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"Revenging Angel"

Summary

Well, now I've done it. I normally lump the summary and review together, but this one was just a page too long for our front-page news program to handle. So until Dani gets his review up and moves this to the "Episodes" section, the summary and review will be seperated. Here goes the summary:

D'Argo and Crichton are in the mystery ship recovered way back in "Suns and Lovers." D'Argo is finally getting the hang of it and is flying it a few meters here and there about the hangar. Crichton is having a hard time matching D'Argo's enthusiasm but he does do the smile-and-nod thing. D'Argo loses control for a moment and the ship bumps to a halt.. Quick flash to the landed ship and D'Argo and John coming down the ramp. D'Argo is enraged, thinking John has done something to frell the ship up. John is backing away, saying he really didn't do anything and could D'Argo please just calm down and stop acting like Yosemite Sam. Instead, D'Argo pulls his qualta blade on John. He's got no life, nothing but this ship and now John's managed to frell it up. He shoves John into a pile of cargo containers, which promptly come down on his head and put him into a coma.

The ship has started up some sort of self-destruct sequence and D'Argo has no clue how it started or how to stop it. The hangar doors are busted, so there's no jettisoning the thing. Still enraged, he yells at Chiana for a while before hurling his qualta blade down Pilot's chamber in a fit of anger. While D'Argo is taking a breath between temper tantrums, Chiana takes on the role of let's-think-this-through. Pilot informs them that D'Argo's ship has crippled most of Moya's internal systems and it's going to take a ton of rewired DRDs to begin repairs. D'Argo decides to see what if anything he can do with his ship. Chiana comms Jool to go help D'Argo. Jool - the closest thing Moya has to a doctor - secures Crichton, gives him a kiss on the forehead, and is on her way.

Enter Crichton's psyche. Harvey pays him a visit as they matter-of-factly discuss John's imminent death from his closed-head injury. Problem is, if John dies, so does Harvey, so Harvey starts giving the old pep talk. John says he's got plenty to live for. Earth, Dad, pizza, sex, cold beer, fast cars, sex, Aeryn, love. Sentimental nonsense, Harvey tells him. Revenge is his ticket out of here. Love is transient and besides, the other John already got the girl (this is speculation we presume, but pretty on-target speculation as we the viewers know). Revenge, he says, is the strongest emotion; primal, pure. Live to take revenge on D'Argo. When John tells Harvey to go away, Harvey says that John's mind is no longer strong enough to control his comings and goings. "Is that a challenge?" John asks - and John proceeds to turn Scorpy into a Looney Tunes cartoon. Harvey breaks out of it with some effort and chides John that this is wasted energy. John's answer is to turn Harvey back into a cartoon and drop a thousand pound weight on him. Revenge; but only for Harvey. John lies back down, presumably to wonder how to get out of the coma.

Back in the land of the conscious, Jool is checking in with D'Argo. He's certain that the ship is on soft core overload and that it somehow wants them to figure out how to shut it down, but D'Argo can't see how. Whatever Crichton touched tore down the command structure D'Argo had been building up. Sure it didn't just happen on its own, Jool asks? Nope. Crichton's to blame.

Crichton pays a mental visit to Pilot to work out this whole reason-to-live thing. He's exploring Harvey's suggestion of revenge, albeit half-heartedly. Pilot questions whether D'Argo really meant to hurt John and if John really wants to hurt D'Argo. John's answer to the last part at least is no and he doesn't even know why they're fighting all the time. "Then rise above his behavior" Pilot says. Meanwhile, run away. Remove yourself as a target and the pursuer will tire. Crichton gets his chance as D'Argo appears in the chamber, ready to pounce on poor John. John runs towards the transport hangar - in an almost … cartoonish … way - with D'Argo hot on his heels. Yelling behind him that they're friends, John hops in his module to escape. Not so fast, human! D'Argo has a classic Wyle E Coyote rocket pack on his back (only "OZME" instead of "ACME" … get it? Australia? OZ? Anyway…). John takes off in his module with D'Argo in hot pursuit, and they and their environment become pure animation.

