Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by PsychoPere, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    Same here. I know what you're talking about with Wesley but I've just started rewatching Babylon 5 for the first time since I was a kid (when it was originally on the air) so I'll have to get back to you on that. Still, all the buzz I've heard about those two characters and their personal (and interconnected growth) sounds terrific.

    John has some terrific development too, but I remember back in the 'Save Farscape' days we had this huge poll about everyone's favorite character and Aeryn nudged him off in the finals because so many people agreed that her arc was just ridiculously good. To go from what she is in the first season to what she is in the miniseries is great; to do it with storytelling style and finesse is exemplary.

    Really, Farscape is at its core a character drama parading through space. And that's one combination I can never say no to.
     
  2. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, yeah, yeah...
    Good to hear, though I would've been surprised if that was all it ended up being. Show does really well at going down roads I wouldn't have anticipated.


    A Prefect Murder
    - Watching the early parts of this episode reminded me a bit of a 2002 series called Boomtown. I always enjoy seeing stories told from differing points of view and putting all the pieces together. In all, a pretty good standalone, though oddly lacking in the show's trademark humor. Best part of the episode was Paroos the priest killing E'Alet with a saw whirring from his floating chair.


    Coup by Clam
    - This episode's teaser reminds me how rarely the crew, post-Zhaan's death, eats together. The core of the crew (Pilot, D'Argo, Rygel, Chiana, Crichton, and Aeryn) may still be able to be considered an oddball family of sorts, but - without Zhaan - the family-esque dynamics have changed and anyone else (Jool, Noranti, Sikozu) view as an outsider only.

    - D'Argo really seems to be settling into his new role as captain. When an official decision needs to be made, he exudes calm, shows confidence, and doesn't hesitate to issue orders in a reasonable tone. Apparently his time in the Luxan military served him well for this future role.

    - Even at only fifteen minutes in, I'd say this episode made up for the lack of humor in the previous episode, particularly when D'Argo was sharing Noranti's feelings of "intense pleasure" and, of course, Crichton & Rygel's undercover crossdressing.

    - Props to Scorpy for his efforts in aiding the crew during this situation. Some of the earlier standalones may have felt weaker than normal, but the last few - including this one - have returned to form as fun, good entries.


    Unrealized Reality
    - Good on D'Argo for destroying at least one vial of Noranti's Laka drug. I think he should also give Crichton a good whack upside the head for using it in the first place.

    - Really damn cool to see different realities in this episode and mash-ups of the various Moya crewmembers. Very odd to see Crichton as an actual PK with Braca as his subordinate, though I think that's the one reality shown here that I'd be particularly interested in exploring further. Also great to see past characters return for the different interview-style moments of reflection on Crichton and his influences on their lives, especially when they talked about alternate Crichtons.

    - For an episode of which the core was essentially a conversation between Crichton and "Einstein," this episode kept my attention throughout quite well with strong use of the unrealized realities and the interview-style segments. The extended conversation about wormholes here - and, of course, Crichton's use of a wormhole at the end to return to Earth, which I absolutely did not expect- leads me to expect that this is the turning point of the season, that things are rapidly going to change once again for our beleaguered protagonists.


    Kansas
    - Somehow I'm not even surprised - bemused, rather - that Crichton would return to a past Earth instead of his own present. Guy rarely ever has good luck, after all.

    - The scenes of Aeryn watching television and practicing her English skills were great, especially anytime she laughed and was happy at understanding. Also: gotta love her outfit. Of further humorous note, of course, would be D'Argo's attempts to use human expressions: "bite me" and flipping off the neighbor, believing it to be a greeting. There was a lot of great humor in this episode, really, in between all of the big-level, life-and-death concerns.

    - I honestly didn't see it coming that Braca still works for Scorpius. I thought, in the spirit of his weasely ambition, that he genuinely had switched allegiances to Grayza, just as he had switched to backing Scorpius instead of Crais.

    - To sum up: Great episode. Loved the humor, loved the overarching concerns (if Jack dies, no Farscape Project, no Crichton in the Territories, etc.), and liked seeing the overall series plot advancing a bit more too even when the main players in our group of protagonists were on their own adventure away from Moya. With Jack and company onboard Moya when John and company returned to their correct timeline, the series threw me for a loop again. I wasn't expecting two episodes in a row spent dealing with Earth, and at this point I wasn't really expecting John to ever reach his own present Earth again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  3. Daneel

    Daneel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looks like I'm exactly where you are, PsychoPere -- I just watched "Kansas" last night. Nice to see the series picking up steam again, after a rather unspectacular stretch of episodes early in the season (although I did find things to enjoy about each of them).

