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Farscape - 1x19 - Nerve - Originally Aired: 2000-1-7

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.81

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 17 15 18 11 6 3 16 7 9 24 42

Synopsis
In order to secure a vital tissue graft to save Aeryn's life, Crichton and Chiana disguise themselves as Peacekeepers and infiltrate a secret PK base there. They meet up with Gilina, the Peacekeeper Tech who Crichton met on the Zelbinion. Gilina is able to help Crichton obtain the graft, but before he can get it to Aeryn, Scorpius - a Sebacean/Scarran hybrid - exposes Crichton's charade and subjects him to the Aurora Chair: a torture device used to extract memories from its victims. Scorpius discovers a memory implanted in Crichton's head by the Ancients that Crichton himself was not aware of: information about creating wormholes. To access this hidden knowledge, Scorpius is willing to destroy Crichton's mind. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are introduced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
- The energy signature of humans is quite different from Sebaceans.

Remarkable Scenes
- Aeryn revealing she's dying from her knife wound.
- John proposing going to the Peacekeeper base to get Aeryn a compatible tissue sample.
- John flying the prowler to the Peacekeeper base and mincing words with the air traffic control guy.
- John impersonating Larraq.
- John somehow passing genetic scan as Larraq then Gilina showing up out of nowhere and revealing she tweaked the program to let him through.
- John being outed as an impostor.
- Scorpius discovering hidden knowledge of wormholes embedded in John's brain by the aliens from A Human Reaction.
- Crais meeting with Scorpius.
- Chiana's weak attempt to convince Gilina that Crichton loves her and not Aeryn.
- John deducing that Crais is bluffing about having captured the Leviathan because he doesn't know about Aeryn's injury.
- Chiana killing the commander.
- Aeryn to Chiana: "You make a worse Peacekeeper than Crichton."

My Review
Wow! This episode is so densely packed with things to love it's hard to decide where to start. Nerve ties together many things from previous episodes all into one dramatic climax. John's love for Aeyrn, Aeryn's injury, John's relationship with Gilina, Crais' chase of Crichton, John's desire to unlock the secrets of wormholes, and perhaps even Moya's pregnancy are all brought to the forefront here. Plus we have tantalizing new elements such as the delightful character of Scorpius and the idea that John has valuable knowledge of wormholes locked in his brain somewhere, given to him by the aliens from A Human Reaction.

Scorpius does indeed steal the show here, a villain that is decidedly menacing and mysterious in ways that the other Peacekeepers simply aren't; unlike the others he could tell John was an impostor simply by looking at him. We learn little about him in this episode other than the fact that he's running a research project on the development of new weapons and it's strongly hinted that Scorpius' aim has been to develop a wormhole weapon. Though his rank is not stated, he seemed to outrank the commander of the base and take orders from no one, not even Crais. As for Crais, he's someone we've seen far too little of this season, so it's nice that he and Crichton are finally having their inevitable confrontation.

I was less fond of the idea of a love triangle between Gilina, Crichton, and Aeryn, but the execution was so subtle and flawless that it only added brilliant texture to the episode. What's more, I love the fact that memories of Aeryn didn't come up, not even once, while Crichton was in the Aurora chair. Clearly Crichton is trying to protect her. This episode also repeats the plot device of having Crichton masquerade as a Peacekeeper, but this time it totally works. None of the mistakes of the previous episode were repeated here, so we get to milk it for all its worth. Almost like a do over.

The episode ending on a cliffhanger is also somewhat new. Farscape's been more or less an arc-driven show since the beginning of the series, but each episode has also been more or less wrapped up by the last scene, even if not in an entirely neat package. Instead, this story ramps up both the threat level and the drama and a more drawn out story spread across multiple episodes is the perfect way to dive deep into the nuances of all the plot threads that are converging here. Obviously we can expect Aeryn to stage a foolhardy rescue mission for John and it looks like Moya will have her baby soon too.

This is the most compelling episode of Farscape so far. It's utterly gripping, exciting, and ruthlessly dark. Never before has John's life been in this much danger and for the first time I feel like all the players in the story are fleshed out enough and realized enough for the drama to get all the focus rather than wondering why certain things are the way they are or certain characters act the way they act. Not only that, but the story is 100% relevant to the premise of the show: the freak accident that brought John to this part of the universe. Scorpius wants the wormhole knowledge that John didn't know he had and Scorpius will torture John to get it. Powerful stuff.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DK on 2012-07-30 at 3:27pm:
    I love the Gilina character.  What I like the most is what they didn't do to her.   So often now days writers (this show included at times) feel the need to put women characters in a position where they are, often gratuitously, tough, smart, aggressive and in control of any situation and find a way to make male characters less than (if a man is needed at all).   It was refreshing to see a female character portrayed at least partially supportive, submissive, and non emasculating in their relationship.
  • From Hugo on 2015-02-21 at 8:41am:
    Great episode! More great sets, love the design of the Gammak base. But the Aurora chair and that red-head lady didn't really match the rest of the design - I found all that very pulpy, almost like 70ies B-scifi, including the giant rotating fan in the background.
  • From Margaret J on 2019-06-05 at 9:26pm:
    Great episode. I was throughly entertained. Good continuity with over all series arch and with indivdual episodes. The end alien in A Human Reaction, girl PK in PK Tech Girl and of course direct continuity with last episode A Bugs Life with Areyns injury, PK commando captain and John's disguise. The suspense, tension,plot points and even the action all felt right and well earned. Chianna finally appeared to be playing for the team, less self absorbed and more helpful/useful. First perfect score I give it a 10

