|"Die Me, Dichotomy"|
An extreme case of split personality leads to a tragedy for one of Moya
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
My initial reaction to this episode on first viewing was so mixed in terms of emotions that I knew this was one of the most phenomenal pieces of television drama that I have ever seen. In my opinion, the only other science fiction show that comes close to having episodes with such an impact and being as outstanding is Babylon 5. I have seen so much television in my life, and in recent years, bar the aforementioned series, nothing in the genre has come close to matching Die Me, Dichotomy. This is a modern day classic, and one that should be remembered as such in years to come. Not only does it end the season with a bang, it is also the pinnacle of Farscape so far. The previous sentences can be summed up in one: best episode ever.
Okay, so it sounds like all I'm doing is praising this episode, but I can find so little to fault it that I just can't help it. Few episodes of any shows have had such an emotional impact on me in the way that this episode did, not only after my initial viewing but also after multiple viewings. Though a few out there disagree with what I have said, I feel that they are the people who are angry about Aeryn's death. Yes, she's dead, but she will not stay that way, I'm sure (this is science fiction), but I fail to see how anyone can watch this instalment and not recognise it as a phenomenal episode of television. I will attempt to do the usual analysis in an orderly fashion, but don't count on it...
So, we begin the episode with the revelations that the crew are going to use their wealth to get Moya's wounds healed (following her burning in Plan B), and also that poor John has been practically consumed by Scorpius' neural clone. The sight of him morphing into the image of Scorpius was an excellent way to portray his split personality, and also to get across to the viewer exactly when he's John, and when he's not.
The Diagnosan, Tocot, was an excellently realised character, performed by somewhat regular man-in-suit Thomas Holesgrove (who most recently played Teurac in the last two episodes), and also a big star to Hugh Keays-Byrne, who brought Grunchlk to life in an interesting and well-executed manner. I found it very funny that the entire crew couldn't pronounce his name, and each one of them calling him something different ("Green Chalk" being my favourite). He seemed just like the slimy yet loveable sidekick that he was supposed to, which was very evident in his early scenes bartering with the crew, and also later in his scene with Rygel.
There were some extremely interesting character set-ups in this episode, which made it a cut above the rest. Particularly of interest was the internal conflict within John, and how that related to Aeryn. Of course, one of their key scenes was the one in the neural cluster, in which both John and Aeryn confess their love for one another. It was a beautifully played scene, with all the right words, but then in typical Farscape fashion, it all goes pear-shaped as it appears it was all orchestrated by Scorpius-Crichton, the thing that John is becoming, who proceeds to smash her head off the wall. It was excellent to hear him say "You are so my girl" though!
Also interesting was the "triangle" of sorts between D'Argo, Chiana and Jothee. It starts with Jothee telling his father that he mutilated himself over his hatred of his heritage, which clearly scars D'Argo, who then takes his anger out on Chiana, which is understandable as he loves her so he turns to her first. But the web then is woven further by the revelation that Jothee doesn't want to settle down like D'Argo does, being the free-spirited person that he is (that's what running all your life does to you). Funnily enough, that's not unlike the other free spirit aboard Moya, the ever-loveable Chiana. So when Pilot's high from the drug they're using to numb Moya, he's shows her D'Argo practising how he intends to propose to her. She doesn't exactly seem ecstatic at the news, but then she's not the sort of person who seems to want to be tied down by marriage. But then later, she seems so drawn to Jothee that when he's apparently going to leave, they go to kiss. But just before they can, D'Argo enters telling them they have to stay close. Well, he may come to regret that. But what makes this interesting is it does indeed seem as if there's nothing else for D'Argo to do, unless of course Jothee does indeed leave...
Also, Zhaan and Stark, although they have a reduced role in the scheme of things, their futures seem intertwined. After all is said and done, she says her place is with Moya and Pilot, and Stark says his place is with Zhaan, and asks to spend his future with her. It's not quite a marriage proposal, but it does say things about their relationship. He's an interesting character who we should be seeing a lot more of in season 2.
Then there was Crais, who was also interesting in that he and Talyn want Aeryn to join them. There's always been a sort of romantic side to their relationship underneath everything else, and it's interesting that she never did say yes or no. Who knows now though if she'll get to make her decision...? Also, he later said that he had information on a chip that could make Aeryn the happiest soul among them, so what could that be? Just one of those unanswered questions for the moment.
Then of course, there was the death. It was so amazingly executed, with everyone looking on in horror, and the interplay between Aeryn and Scorpius-Crichton, as he taunted her was fantastic. Then, when her pod was damaged and John retook control, the look of extreme anguish and horror at what he had done, and the thought of what may happen as a result, was just perfect. Ben Browder and Claudia Black excelled so much in this episode it was amazing. As she descended into the water, her sorrow, and the way she said she meant what she said, it was so beautiful, and tragic. Then came the funeral, which was just the icing on the cake, and set my emotions off even more. Everyone saying their piece, from Rygel's show of affection, to D'Argo giving her his Qualta Blade, and then John cutting a bit of her hair off and saying he loves her, was one more of those beautiful moments.
Then of course, there's the end. Scorpius returns and gets the chip, with John's brain scattered all over the operating table. We see Aeryn in one of the containers, but was her body just being stored or was she frozen a microt before death? Scorpius' line, about condemning John to live was so fitting, and the doctor's apparently dead. What a pear-shaped situation. Everyone's seemingly going to leave, including Rygel, and it's all looking bleak. But nonetheless, with an amazing cliffhanger and generally phenomenal all-round drama, Die Me, Dichotomy is, as I mentioned, one of the most outstanding episodes of any show I've ever seen. It is, in my opinion, a cut above the rest, and truly sets the standard for the future. It can be summed up in three words: emotional, outstanding and phenomenal.
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?
The very same Diagnosan – Tocot - who appeared in this episode to heal Moya and remove the chip from Crichton's brain also installed Scorpius' cooling rod system. He also appears to have the wormhole technology, but since he didn't remove the chip himself, can he be sure it's contained on the chip?
We see Aeryn in one of their containers, but was her body just being stored or was she frozen a microt before death like the other specimens?
Everyone of Moya's crew that said Grunchlk's name said it wrongly, and he had to correct them each time. It's like when Crichton kept calling the Tavleks Tavloids in season one's Throne for a Loss.
Crais has a chip with information on which he thinks will make Aeryn extremely happy.
Stark asks to spend the future with Zhaan, who's pledged her time to remain with Pilot and Moya.
D'Argo plans to propose to Chiana, but she doesn't exactly seem overwhelmed at the thought. He also wants to settle down, but Jothee doesn't, and when he apparently is about to leave, he and Chiana nearly kiss but are interrupted by Jothee.
Rygel seems all set to leave, having obtained a ship for transport away from Grunchlk, but will he end up leaving?
The Hidden Memory
Mind the Baby
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 1: A Not So Simple Plan
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 2: With Friends Like These...
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 3: Plan B
John: "I would be lost without you."
Aeryn: "Then you'll never be lost."
John: "No matter what happens, you have worked your way into my heart."
Aeryn: "You've shown me that I have one."
John: "I love you..."
Aeryn: "I love you too."
Scorpius-John: (Smashes her head against the wall) "You are so my girl."
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