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"Rhapsody in Blue"

Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.

Rhapsody in Blue was definitely Zhaan's time to shine. We finally get a glimpse into Delvian life, and suffice to say it's not the passive and kind life we expected. Weird things are happening to the crew because of Tahleen, the leader of the group hiding on the planetoid which the dubbed "the New Moon of Delvia", and Zhaan knows it straight away. She takes something of a journey back into her past, and as we've thought all along it's not rosy red kindness, but rather dark and brutal. Plus we get to find out Zhaan's secret: just why she was imprisoned in the first place. It's all a bit more juicier than your usual affair, but in this case it's good.

So the Delvians use their mental powers to influence the thoughts and dreams of the crew. John remembers his girlfriend, Alex, the night he was to propose. D'Argo remembers his wife the night before she was murdered, and Rygel remembers the last time he mated with one of his wives (yes wives, plural). The ladies say they didn't dream, although we later find out Zhaan did. If that's the case then Aeryn must have dreamt too, but of what? It's a little mysterious, to say the least. Heck, did Aeryn even have a lover to dream of? Alas, I digress. Zhaan, Aeryn and John take a trip down to the moon, where Tahleen reveals that she needs to join in unity with Zhaan, so that Zhaan can teach her how to control her dark impulses and stop the madness that Delvians succumb to if they cannot control it. Zhaan of course did manage to control the darkness or else she wouldn't be there now. Anyway, Zhaan realises that Tahleen isn't the nice person she acts like, since she's very deceptive and she and her people invade the crew's minds and can alter memories. This presents Zhaan with a difficult choice: should she join with Tahleen and risk her using the knowledge for evil, or should she not but risk the opportunity for Tahleen to free Delvia? She asks John for guidance, but first needs to show him what she did in the past and why Delvia is under control. Tahleen projects Zhaan's history into John's mind, and we see it. You see, Zhaan was in love with one of the spiritual counsellors, but he and other conservative Pa'us would not give up control of planet, so they hired the Peacekeepers for outside security, and Delvia has not been the same since. But Zhaan tried to stop this by killing her lover, and hence going over to the dark side, so to speak. That was why she was imprisoned, but it was in prison that she spent all her time fighting the madness and eventually found herself and became a Pa'u. Now this news inevitably shocks John, and me too, since she's been acting so righteous and passive all this time, yet she's a murderer. Her dark secret revealed, she asks Tuzak, an elder and the man that brought all the Delvians here, for further guidance, but he has succumbed to the madness. He still suggests that Zhaan partakes in unity, and so she does. But Tahleen shows her true colours, and rips what she wants, leaving Zhaan to go mad.

This was an interesting situation in which to see her: it was like going back and seeing what she was like before being a Pa'u. It wasn't so much evil as it was cruel intent, she seemed to enjoy causing others pain. John is the only one who can help her, but keeps getting distracted by his girlfriend Alex, who suddenly announces she's his wife and has been on Moya with him the whole time. Eventually though, Lorana, the Delvian who is changing his mind, reveals what she was doing since she sees how much he cares for Zhaan and everyone else aboard Moya, and she says she shares his feelings. It's nice to know what John really thinks of Zhaan, and we see more of it later, when he goes to her offering himself for unity. They join, and John sees her dark impulses, and sounds quite disturbed by them. But he manages to avoid them and shows her what he sees when he looks at her. It's this image that she ends up clinging on to, to learn the control again. She said before that she didn't have the strength to try again, but thanks to John she now does, such is the image of Zhaan he holds in his mind. He obviously sees her as a good, pure person, and that she can hold on to that to stop the madness insinuates how strong his feelings must be. But she is disconcerted, and before leaving they confront Tahleen, and Zhaan gives up her Pa'u vestments. John tells her not to give up, but she says she will be a Pa'u again one day, but not today. It seems rather sad that she's giving it up, because apart from the occasional bit of darkness she's generally been a good little priest. She obviously hates her dark impulses, or at the very least is scared of them and what she does when she's under their influence. But such is her guilt, I suppose, and she feels unworthy of being a Pa'u, at least until she feels she has repented inside. After all, her days as a Pa'u were the best days of her life.

One of the most interesting things about the episode was what we got to see with regards to "unity". It's a Delvian thing, where two people join minds, two spirits, and two souls. John describes it as "like 10 years of sex all at once", so it's also very pleasurable. Tahleen supports this theory when she calls Lorana "easy and pleasurable". But it is much more than just sex, it's much more spiritual than physical. The implications of Tahleen ripping those memories from Zhaan though are quite deep, since what she did is somewhat analogous to rape. She forced herself on Zhaan and took what she wanted, even when Zhaan says no. Tahleen is obviously not a nice woman (especially since she also killed her father). Also, I thought it was interesting that John forgot about what he saw in Zhaan's mind. Apparently, after unity the memories fade but the essence of the other's mind remains. So, it's not sex, it's more pleasurable and much more than that. I for one would love to experience it!

Whilst there wasn't much else going on in the episode, there were some interesting scenes with other crewmembers. John has a little go at Aeryn because she shows no reaction to the new and wonderful things she sees everyday. He seems to forget that some of it she has seen, and it's not part of her personality to be surprised or amazed. Also, the moments on Moya where Lorana was messing with Aeryn, Rygel and D'Argo's minds was hilarious. Aeryn forgot how to work everything, including her pulse rifle, D'Argo was looking for Jothee (again), and Rygel thought he had shrunk. All in all they were funny moments. It was interesting too that D'Argo was right to be suspicious of Delvian trickery.

So I thought this was a great episode. Although there was only really one story, it was well executed, and gave us a very interesting look into Delvian psychology and life. We got the dark look into Zhaan's past and found out what her crime was. The writing was fairly sharp, and the episode moved along at a nice pace with some mysteries gradually getting solved. It was pretty intense at times, and well played by all the key characters, so it gets a "thumbs up" from me.

I love to hear your views, whether you agree or disagree, so feel free to e-mail me your feedback. Review by Dani Moure.

Reader Reviews
Average Reader Score
3 readers have rated "Rhapsody in Blue" with an average score of 3.33. Click here to see what they had to say, and add your own review!
Did You Know?
We hear the shocking revelation as to why Zhaan was imprisoned: she murdered her lover, who was also one of the Delvian spiritual counsellors.

Delvia is now under the imposition of the Peacekeepers. The conservative Pa'us that refused to give up their control when the tenure was up brought the PKs in, and Delvia has never been the same since. The Peacekeepers refuse to give control up easily.

Originally, unity was going to be depicted prosthetically as the one hand inside the other, but that was dropped from the script. The special effects team then came up with what we see, the very effective shot of the two people going into each other, so to speak, when the join.

Related Episodes
That Old Black Magic
DNA Mad Scientist
Bone to be Wild

Favourite Quote
John: "I'm not a Peacekeeper."
Tuzak: "Yes you are. I am insane."
John: "Yeah, that would've been my next guess."

We have 84 images from Rhapsody in Blue online.
To view the gallery click here.

Episode Credits
Season 1, Episode 13 - "Rhapsody in Blue"
Story: David Kemper & Ro Hume
Teleplay: David Kemper
Director: Andrew Prowse
Production number: 10112
First UK Transmission: 13th Mar 2000
First US Transmission: 23rd Jul 1999
Guest Stars:
Kate Raison (Tahleen); Max Phipps (Tuzak); Michael Beckley (Hasko); Aaron Cash (Bitaal); Grant Magee (Jothee); Robert Supple (Young Crichton)
Darlene Vogel (Alex / Lorana)
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