The Distracting Wormhole

A journey to save Zhaan from certain death on Farscape is interrupted when Moya collides with another vessel, resulting in the two being merged.

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Season Three, Episode Three: Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part 1: Could’a, Would’a, Should’a

Zhaan (Virginia Hey), as you might remember, is actually a plant so it turns out her deteriorating state need not result in death if she can be planted in the ground on a suitable planet. Moya is an hour away from such a place when Pilot (Lani Tupu) spots a wormhole.

Although a lot of season two was driven by Scorpius’ hunt for the wormhole technology in Crichton’s (Ben Browder) head, the show hasn’t been as much about wormholes as it was in season one when Crichton was actively trying to find and research them in an effort to return to Earth. So now, Crichton’s so excited to have a wormhole suddenly turn up, he forgets Zhaan for a moment while he asks Pilot to analyse the phenomenon—unfortunately, that moment is all it takes for a weird serpentine craft to accidentally ram into Moya.

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After the opening theme, we find a couple new, bewildered aliens along with gleaming white struts suddenly on Moya’s bridge. These aliens are from some distant location, having been shot through a wormhole, much like Crichton. And, in a rather nice bit of detail, they don’t have translator microbes. This doesn’t just establish the distance they’ve travelled but also works as a way of demonstrating the connectedness of the part of the galaxy Moya travels through. There are Sebaceans, Luxans, Nebari, Hynerians, but everyone is united by certain cultural and technological norms, like the microbes.

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As are the Interions, including the young woman introduced in this episode, Joolushko Tunai Fenta Hovalis or, as Crichton immediately shortens her name to, Jool (Tammy MacIntosh). Her haughtiness, references to her academic achievement, and excessively long name put me in the mind of Romana’s introduction on Doctor Who. Jool was the occupant of one of the stasis chambers Crichton decided to take with him aboard Moya because her species was close enough to human that her also entombed cousin was able to (unwittingly) provide organic material for Crichton’s treatment. Unfortunately, this means Jool is quite justified in being angry that her cousin’s brain was mutilated for Crichton’s benefit.

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Zhaan’s recovery is put on hold for the crisis, Crichton’s brain was repaired at the expense of Jool’s cousin. It seems one can’t do anything without it costing someone else something dear. Maybe. It’s the ambiguity that’s the real torture as Crichton emphasises when voicing the episode title, “Would’a, could’a, should’a”.

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I was never crazy about Jool’s hairline but I love her outfit, the latest in the show’s ever advancing statements in societal S&M fashion. I love how Rygel (Jonathan Hardy) accidentally opens her coffin, too, by trying to close a coolant vent that’s supposed to be open. He and Crichton are an amusing double act in this episode that gets serious when Crichton brings the Dominar along in his module to inspect the wormhole. Unlike Crichton, Rygel is perfectly comfortable with the necessity or even just expediency of sacrifice, or so he tells himself. He urges Crichton to escape to the first convenient wormhole route.

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Also in this episode, D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe), sporting some big new pauldrons, is agonising in the fallout from Chiana (Gigi Edgley) and Jothee’s affair. He says the worst part is that he can “almost forgive her”. With the way things go with this crew, it’s kind of hard to imagine them getting anywhere without being reasonably good at forgiveness.

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. . .

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):

Season One:

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

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Season Two:

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

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Season Three:

Episode 1: Season of Death
Episode 2: Suns and Lovers

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