Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Many Paths of the Wormhole

It turns out wormholes aren't just about crossing distance on Farscape but time and alternate timelines, as well. Crichton learns this essential lesson in an outstanding episode.

Season Four, Episode Eleven: Unrealised Reality

Engaged in the questionable exercise of floating, E.V.A., near a wormhole, Crichton (Ben Browder) gets sucked in after Pilot (Lani Tupu) mysteriously fails to deploy the docking web. Incidentally, I love that alternate term for a tractor beam. Docking web. It's very Farscape to reinterpret a familiar Sci-Fi concept as something gooey and organic.

John ends up in a mysterious realm, apparently on a little piece of ice on a vast, dark sea. With him is a being he calls "Einstein" (John Bach), one of the wormhole aliens, now gauging again if John is worthy of surviving with his wormhole knowledge. We, along with Crichton, are treated to disjointed, documentary style interview clips of people from his past.

In one series of clips, everyone will say something nice about Crichton, in another, they only have bad things to say, and in another, the same people can barely remember him. This culminates in Crichton experiencing alternate versions of his comrades in moments from past episodes.

Einstein informs him that these things aren't illusions but all complete realities which he might become a part of if he lingered long enough. In order to successfully escape the wormhole, he has to find the right place and the right time. So, within the story, the wormhole acts as an illustration of how reality might be reshaped by perspective. In reliving a moment from the first episode, John already knows who D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe) and Zhaan (Virginia Hey) are and it changes the nature of the encounter (despite old clips being used). The alternate presentation of opinions of Crichton would seem to indicate that he is a different person. But is he?

The creepiest alternate reality is a version of Earth, many years after a Scarran takeover. Ben Browder wears subtly Scarran-ish makeup and his father has been replaced by a slightly human looking Wayne Pygram, who normally plays Scorpius. The scene has a real Twilight Zone eeriness while at the same time kind of demonstrating Scorpius' point about the Scarrans.

. . .

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
Episode 8: I Shrink Therefore I Am
Episode 9: A Prefect Murder
Episode 10: Coup by Clam

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