|Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 2:|
"Wait for the Wheel"
One of the crew will be gone forever...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
I liked this episode. I liked it a lot. But I wanted to love it. I was enjoying it so much, but there was just one thing that really stuck out in my mind as I watched, and I watched it a couple of times. That will be explained later, but suffice to say it sadly brought the episode down in terms of score in my opinion, which is sad as this episode was close to a classic.
Well, we wasted no time in resolving the cliffhanger from last week's episode – straight off the bat John scares away the serpent. Soon after Aeryn and Zhaan enter, and once again Zhaan is quick to make John feel guilty when he gabbles on about how the wormhole must be in part close to Earth. She says in their current situation she's happy for him, to which he responds by saying he knows it's selfish. Again although I think the crew have a point when it comes to this, I can't help but wonder how they would react in the same situation. I'm sure they would try and do everything to get home too.
Despite the singling out of John by most of the crew, who say his judgment is clouded, one of the things that stands out in this episode is the way they have learned to work together as a team. In different situations, their use of teamwork is highly effective. Even when they split into two, both groups have the same plan and ideas (the way they cut between the two was fantastic), and all are thinking the same way. Then when it comes to banding together to try to save Pilot and Moya, they all work together somewhat in harmony to get the job done. I like the fact that despite all their disagreements they still know how to work together to get the job done. Compare this to the way they all were when working as a team in earlier seasons and you realise just how far this group of bandits has come. As Zhaan puts it so quaintly, they are a family. They also have a family-like habit of ganging up on their enemies – even John succumbs to it in this episode and turns against Neeyala when he sees her true colours.
One thing that has also stood out in this two-parter is Stark's dark side. It seems that when he's at his most emotional he will continue to lash out, or just get plain weird. What with that evil-looking moment in Pilot's den with Aeryn ("You are pretty") in Part 1, and in this episode he really goes for Jool at one point. Which is completely understandable, since from his point of view she is acting like a spoiled brat, but still it's a little scary, what with him mentioning his evil side to Zhaan.
But of course, the main talking point of the episode is Zhaan. She's gone. Dead. Will she be back? I suppose it's possible somewhere down the line, but I wouldn't count on it. The scene where she gave that super-long speech was fantastic, and whilst not having the same impact as Aeryn's apparent death in Die Me, Dichotomy it nonetheless is an extremely touching piece of TV. Part of this can be attributed to everyone else's reactions to what she was about to do, and also to the stunning acting by Virginia Hey. The way John reacted, still not wanting to let her go, Aeryn's reaction when she just says "no..." and tries to stop Zhaan, but gets held back by John, D'Argo saying that she's needed on Moya, and Chiana telling her they love her were all fantastic little moments that were given all the more emotional impact by the excellent acting, all moments which could have so easily been brushed over. As I mentioned Zhaan's speech was so well written, and also I loved the way she called everyone her children. She has taken such a motherly role for everyone, from right back at the beginning of the show, that they really are like her children since she's cared for and mothered them all. It was again when everyone started crying out for her as she keyed the panel (similar to when everyone cried out for Aeryn in Die Me, Dichotomy), coupled with Stark's reaction that really got me. The way Zhaan and Stark connected spiritually was just an awesome and beautiful moment. But when it's all said and done Zhaan is gone. She could possibly come back, as much in the same way as Stark was supposedly "dispersed" in The Ugly Truth and returned in A Not So Simple Plan, a similar effect seemed to be used on Zhaan. I wouldn't bet on her coming back though, at least not anytime soon.
Aeryn again had some great scenes, this time with both Zhaan and Stark. With Zhaan she once again says it was a bad trade – her life for Zhaan's, but once again Zhaan looks forward. It's another excellent scene between the two actresses, and again is an indication of Aeryn's considerable emotional trauma over the whole ordeal. Later, when Zhaan's gone, she is left watching over Stark. Again it's a fine scene for that character too, as he pulls himself together as it would have been what Zhaan wanted, and he explains this to Aeryn, who is seemingly trying to do what she feels she should do (i.e. comfort him), but doesn't seem to know how to quite go about it. The way she does things in this manner, I believe, is an attempt by the writers to remind us that despite her looks she is not human, and doesn't quite know how to handle emotional situations.
Once again I am going to praise David Kemper for the excellent material he gives Rygel. His reaction to learning that Pilot likes him is interesting, but the way he decides to be loyal and votes with D'Argo, Chiana and Stark to stay with Moya and Pilot no matter what is a commendable act of loyalty, as if he's trying to repay Pilot for being someone who he knows truly does like him. In fact, the scene between Rygel and Pilot at the end was just beautiful, and further proof (as if it was needed) that the puppets can be made into three-dimensional characters that seem real. If you found yourself thinking, "it's just two puppets" during this scene then you have no heart! I'm quite amazed at how they continuously pull off these great scenes with the puppets, but this scene was just so real, and it was great because we have rarely seen Rygel and Pilot directly together, and I can't remember them being together as just the two of them, but regardless I'd like to see more after this!
