Farscape: Won't Get Fooled Again   Rewatch 
November 6, 2015 11:05 PM - Season 2, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Crichton wakes up on Earth after crashing Farscape One. He believes it to be an illusion, as in A Human Reaction, and tries to find a way out. As things become increasingly chaotic, he begins to lose his sanity.[via]
posted by cshenk (4 comments total)

If we want a great idea of what "classic" Farscape is, this is the episode to turn to, and by no means, does this mean this is the episode you try and convince others to watch as an introduction. I think they would be at best confused and at worse, wondering if you were trying to signal things about your own state of sanity.

What I appreciated about the beginning was the immediate realization by John that it couldn't be real from his previous experience with a fake return to Earth. The fact that every piece of evidence that revealed the fabrication of the last failed completely this time around. Then the experience is compounded by the obvious false reality it is by the use of his fellow Moya crewmates as regular members of it. It's fake and he can't get out. His entrapment continues like a killjoy, so to speak, as we watch all the characters and actors we love, thrown into increasingly over the top sequences and events. We can't enjoy Rygel the Team Manager because it's framed by John's growing desperation to escape from a world he knows isn't true.

It's this that makes this episode so darn wonderful. We're torn in two directions, loving the increasing oddity and silliness of the characters and their placement in a reality on Earth that clearly doesn't exist, and even, John's reaction to it, such as throwing said Rygel to his death. But, our sympathy and concern for John sours this enjoyment, making us passengers on his own pain filled carnival ride, wanting him to break free as much as he wants to break free, more and more, even, as he begins to suffer a psychosis break.

In the middle of it, Scorpius. His beacon of hope and salvation is the one figure in his life that he loathes, hates, and wants nothing but to run away from. Irony, ain't she pretty?

This is an excellent episode from every angle, Dang.
posted by Atreides at 8:28 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Atreides, I couldn't agree more! You made me think about something I hadn't considered before: Scorpius is both John's enemy/persecutor and friend/savior. (Wait until Season 4 and this becomes even more intertwined and confusing.) Because Farscape! The neural clone (Harvey) saved John when he was on the Jakench ship that was about to explode (LATP: I Do, I Think), and saves John here, as well. He is like a guardian angel (John almost names him "Clarence" after the angel in It's a Wonderful Life), except of course, when he wants to kill John (see Season 3).

This episode is so twisted, like a bad dream. The scenes with John and his mom, who he hasn't mentioned previously, are gut-wrenching (and queasy--Oedipus complex anyone?). In the commentaries, the actors, writers, and producers talk about how Farscape just isn't afraid to go there and break all the rules. They talk about how most series would not send their hero back to Earth (his goal) until the series finale. So, of course, Farscape has John go to "Earth" in the first season, the second season, and (spoiler) really go in the fourth season! They also find an ingenious way to have their lead couple be together and not be together at the same time (spoilers for Season 3).

Mushy stuff: John calling Aeryn, "Honey" when he first sees her. Plenty of sexual shenanigans here, too, but I'm just talking about the John/Aeryn relationship!

As a side note, Richard Manning (writer of this episode) just Tweeted out yesterday how he enjoyed torturing John/Ben in this episode. And Ben loved the acting challenge, too!

Sorry, I seem to have a thing for parentheses today! : )
posted by cshenk at 2:59 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

The scene with John and his dying mother breaks me, every time, and I love that they don't shy away from it breaking him. Even though he knows this is some kind of twisted game and he's resisting as best he can, everyone has their triggers. This is easily one of my top 5 episodes.
posted by Errant at 8:21 PM on November 16, 2015

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