|"PK Tech Girl"|
John gets down and dirty, much to the chagrin of Aeryn, and Rygel confronts his demons...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
I've decided to open this review on a positive note: I really thought this episode was great. Giving us more insight into the Peacekeepers and their lives will always work for me; I just love knowing little things about the races that make up this wonderful world. But what really shone through was undoubtedly the character development we get during this outing. Plus there are a couple of distinct scenes with John and Aeryn where we just know there's more than meets the eye. But we'll get to that in a mo'. PK Tech Girl had a good story underlying it; the crew find a legendary PK ship dead in space, some want to leave when they see it, others want to check it out. They go aboard and find a tech on board. She has to decide whether to trust John and Aeryn or betray them. Plus there's an impending threat from the race of the week, and Rygel having to confront some demons.
The main theme of the episode was clearly the relationship triangle between Gilina, John and Aeryn. John, who has had little chance to snuggle up to a woman, has already said "it's been too long" with regards to women (well, he agreed with D'Argo in Back and Back...), and this is his chance. Much like he did with Aeryn in Premiere, he immediately identifies with Gilina, and I get the impression he would with virtually any Sebacean who's scared and clearly out of their league (and being a female helps). When Aeryn and D'Argo are ready to beat her, he jumps to her defence, the human desire to talk before you shoot shining through. He again jumps to her defence during Aeryn's interrogation. She recognises his compassion, and through their work they become close, and share a kiss. But this being Farscape, it couldn't just be a kiss; Aeryn had to walk in on it. This brings to light something that has been hinted at previously; she admits she was initially attracted to John (she says she found him "interesting", but we know what she really means...). John was also clearly attracted to her at first, but presumably had given up on any hope he had of getting with her. Now though, she makes this revelation and so the possibility is there once again.
Though everyone is appreciative of Gilina's work, apparently she's only won the trust of John, or at least we thought, until Aeryn defends her to Zhaan and D'Argo. At first she thought Gilina would betray them whenever she got the chance, but she learned to trust her and in the end sticks up for her – a nice development of Aeryn's character. One of the best scenes of the episode comes when Aeryn and Gilina exchange "goodbyes". She tells Gilina to expect many questions from Crais, and Gilina re-affirms that she will lie to him. In a great moment of reflection, Aeryn replies that she wishes she'd been so smart, and she is clearly missing her home. When Gilina offers her hand, and Aeryn accepts, her inner despair at the realisation that she will never be able to return home (since Gilina told her unit could only be reinstated upon her death) clearly hit her hard, and the scene was excellently portrayed by Claudia Black, who continues to show the many facets of Aeryn's character in new ways.
John and Gilina shared their touching goodbye, with John saying they'll meet again someday (and the do – in Nerve). But the final scene of the episode was the first true hint at the developing relationship and understanding between Aeryn and John. She tells him she hates to be ambushed, but she's not referring to the Sheyang like he first thinks, but rather the moment where she walked in on him and Gilina kissing. It had quite an affect on her, probably emphasising her feelings of loneliness from being away from Peacekeeper life. John says he understands and that it is okay to show pain, but for her people pain is a sign of weakness, and she tells him he should not presume to understand her. But on this occasion, he really does, and he portrays his feeling of loneliness at the prospect being away from his home for so long by telling her that what if he eventually did return but found his family dead. The story makes Aeryn realise that he does understand his situation, and despite certain differences in general they have both lost their homes and can't go back, and this is a common ground between the two characters. I see this as the first episode where their friendship really begins to develop, with the realisation that they are in the same situation and are quite alike.
Amongst all these character developments was the sub-plot of the imposing Sheyang threat. D'Argo and Zhaan worked together to hold them off just long enough for the others to active the defence screen. It was nice to see D'Argo forced to use his brains to get out of a situation, as opposed to the usual warrior guff. What I also liked was the way D'Argo and Zhaan both didn't trust Gilina, despite the fact that she helped them. The thing is, she's a Peacekeeper, which for long time prisoners is reason enough to not trust her. Ever. I just thought it was very true to their characters, since most shows would shy away and have everyone love her for being a great help, but that's not the way real life works.
The other key plot point in this episode was a hint at Rygel's past. We get our first glimpse of his first torturer – a man named Selto Durka. Even in the short glimpses we get of him here, he looks menacing enough, and the way Rygel has to confront him to try and put his mind at rest was a good development of his character, and attempt for him to bring closure to this part of his past. Of course, it doesn't really come until much, much later, but it's a start. I also thought it was fitting that our good old mum Zhaan was the one that convinced him to confront his fear. It's just another example of her mother-like role, which she naturally slips into whenever necessary.
The episode was visually interesting, with the Sheyangs an interesting and possibly formidable threat. Also, the writing and directing was spot on, and the episode kept going at a nice pace. The action moments were good, but it was really the character moments that shone through, not just with the whole triangle being played out, but also more subtle developments, like Rygel's attempt at closure. This was definitely a very good episode, and quite probably the best of the first seven, and it just gets better from here.
I love to hear your views, whether you agree or disagree, so feel free to e-mail me your feedback. Review by Dani Moure.
Did You Know?
PK Tech Girl was actually the first ever episode of Farscape aired in the world: it aired as a special preview to the upcoming series on SciFi Channel's sister channel USA Network four days before the Premiere episode aired on SciFi.
This was the first episode of Farscape shot as a single episode (the previous six were shot in three back-to-back blocks); perhaps the reason why this episode shows quite a bit of improvement over the past episodes since all attentions were on this one show during filming.
In the original script for PK Tech Girl, Gilina was to be killed off at the end of the episode, but when executive producer David Kemper saw Alyssa-Jane Cook, he had the script re-written, figuring they'd have a two-parter later and kill her off in that!
A Sheyang can actually be spotted in Premiere, speaking to Zhaan in the background whilst the crew are down on the commerce planet.
The Hidden Memory
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 2: With Friends Like These...
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 3: Plan B
D'Argo: "This ship is legendary, even in my culture. It was thought invincible."
John: "Yeah, well, just ask Leonardo DiCaprio – even the big ones go down."
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