Thrown back in time, the crew try not to change the timeline, with tragic results...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
"...Different Destinations" is not, at least in my opinion, your standard time travel affair. It's open territory which Farscape hasn't really explored, certainly not in the same nature it's used in this episode, and although the basic premise has been seen hundreds of times before (see about half the episodes of Star Trek Voyager), it's the outcome, and pretty much the fact that the crew do not manage to fully restore the timeline that sets this episode apart from its many cousins. But more than that, "...Different Destinations" (can you tell I love that title?) is all about our characters, and as such is quite a corker of an episode.
All four of the characters that remain on in the past throughout the episode get some amazing characterisation, and in my opinion it came off very well indeed. I also liked that the episode was pretty self-contained (it's not that I mind big, huge arcs, it just makes a nice change), and I thought the pace of the episode was nice and even throughout. Oh, and even Jool was less annoying than before. I'll start this review by talking about the four characters, as I think it'll be easier that way.
We'll start with John, who has had quite a rough ride of late. In a similar vein to just about all his plans this season, his went wrong, big-time. He started off the episode all excited and hyped over being able to see into the past, but sadly that feeling didn't last long. Once he met General Grynes, and realised who it was, I noticed how it seemed to strike him just how the crew's being there had affected the timeline. Aeryn had only just told him that Grynes should be out there negotiating a ceasefire, but now he was inside the monastery's walls, so he immediately saw a way out. He did what he always tries to do, that human trait – use talk to solve the problem. But in Farscape tradition, just as soon as he thought he'd done well, and had got Grynes on his side (although he was there anyway), all hope was shot down. The scenes that John and Grynes shared were very well done though, and sort of introduced an element of hope that the Venek Horde could be reached, despite supposedly being bloodthirsty monsters. Of course, everything may have been fine, but John again made a huge misjudgement by choosing not to tell the others of his plan to get Grynes out. Perhaps this stemmed from the fact that Aeryn, and the others, rejected his plans in the Self Inflicted Wounds story, and not only that but Aeryn refuted this plan before he even got to explain it. Still, he probably should have persisted, but just seemed to give up (probably indicative of his current frame of mind).
Anyhow, with Kelsa having shot Grynes, John is locked up, and once again in recent episodes finds himself on his own, as his friends refuse to help him. But he eventually earns back Kelsa's trust when he saves her, and pretty much seems to redeem his actions during the battle where the Horde is chased away. His scene with Kelsa at the end where he, for the second time, promised they would be safe only served to give more of an impact at the end. And it did that very well, as watching the nurses about to be slaughtered, whilst Kelsa called out for John was just a heart-wrenching scene, so, so tragic. But in the end, he summed his actions up well – he screwed up. Regardless of whether he did his best, he did screw up, which he has been doing a lot lately, and with the added guilt of this as well as Zhaan's demise, you have to wonder how long it may be before he breaks.
Aeryn also shone once again in this episode, primarily through her interaction with the excellent Dacon. Both actors played up this chemistry very well, and put in great performances. Her reaction to finding out that Dacon was just the cook was the sort of reaction you'd expect, one of disappointment, but what made her interaction with him so good to watch was the way she grew to admire him, not for the legendary warrior she thought he was, but rather for the person he really was. Her pep talks with him were great to watch, as she tries to encourage him to take command, and to be brave and fearless. Her reaction to John telling her that the only way to get the timeline restored was to let Dacon die was just so sad, as you could see she felt for the young man, who she knew wasn't really a warrior, and didn't deserve to die. Indeed, another touching moment came as she watched him walk to his imminent death. The way she kept the smile, tried to make his last moments as good as they could be, knowing what was to come, was just delightful to see, and again showed how Aeryn tries to be strong in most emotional situations.
Also of interest was the shift in the Aeryn and John relationship, which over the past few episodes has shifted from them declaring their love to something of mistrust, particularly now she's sure he's still talking to Scorpius (her line to D'Argo about being jealous of not having voices in their heads cracked me up). Once again she disagreed with his plan, and ended up being proven right. But, despite the wedge placed between them through the emotional events of this episode, at the end she's left to be the one that comforts John, and the way she handled it was wonderful.