As for "Jool watch", part 2, she was a little less annoying in this episode, and although she got more to do this episode it still would have probably served the character better had she been introduced after this arc. It would, for me at least, have seemed a little less crammed. As for the character itself, I've heard a lot of complaints about her, but one thing I think needs to be understood is where she's coming from. Yes that scream is annoying, and yes she whines a lot, but then she has just been woken up after 22 cycles to find that her cousins are dead and she's aboard a ship of escaped prisoners, so I think if you have a problem with her just try and see where she's coming from.
Something I found interesting as well was how at the end John was left with no-one to talk to but Harvey. Once again in his mind he was back at the drive-thru watching the Three Stooges, only this time in funeral wear. It was Harvey's words that I found most haunting though, as he knew John's guilt from the situation, he asks "why is it always the gentle ones that pay the price for everyone else's ambitions?"
So, I've harped on about all these great things in this episode (apart from Jool), and haven't told you the problem I had with it. Well, simply put it was just how everything was going by at a blistering pace, and I was really enjoying it, more so than Part 1, but suddenly despite all the urgency everyone had just been talking about, as soon as Zhaan opened her mouth to do her super-long speech, time seemed to stop. One minute everyone's screaming to hurry, then Zhaan speaks, and everyone listens. Don't get me wrong, as I said I thought the Zhaan bit, and what followed as the end of the episode, was great, and I thought what came before was great, but that one moment really stuck out in my head and left me saying "huh?" when everything just stopped for her. And for me that really brought the episode down, and took me out of the "bubble" I'm usually in when I watch Farscape. I'd even go as far as to say it was like the episode ended, and then a new one started, it seemed that different.
Hence, that brought down the score that I have given the episode. Despite this it's highly recommended, and I really liked the episode, it's just that one moment where time stopped just took away all the coherence the episode had. This two-parter did have some amazing special effects, some remarkable acting, superb characterisation and great directing, but that one moment... So, what's left? Well, Moya's still highly damaged, Pilot's presumably not completely back to full health, John's even more depressed by losing wormhole technology and everyone's down about Zhaan. Will she be back? Well, we'll just have to wait for the wheel.
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 "Wait for the Wheel", click here.
Did You Know?
D'Argo is unwilling to forgive Chiana for what she did, but he cannot leave her alone in pain.
Despite breaking into two groups, all of Moya's crew have the same ideas and formulate the same plan to uncover Neeyala, showing how similar they all now think.
Harvey has now retaken control, and will not allow John to put him back in the dumpster (see Season of Death).
As disgusting as it sounds, Jool sheds.
Nicholas Hope, who played Kreetago, also played Akkor (Natira's subordinate) in the Liars, Guns and Money trilogy.
Veteran Farscape director Tony Tilse has now directed three episodes in a row (Suns and Lovers, Could'a, Would'a, Should'a and this one).
Zhaan seems to know that this is the path set out for her, and Stark said that no-one he ever helped cross over was so at peace and so sure that what was to come was better.
We finally get to go inside the ship that D'Argo brought aboard (in Suns and Lovers), and D'Argo learns the controls. He also comments that somehow the ship seems familiar to him.
A Human Reaction
Mind the Baby
Look at the Princess, Part 1: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Look at the Princess, Part 2: I Do, I Think
Look at the Princess, Part 3: The Maltese Crichton
Die Me, Dichotomy
Season of Death
Suns and Lovers
Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 1: Could'a, Would'a, Should'a
D'Argo: "Zhaan, you're needed here."
Zhaan: "At one time I believe I was, but then a family was born."
D'Argo: "You birthed it."
Chiana: "We love you Zhaan..."
Zhaan: "Sensitive D'Argo, exuberant Chiana, wise Rygel, selfless Aeryn, innocent Crichton... my children, my teachers, my loves. There is no guilt, there is no blame, only what is meant to be. Grow through your mistakes, and know that if patient, redemption will find you."
John: "Wait for the wheel."
Zhaan: (nods) "Thank you, John Crichton."
Aeryn: (reaches for Zhaan) "No..." (John holds her back)
Zhaan: (mentally to Stark) "Stark, Stark, link with me my beautiful. Guide me to the place of rest, melt into my spirit Stark, so that I may share my last moments with the man I love."
Rygel: "Goodbye, you big, beautiful, blue bitch."
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