|"I Shrink Therefore I Am"|
When bounty hunters take Moya captive, it's the incredible shrinking crew, with much more than meets the eye...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
"I Shrink Therefore I Am" was another fun action romp in a similar vein to a few other episodes this season, such as the opener "Crichton Kicks", but it also had its edge. What at first appeared to be a stand-alone episode became one that included a considerable nudge to one of the show's overriding arcs – the Scarran factor.
There was a quite a lot to like about "I Shrink," perhaps most notably some wonderful interaction between Crichton and Scorpius. Since the latter joined the crew in "Promises" he has remained locked up, and largely out of John's way, in particular for the past two episodes. This is the first episode where we really see how the relationship has developed between the real Scorpius and John. They pick up something of an amusing duo dynamic, leading to some hilarious comedy, with some fantastic timing from Scorpius. He knows that he's not in the best situation in being on Moya, but he really has little option (considering the alternatives) when it comes to protecting Crichton, and the fact that he's seeing how the crew go about overcoming any adversaries is just amusing, as he seems to find it hard to fathom how they've survived given their haphazard nature of solving things. Watching the two play off each other really had me laughing out loud, especially when Scorpius fires the weapon and nothing happens, so he turns to John and says "Thank you John" before getting shot. That scene played out perfectly, from timing to delivery, and was hilarious.
But the other part of what really endeared me to seeing John and Scorpius working together was that John still has his distrust of Scorpius playing on his mind all the time. Often on a TV series, if a villain ends up spending a certain amount of time around the ensemble, they will fall into the trap within an episode or two of writing the former villain as a good guy. Now that's not to say Scorpius is a good guy, far from it, Farscape is rarely that black and white with its characters, but the point is that while Aeryn in a way does trust him (likely because regardless of what they think he is/was a Peacekeeper, and as she was with Crais, there is some common ground with that), D'Argo, Chiana and especially Crichton have a serious problem trusting him. Something so simple as John not giving Scorpius a gun loaded weapon could be seen as something just placed their for comedy, but it's not. While it serves a comedic purpose, the main point is that John doesn't trust Scorpius, and Scorpius must work to earn his trust. Even after finding out that Scorpius could've escaped his cell, and Scorpius getting shot in that comedy moment, John still won't give him a loaded weapon. I may sound like I'm harping on, but I really appreciated that kind of detail. He is forced to work with Scorpius, and use him as an ally, as he has no one else, but he doesn't have to trust him. But Scorpius did go a ways to proving himself, and as they decided at the end of the episode, they really have no way of containing him, but they still agree to watch him at all times.
I also liked the way some of the other crewmembers were used in this episode, notably Chiana. It's been a pleasure to see Gigi Edgley being served with much more screen time this season, as she really does bring a lot to the table even in the briefest of appearances. The way her visions were integrated into the plot was nice and smoothly done, and her subsequent agonising over the possibility of losing her vision permanently was also well played. This ability is a real interesting one, and it's good to see it popping up every now and then. Her interactions with Aeryn were also very well done, especially with regard to the aforementioned agonising over the vision's effects, and Aeryn's attempts to calm her. Chiana's scenes with Sikozu were also fun, as the two continue to grow accustomed to each other.
Which brings me to one of my favourite parts of the episode – the brilliant teamwork on display. It's only natural that even the most haphazard groups of people over time, when thrown together as the crew have been, will become accustomed to each other and begin to know and understand the way they think and react. As such, the sequences like when D'Argo heard John breathing and got Aeryn and Rygel to "negotiate", and when the three again worked together to get the comm. were very well played and the subtleties of each of their actions was great to see, as it showed off teamwork like we haven't really seen, at least not in a while. The whole crew really interacted well as a whole in this episode, and that made it great fun to watch.
