Farscape: We’re So Screwed, Part 2: Hot to Katratzi

“Isn’t it fun?”

Quite a bit in fact. Turns out John with a bomb is a hoot and a half.

Middle chapters are a mixed bag. Sometimes they are the best entry in a series. Sometimes they are so, so immensely buggered plotwise that nothing actually happens and it fails miserably. We’ve seen both kinds on Farscape; they like their three parters, and this is one of the stronger ones. However, it does leave us on a baffling cliffhanger.

Let's start with the good stuff, which is pretty much every line John utters in the entire episode. It’s kind of amazing how many great lines he has, starting with his speech to the assembled leaders of the Peacekeepers and Scarrans. He’s so clearly done, not with Moya and the crew, but everything else. While yes, it is ultimately a ruse to free Scorpy, John is genuine in his desire to be rid of the constant threat over his head.

Aeryn is also a lot of fun in this episode. She and John almost never leave each other’s side, and she supports him in the best possible way. It’s fair to say she is in pretty much the same place as John, but for slightly different reasons. She is no longer a former peacekeeper, she is a Sebacean trying to make a life for herself. Sure, she will always be a fighter, but she is no longer a soldier. She’s finally managed to shrug off her armor and commit to her new life entirely.

We finally get some payoff for the intrigue set up with Braca, Grayza and this whole attempt at peace between the Scarrans and Peacekeepers. Grayza desperately wants peace, but is playing with an empty hand. She is bluffing, as we have come to find out is the reason there hasn’t been all out war, about the Peacekeepers having Wormhole weapons. Now with John showing up with his offer, she is in a very precarious place.

Unfortunately it ends with Scorpy seemingly betraying Crichton at the moment of escape. Perhaps he has good motives (which is unlikely) but Scorpius has some very bizarre motivations. He was being tortured, but apparently he has also been a spy for the Emperor for the last ten cycles. So we have no idea who Scorpy is really aligned with. I can see his hatred for the Scarrans is real, we have enough character building to believe that. But, was it all just a very carefully crafted persona?

I guess that’s the theme of the episode – how far will you take your bluff? John has a freaking nuke attached to his belt. Grayza is willing to risk everything for peace. The Emperor seems like he is vulnerable for some reason, and it is likely due to the fact that the Scarrans rely on the Charrid and Kalish who are at the edge of all out war. With so much deceit going on, it’s not surprising that loyalties and political maneuvers are changing every few minutes. That is the strength of the episode, that it keeps changing players and motivations.

Bits:

Does Scorpy know anything? During his torture he repeatedly says he knows nothing.

Ahkna and the Emperor have a very contentious relationship, which I imagine would be more interesting if that hadn’t literally been introduced in the last few episodes.

Braca is still in Scorpy’s pocket and I absolutely loved John and Aeryn taunting him about it.

We still don’t know entirely what is going on with Sikozu, except she is some kind of bioloid spy.

Apparently according to the Farscape Wiki, the UK didn't like the title "We're So Screwed," so the episodes ran with just the subtitles for each of the three parts.

I have to mention the rest of the crew does some great work playing on the tensions between the Charrids and Kalish. Rygel especially did a great job.

I have less to say about Stark's return, except that him torturing Scorpy was in character. Is he working for the crew or the Scarrans?

Quotes:

Crichton: “Nice threads. You must be the Emperor. Now, before anybody decides to get clever, you should know I have multiple dead-man sensors from every culture on my ship and a few cultures I haven't heard of. My heart stops, we all go boom. My heart speeds up, it's boom again. Too hot, too cold, too happy, too sad, thirsty, hungry, bored... it's John Lee Hooker Time... boom, boom, boom. And you try your little psychic trick... kaboom... and we're all pushing up day-glow daisies.”

Crichton: “Because I am an American. And what does an American want? Democracy? Capitalism. I want to sell out and settle down. For one day only, it's a blue light special on Aisle Three. My wormhole technology... and a free set of steak knives... for all the tea in China. And anything you can imagine to pay me... welcome to my cold war.”

Crichton: “Nothing like a bomb to sober you up.”

Crichton: “I apologize for any incivility or insensitivity on my part, but it is beer o’clock. Where the hell is my riot?”

Crichton: “Hey, Braca! You look a little lost.”
Aeryn: “Does Mummy know you're here?”
Crichton: “Does Mummy know he's Scorpius' boy? Ooh, nooo... Mummy doesn't know.”

Emperor: "Your safety guaranteed, in just a few arns."
Crichton: "Bill Gates can’t guarantee Windows. How are you gonna guarantee my safety?"

It is difficult to place a rating on a middle chapter like this. However, it has some great character moments and some really fun world building.

3 out of 4 Players with a shitty hand

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

1 comment:

Lynda said...

I love that John and Aeryn are finally in a great place in their relationship, they are comfortable it feels right, the angst is gone. Aeryn is standing by John, even though his plan is pretty insane, the swagger when he walked in on the negotiations was fantastic and he introduced Aeryn as his partner - yes!

The slow dance in the elevator was so sweet. Claudia doesnt get a lot of dialogue in this episode but her looks ssy so much.

Scorpius seems to be playing everybody, the master manipulator is so determined to have everyone serve his plan.