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Into the Lion's Den, Part 2:
"Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"


On the heels of "Into the Lion's Den" part I, Scorpius has John's face up against a holographic image of Earth, telling John he could care less about his species and home world and whether they live or die. He just wants his wormhole information and will do anything to get it. As they're still wearing the I-Yensch bracelets, enabling each to feel the other's pain, John isn't too concerned about his own well-being at the moment, asking Scorpy how much pain he can take. Apparently, he's willing to take a lot as he roughs John up a little more, reminding John that if he - Scorpius - is screwed, so is John.

In the Officer's Lounge, Aeryn fails to see the downside here. If Commandant Grayza is poised to shut down the wormhole project if no progress is reported, all that need happen is zero progress. John fears though that Scorpius being Scorpius, he'll find a way to continue the research. He suggests that they all take a steam bath in the restorative chamber (where, conveniently, the mist interferes with communication devices). The rest are with Aeryn; let Commandant Grayza shut Scorpy down. John says not enough. He claims there is but one option left; destroy all the necessary ingredients. Blow up the command carrier. Reactions from "ridiculous" to "impossible" start to chime in. Aeryn's concern is for the 50,000 people living aboard the ship. John says they must then find a way to do it such that they can get the people off the ship. He asks Crais if it's even possible to destroy a boat this huge. Crais says yes, but he'll need to do a little research on any modifications made since he commanded it. Rygel finally seems to speak for the group, saying that he's seen what wormholes can do and nobody should wield such power. Nobody.

John has a chat with the Scorpy clone in his head. They're still in the old war movie scene from "Lambs to the Slaughter." Now, they're playing a variety of games - chess, checkers, go fish - and the Scorpy clone is winning them all. Would the real Scorpius really destroy Earth just to spite John? It's possible. Don't underestimate him. John's turn; given that it could get you home, would you really destroy the wormhole information? John doesn't get to answer that as he's interrupted by Strappa, who wakes John from his zone-out to tell him he's no longer writing on the tablet, but on his hand. Strappa also notes that John seems to have unlocked a key piece of information. As Strappa runs away excitedly, John looks at the information on his hand and says ominously, "I can do this."

Crais tries to board Talyn alone but is denied access, per Scorpy's orders. Larell talks with Crais, saying that he should be allowed access as he knows Talyn better than anyone and is key to Talyn's resurrection. Crais realizes he'll need to strike a deal to be allowed aboard Talyn alone again. He does indeed go to Scorpius, demanding no repercussions for his renegade actions and to be leader of the Leviathan project working alongside Lt. Larell. No doubt, Scorpy says, he has something comparable to offer? Keeping in mind, that when Commandant Grayza returns, any of Scorpy's offer might not be enforceable. It would be, Crais reminds him, if he signs orders before Grayza returns. Crais' end of the deal? He tells Scorpius that Crichton has no intention of helping him and in fact, is conspiring with some of the Moya crew to destroy the Command Carrier.

Over in planetary simulation, Aeryn is taking a stroll and happens upon a young girl about to be beat up by a couple of boys. She stops them and finds the girl has a cut on her hand. She washes it out and assures the girl she isn't alone, that Aeryn herself was ambushed at that age far too many times. As she's doing so though, Henta comes by and snatch the girl to her feet. She slaps at the girl's injury telling her to let it bleed and scar, "You'll want it." Henta sends the girl on the way and tells Aeryn not to make the girl soft. As Henta walks away, Crais comes by and tells Aeryn they need to talk. As they do, elsewhere on the ship, D'Argo, Jool, Chiana and Rygel are taken prisoner by Peacekeeper soldiers.

In the lab, Scorpius pays Crichton a visit, noting that he is unconsciously delivering the information in spite of himself. "Your plot against this ship has failed, your friends are in custody." John sees Crais with Scorpius, puts two and two together, and lunges at Crais. As the guards pull John off Crais, John desperately tells Scorpius that the others are innocent, that he forced them to do it. Scorpius again demands the wormhole information, saying if he doesn't get it, he'll kill the Moya crew himself.

