There's a World of Lawyers

So what were the rest of Moya’s crew up to while Crichton, Aeryn, and D’Argo were stuck in an asteroid field at the beginning of Farscape season 2? It turns out Zhaan was on trial for murder on a planet full of lawyers.

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Season 2, Episode 8: Dream a Little Dream

90% of the planet Litagara’s population are lawyers, the remaining 10% are “Utilities”, the few service workers needed in a city that’s otherwise totally automated, presumably. A barman hands Chiana (Gigi Edgley) and Rygel (Jonathan Hardy) the slim volume that comprises the basis for all of Litigara’s laws—all of the other books Chiana and Rygel had been poring over in attempt to defend Zhaan (Virginia Hey) apparently being comprised of meaningless ancillary laws to perpetuate the expanding lawyer caste.

I like the premise of a planet of lawyers but for the most part I consider this one of the weakest episodes of the series. Chiana and Rygel’s sleuthing to uncover a conspiracy that implicated Zhaan turns up evidence that ought to have been clear to everyone from the beginning. In the finale, Chiana and Rygel basically exploit native superstition—which is hard to believe on a planet of lawyers—and in doing so cause the downfall of a partner in the planet’s most powerful firm. We’re given no followup on what this means to the civilisation.

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But Virginia Hey gives a beautiful performance as she loses her grip, experiencing hallucinations of Crichton (Ben Browder), Aeryn (Claudia Black), and D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe). Rygel is oddly selfless in the episode but still entertaining as an amateur lawyer but Chiana is even funnier, especially after she overdoses on some hangover pills Rygel gives her. As in “Crackers Don’t Matter”, it’s somehow always funny hearing Chiana say “definitely” very rapidly.

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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

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