Monday, September 16, 2019

One Man's Hassled Brain

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):

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

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

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Methods for Evading Deaths, Green and Blue

I was in the mood for a Third Doctor story so this past week I watched The Green Death again. I think this Doctor Who serial might make interesting companion viewing to John Ford's 1941 film How Green Was My Valley which was also about Welsh coal miners. Ford didn't see fit to include giant space maggots, though.

I often think about how zombies seem to represent a repressed fear of or resentment for the homeless. There's something similarly evocative about unstoppable, repulsive maggots springing from the same terrible subterranean chambers where often politically inconvenient human beings toil their lives away. 1970s politics are very present in this serial which sees a group of environmentalist bohemian academics forming an unlikely and tenuous alliance with the coal miners.

There's something you wouldn't see to-day and it's obviously a bit of a strain even on the show. Such an alliance might represent a better future liberals, though. They're united against a conspicuous agent of globalism, a company called Global Chemicals, who are competing with the bohemian academics for a way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, only Global Chemicals is doing it with dangerous green sludge that produces massive, unbiodegradable waste.

Enter Jo Grant (Katy Manning), whose last serial this is, and the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney). The latter has an interesting dramatic placement here as a U.N. officer. He represents globalism, too, in another way, and is initially disposed to be an ally to Global Chemicals. But Jo is already smitten by Professor Jones, played by Manning's real life boyfriend at the time, Stewart Bevan. I wonder if his parents ever considered naming him Steven Bevan.

Jones is more or less the leader of the bohemian academics called the "Nuthutch" who are busy developing alternative fuels and meat substitutes. They're also all musicians and artists on the side and impress our heroes later with their taste in wine. They seem to represent a shorthand for a Beat ideal though the disconnect between academic elite and working class interests, apparently absent here, had been partially responsible for turning Jack Kerouac into a bitter old man.

But where's the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) for all this? Disappointed that Jo didn't want to join him on an alien adventure in the TARDIS, he goes off alone to a dangerous blue world to retrieve what he somewhat redundantly describes as a "blue sapphire".

He gets his olive jacket shredded for his trouble but I much prefer the outfit he's wearing when he does show up in Wales, a blue velvet coat with red piping, a blue ruffled shirt, and a red bow tie he wears under the collar.

The first thing he does, though, is to trade it for overalls to go down in the mine to rescue Jo, showing a willingness to get into the thick of things. Now there's an ideal for us all to aspire to--a man who recognises the value of aesthetic taste who also gets his hands dirty.

If I'm throwing any shade at Professor Jones it must be remembered this is the serial where Jo decides to trade her life with the Doctor for a life with the younger man--the man she directly describes to the Doctor as being like, "a younger you." I think there are a few fans who support the theory this may have played into the Doctor's subsequent regenerations being younger. But by the time the elderly Jo briefly reunites with a very young Eleventh Doctor on The Sarah Jane Adventures she still doesn't seem to regret going off and marrying the human. Maybe this played into the Doctor giving up on being a youngster for a bit and becoming Twelve.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Frustrated Spring

A young social worker finds it's not so easy to reform a handsome young delinquent in 1958's The Boy Who Came Back (踏みはずした春 "Stepped On Spring"). All the love and encouragement she shows to him have little effect when he feels devalued by the culture at large. This early work by Seijin Suzuki is a sweet and effective teen issue melodrama.

Of course, it's not simply altruism or devotion to duty that ultimately compels Keiko (Sachiko Hidari) to stand by Nobuo (Akira Kobayashi). When the staff at her organisation review an exchange diary she keeps with Nobuo, several men express disapproval for the affectionate language she uses. One of the older women explains, of course, it's natural for women to become more emotional than men when shepherding a youth like this but this is deemed even more reason to discourage the level of Keiko's dedication.

It's hard to see how Nobuo could ever be reformed. We watch as he tries to look for work and each potential employer turns him away for having no experience or a bad reputation or both. The one employer who seems willing, thanks to a connexion through Keiko, Nobuo walks out on when one of the employees smirks at him. How can Nobuo go from a position of relative respect as a proto-yakuza to the repetitive humiliation of the legitimate workforce? Maybe a mature, emotionally stable youth could get past it but Nobuo's life has made him fragile and confused, desperate for clear situations and roles.

Even so, when his old friends try to re-enlist him into the petty gangster lifestyle, he refuses them and reminds them they all agreed to go straight. It soon becomes clear only Nobuo was sincere in his intentions on this point. Meanwhile, Keiko tries to talk the more respectable of Nobuo's girlfriends, Kazue (Ruriko Asaoka), into going back with him.