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My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.28

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 2 19 2 2 6 8 6 10 29 27

Synopsis
After disposing of the Scorpius Clone, the Ancient 'Jack' unlocks the secrets to wormhole technology in Crichton's mind allowing them to build a Displacement Engine, the 'ultimate weapon' that will allow them to destroy the Scarran Dreadnought before it escapes with Furlow's data. Seeing the value of the weapon, Furlow kills Jack and takes off with it. In the ensuing chase, Crichton is fatally exposed to the highly reactive Partanium that fuels the engine. With nothing left to lose, Crichton volunteers to launch the weapon at the Dreadnought, experiencing first hand the terrifying power of the wormhole technology. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Harvey fading away shortly after Aeryn tried to kill John to kill Harvey.
- A Scarran boarding Talyn.
- Aeryn rescuing Rygel only to have Rygel demand food so he can keep firing the turret.
- Jack declaring that he no longer doubts that John would use the wormhole technology honorably.
- Furlow turning on Jack.
- John: "I can build this thing. I know what it does!" Aeryn: "Can it destroy the dreadnought?" John: "Umm... it could destroy a planet."
- Furlow betraying John, stealing the weapon, and running off with it.
- Aeryn: "You know this new knowledge you've got in your head?" John: "Yeah?" Aeryn: "Could you use it to get home?" John: "Yeah." Aeryn: "Let's do what we have to do here and then we'll go."
- Talyn paralyzing and killing the Scarran.
- Furlow: "Don't be a hero, John. Always be the one to walk away while the hero dies. That's my motto."
- John: "Damn it Crais, knock it off. You're gonna make me start liking you."
- John: "Mamma Crichton's baby boy, makin' wormholes."
- John using the wormhole weapon to destroy the dreadnought.
- John's last words: "They say it's a lucky or an unambitious man who goes when he's ready. That said, Scorpius is gone. I'm at peace. I don't hurt. I did some good things. I'm proud of my life. And I'm with you. Don't worry about me. I've never felt better."

My Review
John's heroic death saving everyone (especially Aeryn) from the Scarrans couldn't have been more fitting. Just as the man finally masters wormholes and earns the ability to go home, he has to use the knowledge instead in a noble sacrifice, forever denied his prize and his life. A true tragedy. A nice bit of texture I enjoyed was that while Aeryn struggled with the idea, she was willing to let John sacrifice himself for the greater good more than once in this episode. She was willing to euthanize him rather than let Harvey take permanent control and she was willing to let him die in a noble sacrifice against the Scarrans.

Indeed, it's Aeryn's perspective that makes this episode as strong a piece as it is. The final scenes of the episode are some of the most moving so far watching Aeryn confront the loss of her lover, something which occurs not long after she confronted the loss of her mother. Obviously there's still the John on Moya out there, but the things Aeryn's shared with this John are now significantly more pronounced than the history she's had with the other John leading up to the divergence. Only awkwardness can ensue when the two are reunited. Another curiosity left over from this story is how much wormhole knowledge will survive John's death. Will Talyn's and/or Moya's crew be able to leverage this knowledge in the future, and if so to what do degree?

I think it's safe to say watching John destroy the dreadnought may be the single coolest scene ever depicted on Farscape so far. Aside from the outstanding visual effects it's a fascinating concept. The wormhole weapon appears to suck stellar matter from a star and then slam into a target disintegrating and imploding it with apparently enough force to implode a planet. A weapon of mass destruction so massive that it's on a cosmic scale. My oh my. This is the best episode of Farscape so far. Awesome science fiction and compelling drama. This episode's got it all.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Ben on 2010-07-06 at 12:08pm:
    Fantastic episode. It was kind of obvious from the start that one of the Johns would get killed, but it could not have been pulled off more powerfully than it was here.
  • From Margaret J on 2019-07-16 at 7:34pm:
    I was surprised and disappointed that the Ancient was killed so easily. He knew she had the gun and would shoot and he just turned his back to Furlow and let her.
    Maybe I missed something butI did not comprehend at the time that John's turning the device off resulted in a lethal dose of radiation until he told Aeryn so I am glad that the two scenes were side by side. Also I found it strange that either Ben Bowder, the script or the director chose to have John avoid looking at Aeryn during his death scene and it made the whole thing feel off a little.
    Besides the afore mentioned issues I lked the conclusion and thought it well done in acting and in the cinematography.On a side note I especially liked how Crias or I should say Crais and Talon killed the Scarran. I rated this nine (9) the same as the first part

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My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.21

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 10 2 19 2 11 2 26 2 30 33

Synopsis
On the Command Carrier, Crichton is making incredible breakthroughs in his wormhole research, accessing information previously locked away. His crewmates are not so sure about the success of the plan, and are debating whether to leave or stay. Crais also has his own interests at heart, and when he is denied access to Talyn by the Peackeepers, he realizes he needs a bargaining chip. He goes to Scorpius and reveals Crichton's true intentions: to sabotage the wormhole research and destroy the Carrier. The plan blown, Moya's crew is immediately arrested, and it seems all is lost. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- Grayza has a line in the recap of this episode in which she says to Scorpius: "Your project has cost us dearly and yielded nothing." This was not actually aired in the previous episode though.
- When Crais boards Talyn you can see stars out the window, but this shouldn't be the case because Talyn is within the command carrier at the time.

