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"Suns and Lovers"
Or more like sons making out with their father's lovers...

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

"Suns and Lovers" is one of those odd episodes that comes along every so often and you're not too sure what to make of it. It's a pretty solid episode, actually getting pretty darn good in places, and draws on some good character emotions and fleshes out the whole Jothee-D'Argo-Chiana mess. But, the other plot is about as wafer thin as you can get, and it's definitely to the detriment of this reviewer's opinion of the episode.

The Jothee and Chiana relationship was definitely handled with care and goodness in this episode, and despite some people's opinions of the two character's behaviours, to me there's nothing out-of-character at all. Jothee is not the child his father would have ideally wanted. Having been a slave for much of his life he had to do things that even he doesn't want to remember himself. He's not a traditional Luxan, and knows little about honour and all the qualities D'Argo no doubt expected of him. On the other hand, Chiana also has a tough background, growing up in trouble with the law and on the run from the authorities. She's been through hell and back, and we all know she's quite a free spirit. So D'Argo's plans to settle down with her on a farm is exactly not what she would want. The trouble is, she knew D'Argo wouldn't accept a "no". We also found this out in a nice little scene planted earlier in the episode, when D'Argo shows John the union tattoos. John says that Chiana could say no, but D'Argo doesn't see why and doesn't accept the answer. So Chiana goes and does something that he will never forget, and she admits she uses Jothee to do it. Okay, so having sex with her boyfriend's son is very immoral and a questionable decision, but to say it's not within the grasp of Chiana's character is ridiculous. She's an alien, and she definitely doesn't give a dren about morals. It seems that the writers went with the decision the character would've made, and I commend them for that.

Sadly, the effect this dire situation has on D'Argo isn't particularly good, and his character once again shines in this episode. Seeing him drunk and making comments about getting kicked in the mivonks was hilarious, and seeing how angry he got when he found out was quite scary. He struck Chiana a couple of times, then burnt the tattoo into Jothee. But at least he didn't kill him, in that way he got off lightly. We all know how much D'Argo cares for Jothee, and to a similar extent Chiana, but like he says to John, they broke his heart. After searching for years for his son, he finds him only to be betrayed. It kind of sums up D'Argo's feelings when John told Chiana and Jothee that they both betrayed the one person on the ship who would've done anything for them, even die for them. And as the viewer, we know he would've. So all these events send him into a downward spiral, and off he went to move the cables away from Moya, probably not planning to come back. It was touching to see him float away and see how much Pilot, John and Chiana all wanted him to come back in. It was definitely good that they showed how much Chiana cares for him, because those feelings are real, she's just not ready for major commitment at this point in her life. It was also nice to see John not go in alone, after all they've been through he wouldn't leave his friend out there alone. Anthony Simcoe is another gifted member of the Farscape cast, and he shone in portraying D'Argo's emotions in this episode. He hit the nail on the head in the scene where Jothee and Chiana come to look after him and he sends them away. The tone of his voice portrayed the feeling of such pain and anger perfectly. Of course, now Jothee intends to leave Moya, and it was also quite touching to see D'Argo watch his and Chiana's last conversation, where Jothee says he will make it up to him one day. It should give D'Argo a different perspective, at least knowing neither one was being that malicious about it, and perhaps leaves the door open for forgiveness.

John and Aeryn nearly got down to it too. Aeryn's certainly changed as this season has continued, since her near-death experience. She seems a lot more confused, and although she seems to know that she wants John, she doesn't seem to know how to go about it. It's quite amusing for use viewers to watch as she casually throws in that she will have sex if John wants. But again the character is spot on; after all, she is an alien too. The relationship between the two also seems to be growing, as they're definitely getting somewhere, and are gradually becoming more on the same page, so to speak. Yet there's still the alien factor there, playing on the tension between the two. Speaking of tension, once again the chemistry between Claudia Black and Ben Browder is so evident in the couple of scenes between the two. They are amazing when working together and really sink their teeth in to the material, and keep the relationship and the dynamic of it extremely interesting for all us fans.

Then there's Zhaan. She's still dying, and although we don't see much about her this episode, the scene between her and Stark is very powerful, as we get a real impression of their relationship and how much Stark does care for her. Her "weakening" as it's being called is progressing at a faster-than-expected pace, and Stark is pretty distraught. He yells at her to see her head, and when he looks what we see is rather disturbing. He persists that they will find a planet where she can recuperate, but only time will tell if they do. The line at the end of the scene, where Stark says he's an expert on dying, but not Zhaan dying is a touching testament to his character's feelings towards Zhaan – he really does care. But Zhaan really needs re-potting.

The rest of the episode was made up of some rather funny, but definitely weak scenes revolving around a rather dull plot of storms brewing, hitting a space station because of an attraction, and finding the source if the attraction. There were some funny scenes (mainly involving Rygel) about this plot, but it was so secondary to the rest of the episode it almost seemed pointless having it there. Perhaps they could have filled the episode with more of the juicy character bits instead of the throwaway scenes.

Overall though, the episode was good, very much so in parts but the whole predicament was rather silly and boring, and for me that took away from the episode as a whole, which is a shame because the character moments are once again superbly written by our man Monjo. Tony Tilse's direction was pretty top notch as always, it's just that the commerce station plot was dire. That for me made the episode seem a little choppy, as I was left waiting for the good bits. The main cast of characters continue to evolve though, and get great material. Both Rygel and D'Argo have been brilliant this season so far, although more of Zhaan's situation would be nice. As Mary Wood points out in her review, the handling of Claudia Black's reduced airtime has been exceptional, as you really don't notice less Aeryn on screen. Although the writers are running the risk of over-doing the "crew member in a near death situation" story, I think thus far they haven't, although the sex factor may be coming into play a little too often. So I enjoyed this episode, and it's worth watching, but it definitely could've been better.

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

Second Opinion
To see Mary Wood's review of "Suns and Lovers", click here.

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Did You Know?
Chiana used Jothee just to do something that she knew D'Argo wouldn't forgive, because she knew he wouldn't let her say no to marriage.

The Interon that Jothee speaks to tells him that he and another were ill, but were saved by someone called Jool.

We never get to see or hear about what is on board the ship that D'Argo brought on to Moya.

Rygel apparently doesn't approve of Chiana and Jothee, yet he's more than happy to watch them.

Rygel tells Borlik that it would take him much longer than two arns to repent because he was a Dominar.

Jothee has decided to leave Moya, but he does say he will one day return to make up for what he's done to both his father, D'Argo, and Chiana.

Zhaan's condition is deteriorating faster than they predicted, but Stark seems sure they'll find a way to help her.

Related Episodes
They've Got a Secret
The Flax
Family Ties
Mind the Baby
Out of Their Minds
Look at the Princess, Part 1: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Look at the Princess, Part 2: I Do, I Think
Look at the Princess, Part 3: The Maltese Crichton
The Locket
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 2: With Friends Like These...
Liars, Guns and Money, Part 3: Plan B
Die Me, Dichotomy
Season of Death

Favourite Quote
Chiana: "Keep your lips shut."
Rygel: "You do the same with your legs!"

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Episode Credits
Season 3, Episode 2 - "Suns and Lovers"
Writer: Justin Monjo
Director: Andrew Prowse
Production number: 10302
First UK Transmission: 3rd Sep 2001
First US Transmission: 23rd Mar 2001
Guest Stars:
Matt Newton (Jothee); Leeanna Walsman (Borlik); Thomas Holesgrove (Moordil); Jessica Fallico (Alien Girl); Arthur Percival (Interon Cryoman)
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