Farscape: Through the Looking Glass   Rewatch 
August 28, 2015 11:31 PM - Season 1, Episode 17 - Subscribe

Moya performs an emergency starburst that fragments her into four different dimensions. As John attempts to find crewmembers missing in each dimension, an energy creature appears to add more danger to their predicament. [via]
posted by along came the crocodile (13 comments total)
This one had the misfortune of following the best episode of the show so far. Though I did love D'Argo's reaction whenever John threw up.
posted by thetortoise at 3:45 AM on August 29, 2015

This episode does get to show a bit of how the group dynamics have evolved. They're all edging closer to something like friendship. Which also may be why John tells Chiana "This is one of the good days". The ship has just been blasted through another dimension and is slowly coming apart/being eaten by a glowy space monster. But it doesn't have history with any of the crew, no-one's traumatic past is being dredged up, and they're not fighting amongst themselves over it.

It's been mentioned before during this re-watch, but this episode is a particularly good example of how Farscape does not care about making the viewer comfortable. It's almost physically unpleasant to watch the blue light parts of this episode. This show asked itself "Can we use the most unpleasant noise we can come up with as high volume background noise for these scenes?" and answered "Yes. Yes we can".
posted by Grimgrin at 8:34 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

John and Aeryn pantomining Rygel and D'Argo is so great.
posted by Mavri at 9:04 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I do love this one. It's fun and totally insane, and I realised watching it again that Farscape is in fact 'London Houseshare in Space'. It has all the elements - arguments about the cooking, somebody playing experimental noise music at all hours, people nicking other people's stuff, vomit and Australians. Chiana's just moved in and is trying to get her head round it all.

And it looks like everybody had a blast making it. Well, Crichton looks like he's having the worst drugs experience of his life but that's probably appropriate for an Alice in Wonderland episode. It's gleefully visceral.

John's and Aeryn's game of charades is great, I agree. I also liked Rygel's 'Should I disrobe so it's memorable?' line and Aeryn chatting about recipes. Wasn't so sure about Zhaan taking up the Seek again - it kind of got missed in all the crazy.

Another call back to the Aeryn/Pilot DNA connection - did wonder if Aeryn was so defensive of Moya because of that. John's ability to keep functioning in the middle of all the insanity is certainly one of his strongest traits. The sound design for the blue light is great - you can just about hear someone shouting the crew's names.

John asking Chiana if she had x-ray vision stood out as well, in a foreshadowy way.

Fun fact: David Kemper originally pitched this for ST:TNG. Just imagine that episode. :D
posted by along came the crocodile at 10:49 AM on August 29, 2015

Worth it just for Mippippippi
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:45 PM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]

Now, here is an episode (one of my favorites!) where Farscape takes a sci-fi trope and plays around with it. Bodily function grossness, a mystery, and John actually saves the day! I think this is the episode where I completely fell in love with Farscape because it was so unique.

I think it's interesting that it was originally written as a ST:TNG episode. Someone on a different re-watch was writing the Star Trek-esque plot summaries for Farscape, and they were very funny, because bodily functions always seem to be in the plots.
posted by cshenk at 3:42 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is also the first episode where John calls Chiana "Pip" (his favorite travelling companion).
posted by cshenk at 9:12 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is another episode that I went from, "Gosh, it's this one again..." to "This is better than I remember." I appreciated how the finale of the episode resulted in everyone appearing together in Pilot's command spot, a visual key to the togetherness that the situation created among the crew of Moya. The more obvious scene for this was the last dining scene, which mirrored the opening dining scene, where everyone was critical of the different foods and arguing. Poor John, ain't no way he can really create anything from home.

It was a nice touch to have the different realms affect the different species differently.

It's also kind of sad how emotionally dependent Pilot and Moya are on their crew. If Moya was a bit more confident in herself and less dependent on the crew, she would never have tried to push herself to starburst again so quickly. I understand she was afraid, to a degree, of also being exposed to PeaceKeepers coming - but with none in sight, there was no reason other than to show everyone she was still able to jump.
posted by Atreides at 11:33 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

along came the crocodile: Honestly, I can't see it being much more than mediocre as a TNG episode. Compared to Moya's lot, the crew of the Enterprise are far more like a group of co-workers in a professional setting. The Enterprise is crewed by the best and the brightest of Star Fleet. While it's true that everyone on Moya is extraordinary in some way, the members Farscape's desperate messed up accidental family of renegades are all also seriously damaged. This means that the plot would have to be more contrived for TNG, as the situation could not plausibly come about because the crew of the Enterprise were doing something stupid in the fallout of a heated discussion. Moreover, the ending on TNG would be robbed of impact, as an amicable relationship is the status quo, rather than an unusual breakthrough. Then there's the problem that everyone on TNG is, to some extent, John Crichton. Meaning they're technical, inquisitive, and open to teamwork and co-operation. Most of them are people for whom not shooting an alien you just met is a natural reaction and not a sign of bizarre naivete. So you either have to make the Enterprise crew more bellicose, or make the creature more of a personal threat. Both of which would compromise the episode. So, as a ST:TNG episode this would be an anomaly of the week. However, why it would be a mediocre TNG episode goes to highlight a key point about Farscape. The Moya crew don't really need a compelling external threat to generate dramatic tension and stakes. They can handle all that on their own through their own interpersonal conflicts and fuck-ups.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:51 PM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think I was going more for 'Riker throws up. A lot. Wesley hides in a corner and cries. ' Fantastic answer, though! :)
posted by along came the crocodile at 2:44 PM on August 30, 2015

along came the crocodile: Fair point well made. That does sound like a B-plot that would enhance just about any episode of TNG.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:34 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

How could I forget to mention the Aeryn/John interaction! Not only the charades, where Aeryn almost cracks a smile, but also this exchange:
John: Aeryn? Aeryn, you there?
Aeryn: Ah! Where have you been?
John: On the run. Where are you?
Aeryn: I was trying to get out of here. I didn't know if you were coming back.
John: I'd never leave you.

posted by cshenk at 2:02 PM on August 31, 2015

This might be my favorite "standalone"/non-arc episode of Farscape. It's got all the things I want in an inessential episode. My only real complaint is Crichton's lampshading "This is one of the good days, people!" line at the very end, which kind of oversells the finish. Still, Rygel's yellow dimension doggerel wins me over every time.
posted by Errant at 5:29 PM on October 2, 2015

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