Farscape: Thank God It's Friday, Again   Rewatch 
July 21, 2015 3:54 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

D'Argo, after threatening the crew with Luxan hyper-rage, is later found docile and happy on a planet and decides to stay. Crichton discovers that the planet's food contains a drug, with the help of a small band of rebels immune to its effects, and must determine a way to convince the others of the truth and the true nature of the drug. [via]
posted by [insert clever name here] (12 comments total)
 
Despite the… earthy, shall we say … elements in this episode, I rather enjoyed it. The "B" story of Aeryn back on Moya having to work out what was going on with Rygel redeemed it in my eyes. Especially her interactions with Pilot in light of what we will find out in the future. I thought the fact that the Peacekeepers didn't have "laser death rays" but in fact had a logistics chain that leads all the way back to backwater agricultural worlds like this one was very interesting.

Also, I think this is the first episode where it looked like they just took a bus down to Bondai Beach and shouted over a megaphone, "Who wants to be in a TV show?" Which is fine, because tomorrow is a rest day.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:28 PM on July 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Grimgrin pointing out how much danger John is in as the protagonist is spot on. It's a wild crazy world of very freaky aliens. This episode starts off with him hiding from D'argo and I love they only hint at why. What is Luxan hyper rage? Why is Crichton the target? Also I must have forgotten or previously missed the quip about him hiding so well that they couldn't find him for 3 days to tell him D'argo was off the ship. Alternative take, considering how Moya appears to be able to track living things aboard her (to some extent), they let him stay hidden to see how long before he would come out. I mean, I'm kind of sad we don't get to see that episode.

My husband had long pointed out that Farscape always felt like the episode was starting 10 minutes into the story already. And this episode really exemplified that trait. Many shows seem to have borrowed it since then.

I forgot how amazing the makeup of the show is. Zhaan is a given, but seeing the planet's leader just reminded me how much love went into the strange and beautifully done body paint that lends itself so well to believing we're seeing aliens.

Two stand out moments for me: Crichton in the ceiling at the beginning of the episode.
Crichton's uncomfortable face about sharing the bed with Zhaan. (See Grimgrin's comment)

Make that three: "She gives me a woody."
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:56 AM on July 22, 2015


"She gives me a woody" makes me laugh every time.

I love Aeryn's story in this episode, its the first real look at "You can be more", and Claudia Black plays it perfectly as someone who doesn't think she can do this.

I always wondered about the logistics of this planet for the Peacekeepers. Moya is far enough into the Uncharted Territories that they can hide from Crais, but they stumble on an entire planet thats working for the PKs? What does the transport of the oil look like? Do PKs get this assignment on punishment?
posted by hobgadling at 6:01 AM on July 22, 2015


I like this ep quite a lot in the scheme of S1.

Angie Milliken's pretty good as the actually not that strung-out leader of the brain-washed hippies, and I found her questions about what space was like quite poignant. Also that eye thing she did - the one-two blink. Like a lizard. I never quite understood why she looked so different from the others, as she said she had never gone into space. Maybe some kind of cosmetic surgery befitting her status.

John - more involuntary body invasion and resulting trauma that he can do nothing to prevent. This early on he's still quite resilient and optimistic though. I like that he feels confident enough to be able to have a row with Aeryn, who can still snap him in half like a twig, should she so choose.

All the Rygel body comedy - he's the gift that keeps on giving in that department, all the way through to PK Wars. I don't think of him as a puppet at all. He's a selfish little shit and I love him to bits. "It's only people who know you who want to kill you."

The 'woody' joke makes me laugh too, but isn't it interesting that this 'superior' Peace Keeper, so disdainful of labourers, techs and other lesser beings, is already trying to learn English - the language of a clearly defective being. And how typical of the show to have John foreshadowing the Human/Sebacean connection already. I'm always amused by Aeryn's 'I did all this science stuff and it was like REALLY REALLY HARD but I still did it!' speech. She is literally eight years old in certain areas of her life. John's happiness at her accomplishment is a nice moment.

Pilot and Aeryn also have another bonding moment, this time over their shared scientific ineptitude, but also I think the ability to shift outside their preconceived roles. Pilot still tries to learn as much as he can despite not being able to do anything other than be Pilot, Aeryn is being forced to re-evaluate her role, her notions of what she can do and become.

Other stuff - Zhaan's bit of back story about her spiritual revelation that led her from a state of absolute savagery to becoming a priest. More of D'Argo's emotional trauma - I wish I could connect more to that. I would have liked to know what John did to trigger off the hyper rage too.
posted by along came the crocodile at 7:13 AM on July 22, 2015


Completely agree about starting in the middle of things. The episode could have gone in any number of directions, but using D'argo's rage entirely as a setup to establish the calming powers of the plant/food on the planet was not the one I initially expected.

Aeryn and Pilot are always wonderful and I think the vulnerability displayed by Rygel in this episode went a long way in bringing his character to life, lifting him from an emoting puppet to a member of the cast. That said, it also ended with him peeing explosive urine....so there's that.