In the brig, Jool notes the lack of evidence and Chiana notes that they're Peacekeepers. "They aren't into Justice, they're into enforcement." D'Argo and Rygel recall their last stints as Peacekeeper prisoners, convincing Chiana and Jool that the situation is less than warm and fuzzy.

Crais and Aeryn get John away from the lab and somewhere where they can talk. Aeryn keeps John from beating the dren out of Crais long enough to talk. Crais says that he needed a distraction. He needed for Scorpius to believe the plot had failed and he kept Aeryn safe and out of it because his plan depends on her. Crais tells of how all he has ever cared about in this life is gone and he is left to serve only his own personal interests. Despite that, he understands the power of this technology and that no one should be allowed to use it. He also believes he is the only individual capable of stopping it, of destroying the Command Carrier which will take more than "a banana in the tailpipe." He proposes getting to Talyn to initiate Starburst while still inside the hangar. It will take at least half an arn for the ship to fully implode, giving the majority of the people aboard time to abandon ship. Aeryn is confident she can find the holding cell where the rest of the Moya crew is being held and get them out. John asks where Talyn and Crais meet up. They don't, Crais says. It is a suicide mission for them. Before John can protest, Crais says he'll need a distraction. John ponders, checks the very serious looks on both Crais and Aeryn's faces, and says simply, "I'll get you one."

On his way down the corridor, Crais is met by Larell, who says she can tell he's up to something. She reminds Crais that if he's plotting against Scorpius, she must report it. Crais backs her up, telling her not to be disloyal to Scorpius and risk her own career. Then, as if to intentionally make a public scene, he backhands her and tells her, "Next time Scorpius sends someone to spy on me, tell him to send someone I care about." He walks calmly away.

John hurries back to the lab, stopping to give Talyn a pat along the way, and tells Strappa that they're going for a trip in his module. They're real close to cracking the wormhole code, but he needs Scorpius to call off the watchdogs so he can test it out. Doing so allows John to momentarily board Moya so he can get his module and he gets in to speak with Pilot alone. Pilot says that Moya understands the plan and agrees all is best this way. That at least Talyn's death will be a noble one. John and Pilot say a potential goodbye should the crew not make it back.

As John prepares his module for launch, enter Scorpius to protest the test flight. John is aggressive about it though, so Scorpius reluctantly calls for a test pilot. No go, John says. No one else flys his module. He then challenges that Scorpy is worried that with the I-Yensch bracelets, if John turns to goo, so does Scorpy. So, he invites Scorpy to go with him. Unless of course, Scorpy is too scared. Next thing we know, Scorpy is in the module with John, and they're flying into an artificially created wormhole. Most importantly, Scorpius is no longer on the Command Carrier and the whole of the Carrier's crew is transfixed to their PA systems for a blow-by-blow from John's module; the distraction John promised to Crais.

Small problem though. As Crais approaches Talyn, the guard stops him again, saying his orders have been changed from merely keeping Crais off Talyn to "shoot to kill" should he try. But, as the guard gloats, Crais sets off s smoke bomb and Aeryn comes in to help him dispatch the guards. As John and Scorpy's test flight is just harrowing enough to keep most of the Carrier's crew nicely distracted, Aeryn leaves Crais to Talyn, with a simple hand to the face as a goodbye.

About this time, John and Scorpy's flight stabilizes. Scorpy seems to experience a rare moment of peace and connection before Strappa reports that the wormhole is fluctuating and they should return to the Carrier. As they do, Crais is finally aboard Talyn alone, and tells him they must do something radical, together, to save Moya and the others.