Factoids
- According to Aeryn, there were over 50,000 men, women, and children aboard Scorpius' command carrier.

Remarkable Scenes
- Aeryn: "How's he planning to stop Grayza?" John: "We're talking about Scorpius. You prepared to bet against him?"
- John proposing destroying the command carrier.
- Crais revealing John's plans to Scorpius in exchange for control over Talyn and reinstatement into the Peacekeepers.
- Crais meeting secretly with John and proposing to starburst Talyn while still within the command carrier in order to destroy it.
- Crais: "Starburst in a confined space where the energy can't dissipate will be the hero's death that Talyn deserves."
- John: "If I don't kick this project in the ass before Commandant Cleavage gets back, she's gonna execute me anyway, right?"
- John: "All right, Scorp, you ready to rumble?" Scorpius: "Oh yes, John."
- John taking Scorpius for a ride through the wormhole.
- Crais boarding Talyn by force.
- John: "Flying through wormholes ain't like dusting crops, farm boy. It takes a little finesse."
- Crais to Scorpius: "I am standing in your heart and I am about to squeeze."
- Talyn starbursting within the command carrier.
- The ensuing evacuation havoc.
- Co-Kura: "To stabilize a wormhole, to tame it, to tame its power, would have been the greatest scientific discovery anyone could imagine!" John: "It is not just science! It's never just science. It's a weapon. It kills. And I will not let the Peacekeepers have it."
- Scorpius: "Commander John Crichton. Generations will know that name. Because of you very soon the Scarrans will destroy us."
- Scorpius telling John that he never really did see any point in going after Earth.

My Review
In one of the most spectacular episodes so far Scorpius sees everything he worked for crash down before his eyes in Talyn's and Crais' noble sacrifice. The episode even implies that Scorpius may have gone down with his ship. Season of death indeed. By the end it seemed clear that John felt bad for poor Scorpy even after all Scorpius had done to him, but I can see why. Scorpius' declaration in his final moments that he never had any intention of hunting down Earth was a nice touch and makes it clear that all Scorpius ever wanted was to loyally serve the Peacekeepers in their fight against the Scarrans. The degree of evil Scorpius was willing to wield to further that goal was considerable, but his goal wasn't necessarily wrong on the whole.

The moral dilemma of whether or not the Peacekeepers should possess such a weapon of mass destruction is also well played. John struggling to fight his temptation to continue researching this knowledge with the vast resources the Peacekeepers were offering him was fantastic and Scorpius' final statements about the consequences of John's decision were terrifying. Will the Scarrans invade the Peacekeepers now? Will John have to take some responsibility for putting the Peacekeepers on the losing side of this fight? Or will Grayza be able to pull it out of the fire by forming alliances as she claims? And will John be able to use his wormhole knowledge to get home? This episode does an awesome job wrapping up previous story arcs while setting up for some incredibly exciting new ones to come.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-07-12 at 12:33am:
    The totality of it all is hard to resist. As such, the episode is determined to underline as vastly as possible that this is the end of an era.

    Some of the imagery, such as Scorpius standing on the flooding staircase, is among the most memorable of the series. Also, Crais' final monologue approaches Babylon 5 levels of majesty.

    A triumph.
  • From Hugo on 2016-03-25 at 4:21pm:
    An amazing episode, and I can't just stop loving scorpius - he is an amazing character. I felt that the commandant plotline was left hanging though, and not much for the other main characters to do - except John and Crais.

    I really liked the Crais "betrayal" BTW.

    Trope warning on the exploding ship though: random explosions and flashed in the background, but not too much to obstruct our heroes... One would expect that the hull would break and air leak...
  • From Margaret J on 2019-07-20 at 7:34pm:
    Great episode all the major plot points (Talyn, Scorpius, Crais and wormholes) came together and tied up nicely.
    I kinda felt bad for Scorpius and nice to to know he at least got to take a ride through the wormhole before his plans all went to .$&@.
    Sad to see Crais die as well but nicemthat he got to speak his mind to scorpius first and go out as a hero. Was expecting more of goodbye between him and Aeryn but what we got was in character so I can not really complain.
    Based on Scorpius's track record I do not really believe Scorpius is dead nor that we have seen the last of wormholes but if we have I Will still be satisfied with how it all ended. I rated the episode a ten (10)

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Farscape - 4x12 - Kansas - Originally Aired: 2002-12-30

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 4.97

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 28 2 6 5 5 5 7 4 6 10 21

Synopsis
The crew travels through a wormhole to Earth, 1985, and Crichton finds he has somehow disastrously changed the course of time - his father Jack is now slated to fly the doomed Challenger mission. Lying low in Crichton's home town, the 'aliens' use the timely Halloween celebrations to remain (almost) anonymous, while Crichton tries to revert the timeline - in the process putting his younger self in mortal danger. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- How did Chiana interact with young John? Did she learn English too?