Cartoon D'Argo is chasing Cartoon John through cartoon space complete with cartoon music. John tells D'Argo to chill before someone gets hurt. He also gleefully warns D'Argo to look out. D'Argo isn't about to fall for that trick, until it turns out to not be a trick and he gets smashed by a piece of the MIR space station. Score one for John. "God, I love science fiction!" he says, and it's hard to say if it was planned, but he seems to be looking right at the Scifi Channel logo in the lower right corner when he says it. The action moves to a desert planet, not unlike the American Southwest setting of the Road Runner cartoons. John and D'Argo proceed to go through a short series of such antics with John taking on the role of Road Runner and D'Argo as Wyle E Coyote. It follows the heart of the original cartoons perfectly. John merrily scoots about in his module (which in this world, he rides on top of like a jet-ski) and D'Argo angrily tries to catch him, instead being constantly clobbered by his own outrageous gadgets. I'd go into more detail but hey … you try describing a Road Runner cartoon without the visuals.

John calls upon Harvey to taunt him; "Pilot was right, you were wrong. As long as I keep running, nothing can hurt me…" No sooner does he say it than he gets caught in a spider web with D'Argo as the spider and it's Harvey's turn to say "I told you so." Harvey tells John he can only run for so long, but revenge will sustain him.

In real life, Jool is getting Pilot's take on the situation. He's restored enough function to confirm that D'Argo's ship is indeed set to explode and will do so in just under an arn. He and Moya will certainly die, but there's a hatchway that he can jettison where the others can survive a few days in the hopes that help arrives. Jool is upset at the prospect, not for her sake, but for the sake of Pilot and Moya. Chiana gets the message and orders Jool to load Crichton and some food supplies in the hatchway just in case while she continues to work on a way to prevent the ship from blowing in the first place. She goes to the ship where D'Argo is racking his brain, trying to find answers. Frustrated, he yells something in Luxan and suddenly, the controls come to life. They're displaying ancient Luxan symbols which D'Argo only vaguely recognizes.

D'Argo goes to Pilot for help with the translation. Their exchange is heated and argumentative, with Pilot not having any instant, magical resource to translate this ancient language as D'Argo thinks he should. Pilot will do what he can though. Chiana helps Jool move Crichton on a gurney. Jool can't fathom what kind of a culture doesn't pass on its culture and Chiana explains that as a warrior race, reading and writing only became commonplace among the Luxans about 300 cycles ago. Jool then drops another weight. She thinks she may have been the one to screw up D'Argo's ship. She was in it earlier and didn't mean to harm anything, but thinks she may be responsible. A heated and rather childish argument ensues which D'Argo comes in to the middle of to stop them. They were so busy arguing, they didn't notice that Crichton had fallen off the gurney. Jool is left to tend to Crichton while Chiana follows D'Argo, but not before telling Jool not to tell D'Argo anything for now.

We take a quick trip into John's mind again, only not as a cartoon but as himself again. This time, he's talking to Jool whose advice is to reason with D'Argo and work out the problem. "Conflict is for barbarians."

D'Argo's in his ship still trying to figure out the command console. Like her counterpart in Crichton's head had suggested to Crichton, Jool confesses to D'Argo she was in his ship and may be responsible for its problems. D'Argo is enraged but his rage is also wearing him thin and he just doesn't seem to have the energy to act on it, giving Jool a chance to talk. She knows she's not winning any popularity contests. All she was trying to do was to learn about something important to D'Argo so they might have something in common to talk about. D'Argo calms down considerably and thanks her for making the effort.

Live-action-but-still-subconscious John is wandering about Moya, musing how he might reason with D'Argo. In his wanderings, he runs into a scantily clad cartoon Aeryn. He's mostly just impressed with her looks, but does manage an almost sincere "I miss you." He's ready to wander off again but Aeryn insists he fix her and give her back her regular clothes. He grabs a giant pencil, erases the image of Aeryn, and re-draws her into a remarkable likeness of Jessica Rabbit. Playing along, she tells him to use some imagination and starts morphing into a variety of characters - Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, a Baywatch Babe. It's hard to say if she's doing it or if John is, but his caveman leer at every shapely form she takes on indicates he's having fun with the situation. When Aeryn finally returns to herself - with her regular clothes - she asks what he plans to do about D'Argo. No time to give him advice though, D'Argo is peering around a corner. She asks him to leave young Johnny alone but the answer to that one is no and the chase is on again. The full animation world comes into play again as the Road Runner antics continue to play out on the desert planet setting. John is doing less running and more trying to get D'Argo to talk as Jool suggested, though he's still able to thwart D'Argo's efforts to blast him with little effort and way too much confidence. Just as D'Argo finally gets the drop on Crichton, live-action Harvey brings live-action Crichton around, telling him again that the cartoons are a crutch and revenge is the key.

