|What Was Lost, Part 2:|
"What was Lost I; Sacrifice" left us with John Crichton jumping off a cliff as Granny encouraged, with Granny saying he had to die.
Now, you're not really going to count that one as a he's-dead-no-he's-not, are you?
Of course he had a soft enough landing in the water to survive. Oo-nii pulls him out of the ocean and through the water canals that weave their way through the dig site, well out of the prying eyes of the Peacekeepers who are searching for John. Oo-nii threatens to kill John himself if he tells anyone where the final Darnaz probe is and demands to know the location himself. D'Argo and Sikozu soon join them though and D'Argo reminds Oo-nii that he was to find John, not drown him.
D'Argo and Sikozu are also overwhelmed by John's stench, which John doesn't smell at all. The light bulb goes on over Sikozu's head and she figures that Grayza is using heppel oil. D'Argo says it's a myth but Sikozu insists otherwise. Dellos concubines implant themselves with the gland and the oil targets the erogenous zones. The catch is that the implant is irreversible and the concubines die cycles before their time, making it unlikely that Grayza would have done this to herself intentionally. John is just feeling rather icky about what happened and dealing with his effective rape in a very John Crichton way; washing himself off, trying to make light of it. He is reluctant, but agrees when D'Argo says he has to go back to Grayza as part of a plan to free Chiana and Jool. He also reluctantly accepts that D'Argo and Sikozu can't tell him the whole plan, only his part. When under Grayza's charms, he's too likely to spill all the beans. All he is to know is his part, which is to let the Peacekeepers find him and keep Grayza busy for 2 arns. John says he'll have no problem faking being hurt. D'Argo tongues him for god measure.
As planned, the Peacekeepers find John unconscious and he wakes up in a candlelit room, tied to a bed (table? S&M pleasure platform?). She gives him another whiff of the oil from her chest and tells him to tell her why the Scarrans want him so badly, and in turn, she'll find Aeryn for him.
While Braca happily makes Scorpius lap water from a pool like a dog, Chiana, Jool and Granny are still in the prison cell. Chiana is frustrated with Granny for trying to kill Crichton and frustrated with Jool who is rather doom and gloom. Jool notes that the magnetics are changing, color fading from everything, and says they'll be dead in 10 arns if they don't get off the planet. Chiana is having none of it and insists that she'll get them out. Before she can make any moves though, Sikozu boldly walks in amongst the Peacekeepers, demanding to know who is in charge (recall that they aren't aware of her association with the Moya crew, so it's plausible that they don't know yet if she's a threat). She spots Braca and approaches him seductively, saying "I am your promotion." Braca is, well, Braca - somewhat flustered and not sure what to do or think. Perhaps being a yes-man for so long he hasn't quite got the swing of being the decision man?
D'Argo has no trouble getting off the planet with his cloaked ship. He meets with Rygel aboard Elack and asks if he can convince the old Pilot to crash the dying ship into the marauders on the planet, allowing them to escape in the confusion. Rygel thinks he can convince Pilot and Elack to do their part but is unconvinced that Sikozu will do hers. D'Argo says they have no choice but to trust her.
In the temporary pleasure chamber, John is no longer tied up, well under Grayza's spell. He's going on about wormholes, that they're always out there but rarely seen except under the right conditions. All he needs to do is figure out how to make them appear. Braca interrupts them (which Grayza isn't happy about, but listens to Braca anyway). He has Sikozu with him. He whispers something to Grayza, she agrees, and Braca and the guards with Sikozu leave. Grayza returns to John to tell him that his Luxan has failed; D'Argo will be dead in an arn. John tries to go for her throat with a knife but can't quite do it. He insists she must be working together with Scorpius, as she'd never do this on her own this far from High Command. He calls her Scorpius' whore.
Apparently out to prove him wrong, Grayza brings John outside and has him dig a large hole, with the whole gang looking on. When she says it's big enough, he climbs out at her command, taking a moment to also call Sikozu a Peacekeeper whore. Grayza hands John a pulse pistol, saying it has one single charge, and if he really thinks Scorpius is the brains behind it all, shoot him and ruin everything. John says there's no charge in the pistol. Braca grabs it and shows that there is, but shooting Scorpius once, point-blank through the back, allowing him to fall into the hole. One of the guards shoves Sikozu into the hole with Scorpius and Grayza asks her if he's dead. "Yes, I think so." Grayza then orders the soldiers to shoot Sikozu. Chiana grins, Sikozu naturally protests, saying she helped Grayza by telling her about D'Argo's plan. Chiana yells to Grayza to shoot Sikozu, "Give me your gun Braca and I'll do it myself!"
