|What Was Lost, Part 2:|
What was lost... is now gained, as one of the crew depart...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
"What was lost... is now gained." I love that quote. As for the episode, "loved" would be a fairly strong word, but I liked "Resurrection" a lot. Especially the upbeat ending. It featured a nice wrap-up to the immediate side of the story that began in Part 1, while also raising a number of intriguing points that relate to where the overall arc of the show could eventually be headed. Going into this, I'd heard people (who had only seen the first part, mind you) describe it as something that will "change the face of Farscape forever". Straight up, neither this episode nor its predecessor does that in and of itself, however the overall questions raised, such as the nature of the relationship between Humans, Sebaceans and Interions, do hint and the direction the show will likely eventually move into to answer. The answers aren't provided here (though there is a little "everything points to...", "it would appear..." style speculation), but they'll come eventually.
In "Resurrection", we see Grayza humiliated at the hands of John. While she continues to have Braca wrapped around her finger, she gets far too complacent with the ever resourceful John, who blatantly out-wits her given half an opportunity, but this is a mistake she's unlikely to make again. You see, John's "recapture" is all part of D'Argo and Sikozu's plan, yet another that doesn't go quite the way they wanted but nonetheless does work out in the end, in which John lets Grayza think he's still under her allure, distracting her while the others go to work. He then remembers and uses the substance that the Old Woman told him about in "Sacrifice" to make him forget everything so he can't dish the dirt to Grayza. Clever, né? Anyhow, this whole part of the story plays out extremely well. For a start, Grayza's mysterious chest substance is revealed to be Heppel oil; apparently some concubines have a Heppel gland implanted that creates the oil, and the oil's perfume targets the erogenous zones. Hence, Grayza is able to get most men to do what she wants just by giving them a sniff. What's also interesting is that a side effect of this gland's implantation is a shortened life span. This raises some interesting questions as to how and why Grayza had the gland implanted; was she forced or did she choose it? She's certainly a fairly powerful character, so it leaves one to wonder how this implantation came about.
Perhaps the most significant result of the Grayza-John storyline is that, since she's left tied up half-naked and out-smarted by John, she now has a personal reason to want to get him. It's something any villain eventually needs - a personal vendetta. Crais had it. Scorpius had it. Now Grayza has it. Granted, it's only one ounce of humiliation, but from her scene with Braca at the end she is certainly feeling it and is not happy; in fact she vows to make them (referring to the crew) pay for the humiliation, and she definitely seems to mean it! Despite it only being the one time John's humiliated her, it probably won't be the last and it's the antagonism of the "good guy", John, in one-upping the villain that drives the villain to go after the good guy even more, and Grayza now has that purpose. In this episode, she also proved just how far she will go to keep her word. She has dished out plenty of humiliation to Scorpius, which last week was extremely disturbing. Here she goes one further, making John dig a grave and then, when John refuses to shoot, gets Braca to shoot Scorpius, and then has him buried. Even when Sikozu comes back with the secret Peacekeeper directorate, Grayza stands firm to her word and has the half-breed buried. She is definitely not a softy, which is a very good thing, and I for one look forward to her next meeting with the crew. Her comments regarding helping John look for Aeryn added a little bit of intrigue too; it shows that she is aware of John's love for Aeryn and perhaps knows something more, possibly about her location.
One of the more striking things about this season, though I'm not quite sure why it's standing out so much more, is the excellent character focus in these episodes so far. "Resurrection" again focussed more on a few particular characters, yet never felt like anyone was left out. All the characters that appeared had a purpose and something to do, but in particular Grayza and John, and the ladies were in the spotlight and again the characterisation shone through. Sikozu, in her second real appearance, again proves to be a fantastic addition to the cast, and Raelee Hill has settled into the character extremely quickly. Here she is spot on as Sikozu plays the traitor, and does so extremely well. She is extremely convincing to the enemy, so much so that even some of the crew can't see what she's doing. Despite my major problem with it (keep reading for that), the scene in the cell focussing around Sikozu, Chiana and Jool played out really well, and it was nice to see the girls kick some ass. Seeing Chiana getting some major screen time this season is also wonderful, as Gigi Edgley simply oozes brilliance in every scene and it's so nice to see her involved in a major way. She's shooting guns, commanding the other ladies and continuing to stay true to the character (no more is this evident than when she thinks Sikozu has betrayed them and she yells at Braca to shoot her or give her the gun so she can do it herself). The new hairpiece for Chiana is also really noticeable, simply because it's much more natural and free flowing than it was last season, and it looks really good.
Yet again, I am loving the Old Woman. We finally get to find out her name, Noranti, and she is another character that just has something endearing about her. She has that split-personality syndrome going on, and yet she's not like that for the sake of it – there's a method to her antics, and the character just seems to work and fit in really well. She gets some marvellous scenes in this episode, especially in the tag where she chats to Crichton; she is one character who truly seems to understand him. This is the aspect of the season that I am really enjoying; the characters are just shining through. Rygel gets a couple of extremely short yet very well-written scenes with Elack's Pilot that really managed to make me empathise and feel sad when Elack cam crashing down on the Marauders, and was just another example of the good things that were done.