Pilot has modified some translator microbes that won't completely do the trick for D'Argo, but should help. Much calmer now since his talk with Jool, D'Argo is much more polite and grateful to Pilot now. The microbes do help. The command console of the ship is confirming the self-destruct sequence and saying it can be shut down with one of three items unique to Luxan heritage. A qualta blade is one of them. A qualta blade like the one D'Argo tossed down Pilot's chamber earlier. D'Argo, Chiana, and Jool split up to start searching for the blade.

John approaches Chiana next (live-action). She confirms what the score is so far; John's dying. Scorpy wants him to do the revenge thing, Pilot says run, Jool says talk. Chi's advice? Well, revenge can be good. There must be something else, John says. Chiana is the sultana of survival and must have something better than to playfully agree with Scorpy. "Be smarter" she tells him. People always make things out to be more complicated than they are. Use that against them and screw them at their own game.

"Look out for falling chunks of metal." Chiana's warning goes almost unnoticed by Jool as Jool is in thigh-high muck at the bottom of Pilot's chamber. Unnoticed, until D'Argo accidentally knocks something off a ledge and it nearly hits Jool. "I don't know [how I knew], it just made sense," Chiana says. Still searching for the qualta blade in the muck, Jool starts hearing creepy noises and comms Pilot to ask if there's could be anything living down here. Sure there is! A whole variety of parasites, most serving natural, symbiotic functions. What she's hearing are probably hodian trill-bats. After all, she's wading through their feces.

John rejoins D'Argo in full-cartoon land and when D'Argo is lighting the fuse on his elaborate OZME contraption (fueled by proto-nuclear froonium … 10 bonus points if you know what that's a reference to), John lights D'Argo's chin, causing D'Argo's head to explode. More such skits follow, this time with John half-heartedly fighting back and beating D'Argo at his own game, just like Chiana suggests. And once again, just as John is getting cocky and thinks he's solved the puzzle to getting out of this coma-land, things go wrong. A sudden switch to live-action land and he's on the floor, in a burning room, with a broken leg, and D'Argo comes in for the kill.

Flash forward to Scorpy standing over John's grave, lamenting again that his silliness and recklessness may well have gotten the better of him. Staring at his own gravestone, John puts on a serious face for a moment and mumbles that he loves Aeryn, and that should be enough. More soft emotional dren, Harvey scoffs. Revenge, revenge, revenge! John continues to resist, saying he doesn't want to stoop that low, that he's real and has to live with what he does. Harvey insists it will work though. No more games, no cartoons. Destroy D'Argo, if only in your own mind. John gives it a go. Playing out cartoon antics in live-action form, John sits at one end of Pilot's chamber while D'Argo slowly approaches. He is slowed by various obstacles - a rake, a banana peel, a bear trap - but he still manages to reach John. Greeting his friend with a Bugs Bunny style, "Eh, what's up D'Argo?" John pulls a lever and sends D'Argo through a trap door.

Time on Moya is running out and Jool's in agreement with Pilot; time for them to escape to the hatchway. As she starts to make her way out of the bat dren though, she trips over the qualta blade. D'Argo and Chiana run it to the ship, just in the nick of time of course! The console asks for identification. D'Argo identifies himself via his lineage and the consoles come to life, giving complete control over to D'Argo.

