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Farscape: The Choice

And now, on Farscape…

Where do we go from here? The battle’s done and we kinda won… except for Aeryn who is left in a dark and dreary place.

Aeryn is on a planet full of mystics and criminals as she tries to cope with her loss and possibly connect with John’s spirit. Aeryn is in a bad place, both literally and mentally. She had abandoned her icy Peacekeeper ways, and had embraced love fully. Now her heart is broken and she is drowning her sorrows in copious amounts of booze and tears.

The title of this episode refers to Aeryn’s confrontation with her mother, but for me it has always meant what Aeryn is going to decide to do next. She looks longingly at a knife, but I think for her there are really three choices. She could leave the planet and go off by herself and start over somewhere else, she could go back to Moya and find a way to accept Green Shirt John as her John, or she could turn off all her emotions again and go back to Moya in Peacekeeper mode. The first time I watched this, I had hoped for option number two, but wasn’t surprised by her actual choice.

Crais, Stark, and Rygel have given Aeryn time to grieve, but they are ready to retrieve her and be on their way. The matter gets complicated when Aeryn’s dear old mum is spotted in the vicinity. As Crais and Stark argue over who has been stalking Aeryn in the creepiest way, we are treated to the views of the planet, Valdun. Now, that is one place that I would never pick for a vacation spot. It might interest people who frequent haunted houses, but it was a seriously ghastly place filled with unsavory characters. One of these walking nightmare creatures claims to be Aeryn’s long lost father.

I’m not sure how I feel about that whole plot with Aeryn’s fake father and mother. It seemed really cruel to submit Aeryn to that horror, on top of what she has already suffered. Nevertheless, it seemed to drive home the point to Aeryn that opening up your heart to love only leads to disaster. Her mother was given the choice to either kill Aeryn or Talyn, and now she is furious over the mess that she made of her life. Xhalax thought she was so clever with her little stunt, but Aeryn saw right through it. As Xhalax was threatening Aeryn’s fake father, she kept looking at Aeryn to see what effect her actions were causing. Except for the fact that Aeryn didn’t want her mom to shoot that guy, she displayed no emotions at all. She knew from the start that he wasn’t her father, and she was drunk enough to just be mildly annoyed with the whole scenario.

Aeryn didn’t want Xhalax to die, in the end, but it also appeared that Xhalax didn’t really want to kill her daughter either, as she seemed to shoot over her head. Maybe after killing Aeryn’s fake father in front of her daughter, she finally realized that Aeryn wasn’t the cause of her suffering and that she had to let go of her anger and regret. It was a touching scene as Xhalax pleaded with Aeryn to just let her fall to her death and to live for her. I think that Xhalax finally saw what a strong person Aeryn had become, and that she was glad that Aeryn had lived her life her own way.

My favorite parts of this episode are the romantic ones; surprising, I know. I loved the flashbacks with John and Aeryn; I’m always a sucker for those. It was truly wonderful the way that they mirrored the scene from "A Human Reaction" and had John and Aeryn’s roles reversed. The scene with Spirit John appearing behind Aeryn on the bed was really heartbreaking. She is so sad and lonely and just wants Crichton back so badly; she’s just a wreck. We got to see scenes from "The Locket," even though they happened in an alternate reality and should not have been remembered in this one. It might be because of the planet’s mystical energy, or maybe Spirit John remembers them; it’s not really clear, but that’s okay, I don’t mind.

In the end, Aeryn decides that she cannot be the person that John was helping her become, if he wasn’t there anymore, so she puts on her Peacekeeper garb and turns her back on Spirit John to rejoin the crew on Talyn.

Space Oddities:

That was an interesting set that was used for the planet, and the views out the balcony were quite amazing. Rygel, hovering in his chair so high up and wobbling, was amusing. His talk with Aeryn was also quite sweet.

That dude who claimed to be Aeryn’s dad was quite fugly, and Cresus the Seer was one disturbing puppet. Yikes.

Xhalax said that now Aeryn has nothing. Wrong. She has Moya and the rest of the crew. I think that was probably the reason she did not take off on her own. She still has a place to call home, which is something that Xhalax never had.

The John and Aeryn Relationship Weather Report: Rain, buckets and buckets of rain. Thunder and primal screaming heard until late.


Spirit John: “That’s it: Earth, minus the sunshine.”
Aeryn: “This is my world now. I think I liked yours better.”

Aeryn: “Was it easy to be a hero… leave me behind?”
Spirit John: “You never think you’re gonna die. I didn’t know.”

Xhalax: “My leg… after you left me on that planet, it got infected, and I had to amputate it myself. Now that…that hurt.” Typical parent guilt trip: I had to walk five miles to school in the snow and I had to amputate my own limbs.

Aeryn: “I returned from the dead, why can’t he?”

This was a visually stunning and emotionally strong episode, but I can’t say that I enjoyed all of it. It was very dark and disturbing, and at times very hard to watch. Claudia Black really gave a great performance as she showed Aeryn going through the stages of her grief. It was very sad to watch Aeryn close down again and to know that she is going back to her emotionless ways. I can understand why, though. She felt so happy and so loved and now that is gone. Nothing as wrenching as this has ever happened to her before. She’s going to go forward the best she can, and at least she has the courage to go back to Moya. It’s going to be a very unhappy reunion, I’m afraid.

Four out of five nightmare aliens.

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


  1. I adored this episode, not least for the wonderful performance from Claudia.

    I know in the great scheme of things SciFi shows don't rank very highly in the world of serious TV drama, especially with some of the more sniffy TV critics, but watching episodes such as this, along with the stunning performance from Claudia, certainly rank just as high in the drama stakes as the more acclaimed shows such as The Sopranos and The Wire (both of which I love too)

    The planet and the scenes from the balcony instantly reminded me of the original BladeRunner film, and the awful weather, the ghastly inhabitants and the overall sense of doom and depression acted as a perfect metaphor for Aeryn's state of mind.

    But like you I loved (cried almost) at the bed scene with Spirit John leaning over Aeryn's shoulder, trying to reassure her and offer her some comfort for her loss. Again, very dramatic stuff that sometimes gets buries or forgotten about because it is seen by some as being slow and slushy.

    I was also impressed by Claudia's physical presence - especially on the balcony, standing tall with her long black hair flowing in the breeze- magnificent!

  2. The bleak planet perfectly reflected the darkness and grief Aeryn was feeling having lost John. The heavy drinking mirrows green shirt Johns heavy drinking of late, trying to forget but really wanting to remember.

    I understand Aeryn discarding her peacekeeper clothes because she no longer feels like a soldier nor like the loving Aeryn that John had help her become, but the velvet dress seemed a strange choice.

    The ghost scenes were so lovely yet heart breaking.

    There seemed little logic to Xhalax's plan other then to cause Aeryn pain, so cruel given she is a,ready suffering immensely. But one can forgive the weakness of story because of the way tbis episode showcases Claudia Black's dramatic skills.

    Her choice in the end to close her heart and distance herself emotionally from her frieds and the other Crichton, is gut wrenching as we know how happy she had allowed herself to be.

    As emotional an episode as any drama.

  3. Almost forgot to say Mallena, i couldn help but sing the first few lines of your review, simply love love love "Once More With Feeling" and totally get that Aeryn's dispair is not unlike Buffy's once she has admitted to her friends that they pulled her back from heaven and she can no longer feel.


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