Nothing will come from nothing. On Farscape, that means you can’t recapture your youth without sucking the life out of a living ship.
Season 2, Episode 2: Vitas Mortis
Actress Melissa Jaffar makes her first appearance in this episode. She returns as a regular cast member and different character, Noranti, at the end of season three. Here she plays a mysterious Luxan priestess on her deathbed, alone and far from home, living in a temple where Crichton (Ben Browder), D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe), and Zhaan (Virginia Hey) find her.
Our Moya trio are wearing their cold weather gear, adding to the sober atmosphere of the story.
Nilaam, the Luxan priestess, is the first Luxan adult we’ve seen aside from D’Argo (we briefly see his son in flashback and hologram in season one). At first, D’Argo is reluctant to help the woman with her dangerous death ritual but he’s overjoyed when, after he’s done so, she becomes young and beautiful, now played by actress Anna Lise Phillips.
Well, she’s younger, anyway. The Luxan nose hood really doesn’t do anything for me, your mileage may vary. It certainly turns D’Argo on and very quickly the two are in bed, having a sex marathon. Meanwhile, Chiana (Gigi Edgley) gets stuck in the laundry back on Moya. Are these things related?
I should back up and mention there’s an earlier scene establishing Chiana doing laundry in this weird glowing fluid that apparently serves another function on Moya. I don’t think I’ve seen a laundry scene in any other space opera. I could be forgetting one—in any case, it’s rare, and I love seeing it here. There’s an amusing moment too where Chiana’s indignant because Aeryn (Claudia Black) expects her to wash Aeryn’s clothes. I guess there’s still a little Peacekeeper in Aeryn after all that she seems surprised the alien girl doesn’t want to do the Sebacean woman’s laundry.
Anyway, the glowing fluid solidifies, trapping Chiana, and the ship’s hull starts to wither, causing hull breaches to pop up all over the place. It’s some time and investigation before the cause is determined—during the ritual, Nilaam thought she was drawing on D’Argo’s energy to restore her youth when in reality she’d tapped into Moya.
What do you do when you discover the lovely new life you’ve found as come at the cost of another being’s suffering? Even Nilaam, a priestess, at one point rationalises that Moya is, after all, “only a ship!” D’Argo can’t accept this, of course, being personally acquainted with Moya. At least he and Nilaam did have their brief time together.
. . .
This entry is part of a series I’m writing on Farscape for the show’s 20th anniversary. My previous reviews can be found here (episodes are in the order intended by the show’s creators rather than the broadcast order):
Episode 1: Pilot
Episode 2: I, E.T.
Episode 3: Exodus from Genesis
Episode 4: Throne for a Loss
Episode 5: Back and Back and Back to the Future
Episode 6: Thank God It’s Friday Again
Episode 7: PK Tech Girl
Episode 8: That Old Black Magic
Episode 9: DNA Mad Scientist
Episode 10: They’ve Got a Secret
Episode 11: Till the Blood Runs Clear
Episode 12: Rhapsody in Blue
Episode 13: The Flax
Episode 14: Jeremiah Crichton
Episode 15: Durka Returns
Episode 16: A Human Reaction
Episode 17: Through the Looking Glass
Episode 18: A Bug’s Life
Episode 19: Nerve
Episode 20: The Hidden Memory
Episode 21: Bone to be Wild
Episode 22: Family Ties