|Season 3: Worst of...|
Ranked in order, with commentary, this is a list of the latter 11 episodes of the season...
By Dani Moure
This is the latter half of the season 3 ranking (the first half is in the Best of Season 3), 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. Some of these episodes are actually good and well worth watching, so remember that the name "Worst of..." suggests counting down to the worst, as opposed to all these episodes being bad!
As always, click the review score to be taken to the review for that episode.
Here are numbers 12-17...
No. 12: Season of Death (4 out of 5)
A great season premiere, that manages to resolve some of the near impossible cliffhangers from the end of season two. Scorpius finally get what he wants but it doesn't all go to plan, John's torment continues and Aeryn is revived, but in a tragic twist it will be at the cost of another.
No. 13: Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 2: Wait for the Wheel (3 out of 5)
This is actually a very good episode, but it's marred by an unfortunate change of pace, going from an extreme rush to a speech in a matter of seconds that seems extremely jarring and throws the pace of the episode completely. But overlooking that there are some great final scenes between Zhaan and fellow crewmembers, and Virginia Hey, in her final Farscape performance, makes it one of her most memorable. There's some really great writing and the final scenes are extremely touching.
No. 14: Incubator (3 out of 5)
An episode almost entirely devoted to exposing the rich backstory of Scorpius, "Incubator" is pivotal to understanding both the character and a number of key motivations that come up later in the season. Seeing Scorpius' history really does add some sympathy to what he's been through, but the only problem is that all the exposition takes a way a touch of the mystery that makes Scorpius so appealing. Nonetheless, Wayne Pygram is terrific in this one, and it's well worth watching.
No. 15: Scratch 'n Sniff (3 out of 5)
Ranking right up there with season two's "Won't Get Fooled Again" in terms of just how trippy it is, but for a different reason. "Scratch 'n Sniff" is a nice change of pace throwing in plenty of comedy and a nice bright environment, but underneath it still carries a dark tone to its story. The weird directing style really makes it stand out, and can make it a little hard to follow, but it gets better and better with repeat viewings.
No. 16: I – Yensch, You - Yensch (3 out of 5)
Disappointing in that it was the first episode of the much touted final four episodes of the season but ended up being rather subdued, it also didn't continue the story directly as one would have expected following "Fractures". While there's a lot of annoying things happening that get in the way (mainly from the peripheral characters, especially the annoying blue aliens), "Yensch" is nonetheless made good by some outstanding scenes between Rygel and Scorpius, as they negotiate, and a great subplot on Talyn as he finally goes over the edge.
No. 17: Fractures (3 out of 5)
More like an episode from season one or two than the dark kind of story we've come to expect from season three, "Fractures" is still good and well worth a view, as it introduces some new, interesting characters that manage to get involved with and under the skin of the main characters (and in one case, into the bed too!). It also contains a great moment that was much anticipated – the reunion between Aeryn and Moya John, seeing each other for the first time in ten episodes. However, some of the plot is a little ropey, and there are some annoying scenes, but it's nowhere near enough to keep it from being a good episode.
No. 18: Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 1: Could'a, Would'a, Should'a (3 out of 5)
A pretty pivotal episode that introduces new character Jool and marks the beginning of the end for Zhaan, "Could'a, Would'a, Should'a" nonetheless comes off as a little disappointing. It does contain some excellent scenes, such as Jool's introduction and some of the final moments between Zhaan and fellow crewmembers, but it suffers heavily in that it all feels so crammed in. There's so much information tucked in the episode and more technobabble than ever thought possible for Farscape, that it probably could've been done more effectively with more time as a three-parter. Some things feel glossed over, probably because of the crammed feel, and it just seems to lack that "wow!" factor that separates the fantastic episodes from the good ones. It's not bad by any means, in fact it's quite good, but it does suffer from those problems. It's also pretty necessary to season three though, and it sets up part two very well.
No. 19: Thanks for Sharing (3 out of 5)
Another decent and fun episode, this one suffers from mainly being a transitional outing that really sets up the direction the season takes. Aeryn finds out what was on Crais' chip from the end of the second season, and in the process learns all about her mother, and the fact that she is after Talyn. We see the two Crichtons together for the one and only episode (bar the tag of "Eat Me"), and they really have trouble getting along. Then there's the biggest plot device of all – the splitting of the crew. Half (those that require most make-up) on Moya, the other half away on Talyn. Each crew has a John. It's fun to see this split, and it's quite exciting, as is the interaction between the two Johns and the Johns with the other characters. The twinning is used well to resolve the main plot, but you get the feeling that is unimportant when compared to the smaller parts that really set some seeds for the future.
No. 20: Losing Time (3 out of 5)
A somewhat enjoyable episode, surprisingly lacking in characterisation when you consider it was written by Justin Monjo, "Losing Time" presents the return of Scorpius, the real Scorpius, being rather evil and continuing his wormhole experiments. The episode is the first outing primarily focusing on the smaller crew of Moya. The performances were great, with Gigi Edgley doing wonders as the energy rider, and the music was absolutely superb. But other than that, it's just a fun and decent episode of Farscape, but nothing spectacular and no real characterisation to sink one's teeth into. The main plot is odd, but the Scorpius sub-plot is pretty riveting. It's worth watching for that alone.
No. 21: Suns and Lovers (3 out of 5)
"Suns and Lovers" is a bizarre one, and I wasn't too sure of what to make of it at first. The main plot is so wafer thin it's unbelievable, but it's probably a fairly necessary episode in that it slows down the pace given all the episodes that made up the end of season two and the season three premiere. There are some key moments, most notably the storyline involving Jothee, Chiana and D'Argo, which leads to some heartache for the older Luxan, and marks his son's departure. Other parts of the episode were fun, including some fun scenes between Rygel and Borlik, and a great couple of scenes between John and Aeryn, but again as a whole the plot is a let-down, and really rather silly and boring. So overall the episode was a disappointing outing, and were it not for the D'Argo storyline, it would be easily forgettable.
No. 22: Meltdown (2 out of 5)
I have never used the word terrible for Farscape before, but this is as close as I've ever come. For this show, especially when compared to how good it can be, this episode is really rather bad. Salvaged only by a highly amusing teaser, featuring a "resurrection" of sorts, and some great chemistry between Ben Browder and Claudia Black, that's really all this episode has going. The main plot is just utterly laughable, with Stark trying to rescue a good woman who is being held captive by an evil man. And that's about it. Other than the crew being affected by some Drexim mist which brings certain character traits to the fore. The writing is pretty atrocious, with some of the worst and most hilarious (for all the wrong reasons) lines in any Farscape episode, ever, and is also highly inconsistent (such as Stark temporarily being joined to Talyn as his pilot, in a pilot den). As mentioned, the John and Aeryn scenes, on their own, show some great chemistry and aren't that bad, but mixed in with the rest of the episode they become wasted and pointless. But then, this entire episode is rather pointless in and of itself. The thing with "Meltdown" is that if you watch it once and don't really think about it you'll likely chuckle and move on. Dare you watch it again and you'll see just how pointless it is. It contains a few redeeming scenes but is highly disappointing, and is by far the worst episode of season three. In fact, it's the only one of the entire season that I would label "bad". It's a great shame, considering the quality of the other Talyn-based episodes.
But rather than go too far in taking this episode to task, I'll refer you to my review for further reasons why you shouldn't be worried if you miss it.