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Look at the Princess, Part 3:
"The Maltese Crichton"

Off with his head!...

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

So here we are, concluding the first Farscape trilogy, which can quite easily be considered a huge success. The meat of the story was interesting, the episodes littered with intriguing guest stars, and the relationships between the main characters (John and Aeryn, D'Argo and Chiana, Zhaan and Pilot and Moya, John and Scorpius) were perfectly portrayed and advanced extremely well. And at the core of "The Maltese Crichton", and indeed the previous two parts, that was the point to the story – advancing the relationships between the main characters. David Kemper and Andrew Prowse definitely deserve huge pats on the back for pulling this epic off, and of course we can't forget the rest of the cast and crew, who clearly put a lot of heart and soul into these episodes.

So John's a statue, supposedly for eighty cycles. Where do you go from there? Well, a not-so-obvious route would be to chop off his head, and that is surprisingly exactly what happens! Yes, somewhere in his mind David Kemper thought of John getting his head chopped off, and that's exactly what happened, and naturally it's at the hands of the Scarran and Prince Clavor. The race is then on to find John's head, which is actually floating in an acid pit. Interestingly, Scorpius is the one who saves him, but in an even more intriguing plot twist, Jenavian comes along, shoots Scorpius and takes John's head herself.

Jena then puts John back together, and takes him to a little hideout outside. Now, she clearly knew he wasn't a Peacekeeper, and being one herself, it does beg the question of why she would save him. What did she really want with him? Because what followed the revelations that John was not a Peacekeeper was something that would definitely put her in the class of "irreversibly contaminated"! Yes, despite Peacekeeper directives that they aren't to have any emotional attachments, which is the very reason why Aeryn is so distant and finds it hard to show John her true feelings, Jena certainly wastes no time in getting it on with John! The way I see it is she was intrigued by him, and he was in such a messed-up way emotionally (and wouldn't you be in the same position?), that he just let his manly instincts take over and off they went to skinny-dip... and more.

The main subplot, with Aeryn and Dregon exploring the Barren Lands, was extremely telling too. It had its funny moments (the accident, her having a go at him), but what came out of it was hugely beneficial to Aeryn's character. Dregon makes her realise that, no matter what she thinks, running away from John was not the answer, and that not telling him that she loves him could have been a huge mistake. As it turns out, she will now have that opportunity, but Dregon also makes her realise that she shouldn't take it for granted that he knows, she needs to tell him anyway, because he needs to hear those words. The reasons behind her running away were clear and fitting to her character, but this short journey with Dregon has at least taught her some key lessons about how to deal with an emotional relationship, and not to run away from things, and for that alone, this subplot was well worth exploring. I just loved the character development.

I also liked the solution to the Moya story. It turns out that the reason for Kahaynu's visit was actually to test whether or not Zhaan is a worthy protectorate of Moya and Pilot, because they are gentle beings who will do anything for the people aboard, and that power could be abused. Of course, Zhaan is worthy, and it should be interesting to see what story possibilities this brings up. This season in particular, we've seen that Zhaan has been particularly close to Pilot, and in a sense Moya too. One of the nicest things about this side-story was that Moya wanted to ask Zhaan one thing whilst she still could, and that was for Zhaan to sing. It was clear from early on in this story that Pilot and Moya found her singing soothing, and I found it a nice way to bring the story somewhat full-circle.

One of the more unlikely by-products of the main story was the uneasy alliance between D'Argo and Scorpius. I found the way the two actors played off each other very good to watch, and I thought the way the Scarran initially coming in desperate to find John's head very funny. The interaction between Scorpius and the Scarran was also in itself very telling, as their were clearly hidden threats in their words, and it's becoming clear that despite his Scarran heritage, his choice of becoming a Peacekeeper did not go down too well with the Scarrans, and the two races are of course both plotting against the other. It's snippets like these that help to build the overall universe of the show. It's also clear that Scarrans are even more ruthless than Peacekeepers, what with Cargn killing Clavor here.

Chiana's rescue was another great scene, and again gave us a lot to think about. It firstly reveals a potential weakness for Scorpius, and one that could definitely be used against him in the future. Apparently, whilst Sebaceans despise heat, Scarrans thrive in it, and because of his hybrid nature Scorpius' sides are don't know what to make of it, and he becomes extremely weakened when he is exposed to high temperatures. This also explains the cooling rod that is inserted into his head – it's to cool his brain directly and is also the source of his entire suit, which regulates his temperature. We also got a glimpse of just how hard to kill Scarrans are. It took John a number of shots to even phase Cargn, and even then John had to knock him into the acid to kill him. So it would appear that when the Scarrans are encountered again, they could cause many problems.

Then of course, perhaps the biggest question, and one which even D'Argo asks, is why did John not kill Scorpius. He had him there, head up near the acid, but then had a flash about Scorpius giving him something to remember him by, and so he said he is not Scorpius' enemy or friend, and walked off. Couple that with Scorpius earlier line (when he retrieved John's head from the acid) about sampling John's DNA while he was in the Aurora Chair (in "Nerve" and "The Hidden Memory"), and that it appeared that Scorpius knew that John wouldn't kill him, and you have clear hints at something more. It definitely seemed like Scorpius was testing John for something, as he just grinned and nonchalantly flicked the acid before leaving when John couldn't do it, so there's definitely more than meets the eye here. It definitely seems to be foreshadowing something much, much bigger (especially when you add in hints in past episodes about John acting a little crazy, seeing Scorpius in visions and so on).

