Each week on a Sunday afternoon, join Alex (of Randomly Yours, Alex) and Katharine (of the unpronounceable Ventureadlaxre), as they re-watch the Australian-American sci-fi show Farscape, notable for the Jim Henson animatronic puppets, the excellent mish-mash of accents, and the best OTP ship of all time.
Season One, Episode Twelve: Rhapsody in Blue
Moya responds to a distress call that turns out to be from a colony of Delvians. Zhaan goes to assist her people, to slightly dire results.
K: Weird opening. John in bed with some blonde just about to propose and it becomes clear it’s something from his past – for a second I thought it was some weird crack-side episode where he’s flung into some awful space-soap opera.
A: NAWWWWW sad John. Meanwhile, do men really buy rings before they’ve proposed in real life? THat seems ridiculous to me. Also did he really get up and get champagne without her noticing and then came back to bed?
“Hail Prince of the Obvious” might be my favourite new term.
K: Not impressed by John’s fistbump to Rygel, though it’s interesting that all the males dreamed of their last sexytime encounters, whereas the females are just like ‘eugh, no time for you idiots’. Was Aeryn wearing boots in bed?
A: Aeryn in army boots and (John’s??) pyjamas is AWESOME. This might be the first time Zhaan has gone snobby regarding sex, which might be an indicator of something?
K: It’s interesting that they all have colours that they stick to – Aeryn and John in blacks, Zhaan and her people in blue, D’Argo’s people in red and so on…
A: It’s nice symbolism.
I find it hard to take people seriously when they’re all “we love to share!” – apparently I’m really cynical.
K: So it seems that perhaps the females had a few dreams also… did Aeryn have the same experience? It must be hard to be around Aeryn who so stubbornly refuses to see wonder in the world – that is one aspect I do love about John.
A: His little-boy wonderment might get a little wearing, I suspect.
Zhaan has anger and hatred? And was insane? OH YOUR SECRETS, BLUE. This is nearly Faustian – share with me and I’ll give you power…
I really like the aesthetic of the ship-temple; it’s very pretty.
K: I don’t like the look she’s giving Aeryn at all. …Or to John, apparently.
Must be hard to be thrown into a world where you’re hated on sight. Though surely there’s other people out there that look kinda human/Sebacean otherwise what are the odds of John running into Aeryn at all?
A: You would think so, wouldn’t you?
K: I don’t think I’d like to be Delvian. Seems too intense.
A: Ha! Also, the Australian accents are awfully broad here.
This Zhaan flashback is remarkable and also incredibly intense. Hello, not-kids’ show. John, is the problem that she killed someone, or that it was someone she was having sex with??
I like the complexity that the show is introducing here in terms of politics, what is good for an individual/the community, the necessity for sacrifice…
K: Crichton IS always confused.
A: He is convenient for the audience, though.
K: Whaaat. Alex suddenly appears as Aeryn!
A: WEEEEIRD. Although if she’s meant to have been on Moya, then perhaps it makes sense that she would dress in Aeryn’s clothes.
K: I have absolutely no idea what’s happening in this episode. Aeryn doesn’t know how to use weapons, D’Argo is haunted by his past, Rygel is suddenly tiny…
A: The Delvian power can get up to the ship? Oh this is really bad. These are perhaps the worst nightmares of the people – Aeryn being incompetent, D’Argo and his kid being in danger, Rygel being seen as small…
K: Power is bad, okay, we get it. Annnnd heck man, Zhaan is messed up. To be fair, I’d probably be in a pretty bad mood if I were her at this point, too.
A: The merger scene is pretty awesome given how old this is. That Delvian is eeevil… and Zhaan is the one to suffer. And John, despite experiencing Zhaan’s anger, is still a Solid Friend.
K: John and Alex seem to be an odd pairing, really. I don’t think John would be interested in a woman who’s jealous(?) of another woman.
A: John’s just accepting that Alex is actually there? Although he is way more interested, initially, in helping his friends than sexytimes with Alex. He so nearly breaks it! But then falls back in when confronted with the idea of having actually married.
K: Zhaan is being creepy. Which is excellent, the vastness of her intelligence is quite amazing, and we don’t get to see enough of her.
A: Evil Zhaan is definitely someone to be feared.
K: Poor John is completely messed up by the sudden reveal that Alex has never been there. It’s a scary concept of how they can pluck something out of their past, change their memories and use it against them. Though I hear the brain is quite good at covering up tracks like this by coming up with fake bridges rather than admit it doesn’t know why something is happening.
A: Horrific and terrifying. If you can’t trust your memories and your understanding of reality… urgh.
This episode suggests to me that Delvians are very rarely as serene as they would like the galaxy to think they are.
K: Oh no, Zhaan!
A: One’s self-perception is strong indeed, although apparently other people can help.
K: Annnnd John is chopping down a tree somehow. Which possibly has quite a few troublesome layers to it, considering religion and such.
A: yeh, the stranger coming in and destroying their temple (although at Zhaan’s command, I presume) is a bit troubling.
K: I’m kinda not satisfied with this ending? Zhaan and Crichton leave… what happens to the rest of them?
A: Yeh, strangers blow into town and destroy stuff, then leave them to pick up the pieces.
K: It feels like not much happened in this episode somehow? It seems like I’m only interested in an episode if Aeryn is in it, to be honest.
A: I liked the character development of Zhaan, and also that Crichton bonds with her more.
In summary, the Farscape writers are high on drugs, or something. Knowledge stolen is a dangerous thing, and if things seem a bit weird you might be being manipulated by a Delvian.