Factoids
- When Chiana met young John, she accidentally identified herself as Karen Shaw, the girl Crichton claimed in Losing Time to have lost his virginity to at the age of 16. This means that John lost his virginity to Chiana before he even met her. I wonder why John didn't recognize Chiana when he first met her in season one then? 😉

Remarkable Scenes
- John, in orbit of Earth in nothing but his space suit: "I can't believe I'm gonna die here. This is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."
- John asking D'Argo to follow John through the wormhole.
- John discovering that he's traveled to Earth, but it's in the 1980s.
- John observing his younger self.
- John discovering that his dad will be on the doomed Challenger shuttle.
- John confronting his younger self.
- Aeryn watching Sesame Street.
- Chiana flipping off an Earth woman.
- Rygel accidentally being exposed to an Earth woman.
- Grayza locating Moya.
- Aeryn referring to Rygel as Kermit. 😉
- Noranti drugging the cop.
- John confronting his mom, telling her to stop Jack from going up on the Challenger.
- D'Argo attempting to drive the cop car.
- Rygel on a sugar high.
- Scorpius meeting with Braca, who is revealed to be secretly still loyal to Scorpius.
- Rygel scaring kids to get more sugar.
- John using his semi-corporeality to his advantage to convince his mother to prevent Jack from boarding Challenger.
- The single cop who remembered everything being perceived as crazy.
- John returning to Moya only to discover that Moya is in orbit of Earth and it's also the correct year.
- John seeing his father aboard Moya and acting with immediate disbelief.

My Review
Having John return to Earth for real but in the wrong year would have been good enough for a fantastic story by itself, but the amazing twist at the end of having John return to Earth at the correct year along with Moya and with his dad having already boarded Moya is an absolutely fantastic development. One of the greatest fascinations of Farscape's ongoing story is to explore the idea of what would happen if John did some day return to Earth with all the knowledge and technology he had gained out in space. They touched on this way back in A Human Reaction, but it was deliberately exaggerated and I rightfully never believed it was a realistic portrayal of what would really happen.

This time though it's real. No illusions, no smoke and mirrors, real. I loved John's disbelief at the end of the episode. Even though there's absolutely no reason to think any of this is a fake this time, John doesn't buy it. He thinks it it just has to be a fake. He's become paranoid. And can you blame him? I certainly can't. The best part about all this for me is this is all happening in the middle of a season. They didn't even save this big moment for some big finale. If the follow-through of this plot arc is as bold as the setup, we've got the makings for perhaps the best storytelling ever depicted on Farscape.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-07-26 at 1:36pm:
    Quite an effective episode. I once read on a forum that Farscape has amazing stingers-great revelations and events on which to end episodes. "Kansas" has one of the best of the series.

    The Moyans on Earth thread was mostly played to perfection, and the story was quite strong. However, what was with Mulder and Scully in 1985, though? :-)
  • From Hugo on 2016-09-09 at 1:00am:
    Sorry, not too impressed, found it mostly boring and dull - and this has been done many times on Star Trek and also e.g. Back to the Future. The whole setup is not very impressive - and the plot mostly so-so.

    Thumbs down. Next ep is AMAZING though!
  • From Margaret J on 2019-08-03 at 8:24pm:
    A mixed bag. I liked seeing the Moya crew on earth and having it be halloween was a great idea but it was played like a comedy and the stuff on Moya very serious and kinda dark every time it switched it was jarring and ruined my immersion. Loved the ending. Rated this an eight (8)

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Farscape - 4x13 - Terra Firma - Originally Aired: 2003-1-6

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.83

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 28 5 7 2 5 5 7 13 5 11 41

Synopsis
The crew returns to Moya - in orbit around modern-day Earth - to find Jack and a contingent of Earth dignitaries waiting for them. The aliens are introduced to an amazed and apprehensive public, but soon find life in the public eye difficult. As Crichton tries to readjust to life on Earth, his relationships become strained, especially with Aeryn. Meanwhile, a monstrous assassin sent by Grayza hunts for Crichton, and will stop at nothing to accomplish its mission. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- The plot plays it a bit fast and loose with the aliens being able to converse presumably in English with various human characters. The fact that they've been there for over a month before John arrives giving them all time to learn English helps, but that's still pushing it. Presumably some of the human characters took translator microbes? It would've been nice if the plot buttoned this up a bit.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Jack revealing that Sikozu made first contact with Earth, in English, when IASA detected Moya in orbit 42 days ago.
- John being reunited with his friends and family.
- Earth officials examining the technology John brought back.
- Aeryn regarding John's pet cat: "Does he talk?"
- Jack: "Every nation's demanding equal access to the aliens and all the information we get from them." John: "Of course they are. We're gonna give it to them." Jack: "I don't see why. Why should we give them access to technology they can use against us?" John: "Because it's the right thing to do. Wouldn't worry about it, dad. Subcommittee will tie it up for years and load it down with a ton of guidelines." Jack: "Now you're being naive, son. The best and safest thing to do is keep it to ourselves." John: "Space travel was your dream to unite mankind. When did that change?" Jack: "September the 11th."
- Grayza communicating with her agent aboard Moya.
- Aeryn taking Jack on a trip to Saturn in her prowler.
- The alien monster attacking John's friends.
- Scorpius revealing to Sikozu that he is planning to kamikaze the wormhole if Grayza locates it and comes through.
- Jack doing as John asks and inviting all nations to participate in the ongoing Farscape mission.
- The alien monster attacking John's family.
- D'Argo taking out the alien.
- Aeryn: "Merry frelling Christmas."
- Aeryn pressing Noranti on the drugs John's taking.
- John resolving to leave Earth again, to protect it from alien attacks.

