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"Eat Me"

Summary

D'Argo, John, Jool and Chiana are in a damaged transport pod when they happen upon a Leviathan with a Peacekeeper control collar. Why are they flying about in the pod? How did it get damaged? Does it matter? Point is, it's die in the pod or take their chances on the Leviathan.

They land in the hangar to find that the Leviathan is derelict. No Peacekeepers in sight, lights low, damage and decay everywhere. It just gets weirder and spookier when a humanoid something jumps out of nowhere onto D'Argo's back. Chiana shoots the creature, which looks like something between a cavewoman and a Peacekeeper on serious drugs.

Tending to the more immediate crisis, they determine that the ship needs threekay wire and narium coils, both of which should be standard guts on a Leviathan. Taking one of the Leviathan's transports isn't an option as there are none. Chiana points out that it looks as if everyone who could leave has left. D'Argo and John go searching for spare parts while Chiana reluctantly baby-sits Jool in the transport pod. As D'Argo and John move throughout the ship, things start looking worse and more mysterious. Specific doors seem to open for them. There's damage everywhere as if the ship is diseased and they stumble upon a pile of what looks like Sebacean bones. John wants to find out what's happening to the ship. D'Argo just wants to get the supplies and leave. John goes off to find the ships Pilot.

Back at the transport pod, a random sensor part falls off, prompting Chiana to "join the treasure hunt." She passively explains to a scared Jool that there are pulse rifles available to defend the pod if she wants to stay behind. Jool starts to whine that there are no guns, no violence on her planet. Chiana promptly hits her. Twice, prompting Jool to hit back, albeit with a weak punch that hurts Jool way more than Chiana. Chi tells her "See? Violence. You'll get the hang of it."

John finds the ships pilot, with a small number of the cavepeople/PK-druggies around him. They scatter away when John comes in and the terrified, barely coherent, and dismembered Pilot tells John he's being eaten alive and begs John to kill him. Chiana runs into more of the Leviathan's inhabitants engaged in what looks like a cannibalistic feast. When she figures out they really are cannibalizing each other and she's their next meal, she starts shooting. And rather impressively at that, giving us one of those great Nebari battle cries in the process. D'Argo and John, still separated, each hear her yelling for them and try to find her in the corridors. In doing so, D'Argo happens upon an alien who, while not in much better physical shape as the rest, seems to have his wits very much about him. He hits D'Argo with a weapon which seems to encase him in what could best be described as a huge balloon. John and Chiana rush in, fighting off cave-PKs left and right, just in time to see the coherent alien drill something into D'Argo's skull, then feed it into his own before leaving D'Argo to be eaten by the rest. An enraged Chiana shoots several of them and scares the rest away, but it's too late. D'Argo is dead.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
Moya starbursts with no prompting from Pilot or the crew. It is quickly learned that she was responding to a distress call from Talyn. When they get there, there is no answer from either Talyn or Crais. Aeryn boards Talyn to find Crais unconscious and barely alive and Talyn severely damaged (almost as if there'd been a fire on the Farscape Talyn set. Hmm…).

John and Chiana are struggling with the guilt-blame-anger thing over D'Argo's death while still trying to maintain some composure in their current crisis. They come around when they see a group of the cave-PKs eating off the walls of the ship. Noting that this ship is alive just like Moya, John kills them on behalf of the ship. At the transport pod, Jool tries to put on the bravery face and venture out to be useful, but upon hearing the screams and groans of the ship's inhabitants, decides she's best off on the steps of the pod, "guarding" it.

Chiana and John drag D'Argo's body into Pilot's chamber where the pilot tells them this was a PK prison ship for the criminally insane. The ship - Rovhu - was attacked at some point by Scarrans, and of course no one would help them so they began to starve. Kaarvok is the guy who killed D'Argo and pretty much controls the ship at this point. He was also the one and only prisoner aboard the ship. The rest are Peacekeepers (more or less). As he's explaining all this, Chiana is performing a death rite over D'Argo's body. She sets him on fire and she and John push him over the edge of the walkway. Kaarvok comes in, knocks Crichton out with a couple of well placed backhands, and attacks Chiana much the same way he attacked D'Argo. Only this time, we see what happens post-balloon; it splits like a cell and out pop 2 identical Chianas. One gets away while the other is brain-sucked by Kaarvok. John comes around and walks in on a group of PKs feeding on the remains of Chiana.