The scene towards the end where John sees his daughter was just beautifully played, and thankfully not overdone, and had a real emotional impact on me. John's line to Tyno, "You take care of my daughter", was definitely a fitting way to part ways, and in the end like John said, apart from this one thing it was nice to see the good guys come out on top, and indeed get what they want, for once. John gets to go back to Aeryn, Katralla and Tyno get to be together. We also got another taste of John and D'Argo's close friendship, with D'Argo telling Chiana how he feels so bad that John will never get to see his daughter again, and that it hits close to home, since he may never see his son again. It was another nice way to round off that part of the story.

But of course, I have to mention the final scene. David Kemper has said that the entire trilogy was based around the first and last scene, and you cans see why. The final scene with John and Aeryn is just pure magic, the only scene between the two in the whole episode, and the sexual tension and chemistry between Ben Browder and Claudia Black simply has to be seen – this cannot just be "acted" folks, and it truly shows. It was just priceless, as without words, Aeryn gets up and offers John the compatibility test, which they then take, and after a very passionate kiss, Aeryn breaks away and leaves, but on her way out she grins and behind her back so does John. It's clear without words just what the result of the compatibility test really was, and like I say the scene, which could so easily have been awful, was in fact awesome and just a plain joy to behold. You must see this scene, because if nothing else it definitely advances the two characters and their relationship, and like I said earlier that's exactly what this trilogy was really about.

But while "The Maltese Crichton" did have a lot of good, there was still something missing that just stops it from getting a five in my book. It's hard to describe; whilst the scenes and story wrap-ups were very, very good, and the final scene was amazing, as a whole it didn't quite match the awesome feeling of part one. But although the final episode of the trilogy comes second overall in terms of goodness, as a whole the trilogy gets a big thumbs up from me. With some awesome writing, acting, character development, special effects, music, and a whole lot more, these three episodes can only be considered a success. They not only hint at big things to come, expanding the Farscape universe in the process, but they provide a solid individual story to be the background for the continuing character development, which at the heart of it is what Farscape is all about. Definitely a great episode, and well worth watching.




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
4
2 readers have rated "The Maltese Crichton" with an average score of 4. Click here to see what they had to say, and add your own review!
Did You Know?
The "Look at the Princess" story was originally written by David Kemper as a two-parter, however after filming, there was about eighteen minutes of footage left over, all of which was considered good, and so the decision was made to expand the story, and in three weeks David Kemper wrote eleven extra scenes and threaded them in throughout the story. The bulk of the "new" scenes take place in Part 2, and it's because of this that it is out of sequence in terms of production number (Parts 1 and 3 were already assigned 10210 and 10211 respectively, and the late Part 2 was assigned 10221).

Scarrans are notoriously hard to kill. Here, it takes John a number of shots just to faze Cargn, and then he has to be knocked into the acid pit to drown before he finally stays down.

Scorpius' body suit, and the cooling rod inserted into his brain, regulate his temperature. Because he is half Sebacean and half Scarran, the latter part of him loves the heat while the former despises it. Therefore, if he is exposed to high temperature for any prolonged period of time, he gets gradually weaker.

John couldn't kill Scorpy when he had the chance, something that could come back to haunt the crew later. It would appear that Scorpius was testing whether or not John could actually do it, and with Scorpius having left John something to remember him by, it would seem that Scorpius has some sort of subconscious hold over John. This is again foreshadowing future events.

Aeryn and John are quite clearly genetically compatible.


Related Episodes
The Flax
Nerve
The Hidden Memory
Bone to be Wild
Family Ties
Mind the Baby
Crackers Don't Matter
Look at the Princess, Part 1: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Look at the Princess, Part 2: I Do, I Think

Favourite Quote
John: "Well, there you go. Good guys win for once, and I have a child that I'll never know." [...]
Girl: "Are you my dad?"
John: "That's right."
Girl: "I love you daddy." (Hugs John)
John: (to Tyno) "You take care of my little girl."


We have 124 images from The Maltese Crichton online.
To view the gallery click here.

Episode Credits
Season 2, Episode 12 - Look at the Princess, Part 3: "The Maltese Crichton" (Part 3 of 3)
Writer: David Kemper
Director: Andrew Prowse & Tony Tilse
Production number: 10211
First UK Transmission: 25th Sep 2000
First US Transmission: 4th Aug 2000
Guest Stars:
Matt Day (Counsellor Tyno); Wayne Pygram (Scorpius); Jonathan Hardy (Kahaynu); Tina Bursill (Empress Novia); Bianca Chiminello (Jenavian Charto); Felix Williamson (Prince Clavor); Aaron Cash (Dregon); Nicholas McKay (Voice of Cargn); Thomas Holesgrove (Cargn the Scarran); Felicity Price (Princess Katralla); Rose Klemp
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