"Skernac." Softly, behind Sikozu, face down in the hole, Scorpius says "skernac." He tells Sikozu to say it to Grayza, that it will save her life. She says it and indeed, it gets a reaction of curiosity out of Grayza. Before Grayza orders the soldiers to get Sikozu out of the hole, Scorpius weakly whispers to her not to let them bury him. Out of earshot of the others, Grayza asks Sikozu how she knows Peacekeeper Directorate code. "Same way you do" Sikozu answers vaguely but with confidence. She just as confidently suggests they not bury Scorpius but leave him in the sun to rot as it would scare the others more. Grayza disagrees and orders Scorpius buried.
Rygel has convinced Pilot and Elack to do their part and they're waiting for D'Argo's signal. Grayza meantime has John back in pleasure central and D'Argo is taking out select Peacekeeper guards down on the planet. Sikozu, now in good with the Peacekeepers, gets the guards to allow her into the cell with Jool and Chiana. They attack her immediately but when the guards try to stop them, Sikozu tells them to back off. As they stand off to the side, Sikozu tells Jool and Chiana she's bluffing and if they'll stop fighting her, she'll try to save them. They don't seem eager to believe her, but they do. Jool screams, which melts the cuffs on her and Chiana. When Sikozu leaves, momentarily distracting the 2 guards, Jool and Chiana take them out. In an aqueduct chamber, one of the Peacekeepers finds a hidden passageway and hears splashing. When he turns his back to comm Braca that he's found something, Oo-nii forces him into the water and drowns him.
John spots a laka; the creature we saw in Part I which the Old Woman says you can use its juice like a drug and temporarily erase the effects of just about anything. Grayza is inspecting the child's tile John had found earlier, saying this could mean their two species may be very closely linked and it doesn't surprise her. He grabs the laka while she's preoccupied with the tile and stuffs the juice up his nose. Grayza is a little suspicious that something is up, says she can hear his heart. But John says it's just her and plays the part of the seduced prisoner to the hilt. She lets him be the aggressor for a while, long enough for him to tie her up for the next round. Before it starts though, he casually dresses and grabs a pulse pistol. It takes Grayza a while to catch on, still thinking he must be under her spell. He swipes a little oil from her chest, burns it in a candle flame, and leaves, telling her she never heard his heart.
DRD 1812 is almost done fixing a transport pod for Rygel. He tells Pilot to start descent in 1000 microts and bids her farewell. She is fading fast though and gets confused. She starts the descent immediately. D'Argo comms Chiana, Jool, Granny and Sikozu to meet with him, saying he's signaling Crichton. But Crichton's already gone and runs into Braca and his guards. Gunfight ensues.
Granny is sent to go find D'Argo's ship. The other three follow the sound of pulse fire towards Vella's chamber where Crichton is barely holding off the Peacekeepers. As John's gun empties he complains that Wynnona would never run out of charge on him like that. Chiana, Jool and Sikozu find him and try yelling "skurnac" again but it seems to have lost its magic. They give John another weapon and cover him so he can escape with them through another corridor.
Grayza gets a hold of the knife from earlier and frees herself. When she catches up with Braca and he tells her that it seems the Moya crew does have a ship, she is less than pleased.
Rygel manages to wake up Pilot and tell her she's too early. Moments before crashing into the marauders, she and Elack manage to pull up and give Rygel a chance to escape with the transport pod. Coming back around, Elack crashes into the site where the marauders are. D'Argo's ship is there as well but pulls up just at the moment of impact and escapes.
Braca reports to Grayza that one of the marauders is still operational and they can make it to the command carrier. Grayza says not quite, that they're going after the Moya crew now. In another part of the compound, Granny, who was left behind, is still concerned about the Darnaz probes. Oo-nii meets up with her and tells her he knows a way.
D'Argo's ship, damaged in the explosion, lands back on the planet to everyone's frustration. They had picked up Rygel in mid-flight and he's now with them too. Before landing, D'Argo had shot off a satellite probe and it appears that the Peacekeeper marauder is following it for now. Jool reports they'll be dead in an arn due to the increasing magnetics, so Crichton decides they have no choice but to get the Darnaz probes and reactivate them. Hopefully, they'll reverse the magnetics. They find Granny and Oo-nii along the way. Granny has just realized that Oo-nii didn't just want to stop Vella, he had wanted the probes for himself. Not knowing this when he comes upon them, Crichton shoos Oo-nii away, but Oo-nii aims a carver at him, demanding to know where the third probe is. For 20 years he's been searching for the probes. As Crichton leads him to the spot, he says that Vella promised him a share of the bounty but he realized she never intended to do so. Jool is a bit shocked to hear of this dishonorable side to the respected instructor.
