|"Dog with Two Bones"|
The crew attempt to bury Talyn, while Crichton has visions of what could be, which lead him to a pivotal choice...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
I'm going to come out and say the words I'm sure David Kemper would love to hear; I can't believe they did that! But other than that, I am just lost for words. What did I just watch?
This season's finale is like no other. Not just any other finale, but really not like any other episode. There are two main running themes, and a few other subplots in the episode. The first theme is that everyone is leaving. The second deals with the John and Aeryn story. The subplot revolves around the burial of Talyn. I said last week that it would be hard to articulate that episode. Well, multiply that by about six hundred, and that's how hard it will be to talk about "Dog with Two Bones".
Firstly, this episode will make a lot of people angry. A lot of other people will be happy. And most of the fans will be very, very confused. All I can recommend is that you keep in mind that the creative team always know what they're doing – they have a plan and I'm sure things will become oh-so clear once we've seen the season four opener. But regardless, I'm going to start my thoughts on the episode by taking events as they were, and I'll get to the other theories later.
One thing I really liked is that Crais and Talyn are indeed dead. As much as I liked the character of Crais, it would have been cheap to have a way to get out of it. Thankfully, there's no Trek-style technobabble; they're dead. Although Crais is mentioned in a whopping one line by D'Argo (of all people), the first half of the episode carries the plot of Talyn's burial. While the idea was a good one, to have a proper burial for Talyn, and it worked very well in exposing Chiana's feelings towards both Moya and Talyn. Naturally, since she was present at Talyn's birth, and actually helped deliver him, she has a close connection with him. She's also often been the one to mention Moya and her feelings, so it was nice to see that she agreed with Moya's decision not to back down, and to bury Talyn wherever she wants. My gripe with this storyline though, is that while it does resolve Talyn's death, which of course had to be mentioned in this episode, the way it played out with the second Leviathan was a little distracting, and dare I say, pointless. The one purpose the other Leviathan seemed to serve was to show off the power of D'Argo's ship (and that is some power), but then, maybe that was indeed the idea.
The other main theme running through the first half of the episode, and into the second half, was John's visions. From the beginning of the episode, John continuously sees visions of what could happen, and what he'd like to happen, which serve as a metaphor to his current situation. He sees himself getting happily married to Aeryn, who has joined him on Earth, as has the rest of Moya's crew, who all attend the wedding.
These scenes are interesting, but what adds more intrigue is the presence of an old lady on Moya. She seems to be influencing these visions, but no one on Moya knows who she is. It's odd, because she even reminds them of how she got aboard (if indeed she can be believed), yet a running question is the crew asking who the woman is. She was definitely a creepy, mysterious figure, but she turns out to want to help John see the "truth", telling him how the secret lies hurt more than the lies that are spewed out, which is actually very true. This causes John to ask her to make him see the truth, with her herbs that seem to help him on his way, and what he sees isn't pretty. All through his visions, he'd been seeing some unhappy things, including Aeryn telling John's father how unhappy she was on Earth, and D'Argo mentioning Aeryn leaving him (although that also related to "reality", where Aeryn was actually leaving). But in this last vision, Peacekeepers storm the wedding reception, and kill everyone in the room. When he's left alone crying over Aeryn's body, Scorpius enters and asks him what he expected.
The purpose of this "truth" is to make him realise that he can't mix his two dreams, spending his life with Aeryn and going back to Earth. Hence the title of the episode, as he explains he is the dog with two bones. It makes him realise that he can only have one, and he had already said to D'Argo by this point that he couldn't go back to Earth now, because the Peacekeepers would follow. So, he chooses the woman he loves, Aeryn (which would likely have been his choice anyway).
That leads John to find Aeryn, who is about to leave, and try to convince her to stay, or let him go with her, basically just to be with her. This scene works extremely well on a number of levels, with its highly charged emotions and fine acting from Ben Browder and Claudia Black. Aeryn is still haunted by the death of the other John, and she just isn't ready to be with this John, at least not now, but she doesn't want to say goodbye because if they are meant to be then they will see each other again. On the other hand, John doesn't want to let the one thing he loves leave. In the end, after the emotional exchange, John tosses a coin, which will decide their fate. Now this is where things really got bizarre. The image of the coin freezes in mid air, as if the words "To Be Continued" are about to appear, but obviously it's about five minutes too early for that. Instead, things fade out, and then we get into the tag scene. I wanted to mention the strangeness of the way the coin toss was done, as it may be a hint of something else.
