November 15th, 2019

Then Again

The Tight Gears in a Distant Part of the Galaxy



The "wormhole aliens" or "Ancients" on Farscape finally get wind of how Crichton's wormhole knowledge is being used and they're none too happy about it. In the form of Crichton's father once again, the representative of the strange aliens tracks down the Crichton aboard Talyn in the first part of an incredible two-parter.



Season Three, Episode Fourteen: Infinite Possibilities, Part I: Daedalus Demands

Another memorable season one character reappears in this episode, too--Furlow (Magda Szubanski), the mechanic from "'Til the Blood Runs Clear" to whom Crichton (Ben Browder) was obliged to sell his observations of a wormhole. This was an episode from before a "Human Reaction" so it's a little strange that Jack (Kent McCord) thinks Crichton used the Ancients' subconsciously implanted knowledge to help Furlow's unscrupulous new henchmen, Charrids, to craft wormhole technology. But, to be fair, all Jack knew was that a perfect copy of Crichton's module was making wormholes for the use of notorious psychopaths.



Rygel (Jonathan Hardy) remembers the Charrids well--they massacred Hynerians and devoured Hynerian children. So Rygel dishes out some of the same medicine he administered to Durka when Crichton and Aeryn (Claudia Black) manage to take a prisoner. Somehow the combination of Rygel's tiny stature and vindictive sadism never gets old.



Mainly this episode functions as a fantastic piece of action and suspense storytelling, courtesy of how comfortable the cast and crew have clearly become at this point. Against the backdrop of the desert world established in the season one episode, the crew of Talyn are forced to use special masks to stave off the blinding effects of local solar flares as they strategise on the go. It's a lovely, tightly woven ballet of solid characters and plotting as Crichton, Aeryn, and Crais (Lani Tupu) find themselves suddenly under siege by the Charrids. The rapport between Crichton and Aeryn in these scenes is bittersweet given what happens in the following episode but it's also the same tone that characterises many of the best episodes to come.



It's episodes like this where you can distinctly see the influence the series had on James Gunn when he made Guardians of the Galaxy. But he couldn't replicate the dynamic of people who'd spent years working together on one story, as good as the Guardians of the Galaxy movies are. Every moment works--Aeryn giving Rygel instructions on operating a gun turret, Stark (Paul Goddard) acting like Aeryn's fanboy suddenly after the events of "Meltdown" (to Rygel, "She likes me more than you!"), the romantic moments between Aeryn and John which aren't really threatened by Furlow's broad flirting with him. The roller coaster sequences in Crichton's head when he talks to Harvey (Wayne Pygram) are appropriate for this episode--it's a great ride.

. . .

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
Episode 10: Relativity
Episode 11: Incubator
Episode 12: Meltdown
Episode 13: Scratch 'n Sniff