October 21st, 2019

Then Again

The Acidic Fruit of Emotional Attachment

Series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon, after not writing any new scripts for season two, returned for season three to write an episode featuring a reunion between Aeryn and her mother, Xhalax. It makes sense for him to write it considering this story is one that returns to the fundamental themes of the series about non-traditional family groups and exile in a new way.

Season Three, Episode Ten: Relativity

The story shifts back to the Talyn crew and we find the young gun ship recuperating on a swamp planet with healing vines. But the Peacekeeper retrieval squad headed by Aeryn's mother, Xhalax (Linda Cropper), has found them thanks to the help of two wicked looking trackers.

Not quite as horrifically framed as the one introduced in "Thanks for Sharing" but these puppet head costumes are still standout works from the Creature Shop.

The episode's plot is roughly split into three dialogues: Aeryn (Claudia Black) and her mother, Crichton (Ben Browder) and Crais (Lani Tupu), and Stark (Paul Goddard) and Rygel (Jonathan Hardy). The last of these is more or less comic relief though poor Rygel suffers an impressive wound after an uncharacteristic act of heroism.

Crichton and Crais essentially return to the conflict of Crichton understandably being unable to trust Crais. This episode begins by showing us that Crichton and Aeryn are now sleeping together regularly so a lot of the tension from "Green Eyed Monster" is gone. It's kind of left Crais out in the metaphorical cold and it adds some suspense when Crichton uses Crais as bait for the trackers.

But the main event is Aeryn versus her mother as the younger Sun has to contend with the fact that her mother bitterly regrets the transgression that led to Aeryn's conception. There's some unspoken significance in that Aeryn's relationship with Crichton is an "emotional attachment", a break from Peacekeeper sexual protocol, similar to Xhalax's relationship with Aeryn's father. Aeryn's fledgling model for her transgressive family dynamic is falling apart. Claudia Black plays the grief really well.

Xhalax offers no comfort and once again Aeryn, like the rest of Moya and Talyn's crews, is left to make sense of life on her own.

. . .

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):

Season One:

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

Season Two:

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

Season Three:

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