The episode ends with a surprising revelation and a huge shock. First, everyone really has gone. D'Argo has gone to find Macton, to get revenge. Rygel is on his way back to Hyneria, and Chiana is off searching for Nerri and the Nebari resistance. However, the goodbyes do not take place on screen, and instead we see them as John reflecting on the words while he sits in his module not far from Moya. Then we see Aeryn, not too far away, in her Prowler, and John recalls her last words, about how they must trust what fate has decided. A tear drops down Aeryn's face, and in a sad moment, she tells John to fly safe and says goodbye, then her Prowler fades into the distance. That was another weird effect though, and again could be a subtle hint at something else. Aeryn doesn't actually fly her Prowler away; it just sort of fades away into the distance (it looks a little like the effect used when ships go to warp in Star Trek).
John is then joined by Harvey, but not inside his head as he has been mostly when we've seen him this season. Instead he's "in" the module, and has a gift for John that he found in his subconscious, which he mentions in respect to John's well being now being his well being too. He lets John hear what the old woman whispered to him, and it turns out that she was advising him on how to handle things with Aeryn, basically saying to do things on her terms. Then she drops a bombshell – Aeryn is pregnant! Obviously, this is the dead John's, and it could be why she has been so much against being back with John (not that the fact that she watched the man she loved die, only to be met with his equal isn't emotionally disturbing enough), and of course it brings up some wild questions. But things don't end there, because John tells Pilot he wants to go after Aeryn, and the old woman threatens Jool to make Pilot agree. But as Pilot does agree, a wormhole opens right on top of Moya, sucking her in. And with Moya gone, John is left in his module, which is almost out of fuel, all alone.
So this leaves us with a number of questions. Prominently, who was the old woman, what was she doing on Moya, and what are her motives? She is extremely keen on helping John, and somewhat forceful with his visions. In many ways she forces John to rush in to pushing Aeryn, although admittedly, with her about to leave, he was running out of time.
Another is what will happen to the crew? They are all now split, so how will they be brought back together? It's going to have to be some pull to bring them back from their quests, unless of course they all complete their quests first.
Then there's how did that wormhole get on top of Moya, and pull her in? Well, there's an obvious theory there, and really only one plausible one in the context of this all being real, and that's that Pathfinder people from the "Self Inflicted Wounds" two parter earlier in the season have come for Moya. At the end of that episode, their leader, Neeyala, did say that Moya acted as a homing beacon for her people, so they could have come to get Moya. Of course, some conspiracy theorists will probably link that to what they believe may be the return of Zhaan, and thinking about it, could definitely be linked with the return of Stark, although that may be getting a little too convoluted.
Also, the question of Aeryn's pregnancy comes up. It sure would be in character for her not to tell John, because she is rarely open, and when she was, it was with the other John, but since his death she clammed up again in that regard. But the way it's revealed suggests all may not be as it seems. It could be Harvey manipulating John, in an effort to keep him alive, or at least motivated, for whatever purpose. Of course, this then brings into question again exactly who the old woman is and what she was doing.
But perhaps the biggest question is was it real? And if it is (which I think is the case), what parts weren't? Throughout the episode, there were a variety of hints that suggested all might not be what it seems. There were the obvious visions that John was having, but with the influence of the old woman and some other things, including the way the visions began to merge with "reality" at times (particularly the conversation with D'Argo, although what was said was relevant in context). These things could point to much of the episode being a hallucination (possibly even all of it). The point is, the episode does work well as a whole analogy of John's mind, and what choices he now has and how those choices will affect him, but on many occasions it seemed as though even the pieces that were supposed to be reality, outside the visions, didn't seem quite right.
A few observations include that the "reality" pieces were very dark throughout, in contrast to the vision scenes being very bright. Of course, it could just have been to illustrate the difference between the two, but it could also be a clue that things weren't quite right. Also, everything seems to be made from John's point of view entirely, and where he's not directly involved in a scene, it often seemed as though the characters could have been acting the way he thought they might. Particularly, Aeryn's joke about not having to fly with D'Argo sounded very John-like, and not like something Aeryn would usually say (although she has been known to crack jokes when the occasion called for it). Chiana mentions Zhaan in her talk with Moya, but in that scene, the directing calls for her speech to be repetitious. That seemed rather odd, because where that style has been adopted before (the main occasion being "Scratch 'n Sniff"), it has been used at scattered points throughout the episode, as opposed to just the one scene as it was here. Then, immediately after that scene, John's has a further vision featuring Chiana, which could be coincidence, but may not be.
The most clear and obvious one is that no one knows who the woman is, and she's the one to supposedly tell him Aeryn is pregnant, but he only hears that when Harvey reminds him of it, so it could either be something to do with the woman, or something that Harvey has made up (plus there's Harvey's comments about well-being mentioned above). Also, the way the fade-out at the coin toss was preceded by a pause (as if it was the end of the episode), struck me as something odd. Then there's the way the end sequence went; Aeryn's Prowler just fades away, instead of her flying away, and the weirdness with the old woman on Moya, and the way Moya is just suddenly sucked away by a wormhole that only just appeared (although, the possible explanation about the Pathfinders counteracts that theory). In all, it just doesn't seem to add up to reality, although it would seem that for every possible reason for it not being real, there's a theory to suggest otherwise. The only other thing that stood out was Chiana's odd behaviour. Although we her feelings for John, something akin to unrequited love, have been fairly clear yet subtly alluded to before, they seemed to come on suddenly strong here. It could have just been because she was about to leave him for good that the feelings were brought out, but then again, maybe not.
