Thursday, December 12, 2019

Villains and Something Else

Two very different and very good stories are woven together for a dark, excellent episode of Farscape. A heist gone wrong plot forces some of our heroes to work with Scorpius temporarily while, back on Moya, the rest of the crew find themselves having to make hard decisions about Talyn.

Season Three, Episode 19: I-Yensch, You-Yensch

From the beginning, Talyn's personality has been a source of worry. And it's a testament to the show how distinctly that personality comes across from a being with no voice or facial expressions. He exists like a loose hypothesis, provoking the viewer to project his or her own concepts of childhood development and parenthood on this hybrid between a gunship and a peaceful Leviathan. Is Talyn conflicted because of his hybrid nature? Is it because Crais (Lani Tupu) kidnapped him, depriving him of less stabilising influences? Now Crais is in a place to feel the burden of his own past decisions. He's horrified when Talyn opens fire on and destroys a ship of innocent civilians for no apparent reason.

I like how subdued Ben Browder and Claudia Black choose to play Crichton and Aeryn in this episode. There's no yelling at Crais or Talyn or Pilot (Lani Tupu), none of the usual bickering. You can see the weight of these terrible developments on them both in the form of a profound weariness. The only spark is when Crichton observes Aeryn is asking his opinion on something, signifying she has, indeed, accepted him as Crichton.

Meanwhile, Rygel (Jonathan Hardy) and D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe) are meeting with Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) at a diner to hammer out a deal to get Crichton aboard the Command Carrier when the three of them are attacked by none other than Ben Mendelsohn.

Yes, season three began with the villain from Mad Max: Fury Road and now we see the villain from Rogue One. He plays one of a pair of alien wolf brothers who were hired to burn down the diner for insurance fraud. Of course, Mendelsohn is good, managing to be a bit subtle behind the makeup and barking and his own drool. You can see him working out this strange situation he's stumbled on.

I also really like Rygel's role in this episode. I like when he's employed as a negotiator though he's really not great at it, taking every opportunity to insult the Peacekeepers. But he does so with a gentler tone of voice than usual.

. . .

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
Episode 22: Die Me, Dichotomy

Season Three:

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
Episode 10: Relativity
Episode 11: Incubator
Episode 12: Meltdown
Episode 13: Scratch 'n Sniff
Episode 14: Infinite Possibilities, Part I: Daedalus Demands
Episode 15: Infinite Possibilities, Part II: Icarus Abides
Episode 16: Revenging Angel
Episode 17: The Choice
Episode 18: Fractures

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