Hubble, bubble... it's double trouble!
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
For me, "Eat Me" was a fascinating episode, not least because of all the outrage it caused when it first aired. It certainly is, much like "Won't Get Fooled Again", a highly controversial episode, for both its theme and content. And of course, the ending. But I have to say I found all the fuss surrounding "Eat Me" to be considerably overstated in most cases, I mean, sure the episode was quite gruesome, but I've seen worse on TV, and I found the nature of "Eat Me" more compelling than compulsive. I certainly wouldn't say there was gratuitous gore, as it definitely served a purpose.
One thing I found most interesting in "Eat Me" was how John continues to fall deeper into inhumanity. It's a topic that was discussed during the latter part of season two, and it continues even further this season, as he gradually has become less and less caring. Sure, he cares deeply about his close friends, but it's the others that he once warmed to (back when he was just plain old na´ve human) that he now seems to lack care for. Particularly it's evident with both his nonchalant attitude towards Jool and what she does, and also with the way he acts towards Rovhu's Pilot. Once John would have been so worried about the Pilot and so concerned with saving him he would have put his plans on the back-burner, but in "Eat Me" he is simply concerned with getting everything to go his way, as opposed to worrying about the Pilot. There is no doubt that John is becoming a harder person with the passing of each episode. I also found it interesting that once again, John's plan failed, and look at what happened. When he met up with Chiana, he told her it was D'Argo's idea to split up, before saying it was both of theirs, but in reality it was clear that it was his choice, as he suggested the split and also carried it through. It probably caused all the twinning mess, since he and D'Argo together may never have encountered, or maybe would have fended off Kaarvok. But alone, he and D'Argo got into plenty of trouble.
The twinning also brought to the fore a fantastic, yet subtle, performance by Gigi Edgley in "Eat Me". Her portrayal of Chiana's reaction to the copy was amazing, and the look on the face of the one that was killed, and the look of anguish the one that left her for dead gave as she ran was quite scary and showed us a side of Chiana we haven't seen for a long time, possibly not since season one. She's still out for herself when it comes to the crunch, but she's matured a lot. Also, her upset at the end of the episode showed just how far she has come – she has definitely developed a conscience. Her telling D'Argo it was just a clone seemed to be an attempt by the more grown-up Chiana to give some moral justification to her actions, even though most people would do the same in such a scary situation. But with what D'Argo told her about the twins being equals, even she seemed unconvinced that it was a copy, and both her and D'Argo have quite a traumatic event to get over – how would you feel if you watched yourself die?
Of course, no-one has more trauma to get over than poor John, because he was not only twinned but the twin lives. I loved the way they cut away just as he was shot by the doubling machine, so we didn't know straight away if he was twinned or not, and then the way when the twin ran in he said exactly the same as the other John. They really stressed throughout the episode that it's a twin - an equal – not a clone, and I liked that, as it means the concept can't be dismissed. Also, it was interesting that the first John was not so much surprised to see his twin as you may have thought. In fact, he looked almost disappointed, which left me wondering if he actually knew he had been twinned and hoped the twin would die along with the Leviathan. I was also left wondering if the game at the end was rock, paper, scissors to the death, since they had a pulse pistol on the table in between, and Rygel mentioned that they were tied. If they weren't playing for that then what were they playing for? The twin idea is great, at least in my view, as it's that thing that everyone was harping on about that David Kemper was planning that no-one else would do and keep, but he would sustain it. So it appears that we'll be seeing a lot more of the John twins, no doubt ending in some amount of tragedy. The possibilities of this are endless though, and I am really looking forward to see how this plays out.
A mention must go to the Sean Masterson and co. – the puppeteers. They did a fantastic job on Rovhu's Pilot, who really did appear so terrorised and traumatised by the whole ordeal that he wanted John to kill him; even his plea to John was quite touching, and when he said, "they're eating me!" I was quite taken aback. I also thought that making the Xarai actually over-twinned PKs really hit home what could happen to the crew, and sort of made the stakes all the higher. My only complaint with regards to this episode is that once again it relies on death as the driving force. I don't mind it all that much, especially since this is the "season of death", but since all six episodes of the season so far have had some amount of death, or the theme of death, it may be a good time to back off before some viewers are scared off. Saying that though, I did think it served a purpose in this episode, so I can understand why it was used.
As for "Jool watch", week 4, she was again quite intriguing to me in this episode. Like in "...Different Destinations", she seems more like someone who is just out of her depth, and trying to adjust, but just can't get her head around things, as opposed to some brat-like child like she did before. As I mentioned in the last review, once again I found it interesting that no-one seems to care about poor Jool. In "Eat Me", this is particularly evident when Chiana tells John she could kill her and John's reply is "whatever". Poor old Jool – nobody seems to care for her.
The last thing that I really liked about this episode was the Crais and Talyn subplot. Though it only got a fraction of the total screen time, and Crais never said a word, it really got me wondering who could have attacked them. Could it be the return of the Scarrans? Maybe the Nebari? Some new race? Obviously I have no idea, but the point is I can't wait to find out. I'm really looking forward to the next few episodes because of this small little plot, and also where the John twins are going. Oh, and of course I like that Crais and Talyn are going to stick around for a while, at least for the next two episodes anyway. Finally, they made excellent use of the fire on the Talyn set earlier this year – it really did look like a bomb had hit it.
So, I really liked the episode. I found it compelling to watch, and some of the ideas completely off-their-head wacky. Our all-knowing Farscape god Kemper certainly knows how to cause an uproar with his ideas, but as opposed to being in an uproar I'd rather praise him for amazing creativity. Not only that, but the episode was a perfect choice to show before a six-week hiatus, simply because it left a number of plot threads hanging until the next episode – most notably the Crais/Talyn situation and the two Johns.
There are fans out there that have said they will stop watching the show because of how dark this season, and particularly this episode was. To those doubters I say please remember first and foremost that one episode does not a bad season make. If you didn't like it, it's not the end of the world. Remember that despite being doubted in the past, and despite past disappointments (remember the views after the first six of season 2?), the Farscape team always pulls out the goods (remember the rest of season 2?). Yes it's dark, but an "Out of Their Minds" every week would get very tiresome; the lighter episodes are so special because they're a dime a dozen – when they occasionally come they're fantastic. Let's be honest, it's the drama that keeps you hooked each week, and that's exactly what this season has been so far – fantastic drama. Lighter episodes will come, just wait for them (no "wait for the wheel" puns here!).
But I loved it, and to all of you who disagree with my opinions, I have two words for you – Eat Me.
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 "Eat Me", click here.
Did You Know?
"Eat Me" is Farscape's 50th episode.
Did John know he'd been twinned, and did he not mention it in hope that the twin would be killed along with the Leviathan? He doesn't seem so surprised, more disappointed when the twin appears.
The Peacekeeper convoy that was escorting Rovhu was ambushed by Scarrans.
Under the restraint of a control collar, starburst will cause an explosion that will destroy the Leviathan.
Who attacked Crais and Talyn? This is their first appearance since the season premiere, and clearly the attackers must be even stronger to have caused that much damage to one of the most powerful ships known to exist.
It's interesting to note just how real Talyn's damage looks, considering that the set caught on fire earlier this year...
This episode appears to have set up the next ones after the hiatus, since at least the next two promise further appearances from Crais and Talyn. Will the real Scorpius be back too?
Exodus from Genesis
Home on the Remains
My Three Crichtons
Won't Get Fooled Again
The Ugly Truth
John: "Pip, the transport's all we got."
Chiana: (sighs) "I'm warning you – I'm gonna end up killing that red-headed trelk!"
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