As John and Scorpius land safely back in the hangar and just as Scorpius is finding his footing again after the harrowing flight, Crais' voice comes over the PA, saying his final goodbyes. An exasperated Scorpius orders Bracca to find the source of the transmission and capture Crais. Bracca quizzically notes that the transmission is coming from Talyn, and that Talyn is powering up. As Crais taunts Scorpius over the PA, Scorpy orders that the bay doors be sealed and prowlers stay at the ready. The hybrid must not escape. Bracca reports that he isn't trying to, that he's building to maximum power while inside the hangar. Crais reminds Scorpius that he stole his command and his life and says that this time, he's not leaving quietly. As Scorpius frantically orders someone, anyone, to get Crais off the hybrid, he sees John sitting calmly in the lab, telling Scorpius he should hold onto something. Crais, standing proudly in Talyn's command center, closes his eyes and calmly orders Talyn to Starburst. He does, and as Moya and Pilot watch from the silence of space, the chaos inside the Command Carrier begins.

The brig holding the rest of the Moya crew is damaged and begins to collapse. Aeryn, looking very calculated, determined, and stoic about it all, goes into the planetary reconstruction and helps the evacuation. As panic ensues all around him, Scorpius walks calm and slightly dazed through his collapsing ship like the captain of the Titanic. In the lab, John is making sure Strappa doesn't get to save any of the data. Strappa insists this would be the greatest scientific discovery imaginable. John tells him it's never "just" science. It's a weapon that kills. Strappa sees his point and takes it a bit further, saying that next to John, he knows more than anyone else about wormholes and if Scorpius finds him, he'll force him to continue the project. So, he volunteers to get in the aurora chair to erase his knowledge. John notes his bravery, saying that while the chair wouldn't work on his own subconscious, implanted knowledge, he's not sure he'd be bold enough to sit in it.

Aeryn gets to the brig to free the others. Scorpius finally concedes and makes the official shipwide announcement that priority one escape procedures are in effect. He grabs Bracca to keep him close by. D'Argo contacts Pilot to get a patch through to his ship to use it as an escape vessel. As Aeryn continues on her own, she is met by Henta, pulse pistol trained on Aeryn, knowing that Aeryn and her fellow traitors are somehow responsible for all this. Aeryn insists calmly that this will save millions of lives and most of the people aboard the ship will survive. Most. "Too bad you couldn't save yourself" Henta says as she's about to fire. A random explosion stops Henta though and Aeryn takes barely a moment to look back as she continues on.

In the hangar that houses his module, John takes a last look around at the damage being done and spots Scorpius through the wreckage. Scorpius tells John that because of him, the Scarrans will soon destroy them all. "One evil at a time" John says. He asks Scorpius if he still plans to go after Earth. Scorpius answers in the negative, saying the only vengeance he cared about is no longer within his grasp. Without fanfare or a request from John, Scorpy gives John the code to release his I-Yensch bracelet. John does so, and give Scorpy the code for his. John heads for his module, saying that if they're going to get off the ship, they need to do it now. Scorpy says he may not be getting off the ship and heads back into the wreckage.

Aeryn comms John that she's taking a prowler and she and the rest are headed towards Moya, who needs to get away fast if she's going to get away alive. John acknowledges the message and simply says, "Fly safe." This ominous message doesn't seem to go over well with Aeryn given what happened with Talyn John, but she gets in her newly captured prowler anyway.

Moya is safely away. D'Argo, Chiana, and Rygel are discussing plans of splitting up with Chiana saying unconvincingly that she might try and find the Nebari Resistance. Jool is in Pilot's chamber and he asks her if they should find her people, would she be leaving? Through tears, Jool says that from what she can tell, she won't be the only one leaving Moya soon. In the Command Center, John is no longer just writing equations on a tablet and his hand, but all the way up his arm. He is writing silently, with a silent and solemn Aeryn sitting next to him.