Kazue works with schoolchildren and seems to have a similar, dedicated caretaker personality to Keiko's. But Kazue's affections haven't been tested the way Keiko's have. We never see Nobuo hit Kazue as we see he hits Keiko now and then. He just stays away from Kazue, apparently because another boy kissed her.

Whether or not Keiko should give up on Nobuo for the way he treats her is a question complicated by the fact that she's the only one who seems to have any real interest in his reform. But when her colleagues and even the police start to see her as crazy as Nobuo, one might justly ask if her quest is quixotic.

The plot takes some improbable turns in its final act but Suzuki's compositions and the raw performances of the actors make the film consistently captivating. The Boy Who Came Back is available on Amazon Prime.

Twitter Sonnet #1277

Ephem'ral pins'll drop the notice pad.
Another night devolves to flickered screens.
Assorted eyes can drive Medusa mad.
In numbered rows we count the watching beans.
Insistent pages press the inky truth.
Ideas regressed to pulp adorn the shelf.
A grinning plastic sleeps within the booth.
A tiny shell could sate the hungry elf.
The better line conformed to make a jaw.
On rested chin the pout implies a note.
Ascending pants the cat deploys a claw.
In scratchy words the sleeping writer wrote.
Behind a rock the beach awaits address.
Diverted days consume a pleated dress.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Gifts Met with Suspicion

When you go to see a movie or view a work of art, do you want an emotional, transportive experience or an autopsy? Ingmar Bergman's 1958 film The Magician presents the tragedy of the cynical, analytical critic and the difficult line trod by the artist in creating an impression of wonder while being subject to human infirmity. Few works of fiction so brilliantly capture the sad relationship between these two people.

This is an ensemble film featuring a small travelling magic troupe in the mid-19th century being interrogated in the home of a village consul, Egerman (Erland Josephson). The cast includes various troupe members, the local intellectuals analysing them, and the servants who carry on their lives of toil, broken up by sexual play. But primarily the story is of a contest between the Magician, Vogler (Max von Sydow), and the Minister of Health, Vergerus (Gunnar Bjornstrand).

When Vergerus examines Vogler, he announces that he can find no physical reason to account for the claim that Vogler is mute, and a look of anguished disappointment passes over Vogler's face. It's not simply the disappointment of a ruse seen through but the disappointment in perceiving Vergerus' motives. When Vergerus sits down to challenge Vogler's talent for mesmerism, the Minister of Health finds himself rambling about his desire to dissect Vogler and analyse the parts of his brain.

Despite this, Vergerus sarcastically announces Vogler's attempt to mesmerise him was a failure. The consul's wife, Ottilia (Gertrud Fridh) indignantly asks how Vergerus could say Volger failed when Vergerus had plainly experienced profound emotion. This makes Vergerus dig his heels in even further and claim any emotion she perceived may have been his disappointment in not feeling anything. Vergerus is very clever but unfortunately he uses that cleverness to evade an honest contemplation of his own reactions. It's terrible what the officials put Vogler through but at times I found myself pitying Vergerus even more.

I found myself thinking of Sullivan's Travels when the coachman (Lars Ekborg) and the housemaid (Bibi Andersson) use a love potion given them by a witch travelling with the troupe (Naima Wifstrand) as an excuse to sleep together. "She's normally so reserved!" remarks another servant about Andersson's character. One senses the two sexual partners may on some level realise the love potion is a fake but, on the other hand, maybe it isn't since it accomplishes exactly what a love potion is meant to do.

The final act of the film is a pretty effective horror sequence in which Vergerus gets his wish to perform an autopsy on Vogler. But even when an eyeball mysteriously turns up in his inkpot he's unwilling to admit the value of his own emotional reactions to the experience. Again and again, Vergerus claims triumph and, again and again, we see Vogler is genuinely effective. I won't say Vogler triumphs because the contest exists primarily in Vergerus' mind. Vogler isn't really trying to prove his powers but to engage in a reciprocal experience, to create something for his audience. The distrust of the critics, the inability to be vulnerable to experience, results in the talented Vogler being nearly reduced to beggar or criminal. But the reality of his talent means that his fortunes can also reverse at any time provided he has the right audience.

The Magician is available on The Criterion Channel.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Frau Blucher and the Shadow Depository

New plan, basically like the old plan--the motley of Farscape season one aliens gathered in the second part of "Liars, Guns, and Money" are still going to infiltrate the shadow depository. But now, instead of rescuing Jothee, it's Crichton everyone's making the effort for.

Season 2, Episode 21: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part III: Plan B

Now that the currency is gone up in flames, Crichton (Ben Browder) figured the only way to get Jothee (Matt Newton) out of Scorpius' (Wayne Pygram) clutches is to accept the deal and turn himself in. And maybe even death seems better than living under the control of Scorpius' neural chip.

