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Old January 10 2011, 03:50 AM   #89
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

I wasn't expecting to have time today, but moving has proceeded more quickly than I expected, so I do indeed have time tonight to watch a few more episodes. There are many things (i.e., books and DVDs) that still need to be unpacked and shelved, but all of the important matters have pretty much been handled already, much to my relief.

Won't Get Fooled Again
- I believe I've commented on it before, but I'm going to repeat it anyways: this series really does handle continuity references well. References to past events (A Human Reaction; Maldis; Rhapsody in Blue; etc) are handled matter-of-factly, very quick references that don't get bogged down in exposition while also serving to present the characters as "real" individuals whose expectations are formed by their past experiences just as ours are in real life. Crichton's attack on his father; his attempt to use the women's restroom to escape a perceived created reality; and so on are all logical due to his experience with the Ancients in "A Human Reaction," as was his rundown of other past events that involved false memories, different realities, etc.

- Whereas most other shows that would attempt an episode like this would probably flash between seeing Zhaan and D'Argo as they "really" look and sans character makeup, I appreciate that Farscape instead presents Zhaan and D'Argo exactly as John would expect them to look, especially that the other characters apparently see the "aliens" just as Crichton does.

- Speaking of important differences between Farscape's approach in this episode and what other shows would do with a similar episode, I love that Crichton isn't attempting to fit in and act as if everything is normal, pretending that his experiences on Moya really were a hallucination resulting from trauma of the module crash. Browder really does have great comedic timing, and it's refreshing to see this episode have him just cut completely loose since he believes it's all some manner of trick and there can't possibly be repercussions for his actions. It's also nice to see Anthony Simcoe and Claudia Black get a chance to cut loose, too, and embrace over-the-top performances since their characters so rarely offer that opportunity.

- And now, concrete confirmation that Scorpy implanted something into Crichton while he was in the Aurora Chair - and it's a copy of Scorpy's own consciousness? That's... scary, in a word. Amused, though of course not surprised, that Crichton went and named Scorpy's clone too.

- I feel like I should comment more directly on the content of Crichton's delusions while under the Scarran's mind-probe attempts, but I'm not entirely sure what to say. They were wonderfully bizarre and hilarious, in a manner that is quintessential Farscape. I think my favorite might be the scene with D'Argo where they talked about the "Luxan bonding ritual," because it reminded me of the exchange that Bonzo quoted a few posts ago. I used the phrase "over-the-top" earlier to describe Simcoe's performance in this episode, but I think it applies well to many of the show's more comedic episodes and makes Farscape stand out as being quite unlike anything I've seen before, which is definitely intended as praise, not complaint. I really like the way the show mixes comedy and drama; on one hand, we have Crichton's ridiculous delusions, while at the same time finding out that the delusions are because he's a Scarran prisoner and his only way out alive is due to Scorpy's mental clone, two issues of great concern for Crichton.

The Locket
- Stark is back! And with bad news to boot. I'm sure the timing, with another trilogy starting in a few episodes and leading into the season finale, is just a coincidence.

- This is a beautiful, quiet little story. Seeing Crichton and Aeryn old and together was lovely. Even though they spent so much time together in the erased (?) timeline, it feels true to Aeryn's character that she would only have obliquely admitted her love for Crichton. Post-"Princess" trilogy, they may know they are genetically compatible, but Aeryn and Crichton probably still aren't yet ready for a genuine relationship beyond what they have now.

- This episode feels like a respite, providing a brief period of time for Moya's crew to pause and catch their breath, so to speak, between the events of the mid-season trilogy and what I can only assume will be explosive closing events of the season.

The Ugly Truth
- Chiana and Rygel sure do seem to get split off from the rest of the crew on a regular basis.

- Uh, wow. I was not expecting Stark to be back for only two episodes. I thought he'd be sticking around longer, at least through the season finale. I hope he did manage to survive the dispersal, as he theorized might be possible.

- It was nice to see Talyn again, even if only in flashback recollections. Don't think I have anything else to say, though.
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