On the other hand, I have a nagging feeling that it might very well be real. At least, all of it up to the coin toss, which is where, at least to me, the bizarre happenings and mysteries really came to the fore, and called into question everything else. But then, is Aeryn getting pregnant the way to go? How will they get out of everyone having finally left each other? So many questions, so few answers. And that's the problem – it's all guesswork at this point, all the analysis under the sun can be made, but until June, and the season four premiere, we won't find out exactly what's going on.
Now don't think I like the idea of Aeryn possibly really being pregnant, because to be honest, I don't. I'm not the sort of person that would like to see a baby on the show, although I know it's likely that they'd never actually have the baby, there are just too many ways to mess up a story like that. But I have faith in the creative team, and I know that they wouldn't drop something like this on a whim – there's a reason behind it, and if it is real I'm sure it will only drive more drama, which is never a bad thing. But as part of a finale, it's a great revelation. In fact, particularly with the last third of the episode, it works magnificently as a season finale, because it does what it should. It brings up huge questions, and leaves you with a number of cliffhangers, wondering what the heck is going on, and gives you more than enough to discuss over the hiatus between seasons. So in that respect it's definitely a wonderful, pretty damn jaw-dropping finale.
So grading this episode without seeing the continuation/conclusion of it is very difficult. All I know is that it was odd, emotionally charged and very trippy. Yet there was something very compelling there, with some excellent performances (both in the hallucinations and "reality"). Not only that, but the scene with John and Aeryn was very well performed and emotionally played out, and what with the tag scenes being what they are, with the revelation that Aeryn's pregnant being an absolute shock (I never thought I'd actually hear that on the show), it all added up well. By the very end, when Moya was sucked away and John was left alone, my jaw was literally wide open because I was so stunned, so it definitely left an impression on me. I decided on a "4", because while there were elements that I liked, and some that I didn't, it's hard to knock this episode for its revelations before you know their outcome. Once again, we are left with one heck of a cliffhanger, and the season four premiere cannot come soon enough. As to what will happen, all bets are off, but the wait between now and then will be excruciating.
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 "Dog with Two Bones", click here.
Did You Know?
Crais is definitely dead, as is Talyn, whose remains are buried in this episode.
Melissa Jaffer, who plays the Old Woman, also played Old Nilaam in season 2's Vitas Mortis.
When Aeryn dies in John's final vision, she says to him "Don't worry about me, I've never felt better." This is the same line that Talyn-John said to her on his deathbed in Icarus Abides.
There are many parts of this episode, outside the main visions of he and the others on Earth, that could suggest some or all of this episode was actually some sort of hallucination or infliction upon John.
The crew have finally disbanded, with D'Argo going on his quest for revenge against Macton, his wife's brother and murderer, Rygel returning to Hyneria and Chiana going to search for her brother Nerri and the Nebari resistance. Meanwhile, Aeryn seeks a group of rogue Peacekeepers who, amongst other things, assassinate people to aid against crimes such as terrorism.
When Aeryn flies away, rather than seeing the Prowler fly off gradually into the distance, an odd fade effect is used to fade it away into the background.
When John tosses the coin to decide his and Aeryn's fate, we never see the result, it is only alluded to later when she leaves that it did not go in their favour.
No one seemed to know who the old woman was, even though she was aboard. A running theme was for the crewmembers to ask who she was. She influenced some of hallucinations, and at the end threatens Jool in order to help John try and get back to Aeryn, yet her true motivations are not revealed.
Harvey digs up a memory of John hearing the old woman whisper something to him during his hallucinations, amongst other things, that Aeryn is pregnant!
Moya is sucked away by a wormhole that suddenly appears on top of her at the end of the episode, leaving John all alone in his module, which is almost out of fuel.
The Hidden Memory
A Clockwork Nebari
Green Eyed Monster
Infinite Possibilities, Part 2: Icarus Abides
Into the Lion's Den, Part 2: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Harvey: [to John] "My gift."
Old Woman: [whispering] "Be forgiving. Be kind. Better angels. Her life. Her world. On her time. You will know... Aeryn is with child."
John: "Aeryn, why didn't you tell me? Why didn't you trust me? Old womaaaan!"
John: "You have got to be kidding me!"
|We have 188 images from Dog with Two Bones online.|
To view the gallery click here.