Quick check on Moya and Talyn; Aeryn wants to take Crais back to Moya for medical treatment. Rygel disagrees, pointing out that whatever beat the crap out of Talyn could still be out there, and Moya is defenseless should it/they return. Stark says that Talyn may recover. Crais may not.

The Chiana twin that survived is in some random corridor, convincing herself that the other one is just a clone. Believing both Chiana and D'Argo to be dead, John tells the pilot his only chance is for Pilot to take back control of the ship. Kaarvok meanwhile has D'Argo chained up in a cell. He gives the cave-PKs a name - the Xarai - and explains that he didn't clone D'Argo or Chiana, he literally doubled or "twinned" them. "Two D'Argos; both original, both equal." Kaarvok also explains that the Peacekeepers have been twinned too often - 30 or 40 times - which has turned them into the less-than-all-there Xarai they are now. He brought the transport on board to bring in more … "Food? Family? Is there a difference?" And now he wants to breed D'Argo to one of the Xarai.

Just as it looks like he's making progress with giving control of the ship back to the pilot, the pilot is killed - impaled through the head - while John is underneath him reattaching cables. John continues to try and work the console without Pilot. He intends to initiate starburst, which will likely kill the ship, but at least it will also kill Kaarvok. Chiana finds D'Argo, who's still chained to the cell with the Xarai trying to breed with him. It's hard to tell if Chi is joking or not when she offers to come back later if she's interrupting something. D'Argo gives her an emphatic "no" and Chi frees him. She goes to take the supplies back to the transport pod and get it ready. D'Argo heads to the pilot den to find John. At the transport pod, Jool is about ready to shoot herself with a pulse rifle but can't even get that right.

In Pilot's den, Kaarvok is warning John that starburst will destroy the ship. John says that's pretty much the idea. John manages to overpower Kaarvok and get out of Pilot's den but not before Kaarvok hits him with his twinning device. Sure enough, just as one John makes it to the transport pod, in runs the second John.

They make it back to Moya, D'Argo reminding Chiana that they weren't cloned, they were twinned; both equal, both original. But Chiana is still unable to accept it. The two Johns meanwhile are playing a somber game of rock, paper, scissors, each of them always coming up with the same play each time, eternally tied. A pulse pistol on the table between them makes one wonder what the stakes are.


Review

Well, David Kemper did tell us recently that he'd be doing something with his lead character that no one else would think to do. Since then, we've been all over the boards and chats speculating: Will he kill John off? No way, that frells up the whole premise of the show. Will he have John turn evil? Will he have John finally go off the deep end with the Scorpy/Harvey clone? Will John turn gay? Yet, if you think about it, hasn't all that been done before? I watched this episode with about a dozen 'Scapers during my kick-off party to the Starfest convention. When the twin Johns rushed onto the transport pod, we all said, "Hey! Cool!" Then we waited to see how one of them would die, for surely they wouldn't both be kept alive. And we waited. And we waited. Then the end credits rolled.

Congratulations Mr. Kemper. You embody the insane genius!

The episode itself was Farscape meets The X-Files meets Hannibal. My complaint once again is the continuation of the epic-of-the-week/who-dies-this-episode theme. It's just getting way, way too old. But I have to admit, this episode in and of itself doesn't come off as too epic. Like "Self Inflicted Wounds," its impact would have cut much deeper had it aired later in the season. Besides belittlement by the ongoing epic themes though, Eat Me was very well done. It's definitely going for the scariest episode of the season award. Many of us watching noted the exceptional lighting, set designs, and camera work involved. It positively looked spooky and creepy. I also continue to admire Farscape for pushing the envelope of graphic depiction on network television. Few TV shows will show us as much gore as we see on Farscape. Yet, it isn't gore for the sake of gore. It's there for artistic impact. Rygel biting Aeryn's arm in "Throne for a Loss" made a major point and drove it home. Scorpius sucking John's brain off the neural chip in "Season of Death" was the same way. Likewise, while "Eat Me" was immersed in gore, it wasn't as if grossing out the audience was the whole purpose. Too often, shows want to give us a feel for a brutal situation but are afraid to really show us. Farscape has no fear.