Now we're at the point where none of Moya's crew questions the need to rescue Crichton. D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe) feels particularly indebted but surprisingly this the first point on which Jothee defies his father--he refuses to get caught up in his father's fight. D'Argo finally asks Jothee how he became disfigured--how distinctive Luxan facial features including the nose hood and one of his head tentrals (tenkas) were removed clumsily enough to leave scars.

He doesn't answer except to cryptically blame D'Argo. One senses this wayward kid has a lot of reasons not to whole-heartedly trust any family, blood or otherwise, something that may make him a natural friend for Chiana (Gigi Edgley) later on.

Crichton chained up by Scorpius and Natira (Claudia Karvan) doesn't stop making references to Young Frankenstein, however much he despairs. And Browder's performance emphatically conveys a man at his wit's and sanity's end. Even in the conclusion, when he decides to keep fighting after all, you can see he's being ripped apart inside.

Sadly, this is the last appearance of Natira. Actress Claudia Karvan is well known in Australia, so she probably had no shortage of job offers that didn't require four hours of prosthetics and makeup applied before dawn. But she's great here, waxing eloquent on her attraction to eyes in a manner bordering between sexual and gustatorial--apparently expressing both appetites as poor Rorf (Jeremy Sims) discovers.

Most of the other mercenaries fare little better but it is impressive how well writer Justin Monjo blends story threads for all of them. The most effective probably being the Sheyang, Teurac (Thomas Holesgrove), who needs Zhaan (Viriginia Hey) to inject him with a lethal substance to make his flame breath work when required.

And this episode features the timely return of Crais (Lani Tupu) with Talyn. In a scene where he and Aeryn (Claudia Black) tour the recent damage to Moya, he uncomfortably reminds her of her previous plea that Talyn be raised as a ship incapable of or slow to violence. This while she's asking him to help attack the Shadow Depository. "There's always a reason for violence," he says. It's hard to argue with him.

. . .

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

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 . . .

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Some Political Rambling

It seems like there are more people remembering 9/11 to-day, the 2001 terrorist attack, than most years. It could be my imagination. It's the 18 year anniversary so maybe people are becoming conscious of the fact that more and more young adults have no real memory of the attack, certainly no real memories of life in the U.S. before the attacks. In the years since, references to how the attacks changed the country and the world in terms of discourse and policy have been plentiful in media. Though for the more profound changes, it's hard to measure without having insight into an alternate dimension when the attacks didn't occur.

I still clearly remember the day. The most immediate effect of hearing about what was happening to the World Trade Centre was the feeling that it could happen anywhere else in the U.S. too, at least for me. I drove to the mall, my favourite refuge for all life's smaller catastrophes, and I read William S. Burroughs' Last Words in the food court before they finally closed the mall, an hour before the stores opened. It does seem strange that there hasn't been another such attack. U.S. retaliation was probably part of it but mainly I suspect the whole experience made it clear how counterproductive it was for al-Qaeda. Not to say that al-Qaeda's ideology is flexible enough to budge on the issue. But I think most people instinctively realise that you can't build on destruction alone, however extreme said destruction is. I'm inclined not to think the Manson Family would've have expanded much after the murders.

Some would say Burroughs was clearly wrong now that we live in the world of strong man populists. Maybe Putin is like that. As far as Trump goes I'm in the camp that thinks he's mainly a façade. I don't think he's secretly brilliant, I think he's basically doing The Howard Stern Show, a kind of method comedy where he deliberately plays up foolishness in himself. A lot of commentators have called Trump a "Postmodern President" and I think that's dead accurate. I've heard it said that Islamic terrorists are often motivated to attack the west because of, essentially, postmodernism, an erosion of sincere belief and meaning. But on the other hand, I wonder if it really seems like there's any point in attacking something without substance. One argument against mounting an attack on terrorism was that you really couldn't identify a target in the way you could when fighting against a country. Is there really a physical target for the problem Trump represents? In any case, I think he perfectly represents what Burroughs was talking about in the above clip.

Twitter Sonnet #1276

A group of four ascend the carded hill.
About the hands, there works a comb of wind.
In creaky words there spoke an ancient mill.
In lingual strata hearts attempt to mend.
An oil placed the road beyond the ball.
A row of softened stones betray the path.
In running piles shades ascend the wall.
A crumpled foil feigns a sunny wrath.
Communities begin in buried eggs.
A peat combined with root and moss and grass.
The hardened mud encased the runner's legs.
The land became a green and fertile mass.
Another night replaced a semblance wrong.
To-morrow's dreams of sleep became the dawn.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Martial Arts Assist in the Strangest Ways

The Tokyo police are stumped by a string of murders. Fortunately, Sonny Chiba, carrying a live pig, arrives from Okinawa to help out in 1977's Doberman Cop (ドーベルマン刑事). This is a fast paced, brutal, and delightfully oddball film with well edited action sequences and a surprisingly haunting story.

