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"Family Ties"
Side-switching, betrayal, friendship, evil, tears and getting lost in space make up the first season finale...

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

WOW! We wanted a great, big whopping season finale, and we got one! I really do think this was just a beautiful episode. It defied the tradition of most season finales, in that the writers (Exec. Producer David Kemper and Creator Rockne O'Bannon) chose the main theme of character moments and interaction, over the some-what-traditional all-out action. Sure, it had one of the most kick-ass final 10 minutes I've ever seen, but before that it was just wonderful characterisation.

We started with the defection of Rygel. Did we ever doubt he'd eventually try and sell everyone out to save his ass? Not on your life, he's so scheming and devious, it was the right way to go for his character. I must mention that I long ago stopped thinking of him as a puppet, he's been superbly written throughout the season, as a real alien as opposed to a puppet extra. Anyhow, he went to Scorpius and Crais to bargain, but unsurprisingly it all went a little wrong for our favourite Dominar, and he ended up bringing Crais back with him for asylum! That was a great little twist, with Scorpy knowing his secrets, Crais was desperate and being the man that he is, like he said, he just wants to survive. But, of course, when the going gets tough, Crais runs and he ran off with the newly named offspring, Talyn. This could lead to some very interesting moments in season 2 – what will he do with Talyn? Will he be back? My gut thought (added with the fact I've seen the whole second season) – yes.

Over on Moya, and we had some truly wonderful scenes. Early on we had a lovely moment with D'Argo and Aeryn, summing up their relationship over the season in a few lines – they rely on each other, and respect each other. They're both warriors and so they trust each other, and we all remember though they banged heads early on, they also agreed on many occasions particularly as we progressed. The great thing about their, and everyone else's relationships, is that they're not forced in any way. We've seen the way the characters have grown towards each other, and as mentioned this episode brings about a nice moment in all of them.

Next we had Zhaan proclaiming that John and the rest of the crew were her family, and John reciprocates. Now I could just imagine this conversation between the two, and I could imagine that John is the only one to whom she would say such a thing. She thought it was all "coming to an end", and she wasn't wrong in many ways.

Pilot and Aeryn had a beautiful moment, when he rightfully reveals she is the closest person to him and the only one he trusts. After all, they shared DNA, and have had many moments together. She clearly has a special bond with him, and also has strong feelings for Moya and her son. The great thing about this scene was how real Pilot seems. Like Rygel, he has been given such an amazing range of emotions that he is so believable.

Chiana shares a goodbye with John, another emotionally driven moment. Chiana feels closest to him likely because not only was it he who saved her, but also because of their escapade onto the Gammak Base in Nerve. It was one of the many nice moments. Also a sweet moment was the dinner that she made, although it left me wondering why Crais was there. John wasn't, he preferred to record a message to his father. The direction of this scene was wonderful too, reminding us of all our great characters.

The big goodbye was great, seeing all the characters together was touching, and had some wonderful dialogue. "I hate this stuff," said D'Argo, "Chicks love it," replies John, doesn't that just some them up? Zhaan gives the spiritual send-off, typical of her to look to that side and give a blessing. John even asks Crais for some advice, and gets it! The moment they shared earlier in the cell was touching, and clearly something of a turning point in their relationship. One of the nicest moments had to be Aeryn and John, both saying they weren't going to say goodbye. Their relationship has often been based more on what they didn't say than what they did, so it was another fitting moment. The moment of revelation when Aeryn tells John about her mother was beautiful as well.

There were so many more wonderful character moments – John's plea to Moya, Rygel asking for forgiveness in a roundabout way and more – that I just can't talk about them all here. Suffice it to say that the script from Kemper and O'Bannon was wonderfully written and well acted.

The action aspect was catered for too, so we won't forget that. When they originally discussed the plan with Crais, I wondered how long it would be before someone mentioned Scorpy would only care if John were on the transport pod. So off go John and D'Argo, with Aeryn due to rescue them whilst floating in space! A suicidal plan in anyone's book, when you consider that there's a Peacekeeper Command Carrier and numerous prowlers very close by. The explosion, with John and D'Argo left in space, was just incredible to see. The visual aspects of this episode were in many ways subtle, but really kicked ass! The moon igniting behind our heroes, the Command Carrier with an array of prowlers, it all looked magnificent.

Couple the above with the awesome, and yet also subtle direction of Tony Tilse, all the character moments, the defections and plot twists, the good and evil at play, after Bone to be Wild Farscape is back to its best. Though there were a few gripes, such as just why, even though Luxans can survive for a quarter-arn in space anyway, D'Argo went without a spacesuit (unless they only had one) can be overlooked in my opinion. This episode was first about exploring the characters relationships with each other, then about providing the show with an amazing season one send-off, and it accomplished exactly that, with finesse. The visual provided to close the season – two of our crew in space – is quite the predicament, and should lead to a great conclusion and some amazing things in season two. To that end, I think we all know what the score is...




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
5
3 readers have rated "Family Ties" with an average score of 5. Click here to see what they had to say, and add your own review!
Did You Know?
Scorpius mentioned that the security officer assigned to M'Lee was missing, hinting that she had already started devouring the crew...

We heard the first alien speech in the show in the context of everything going on, Luxan and Delvian:

"...Ka dare-e sincono, apudax a-helio, frotar li pluro sincono." – a Delvian blessing performed by Zhaan; roughly "In the eyes of the Goddess, all are equal, all are worthy", and

"Tre bawk ru fishalto chenias prami bukeko!" (it doesn't sound like it, but it was written like that in the script!) – an insult at Rygel from D'Argo; something about his corpse and a bodily function,

We first heard the Aeryn, Rygel and D'Argo speak in their native tongues briefly in A Human Reaction.


Related Episodes
Nerve
The Hidden Memory
Bone to be Wild
Mind the Baby

Favourite Quote
John: "How you doing?"
D'Argo: "I have to pee!"


We have 92 images from Family Ties online.
To view the gallery click here.

Episode Credits
Season 1, Episode 22 - "Family Ties"
Writer: Rockne S. O'Bannon & David Kemper
Director: Tony Tilse
Production number: 10122
First UK Transmission: 5th Jun 2000
First US Transmission: 28th Jan 2000
Guest Stars:
Lani Tupu (Cpt. Bialar Crais); Wayne Pygram (Scorpius); David Franklin (Lt. Braca)
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