My Review
The setup pays off perfectly. John returns to Earth and the political consequences are explored with sufficient depth and nuance to make the climax of this arc well worth the buildup. I loved the detail that the September 11th terrorist attacks changed John's dad in a fundamental way, making him less idealistic and more predisposed to hoard any and all information and technology John has brought back with him so as to protect the United States against its enemies.

John, on the other hand, both lacking the experience of having lived through the event and being the only human to have lived through his perhaps worse experiences on the other side of the galaxy possesses a much different perspective. From John's point of view, the enemies of America are the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans. It's obvious to John from the very first moment that what he brings Earth is terrors beyond their imagination and that the best way to protect America, along with the rest of Earth, is to "get the hell out of Dodge" and get Earth off the radar of the Peacekeepers and Scarrans as quickly as possible.

John's decision to leave is a fateful one. John's no longer a man running away from his enemies. He's a man with a greater purpose. The only way he'll ever be able to return home again is if he finds a way to end the conflict between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans, or at least end their lust over wormhole technology. John's immediate feelings over having to leave I'm sure are quite confused. The Peacekeepers killed off his best friend DK and DK's new wife. And his homecoming while not as absurd as A Human Reaction predicted was certainly bittersweet.

Meanwhile John's and Aeryn's confused relationship mirrors John's ambivalence regarding his homecoming. The two even after all this time still can't sort out their feelings for each other. But real progress has been made on both fronts. Aeryn's finally starting to understand why John acts the way he does by discovering his drug use and getting a grip on his cultural contexts first hand. As for John, his decision to leave Earth was the right call, even if it was a hard one. Both characters have begun a journey to regain their focuses on the things that matter to them most. An absolutely fantastic episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Ben on 2011-12-11 at 1:40pm:
    Why is the fan rating so low? This is one of the best episodes from season 4.
  • From Rob UK on 2015-01-27 at 11:57pm:
    Between Kansas and Terra Firma this is Farscape at it's finest, the human reaction is in my opinion highly accurate as we bicker between each other not knowing the bigger picture, that being we are ant's to the rest of the universe who are all wearing very big boots and they wouldn't even need to use more than a single ship to destroy our entire planet yet we squabble over the few trinkets presented by our visitors and hoard our little secrets like they are worth something in this bigger picture, Chianna said it perfectly talking with Dargo as they left the big wigs party about maybe the reason we haven't left our planet is we are too busy fighting each other.

    When we look at the non fiction of our world today, the racism, bigotry, religions and wars and the idiots we have running our countries, the frantic dog eat dog of capitalism, the consumer machine chewing us all up and turning us all on each other over meagre possessions, if a real force from outside this planet came with intentions to destroy us we wouldn't have a leg to stand on, we'd bicker and squabble over who does what and why hoarding our secret tech that needed shared to put up any sort of fight back, more than likely turn on each other and try and form some sort of collaboration with the attackers protecting the people of one nation in trade for the people of another, we'd do the job for them.

    Like John said to Dargo in apology for the way he'd been treat, "We don't like anybody" when i was a kid i used to think we were getting better as a people and slowly but surely evolving but i was sadly deluded by my desires from seeing the big picture.

    My apologies I am normally much more positive in my postings on this site
  • From Hugo on 2016-09-08 at 4:54pm:
    This is the very first episode this season that I feel really excited about - in comparison all the others were quite a yawnfest. A kick-ass view to end it with too, John marching on looking badass...

    One thing though - Braca with the device on his forehead, poor actor having to go through that.

    I think Kent McCord is doing a great job, and the chemistry between him and Browder is great - and Aeryn is great in this ep.

    Whoa! Loved most of it!

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The Peacekeeper Wars, Part I - Originally Aired: 2004-10-17

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.93

Rate movie?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 30 1 2 4 5 65 13 7 35 16 35

Synopsis
John Crichton, Earth astronaut, has spent the last four years lost in a far distant region of the galaxy. He has experienced many fantastic adventures, confronted countless amazing alien species - but nothing he has encountered has prepared him for the journey about to come. With Aeryn, his exotic alien love, about to give birth to their first child, Crichton finds himself in the middle of nothing less than a galactic war that threatens millions of innocent lives. Desperate that his child not be born into a world in the midst of an all-encompassing war, Crichton must put himself directly at the center of the conflict, and bring these two all-powerful, uncompromising combatants to peace. Somehow.