As a cartoon would, D'Argo pops back up in John's ongoing live-action take-revenge-on-D'Argo scenario. He comes back down the walkway, unaffected by the obstacles this time. But when he reaches John, it's only a dummy with a stick of TNT in its mouth. It promptly explodes, leaving live-action D'Argo looking a lot like a singed cartoon character. With Harvey in tow, John tries to take joy in his accomplishment, but just can't seem to. For Scorpy, revenge is a way of life. For John, it's not the answer. He warns Harvey never again to distract him from what he really feels. "I … love … Aeryn." And with that, he wakes from his coma. He wanders up the ramp into D'Argo's ship as D'Argo and Chiana are joyfully celebrating their victory. John is still pretty groggy and, in a cartoonish kind of way, asks who turned out the lights and dead-faints backwards. Chiana giggles. That's all folks.

Tag scenes: Jool is struggling to scrape the bat-dren stains off of her skin and tells Pilot he'd better clean out the lower levels if she's ever expected to do something like that again. Pilot does thank her for her efforts though. Jool also tosses a told-you-so at Chiana, saying that she and D'Argo have worked everything out and D'Argo's promised Jool first ride in his ship. John meanwhile is taking some alone time in an environmental suit outside Moya. D'Argo is talking to him through the comms and apologizing as John is floating outside the window where D'Argo is sitting. He mentions a Luxan code, that this entitles John to an act of retribution. John says there's nothing that will ever make him take revenge on D'Argo. Having kissed and made up so to speak, D'Argo asks in curiosity what went through John's mind when he was dead. "Buddy, that would be impossible for me to explain to you." And with that, John looks behind him to see cartoon-space in place of real space.


Review

Last week, I said that "Infinite Possibilities: Icarus Abides" was the hardest episode review I've done so far. Then came "Revenging Angel." When I watched "Scratch 'n Sniff" the first time, I just kept thinking how way out there it was, but I somehow liked it. When I saw "Revenging Angel" for the first time, all I could think was how out there it was and that, "I think they're trying to make a point but…???"

The concept was raw genius. "What haven't we done before? Cartoons! Yeah! Let's figure out how to work cartoons into Farscape!" And of course, the most logical place to wedge a cartoon into a drama is deep in the mind of the slightly twisted and just-a-big-kid at heart lead character. The cartoons were done beautifully too. These guys didn't just watch Road Runner growing up, they fed off of it. Even the repetitive nature of the constant chase-but-never-quite-catch theme was put to work and, while repetitive is still repetitive, it drove the point home if you were paying attention. Therein lay my dilemma in trying to put my finger on just what felt so wrong. I saw the means, I saw the end, but something about it felt very, very wrong.

At first, I thought it was that the cartoons were just way too silly a way to illustrate an otherwise serious point. John's just been knocked into a coma by his best friend. He's near death and only a heavy dose of will-to-live will save him. Harvey is really pushing the revenge idea, Pilot says run from D'Argo, Jool says talk to D'Argo, Chiana says beat D'Argo at his own game. Each tactic fails to work and in the end, John realizes it's not about D'Argo at all. His will to live is his love for Aeryn; a love that beats out all other emotions and desires, a love strong enough to literally bring one back from the dead. We illustrate this with Road Runner cartoons. Brilliant idea, but something was somehow being missed and I couldn't quite say what.

Then I made a post to the scifi.com bulletin board. I said in the post that I was puzzled about the rave reviews over "Revenging Angel." Silliness is good, dire danger is good, but the two didn't quite seem to gel. I also spoke of how many of the fans who are pining for lighter episodes are the same ones whining that they just can't get emotionally attached to John-Moya the way they did to John-Talyn. I pointed out that the sillier the episode, the easier it is for us to detach and suddenly violence and tragedy become cute and amusing instead of something that emotionally bonds us to a character.

Boy, did I hit a raw nerve with that post! 19 replies last I counted (on a board where the average post garners about three or four) and most of them finger-shaking, toe-tapping, how-dare-you-not-love-this-episode replies. The more 2-dimensional, "you suck [and I don't possess enough communication skills to elaborate on that]" people shied away and most of the replies I got had very good points and were very well thought out. I'm hoping that's a reflection of the fact that I strive to write at a level that one requires basic English skills to grasp, or maybe it was my snotty, unnecessary, (but according to some, pretty funny) comment about "Ready to be flamed by the Waltons-in-Space crowd." Anyway, in reading through those more three dimensional replies, it finally hit me: It's not that the means and the end had a hard time meeting - they actually met quite well - it's that they crossed a line and met where they shouldn't have. They met in real life.