The victims are women, always burned to death. Joji Kano (Chiba) arrives just in time to save a fifth victim, a singer named Miki Harukaze (Janet Hatta), by swinging into her apartment through the window while she's being held hostage. The media quickly dub him "Tarzan".

Except Kano doesn't think Miki is really Miki at all but a missing woman, Yuna, from his small rural hometown. But the city police have little patience for his use of superstitious technique--like his bag of cowries he likes to consult or references to dreams and the weather. And no one wants his pig though he kindly offers it to any potential friend. "It's food!" he explains.

Finally a stripper eagerly reaches out for the animal during her act. This incident somehow culminates with her apparently having sex with a restrained Kano onstage.

Though judging from his martial arts prowess elsewhere in the film, I'm pretty sure Kano could break free if he wanted to. Chiba, of course, is a legendary martial artist but the editing helps him a lot, too. In one particularly effective shot, he leaps from the fifth or sixth floor of a building then hops on a motorcycle to chase a suspect.

This is obviously done with editing but it's done at a pace that really makes you buy it.

It turns out Miki is mixed up with a yakuza manager (Hiroki Matsukata) and it's unclear if she has the freedom to break free or even acknowledge to Kano that she's the girl he's looking for. But the cowries say Yuna is still alive so Kano doesn't quit. He fights through a series of wonderfully stylish sequences with his feet, fists, and a magnum. Doberman Cop is available on Amazon Prime.

Monday, September 09, 2019

All the Aliens Together

A call back to some of the best makeup and puppet work from Farscape's first season happens when Crichton decides to assemble a team for another raid on the Shadow Depository, this time to rescue D'Argo's son.

Season 2, Episode 20: Liars, Guns, and Money part II: With Friends Like These . . .

The previous episode ended with the crew making off with a lot of loot, ready to bid at the slave auction where D'Argo's son is being held. But when they arrive, they find Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) has beat them to it. He offers a deal--Crichton (Ben Browder) for D'Argo's son, Jothee (Matt Newton).

After being introduced in the first season through flashback, and appearing in a couple more flashbacks and images, Jothee finally properly enters the story here. In the clutches of Scorpius and Natira (Claudia Karvan), he receives some verbal abuse from Braca (David Franklin), Scorpius' second in command, for being a half-breed. Scorpius overhears the remark and asks Braca if he has a problem with half-breeds--a good question, considering Scorpius is himself half Scarran and half Sebacean.

More precisely, as Natira puts it with a kind of sinister feigned innocence, Scorpius' Sebacean mother was raped by his Scarran father--she asks Jothee if that was the same in his case. There's an interesting powerplay behind the way racism is used in conversation here. First Braca reflexively attempts to intimidate Jothee with the typical Peacekeeper attitude about race, then Scorpius knocks Braca off-balance by rejecting the premise of his racism--this functions as a casual display of dominance for Scorpius. And then Natira, an alien herself, picks up on the subtext and makes it clear to Jothee that she'll buy into the idea of half-breeds being the inevitable product of rape by brutish aliens. It makes no sense which is also part of the intimidation tactic--Scorpius and Natira walk into the room and they immediately take control of all of the logic.

This is another episode written by Naren Shankar, whose previous episode, "The Way We Weren't", dealt heavily with indoctrinated Peacekeeper ideas of racial identity. Now he brings the idea to D'Argo and his family. Anthony Simcoe as D'Argo gives a surprisingly passionate performance in a scene where he tells Chiana (Gigi Edgley) how close he came to trading Crichton for Jothee. "Crichton is your friend," says Chiana. But Jothee, replies D'Argo, "is my blood. Why isn't that enough?"

This is a marker of how far the crew's relationships have evolved since the first season. In the beginning, most of the crew would probably have sold out any other member of the crew in an instant for the chance of being reunited with their family, home, or people. But the crew of Moya no longer operate on that level alone--they have become a family.

Meanwhile, the loot turns out to be an infestation of metal eating bugs, an inconvenience since Crichton, Aeryn (Claudia Black), Rygel (Jonathan Hardy), and D'Argo are each alone rounding up cohorts for a raid on the Shadow Depository and these mercenaries need to be paid somehow. Aeryn tracks down one of the more impressive aliens from season one, the fire-breathing Sheyang.

This all starts to come together into a nice Dirty Dozen/Ocean's 11 style plot. In the process, Rygel finally gets his revenge on Durka (David Wheeler). One needs to remember just how long Durka tortured Rygel--around a hundred cycles, if I remember right. It's a sudden and unexpected bit of catharsis for the little Dominar and, as we'll see later, he's happy to carry the memento.

. . .

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

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