The one thing that threatened to ruin it all for me though was something that at times really made me wonder what show I was watching, and that was just how downright stupid the enemies were at times. I am well aware that, at times, it serves the plot or lends itself to a funny moment or two to dumb-down the enemies slightly, but here for some reason it was just ridiculously over the top and almost ruined my enjoyment of the episode at times. Although this problem was scattered throughout a couple of places, there were two scenes in particular that had me baffled. By far the worst offender was during the cell scene mentioned earlier. When Sikozu first enters the cell, Jool grabs her by the throat, prompting a couple of guards to run over, one of whom stands right inside the cell, and stands down when Sikozu ushers him to. That was fine, but what made it ridiculous was that Sikozu then went on to have a relatively long chat with Jool and Chiana about how she was actually not with the Peacekeepers and that it was all part of a plan. She even outright says "D'Argo has a plan". None of the girls are making any effort to whisper, but there is a guard standing about a metre away! There was another guard standing just next to him. Now before anyone suggests it's those pesky helmets, the soldiers have never previously had any problems hearing people, often from even further away. So exactly how or why the guards is just standing there and does absolutely nothing just defied logic for me. Even though the look from the girls was hilarious, it was simply annoying. The second time was just after John walked out of Grayza's room and is met by Braca and a group of about five or more guards. John stands there and, in a highly amusing moment taunts Braca with his rear end, yet all the guards and Braca just look on. This whole time about ten or fifteen seconds have passed, then John pulls out his gun and fires. This would all be fine, assuming the Peacekeepers didn't want to kill John because they would incur Grayza's wrath, but once John pulls out his gun and hides behind a wall, then they start shooting! This was another point that left me scratching my head. I realise this is a television show, and that perhaps Justin Monjo let the guards not fire just for the amusing butt moment with John, but quite frankly I expect more from Farscape's bad guys. To let someone stand there for several seconds, who one could easily shoot, and to then open fire when he starts is just ridiculous. And it's then frustrating that typically John manages to pick off a couple of guards, but that's another story. The stupid enemy syndrome did not end there though, with other times like Oo-Nii revealing the location of the probes for no good reason other than he's asked, also being head-scratch moments.
Returning to what was good about this episode, the special effects were superb. The production values for Farscape have always been high, but the best thing about the special effects is that a lot of the time they're so good that they're almost unnoticeable; they look like a regular part of the show. What was really well-done here was the gradual fading of colour out of everything, and it's so subtle that it only really becomes noticeable as a really different effect when the colour is restored, and there's an extreme and harsh return to regular colour. In fact, that moment when the planet was restored was just excellent. The look of wonder on all the crews' faces was superb, from the initial reaction to the restoration of colour to the awe at seeing the restored temple; it all left me with that sense of wonder. It was also a nice and upbeat way to end the story, and for that reason I really liked it; it made me feel rather happy.
There is of course one other major point in the episode, which also relates to the ending of the episode, and that is that it gives Tammy MacIntosh a natural "out" so she can juggle her role as Jool on Farscape with the recurring guest role she has on Australian drama All Saints. Never fear, she will be back (sooner than you may think), she's just juggling her time between the two roles (or at least, she was when this episode was filmed). The great thing about the way she has left is that it leaves things really open for her to return, and to bring along a number of revelations. Jool, being the main Interion on the show, is now an integral part of the mythology with the discovery that Interions, Humans and Sebaceans are all linked in some way, so when she returns she will likely bring a few discoveries with her. Taking a bit of time to reflect on Jool's character though, it has been an absolute joy watching her character mature. In the third episode of season three she joined the crew as a bratty youngster, completely out of her depth. In the third episode of the fourth season she departs a much more mature and confident woman. We've seen her and D'Argo grow closer, and indeed it'll be interesting if we eventually see what went on during the time everyone was apart (since Jool and D'Argo were together), and she's also formed that sister-like bond with Chiana and has always had something of a friendship with John, who was almost always the main one who tolerated her. Jool has become yet another great Farscape character and I look forward to her rejoining the crew somewhere down the line.
At the end of the day, I liked this episode, and even with a few minor niggles I probably would've been able to overlook them because the meat of the episode is pretty darn good. The problem is those pesky enemies, who, with their extreme stupidity, threatened to ruin the episode every time they decided to do nothing at a critical moment. Those scenes really ruined much of the atmosphere, and along with there being something about the episode that just didn't click, it really dragged the episode down. At the end of the day though, the episode was enjoyable, and it was a good two-parter, but sadly this instalment didn't live up to the sum of its parts.
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 "Resurrection", click here.
Did You Know?
The Egyptian symbol Crichton recognises on the child's tile is the Eye of Horus, which is associated with regeneration, health and prosperity. For more on the mythology see here and here.
Commandant Grayza's sweat-like fluid that she wipes from her chest and uses to bring men under her control is apparently Heppel oil. Concubines have a Heppel gland implanted, which produces the oil, and the oil's perfume stimulates the erogenous zones. However, a side effect of the gland is that it shortens one's life.
The crew leave Jool behind on Arnessk, so she can work with the priests, who had been essentially "frozen" for 12000 cycles. The planet's restoration restores them and the lost temple, and Jool simply has to stay with them, with the added bonus that she should no longer be hunted by the Peacekeepers. It also gives Tammy MacIntosh the opportunity to juggle her role as Jool with a recurring guest role on Australian medical drama All Saints.
All evidence that's been found on Arnessk points to some sort of link between Humans, Sebaceans and Interions.
Into the Lion's Den, Part 1: Lambs to the Slaughter
Into the Lion's Den, Part 2: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
What Was Lost, Part 1: Sacrifice
Braca: "Hello Crichton."
John: "Hiya Braca. Let me ask you a question. You're a man of the world, right? Does my ass look big in these pants?"
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