|"Thanks for Sharing"|
What attacked Talyn? What's on Crais' chip? Do the two Johns get along? Who's your daddy? Let all be revealed...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
So here we are, back after six weeks of no new Farscape, right off the multiple cliffhangers of "Eat Me", with an all new episode, so it should be really great and so forth, right? Well, it's not quite that clear-cut, because although "Thanks" is a good episode, and it does kind of resolve the hanging threads of plot, it's not the episode you might expect. At least for this reviewer, it felt more like a transitional episode, as if the goal was set, and no matter what happened during the episode somehow in the end it was going to get to the point where the crew split. Really, this was inevitable (two Johns in one episode = $$$), and is a great plot device, but still the feeling of transition kind of took away any punch that this episode may have had. Still, for as many questions as were answered, a plethora of new ones were asked, and it looks like the adventure is going to get very interesting.
The part we were all waiting to see actually came at the start of the episode – just how would the two Johns get along? Well, unsurprisingly, not particularly well. They both think the other is "the clone", even though strictly speaking we've been told (about a zillion times, although some people still haven't got it) that neither is a clone; both are "equal and original." Not only do they not get along, but they spend their time together bickering like a pair of schoolchildren, over anything from who gets to do what, who goes where, and who is in Aeryn's favour. Both try to convince Aeryn early on that she can see that they are the "original," and that she can tell the difference, but Aeryn being the honest (and in this case confused) person she is, she has none of it, and makes one wear a green t-shirt so they can tell the difference. Which makes life a lot easier for the viewer (and reviewer). Whilst their bickering was childish, it nonetheless remained amusing, mainly because it wasn't overdone. Not only that, but it was great to see the two Johns used to solve the problem that presents itself when he and Sarova are victims of the bombing. It's nice to see that John's talent at coming up with plans is as good as ever.
In other news, we finally got to see what was on Crais' chip, that he so desperately wished Aeryn had to be able to see (in "Die Me, Dichotomy"). Although at the time the writers had no idea what would be on the chip, they came up with an amazing idea, and it's one that continues to intertwine the characters and plots of the show. The chip shows Aeryn's mother, in a scene she has previously reminisced about (in "Family Ties"), but was never certain as to whether it was real or just a dream. The video recording shows Aeryn's mother tell her that she was conceived in love, and is still loved. Ah, how nice! But there's obviously more to it than that, and indeed the rest of the news is not good. For in wonderful plot twist of the year number 198, Aeryn's mother is also the commander of the Peacekeeper retrieval squad, the same squad that is after Talyn, and put him in the state he's currently in (see "Eat Me"). Now, where this plot will go from here is anybody's guess, but I think most people will realise by the end of the episode that a confrontation between mother and daughter will be on the horizon, and this is one confrontation I want to see! I did find it quite intriguing that no records whatsoever could be found of her father though. Hmm.
An interesting thing I noticed during this episode was how Jool is becoming more and more interesting, and also more and more useful. She has three wonderful (but forgettable) qualifications that make her the new medicinal person in the crew, capable of running any manner of tests, and so plays a major part in bringing Crais back to consciousness. I guess I just like the way she's gradually evolving from being screaming piece of uselessness into a useful member of the crew, one that brings something to the group.
The planetary plot and all the politics going on were interesting enough, but there's no denying that they were a means to an end, and simply served as a useful plot device to get from a to b. I'm not knocking it, since they had to get there somehow, but it was more of a by-the-books story than the usual Farscape style. Nonetheless, I did find it hilarious that the first thing that D'Argo and Chiana end up doing, through no fault of their own, was causing trouble. Not only do the crew have a reputation that spans, well, a very big area, but they also have a habit of attracting bad attention. They end up getting into some kind of fight, or causing some kind of trouble, on just about every planet they visit! If I were part of the crew I think I'd have some sort of complex by now. It also crossed my mind just how many ruling bodies they've encountered where they've either had some great influence on it or killed some of its members. If you met one of the crew in the street I think you'd be inclined to wonder if your life was about to change.
D'Argo and John also showed in this episode just how far their friendship has come. They are now such good friends that they are clearly on the same wavelength, to the extent that both understand each others jokes, know what the other is thinking, and can even finish off each others sentences. Probably the greatest thing about Farscape is watching the characters grow, and if you return to the series' origin, it would be difficult to imagine the two becoming as close as they are today. I guess it just shows how extraordinary circumstances can bring people closer, and how John and D'Argo's friendship has evolved is a prime example of this.
I loved the way Xhalax Sun made an appearance at the very end of this episode, setting in motion events that will follow. It was a nice teaser, and it was great to see how she used that creature to impersonate Sarova and hence influence Talyn's healing process. It was a good way to introduce her, and if you read into it a little more it gives you an idea that she will go to great lengths (even if it means destroying a world's politics) to get Talyn back. The chase is apparently on. I also must mention that I was instantly in awe of Linda Cropper. I have to say that Farscape has the best casting team in television, because there's no doubt that Linda Cropper could quite easily pass of as Aeryn's mother. Her and Claudia have a similar look, and I just found this quite remarkable.
So, where to next? The two crews are now split in half – John-green, D'Argo, Jool, Chiana and Pilot on Moya, whilst John-black, Aeryn, Crais, Stark and Rygel occupy Talyn. How they will work this aspect is definitely going to be fun to watch, as there are quite simply endless possibilities. The doubling of John plot quite simply was a stroke of genius, and does offer us a chance to go where no series has gone before, assuming they manage to make it live up to its potential, and I'm confident they will. In the end though, whilst "Thanks" gives us some wonderful twists and turns, it's more a case of setting things in motion, the idea being we start off with the two John's on Moya, and by the end we have half the crew there, the other half on the healed Talyn. It was an enjoyable episode to watch, but nothing outstanding. No doubt the best is yet to come from this new arc.
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 "Thanks for Sharing", click here.
Did You Know?
Talyn has DRDs, which he builds as he grows.
Talyn was designed with intelligence gathering facilities.
We finally learn what was on Crais' chip from Die Me, Dichotomy.
Aeryn's mother, Xhalax Sun, commands the retrieval squad in pursuit of Talyn, and will stop at nothing to get her back.
The crew is split up at the end of the episode. John-green, D'Argo, Chiana, Jool and Pilot are left on Moya, as John-black, Aeryn, Crais, Rygel and Stark leave on Talyn.
Xhalax is in league with aliens who have the ability to take the form of other beings. In this episode one takes the form of Sarova, to influence what happens to Talyn.
Die Me, Dichotomy
Season of Death
Suns and Lovers
John: (to Tolven) "You've been lying to your daddy boy, and you know you shouldn't lie to your daddy. It's gonna stop. Who's your daddy? C'mon, you know who your daddy is. Who's your daddy? D'Argo, tell him who his daddy is."
D'Argo: "I'm your daddy!"
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