In the tenth episode of the first season of Farscape, GOOD FUCKING GOD, THIS SHOW BROUGHT IT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Farscape.
I’m so messed up.
This is such an immense episode of this show. It’s not just an improvement in the caliber of the storytelling, but a demonstration that the writers are willing to go to grim and absurd places, and they are going to COMMIT to it. Because Farscape can’t back out of these two developments anymore! They’re here, and we’re just going to have to deal with it.
OH GOD, LET’S DO IT.
As the title suggests, the main story here centers on the two huge secrets revealed by an accident. Seriously, that might be the most absurd part of this. D’Argo’s mistake is what sets this entire thing in motion, and without it, none of it would have happened. But it’s his misstep within Moya that causes him to kick free a Peacekeeper shield in a previously-unseen portion of Moya’s internal structure that ends up with him being jettisoned into space. It’s a horrifying bit of imagery, and it is the least disturbing thing in this episode. By the end of “They’ve Got a Secret,” I’d completely forgotten about it because everything else was so much more emotionally destructive.
D’Argo’s trip into the freezing emptiness of space doesn’t kill him, but it does cause him to… hmm. Hallucinate is not quite the right word. It’s almost as if he’s in a waking delusional state, unable to separate his currently reality from his past. When he looks at Zhaan, he sees Lo’Laan.
D’ARGO WAS MARRIED??????
Oh, I wasn’t even remotely ready for the deluge of sadness that was about to pour from this show. D’Argo begins to associate the people on Moya with those from his past, all unintentionally, and he acts out entire scenes from his life. It is, simply put, endlessly heartbreaking. He treats Rygel as if he is HIS SON. D’Argo had a son, y’all. A SON. Then he believes that Crichton is Macton, the brother of his wife who firmly rejected D’Argo being in a relationship with Lo’Laan. But it’s not until the dramatic confrontation on the bridge that D’Argo, who must snap out of his delusion in order to tell the others where he found that Peacekeeper device, finally reveals what happened to him so long ago that set him on the path that brought him here.
D’Argo fell in love with a Peacekeeper.
There are so many tragic aspects to this story. As an American, it was hard for me to separate this from the history of anti-miscegenation laws in this country. I know this is an Australian show, but it’s not like the idea of interracial relationships being immoral is something that Farscape pulled out of nowhere. I admit to being totally ignorant about Australia’s history with racism, but it’s obvious to me that the show is trying to show us how these beliefs are literally destructive. Lo’Laan’s own brother murdered his sister to prevent her from having a life with a Luxan, and then he framed D’Argo for the crime. I imagine that Jothee, D’Argo’s son, would have been killed for being an immoral mixed breed child, so D’Argo hid him. HE’S OUT THERE SOMEWHERE, ISN’T HE? Oh god, if this show brings about a reunion, I will be completely destroyed. THIS EPISODE WAS BAD ENOUGH.
I do love it that the show has Aeryn come to D’Argo at the end to offer her support. It’s a great example of how a text can offer up commentary on the more uncomfortable issues it brings up. Clearly, D’Argo’s story is given to us as a tragedy, but Aeryn’s scene at the end provides us with more context. Peacekeepers are taught to keep bloodlines pure, so it’s extremely meaningful that Lo’Laan entered into that relationship knowing her brother would inevitably hate it. But it’s also meaningful that Aeryn directly confirms that she doesn’t not believe that Jothee is “evil.” It’s a sign of support and friendship, and I love it.
AND I’M A MESS, DON’T TOUCH ME.
There are a lot of reasons why the very existence of Moya as a character is the best thing ever. First, A LIVING SHIP. That is great ALL BY ITSELF. But the writers do not waste the potential they’ve created in Moya, and “They’ve Got a Secret” is all the better because of it. Even more so than past episodes, we get an in-depth look (LITERALLY OH MY GOD) at Moya. SO MANY CORRIDORS. Her waterslide thingies! And then her womb. hahah yes that’s right, because if you’re not watching this show and just reading my reviews, that’s the big secret. Moya begins to shut down critical environment features that normally keep her passengers alive BECAUSE SHE’S PREGNANT.
(yo, does this mean that the entire crew were breathing in Leviathan sperm? My understanding was that the shield that D’Argo kicked down let loose the catalyst for pregnancy, which is how this whole thing started. However, thinking of this in normal biological terms is flawed, I realize that. Did Moya fertilize herself? Does the species not require another Leviathan to create offspring? I’m totally fascinated by this! Still, I think it’s very funny and very in tune with Farscape‘s sense of humor to think that they all inhaled Leviathan sperm.)
Through this wacky, frightening, and thrilling journey, we learn so much. We learn that Pilot is not just mentally and emotionally bonded to a Leviathan. We finally get on-screen visual confirmation that the Pilot’s tentacles are grafted into the entire ship, spreading throughout the Leviathan. (That must mean that whatever species the Pilot is, they’re actually HUGE beings with tentacles like a root system.) On top of that, this episode demonstrates the independence of Moya, since she acts to protect herself and her child, prioritizing that over her passengers and her Pilot. Even if she’s a character who can’t speak, her actions undeniably affect the plot of this show! So… baby Leviathan??? This is terribly exciting. Will Moya’s child stick around? WILL THERE BE TWO SHIPS AT SOME POINT?
Y’all, this was easily my favorite episode since “Premiere.” Holy shit, it’s just so GREAT. More like this, please!
The video for “They’ve Got a Secret” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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