All that David Kemper had to do was A) keep the cartoon adventure well contained in John's head and B) lose the attempt to perform full cartoon antics with live-action characters.

Addressing B first, the cartoons worked so long as they remained cartoons. They worked when it was live John on live Moya interacting with animated Scorpy or animated Aeryn because live John basically remained a live-action character. See "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" for how well this can work. But, when John and D'Argo - particularly D'Argo - tried to play out the cartoon antics as live characters, it just came off as forced and constrained, especially contrasted against the huge range of movement and antics one can achieve in animation. Jim Carey can pull off being a live-action Looney Tunes character because the man is inhuman and basically made of rubber. Anthony Simcoe in a heavy latex body suit can not. Never has Anthony looked so restricted in movement before and it really killed the idea of living in a cartoon. Even Ben's "Eh, what's up D'Argo?" came off as forced and strained. It probably would have sounded fine set to a cartoon image of John, but coming from a live-action John, it just emphasized to me how wildly limited he and Anth were in what they could do with these scenes.

"Revenging Angel" is largely about John trying to deal with some rather serious issues - death, his relationship with D'Argo - in a very comfortable forum; cartoons. In "Suns and Lovers," many people were puzzled as to why Aeryn would pick that particular immediate-crisis moment to discuss sex with John. She did so because being the born and bred soldier that she is, that's an environment she feels most comfortable in, so it makes sense that she brings up a hard-to-talk-about subject while in that comfortable place. John Crichton really is a big kid at heart: All the Crichtonisms, the smiley-face plate of food cubes for Aeryn at the end of "DNA Mad Scientist," his constant referral to scary aliens and scary situations in terms of amusing pop culture references. This is a comfortable world for John and it makes perfect sense that, when trapped in his own mind with heavy issues, he would journey to the far ends of that world. It didn't make sense that he would try to have live action characters try to act out that world when he had the animation at his disposal. It was just too much like trying to cram a square peg in a round hole.

Then there's the issue of A) keeping the Looney Tunes within the boundaries of John's head. The last 10 minutes is what killed this episode for me. Right about the time Jool stumbles upon D'Argo's qualta blade, the music during the real-world / Moya bits had started to degrade into something closely resembling … well … Looney Tunes. The ultimate breech of this boundary came when John wandered up the ramp of D'Argo's ship. His dialogue and body language were very, very sit-com; not the behavior you would expect in a drama that wants you to care that this man almost died. His falling straight backwards off the ramp and Chiana's giggle in response nailed the coffin. Farscape prides itself on its tone of realism. There's a remote chance that a recovering coma patient really would be that cute and funny with his first words since recovering. But, a backwards fall on an incline is almost certain to re-injure him. I realize that D'Argo and Chiana were having a little moment of celebration. But to have them give no noticeable reaction that their friend who was closer than not to death just a few minutes ago is up walking around, then to giggle when he falls, trivialized the situation to a fault. Even in sit-coms, when the comatose friend comes stumbling into the living room, the other characters show exaggerated concern for him while weaving in one-liners and cornball physical comedy. By the end of "Revenging Angel," it was just the one-liners and cornball physical comedy which had clouded an otherwise well driven point.

Another animation-reality bridge I found disappointing was John's view of animated Aeryn. He delivered a single "I miss you," which sounded more like "I miss your boobs … oh, and I guess I have a soft spot for the person attached to them." Otherwise, his view of Aeryn was purely carnal without an ounce of emotion. This did very, very little to help me believe that it was his love of Aeryn (versus Aeryn's boobs) that gave him the will to fight. This also felt wildly out of character for me. One of the things I love most about the character of Crichton is his tendency to treat Aeryn as a person, not a gender-type. No, he isn't blind to her looks and I expect more emphasis on the id in a wacky mind trip such as this particular scene. But considering that his love of Aeryn (the person) is a central theme to the episode, this scene really belittled that and made him out to be way more shallow than the Crichton I've come to know.