The plot got a little confusing at times. You had to be listening real carefully to catch that Kaarvok was the only prisoner being transported. I suppose that much of the cutting back and forth and making it difficult to keep track of where people were at any given time was designed to keep us, the audience, just disoriented enough to be scared. This largely worked, but at times it got a little dizzying. I do have to say though that I love how Farscape can get away with explaining so little. We have no idea why they were out in the transport pod, no idea what really went wrong with it, no idea where they were in respect to Moya, but none of that really mattered.

It was also kind of cool that there was no real explanation of what was going on with Talyn and Crais. They're beat up. They're wounded. Why? Do we really need to know at this point? Not really, so that's presumably being left for the next episode to deal with. Brilliant! The only thing that sucks about that is if a new viewer comes in on the next episode for the first time, he or she is going to be really confused if Farscape doesn't at least start putting those little "Previously on Farscape" bits at the start to catch folks up.

The spotlight on Gigi Edgely's acting just keeps getting brighter and brighter this season. Chi's intense panic over being twinned versus cloned wasn't necessary, but was one of those great extras that sets Farscape apart from the competition. Gigi had a pretty intense episode to shoot and she pulled it off beautifully. She pours out a lot of emotion for such a young actress who seems to have led a less than tough life so far. Shane Briant also gets a deep bow from this reviewer, as he made for a terrific bad guy! He got to toss off a great one-liner or two and really played up the classic insane villain.

I'll also take a moment to give a well deserved nod to Tammy MacIntosh. I don't know if I've said it in previous reviews, but I've never had a problem with her acting. I've only had a problem with the character. I still maintain that "Self Inflicted Wounds" was not the time to introduce Jool and she just came off as in the way and annoying. But each episode since, she seems to be finding a niche. Largely, a comedic niche.

And again, that ending! I absolutely love it! I'm betting that a few people are going to complain that it's a spin-off of "My Three Crichtons." I can't judge for sure since I haven't seen that episode, but from what I've read of it, this does seem different. Plus, we're not talking clones or Crichtons of different abilities. We're talking two original, equal Crichtons. Were they playing rock, paper, scissors to the death? Is there room on the ship for two equal Crichtons? It's hard to say. Although my suggestion is that Aeryn take full advantage of the situation. But that's just me.

Finally, speaking of Aeryn, I've been avoiding this subject all season, but I just have to note that Claudia is looking a little gaunt these days. Claud? Dude? What gives? Trying to do Farscape and Queen of the Damned at the same time? Is this a Callista Flockhart thing? Whatever it is, please … treat yourself to some cheeseburgers and a few solid nights' sleep. Most of us like you better with a little more meat on your bones. Then again, it just dawned on me, this could be an Aeryn's-all-depressed-over-the-"Season of Death"-and-Zhaan thing. Let's hope for the sake of Claudia's health and welfare that's all it is.

The episode would have gotten a 3. The ending made it a 4.




Agree? Disagree? Comments? Questions? Email me! Written by Mary Wood.

Reader Reviews
Average Reader Score
3.5
2 readers have rated "Eat Me" with an average score of 3.5. Click here to see what they had to say, and add your own review!
Click here to read Dani Moure's review for this episode.

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Episode Credits
Season 3, Episode 6 - "Eat Me"
Writer: Matt Ford
Director: Ian Watson
Production number: 10306
First UK Transmission: 1st Oct 2001
First US Transmission: 20th Apr 2001
Guest Stars:
Tammy MacIntosh (Jool); Shane Briant (Kaarvok); Lisa Griffiths (Belima); Sean Masterson (Voice of Rovhu's Pilot)
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