|"Till the Blood Runs Clear"|
John tries to recreate a wormhole, but it goes wrong and the crew find themselves with a bounty on their heads, and D'Argo's rather mad...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
Well, it's another one of those review-opening stories. You see back in my pre-Farscape days, I was deprived of great science fiction that was currently in production. One day however, I was in a local shop and was looking through the video chart. I noticed two videos of "Farscape", which I had never heard of, and they were on special offer. I looked at the back and saw they were sci-fi, and then the name rang a bell. I went home and checked the TV listings, and lo-and-behold, Farscape was on that Saturday. And guess what, the episode just happened to be this one. It prompted me to buy the videos a few days later, and I've been hooked ever since.
The point of that story? Well, I suppose the only one would be that without me seeing this episode, I may have never watched Farscape and this site would not be here today. But I did and it is, and I remember my first impressions of the show were that the characters were definitely an intriguing bunch, with some puppets!, although it did seem a bit campy. To be honest, a few of the earlier episodes were, but I think the thing that prompted that reaction was partly the goggles, and the strange rock music (in sci-fi?). Nonetheless, the episode is fun and enjoyable.
So John wants to go home. We've known that from day one. But since they're in the vicinity of some gorgeous solar flares and he and Aeryn just happen to be out for a spin in Farscape 1, he tries to recreate the conditions that brought him to this part of the galaxy, and he does. Yes, he creates a wormhole! But it's unstable, and we thought he was so mesmerised he was going in, but at the last minute he decides not to. Aeryn's pissed that had it been stable he would have taken her in, with out even asking her or anything. Well, she's got a point. She doesn't know earth, so why would she want to come here? Especially considering her view of John as something of a primitive. Anyway, they have a plasma leak which prompts him to decide to land and get the module fixed by the rather amusing mechanic that is Furlow (she really did have some great lines, even if she did curse a lot).
Down on the planet, Aeryn and John meet two Vorcarian Blood Trackers, and for once in an alien situation what Aeryn does is irrelevant, because they were ready to kill her. Interestingly, and something that will probably affect Aeryn's view of John later, he has to think quickly and talk his way out of the situation. He manages to get it spot on (using the alpha-male characteristic of pack animals) and saves Aeryn. He also decides to go a bit out of his depth, saying that he's after the fugitives, since he knows that's what the Trackers want (and they've all just seen the wanted beacon). So he follows through with his plan nicely, saying he'll cut the Trackers in if they find the prisoners. In an amusing moment, John offers seventy-thirty, to which Rorf replies seventy-forty (?), and John retorts eight-forty (??).
An interesting twist was that Crais had a special message encoded in the beacon for Aeryn: he is offering her conditional amnesty if she basically turns everyone in. Whilst she does refuse, in a moment of anguish she reveals that it was nice for her to feel, just for a moment, as though she could go back to her old life. It was a sad moment, and the scene played well by Claudia Black once again, as we see on her face and in her eyes the clear pain it causes her to think that she will never return home.
Anyhow, John's plan is going fine until D'Argo comes down to the planet, and you know that spells trouble. He gets captured by the Trackers, which means John has to get him out of the situation. When Rorf cuts him, John has to cause D'Argo pain to heal his wound, because the blood is black and if it doesn't run free until it's clear he'll die. Later, D'Argo manages to escape, and when John comes back D'Argo attacks him! He seems to think (although he didn't think very hard) that John purposely caused him pain, so John has to explain that he did it to save him. This seems like another case of D'Argo not really assessing the situation: attack first and think later. But John manages to talk him round and they both end up admitting that they can be selfish, but John says he's childish and he's never gone up to D'Argo with a weapon. John says they'll never be friends, but at least they can have mutual respect and be allies, and they shake hands. Character moments such as these are just one of the main reasons we watch Farscape – to watch the relationships grow. Though they say they'll never be friends, it's clear that this is the first step towards friendship: they admit their faults and agree to be allies. I found it nice that a bit later D'Argo refused to leave without John, not abandoning an ally in battle. This shows that D'Argo is a man of his word. Their dynamic is a great one to watch over the opening episodes of this season, because whilst they often don't get on there's clearly a bond between the two.
A short mention must go to Zhaan, who certainly knows how to get aroused by some solar flares! Well, actually these moments are a big hint at a major revelation regarding Zhaan's character that comes later in the series. There's already been a few, and take this hint and piece together the puzzle and you just might guess it before you see it.
So, this episode was basically an action packed romp, and for that you cannot fault Tony Tilse's direction. I felt that at times it lacked a bit of substance, with regards to the story, but I think one of the main points for this episode, other than to add a bit of action sandwiched between a fair few drama eps, was to further the relationship between D'Argo and John, and it did that very well. Also, I liked that Aeryn again solved a problem with her head rather than her gun, and I thought Furlow was an amusing character. I couldn't help but wonder why Rygel only appeared in a couple of scenes, and the same with Pilot, but when I think about it I'd rather characters were mostly absent than just appearing as bit-parts, in an almost extra-like fashion as in some shows. Still, both Pilot and Rygel still have a lot of untapped potential. Till the Blood Runs Clear is all about enjoyment, and it's a good episode, mainly because it's some good clean fun.
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?
Zhaan enjoying the solar flares is a big hint about the true nature of her character, which is revealed in Bone to be Wild.
The episode was shot at Stockton Sands in Newcastle, near Sydney. The temperature was high during filming, which made the episode difficult to execute.
When tracking, it's the female Vorcarian that sniffs the scent of the prey.
A Human Reaction
Bone to be Wild
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 2: With Friends Like These...
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 3: Plan B
Rygel: "Uh, Zhaan, are you fully clothed?"
Zhaan: "I'm not wearing a scrap. I'm as nude as a new-born baby."
Rygel: "Then go away, and don't insult my eyes with your naked blue extremities."
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