ did a wonderful job of creating real tension and giving us little moments of pathos and progression. D’Argo and Pilot, in particular, had several very strong scenes. I really loved their discussion about what constitutes a truly remarkable life, although it made me rather sad to learn that Pilot has such a bittersweet take on the life that he’s always dreamed of living.

‘D’Argo’: “I’m beginning to understand. The glimpses I get of what you experience, Pilot, they make my own life feel insignificant.”
‘Pilot’: “That’s not true, D’Argo.”
‘D’Argo’: “It is. I have memories of my son, of a wife. But you have seen the galaxies and the birth of stars.”
‘Pilot’: “I have no … no memories of love. Of friendship. None. You have the remarkable memories, D’Argo.”

I’ve always thought that the bond between Pilot and Moya constituted a sort of friendship, and I’d assumed a certain degree of love or affection had developed between them. And Aeryn and Pilot have formed a tight bond that I would consider friendship. It breaks my heart a little to think that Pilot views things differently, and that, deep down, he feels so alone.

Other Thoughts

From the “strange but true” file: I completely forgot this episode. Once the switch happened, I vaguely seemed to recall an episode where the characters switched bodies, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember where the story went from there. For such a fun episode, you’d think I would have remembered it better!

In other developments: the experience of being in each other’s bodies moved our couples a little further forward in their budding relationships; we learned that Rygel lives in the hope of one day reclaiming his throne and executing the cousin that deposed him; and, apparently, Zhaan can consciously wilt parts of her body. Whoa.

Also in the “new developments and revelations” department: Oh right, Talyn and Crais are still out there! I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Talyn’s attack was provoked, and not an unwarranted act of aggression, spurred on by Crais. “Perhaps he’ll surprise us all.”

Skeksis! I can just picture the Farscape creature team peaking into the Henson storage warehouse, finding the old Dark Crystal puppets laying around, and saying, “Hey! We can repurpose these! We’ll put ginormous wings on them and make their faces more skeletal. No one will notice!” Awesome!

Loved the photo i.d. badges. Brilliant! Especially when they started trading them around in a resigned fashion after the second switch.

‘Crichton’s’ discomfort and horror at having to tell ‘Rygel’ how to pee was beyond funny. “Point it like a gun, … and shoot.”

Halosian vomit is mobile. Gross and hilarious!

I was impressed it took Crichton that long to check out Aeryn’s boobs. Of course, I find it hard to believe that Aeryn doesn’t wear anything under that vest. She’s a warrior; surely she would require proper breast support. Are we supposed to believe the vest has a built-in bra?

So was Chiana really trying to make a run for it in D’Argo’s body, or was she just using her usual methods to ferret out what Rygel was up to? I’m thinking the former, but could go either way. “I’d rather be alive in this body, than dead in my own.”

I’m really glad that Zhaan didn’t spend the whole episode fretting and wailing about Moya being defenseless. Even chained up and under emotional duress, she cleverly found a way to undermine her captors. I loved her efforts to foment mutiny!

Quotes

Rygel: “Move it, D’Argo! I don’t wanna die because you’re too slow!”
D’Argo: “If you can do any better, get down here yourself, Your Lowness, and give it a try.”

‘Crichton’(disgusted): “It’s the Three freaking Stooges; I’m hitting myself!”

‘Rygel’: “But why? Why would they want us to switch bodies? Why?!”
‘Crichton’: “I don’t know. But if this is some kind of sick experiment, I’m billing them for the therapy.”

‘Crichton’: “Oh, come on, man! I’m --- They’re here. They’re right here. They’ve been here for a couple of arns, and I just had to ...”
‘Aeryn’: “You are mentally damaged.”
‘Crichton’: “No. I’m a guy. A guy? Guys dream about this sort of thing.”
‘Aeryn’: “I’ll tell you one thing, Crichton, if I find you’ve been dreaming anything else to my body, I’ll break your legs. Even if they are mine.”

‘Crichton’: “Oh, shut up, Chiana. God knows what you’ve been doing to that body!”

‘Crichton’: “Zhaan wants to hear it from you. She won’t listen to Rygel.”
‘Rygel’ (incensed): “I told you! You all say I’m paranoid, but it’s true. No one ever frelling listens to me.”

D’Argo: “My tentacles are sore, and they’ve never felt like that before, so I was wondering … what you were doing with them?”
Chiana (defensive): “Nothing. Have you been speaking to Crichton?”

Final Analysis: A rollicking good time.

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

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful episode. A real pickup from the last one. Loved the review also.
Anna

Juliette said...

I'm not really familiar with the first two seasons of Farscape so I can't remember - does this one come before or after the one than mentions the beginning of Pilot and Moya's relationship?

Jess Lynde said...

After. And given the nature of their introduction, I can certainly see an argument for their alliance being less than "friendship" or even "friendly."

But that was at least three years prior to the events of this episode, and since Pilot and Moya have been bonding naturally in more recent months, they at least seem on the path to friendship. They need each other, they understand each other intimately, and they seem to care for one another.

Perhaps you could chalk up Pilot's view of things to his continued guilt about his role in the previous Pilot's death. He can't believe that he's worthy of friendship, and therefore, insists he has no memories of it. Despite Aeryn reaching out to him, and Moya being willing to trust him with a natural bond.