In the sixteenth episode of the second season ofÂ Farscape, what the fuck is this show? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watchÂ Farscape.
For real. What? WHAT THE HELL. I’ve been commenting a lot this season ofÂ Farscape that the show takes an idea or premise and runs far off into the distance with it, and goddamn it, they’ve done itÂ again. The whole rapid aging trope is a familiar science fiction storytelling device. While this wasn’t my favorite episode by any means this season, I can’t deny that I found it compelling that the show took this trope to its logical conclusion. It’s done in such a straightforward way that it ended up being more interesting than it should have been. Right??? The whole time, I kept waiting for there to be some magical explanation for Aeryn’s aging, one that would be reversed dramatically at the end of the episode, and everyone would be fine and we’d blast merrily off into space.
And then Aeryn dies and I don’t know what the fuckÂ FarscapeÂ is doing to me.
But it’s not like there weren’t clues to the severity of this phenomenon the whole time. Right from the beginning, I should have accepted that this was not an illusion. One glaring detail did not fit into any theory of magical aging: Aeryn’s transportÂ and the plant within it have clearly aged as well. I thought thatÂ maybe the locket was reponsible??? But how does it ageÂ other things? It was a bad theory, I ADMIT THIS. But my theories all relied on the fact that I assumed that this would all be resolved before it wentÂ too far.
Oh, Mark. Have you not learned? HAVE YOU NOT SEENÂ REPEATEDLY HOW FAR THIS SHOW WILL GO?
Still, up until the confrontation between Ennixx and Crichton down on that barren planet, I believed it was possible that this was all a trick of some sort. What if AerynÂ had made up these memories to account for her rapid aging? If the planet below the time mists was uninhabitable, then how could Aeryn have made a life down there? Of course, this is all immediately destroyed when Ennixx reveals herself as Aeryn’s granddaughter and this all can’t be an illusion or made up andÂ HOW THE FUCK IS IT AT ALL POSSIBLE THAT AERYN LIVED FOR 165 CYCLES AND HAD THREE CHILDREN AND WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WITH THIS SHOW.Â Seriously, how can you do this???
Like many of the episodes prior to this that decide to tackle a common sci-fi trope, “The Locket” runs with the concept so far that I’m left bewildered and upset. When Crichton himself gets stuck down on the same planet after being unable to pass through the hole in the mists, the show does not contradict what they’ve already established. Crichton then has to survive for 55 goddamn cycles before 8 arns passes relative to Moya and the crew and they can all contact one another again. And they do it. AND BOTH AERYN AND CRICHTON AGE TOGETHER AND HAVE A LIFE WITH ONE ANOTHER ANDÂ WHAT THE HELL. WHO DOES THIS? WHO GIVES US A RELATIONSHIP LIKE THIS?
While I did find their interactions with one another to be charming and touching, the sequences down on the planet were sometimes a bit of a stretch. There’s more telling here than showing because we’re left to imagineÂ all of Crichton and Aeryn’s relationship with one another over the years. It doesn’t help that these two seem to rapidly age while Ennixx looks the same the entire time. (That was so distracting, y’all!) I’m not saying that this episode should have been devoted to the day-to-day life for these two because I don’t think that would have been all that interesting. But it’s a challenging concept to give us in such a short span of time, so things felt a little thin at times, you know? That same issue presents itself in other areas, since the writers did need to cram a whole lot into this episode in order for it to make sense. Because of that, a lot of shit is just dropped into the story with either no exposition at all, or it’s very plainly stated to the audience. If the locket is so important to this story, why did we never see how Aeryn or Chiana acquired it? Why was Stark justÂ there? Was I meant to interpret his relationship with Zhaan as a lot more intimate than was stated onscreen?
Ultimately, though, this episode becomes a mash-up between the rapid aging trope and a time travel trope. That’s both good and bad. I mean, this episode features Aeryn’s canonical death in the series, though it’s one that’s passed along to a parallel dimension by the end of “The Locket.” Y’all, I WAS SO CONFUSED AND UPSET WHEN SHE DIED. Because… she can’t? You can’t do that? So I was torn between being distraught becauseÂ what the holy fuck and feeling like I should delay my reaction because it might actually be resolved positively. THIS EPISODE PUT ME THROUGH THE RINGER. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t really find the big climactic scene with Stark, Zhaan, or Crichton to be all that thrilling. I was still a mess of emotions and figured that Crichton wouldÂ have to manually activate starburst or this show would become hopelessly complicated. I mean, could they actually kill Aeryn off? Could they actually trap Moya and the crew in the mists?
I’m intrigued, though, that the reversal of timeÂ didn’t affect Stark and Zhaan. It provides a method for Moya to avoid the mists, sure, but I wonder how this might come up again in a future episode. They’re the only two characters who know what Aeryn went through or that Ennixx was a real person. It’s kind of super disturbing, isn’t it?
Regardless, I THOUGHT IT WAS ALL OVER. OH MY GOD, IT’S NOT. Just… holy shit, I assume that the next episode is going to deal with the reveal that Stark found Jothee. HE’S BEING SOLD INTO SLAVERY. Shit, y’all, THEY FOUND D’ARGO’S SON. This is huge, PLEASE ADDRESS THIS IMMEDIATELY.
Overall, I was impressed with “The Locket,” even if some of the details didn’t really work for me. We now have confirmation that Aeryn’s true love (eventual true love???) is Crichton, so YAY EMOTIONS. I’m sure I’ll be steamrolled by that in the near future as well.
The video for “The Locket” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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