    "Kansas" was great entertainment. Loved the crew's failed attempts to fit in in 1986 Earth. Rygel becoming a sugar junkie was kind of expected, but amusing nonetheless. And young Crichton losing his virginity to Chiana thanks to time travel -- that's so delightfully twisted in a way that only this show could pull off. :lol: I always figured she wanted a crack at him...

    I didn't really expect Braca to be Scorpius' spy either, despite his loyalty to him last season. I wonder how he's able to resist Grayza's magic boob sweat.

    Dammit, I've only got 10 episodes left until the end, and I'll probably finish the series this weekend. I'm gonna miss this show. Guess I'll have to find a copy of The Peacekeeper Wars, huh?
     
  4. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, the last episode of S4 is a very frustrating thing with the belief there is no more. If it would've actually ended there, it would be the rudest cancellation ending ever.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  5. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, yeah, that gave me a good laugh, and she wasn't always exactly subtle about the fact that she did want a shot at him.
    Got to love the title of the finale, though.


    Terra Firma
    - It's even more weird to see the crew on Earth this time around than during the previous illusions and/or past timeline situations, probably because this is finally the "real" Earth (and time) that John left. Listening to John's voice-over during the early parts of the episode was also very melancholy, but it couldn't exactly have been anything else, could it? He's experienced too much, changed too much, to fit back in as if he never left.

    - I am genuinely surprised that Scorpius would be willing to sacrifice his life to destabilize the wormhole leading to Earth in order to safeguard Crichton's life and wormhole knowledge.

    - On a shallow note, Sikozu and Chiana looked fantastic in their swimsuits. More of that, please.

    - Oh, shit... and now Aeryn knows about the Laka drug. That's not going to make her happy. But how touching was that moment between Crichton and Olivia when she gave him their mom's wedding ring, and the subsequent goodbyes to her and Jack?

    - As important as this episode is to all of the characters and the overall series plot, I appreciate that it was a low-key, quiet one. Staying quiet was the right choice and was probably the only way the episode could have played. I think the introspective focus of the episode, the family & friends outsider observations of John and Aeryn's relationship, and the relative lack of action were all well-done.

    - John finally has the answer to the question that's been asked periodically throughout the series so far: Does he belong on Earth anymore? No, he does not; he belongs on Moya, with his friends.


    Twice Shy
    - Considering the nice punch Aeryn landed on Crichton at the end of the teaser, looks like I underestimated when I said she "wouldn't be happy" about him taking the "poppers."

    - It's rather different to see Scorpius genuinely caring about someone, as he obviously now does for Sikozu. His promise to her to find and kill her attacker was chilling.

    - Considering how close I now am to the end of the series, I'm finally growing tired of the continuing trend of various things frelling with the crews' minds and altering their behaviors. I don't want anymore of these episodes in the final stretch unless they're directly related to the Peacekeeper/Scarran situations. Pretty uninterested by this whole episode, with two excepts being the small portions with Aeryn & John dealing with their relationship troubles, as well as Scorpius and Sikozu doing much the same.

    - Final scene: holy shit that Scorpy probably heard their conversation anyways. Sad - though I suppose somewhat understandable - that Crichton felt he needed to use the Laka drug to numb himself to stay away from Aeryn so Scorpy wouldn't figure out to use her against him. About damn time they appear to be "together" finally, even if they can't show it.
     
  6. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    That was the last mind frell episode. It's all hardcore arc-stuff from here on out. Well...kinda...the next episode is about a different story arc (it has some decent moments, but overall I consider it a pretty meh episode). However, starting with "Bringing Home the Beacon," the final arc of the series begins. It is also the episode that finally made me really like Noranti.


    One of my favorite scenes, for sure.
     
  7. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    I still don't get how people don't like "Mental as Anything." I love the episode every time I watch it. I watched it again the other day to coincide with the arrival of D'Argo's Trial, which made me love the episode all the more.
     
  8. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I dunno. There's just something about the atmosphere of it that I don't enjoy, and at the end of it all I just found it unnecessary. Not to mention how out-of-the-blue D'Argo's story is in that episode.

    It would be one thing if the premise of the episode was that D'Argo had gone searching for Macton again, but the fact that Macton just conveniently happened to be there for Mental Arts Training was a little too far-fetched for me.
     
