Farscape: We're So Screwed, Part 3: La Bomba

"Are we cursed, could we be cursed?"

Round and round and round she goes. Plots within plots, betrayals within betrayals. The rapidly changing allegiances and promises made and broken in this episode are staggering.

I don't even really know where to begin. I suppose I should start with an attempt to sort out the politics. In the first episode of the trilogy Grayza was outed by John in her lie about having wormhole technology. Braca is secretly still working for Scorpius, and shows his true colors by betraying Grayza and taking command as she tries to do a suicide run against the Scarrans which would start a war. On the Scarran side, the Emperor is unhappy with all his subordinates, especially Minister Akhna, who is plotting to have him overthrown. Turns out Scorpius is a triple agent, working for the Peacekeepers but a spy for the Scarrans with a real agenda of trying to destroy the Scarrans for good.

Okay, so on to the reveals. So many reveals. While John and Scorpius have their heart to heart, Harvey confesses that he lied and was activated as a fail safe in case John ever betrayed Scorpius. While this is good news on one front, Scorpius doesn't have wormhole technology. It means that John owes a debt to Scorpius that he is unwilling to repay.

At the same time, all this intrigue boils down to plants. We learn that the Scarran birds of paradise are in fact some kind of brain pill, which is how they have evolved into intelligent creatures. The flowers only grow under very specific conditions (probably dark and damp since they are grown in a cave) and destroying one crop would set the Scarrans back by centuries.

Sikozu turns out to be genetically engineered to emit a type of radiation that can kill a Scarran by destroying their heat-producing gland; considering we have seen how hard they are to kill, this is pretty neat. The Stark that tortured Scorpius was in fact a bioloid and the real Stark is being kept in stasis. Noranti shows she is very lethal by expertly throwing a dagger into the bioloid Stark, killing him instantly.

Things really go off the rails when John's bomb stops working. Then most of the crew and Scorpius hijack an elevator that can drill through solid rock. Of course there is some back and forth with the elevator controls, until eventually they resurface in the conference room, into a standoff with the Charrids, leaving only one option left. I don't think John ever wanted to detonate the bomb, because think about the implications. You can see it written on his face in the final moments of the episode, his choice to use the bomb, despite the legitimate reason for it, wounded John to his core.

Bits:

Aeryn does something on the Peacekeeper command carrier that she wants to keep private, although it isn't hard to guess.

The image of Chiana standing in the elevator doorway to keep it from moving was classic Farscape – take something normal and make it absurd.

D'Argo and Chiana are at last back together. Which has been a sub-plot through most of this season.

Sikozu and Scorpius finally got together too, which is just so creepy.

John acknowledges that Grayza raped him. This not only settles what happened in the first episode of the season, it was a powerful reminder that anyone can be a victim of a sexual predator.

Quotes:

Crichton: (about Akhna) “Thanks. She scares the crap out of me.”
Aeryn: “It's the hat.”

Crichton: "What the hell is going on up there?"
D'Argo: "We couldn't override their override of our override."
Crichton: "Great. They stole our getaway car."

Chiana: "Any other exits?"
D'Argo: "No, it's nothing but rock and hay-fever."

Crichton: "I can't believe it. I left a nuclear bomb in an elevator."
Chiana: "It's all right. You've done worse."

Crichton: "Hey do you know how to drive this Wonkavator?"
D'Argo: "Do you?"
Crichton: "No."
D'Argo: "Then why ask?"

Crichton: "Love you."
Aeyrn: "Love you too."

Crichton: "Hey honey, guess what I did at work today? I wore a bomb, a nuclear bomb in a field of flowers. I could get lucky, tomorrow I could have a bigger bomb. I could kill more people, maybe they'll be innocent people. Children maybe."

As a singular episode, this was frenetic, non-stop and simply nuts. As a penultimate episode of the series, it was one of the best. As the end of this three parter, it continued with the wonderful writing and gave us a satisfying end to several plot points, while opening up several more.

4 out of 4 Betrayals, secrets and bombs

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

1 comment:

Lynda said...

Frenetic is spot on, so so much happening. Some reslution, yet it also planted the seeds for more conflict.

Loved that John got that dig into Grayza re his rape and that Braca finally took some control. Sikozu making out with Scorpius too creepy and an image i could do without playing in my head.

Best line was "it's the hat" which apprently Claudia Black improvised. Funnier still because i really do believe Ben is a little scared of his wife Francesca, at convention talks he freely admits she is the boss at home.

So devatstated that John had to resort to nuking Katrazi, our wide eyed optmist now acts out of desperation and alone. At the end when he should be celebrating a miraculous escape with Aeryn, he is emotionally exhausted and guilt ridden and fully aware the stakes will only need to be higher next time.

The changes in John, Aeryn and D'Argo from season one to season four as as epic as their adventures.