I believe that the production order thing is addressed in one of the commentary tracks... [...] I'll chime in once in a while though with amusing anecdotes (hopefully)
Forgot to respond to this post previously...
Since I want to actually succeed in finishing the series for a change, instead of allowing myself to get distracted by other shows, I'll probably save listening to commentaries until some point after I've watched the entire series, rather than watching an episode and following it up with a commentary. If I were to try to do that, I'd probably never finish! Also, amusing anecdotes would, of course, be most welcome.
PK Tech Girl
- Crichton is characteristically compassionate and slow to accept conflict so far, preferring dialogue instead, as he was by stepping in front of Gilina to keep D'Argo and/or Aeryn from shooting her. Naturally, I expect his reticence to lead to disaster for him, and quite possibly the others, at some point in the future. Without providing any spoilers, would anyone care to confirm or deny that expectation?
- I like seeing Crichton and Gilina performing work that, in most Trek situations, would instead by waved away with some boring technobabble explanation. Watching people using tools and moving cables around might not be all that much better since I still don't have a grasp on any engineering principles involved, but it's at least preferable to watching people punch buttons and shouting out declining numbers.
- For the first time, I actually like
Rygel through feeling sorry for and sympathizing with the psychological issues he's confronting onboard the Zelbinion
. I'm glad this episode presents a further glimpse into the brutality of the Peacekeepers by showing some of the torture Rygel endured at the hands of Captain Durka.
- I think this may be my favorite episode so far. It really seems to have just about a bit of everything: an odd alien enemy (that spits fire!
); a touching romance that can't go anywhere, with a side dish of jealousy; psychological problems; action when fighting becomes necessary; Crichton and Gilina both employing their brains to save the day; and D'Argo's fun bluffing scenes with the Sheyangs. I know Gilina returns in a couple episodes near the end of the season, but I don't recall what her fate is at that time, so I'm curious to know if she returns in any subsequent seasons.
That Old Black Magic
- Crais does not look to be in particularly good shape. He's obviously letting himself go with his obsessive hunt for Crichton. His second-in-command has to be nearly as crazy as he is to not oppose him constantly keeping his Marauders on search patrols. The other bridge officer didn't seem to think much of the idea, after all. And after the events of this episode, Crais has also obviously lost any shred of sanity he still had before, considering his cold-blooded murder of his second-in-command.
- One of the "little touches" with the alien cultures that I like seeing is how so much of their medicine is based on ointments and creams, and especially on such items that Zhaan can prepare herself onboard Moya, rather than the manufactured tablets and capsules that make up most of our modern Western medicine. Obviously it's more visually interesting (and amusing) to see a glob of something thrown onto Rygel's face than to watch him swallow a pill, but it also seems to me to represent the chaotic nature of the area of space Crichton is now in as opposed to his culture. On Earth, his life had to have constituted of regimentation of a sort by his nature as a scientist, but here he has to constantly adapt to changing situations.
- Aeryn's persistence in attempting to gain access into Maldis's complex is admirable and serves well to highlight the growing camaraderie between Moya's crew. It nicely mirrors Crichton's insistence in past episodes to not give up searching for others when they were missing, even when it was "just" a kidnapped Rygel.
- I'm glad this episode presents a further exploration of Zhaan's "mysticism." I feel that she's the character I "understand" the least right now, and I find it particularly interesting that she seems to have immense abilities that she's very reluctant to employ. I really hope future episodes go even deeper with the insights.
- Given the abrupt end to his confrontation with Crais and his following personal record, it feels like Crichton may finally understand that talking situations through isn't always going to be possible, that he may have to embrace conflict and combat in order to stay alive.
DNA Mad Scientist
- Holy shit, I can't believe Zhaan actually went through with removing Pilot's arm. I'm not surprised by D'Argo or Rygel, but I wouldn't have expected that from Zhaan. It provides yet more evidence that these aliens operate from a very different logic and morality-based system than we and Crichton do. I'm also surprised that Pilot doesn't appear to harbor any ill-will towards them. I appreciate that Aeryn chastises the others for their action, arguing that Pilot is defenseless and, as a comrade, didn't deserve that treatment. Her opinion puts her and Crichton solidly on the same side of the issue (or, as Crichton says, "the odd men out"), a case that hasn't often occurred in previous episodes.
- Since I've already seen the latter half of season four and PKW, I of course know that Aeryn and Crichton end up a couple, but it's still nice to see scenes such as the one in this episode where they discuss Aeryn's situation vis a vis the others. They can go home, but she can never go home, so what options does she have? As she says, she's always been defined by being one of many; on Moya, she is again part of a unit, even though it's a very different unit than she's used to. The softer side of Aeryn, her vulnerability and concerns for the future, is touching and helps to gradually show the growing relationship between her and Crichton, especially his offer to take her to Earth should he ever find a way home. Her response was pretty funny, too ("Me, on a planet filled of billions of you?").
- Speaking of the "alienness" of the aliens in the Territories, this episode does a very good job at showing just how tenuous the seeming camaraderie between the shipmates really is. While Crichton is focused on aiding Aeryn, D'Argo, Zhaan, and Rygel are instead feuding among one another for what each believes is a map home. They've been through many trials together already, but all of that pales in comparison to their goals to return home. Only Crichton, the one for whom a map can't be created, remains fixated on the issue that is truly most important: the plight facing one of the crew.
- This is a hallmark episode for allowing Aeryn to show, as I termed it before, her "softer side," her vulnerabilities and insecurities. Claudia Black was particularly good in those moments.
I also plan on trying to find the time tonight for "They've Got a Secret," "Till the Blood Runs Clear," and "Rhapsody in Blue," so I may be editing this post later to avoid posting twice in a row.