|Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 1:|
"Could'a, Would'a, Should'a"
John finally closes in on wormhole technology, but it leaves Moya and Pilot dying...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
Probably the first thing that struck me about this episode was just how much information, and how many plots were all thrown at us. There's no doubt about it – the episode was crammed with all sorts, and at times was a little hard to follow. But nonetheless this episode is very enjoyable, and does contain some magnificent scenes.
This whole situation that set up the episode in part came about from John's desire to stay a little longer at the wormhole, despite knowing that they needed to leave to get to the planet for Zhaan. The rest of the crew realise that he is somewhat blinded by wormholes, and they become his first priority over everything else, and they don't keep their feelings to themselves, particularly in when they discuss whether or not to abandon Moya. This scene was very well played out, as Zhaan, D'Argo and Stark all place part of the blame for Pilot and Moya's condition on John's shoulders, but not only do they think so, but John clearly believes he is responsible too. Not only does Harvey (the name for the Scorpius-Clone) mention John's feelings of guilt, but also in a nice scene at the end of the episode in Pilot's den he says how sorry he is for what's happened. I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for poor John - he didn't have it easy.
The John-Aeryn relationship continued, and was a well-written aspect of this episode. Whilst they didn't mention their on-off-ness, or their love for each other, there was a great scene in which Aeryn called him suicidal for agreeing to go on Neeyala's mission out into the wormhole, and without saying as much you could just see how much the two care for each other. Aeryn also had some wonderful scenes with D'Argo, in which she offers to listen to him if he wants to talk about what happened between Jothee and Chiana. Still hurt, D'Argo doesn't want to talk, but nonetheless it's nice to see how much they've grown together, and particularly how Aeryn has grown from being so cold to being so understanding.
Additionally the relationship between D'Argo and Chiana continued, and it was delightful to see that despite being hurt so much by Chiana, he could not leave her alone when she was in so much pain, after discovering that they were going to abandon Moya, because he cares to much for her. Earlier, they had been working together and exchanged some great dialogue; before D'Argo then told Aeryn how upset he was at himself that he nearly forgave her. This is not the same Luxan we used to know, he has become a softer and more caring being, and I like it.
Zhaan also had some great scenes with various crewmembers. She had a nice scene with Rygel, where again she gives her motherly counsel, and leaves it up to him to accept it, and it was a nice reflection on their relationship. She had a nice scene when she consoles Chiana who is upset that she doesn't want to die, which would mean abandoning Moya. But Zhaan's best moments come when she and Stark speak. It's delightful to watch them, as the way they are played makes it seem as though they have much more of a connection than just love, rather they also have a very strong spiritual bond. This is evident from the scene in Zhaan's quarters where she sees the vision of the planet and the serpent, and then later when she asks Stark to take her place and tend to the souls on Moya. Their relationship clearly transcends just plain love, and it's so nice to watch, particularly since Virginia Hey and Paul Goddard have such a great on-screen chemistry.
David Kemper continues to write the best material for one of my favourite characters aboard Moya – Rygel. He has some excellent scenes, none more so than when he and Crichton go to take readings from the wormhole in Farscape 1. He reminds John of exactly how they all came together, and that they would all screw each other for the chance to get home. Whilst his selfishness does show through a lot in this scene, it's also a good reminder of the core premise of the show (that is they are not a typical crew and everything is not all hunky-dory), and I liked that, true to his character, he attempted to escape the wormhole at the first opportunity. Only John's guilt kept him from getting out alive. He then prepares to kill John when they get back to Moya, but it's up to Zhaan to talk him out of it. The scene when Zhaan talks him out of it is so poignant, and it really shows that there is more to Rygel than just plain selfishness. It was nice that for the first time he actually showed appreciation for Zhaan's counsel, something which she has been particularly good at giving him. But again, true to form, later on Rygel's again back to bitching and selfishness when he wants to abandon Moya for Neeyala's ship. I like it when Rygel is written as more than just comic relief.
Then of course, there was Jool. Straight off the bat I have to say it was a pity they chose this episode to introduce her; there's so much going on with everything else that she doesn't get enough screen time or material for a new character. She definitely comes of as rather annoying, with that darn scream and her whininess. She seems to be, at this time, little more than a spoiled brat. However, I found it interesting that every time she did scream the camera clearly focused on the fact that it bent metal close to her. But as I said, it always takes time to for most characters to grow on you, but she didn't really seem to add much to this adventure, she seemed more like another thing to think about.
In my view, that's where this episode's problem stems. It's an extremely enjoyable episode, that could have been destined for greatness, but it was bogged down by having a little too much. It's not that I shy away from multiple plot threads, on the contrary I love an episode that makes me think, but a lot of things in this episode were quite confusing. It didn't help that everything went all Star Trekkie in a technobabble kind of way. I found that I had to watch the explanations about what was happening a couple of times before I got it all, which again maybe was due to some scenes just throwing so much at us at once. Also, other than setting up the cliffhanger, the serpent seemed a little pointless, at least in this part. But then perhaps it's just introduced to lead to something in part 2. And of course there was Jool's introduction.
In the end, as much as I enjoyed this episode, and as much as I wanted to give it a really high score, there seemed to be something missing, that kind of "wow!" factor that you get when you watch some of Farscape's greatest episodes. Maybe it's because we've been seasoned to expect a lot of doom and gloom from the end of last season, but I don't think that's it, I think it's more that there was just so much happening that perhaps some things didn't get quite enough attention. It was good, very good, and almost great, but not quite. But with John having seen something important on that picture viewer from the wormhole, the mystery surrounding Neeyala and her crew, with Pilot and Moya dying and with John hanging off the edge of the walkway with the serpent watching him, I'm looking forward to part 2.
I love to hear your views, whether you agree or disagree, so feel free to e-mail me your feedback. Review by Dani Moure.
To see Mary Wood's review of "Could'a, Would'a, Should'a", click here.
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Did You Know?
David Kemper again writes some excellent material for Rygel. Rather than providing the comic relief (as some writers use him for), he actually gets to be an integral part of the plot.
Jool tells Rygel when he asks that everyone calls her by her full name, yet in Suns and Lovers the Interon clearly said "Jool saved us."
The scene where Pilot tells John about the wormhole in command is very reminiscent of the similar scene in A Human Reaction.
John and Aeryn's relationship continues to be tested, as she and the rest of the crew are forced to question his motives when he seems overwhelmed by the wormhole.
John manages to call the Harvey (the Scorpius neural clone) at will, but remains in control.
Jool's hair turns red when she's extremely angry. Her piercing scream also melts metal.
Harvey tells John about Scorpius' new base (see Season of Death), and that he believes Scorpius is still alive.
Whilst reminded of it here, we still have yet to see what is in the ship that D'Argo brought aboard in Suns and Lovers.
A Human Reaction
Season of Death
Suns and Lovers
Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 2: Wait for the Wheel
John: "What about our friends?"
Rygel: "What friends? We were thrown together against our will, and we're all just trying to make the best of it until we can get the chance to screw the others and get what we want. I vote out at the next gap."
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