Crichton shows Oo-nii where the third probe is buried. Oo-nii uses the carver to uncover it and exclaims he has no further use for the Moya crew. Chiana, hiding behind a ledge, chucks a rock at him, providing enough distraction for the others to get the carver out of his hands. But, still holding the probe, Oo-nii jumps off the cliff into the ocean. Granny tells them that Oo-nii can live in the ocean until the magnetic summer ends, so the increasing magnetics will kill only them, not Oo-nii. As incentive, she tosses Wynnona into the ocean. John soon follows. The once-blue ocean now appears black as color fades from everything thanks to the magnetics.
In the water, John spots Wynnona on the shallow ocean floor but is soon met by Oo-nii and a fistfight follows. Oo-nii appears to get the upper hand and knock John out. Chiana shoots him with the carver. Chiana yells to Crichton as he sinks and Crichton comes to. He ducks under the water to retrieve the probe and Wynnona.
Jool gets the other probes from Vella's chamber and she, Chiana and John each take one. They must be separated by at least 600 motras and, according to John, you slam it into the ground and kick it to activate them. All three do their part. It takes a few moments, but the probes levitate and disappear into the sky. The magnetic summer is reversed. Everything and everyone regains their color again and the weakened crew starts to come around. John points to a spot in the distance at a temple that has suddenly appeared. "The Lost Temple" Jool exclaims. There are priests by the temple too. The Old Woman figures that the Darnaz Triangle must have trapped part of the past. Unsure what they should do, D'Argo suggests Jool make the decision, as she is now the instructor here. Jool decides to greet the priests.
All apparently goes well, as in the next scene, Jool is saying her good-byes to the crew. As she's the only one not wanted by the Peacekeepers, she has the luxury of continuing her research here. She tells John that so far, everything suggests that their races are linked and she wishes he could stay and learn more. But he has to go and find Aeryn. She says good-bye to D'Argo last, apologizing for not defending him when Vella insulted his race. They kiss, and the crew is off.
On the command carrier, Grayza is informed by Braca of the probe used as a lure. She tells him that the Moya crew will pay for this humiliation and in the meantime, if she hears any gossip or joking around about this incident, Braca will pay for it.
On D'Argo's ship, the crew is sussing out their situation; towing Crichton's dead module, hunted by the Peacekeepers, they think they've got a secure message to Moya but can't be certain, and none of them have a purpose or a goal other than not getting caught. Granny corrects them, noting that John has a purpose. John asks her why she tried to kill him. "Better you dead than millions if Grayza got the probes and misused them." He also, finally, asks her name. With her third eye shining brightly, she answers; Utu-Noranti-Pralatong. John calls her Noranti for short.
Apologies everyone. It would appear that I messed up my VCR settings and instead of taping Farscape, I accidentally taped a somewhat cheesy knock-off that uses the same characters, or maybe an old 60's B-movie upon which the Farscape characters are based. Oh well. I'll review it in Farscape's place.
I will say that the visuals were up to Farscape standard. Especially the lighting, giving us a feel for the increased magnetics. Most of the acting was up to par too. Most. The subtle changes in Chiana's character are as much of a joy to watch unfold as the changes in Aeryn's character post "Infinite Possibilities." Everyone had a chance to shine their acting prowess on us here.
But the story, and the dialogue. Nope. Can't be Farscape. Had to be a cheesy B-knockoff.
Let's start with the Keystone Cops ... er ... I mean, Peacekeeper soldiers. Farscape would have us believe from the onset that Aeryn is your standard Peacekeeper soldier. Yes, a couple of guys smitten with her say that she can be more, but she's not the best of the best either - just another pilot/grunt. Good, but still a grunt. So, if she is the template, she should have been offed a long time ago by way of sheer stupidity. In Part I, it was PK soldiers falling for the tired old prisoner-has-to-go-to-the-bathroom routine. We didn't even see Granny's grand escape. I guess we are to assume it was so embarrassingly easy it wasn't worth showing on screen. Now, you have them standing in a prison cell while Jool, Chiana and Sikozu plot their escape. I guess the idea is that they're supposed to be just out of earshot, but this was not well conveyed at all. They were no more than a few feet away and the three women weren't whispering.