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- Scorpius' command carrier would not be visible from the surface like it was when John's and Aeryn's first attempt at a wedding was interrupted.

Factoids
- The Farscape series was canceled late in season four and unfortunately the producers were not able to wrap up the plot by the end of the season so it ended quite infuriatingly on Bad Timing's cliffhanger. The series was not wrapped up until over a year later with the broadcast of this film which was only greenlit in large part due to massive fan outrage at the abrupt cancellation of Farscape.
- Among the many unexplained visual and audio changes in the main characters since season four, the most remarkable is Pilot's voice. At times he sounds more like Crais than Pilot.
- Sandy Gore, who plays Muoma in this episode, also played Vreena in Prayer and We're So Screwed Part I: Fetal Attraction.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Peacekeeper and Scarran fleets going at it in the opening scenes.
- 3D swimming Rygel.
- The Scarrans declaring war on the Peacekeepers because of Scorpius' preemptive attack.
- Moya's crew reassembling John and Aeryn.
- Scorpius sensing that John Crichton is alive.
- John telling his story to the aliens who shot him to bits.
- Pregnant Grayza.
- Aeryn's baby accidentally being transferred into Rygel.
- Chiana regarding the locals: "So what's their problem then?" Stark: "Fear, abject fear." Noranti: "Of what?" Stark: "Their fear extends to the point of not talking about their fear."
- John's and Aeryn's wedding being interrupted by the arrival of a command carrier.
- Noranti realizing the aliens on the water planet are Eidolons.
- Scorpius confronting John and revealing that he is in communication with Harvey.
- John: "As long as there's a war on everyone's after me because I'm the winner take all weapon guy."
- Rygel receiving a message from his cousin who deposed him begging him to return to Hyneria to help him unite them against a Scarran attack on their territory.
- Rygel, pregnant with John's and Aeryn's child, performing a wedding ceremony aboard Moya for them only to see it interrupted again this time by an attack by mercenaries.
- Moya starbursting away from the mercenaries while being shot at.
- John stumbling on Jool on the Eidolon planet.
- Aeryn revealing that the baby will be fully gestated within a matter of days, due to the accelerated nature of Peacekeeper pregnancies.
- The Scarrans nuking the Eidolons' temple and Jool along with them.
- Moya attempting to starburst and the Scarrans disabling Moya.
- The head Eidolon priest revealing that his people originally created the Peacekeepers to compliment their mediation abilities and that the ancestors of the Peacekeepers were humans from tens of thousands of years ago taken from Earth.
- Ahkna firing on D'Argo's cloaked ship, destroying it.
- John taking Staleek to Einstein.
- Chiana and D'Argo directly exposed to space.
- The Eidolon priest beginning to tame the Scarran.
- Grayza assassinating the Peacekeeper chancellor.
- Jothee rescuing D'Argo and Chiana.
- Ahkna taking out the Eidolon priest.
- Rygel requiring an emergency transfer of the baby to Aeryn whilst the Scarrans start gassing their jail cell.

My Review
We couldn't get a season five, but we got the next best thing: season five compressed into a three hour, two part miniseries. In many respects the first half of the miniseries is the first eleven episodes of Farscape season five compressed into an hour and a half by cutting down on less-than-essential plot threads and excising the filler. You can almost see the points where roughly every ten minutes of this story constitutes enough plot to have filled an episode in a hypothetical expanded version of this story spread across half a season with some filler used to pad it out.

There are numerous signs that this story was originally intended to be spread out over a longer period of time, as there are enough events in a few days worth of story time here to fill up a whole year. Likewise, Aeryn's pregnancy has been accelerated into a few days as well. Imagine Rygel being pregnant with Aeryn's child for the first quarter of season five instead! In compressing so much material into such a short amount of screen time, we lose a lot of potential for texture, but at the same time we gain a great deal of intense pacing. They did leave some of the filler in though. That whole sidebar with the mercenaries attacking Moya struck me as a filler episode compressed into ten minutes.

Without a doubt the outbreak of war between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans couldn't have been depicted in a more suitably epic fashion. Fleets of command carriers and dreadnoughts going at it, internal political strife on both sides, and John and his friends caught in the middle. It's simply spectacular stuff. On top of that we finally have an answer as to why the Sebacean race looks exactly like humans: they are humans! Humans from tens of thousands of years ago taken from Earth and their genetics messed with by the Eidolons in order to create the original Peacekeeper army.

The Eidolons were surprisingly not as annoying as I had expected. Right when the scene where Staleek is being tamed by the head Eidolon priest was reaching its maximum levels of annoying absurdity, trusty old Ahkna comes in and takes the guy out. I let out a sigh of relief that such an incredibly intense war story wouldn't anticlimactically fizzle out due to some overwrought science fiction telepathic calming plot device. The only thing that bothered me about the Scarrans was there wasn't any mention of their ongoing quest to procure more Strelitzia flowers. You'd think that would have been brought up by now.