I think the most amazing thing about "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" is that it is not the season finale! I mean, aren't they supposed to build up to the season finale, which is supposed to be bigger and better and grander than the rest of the episodes? So, after this, how do they possibly top themselves? I'm glad now that I've stuck to my policy of not viewing the next episode until I've reviewed this one. Though forgive me if I breeze through this review so I can get to the final episode of Season 3!

For that matter, isn't each season supposed to be bigger, better, and grander than the last? Which begs the question, how exactly do they top this season? But I'm getting ahead of myself.

"Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" is a perfect example of the advantage television has over the movies. In a movie, you have maybe 2 hours - 3 if you press your luck and think you can keep the audience awake - to establish characters, expand characters, establish scope, expand the scope, etc. By the end of this episode, I was thinking "Titanic." They already had an established story. Most folks went into the theater knowing at least the basics of the Titanic story. Ergo, the scope was helped along for them. In a TV series, you have seasons of episodes to build up and establish scope. If someone was just joining Farscape on this 2-parter, I'm not sure any amount of explaining on my part could convey a tiny fraction of the scope of what it means for John to say "We're going to blow up the command carrier." It took 3 full seasons of Farscape to do that.

And the carrier's destruction itself had to have been inspired at least a little bit by "Titanic." Tell me that the scene where Scorpy is at the bottom of a "grand staircase" and a wall caves in and water comes rushing down it wasn't a little nod to that connection. But it was a very good nod. It's a reference the audience can use, and yet I don't think anyone ripped off "Titanic" here. Just in case a few of the viewers didn't quite grasp the scope TPTB were going for, there was that Titanic reference to edge it along. I was about to say the music was a little over-dramatic, but no. An episode of this magnitude deserved a score of equal magnitude.

I don't think this episode went over the top at all (would it even have been possible?). Although I did have a couple of complaints. For one, Co-Kura Strappa's "enlightenment" as to the destructive power of wormholes was way, way too fast and easy. It was a real Trek moment where the bad guy, upon talking to the good guy for 30 seconds, has a moment of truth and suddenly changes his ways in an instant, ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good. That would have been fine if this were Trek, but I've come to expect more from Farscape. John walking calmly, too calmly, through the hangar towards his module, as dren explodes all around him, was a little too American movie hero for my taste. Again, I've come to expect a touch more realism than that - John ducking explosions, a little less bravado and a little more oh-crap-this-place-is-gonna-blow. Just a little bit.

My other complaint is that of major deja vu. Isn't this kind of how Season 2 ended? 3 episodes that result in the destruction of some huge facility that Scorpius is on or otherwise involved with. Didn't both Season 1 and 2 end with the perceived death of Scorpius as his base was destroyed? Didn't Season 2 end with the crew planning to split up now that they think they're not being sought after anymore? And to that end, where does that attitude come from? Aren't they wanted by the Peacekeepers at large? Just because the commander who had a personal interest in capturing them (Crais, then Scorpy) is perceived to no longer be a threat, doesn't mean they're off the Peacekeeper's wanted files. Aeryn is still a traitor. D'Argo and Rygel are still ex-prisoners. Commandant Grayza confirmed in part I that High Command is well aware of these prisoners' wanted status. So let me guess; something happens either in the finale or more likely in the first episode or two of Season 4 where we say, "Oh look! Scorpius survived the destruction of {facility} and the crew didn't break up after all!" That bit is starting to get a little old. Very well done here, but old.

But then there were a few elements that served as painful reminders that this isn't your run-of-the-mill, episode-of-the-week TV show. Aeryn's continuing death and rebirth of the soul for one. Anyone who has known Aeryn from the Premiere, watched her break apart in "The Choice," and has been watching since, especially if you or someone close to you has been through such a life-changing event, can see it. This character's emotional journey is nothing short of fascinating to watch and I know I sound like a broken record here, but the subtlety with which it is being played, with which it must be played, is incredible. TPTB really struck gold when someone at the casting agency convinced Claudia Black to toss her tape in the pile. Few actors can convey so much with looks alone and no words. And not even very dramatic looks. How can one look so stoic and still convey so much emotion behind it? Here, Aeryn continues the very gradual realization that she can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. Very, very gradual realization. Anyone who says the reset button has been pressed on this character is really missing out.

