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Farscape: Scratch 'n Sniff

And now, on Farscape…

Somewhere on a wild and crazy planet, this is happening: John, D’Argo, the Grey Girl, and the Gold Girl are having quite a trip.

For the most part, I am not a fan of flashbacks, flashforwards, and non-linear storytelling. This time, though, it was actually very amusing. The way this story was presented, it reminded me of a trippy Sixties movie, like Bye Bye Birdie. It was probably not a coincidence how the “Freslin” made people behave; it was very reminiscent of the psychedelic Sixties.

We get another appearance of Francesca Buller in this one; Mrs. Ben Browder likes to take on strange characters, it seems. She was quite annoying in some ways, but amusing enough, I suppose. I don’t know how Ben managed to keep a straight face in their scenes together, with her crazy accent and all the weird faces she pulled.

I loved the scenes with Pilot: his exasperated expressions, his “Dad” vibe, and being large and in charge instead of being servile and passive. Throughout the whole episode, I looked forward to seeing Pilot’s reaction to the story that John was spinning.

Chiana and Jool; those girls just wanna have fun. I’m still not sold on Jool, but Chiana was her usual resourceful self, here. She warned Crichton at the end to take off his ocular, because she had seen in one of her flashes that John was going to get punched in the face.

We even got Harvey to make an appearance. He appeared in the memory space with John and D’Argo to offer some help. Harvey liked the fact that he got to interact with D’Argo. I guess it is lonely being a subconscious echo of a removed chip, or something like that. The access that John and D’Argo were given to events by the praying mantis alien, was well done and made the scenes more fun. It got our guys right in the middle of the action, without them being able to change anything. I also liked how D’Argo was the one who kept getting sprayed in the face with substances by Raxil. An annoyed D’Argo is an amusing D’Argo. My favorite part of this whole thing was when the big guy was dancing. It was hilarious. What do you call that dance he was doing: The Woodpecker?

Space Oddities:

Some of the quick cuts were very good, like the shadow depository: Boom. Some were excessive, but I seem to remember from the commentary that this episode came up short for time, so they had to get creative.

The alien with the eye stalk tentacles was a great character, but I have a problem with katydids and praying mantises. They scare me; just sitting there… staring at me and looking creepy. An insect shouldn’t be allowed to look like a leaf or a stick and sneak up on people.

Raxil was correct in her description of Jool: “that really annoying gold one.”

I liked the way that John didn’t remember some of the character’s names and he “thought” that one lady was Fe’Tor’s sister. That’s how I do my reviews, also. I could look up the name of the praying mantis alien, but why strain myself?

Anthony Simcoe (D’Argo) must have spent a lot of time in the make-up chair for this one. John called him a horny toad for his second look.

The beach scenes were filmed in very cold weather. It wasn’t so bad for our leading men; they had long sleeved costumes, but the extras playing the beach frolickers must have been freezing.

Gigi Edgley (Chiana) really does know how to juggle firesticks. Apparently, she was spotted doing that during her off-camera time, as one does.

Cosmic Quotes:

John: “How long have we known each other?”
Pilot: “Approximately two and a half long cycles.”

Raxil: “You’re not very smart, are you: Now he… he’s got a brain. But you… you’re a bit of an idiot.”

Pilot: “Stop, stop, stop! This makes no sense. You make no sense.”
John: “What doesn’t make sense? She nailed him with Love Potion Number Nine.”
Pilot: “It made him dance?”

D’Argo: “What, he didn’t believe you?”
John: “No.”
D’Argo: “Well, what was that thing about a slim duck?”
John: “Slam dunk.”

John: “You would argue with a lamppost.”
D’Argo: “I do not. Open the door.”
John: “What, you’re a girl; I’m going to open the door for you? Open the door.”
D’Argo: “I’m older than you, show some respect. Open it.”
John: “You can’t open it? I’m not opening the door.”
D’Argo: “I’m not opening no door. You open it.”

This was a pretty silly story, but I still liked it. John was very funny, especially in his scantily clothed window scene. D’Argo was great and always the life of the party. Pilot was featured in a wonderful way. Okay, so this is not going to be the episode that is remembered for being the most epic, or the most moving, but it was still far out and groovy, man.

Three out of five spinning firesticks.

Mallena loves her DVR, her Pug, anything in the sci-fi, fantasy, or supernatural genres, and her family.  Well, maybe not in that exact order.


  1. Good review, Mallena. You made me laugh out loud twice. :)

  2. I was just saying I've been looking forward to your review of this (and revenging angel) and lo and behold I noticed the review is posted.

    I've always enjoyed this episode, but I know quite a few people who just find the style and the guest characters irritating. It was nice to get a response from someone who enjoyed it. I think its a fun break in amongst all the intense stuff.

  3. LostinDundee, thanks for your comment, I appreciate it. When I post a review and no one comments, it's kinda like that feeling I get when I make a joke in a crowded room, and instead of laughs, I just get blank stares. (Since that is what usually happens, I don't make jokes at parties, anymore.) I'm going to renew my quest to complete the Farscape reviews when the holiday madness is over. Stay tuned.

  4. I absolutely loved this episode! I can see that the tone and style wouldn't be to everyone's taste, but it's right up my street, and so uniquely Farscape

  5. This is probably one of my favourite non-serious episodes in the entire Farscape framework. Definitely played for the laughs I think, and the jump-cut editing is handled very well here, especially the flashbacks.

    The evil villain was pretty one dimensional and instantly forgettable, but I enjoyed the story for all that. And what really made this a fun episode was the reappearance of Ben Browder's wife - Francesca Buller - as the fast-speaking charming/calculating alien with a Cockney accent called Raxil. I have seen her a few times here on British television, and she comes across as a very charming & humorous woman.

    The best laugh has to be at the beginning with a dazed & confused John & D'argo sharing some space together, with John not realising they're been stared at by onlookers through a shop window. His stockings and suspenders were just a bonus!

    And hats off to Gigi - I didn't realise she was a master firestick juggler in real life!

  6. Im not a fan of this episode although it did have its moments. Exasperated Pilot wanting bickering Crichton and D'Argo off ship and D'Argo dancing did make me smile. And Chiana killing the bad guy at the end reminded us yet again she isnt just the pretty faced party girl, but a real threat when she needs to be.

    Unfortunately Jools had degenerated back into being the annoying one and John was mostly drunk and confused not his charming self.


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