D'Argo was also given some great scenes, again the best of which came with the guest stars. His scenes with Jool were hilarious, but again we saw just how much D'Argo has grown from a hardened warrior to a compassionate being, through his scenes with Kelsa and Cyntrina. With Kelsa, she tells him what happened to them and then asks if he will put Cyntrina to rest should the Horde get her, and although he literally said very little, his face said it all, and is just another example of how good Anthony Simcoe is. Then, again, with Cyntrina he has to be strong, and when she asks if anyone will remember her when she's dead, his response is very touching, and he gives her a knife to carve her "mark" into the stone. His goodbye to Cyntrina was touching, as was the episode's final scene where he goes back to check and see if the mark was still there. At least that gave him some hope.
Then there was Stark, and in this episode I really felt like I got to know the extent of the pain he feels from hearing the dead. Again, his scene with Cyntrina was wonderful. Her saying her father was dead and she hadn't cried was touching enough, but Stark's response – simply to hug her (and shed a tear) – was even more so. It was a great moment for Stark, as we see more of his caring side that we haven't seen that often lately. His wise words to Kelsa also made for a great scene, when he tells her to keep fear and forget the hate (regarding her killing the general). Those words are so prudent, and I also found it interesting that he doesn't know where the dying are headed until they're actually on their way, and I like the thought of "different beliefs, different destinations".
I found myself quite taken to young Jool this episode too, as she provided much of the comedy in this episode. Particularly the scene with the Fellip urine – that was just hilarious! Also I was laughing hard when D'Argo threw her into the wall. I do find it interesting though that none of the crew actually seem to like her or care about her – maybe they should just kick her off? But I do feel that this story was more fitting to have an extra character, and as it had more room for her perhaps and episode such as this would have served as a better introduction.
As for the overall episode itself, I loved the theme, and it definitely had a real emotional impact, not least because of the superb acting, not only of the regulars but also of the three main guest stars (Dacon, Cyntrina and Kelsa), who all managed to make their characters so believable that it really meant something when they died, and that has to be tough to do in a 44 minute episode. But in saying that, part of the attribution must go to the writer, who clearly did a great job of fleshing out the story and writing great material for the characters. The direction was excellent too, and made the episode all the more dramatic. Interestingly, there was a lot of gore and a lot of death in "...Different Destinations", but it was definitely not needless, as I found it really drove home the brutality of the episode. Finally, I must mention how excellent use was made of just three sets. The main one (the monastery in the past) was used to particularly good effect, as it really did seem like a huge battle ground, and that there was a huge army outside, even though we never actually saw outside. Oh, and I also liked the effect the changing timeline had on the planet, and how everyone on Moya saw it. So, a great episode, which really showcased how good Farscape can be at these nitty-gritty character showcases.
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 "...Different Destinations", click here.
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Did You Know?
In the last three episodes, someone has spoken the title of the episode: John says "could'a, would'a, should'a" towards the end of the episode in Pilot's den, John says "wait for the wheel" to both D'Argo and Zhaan, and here Stark says "different destinations".
Virginia Hey is removed from the opening credits as of this episode.
The changes in the timeline only effect the planet and the history in Moya's data stores (and presumably elsewhere), as opposed to having an impact on everything else, like everyone on Moya.
The title refers to what Stark tells Kelsa. When she asks if she will be with her daughter when she dies, he says he doesn't know; "different beliefs, different destinations".
The time tear, which sends everyone back in time, is only visible whilst the timeline is stable. When it has been changed the time tear cannot be seen.
Stark is able to sense the dead in the future and past, and recognise the differences between each set, when he is looking at the time tear through the goggles.
Fellip urine is apparently good at soothing wounds, and also quite tasty.
Both Chiana and Rygel go to steal from Zhaan's leftovers in her quarters, but neither can actually do it.
Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 1: Could'a, Would'a, Should'a
Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 2: Wait for the Wheel
Jool: "Bastards! They shot me, they punched me, they made me drink piss!"
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