Jool screams and melts her cuffs and Chiana's cuffs. The soldiers have a clear view of this and they just stand there.
Sikozu is smiling right along with Chiana and Jool, giving every indication that they're all three working together. She walks by them. They do nothing, other than check out her backside so as to give Jool and Chiana a chance to get the drop on them. Of course, since the Peacekeepers are basically slapstick, Keystone cops here, it only serves to reason that Jool and Chiana take them out with some slapstick-coordinated action, right?
Another soldier investigates the aqueducts. He hears splashing and what does he do? Turn his back.
D'Argo's ship is sitting right in with the marauders and not a single Peacekeeper can catch them?
A half dozen or so Peacekeepers firing at John. John, whenever the mood strikes him can come out in full view from behind his niche in the wall to pick them off. Besides, doesn't Grayza want Crichton alive?
I realize that the Peacekeepers can't very well win every battle. Kill off the main characters and the series is over. But please guys, can you make it just a little bit challenging? Just a little something to make me believe that the Peacekeepers really are a force to be feared, not annoyances that the crew can swat like mosquitoes without a second thought?
Then we have do-a-death-defying-leap-off-a-cliff-without-a-scratch. Would be nice to make it look like Crichton's first leap off the cliff was at least a little bit traumatic. But that paled in comparison to the next leap off the cliff. That had to be at least a 200-foot drop into the water. He dives right into the turbulent water and spots his gun right away. Upon Oo-niii being taken out, he just happens to be right over both his gun and the probe. What are the odds? There's plausible luck, then there's a cheap Deus Ex Machena.
To that end, John is knocked out, sinks into the water and Chiana yelling at him from shore wakes him up? And the wake-up just looked way fake. Sorry Ben, but it did. Plus, I've just always had a huge problem with fights and such that take place largely underwater. I enjoy trying to hold my breath as long as the person on TV is supposedly holding theirs. More often than not, I can't do it. And I'm sitting relaxed on a couch in front of the TV with a resting heart rate, not all wrought with adrenaline and great amounts of physical exertion.
"Slam the probe into the ground and kick it." So, Chiana slams it into a rock-stool and stands there watching it. Crichton slams his into what is clearly a slab of rock. Must be pretty damn soft rock on the planet. Even so, what happened to "kick it?"
How exactly is Jool not wanted by the Peacekeepers? Was she not on Scorpius' command carrier when they destroyed it? Was she not supposedly part of that plot? At the very least, she has information about the Moya crew. Wouldn't the Peacekeepers at least want her for information or to use as bait?
"Drat! Foiled again!" As the villain adjusts his top hat, swirls his black cape and twirls his long mustache. Ok, the tag wasn't exactly like that, but it may as well have been. Again, I realize that part of the whole ongoing series is to keep the Moya crew alive and one step ahead of the Peacekeepers. But could they have softened the Captain Proton feel just a little bit? There was some characterization in Grayza telling Braca that if she hears any gossip about this, he'll answer for it. Just as little old Braca was getting a whiff of real power, he is painfully reminded that he's still just a yes-man. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." But the delivery could have been a lot less B-Movie I think.
Searching high and low for the positive points among all this, I will say that I like the unsolved mysteries we're left with. Oo-niii for one (what was really his agenda?). The Interion-Sebacean-Human connection for another. Huge, huge potential future storyline there for writers to revisit if and when the urge hits them. And Jool: We know that Tammy MacIntosh has taken a respite, but I've yet to hear that Jool is gone forever. Unlike Zhaan who was definitely killed off, Jool's ending remains wide open.
I rather liked the characterization between Rygel and Old Pilot too. Once more, Farscape has made me feel for the animatronics the way I'd feel for the human actors. Just when we think Rygel really is that nasty, his softer side comes out. Raelee Hill and Rebecca Riggs continue to prove their Farscape worth, even in spite of some of the bad dialogue and plot holes large enough to accommodate an SUV. And thanks to said dialogue and plot holes, I just can't make myself give this episode much better of a review.
Agree? Disagree? Comments? Questions? Email me! Written by Mary Wood.
Best Line, as in, "The Captain Proton Award:"
Oo-niii, all but twirling his bad-guy mustache: "The third probe, it's mine! Now I have no further use for you."
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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