|"Mind the Baby"|
Aeryn managed to save D'Argo and John, but not without having to make a deal with the devil...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
So then, here we are with season two's premiere, "Mind the Baby", in which some dangling plot threads were finally revealed. But was the episode any good? Well, that's actually a fairly difficult question. It was very, very good, and probably could have been great, and I mean really great, had it not seemed quite so choppy. All the hanging threads are resolved from last season, which is nice, since they're not exactly the obvious choices, and a lot of new opportunities open up as the characters make some mind-numbingly difficult decisions. But after watching this episode a few times, it was the choppiness that got in the way of this being a real epic.
So, the episode begins by showing us that Moya and (part) crew still haven't got Aeryn, D'Argo and John back having left them behind during the events of the season one finale. However, Aeryn did manage to rescue John and D'Argo from space. But, it's of course not all that simple. To help John and D'Argo survive, Aeryn had to make a deal with Crais, who's still aboard Talyn. With Scorpius nearby, all was not well.
The cliff-hanger (did John and D'Argo survive or not?) is resolved in a matter of minutes, before even the opening credits have rolled. At first it seems somewhat disappointing, but then Farscape's never been a show to hang around with these unresolved plot threads, and when you sit down and think about it when the episodes been and gone, it was really about moving on and taking season two in a whole new direction. Besides, we all knew that John and D'Argo wouldn't be dead, after all, this is John's show, and it wouldn't be Farscape without him.
The opening scenes with D'Argo and John were really nice ("Am I dead?"), and it was interesting to watch them pass the time, by John teaching D'Argo to play rock, paper, scissors. They have grown a lot and are now clearly great friends, so scenes like these are rewarding to the long-time viewers who have watched their friendship develop. It's interesting to note how they agree a lot of the time now, something which didn't happen in the early part of season one.
From the start of the episode, Aeryn's acting all shady. It's very interesting to watch her interact with Crais, with whom she made the deal, and to try and hide it from John and D'Argo. She doesn’t do a good job, and almost immediately John notices and she explains that Crais helped her save him and D'Argo so she's helping teach Talyn to obey Crais' orders. It was obviously a tough decision, and it's also one that John and D'Argo disagree with, so they knock Aeryn unconscious and John decides to go and take on Crais. It's interesting that Aeryn has retained an element of trust in Crais, even after all this time and him having turned on her. John and D'Argo seemingly see through him, or at least know there must be a few ulterior motives behind his actions, but still Aeryn, despite saying she had no choice, must have felt she could trust Crais on some level.
The plot thickens when we find that Crais is communicating with Scorpius. But what at first seems to be him betraying the others actually turns out to be him betraying Scorpius, as he attempts to use Scorpius' words to turn Talyn against the Peacekeepers so he can have him all to himself. Apparently he's all for re-evaluating his path, and wants to take Talyn deeper into the Uncharted Territories. Crais has been on quite a journey since the beginning of the series, and although he still retains his deceptiveness, he does appear to have gotten over (or at least moved on from) his brother's death, and wants to find a new goal. He probably wouldn't mind a bit of revenge on Scorpius, either. The thing is, he doesn't seem to want to kill John anymore, whereas John clearly hasn't forgiven him. It's a bit of role-reversal for the two characters.
Also interesting is that Zhaan has chosen to once again take the journey to becoming a priest. Whilst it appears to make her mad, she has by the end of the episode decided to take it slowly so that she can still help the others. It seemed to have been triggered by the apparent loss of Aeryn, John and D'Argo, but possibly also by the trial that Chiana mentioned. Rygel and Chiana's reactions at seeing the others again were suitably touching though. Our little Dominar, who usually can handle any situation, seizes up through the emotion of seeing them again! It's a nice moment, as it is when Chiana first sees John and she leaps into his arms (even if it did look rather unrealistic).
But the fate of Talyn was one of the major points of the episode. He wants to find his mother, but is so confused by all the things that everyone's been saying to him, and also by the imminent approach of Scorpius, that when the others have Crais locked up he actually opens fire on Moya demanding him back, as he feels he can trust him. Of course, Aeryn and Crais had agreed to share command of Talyn, so she decides to go with him. It's interesting to find out that Crais has actually already offered her the chance to go with him. He seems to have some underlying feelings for her, and there's more than a little tension between them Anyhow, when they get to Talyn, he offers the Hand of Friendship (which by the way looked extremely tacky). He has to choose, and he chooses Crais. With a neural link to Talyn's systems, Crais decides that they don't need Aeryn, and after kicking her off they starburst away. The closing scene on Moya with john and Aeryn in Pilot's den was really nice, and shows how much Aeryn actually cared for Talyn, which was nice. She also says that she believes Crais has changed, although John still doesn't, which is fitting given everything Crais has done to him.
There were plenty of other aspects to enjoy, not least of which being the impending threat of Scorpius. He wants the wormhole technology now more than ever, and probably will stop at nothing to get it. The production values of this episode seemed to have improved over the first season, and what a nice tan D'Argo's got. Maybe that's a side effect of Luxans being in a vacuum! Also we have a new, upgraded version of Rygel and Pilot. This episode definitely had it's emotional moments, although they didn't have the impact of, say Family Ties. Also, lots of new choices were made, and a new direction has emerged, the foundations of which were set in the final four of season one, that is that Scorpius is now John's hunter, so to speak. So "Mind the Baby" did well in setting up the theme for the new season, and resolving the plot threads from the last. My biggest complaint is that it was a little choppy, but nonetheless the episode stands up well as a season premiere, and so whilst not outstanding, it does manage to be good enough to get a four.
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?
When Talyn extends the Hand of Friendship, you can actually see the hand of the person holding it for a brief moment! This apparent lapse in production has been removed for the repeats and video versions though, so you'll only see it if you've got the original broadcast version.
This episode was originally scheduled to be the second episode of the season. An episode called "Re: Union" was supposed to be the premiere, however it was felt to be too weak and has been reworked as Dream a Little Dream for later in the season. It's this episode that contains the Zhaan's trial that Chiana mentions.
Scorpius has pretty much confirmed that he wants the wormhole technology in John's mind as badly as ever, and will hunt John down until he gets it.
Zhaan finally embarks on the journey to become a Pa'u again, something that she gave up in season one's Rhapsody in Blue.
PK Tech Girl
Rhapsody in Blue
The Hidden Memory
D'Argo: "Again I win!"
John: "No I win – paper wraps rock."
D'Argo: "No, paper cannot possibly beat rock."
John: "It does – paper beats rock."
D'Argo: "Rock rips through paper."
John: "Look D'Argo, that's not how it works. Paper beats rock."
D'Argo: "But that's unrealistic."
John: "Well it's the rules, and it's not supposed to be realistic, it's supposed to be entertaining."
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