On the flip side of "Revenging Angel," Jool, Chiana, and D'Argo had plenty to do while Crichton was in Toon-Town and they all did it very well. My only major complaint there is that we could have had more clues in past episodes as to just how important this ship is to D'Argo. Yes, that's been said, but to build up to an episode like this, I don't think it's been said enough. Jool says that D'Argo has preferred to spend a lot of time alone in this ship. D'Argo says that with no family, this ship is all he has. And we all see how touchy D'Argo is about the ship. Just a couple of quick scenes to support these claims peppered throughout past episodes and I'd have been saying, "Yeah! Yeah!" instead of, "Really? Ok, if you say so." That said, it's great to see the ship, period. I was starting to wonder if they'd forgotten about it!

The characterization of Jool is one of my two favorite elements in this episode. For a character I started out having serious doubts about, she's really taking off. The spoiled suburban brat is still there, but that brat is doing a lot of growing up in a very short amount of time. She seems to fully accept now that she's stuck on Moya and has gone from reluctantly taking on responsibility to taking a little pride in that responsibility. She is also fully accepting these days that she is stuck with the Moya crew and, despite her stubborn superiority complex, it's in her best interest to get along with them. This is actually a very different path than most of the crew took upon being tossed aboard this lifeboat together. "Family? Friends? I want neither." Aeryn pretty much summed it up for most of them. Zhaan of course tries to love everyone. Jool is best compared to Crichton in her stuck-here-better-make-the-most-of-it attitude. The rest though had no desire to buddy up to anyone. In that regard, this brings a new dynamic into the group that has had little presence in the past. In addition to Jool wanting to get along, she's also showing some genuine, deep-down concern for her newfound crewmates despite her outward superiority complex. That kiss on Crichton's forehead was perfect and the whole scene of her doing what doctor duties she could do said so much through facial expression and body language. I also loved her scene with Pilot. When Pilot tells her she and the others can jettison a hatchway and survive a few days at best, we expect that she's crying in fear of her own fate. Instead, she's crying for Pilot and Moya's fate. Beautiful twist and beautifully acted and directed!

Gigi/Chiana once again collectively steal the show though. The aforementioned lack of mention of D'Argo's ship? The direct opposite of that is Chiana's newfound ESP since "Losing Time." This has to be the most well written plot thread in the season, if not the series! Every episode has managed to slip in some little scene involving it. It's never a major scene, it doesn't really save the day, but it's there, on the back burner, simmering but starting to smell really, really cool! I said it before in "Losing time;" for someone who's so bubbly and cheery in person and who plays an otherwise bubbly, playful character, Gigi can sure do creepy - and vaguely creepy is how this new "power" comes off. My greatest pet peeve with "Infinite Possibilities" is that it was completely unnecessary to put Ben Browder in the Scorpy suit when Harvey took over. Ben's a good enough actor to make us believe just by the gleam in his eyes that he's taken on a different persona than that of John Crichton. Gigi is the same way. As the energy rider in "Losing time," we knew just by her movements, her very presence, that she had changed. With these ESP flashes, Gigi takes on a certain grounded introspection that is fundamentally un-Chiana, yet is now woven into her being. It's nothing short of brilliant. Since I've already said that I'd kill to see Claudia Black do some tragedy on stage, can we also talk Gigi Edgley into doing a one-woman, multi-character performance art piece?

The other element of Chiana that had me cheering her on this whole episode is how well she took charge. This is a Chiana who's definitely grown since "Durka Returns." She's not just following along, asking this or that person what to do, or naturally falling behind someone and taking orders. She's giving orders and jumping into natural leadership roles here and there when the situation demands it. I especially see that in the Chiana-Jool dynamic. It's definitely the aspects of Jool that mirror Chiana's own self that Chiana isn't getting along with. It's both comedic and dramatic and it's great fun to watch. I just know that Chiana is being set up for something big and can't wait to see what it is!

