Oh, Crichton, what have you gotten yourself into now? Farscape’s crazy-eyed protagonist finds himself in another situation to justify being more than a little unhinged in the second season finale.
Season 2, Episode 22: Die Me, Dichotomy
After the multitude of characters and locations in the three part episode preceding this, one might expect the finale to be an intimate bottle episode. Nope. We have the introduction of two more memorable characters, the tall but delicate Diagnosan (Fiona Gentle) and his business partner, the unsavoury Grunchlk, played by Immortan Joe himself, Hugh Keays-Byrne.
What an evocative juxtaposition. Grunchlk explains how the Diagnosan’s mask is required to prevent exposing the alien’s nose and mouth at the same time, the two being so sensitive that if they’re both open to the air the Diagnosan’s death is almost certain. Grunchlk, amusingly, seems to be a walking and talking collection of contaminants. The impression he gives of being a bit shady is confirmed later in an amusing scene where Rygel (Jonathan Hardy) negotiates with him over a bowl of soup.
At first, the new pair are aboard Moya to help the ship heal from the burns incurred a couple episodes earlier when Zhaan (Virginia Hey) was forced to resort to drastic methods to remove an infestation of living currency. But when Crichton (Ben Browder) sends out a homing signal to the Peacekeepers, the removal of the chip Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) put in his brain takes top priority. But even the Diagnosan doesn’t feel confident the thing can be removed without killing John.
This episode settles, as if there were any doubt, that Crichton and Aeryn (Claudia Black), are in love—a bit cruelly as Aeryn unknowingly confesses to a Crichton being manipulated by the chip. We only briefly see Harvey (Wayne Pygram)—instead, for much of this episode, we see a peculiar Scorpius Crichton—Ben Browder in Scorpius makeup and costume, imitating Wayne Pygram.
It’s an eerie effect and yet another way in which the human astronaut has been separated from his world. He’s exiled physically, emotionally, and mentally in profound ways. The cure seems like it makes things even worse and the episode, and the season, concludes with the man strapped to a table having apparently lost the ability for intelligible speech. Or as a gloating Scorpius puts it, “So much to say, so little capacity.”
This is only one of the things left unresolved. This episode also hints that indeed Chiana (Gigi Edgley) and Jothee (Matt Newton) might be a more compatible couple than Chiana and D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe), Crais (Lani Tupu) and Aeryn are drawn closer together as potential surrogate parents for Talyn, and Aeryn herself is left to an uncertain fate. After an effective chase between her and Harvey/Crichton, her demise seems certain enough that her friends hold a funeral. But this is not the end, it’s just the halfway point.
. . .
Farscape is available now on Amazon Prime.
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
Episode 1: Mind the Baby
Episode 2: Vitas Mortis
Episode 3: Taking the Stone
Episode 4: Crackers Don’t Matter
Episode 5: Picture If You Will
Episode 6: The Way We Weren’t
Episode 7: Home on the Remains
Episode 8: Dream a Little Dream
Episode 9: Out of Their Minds
Episode 10: My Three Crichtons
Episode 11: Look at the Princess, Part I: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Episode 12: Look at the Princess, Part II: I Do, I Think
Episode 13: Look at the Princess, Part III: The Maltese Crichton
Episode 14: Beware of Dog
Episode 15: Won’t Get Fooled Again
Episode 16: The Locket
Episode 17: The Ugly Truth
Episode 18: A Clockwork Nebari
Episode 19: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part I: A Not So Simple Plan
Episode 20: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part II: With Friends Like These . . .
Episode 21: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part III: Plan B