Scorpius, for all his evilness, is shown truly not to be evil just for evil's sake. This whole trilogy speaks to that, from dealing with Rygel and D'Argo, to donning the I-Yensch bracelet, to finally, being the first to give John the code to remove his bracelet. Then, telling John that there's no need for him to go after Earth. I recall a thread on the SciFi board many moons ago which asked this very question, if Scorpy was evil for evil's sake. Many wondered how you could even ask. Of course he is! He's the bad guy! That's what bad guys are! He's tortured our poor, innocent hero! But many of us said no, pointing out that while his methods may seem cruel from our perspective, they are not without purpose. The aurora chair was a quick and easy way for him to gain information. It wasn't torture for torture's sake. Killing (or thinking he killed) the diagnosian wasn't merely taking pleasure in another's death, it served a very real security purpose. Here, when asked if he'll still take vengeance on John's homeworld, Scorpy looks almost puzzled. Why would he? To what end? No end, no purpose, no vengeance. Like he said in the opening scene, his only interest in Earth is that John cares about it. Personally, I think this trilogy provided far more insight into Scorpy's character than even "Incubator" did.

But, the starring this-ain't-your-average-SciFi-show element was Crais and Talyn. For one, I knew I was watching Farscape when, at the end of the episode, I didn't find myself wondering, "how are they going to bring Talyn and Crais back to life, because you just know they didn't really die." On this show, regulars can and do die. The only thing that leaves an ounce of doubt in my mind is that we haven't heard anything about Lani leaving the role. We wouldn't hear of him leaving the show because he is still the voice of Pilot. In "Die Me Dichotomy," I knew Aeryn wasn't really dead because there were a zillion clues left behind. It didn't make much sense to kill off the character. Here though, it makes sense. As stated in the episode, it's a fitting end. A hero's death - for both Talyn and Crais. I hate to say I hope they really are dead because I hate to lose 2 such fantastic characters, but for the sake of the show's integrity, I sincerely hope there is no deus ex machena here to "make it all better."

And what about Talyn? It's enough this show has made me care about animatronic characters, but now I find myself crying over a ship? Once again, it's a testament to the incredible writing, effects, and acting on this show. It is especially through the interaction with the human characters and speaking animatronics that the souls of Talyn and Moya are conveyed. What a scene that was; Pilot telling Moya, "I see it," as they watch Talyn's death. A hunk of wire and latex, talking to a spaceship, about the death of another spaceship, and yet, they were no less real to me than Crichton, Chiana, D'Argo or Aeryn. Bravo to the entire crew of Farscape, for that is truly a group accomplishment!

In all, despite a few plot vehicle cards being played a little too often, despite a cliché element or two, "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" remains a fantastic episode and a testament to so much that is Farscape. The scope of the arc storytelling. The scope of the novel feel throughout the entire series. The feel of a turning point in the "book." And once again, all I can do is express amazement that this isn't even the season finale yet!

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

Reader Reviews
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Fun Factoids
Best line:

Scorpius: "Where are you Crais?"

Crais: "I am standing in your heart. And I am about to squeeze."

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 21 - Into the Lion's Den, Part 2: "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" (Part 2 of 2)
Writer: Rockne S. O'Bannon
Director: Rowan Woods
Production number: 10321
First UK Transmission: 28th Jan 2002
First US Transmission: 19th Apr 2002
Guest Stars:
Tammy MacIntosh (Jool); David Franklin (Lt. Braca); Marta Dusseldorp (Officer Yal Henta); Danny Adcock (Co-Kura Strappa); Lenore Smith (Lt. Darinta Larell); Sheridan Rynne (Brenna); Ross Sharp; Terrence Hepburn (Armak)
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