|Into the Lion's Den, Part 2:|
"Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"
The end of an era...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
And that wasn't the season finale? My word, I have no idea what to expect now. Let me say right away that this episode is going to be hard to describe. Seriously, I don't think words can do it justice. This was an amazing, thoroughly amazing, episode. I have given four episodes this season so far top marks (which as we know, doesn't mean perfect, but it means it's one of the best). To be quite honest, I don't think any of them touch this. I am just gobsmacked. This one episode could quite easily be the culmination of not just the season, but also the series as a whole.
"Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" just works on so many levels. It ties up the entire season so far – many of the smaller plot threads (such as what are Crais' true ambitions), and of course, the driving arc of the season, wormhole technology. Yet, while the wormhole story is sufficiently wrapped up here, questions could still be raised as to where the story of wormholes is going. It's not that they may be forgotten, quite the contrary, but in the context of how the story has panned out this season so far, we've kind of seen the culmination. In addition to plot threads being wrapped, we also have numerous questions left unanswered, and, it has to be said, leaving you wanting more!
Rockne O'Bannon's writing is just awesome in this episode. Absolutely awesome. The script just works on so many levels, with the characters back to their core, true selves (none of that occasionally uneven writing displayed at times this season), with John making plenty of pop culture references, Crais coming full circle, Rygel coming off as more than comic relief, and just the characters sounding perfect in general. This is the kind of script us fans just yearn for (well, I do, anyway!).
The two new stories introduced in Part 1 are fairly promptly brought to a close. The Aeryn/Henta story concludes, as Aeryn is forced to watch her friend die, in the face of death herself. This short subplot has really shown one thing - how far Aeryn has come since she left the Peacekeepers. She is no longer like Henta herself, although she once was. She has evolved, and become much more open-minded, knowing that much of what the Peacekeepers do is wrong. And of course, she has learnt how to really care for others, and in a way has become a lot softer at heart. Her scene healing the girl, and Henta's reaction, clearly illustrate the difference between what the old Aeryn would have probably done (force the girl to carry on), and what the Aeryn three years on would do (heal her). I found the parallels quite astounding, for the simple reason it kind of hits you over the head just how much Aeryn has changed since the first episode.
Crais on the other hand has to say goodbye to Lt. Larell, his former flame, in his own way. He knows that if anyone found out she knew anything about his plot with Moya's crew, it'd cost her career. So, in public, he struck her to make it look as if she had no idea he was even conspiring against Scorpius, hence she could not then be charged with any crime, as no one would think to suspect her (and if they did, the witnesses could say what the saw). It's actually a very sweet thing for Crais to do, if only because it means he has to sacrifice his chance to say goodbye.
But the episode leaves us with two big questions. Big question 1: Is Crais dead? To be honest, I don't know, but I don't see how they could get out of this one, since he was adamant Talyn would be destroyed. If he is, this would be a beautiful exit. As it is, it's a wonderful character moment. He has finally come full circle. He was forced out of command, and here he gets his long awaited revenge on Scorpius. It's something that you just know has been building ever since they last met on the Command Carrier (in "Family Ties"). Crais' command meant everything to him, and as he tells Scorpius, he stole his life from him when he forced him out of command, but finally, Crais has the opportunity to take away the one thing that means everything to Scorpius – his wormhole research. Additionally, his experience of wormholes has shown him that he needs to do this, as the power of wormholes is just too dangerous, and with only Talyn left as his "family", he makes a sacrifice, the two of them, together. The short speech in which Crais told Talyn his plan, was brilliantly written, and it'd be hard to find fault with either of their decisions. Regardless, it's a lovely thing for him to do, and there was so much buried emotion in there it was very sad to watch. Yes, we think he's sold out at first (and it was skilfully played), but he didn't. It was all part of his masterful plan. One thing that was intriguing was his final scene with Aeryn. All that was seen was Aeryn with her hand on his cheek, saying, "now you go". It'd be very interesting to see what was said between the two before that (it's extremely unlikely that was all that was said), and it will likely come out eventually. But regardless, Crais and Aeryn have always had chemistry, and something of a special bond, coming from the same background and all, and it was very touching to see even this small fragment of their goodbye. This was just a beautiful exit, for a burdened man.
Then there's big question 2: Scorpius' fate. Is he dead? It's doubtful. He's probably done something with Braca (since he told Braca to go with him), like escape. But his final scenes were just masterful, and hats off to Wayne Pygram for playing them to perfection. Throughout the season, we've been exposed to some of his vulnerabilities, and we've found out exactly what drives him. We still think he's evil, and know it, but we know it's for a purpose, and in some ways, a part of us empathises with the character and what he wants to achieve (since we know why). And to watch his one purpose for living be destroyed, was actually a very sad moment. His final goodbye with John, and the build up to it as the Carrier was falling apart, felt like the end of an era. They are finally apart. Although John still has wormhole knowledge, will Scorpius still come after it? Possibly. But we realise that Scorpius' entire significance (at least in his eyes, for the time being) is lost, with the destruction of all his research. It was a bittersweet end, in that Scorpius now feels the Scarrans have won, and it's just a matter of time before they take over, but we know that John has stopped him for the time being. John has won. It's unlikely we've seen the last of Scorpius, and as such, it will be interesting to see what his motives will be once he does return.
Much of the episode, understandably, focused on John's exploits. He is now closer than ever to finally unlocking wormhole secrets. In fact, he's likely already there (since he flew successfully with Scorpius). But seeing his goodbye to Pilot and Moya (even though it wasn't goodbye in the end) was heart warming. The puppeteers managed once again to pull so much emotion out of Pilot, and the interplay was beautiful. His scenes with Scorpius were superb, with Ben Browder and Wayne Pygram allowing their chemistry to reach unimaginable levels. They just bounced off each other wonderfully. Their trip through the wormhole was again very well done. It gave Scorpius the taste of what could have been; in his first ever trip through a wormhole, and in retrospect will remind him of just how close he came to completing his research.
