1x08 That Old Black Magic
Moya crew is on some commerce planet. Except Rygel who is sick and remained on Moya. Zhaan is looking for some medication for him ( by the way did I mention before that I just love the look of these commerce planets ? They are like exactly like Star Wars Mos Eisley Space Ports. Bazaar , commotion , trading , all kinds of strange aliens moving around. No other space opera has that kind of enviroment setting just for one episode ! ) Earthling Crichton is fascinated and overwhelmed just like me with all these new experiences , information , activity. With a naive interest he points a two headed bird-like creature. Aeryn explains : “Tolkets. Too few heads. Their brains are tastiest part”
Crichton is aback “Like you cook their brains and eat them ?”
Aeryn : “Cook ? Never. Raw”
Zhaan comes to a medicinal herb dealer and she is very charmed with him. Meanwhile Crichton still playing the tourist suddenly comes face to face with a…jester. Speaking with a (probably not sure) cockney accent the jester makes a sales pitch about a holy man called Haloth and his services. “Haloth can fix your crummy life JOHN CRICHTON !”
Crichton is dead in the tracks….While initially thinking this is a scam when the jester begins to detail his personal life including his first sexual initiative Crichton agrees to see this Haloth. Our naive trusting human….Crichton is instantly transported a large hall with statues and torches. (inside a compound located in city) A little bit Gothic maybe. Haloth who actually looks like a priest from the era of The Old Testement , greets him. He informs Crichton while he can not send him back Earth or point him to right direction , he can reach Crais , arrange a friendly meeting. Crichton desperate to get rid of his Peacekeeper hunter , to tell him his own part of story that death of his (Crais’) brother was an accident , jumps the offer.
Crais’s Command Carrier on his hunt of Moya. The Peacekeeper Captain is still beyond reason. With a dishaveled look he forces his crew and machines to the limits. Worse he takes new orders from PK High Command to cease his pursuit of escaped Levaithan and fugitives and to return back…probably to his own disgrace in Peacekeeper ranks. Fortunetely for him his executive officer Lt. Teage keeps these orders a secret. After she leaves Crais smashes the data chip containing his new orders. As soon as he does that…he is confronted with Haloth and transported to his compound. After he is calmed down Haloth makes him a proposal he can not refuse…to deliver John Crichton.
Dargo and Aern find Crichton’ body lying unconscious ( Luxans have a powerful smelling talent ) on the ground , bring him back to Zhaan in herb dealer’s shop. The dealer explains Crichton’s coma. He is taken by Maldis , an evil sorcerer who captured and enslaved the whole planet. A malevoent being , Maldis gets feeding by pain and death. The whole planet is beaten. The Moya passengers are fresh meat for him. Running away won’t work. Maldis canb track them in space. The dealer used to be a high priest. He fought back before but also beaten by Maldis. After they carry Crichton to Moya and keep the Rygel to look after him Dargo and Aeryn gear up to visit Maldis’ compound.
Haloth goes back to Crichton and shows his true face. A straight standing arrogant looking evil sorcerer with black gothic clothing. Maldis opens the gladiator game by bringing Crichton and Crais together. Crais with a calm deadly intent attacks. Crichton does the reasonable thing , runs… “My services come with a price. I play for bigger stakes. You can still talk with Crais. But don’t expect him to listen HAHAHA”
(In my opinion guest actor Chris Haywood who plays Maldis overacts sometimes but maybe that is his interpretation of character. Crichton even compares him with Laurence Oliver. Then he makes a clear definition of him : “You are a vampire”)
At the shop Zhaan offers the dealer to combine their powers to owerwhelm Maldis. “Can you be guided ?“
asks the dealer. “It is not just a matter of skill. It is intent. You must want to do harm , cause pain even kill”
Zhaan is having a hard time to absorb and accept this fact. She was once capable of that. But now she must fight with herself to get there again. With dealer’s coaching she begins to practise about fighting a mystic battle with Maldis. But she is terrified to like what she had to do and enjoy it.
Crichton and Crais fight. All diplomatic reasoning skills of Earthling fails with mad Peacekeeper captain. “I didn’t kill your brother” , “You destroyed his Prowler !”
Crichton gets the upper hand in the fight for a moment but can not kill Crais. On a ledge between him and Crais he tries to reason with him again pointing that his module was primitive had no weapons , it was an accident. It all looks going good until Maldis shows up and shows the real motivations of Crais’ hunt of Crichton. Crais and his brother Tavlo’s childhood. They have been seperated from their family , a farming comunity by Peacekeeper recruiters. Their father left Tavlo to his big brother Crais for protecting him. And Crais failed both of them. He invested so much to this memory , his own self image and his brother’ now all gone. All in all that is understandable for his mad quest. It is personal. When we see details of Crais life it gets personal for us too.
“Of course his own brother now looks like this !”
Maldis shows Tavlo’s charred corpse. Crais crazed enraged continues his hunt. Crichton tries again but no use. Crais answer is final “It does not matter. Tavlo is dead , struck by a weak pathetic being. You will die at my hands Crichton.”
Later Crichton offers to fight against Maldis together. “Who is bigger enemy ? Me or Maldis ?”
Crais feigns like accepting his offer then ambushes Crichton. You can actually feel Crichton’s fear and pain as Crais pulls him with a chain. Only one of you has to die. Other gets back to his ship declares Maldis. Human has enough. He enters into savage mode. Kill or be killed.
Dargo and Aeryn try to breach Maldis’ compound. They fail. All rests on Zhaan now.”Then there is no reason to delay is there ?”
She first practises pain inflicting lessons on Rygel. Meanwhile on Moya Rygel start practising Hynerian death rituals on comatose Crichton. That means claiming all of human’s stuff “John Crichton , valued friend. Now wait a minute that is a little bit stretch. John Crichton unwelcome shipmate. May you have safe transport to Hallowed Realm. Actually not our Hallowed Ralm. It is for Hynerians. Go and find your own Hallowed Realm. With that ceremony of passage is complate and I declare you dead and claim all your possesions for myself”
If anyone can have most flexible morals on Moya it is Rygel.
Final match between Crais and Crichton. Crichton gets the upper hand again. Buıt before he finishes him Maldis intervanes and sends Crais back to his ship. “Bigger stakes remember ?”
says the sorcorer. He was after Crais’ Command Carrier in this whole time. “Just think what I can do with a PK command carrier”
This whole fight he organized was just to pull Crais and his ship more and more into Uncharted Territories. Just as Maldis is about to dispatch Crichton Zhaan comes to rescue , makes Maldis tangible. Even terms. Crichton dissipates him with one swift punch and wakes up on Moya , Rygel is struggling to untie his boots.
Zhaan , Crais and Crichton really carried out this episode because it was central character twists for them. Maldis is not dead. He is just dispersed but exists. The dealer is dead when Zhaan comes back. She will never be same again probably. She enjoyed inflicting pain and harm. When Crichton tries to reach her for consolation she hurts him. Crichton’s face is like “WTF ?” He learned some essantial lessons about realities of Uncharted Territories. Not all maybe but learning. Harshly. While teaching something himself to others. Zhaan is almost at loss of herself , trying to find out what she became. And Crais. As soon as he returns back to his ship he kills one person who knows their new orders and also can replace him in the command. His loyal XO Lt . Teage. His hunt is more intense than ever.