Note: The leader of the natives had the exact opposite coloring, red eyes and white skin versus white skin and red eyes. I also noticed that the overseers, so to speak, also seemed to have white skin (from the color of their hands), but it was never really confirmed what they actually looked like.

Concerning the leader, the actress really had to work hard two win me over with her performance - it probably wasn't until after John was having to fake his party time that I began moving from disliking to appreciating the character.

I guess this episode kind of started sewing the implications of Pilot's unorthodox path to being Moya's pilot?

Not a bad first season episode. We're only an episode or two removed from the one episode I completely loathe, so it'll be interesting to see if that opinion remains firm.

I also agree with the oddity of the PK having a giant facility when they're supposed to be in the uncharted part of the galaxy - uncharted based off the information in Moya, who would have had info from the PKs...I dunno, batty.
posted by Atreides at 1:05 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Note: The leader of the natives had the exact opposite coloring, red eyes and white skin versus white skin and red eyes. I also noticed that the overseers, so to speak, also seemed to have white skin (from the color of their hands), but it was never really confirmed what they actually looked like.

Yeah. I was looking for a sci-fi explanation for Volmae's red eyes and other different physical characteristics but possibly it's some kind of racial difference on that planet. I wonder if the PKs imposed a leadership structure based on those physiological differences or did they exploit something already in existence?

I guess this episode kind of started sewing the implications of Pilot's unorthodox path to being Moya's pilot?

Now we can see Pilot's sense of insecurity as not just about his lack of skills but the whole legitimacy of his position. One of the things I'm really looking forward to in S2.

The thing with the planet's location only makes a bit of sense if they are considered a prize strategic asset and kept secret, I guess. I figure the PKs must have hundreds of these worlds, exploiting non-space faring races for their labour and land. On the surface they are low-tech, impoverished agricultural communities not worth paying any attention to. They probably can't even communicate offworld in general. It's kind of like Seven Samurai.

I don't really see much hope for any resistance against the PKs though by the Sykarians. Felt more like a 'die on your feet' situation. Not sure if Crichton appreciated that.
posted by along came the crocodile at 2:06 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The 'woody' joke makes me laugh too, but isn't it interesting that this 'superior' Peace Keeper, so disdainful of labourers, techs and other lesser beings, is already trying to learn English - the language of a clearly defective being. And how typical of the show to have John foreshadowing the Human/Sebacean connection already.

Not to mention, the concept of which race is superior. I didn't realize it started so early in the series. I think there was a whiff of that a couple episodes ago as well. (But I've already forgotten the specifics.)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 4:44 PM on July 22, 2015


This isn't one of my favourite episodes. That said, there's still a lot to like. A big one for me is the way that despite being nominally in charge, Volmae is just as trapped as everyone else. Maybe even moreso given that to the Peacekeepers "Leader" could just mean "The first one we kill when they fail to meet quota."

As far as the difference in appearance, I had thought that the red skin and white eyes in everyone else could be the equivalent of a very deep suntan. Assuming what the rebels said was accurate, she was just "pulled out of the crowd" rather than being anyone important. I froze it a few times to look at the guards in the background and they also appear to have paler skin. So the ones who are labouring all day are sunburned, the ones who aren't are paler.

I also really like the exchange between Zahn and Crichton over sharing the bed. The way Zahn gently dismisses Crichton's attempts at chivalry really underscores how good Virginia Hay was at imbuing Zahn with a sense of total self-possession and self-control.
posted by Grimgrin at 5:06 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The body paint on Volmae was spectacular, and I liked her weirdo performance, although the mannerisms slip towards the end. I wasn't sure if that was intentional or not. The character reminds me of the Borg queen for some reason.

I did wince at the end with John trying to assume the role of liberator, when it's probable those people wouldn't hold out for long after defying the Peacekeepers. I liked the look of the old train car, and was amused by how all the extras were so very Australian. The show not being produced in the U.S./UK gives it such a distinct flavor, which is exciting.

This might've been the first episode where I realized what a revelation Claudia Black was going to be as Aeryn. Aeryn Sun was my most epic girl-crush since Dana Scully and it's fun to fall in love with her all over again.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:02 AM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is one of the episodes that stuck in my memory. That dancing!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:17 PM on July 24, 2015


Late to the conversation, but wanted to join in!

Note: The leader of the natives had the exact opposite coloring, red eyes and white skin versus white skin and red eyes. I also noticed that the overseers, so to speak, also seemed to have white skin (from the color of their hands), but it was never really confirmed what they actually looked like.

The Farscape companion book explains that they wanted Volmae to be paler than the workers since she doesn't work in the sun, and then they exaggerated it. I read somewhere else that her eyes were red because she had taken the worm (she didn't have a natural immunity to the root like the workers who recruited John).
posted by cshenk at 11:21 PM on August 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah, didn't know that either. Thanks for joining in!

Think I'll have to settle down with the Farscape Encyclopedia Project and study up on all these eps again.
posted by along came the crocodile at 11:42 PM on August 5, 2015


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