  9. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Now that we've come to my favorite episode of the season, I can talk about it. I Loved Terra Firma. On most shows, a crew or someone get's home (Or they don't at all, such as Quantum Leap) and then it's the end of the series. On Farscape, we see consequences of John fulfilling his original goal to get home, and we see the significant change that getting home has on him. I guess there was some debate on whether it was a good thing to put in a 9/11 reference and I think it was a fantastic thing. I mean here is a man who has learned and grown so much from his experience in the Uncharted Territories and coming home left him a bit empty. We talk so much about character development on this show, and if you want an example, watch the Pilot episode and then watch Terra Firma. It's not even the same John really.

    And the end scene with John walking off in the Sunglasses was one of the most Kick Ass scenes on the entire show.
     
  10. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Count me as one who did not enjoy the 9/11 reference. At the time, my brain was so over-saturated with 9/11 that the last thing I wanted was for it to enter my favorite science fiction show. I guess I get the point of it, but I think they could have easily left it out.
     
  11. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    I agree that Macton suddenly appearing was contrived. Each time I watch, I keep expecting some reference to Scorpius bringing Macton to the location through his typical sideways manipulation. We know that D'Argo goes searching for him after "Dog with Two Bones" thanks to the information Braca gave him (and apparently that adventure is covered in D'Argo's Quest which I'm anxiously waiting to finally be published in collection form). Really, Macton's sudden appearance is the only thing that bothers me and I like to think Scorpius did have something to do with it. *shrug*

    I like the 9/11 reference because it made sense. If it was an abrupt "Oh, by the way, while you were gone, the towers fell," I would have hated it. But referring to 9/11 gives the story some grounding and credence to the behavior of certain people in the story.
     
  12. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The constellation of doubt I love. Perfect view of mankind. I also loved the ending of the episode before it.
     
  13. Bonzo the Fifth

    Bonzo the Fifth Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, you're in the final stretch, now... kind of sad, really, I've been having fun with this...

    As was said, it's great that Farscape took something that would either be a couple of gag episodes, or a series finale (getting back to Earth) and manage to create some real dramatic tension that didn't really feel cheap, and still continue the narrative beyond...

    Though I have to say (and I'll spoiler this just in case)...

    Constellation of Doubt is my favorite Earth-Centric episode

    If you're interested in the 'Unrealized Reality' of John Chrichton, Peacekeeper Captain, I might direct you to the following fan fiction that does a really awesome and epic job of detailing how John might have gone from appearing in the Uncharted Territories to what you saw in that episode. And it's amazingly thorough. I highly recommend, although I'll warn you, it is frustratingly unfinished, though the writer does continue to output, albeit on a slow basis...

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1068244/1/Unrealized_Peacekeeper
     
  14. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    Ugh, I keep having flashbacks lately of those several months in which my fellow campaigners and I thought the final regular-length episode might have been the 'finale' for us. Such dark times.

    Keep on keepin' on, fellow Scapers!
     
  15. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I absolutely, genuinely, completely believe that Scorpius DID invite Macton to keep D'Argo occupied - as well as invite the Charrid to keep Rygel occupied. It's no coincidence that either of them is there.

    Here is the course of events:

    1. Scorpius knows perfectly well that Aeryn is the key to manipulating Crichton, and he has known all along. He's merely been biding his time, letting John play his little drug addict games, not fooled for a second. He overhears John telling Chiana that 'he and Aeryn are fine' in "Twice Shy." He notices someone trying to shut him out of the comms at the end of "Twice Shy." He realizes his moment has come, and he makes his move.

    2. He invites the guys to Katoya's compound to keep them occupied with mental training that he knows is probably useless but that he can CLAIM is vital. He invites Macton and the Charrid to keep D'Argo and Rygel occupied, letting him have some private time with John.

    3. But the whole thing is one big cover for the REAL plan, which is to send the girls on their shopping trip to the dead Leviathan. A place where he knows Grayza and Akhna will be having a summit, thanks to his mole, Braca. He knows Aeryn will try to do something drastic, and very likely get herself captured. Whether it was by PKs or Scarrens is irrelevant - what matters is that John will do anything to get Aeryn back.

    4. And voila - leverage over Crichton.

    "You set me up."

    All done in the background, none of it explicitly stated, and all the better for that, I say. But I absolutely believe this is what happened.
     
  16. Bonzo the Fifth

    Bonzo the Fifth Commander Red Shirt

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    You know, put in that light, that's downright diabolical. I really want to believe that is right and hope that it's made canon someday....
     
