|Season 2: Worst of...|
The other half of the season 2 rankings...
By Dani Moure
This is the other half of the season 2 ranking (the first was Best of Season 2), 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. I was hesitant to call this the worst of, because a few of the episodes here are great. But, since I already established the format with the season one articles, I kept the name here.
As always, click the review score to be taken to the review for that episode.
Here are numbers 12-17...
No. 12: Mind the Baby (4 out of 5)
Shunted up to be the season premiere following problems with another episode, "Mind the Baby" does a great job of resolving threads left hanging at the end of season 1, while also spinning some new ones for the coming season. There's some great internal conflicts for the crew to deal with, making for an enjoyable episode.
No. 13: Look at the Princess, Part 2: I Do, I Think (4 out of 5)
Added in during production instead of throwing away heaps of additional footage, "I Do, I Think" is nonetheless great. It is the weakest part of the "Princess" trilogy, coming off as a little bit of padding, but there's some great stuff in there including a wacky scene with Crichton jumping out into space.
No. 14: Beware of Dog (4 out of 5)
This episode is definitely fluff, but it also happens to be very good fluff. Everyone gets something to do here, in particular Aeryn, who gets taken through the emotional wringer, and John who is there to show her how to deal with her new found emotions for the little Vorc. There's plenty of comedy thrown in there, and some sinister moments too.
No. 15: The Ugly Truth (3 out of 5)
An interesting premise based on that of the cult Japanese classic film Rashomon. When Talyn destroys a Plokavian ship, five members of the crew who were on board Talyn are take and interrogated by the Plokavians, each giving a different account of what exactly happened on Talyn. It's a good episode, and the differences in each person's story show great attention to detail, even if some may find watching so many versions of the same event tiresome.
No. 16: The Locket (3 out of 5)
This episode had a lot of good in it, particularly in the characterisation department. We get a look at a possible future of John and Aeryn, which shows that things may not end up as the happy ending many hope for, with Aeryn unable to tell John of her true feelings for him. The biggest flaw has to be the use of a reset, which means that by the end of the episode only Stark and Zhaan remember what happened, not that they'll ever mention it again.
No. 17: My Three Crichtons (3 out of 5)
"My Three Crichtons" presents us with an interesting moral dilemma – if three copies of John are made, but one must be sacrificed to save everyone, who should be the one to go? The situation is explored well by the various characters, especially John, with an interesting twist at the end. It does drag and become somewhat tedious in places, but it's still well worth watching.
Click "next page" to move on to numbers 18 to 22...
No. 18: Home on the Remains (3 out of 5)
Something of a vulgar, horrific episode in places, "Home on the Remains" is visually fantastic, primarily taking place on a huge living creature known as a Budong. It's a fun romp, with Chiana receiving a good showing, as her old flame's brother just happens to be running the mines on the Budong. This development also presents some interesting scenes for D'Argo, as his forthcoming relationship with Chiana is about to come to pass, and he makes his feelings quite clear in his confrontations with B'Sogg. Some good character moments between Aeryn and Zhaan are also here, as Zhaan is budding from starvation, and Aeryn is left to look after her. The biggest problem with "Home on the Remains" for me was that it didn't flow together particularly well, and didn't satisfactorily wrap up the story. I wanted to know what became of B'Sogg and what happened on the Budong after his hand was lopped off, but alas it wasn't to be. I just found myself thinking "something just didn't fit right" at the end of the episode, which was a shame.
No. 19: Taking the Stone (2 out of 5)
This episode is another that supposedly focuses on Chiana, and starts of really well with some great characterisation for the character. However, it soon goes from being about Chiana and her reaction and feelings after finding out about her brother's death, to being about Aeryn and John and how they might deal with it. The episode does present some worthwhile scenes, particularly a few where John takes on a fatherly role for Chiana, and those where Aeryn is surprisingly the one to make John realise that Chiana has to grieve for herself. The final scene was a great rush, with Chiana "taking the stone" and John being there to give her emotional support. But the majority of the episode outside the opening and closing really suffered, and unfortunately just left me wanting to see more of Chiana and what she was dealing with. Because of this for much of the episode I was bored silly, and it became another missed opportunity to explore Chiana's character further.
No. 20: Picture if You Will (2 out of 5)
Another dull showing, that descends from an interesting "what the heck is going on" plot into an "oh, great, it's the return of Maldis" story. It's again unfortunate that Zhaan gets plenty to do, but a below-par plot in which to do it, as she is forced to deceive the crew in order to stop Maldis. Virginia Hey gives a notably excellent performance (one of the few good things about the episode), and about the only other thing that stands out is Gigi Edgley's multi-faceted performance as Chiana. Sadly the Maldis part of the story absolutely destroys any ounce of tension that the episode had built up, and from there it descends into a war of words and a case of "can Zhaan outwit him quick enough". Uninspired and for the most part dull, "Picture if You Will" failed to leave much of an impression at all.
No. 21: Dream a Little Dream (Re: Union) (2 out of 5)
Originally set as the season premiere, this episode was moved and turned into a flashback episode when it was decided it wasn't strong enough to open the season. The focus is on Chiana, Rygel and Zhaan, who get some good stuff in a couple of places. Particularly of interest was how Rygel really stuck up for Zhaan, considering the hard-ass he can be, and how Pilot and Moya helped Chiana in the end. The problem with the episode really lies with the awful story. The fact that it's a flashback episode, so you know the outcome of Zhaan's trial, means that any ounce of tension is immediately lost, and it's something the trial relies upon. Probably tied into that, the story was very predictable, and provided none of the trademark Farscape twists that you might come to expect. The best scenes of the episode are sadly the two main ones dropped from the beginning and end to edit in the flashback scenes; one with Zhaan and Pilot upset at the loss of the others, and another in which it's revealed that Zhaan has gone back to being a priest. But with such a dull, uninspired story, little could save "Dream" in my book.
No. 22: Vitas Mortis (2 out of 5)
It was a close call between this and "Dream", but in the end "Vitas Mortis" came out worse for wear, getting my vote as the worst episode of season 2. The episode explored D'Argo and his beliefs to a certain extent, but sadly it didn't go much further than that. There was little to spark the plot and keep it from being anything but a bore, since the story was just a by-the-book effort that could quite easily have been a Star Trek script substituting D'Argo for one of the alien characters like Worf. Nilaam ended up being one of the most annoying Farscape characters I've ever had the displeasure of watching, and much of the characters motives, particularly Nilaam, don't make all that much sense in terms of where they should be coming from.
But rather than go too far in taking this episode to task, I'll refer you to my review for a detailed analysis of what I consider the worst episode of season two.