Even John's scenes with Strappa were excellent, in which you got the feeling that all Strappa had lived for is this one discovery, a major scientific discovery, but even he in the end had his dream shattered when he was forced to realise that it just could not be; wormhole weapons just have to much power. But John did not erase his knowledge, and so is still vulnerable, he still knows, and Scorpius could still come after him, as could the Scarrans, and Commandant Grayza, and any number of other enemies he's managed to amass. But John has lost something in all of this – Scorpius, and you can see that he feels he's losing a part of him. In a sense, he is. He still has Harvey in his brain, Scorpius has been in pursuit of him for such a long time, and they've actually been through a lot together. For so long their fates have been intertwined, and for now it's over. John knows it is a bittersweet end, as it's likely not the end of his wormhole ordeal, as he still has the knowledge.
One of the greatest things about Farscape is that actions have consequences. As such, previous events are never forgotten, and so it was nice to see that Rygel and Crais didn't forget that they saw wormholes themselves, and witnessed their awesome power. Both mention that wormhole technology is something that should never be allowed to be harnessed by anyone, and in saying so they just make us even more aware of what is at stake.
The destruction of the carrier/escape scene was wonderfully done. From the final look at Crais and Talyn, to seeing the Peacekeepers escape, to the looming view of Scorpius realising what has happened, it was just perfectly done. The music throughout the episode was great, but the orchestral score during this scene was just magnificent, awesome, and perfect. It really added to the feel of the scenes, and helped it feel like the end of an era, which in terms of the series, it was. One of the driving stories for the over two thirds of the series – Scorpius and his pursuit of John for wormhole technology – is now seemingly at an end.
In terms of the remaining characters, we didn't get to see that much. D'Argo's ship was again put to good use, and there were a few nice scenes with them as a group, but if there's one minor niggle I had with this episode it would be that the rest of the crew don't get all that much screen time. But given how much needed to be crammed in, that's easily overlooked when you realise how effective the rest of the episode was. Much like last year, the crew are once again ready to split up and go their separate ways, but the question is will they, and what will they do and who will go if they do? I suspect something will bring them back together, but at the moment it does feel like the end. Quite where things will go from here is anyone's guess, but there's no denying that Farscape will never be the same again; the events in this episode have changed the shape of the show forever.
The direction, production values, effects, everything about this episode was awesome. It really did feel like the end. Most shows would not even attempt an episode that coveys such emotion and story as this, especially as it's not even the season finale. Like I said earlier, I do carefully think about my scores, and maybe in retrospect a couple of the other fives handed out this season shouldn't have been, but this one should. It was an emotional, moving, well written epic, and just awesome in almost every way. A bona-fide Farscape classic, and quite possibly knocking "Die Me, Dichotomy" off the top of my list as my favourite episode ever. I really can't recommend it enough, but I have to pose the very first question again; if this was the penultimate episode, what on Earth could be in store for the season finale?
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 "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing", click here.
Did You Know?
Commandant Grayza's return is repeatedly foreshadowed throughout this episode.
Rygel says that the Command Carrier is over a metra long, implying a distance akin to a mile or more, although all previous mentions of the word "metra", and the description in the Official Farscape Illustrated Companion, refer to a metra as the equivalent of one metre.
John is back to making a plethora of pop culture references in this episode. One of the most notable: When his module experiences turbulence, flying through the wormhole with Scorpius, he tells Scorpius, "Flyin' through wormholes ain't like dusting crops farm boy!" - a reference to Han Solo's line in Star Wars.
If StarBurst is attempted within a confined space, where the energy is not allowed to dissipate, the Leviathan will be destroyed.
Crais and Talyn are now presumed dead, having StarBurst inside the Command Carrier.
John and Scorpius successfully flew through a wormhole, despite instabilities.
Scorpius reveals that he won't seek vengeance against John by going to Earth – the only vengeance he cared for is no longer within his grasp.
The code to unlock Scorpius' I-Yensch bracelet was to hold two lights and press "911", the telephone number for Emergency Services in the USA.
Once again, much like at the end of last season, the bulk of the crew are contemplating where to go from here. Chiana would likely go looking for her brother and the Nebari resistance, Rygel would probably return to Hyneria to depose the Dominar and Jool wants to go home. But what will they do, and what circumstances can keep together?
The Hidden Memory
Mind the Baby
Infinite Possibilities, Part 1: Daedalus Demands
Infinite Possibilities, Part 2: Icarus Abides
Into the Lion's Den, Part 1: Lambs to the Slaughter
Crais: [Over comm., to whole ship] "Scorpius, I am just making my final goodbyes. I am standing in your heart, and I'm about to squeeze. [...] You are the most repellent of creatures, Scorpius. You weren't born into Peacekeepers; you weren't conscripted, against your will. You chose to be one. [...] The last time I left this ship, my ship, I did so under a veil of secrecy. You forced that situation. You took away my command. You stole my life from me! Well this time, Scorpius, I am not leaving quietly!"
Scorpius: "Somebody find that fool, and get him out of that ship! [Carrier starts to rumble] Somebody, get that traitor off that ship!"
John: [to Scorpius] "I suggest you hang on to something."
Crais: "Talyn. StarBurst!"
John: "We were close. [Pause] If we're going to get off this boat, now would be a good time."
Scorpius: "I may not be getting off this ship, John. [Pause] Goodbye Crichton." [Walks off to impending doom]
|We have 184 images from Wolf in Sheep's Clothing online.|
To view the gallery click here.