Farscape takes its young, living gunship straight towards a sun in an episode that dwells on physical compulsion and death. Talyn's deadly trajectory occurs while gases released aboard the ship stimulate appetites and while Stark encounters a strange, beautiful alien.
Season Three, Episode Twelve: Meltdown
Stark (Paul Goddard) is the most central character in this episode and it uses to good effect his ability to help dead spirits cross over to the afterlife. The episode also advances another character trait, one introduced earlier in the season--his loneliness.
He's the kind of guy who tends to become utterly devoted to the woman he likes, in this case Sierjna (Susan Lyons), a woman who suddenly materialises in the corridor with Stark when Talyn is in dangerous proximity to a star. His devotion to her comes partly from the fact that she's dead and doesn't realise it. As a Stykera, his power and his function is to help ferry dead souls to their destination so his protective feelings for her are bound up with his lifelong duty.
Meanwhile, on the bridge, Crichton (Ben Browder), Aeryn (Claudia Black), and Crais (Lani Tupu) encounter a being with a less friendly appearance--a guy who looks like a lava demon named Mu-Quillus (Mark Mitchell).
Another real triumph from the makeup department. He presents a story about how he's an innocent bystander of a "siren" phenomenon in the nearby stars that draws in and kills Leviathons. No-one trusts him, especially not Crais, whose been made extra murderous by a fog that the damaged Talyn is leaking from his conduits. The same fog has given Rygel (Jonathan Hardy) a dangerously insatiable hunger and has made Crichton and Aeryn extremely horny, a state neither of them seem to mind so much if it weren't distracting them from handling the current crisis.
This nicely develops the season arc about Crichton and Aeryn's relationship but the real centre of the episode is Stark. It's a good science fiction show that so successful blends different conceptual threads for its stories and this mysterious set-up with ethereal beings around a sun lends itself to a fascinating use of Stark's character.
. . .
Farscape is available now on Amazon Prime.
This entry is part of a series I'm writing on Farscape for the show's 20th anniversary. My previous reviews can be found here (episodes are in the order intended by the show's creators rather than the broadcast order):
Episode 1: Pilot
Episode 2: I, E.T.
Episode 3: Exodus from Genesis
Episode 4: Throne for a Loss
Episode 5: Back and Back and Back to the Future
Episode 6: Thank God It's Friday Again
Episode 7: PK Tech Girl
Episode 8: That Old Black Magic
Episode 9: DNA Mad Scientist
Episode 10: They've Got a Secret
Episode 11: Till the Blood Runs Clear
Episode 12: Rhapsody in Blue
Episode 13: The Flax
Episode 14: Jeremiah Crichton
Episode 15: Durka Returns
Episode 16: A Human Reaction
Episode 17: Through the Looking Glass
Episode 18: A Bug's Life
Episode 19: Nerve
Episode 20: The Hidden Memory
Episode 21: Bone to be Wild
Episode 22: Family Ties
Episode 1: Mind the Baby
Episode 2: Vitas Mortis
Episode 3: Taking the Stone
Episode 4: Crackers Don't Matter
Episode 5: Picture If You Will
Episode 6: The Way We Weren't
Episode 7: Home on the Remains
Episode 8: Dream a Little Dream
Episode 9: Out of Their Minds
Episode 10: My Three Crichtons
Episode 11: Look at the Princess, Part I: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Episode 12: Look at the Princess, Part II: I Do, I Think
Episode 13: Look at the Princess, Part III: The Maltese Crichton
Episode 14: Beware of Dog
Episode 15: Won't Get Fooled Again
Episode 16: The Locket
Episode 17: The Ugly Truth
Episode 18: A Clockwork Nebari
Episode 19: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part I: A Not So Simple Plan
Episode 20: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part II: With Friends Like These . . .
Episode 21: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part III: Plan B
Episode 22: Die Me, Dichotomy
Episode 1: Season of Death
Episode 2: Suns and Lovers
Episode 3: Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part I: Would'a, Could'a, Should'a
Episode 4: Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part II: Wait for the Wheel
Episode 5: . . . Different Destinations
Episode 6: Eat Me
Episode 7: Thanks for Sharing
Episode 8: Green Eyed Monster
Episode 9: Losing Time
Episode 10: Relativity
Episode 11: Incubator