As for the Peacekeepers, I'm glad the plot was contorted in such a way that both Grayza and Scorpius control separate and distinct factions within the Peacekeeper army. Grayza assassinating the chancellor whilst being pregnant with his child was certainly a bold and sinister move. It's scary to think she might now ascend to ruling the entire Peacekeeper army. As for Scorpius, I enjoyed how he regarded the Eidolons. Yes, he considered them irrelevant just like the Scarrans did, but unlike the Scarrans, Scorpius has no desire to wipe them out. That makes old Scorpy boy more sympathetic in my book.

The cliffhanger was skillfully framed. While it's obvious the main cast isn't going to be killed off in the Scarran jail cell gas chamber, pairing their imminent deaths with Rygel's little medical emergency of needing to transfer the baby to Aeryn immediately was a nice touch. It ratchets up the suspense above the level of a simple cookie cutter cliffhanger. What seals the deal beyond all this is fantastic cameos like Jothee and Jool. Killing off Jool in this manner was a nice touch and really helped to set the stakes. Overall the first half of The Peacekeeper Wars is outstanding.

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The Peacekeeper Wars, Part II - Originally Aired: 2004-10-18

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.03

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Synopsis
John Crichton, Earth astronaut, has spent the last four years lost in a far distant region of the galaxy. He has experienced many fantastic adventures, confronted countless amazing alien species - but nothing he has encountered has prepared him for the journey about to come. With Aeryn, his exotic alien love, about to give birth to their first child, Crichton finds himself in the middle of nothing less than a galactic war that threatens millions of innocent lives. Desperate that his child not be born into a world in the midst of an all-encompassing war, Crichton must put himself directly at the center of the conflict, and bring these two all-powerful, uncompromising combatants to peace. Somehow.

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- Why hasn't Grayza had her baby yet? She was much further along before Aeryn even started showing. Not only that, but Aeryn said her pregnancy was taking forever because it's half human.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Sikozu combusting the gas and breaking them out of the jail cell.
- John transferring the pregnancy from Rygel to Aeryn in the middle of the gun fight.
- Grayza stalling the vice chancellor of the Peacekeepers so she can remain in command of her command carrier longer.
- John unlocking his knowledge of wormhole weapons to protect Aeryn and the baby.
- Moya starbursting into the middle of a Peacekeeper and Scarran crossfire.
- Moya crashing herself into the ocean and then taking on water on all tiers.
- John: "Stark! I know what you're feeling. You've got something in your head that everybody wants. Something that never should've been there in the first place."
- Chiana finally accepting D'Argo's offer to go to Hyneria together.
- The Scarrans attacking our heroes' position, taking out the diagnosan.
- Scorpius uncovering Sikozu as a Scarran spy.
- Aeryn demanding that Stark marry her and John while she's giving birth.
- Rygel giving back the ring John gave Aeryn.
- Aeryn giving birth to a baby boy in the midst of the battle.
- Jothee taking out the Scarrans with his ship.
- Aeryn taking out Ahkna.
- D'Argo sustaining a mortal wound and staying behind to cover everyone else's escape.
- Pilot revealing that he had the DRDs construct the wormhole weapon to John's specifications as he was swayed by John's argument after all.
- John to Scorpius: "You wanna see it? The thing you've been chasing my ass all over the universe for? Torturing me, my wife, my friends for? The wormhole weapon. You wanna see it?" Scorpius: "Yes." John: "Beg." Scorpius: "I beg you." John: "That's not good enough, say please." Scorpius: "Please." John: "Pretty please." Scorpius: "Pretty please." John: "With a cherry on top." Scorpius: "With a cherry on top."
- John unleashing the wormhole weapon against the two fleets.
- The wormhole weapon devastating both fleets and destroying the planet as well.
- John: "Wormhole weapons do not make peace. Wormhole weapons don't even make war. They make total destruction. Annihilation. Armageddon. People make peace."
- The wormhole weapon finally convincing Staleek and Grayza to make peace.
- Einstein stopping the wormhole weapon and taking John's knowledge of wormhole weapons away from him.
- The Peacekeepers and Scarrans signing a peace accord.
- Harvey dying in John's head because John's wormhole knowledge is gone.
- John and Aeryn naming their baby D'Argo Sun Crichton.
- John to his son, holding him up to the stars: "This is your playground."

My Review
This epic conclusion to Farscape has it all. Wormhole weapons, John's and Aeryn's baby is born, the dramatic death of a main character (D'Argo), and John's actions causing the Peacekeepers and Scarrans to make peace. This ending offers almost all the closure you could ask for with only a few minor gaps. From a hardcore fan's perspective, it certainly would have been nice to know a few important details. For instance, does John no longer have any knowledge of wormholes at all? We know his knowledge of wormhole weapons was purged, but along with that did he lose the ability to ever return to Earth?

And what will become of the Scarrans without their Strelitzia flowers? Will Rygel really be able to return to Hyneria and resume his role as dominar or will he, Chiana, and Jothee have to depose Rygel's cousin? Had Farscape been given a fifth season we probably could have gotten answers to these questions. But even without answers to these questions, Farscape's ending was easily satisfying enough to earn a perfect score across the board.

