Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
OK, first things first. I absolutely loved this episode. It was just wonderful, and the best episode of our favourite show so far this season. It had everything that it needed to be a great episode. Tension, action, drama, emotion, it had it all in spades.
We started with the decision to infiltrate the base, something which we immediately know is going to be the toughest thing that Crichton has done yet. The opening scenes with Aeryn and John are extremely touching, and provide more great tension between the two characters, the stuff that all the shippers love. It was intriguing that Chiana decided she wanted to accompany Crichton to the base. It shows a change coming forth in her character, perhaps a sign that she cares what happens to this crew.
It was an extremely tense moment (again, the first of many) when the two of them finally land and John was required to give security clearance, which worked using the ident chip. More tension came when John was forced to submit to genetic verification, and he actually passed. The next scene was great, with Chi acting like a real slut with all the men she could. She started with Lt. Heskon, then later moved on to Javio. She told John that she was doing this to draw attention away from him, which is quite an ingenious way of doing so, and it fits her character perfectly. In fact, the whole "Chi kicks ass" thing (I loved it when she torched Javio) going on in this episode was a nice progression of her character, as she got something major to do in the whole big scope of things (rescue Aeryn).
Another welcome part was the surprise return of Gilina, the PK Tech. The sexual tension going on with her and John makes for good viewing, as they have a nice dynamic. A nice twist was when she was wondering why John would rather save Aeryn than himself, she wondered if it was because he loves Aeryn, but Chiana shoots this down. It's and interesting way to make her focus on what she's doing, and I must say it's a very clever thing for Chi to have said.
Another welcome return in this episode was the welcoming back of Crais. He hasn't been prominently featured since That Old Black Magic, when he battled with John. It makes him just one of the many enemies featured in this episode. That Scorpius knows what has really happened to him during his quest for revenge (i.e. he's gone renegade from PK command), clearly makes for an interesting relationship between the two, since Scorpius has something to hold over his head should he demand that little too much.
Which leads me to my favourite thing about the episode, the introduction of new archenemy Scorpius. He is cold, calculating, and quite clearly evil. He has this whole presence which just makes him fearsome when he appears on screen. He intimidates everyone (whether he wants to or not), even Javio who's obviously worked with him for a while. The best thing about Scorpy, though, is that he's intelligent. Unlike Crais, for instance, Scorpius doesn't succumb to John's attempts to draw him in to a war of words. As he says, he learned the art of patience long ago. He is clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with in future episodes.
Scorpy's introduction also brings along the device known as the Aurora Chair. It's a very interesting piece of equipment, since it extracts memories. It clearly causes John great pain, and has driven Stark (another new character) mad. I thought a great twist was that John has what Scorpy wants - the wormhole technology - but he doesn't know that he has it himself, something which he also wants and needs to get back home. It was implanted in his subconscious by the Ancients in A Human Reaction, as they would not give it to him directly. It's a good twist that they didn't show the whole sequence we see from John's memory about this in that episode.
There were also some great touching moments with Aeryn and the others back on Moya. Especially nice was the interaction between Aeryn and D'Argo, the whole warrior respects warrior scenario. When he said he'd watch over Aeryn, it was a nice moment.
One other great thing about this episode was the visuals. The Gammak Base looks quite daunting - huge but dark and menacing (a bit like Scorpius). The sets were terrific, as were the costumes, and just about everything else visually. The direction was also superb, something we've come to expect from Rowan Woods.
So, the best episode yet and a definite sign of things to come. "Nerve" takes everything before it and turns the whole Farscape story on its head. It introduces a number of new and intriguing characters, brings some back, looks great, has some wonderful character interaction, it's well acted and a has a gripping and captivating story. The whole thing was more like watching the first half of a Farscape film than an episode on TV. They don't come much better than this, so it is fitting that "Nerve" becomes the first episode to get the maximum score.
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?
Scorpius was originally designed as a fully animatronic puppet, in the form of an insect-like creature.
In the original ideas for the series, creator Rockne O'Bannon had written Scorpius as a regular for the show, introduced in one of the first couple of episodes.
In the original script, Scorpius and Crichton had more conversation following John's attempt to provoke Scorpy the first time he's put in the chair. It reveals Scorpius is half Sebacean, half Scarran. His mother was part of Scarran breeding experiments when they invaded his home, the Motak Four colony. It's obvious why the next bit of dialogue was removed, as Scorpius reveals that he killed his father, and his entire race. He made Scarrans extinct with a deadly virus. This information preceded the line "I long ago learned the advantages of patience". Of course, the Scarrans are not extinct and do appear in season 2.
That Old Black Magic
A Human Reaction
A Bug's Life
The Hidden Memory
Chiana: "The more they look at me, the less they look at you."
Crichton: "Do you think that before they elect you centrefold of the year we could get on with the business of saving Aeryn?"
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