Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon, after not writing any new scripts for season two, returned for season three to write an episode featuring a reunion between Aeryn and her mother, Xhalax. It makes sense for him to write it considering this story is one that returns to the fundamental themes of the series about non-traditional family groups and exile in a new way.
Season Three, Episode Ten: Relativity
The story shifts back to the Talyn crew and we find the young gun ship recuperating on a swamp planet with healing vines. But the Peacekeeper retrieval squad headed by Aeryn’s mother, Xhalax (Linda Cropper), has found them thanks to the help of two wicked looking trackers.
Not quite as horrifically framed as the one introduced in “Thanks for Sharing” but these puppet head costumes are still standout works from the Creature Shop.
The episode’s plot is roughly split into three dialogues: Aeryn (Claudia Black) and her mother, Crichton (Ben Browder) and Crais (Lani Tupu), and Stark (Paul Goddard) and Rygel (Jonathan Hardy). The last of these is more or less comic relief though poor Rygel suffers an impressive wound after an uncharacteristic act of heroism.
Crichton and Crais essentially return to the conflict of Crichton understandably being unable to trust Crais. This episode begins by showing us that Crichton and Aeryn are now sleeping together regularly so a lot of the tension from “Green Eyed Monster” is gone. It’s kind of left Crais out in the metaphorical cold and it adds some suspense when Crichton uses Crais as bait for the trackers.
But the main event is Aeryn versus her mother as the younger Sun has to contend with the fact that her mother bitterly regrets the transgression that led to Aeryn’s conception. There’s some unspoken significance in that Aeryn’s relationship with Crichton is an “emotional attachment”, a break from Peacekeeper sexual protocol, similar to Xhalax’s relationship with Aeryn’s father. Aeryn’s fledgling model for her transgressive family dynamic is falling apart. Claudia Black plays the grief really well.
Xhalax offers no comfort and once again Aeryn, like the rest of Moya and Talyn’s crews, is left to make sense of life on her own.
. . .
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
Episode 22: Die Me, Dichotomy
Episode 1: Season of Death
Episode 2: Suns and Lovers
Episode 3: Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part I: Would’a, Could’a, Should’a
Episode 4: Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part II: Wait for the Wheel
Episode 5: . . . Different Destinations
Episode 6: Eat Me
Episode 7: Thanks for Sharing
Episode 8: Green Eyed Monster
Episode 9: Losing Time