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Farscape: Natural Election

And now, on Farscape…

Uneasiness continues to be pervasive on Moya as John and Aeryn have problems communicating. At the same time, a dangerous plant from Outer Space is invading our living ship. Where's Seymour Krelborn when you need him?

A nervous Aeryn is pacing and muttering to herself while throwing glances John’s way as the episode opens. It’s nice to see the usually self-assured Aeryn being the one who is trying to connect with someone else, for a change. Unfortunately, right before she can get the chance to speak to him, our Astronaut mystically predicts a wormhole opening before them, because he can do that now, you know. Drat, I wanted that honest conversation between John and Aeryn in her quarters. Anyway, Rygel aka “Captain Chaos” is freaking out and poor Moya’s skin starts burning from a mysterious source.

This is another one of those episodes that's well done and exciting, but problematic for me because of the tensions between John and Aeryn. I’m trying really hard to see things from John’s perspective. After all, John has gone through so much with Aeryn. He was on a mission to save Aeryn’s life when he encountered Scorpius and went into the Aurora Chair. He got the chip implanted in his head, Aeryn died anyway, then she came back to life — but she rejected him and pushed him away. On first viewing of this story, I was peeved for Aeryn’s sake that John was mean to her, but when I think of John’s mindset at the time, it makes more sense that John has just reached his limit. Aeryn not even telling him about the baby’s paternity before everyone else knew… that might just have been the last straw.

John’s not had an easy time, lately. He was sexually assaulted by Grayza, Aeryn left him to be an assassin, she just tried to kill herself and the baby, she’s protecting Scorpius, and John doesn’t really know if Aeryn had been planning to come back to him on her own. There’s also the fact that this John was left behind on Moya while Aeryn went on grand and sexy adventures with the other John. Add in Scorpius and his chip-planting devious ways — no wonder John is reeling.

During the invading plant problem, our gang works together quite well. Noranti and Sikozu cook up a plant repelling mixture while Scorpius actually has the solution to the problem when it’s discovered that his cooling rods cause the plant to retreat. There are plant tendrils everywhere (even inside poor Pilot, yelp) and various schemes are tried before the plant is destroyed inside Moya for good.

I love the scene with John and Chiana when Chi must keep the vent door open and she nearly gets sucked in. John grabs her by the cuff of her pants and disaster is narrowly averted. John and Chiana are so cute together, especially when they are giving off that teasing sibling vibe.

There is another subplot where the crew decides who is going to be Moya’s permanent Captain. Rygel votes for himself, Sikozu votes for Scorpius, Noranti votes for the “Divine Eternal," Pilot votes for Aeryn (aww), and Chiana, Aeryn, and D’argo vote for D’argo; so now D’Argo is the Captain of Moya. I love Scorpy’s smirk as his vote is read! It's hilarious that he even got a vote. John doesn't get any votes, but I’m sure he knows that he’s not in any shape to be Captain, not right now anyway.

Space Oddities:

I can never get Galaxy Quest out of my head when I am watching John and Aeryn in the circulation room with all those spinning fans:
Gwen: “What is this thing?... I mean, it serves no purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway. No, I mean we shouldn’t have to do this… it makes no logical sense, why is it here?”
Jason: “’Cause it’s on the television show.”
Gwen: “Well, forget it! I’m not doing it! This episode was badly written!”

Sikozu gets very chummy with Scorpius awfully quickly. She must want something from him, right? She’s from Scarran-controlled space, which makes that relationship more interesting.

Who’s to blame in the paternity tattle-telling fiasco? Aeryn should have told John first, Chiana should have kept quiet, D’Argo should have told Aeryn to tell John before he had to do it himself… on the other hand, John's having serious issues right now and needs more time to heal from the trauma of the past. The talk with Aeryn might not have gone well, anyway. Aeryn will have to prove to John that she isn’t going to run away again, and John must decide if he trusts her or if he wants to finally get off the roller coaster and just walk away.

There are many good “proximity alerts” as John and Aeryn keep losing their balance and are holding on to each other. I also like it when Aeryn smacks John’s hand away from her wound.

Chiana is brilliant in this story. I love her cat-like walk and it's interesting to know that her skin absorbs radiation. She doesn’t tan or burn. Kind of sounds like my skin, except for the not burning part.

