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"The Flax"
Caught in a spider's web near death... what would you do?

Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.

Well, what can I say? Point of no return perhaps? Because after this episode Aeryn and John's relationship will never be the same. Not only did a pivotal moment in their relationship come, but also Rygel also finally proved himself useful to the rest of the crew, and D'Argo got propositioned by a woman that looked like a man. It may have been weird, but it was funny nonetheless.

So let's not beat around the bush (hey – don't be so rude!), the main focus point of the episode was without a doubt John and Aeryn's situation. She was out training him in how to fly a transport pod, so he's familiar with the technology that he's adding to his pod. But he's not very quick at picking it up, and Aeryn says her only reason for choosing him was that he may come in useful in battle someday and he was the only one available. Oh, how very nice of her! Well, they end up getting caught in a magnadrift mesh known in these parts as the titular flax of the episode. The pod gets damaged, and so they have to work to repair it. At one point, Aeryn's nearly crushed but John manages to shove her out of the way, and ends up on top of her (I have to believe he did that on purpose, too). They exchange a quick look in the eye, and then she asks if he's comfortable, and if she needs to get him a pillow. Well, anyone could tell her just how comfortable he was at that moment, which was a pretty nice scene to boot.

Later they manage to get power back up, but they still can't break the flax, and the pod gets damaged even further. Oh dear, life support is being drained, but Aeryn comes up with an idea, something which she seems to be doing a lot more lately, all for the better I might add. They can flush out the gas that will cause the torch to set everything on fire by depressurising the pod, and they can do that whilst in their spacesuits. It's a great idea, but once again the "Farscape factor" strikes and one of the helmets is broken. Aeryn immediately takes control, giving John two shots. One, the "killshot", will kill her so she can survive without oxygen, and if administered in time, the "nerveshot" will revive her. This will allow John to make the repairs. But the problem is, John's helmet was the one that got damaged. So he does the right thing and shows her how to weld the controls. But he doesn't trust the needle so he teaches her CPR, which from what we saw was a rather interesting moment (we cut away before he showed her how to make him breathe, not giving away the later events). So, they start the plan. However, poor Aeryn can't finish the job in time, and makes quite a big decision. She risks her life to revive John. We've known for some time that she has never been alone before, because she's always had other Peacekeepers around. Previously in DNA Mad Scientist she got very scared at the prospect of loneliness and made a deal with the devil, so to speak. Here she once again stays true to this characteristic and chooses not to spend what are potentially her final moments alone.

So then it happens. It's been building for some time, and it finally happened. The moment that many viewers (shippers) have anxiously awaited, when alone, thinking they may die, they waste no time in kissing, and going even further than that, too. But then our lovable Luxan pops in to make the save, and was the look in his eyes priceless or what? Anthony Simcoe and Ben Browder had that moment down to a "t". John and Aeryn fidget with their clothes, and John says the first thing that comes into his mind, "What took you so long". Hah! That changed your face, Luxan! Stricken with guilt, he replies, "I had to find someone to help". Yeah, right. In other words it took him a while to realise the right thing to do. The final scene, again between John and Aeryn dropped the biggest hint yet that there is much more from the John-Aeryn relationship to come. The words, "It'll never happen again". "Never". "Never". "Never". Then he asks if she's the female of the species. Well, she must be because even though it was off screen you don't need much of an imagination to know where she grabbed! Then the smiles. Oh, the smiles that are burnt into our eyes forever (well, maybe not) that are pivotal to what may happen in the future.

Well, then there was the rest of the episode. Again it was more amusing than not for D'Argo. He goes along with Staanz to find a Luxan ship that Staanz has come across. Once again, he is forced to make a difficult decision. Does he spend time getting maps, which may allow him to find his son, or does he go and rescue his friends now, who have one chance to survive. He makes the moral one, hoping in the future he'll find another opportunity to save his son. It also shows that deep down D'Argo is more than a hard warrior who's out for himself, because once again he looks out for his shipmates.

Plus there was Rygel. Now he may be a snobby Hynerian, who thus far has been selfish, obnoxious, funny, and not a lot more. But now he finally does something to benefit everyone, not just himself. When the evil Zenetan Pirate leader comes aboard, he knows he will not leave without what he wants. So he gives it to him, much to the anger of Zhaan. But she's forgotten how devious our Dominar can be; he actually got Pilot to plant a false comm. frequency in Moya's data store, so the pirates are sent in the wrong direction. It was very commendable, and as I said it was a good thing to do.

The oddest thing about The Flax is that right from the start to right near the end, the crew is split up. First John and Aeryn, then D'Argo and Staanz, leaving Rygel and Zhaan aboard Moya (with Pilot, but he can't leave anyway). This should have made the episode disjointed and incoherent, but rather provides it with some intriguing character moments, which also just happen to be quite wonderful. Obviously the scenes and plot of Aeryn with John furthered the overall character arc of the show the most, but the other scenes and sub-plots worked well too. There were not many visual effects, most notably the subtlety that was the flax, but this episode, Justin Monjo's first for Farscape, thrived on the characters, and as we know, many of his later scripts will do just the same.

I love to hear your views, whether you agree or disagree, so feel free to e-mail me your feedback. Review by Dani Moure.

Reader Reviews
Average Reader Score
5 readers have rated "The Flax" with an average score of 4.6. Click here to see what they had to say, and add your own review!
Did You Know?
The transport pods on Moya are actually made so that extra containers and other compartments can be added on to the end.

Staanz is actually the female of his species, that's why when Rygel asks where his genitals are he says his species were not created from the standard mould.

Rygel is very convincing at bluffing, he plays it perfectly as though he was desperate in the game and really thought he'd lost.

This episode marks the beginning of the wonderful relationship, as opposed to just friendship, which will gradually develop between Aeryn and John.

Related Episodes
The Hidden Memory
Family Ties
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 2: With Friends Like These...
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 3: Plan B

Favourite Quote
Aeryn: "You know you're picking this up more slowly than the dumbest of crew."
John: "But I am picking it up, Aeryn."

We have 92 images from The Flax online.
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Episode Credits
Season 1, Episode 12 - "The Flax"
Writer: Justin Monjo
Director: Peter Andrikidis
Production number: 10113
First UK Transmission: 6th Mar 2000
First US Transmission: 16th Jul 1999
Guest Stars:
Rhys Muldoon (Staanz); John Bachelor (Kcrackic); David Bowers (Goon)
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