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Old December 24 2010, 07:35 PM   #12
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

label wrote: View Post
I loved the premiere and I, ET. [...]
Jolly Ole Saint RoJo wrote: View Post
Ugh, I hate "I, E.T." [...]
I'm somewhere between these two opinions on "I, E.T." I thought it was a solid episode, though nothing outstanding. The premiere was quite good, from set designs, to making this part of the galaxy feel genuinely "alien" (and Crichton's disorientation played a large role in that, of course), to the actors themselves. I also quite like the music in the show - it can be very different from what I'm used to hearing on television.

Throne for a Loss
- Crichton really is adapting quickly, since he's already worried about hauling cargo like the others. Glad to see he realizes the value of getting some currency in hand. I was particularly amused by his banter with Aeryn at the beginning because it was quite "timely" with him mentioning True Grit at the top of his John Wayne list. He continues thinking and acting quickly, as he did in the firefight by saving Zhaan, fighting back with a pipe, and then at the beginning of act one when he wants Pilot to use a "tractor beam" on the other ship.

- A good old-fashioned hostage/ransom situation - intergalactic style with a gauntlet weapon that makes its wearers lose control! That sounds like "win" to me. Aeryn & Crichton's exchanges are continuing to be a damned amusing highlight. Also liked Zhaan's sighing reaction when Pilot told her that Crichton had a plan, and especially Aeryn's "that is the last time I go along with one of your plans!" comment after D'Argo gets knocked out by being knocked into a desk.

- Gotta love it when a woman takes charge... as Aeryn did by knocking Crichton out. So far this episode has the most laughs per minute, and I'm loving it.

- I can't help but think Rygel's posturing could only serve to make his situation worse. By continuing to boast that the Hynerian Empire will retrieve him, it seems to me that he's more likely to reinforce the mistaken perception that he's valuable, rather than scare his captors into releasing him. Of course, it's entirely fitting with the self-absorbed, arrogant, privileged attitude he displays while on Moya as well.

- I have to admit that I'm surprised by how well the Farscape writers so far are handling multiple stories within one episode. Many shows that attempt A, B, and C plots in one episode end up shortchanging at least one of those stories, yet this episode has four interconnecting plots and none of them feel like they're provided with less attention than they deserve.

- Zhaan taking care of Kyr is rather touching. She seems to have endless compassion and patience, particularly interesting since he probably wouldn't hesitate to kill in order to escape if he had his gauntlet. I also appreciate how she's able to flip on a dime from being "soft" to being "hard" after Kyr attacks the DRD. Poor Zhaan at the end, believing she had actually made an impact on Kyr but he returns to the gauntlet after all. "No sermons," indeed.

Back and Back and Back to the Future
- "What's wrong with him?" "He is Crichton." What a succinct and amusing summation!

- For shallow comment #2, I'm enjoying the way Claudia Black is dressed in this episode, showing off her midriff.

- This is a hard episode for me to write up thoughts and feelings on. I'm not entirely sure why, though. I'm about halfway through it as I type this sentence right now, and the episode is solid enough. I just don't really know what to say about it.

- The future flashes can keep you on your toes. Early ones felt like time & motion were slowed down somewhat, but later in the episode Crichton experiences significant chunks of time in one flash before snapping back to his present. That's a touch that I appreciate, no matter how common place time travel / seeing future events is in science fiction television.

- Verell is little more than a plot point himself, and Matala could easily assume the role of the femme fatale in a film noir - except, of course, for being non-human and a good fighter. I'm a little disappointed that Verell doesn't receive any real characterization of his own, because the series has been doing a good job of providing its guest characters with a level of complexity in previous episodes.

Thank God It's Friday... Again
- The opening of this episode marks the second time D'Argo has attacked a DRD so far. I might have to consider an ongoing tally if he does so a third time.

- Rygel's happy expression at the thought of D'Argo maybe having killed something on the planet in his hyper-rage is a nice reminder that these aliens "really" are aliens, that they are very different from, say, most of Trek's aliens. Speaking of which, I also appreciate the small touches that remind the viewer that Crichton is as alien to this part of space as the aliens he's encountering are to him.

- I rather wish Crichton had explained the phrase "I've got a woody" to Aeryn rather than simply having a bemused expression and correcting her to "willies." I imagine her reaction would've been imminently amusing.

- This marks three episodes in a row where an outside influence has caused at least one of our heroes to act in unusual manners. The details at least are different enough that it doesn't feel derivative. D'Argo as a "space hippie" is certainly not something I would have expected.

- Speaking of changing expectations, I like Aeryn being forced into the scientist role since the planet's temperature is too hot for her to stay down there with Crichton since I assume Zhaan would've returned to the ship with Rygel otherwise. Playing characters to their strengths (as Aeryn did when using a physical training exercise to determine that Matala was a Skorvian spy) is important to maintain believability in a character, but equally important of course is pushing them into situations that are outside their comfort zone. I also think showing her as being very pleased with her results later in the episode was an important addition, since she may now understand that fighting may not be the best option in situations where it is an option.

- The most interesting thing about this episode for me is that I had to have seen it the last time I watched through season one because I got through "The Hidden Memory," yet I have no memory of any part of this episode so it's entirely new to me, unlike some of the other episodes where I at least remember some things.

- The dependency factor of the root in this episode is a mirror to the dependency of the gauntlet in "Throne for a Loss." The gauntlet was intrinsic to a combat-oriented culture and increased aggression, whereas the root in this episode makes people docile and content. That helps to differentiate the aforementioned "outside influences" issue held in common by the three episodes in this post, and differentiation was certainly necessary to keep the trope feeling fresh.

- Rygel using his exploding fluids problem as artillery... "Wow," to put it simply. I had to laugh, of course; it's such a ridiculous and over-the-top idea that can't be taken seriously, but that also made it prefect. This show so far is good at using silly ideas effectively, both in terms of the story and for humor.
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