A few random bits:

The synopsis from "TV Grid" broke down the episode as follows: "A strange ship bent on self-destruction targets Moya and with Crichton in a coma, D'Argo has to save the day." If I ever snap and go on a killing spree, it will be something like this synopsis that triggers it. A) The implication that no one else can or does save the day when John is up and active and B) It's Chiana who really takes charge in this episode while D'Argo is still in hyper-rage mode. Oh, but we can't say "Chiana saves the day" because Chiana doesn't have a penis. This, is why I don't own firearms.

The CGI shot looking down the depths of Pilot's den. Mind-blowing!

John in jeans and a plaid shirt. Nice touch, and really helped us to truly be in John's head.

Claudia's voice work. The Madonna and Baywatch voices were so wildly un-Claudia, I'm tempted to say they weren't her, but I'm sure they were. Also, in the shows she's been in that I've seen where she does an American accent (CDM, Hercules, Beastmaster), she doesn't quite nail it. However, her deep Southern American accent, for just those three words, "Run Forrest! Run!" is beyond perfect!

The tag scene between John and D'Argo. I interpreted John being outside the ship as a kind of introspective alone time. I was really, personally touched by his choice to be out there and really identified with it. I guess it's because it's the sort of thing I might do. When I've been through something deep and dark I tend to seek solitude in strange places. It was a great scene and I loved John and D'Argo each putting his hand to his respective side of the window. This was also one spot where the cartoons and real life did mesh appropriately. It was made clear to us that this is what John is choosing to see, and that playful grin at the end underscored it. The whole tag scene was so beautiful, it almost made me forgive them for the huge, glaring science blunder. Floating in space is not like swimming in water. Even a ship as large as Moya does not generate enough of a gravitational field to hold Crichton to her. The first time he touched Moya's outer hull or the window, he would have pushed himself away from her, not creep along her hull like he did. Beautiful scene, but the math/science/techno geek in me will not go quietly into the night!

So, "Revenging Angel" gets an A for animation, an A for the real-world plot thread, but it comes apart when the two tried to become one. One of the aforementioned replies to my bulletin board post chided me for finding fault with Farscape at all, noting that even the most lackluster of Farscape episodes is better than most anything else on television. I agree wholeheartedly with that last bit. If Farscape were a cornball situation comedy, I would have zero complaints about "Revenging Angel." This would have been a fantastic episode of, say, "Black Scorpion" or "LEXX." But it isn't any of those shows. It's Farscape, and this series has firmly established its own trend of lending an air of sharp realism to the characters' actions and reactions, not desensitizing us to the harsher aspects of these people's lives through camp and fluff. I judge Farscape against Farscape which, as that person pointed out in his/her reply, has a bar raised high above the rest. Compared to what I know this show is capable of on a week-to-week basis, "Revenging Angel" made some inexcusable mistakes. These fantastic elements of cartoon and drama came rushing together at full speed … and like a Looney Tunes cartoon, they smashed right into each other and fell in a muddled heap with stars and birds flying about their heads.




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

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Fun Factoids
Best line:
Jool: "We're gonna die aren't we?"
Chiana: "Eventually. You got the mivonks to push the date back? Help D'Argo in the transport hangar. When he's sick of you, find me."

Pop culture!
This episode could also have been titled, "How many pop culture references can you catch?" The MIR space station, Nancy Regan, the Hubble telescope, the list goes on. Speaking of lists, "The Letterman List." Lots of folks have been crying "blooper!" that it's only 9 items long (even including "sex" which John listed twice). I didn't see where the problem was. It was pretty clear to me that as John was running down this increasingly superficial list, he almost unconsciously slipped "Aeryn" into the list, paused, said "love" in a more serious tone, then stopped, realizing deep down that he need go no further; he'd given the only two reasons that really count. Just my interpretation anyway. Could be that someone really did miscount and I'm reading way too much into it.


Click here to read Dani Moure's review for this episode.

Click here to read Dani Moure's synopsis for this episode.

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Episode Credits
Season 3, Episode 16 - "Revenging Angel"
Writer: David Kemper
Director: Andrew Prowse
Production number: 10316
First UK Transmission: 17th Dec 2001
First US Transmission: 10th Aug 2001
Guest Stars:
Tammy MacIntosh (Jool)
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