One other aspect that really caught my eye was John's use of Noranti's drug. I said at the end of my last review that I thought John probably didn't take the drug. Obviously, that was wrong, but it's interesting because his character is at a place where he could feasibly ignore Aeryn, as difficult as it may be, to help him through the pain. Instead he chooses to take the drug to forget about Aeryn, or rather his feelings of Aeryn. Undoubtedly, when you're in love with someone but you can't be together, for whatever reason, it's extremely difficult to then see that person repeatedly. John of course has to see Aeryn all the time, and so he would be constantly in pain from knowing that they love each other but it would potentially be even more painful to be together. So it's not hard to understand John's motivations for taking the drug. He says he doesn't need it, and that it just "takes the edge off things." But then, the writers could take this to the point where he becomes addicted so to speak, and tackle that aspect down the road, or he could feasibly use it sporadically when he really feels he needs to forget his feelings for Aeryn as it'll benefit the mission or whatever. It's going to be interesting to see where this goes, but it does say a lot about John's current mental state, and as I find myself continuing to say, how much he's changed since the series began. I really feel that back at the beginning of the series, he wouldn't even have considered the drug as an alternative, but now he's so emotionally battered from everything that's happened to him, and he's in a completely different state of mind, so he opts to use the drug.
By the end of this episode, we have Pilot, Aeryn and John agreeing to put it to D'Argo to travel into Tormented Space. I really, really like the prospects that this brings. Although I don't feel travelling in the Uncharted Territories has become stale at all, it's nice that the writers have chosen to move on, as this new area of space will be a completely different environment by the sounds of it, and could prove extremely interesting. Tormented Space, from the description given, just sounds like a nasty place, and certainly if neither Peacekeepers nor Scarrans travel there it must be something. The "reports" that it's a nexus of wormholes could also lead to many interesting stories, what with Crichton and Scorpius both being extremely interested in wormholes, and of course Crichton's understanding of the technology. One question that arises immediately is, will the Peacekeepers and Scarrans now follow Moya and crew into Tormented Space, and really you have to believe they will (Grayza certainly seems like she'll stop at nothing to get to John). Aeryn's reactions and her words though really made me think that Tormented Space is where she went during her time away from Moya. Just the expressions on Claudia Black's face again tell a whole underlying story, we just don't know what it is yet, but she seemed as though she'd had some personal experience in this region. Definitely should present some great story opportunities.
Overall "I Shrink" was a great episode. Not as good as "Promises" or last week's "John Quixote", but nonetheless a fun plot that really had a lot of major storyline points hidden beneath its initially episodic surface. The fact that it was another episode that really had me laughing out loud at some of the comments only added to its brownie points, and the things I liked really allowed me to overlook a few of the problems I had, like how quickly the final battle went (especially how quickly John saw and used the "make big code"). When Rygel lectured Sikozu about the universe not always obeying his preconceptions, but that he knows a fact when he sees one just had me rolling around because I found it so true, as there are a number of people out there who nitpick at the science when that's not the point of the story. This was definitely a fun episode to watch.
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 "I Shrink Therefore I Am", click here.
Did You Know?
As Chiana keeps using her visions, the amount of time she is blinded keeps increasing.
The ruling order, a newly revealed class of Scarrans are out to find out why Scorpius and Commandant Grayza are so interested in John Crichton. Axikor had disguised himself as a Coreeshi and worked with the Peacekeepers several times, finally to capture the crew (which he did with great efficiency).
The crew seem to have retained one of the handsets that the Coreeshi use to shrink people.
Look at the Princess, Part 1: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Look at the Princess, Part 2: I Do, I Think
Look at the Princess, Part 3: The Maltese Crichton
Won't Get Fooled Again
Infinite Possibilities, Part 1: Daedalus Demands
Infinite Possibilities, Part 2: Icarus Abides
Into the Lion's Den, Part 1: Lambs to the Slaughter
Dog with Two Bones
What Was Lost, Part 1: Sacrifice
What Was Lost, Part 2: Resurrection
Sikozu: "Don't you see? No. No! This isn't happening because it is not possible."
Rygel: "Your brain isn't functioning. Do you think this is all just a hallucination? Do you like that explanation better, hmm?"
Sikozu: "No, but I simply cannot comprehend-"
Rygel: "Neither can I. Who cares? We're here, they did it, and that's that. You consider yourself intelligent?"
Sikozu: "Yes, I do."
Rygel: "Then stop behaving like a child."
Sikozu: "I am not a child!"
Rygel: "No, you're an infant! You've studied but you haven't experienced. You know nothing of life!"
Sikozu: "And you do?"
Rygel: "I've been around long enough to know how ignorant I am. I don't assume the universe obeys my preconceptions. Huh! But I know a frelling fact when it hits me in the face!"
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