|Season 1: Worst of...|
The bottom half of the season... with commentary!
By Dani Moure
Okay, so you've probably read the Best of Season 1 article, so you'll know that I've ranked the 22 first season episodes in the order I think they go from best to worst, and this is the list for the bottom half. Click here to read the Best of... article.
Here's numbers 12-17...
No. 12: Throne for a Loss (4 out of 5)
A great showing for such an early produced episode, "Throne for a Loss" is an enjoyable, re-watchable romp showing a glimpse of how good Farscape can be at showing a great hour of action, and well worth watching.
No. 13: Rhapsody in Blue (3 out of 5)
A deep and dark Zhaan episode, where we get a delightful glimpse of what life on Delvia must be like, and just what can happen to a Delvian if they succumb to their dark side. Though it barely features anyone but Zhaan and John, it's an enjoyable episode that just suffers from a bit of disjointedness. There are some interesting revelations about Zhaan's past though.
No. 14: They've Got a Secret (3 out of 5)
This episode is extremely interesting, and indeed contains some of the most pivotal plot revelations to come in season one. But that's also where the episode's problems lie – it seem to try and get too much in to a single episode, where both major plot revelations – D'Argo's past and Moya's pregnancy – could easily take up an episode on their own.
No. 15: Till the Blood Runs Clear (3 out of 5)
A fun and fairly exciting episode, filled to the brim with action but lacking a little substance, "Till the Blood Runs Clear" nonetheless contains a wonderful scene between John and D'Argo, where the first signs of their eventual friendship show, that makes the episode worth watching for alone.
No. 16: Premiere (3 out of 5)
Though it definitely suffers from some flaws, mainly that it tries to establish a whole new universe in such a small time, this ranks amongst science fiction's best pilot episodes, since it makes the show seem intriguing enough to watch even more. It's best viewed after a few other episodes, so you can see beyond its clichéd shortcomings, which kind of defeats the point, but it's still a good effort.
No. 17: Back and Back and Back to the Future (3 out of 5)
Receiving the honour for longest title of the season, this episode is, yes – you guessed it, quite enjoyable, and fun for an early episode. It's pretty ambitious to attempt a complicated time-travel / future-flashes plot but manages to just about pull it off. The interplay between Aeryn and Matala, John and D'Argo and John and Matala make for fun TV, as do John's flashes of "experiences" with Matala.
Click "next page" to move on to numbers 18 to 22...
No. 18: Bone to be Wild (3 out of 5)
Perhaps the reason I was rather hard on this episode in my review was because we were spoiled by the six episodes that preceded this, or maybe it was because it was rather bad. Sadly, after multiple viewings, it turned out to be the latter. The revelation that Zhaan is a plant was an interesting idea that makes anyone that has seen past episodes realise all the hints they dropped about this in past episodes, but even that small revelation it's bad. At first it seems like a total disaster, I mean why did we need this plot after everything that happened in the previous amazing two-parter? So the crew respond to a distress signal and go down to the planet to find a bone-eater and a botanist, each continuously accusing the other of being the bad guy, with the result being that Zhaan gets shrunk by the botanist to become a specimen, so John has to kill him to set her free, and Zhaan, D'Argo and John make the highly immoral decision (and slightly out of character – despite the previous episode's events) to set the bone-eater free on the Peacekeeper Command Carrier. Oh, and John and Zhaan spent most of their scenes laughing and giggling. OK... There was some goodness though in the scenes on the PK Carrier showing Scorpius and Crais' power struggle that would lead to surprising results in the finale, but they only just save the episode from disaster. It's more like an early episode as opposed to the penultimate one.
No. 19: Exodus from Genesis (3 out of 5)
An intriguing episode, and not the worst of the early few, but it does come close. This is the first budget-saving takes-place-completely-on-the-ship episode, and it kind of comes off as a bit budget in itself, especially when you've been spoiled by latter episodes that are Moya-based only, but the problems do run deeper than that. Perhaps because the show was still finding its feet, the main plot of this episode is one that has been done many times before in many television genres, the trouble is it doesn't have the usual Farscape edge that takes it beyond ordinary. The Peacekeeper threat is wasted, mainly because they appear for about five minutes right near the end of the episode, but this is still worth a viewing just for the many early character interactions and relationship developments, and once again the characters and acting manage to save an episode. We're lucky the actors and production crew are all so talented that they can make a so-so script seem good.
No. 20: Thank God it's Friday. Again. (3 out of 5)
Well, another early episode that really fails to inspire. Unfortunately, this episode was a bit too odd for its own good. It may have seemed to have potential, but on our screens it ends up seeming very choppy, jumping from scene to scene in an unusual manner. It has a few disturbing moments, a bit of comedy and some character development all thrown in to the show. There's a great moral overtone to the episode, that being the traditional "save an oppressed people" plot. It works to an extent, but it doesn't completely flow. It's a bit of a shame because this may have made a great episode, had it not jumped around so much. Still, it's well written and as mentioned has some amusing moments, including Rygel's exploding pee, which made me laugh out loud over and over. So it's not all bad, it's just not that great, and probably gets worse the more you watch, which is a shame.
No. 21: I, E.T. (2 out of 5)
As I mentioned in the review, I can see how this episode looked good on paper, but the plot of John being seen as an alien on another world when only the previous episode he met aliens for the first time, comes off rather badly at such an early stage of the season. Yes, it was interesting to see the Deneans' reactions to John, especially since they turned out to seem much like what the perception people on this planet think would happen if we were to encounter alien life. It was also interesting to see Aeryn and D'Argo work together a bit to save John. It was odd though that the Deneans could understand John even though they've never had alien contact (hence no translator microbes), even Pilot couldn't explain that. So it possibly looked good on paper but came off as considerably poor, which was unfortunate.
No. 22: Jeremiah Crichton (2 out of 5)
Well, you expected an essay, right? Well you won't get one. You see, I think I explained well enough in my review why I truly think this is the worst episode of the season, so you can click here to read it. In short, it was poorly executed, had few elements of fun, and quite simply doesn't seem like an episode of Farscape, or at least not what we expect. The only redeeming feature that barely keeps it from a 1 out of 5 is the fact that Rygel is heavily featured and is a key element of the plot. Without that, it's dreadful, so head on over to the review to see in great detail why this is a bad episode.