Farscape: The Hidden Memory (Part 2)   Rewatch 
September 9, 2015 12:51 AM - Season 1, Episode 20 - Subscribe

After a partial recovery, Aeryn leads Zhaan and D'Argo to the Gammak Base to rescue Crichton. At the base, Gilina does her best to help Crichton who is being repeatedly subjected to the Aurora Chair by Scorpius and Crais. Elsewhere, Chiana and Rygel have problems of their own when the pregnant Moya goes into labor. [via]
posted by along came the crocodile (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Didn't think this one quite sustained the nerve-shredding tension of the last ep, but it kept things moving, and some significant stuff happened.

Crais is such a bastard in this episode and we know he's setting himself up for a huge fall - it's horribly delicious when Scorpy oh so reasonably decides to put him the chair. Mind you, Aeryn's the one who turns it on and walks off. (How did she know how to do that? I bet there's fic somewhere on that one.) Remind me never to piss her off. I like that she wholly rejects her PK life, everything that was so important to her, and does it to the face of the very man who caused that life to change so irrevocably.

Talking of the chair, how on earth did Gilina manage to manufacture an entirely fake memory? If I was Scorpius I'd have been all over that. And I'd have bugged Stark's cell as well. Luckily, I'm not Scorpius.

Stark and Crichton got to know each other a bit better. I think there's something very intimate about their relationship. Bonded by the chair, by suffering and some shared crazy. And knowing what's to come, it makes certain future events quite poignant.

Chiana was pretty proactive about helping Moya and the baby, but Rygel was an absolute creep. He's not even a body breeder! However it was nice to be reminded that Moya started the tradition of giving birth to hybrid babies at really inconvenient moments.

The firefight was very chaotic and actually reminded me a lot of PK Wars. PKs appear to suffer from Stormtrooper aiming syndrome.

The whole thing with Gilina felt awkward. Not just because it was about John realising that he doesn't feel about her the same way she feels about him, but because she essentially became a sort of walking geeky deus ex machina/macguffin. And when she finally understood how it was with J&A (even if they still maybe don't quite know it or won't admit it), and quite reasonably didn't know if she wanted to give up her life to be the third wheel, it felt bitter. Killing her off was a bit of a cop out really. She absolutely could have had a life of her own.

As for Little Baby Leviathan, well, he does look cool in red and black. But when even his mum considers him to be abnormal, you know there's trouble on the way.
posted by along came the crocodile at 1:09 PM on September 9, 2015

This episode gives a taste as to why Scorpius is so very very scary. "Do what you know in your hearts is the right thing. Put Crais in the chair." He makes it seem reasonable. He makes it seem like he's the rational one doing the sane thing. The soldiers obviously were convinced that yes, putting our commanding officer into the mind-probing torture chair at the behest of gimp-suit Dracula, that seems like the right thing to do here. Though that could also just be a function of Crais being a fairly unmitigated bastard and his crew taking the opportunity to put the boot in.

There are a few things I found interesting about Stark and Crichton. They both trust each other pretty quickly, for strangers being tortured in a peacekeeper prison. Their interactions are one of the few bright spots for John. I thought it was really interesting that after John begged Gilina for some kind of respite, Stark lept up begging to be put in the chair. I hadn't put together that that wasn't just part of his crazy act, but an attempt to help John, who he keeps glancing back to. Finally there's the moment where Stark is cradling John after Gillena engineers a respite. It's amazing, because it shows how close John is to being broken, and how totally dependant he is on the people around him at this point. All he's capable of is breaking down and crying in Stark's lap.

I didn't get any bitterness from Gilina not wanting to go with John. It made sense, particularly given that even when her and Crichton were infatuated with each other their ultimate conclusion was that it was impossible. While I agree killing her off was a bit of a cop out, she really wasn't going to have a life of her own. Aeryn was right, the peacekeepers aren't likely to just forget that Crichton had to have an accomplice on the base. Arguably Gillna realized this, and that's why she scrambled the tracking and came after them.

Minor thoughts: As for Aeryn being able to operate the Aurora chair, I like to imagine the controls are actually really simple and intuitive, but all labelled in Sebacean. "Okay, red button is labelled chair start, green button is labelled pain start, blue button is labelled nightmarish violation of subjects memories start, and the slider goes from 'discomfort' to 'soul rending agony'.... seems simple enough."

I found Rygel almost charming during this episode. All he's doing is making some sexist remarks. He hasn't tried to murder or betray anyone here. I may just be partial to the line read on "My children were tiny. Tiny and handsome."
posted by Grimgrin at 4:47 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I didn't get any bitterness from Gilina not wanting to go with John.

Ah right, I meant it felt bitter to me, not Gilina. She became disposable, which is a shame because she had such mad skills. And I think those skills are the reason she could have got away with escaping from the PKs - it's just that she didn't believe it, like Aeryn didn't think she could change initially.

Minor thoughts: As for Aeryn being able to operate the Aurora chair, I like to imagine the controls are actually really simple and intuitive, but all labelled in Sebacean.

That's far too sensible. :D

I found Rygel almost charming during this episode. All he's doing is making some sexist remarks.

Huh, I interpreted it as something slightly more than sexist remarks going on. I thought there was a physical component happening there as well? (But the 'tiny and handsome' line was funny.)
posted by along came the crocodile at 11:36 PM on September 9, 2015

Some of my favorite lines in the whole series are in this episode--

Stark: Who is she?
John: That is the radiant Aeryn Sun.
Stark: How many Peacekeepers do you know on this base?
posted by cshenk at 5:47 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't find someone making sexist remarks so easily dismissable and certainly not remotely charming, but I also thought it was obvious there was a physical component. To be blunt, he seemed to be sexually assaulting Chiana in a small space from which she couldn't escape. It was a gross misstep in a pivotal episode of a great show.
posted by Mavri at 8:14 PM on September 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

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