Thursday, February 20, 2020

Little 'Scape

Farscape has its inevitable shrink ray episode, and that's always fun (or almost always), but it turns out to be a minor element in an episode that focuses more on the season's overarching plot.

Season Four, Episode Eight: I Shrink, Therefore I Am

In an amusing cold open, Crichton (Ben Browder) and Noranti (Melissa Jaffer) are heading back to Moya after a supply run. Crichton is tipped off by Pilot (Lani Tupu) that the ship has been taken over by mercenaries when Pilot tells him everyone else is too busy to talk--that Aeryn (Claudia Black) is writing poetry and Rygel (Jonathan Hardy) isn't hungry for dinner which Chiana (Gigi Edgley) and Sikozu (Raelee Hill) are cooking together.

Sikozu has the cutest glare. Naturally, the two are actually getting on each other's nerves, tied up together. When Crichton finally does get aboard (leaving Noranti floating in space in a trance) he has to hide in the air ducts and team up with Scorpius (Wayne Pygram).

Crichton and Scorpius feels a little like Crichton and Harvey though Scorpius refrains from making any pop culture references. Crichton seems to enjoy teasing him, to the point of giving him an unloaded gun in a dangerous situation.

This episode features the first appearance of a "ruling class" Scarran (Duncan Young) who shows an ability to read minds, finding Crichton's location by reading Rygel's thoughts. He doesn't even have to use a heat ray.

Mostly the shrink ray is just a convenient way for the bandits to tote their captives around. The end of the episode features a very brief, amusing moment with tiny Aeryn riding a DRD and the final fight between Crichton and the Scarran involves them alternately shrinking and enlarging, which is still fun to watch even after having seen the Ant-Man movies.

At this point, "John Quixote" is still the most interesting episode of Season Four, with several episodes like this that seem to focus more on action and plots. I was never a fan of Aeryn's pregnancy and thought it generally didn't drive the story as well as the complicated, stranger motivations from the first three seasons. But there are still some very good episodes left to go.

. . .

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
Episode 19: I-Yensch, You-Yensch
Episode 20: Into the Lion's Den, Part I: Lambs to the Slaughter
Episode 21: Into the Lion's Den, Part II: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Episode 22: A Dog with Two Bones

Season Four

Episode 1: Crichton Kicks
Episode 2: What was Lost, Part I: Sacrifice
Episode 3: What was Lost, Part II: Resurrection
Episode 4: Lava's a Many Splendoured Thing
Episode 5: Promises
Episode 6: Natural Election
Episode 7: John Quixote

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