|"Crackers Don't Matter"|
The crew goes crazy, and an alien who really wants a tan...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
Disturbing, hilarious, delirious and downright insane. That's the best way I can think of to describe "Crackers". It is a blast, and great fun at times, but definitely has a rather dark undercurrent. Still, what other show, not just sci-fi show, would have an episode with a plot that revolves around crackers? Well, the answer is there isn't one. Yet Farscape easily gets away with it, and this episode marks the beginning of a change over the season, as things really just get more and more mad as it continues.
So, the crew bring along Mr. "I need more light!" T'raltixx, in the hope that he may be able to make Moya untraceable, allowing them to get away from Scorpius once and for all. But why would he help them? Well, I can't even remember them mentioning that, so surely that would have been the first clue that something wasn't right. Plus of course, there was the way everyone seemed a bit too smiley in the teaser, and generally seemed a little bit weird. Which then developed into downright insanity by the end of the episode.
As mentioned, "Crackers Don't Matter" was made up of some funny scenes and some darker scenes. But we'll start with the funny ones, not least of which was Pilot's role throughout the episode. His funniest scene came when John was asking him if he had run the scan yet. As John continued to ask, instead of Pilot answering he threw a number of amusing lines at him, mainly concerning the deficiencies of humans. I'm not sure whether it was the excellent range of expressions used by the puppeteers, or just the different inflexions Lani Tupu used for the voice over, but this whole scene had me in fits of laughter. Also, the scene between Aeryn and Zhaan, over the wanted beacon was a blast, and I was cracking up when Zhaan said she was about to fight Aeryn. Aeryn's numerous retorts were also good.
Then there was the excellent scene between Aeryn, Chiana, John and D'Argo over whether or not there was a secret message on the wanted beacon, which ended in D'Argo giving John a punch in the face. Again, I found this extremely funny, particularly the witty comments everyone kept making, and of course Aeryn shouting at Chiana was hilarious! Plus there were the hilarious shootout scenes with Aeryn and John, again with added wit ("Next time you'll be a crouton, Crichton!" "You missed! Ha!"), and the "ice cream" scene, all of which really have to be seen to do them justice.
But the episode wasn't all fun, fun, fun. There were some disturbing moments, including D'Argo stuffing the crackers down Rygel's throat. At first I thought it was funny, but then when I saw the fear in Rygel's face I couldn't help but be a trifle scared for the little Hynerian's life. Also, the scene between John and Chiana was considerably dark and disturbing, hinting at some rather touchy themes that are not often addressed in science fiction, which perhaps made the scene a little scarier. I really felt for Chiana in that situation. But kudos to all involved, as they played the scene well.
The fight where John shot D'Argo, and the second fight between Aeryn and John were a little weird. Okay, so seeing Scorpius tell John to finish D'Argo wasn't that weird, but seeing him in a party shirt with margaritas was wacky, and the multiple head shots when John shot him was just bizarre! The images of Scorpius were pretty rammed down are throat, and it kind of leads you to believe that there's something more going on here. Although it could just be the pulsar, no-one else saw visions of anyone, so it was strange that John should see Scorpius, of all people. It wasn't just that he was seeing him either, it was their interactions, and Scorpy cheering him on that seemed to hint at more than a little madness.
The T'raltixx story was quite amusing, although it really served to set up the rest of the episode. But in an interesting resolution, John actually kills T'raltixx, in cold blood. This is something that John hasn't really been seen to do before, and could mark a turning point in his character. Since coming to the Uncharted Territories, he's always tried to keep his morals, but they seem to be flushed out of the window in this episode. However, the way they got to the resolution was again hilarious. John tying everyone up was a nice touch, and I couldn't help but laugh when he was shooting the crackers over everyone (yes, it was childish, but still funny!), and seeing him dressed up in that ridiculous superhero-like costume was a riot! Again it's something that most series wouldn't even try, let alone pull off, and yet Farscape manages both.
But when all was said and done, there's some serious emotional scarring going on. Whilst lucky Zhaan has forgotten it all, everyone else remembers all the nasty things they said and done, and although they apologise there's definitely still something bad in the air. Rygel can't yet accept D'Argo's apology, and he really was scared for his life, but even more scarred is John, who shot D'Argo, scared Chiana and exchanged insults (and gunfire) with Aeryn, and whilst he and Aeryn both apologised, you get the impression that there's a bit of a fracture left open there, which isn't surprising as they both really let it all go.
So "Crackers" is a blast; a fun romp with some serious dark overtones, and also it hints at some bigger things that are going to happen later on. The writing from Justin Monjo is once again spot on, and the acting was superb – the cast all looked like they were really enjoying playing the insane. There was some innovative direction too, with some very interesting shots and visuals used. Not only for enjoyment, but also as a hint of things to come, this episode should not be missed.
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?
Though at first it seems as though John seeing Scorpius is just a hallucination, it in fact marks the first appearance of the neural clone, implanted in John's head by Scorpius and a crucial part of the story as the season continues.
Although humans are the more deficient of all the species on Moya, it was only John who could see through the madness and realise what was happening.
The Hidden Memory
Out of Their Minds
Won't Get Fooled Again
There're just so many fantastic lines from this episode, so here are just a few:
John: "Zhaan, where are you?"
Zhaan: "I'm up in the maintenance bay John, about to have a fight with Aeryn."
Pilot: (about Zhaan) "She's a plant. Put her in the light, watch her smile."
Aeryn: "Next time you'll be a crouton, Crichton!"
Pilot: "Is something the matter Crichton?"
John: "It's that damn Peacekeeper bitch. She's barricaded herself in command; I think she's trying to take over the ship."
Scorpius: "Revenge is a dish best served cold, and you like revenge, don't you?"
John: "Shut up! I hate when villains quote Shakespeare!"
Scorpius: (about John aiming at D'Argo) "Go on John, do it! Then we can go to the beach... I know a place with naked Sebacean women and margarita shooters!"
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|Season 2, Episode 4 - "Crackers Don't Matter"|
|Writer: Justin Monjo|
Director: Ian Watson
|Production number: 10205|
First UK Transmission: 17th Jul 2000
First US Transmission: 7th Apr 2000
Wayne Pygram (Scorpius); Danny Adcock (T'raltixx)