Farscape was a story that started out as an action adventure story about a man lost on the other side of the galaxy trying to get home but ended as a story that makes a profound statement about weapons of mass destruction. The philosophy of the show is that once weapons of mass destruction become suitably massive, they will destroy you right along with your enemy. Best not to open Pandora's Box as whatever sacrifices you need to make to have peace aren't worth mutual annihilation. The ending works well at a meta level as well. The characters on Farscape had to be shown the power of wormhole weapons before they could back down from their ambitions. They didn't have a Farscape TV series to watch to teach them that lesson. Will we, the real world humanity learn this lesson from simple fiction like Farscape?

There are many other details to love about the ending as well. Jothee's cameo continued to delight. There was a lovely scene where D'Argo made note of the fact that Jothee showed up just as he and Chiana were finally starting to trust each other again. Throughout the finale, both men understood where each other was coming from. Had D'Argo lived, I have no doubt the two would have reconciled their differences. Jothee proved himself not only in battle, but off the battlefield he proved himself a gentleman as well when D'Argo interacted with him.

Another nice touch was Stark having to be the sole bearer of the Eidolons' ancient mediation knowledge for a time. John's line to him saying that he knows how Stark felt referring to having knowledge in his head that everyone wants; knowledge that he never should have had in the first place is a nice bit of parallelism, as is the injury above John's left eyebrow. If you recall Infinite Possibilities, Part II: Icarus Abides, the John Crichton from that episode had an identical injury just prior to gaining the knowledge to build wormhole weapons.

In the end, Farscape leaves us with an incredibly satisfying ending that makes a profound statement on its way out while leaving the rich Farscape universe wide open for a sequel some day. I must say I would certainly relish the idea of another Farscape series focused around D'Argo Sun Crichton or a number of other surviving Farscape characters. I'd love to see what Earth does with their newfound advanced technology and knowledge of alien life and I'd love to see if the Peacekeeper / Scarran peace lasts. Indeed, Farscape is one of the richest settings ever crafted in science fiction. Bravo.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2010-08-01 at 4:05am:
    Congratulations on finishing your Farscape reviews. It has been a lot of fun following your reviews as I see the series a second time.

    The wormhole weapon scene is one of my three favorite Crichton scenes, and was a devastating climax to this excellent miniseries.

    So, what's next for the Kethinov reviews?
  • From Kethinov on 2010-08-01 at 5:14am:
    Thanks!

    Next I'll be going back through Star Trek in order of air date, starting of course with TOS. The Star Trek reviews will get Farscape's "filler quotient" system along with nicer screenshots and more commentary with deeper analysis in the reviews.

    As for new content, I'll be reviewing Caprica as it airs in 2011. I currently have no plans to do reviews for any other shows, though that could change in the future. Solid contenders for future reviews include HBO's Rome (would break my sci fi theme, but who cares, Rome is awesome), possibly some select feature films, and maybe even Babylon 5.

    But it could be many years before I get around to doing that. So for the foreseeable future all that's going to be here are reviews for Star Trek, BSG/Caprica, Farscape, and Firefly. Over the next year or so I'll be touching up and polishing all that review content as noted above. I'll also stay current with new releases in those franchises. (e.g. Star Trek XII and Caprica)

    Anyway thanks for reading. Love your comments.
  • From Ben on 2010-08-01 at 12:52pm:
    A great ending to a great show. As you said, the Peacekeeper Wars did a fantastic job of compressing a season's worth of material into three hours of stellar storytelling. The one thing that annoyed me is D'Argo's death, which seemed like to occur for no real reason other than to kill off an important character, and naming the son after him was too predictable and kind of corny. Still a phenomenal ending. I love how big of a role Stark got, too. Also, it was a real pleasure reading your reviews! Very well done!
  • From JL on 2018-02-04 at 4:45am:
    I was surprised how unceremoniously Jool and Sikozu (?) were disposed of. While I was never a big fan of either character, I felt that they were ultimately wasted. Also, in addition to the open questions you mentioned, Pilot, Moya and Noranti should have had a final scene, too. And I feel incredibly sorry for Chiana and D'Argo. I hate it when long stories kill off main characters in the last couple of minutes just for added drama or to prove there's no turning back now. Still, it was so much more gratifying to see D'Argo fighting for his friends than enduring the senseless deaths during Firefly's "Serenity".

    That having said, I loved the ending. It delivered a strong pacifist message to a dark military SF plot; and it was John with his wormhole knowledge who achieved that peace, not some aliens or fantasy gizmos introduced as a deus ex machina. The way the series managed to use John's knowledge for different plot lines and turn Scorpius from a villain into an ally (and even a sidekick in the guise of Harvey) is exceptional. Also, it was unusual for a SF series to put the heroes' relationship that much center stage. While seasons 3 and 4 sometimes made you believe the story was about everybody returning home, it closed on John and Aeryn building themselves a future "out there".

    Thanks for your great reviews! They were very helpful for revisiting the series and introducing someone new to the Uncharted Territories, while avoiding some of their more boring or sillier corners. All in all, I'm delighted to say Farscape is still a great series in 2018.
  • From Brian on 2019-11-06 at 3:29am:
    Thanks for your site! I'm doing a rewatch and your reviews are awesome. If you ever do more, please do Person of Interest.

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