I feel inspired to combine the report about Aeryn’s hair with the John and Aeryn Weather Relationship Report: Low lying clouds of long, dark hair is reported to be drifting everywhere. Care is advised near spinning, chomping thingies.


Sikozu: “You defy the whole theory of Natural Selection.”
Noranti: (giggling happily) “Oh, do I?”

Aeryn: “I’ll stay and activate unless you’ll agree to trust Scorpius.”
Rygel, D’Argo, and Noranti: (in unison) “No!”

John: “Hey, you still got your pants on.”
Chiana: “That’ll be a first.”

Aeryn: “I didn’t want to tell you about the pregnancy until I was sure.”
John: “Sure you’re pregnant or sure who the father is:”
Aeryn: “Chiana will be killed.”
John: “Yeah, it’s Chiana’s fault, let’s blame her.”

John: “If it’s the other John’s?”
Aeryn: “There’s no distinction in my mind anymore.”

John: “A relationship that we’re not having is based on trust.”
Aeryn: “I’m so sorry.”
John: (gazing intently) “Me too, cause you don’t trust me…so I don’t know how to trust you.”
Aeryn: “I think I’ve earned your trust.”
John: “I’d put my life in your hands, but not my heart.”

Aeryn: “So what’s it going to take? What do I have to do?”
John: “Just come back when you have your story straight.” Ouch.

This is a fine example of a Farscape episode. I would've preferred for John and Aeryn to just get back together immediately, but even I can admit that that's not actually realistic. Yeah, John loves Aeryn desperately and Aeryn now sees John as her one and only, but… Aeryn now must be the one who is patient and understanding. It’s really about time to think and sort out emotions, and it’s going to be engrossing to see Aeryn do everything she can to convince John that she's ready for a real relationship, this time for good. Aeryn's so hurt and bewildered when John tells her to get her story straight, but hopefully she’ll understand that John just needs more time and lots of therapy. This episode has quality dialog, action, and acting — so I’ll rate it high. I'm just not looking forward to more awkward distance between my favorite lovers. Oh, well.

Four out of five Audrey Twos.

Mallena loves musicals and wonders why we never got a musical episode for this show. They do every other conceivable wacky plot-twist.


  1. Points for mentioning Seymour Krelbourn. :) My son knows most of Little Shop by heart.

  2. Another solid episode!

    The whole plant thing was a bore, but a necessary distraction I suppose - and it did have that rather humourous bit regarding Chiana managing to keep her trousers on as a first!

    But what I really love is the ulterior motives of both Scorpius and Sikozu? Are they colluding with one another? Can either be truly trusted?

    Up until now D'Argo's role has been largely secondary ever since the Joffee-Chiana debacle a season or so ago. But now he has been democratically elected as Captain of Moya, and it will be interesting how he handles difficult situations compared to the early days when he totally lost it and started smashing up consoles!

    The Aeryn-John Thing, just gets and better, and it was good to see John throw some attitude back at her at the end. I guess both characters are not in the right space right now, and time will be a great healer. But for now the drama between the two gets ever more tightened like a thumbscrew.

  3. Little Shop of Horrors is one of my all time favourite musicals so i love how Crichton calls the plant Audrey (if he could have snuck in a two-ee reference it was have made it even better).

    It's classic Farscape when D’Argo says to Rygel “so many other reasons you should hate yourself at the moment”,

    The highlight is of course all the John and Aeryn dialogue; and the constant bad timing that defines so much of the drama in their relationship or the relationship they are not having as John says.

    It seemed strange for Aeryn to confidr in Chiana, they havent really been that close in the past. Interesting also that D'Argo said it didnt matter who the father was that John would be hurt either way, seems he also is trusting Aeryn to do right by his friend.

    Curious as to what happens after 7 cycles if a surgeon doesnt release mthe embryo? Does it die or auto release?

    Interesting that some people assume the other father might be Crais, my first thought was Velorek from the episode "the way we weren't" or just some random PK she recreated with before Velorek.

    But in all likelihood peacekeeper soldiers likely had regular medical evaluations, is Aeryn just creating doubt because she isnt sure she wants to be a mother?

    Aeryn needs to tell John about the future she was planning with Black Shirt John, be honest about what she wanted before the baby drama began.


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