  17. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Yeah, that is an absolutely fantastic interpretation of events.

    I'm kind of annoyed that I didn't think of it on my own! I've watched those episodes so many times! :lol:
     
  18. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    That's brilliant. You took my ideas and went much further than I considered, but I think you're absolutely right.
     
  19. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mental As Anything
    - Given the number of mind-frelling situations this crew has been subjected to over the past few cycles, Mental Arts Training seems like something they could have benefited from a long time ago.

    - However coincidental/convenient (or not...?) Macton's presence may have been, I am of course quite glad that D'Argo finally had an opportunity to confront his demons over the issue of Lo'Laan's death.

    - In all, I'd say my reaction to this episode rates somewhere between the opinions of RoJo and Emh. I didn't love the episode, but thought it was a worthwhile enough entry. There are certainly worse episodes. I'd be inclined to agree with the spoiler-coded suggestions that Scorpius likely had something to do with Macton's presence, if only to make sense out of him being there in the first place at the same time D'Argo and company are.


    Bringing Home the Bacon
    - Our crew really does have the worst luck in the galaxy - PKs and Scarrans meeting at the one place Aeryn and company can get what they need for Moya? After reading lvsxy808's spoiler-coded thoughts on this one and the previous episode, I quite like the idea that Scorpius set up both the encounters at the training session and Aeryn & company "discovering" the Grayza/Ahkna meeting here.

    - I'm a little surprised the interior of this dead Leviathan appears to be in relatively good shape still. I would've expected more of the ship to have started falling apart after it died. That said, the Pilot's den makes for a cool meeting spot.

    - The polisci geek in me really enjoyed the back-and-forth bluster and banter in the negotiations between Grayza and Ahkna.

    - This whole episode was tense, but the revelation that the Scarrans had captured Aeryn ratcheted that feeling up quite a bit. It was difficult to watch Crichton as he realized that it wasn't really Aeryn and he started interrogating the bioloid, and even more difficult to watch the ending scene as he sat next its body. Also of note was Sikozu's realization that Aeryn's capture was what allowed her to get away; she looked like she was having a hard time accepting that turn of events. Great episode.


    A Constellation of Doubt
    - The "everything lives, everything dies" scene with Crichton pointing a pulse pistol at Sikozu and losing emotional control just shot up to being one of my favorites of the series, infused as it was with his concern over Aeryn, his obsessive nature already evidenced by the quest for wormholes, and so on. Another scene of particular note in this episode was, of course, Crichton asking Scorpius for help in rescuing Aeryn - in exchange for wormhole knowledge. "You set me up." Now that I've seen this episode, I'm in full agreement with lvsxy88's interpretation of the events in the preceding two episodes.

    - The crew may not actually have been on Earth in this episode, but I think this may be my favorite Earth-centric episode. I'm a sucker for documentaries about the events we watch play out whenever a series takes this approach, and I thought it was a fitting manner in which to explore the Earth-wide reaction to Moya's visit. It was also a very honest look at humanity's likely prejudices if such an event were to happen.


    Prayer
    - How cool to "see" Jason Clarke in prosthetics & make-up as Captain Jenek here (and without in Aeryn's "story" about "Lechna"), considering I'll be watching his new show The Chicago Code tonight.

    - I know I've commented on this in the past, but I think it's always worth-repeating: I love how this series never forgets its past and finds reasons to re-visit previous events. I mention it here again because I quite enjoyed seeing the unrealized reality from the episode of the same name again.

    - Most shows that deal with an alternate reality involve the protagonists giving a damn about that reality in some way, usually in a manner where they want to help that reality's versions of themselves. It was refreshing to see Crichton and Scorpius simply doing what had to be done to find the information about Katratzi. I also appreciate the writers forcing that situation by making that information accessible only through Stark/Sikozu crossing someone over.

    - This was another strong episode in the relentless march towards the series finale. Although I did enjoy seeing the unrealized Moya again, Aeryn's plot was the stronger half and it was so difficult to watch her being tortured, making up stories in an effort to lie to Jenek, and, of course, her prayers.


    I had thought about continuing onward into the "We're So Screwed" trilogy tonight, but doing so at this time would put me too close for comfort to The Chicago Code's premiere later tonight.
     
  20. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    I think the ultimate example of just how big into Farscape I am is how worked-up and anxious I get when first-time viewers discuss their forays into my favorite episodes. Pretty much all of the second half of the final season is up there with the best for me and I'm glad you're enjoying it.