Mark Watches ‘Farscape’: S03E09 – Losing Time

In the ninth episode of the third season of Farscape, the Moya crew faces a confusing and violent set of creatures that possess them. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Farscape.

Trigger Warning: For body horror, consent, and gore.

I think that while this was a solid episode with some neat character moments (and a huge update about Scorpius), it kind of suffers from placement. The eight episodes prior to this are ridiculous and massive and terrifying and EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, and this one feels less like it’s connected to anything else. Again, it’s a cool story, but it didn’t do much for me. It happened and there don’t seem to be any lasting consequences aside from exhaustion.

I don’t think that makes this a bad episode by any means. There’s a lot of promise in the early parts of “Losing Time,” namely because we’re shown so many surreal things, one after another, that got me intrigued right off the bat. What was that thing that seemed to enter Crichton? Why did he float? Why was he bleeding? Why did he not have an observable cuts? But it wasn’t until that utterly frightening scene where all four members of the crew lost half an hour that I was READY FOR THE RIDE THAT FARSCAPE WAS GOING TO TAKE ME ON.

I think that I expected more of “Losing Time” than it gave me. Namely, I can’t seem to answer any of those questions. I don’t actually know why any of the above happened. I can’t tell you why Crichton floated and bled when no one else did. We see Chiana floating later in the episode and that’s because the Rider has possessed her. So… maybe it also possessed Crichton? But then left? I think? But where did the blood come from? Why did any of them lose time? That’s the one question that perplexes me the most, y’all! WHY DID THEY LOSE TIME?

There’s a hint towards the end of the episode that there might be some sort of ramification from this experience that’ll carry on into the future. It’s that moment where Chiana somehow senses that D’Argo is in the room before he arrives there. But that doesn’t really make much sense to me either. Why would this affect Chiana but not Crichton? I recognize that this show will often take a tiny detail from a past episode and turn into something much more meaningful later. It’s one of the things that Farscape does well, so I suspect that this is what’s at work here. But just because there something vital to the story within “Losing Time” doesn’t mean it’s a fantastic episode by itself. There’s a lack of closure within this story because the writers pose a ton of questions about something we’ll never see again (since Tallip and the Rider are both) and then they don’t really answer them.

It was great to see Moya’s starburst chamber, and for the moment, that’s my favorite part of the entire possession plot. The episode doesn’t subvert any of the aspects of this trope, though. (Though I will say that I’m very happy that Crichton refused to have sex with Chiana, since he explicitly recognized that she wasn’t consenting to it. THANK YOU. I hate when genre shows ignore this.) Gigi Edgley is fantastic as the possessed Chiana, and Lani Tupu’s voicework for Pilot is similarly eerie! AND I WAS LEGITIMATELY SAD ABOUT DRD PIKE. (Y’all, I understood the Pike reference. I UNDERSTOOD A STAR TREK REFERENCE OH MY GOD.) But… I don’t know y’all, I’m missing something. I am fully ready to re-think “Losing Time” if I discover what that is, but I just don’t find the main story terribly compelling. It’s not awful or disappointing, it’s just off.

I’m thankful, then, that there was the Scorpius subplot because SHIT IS GETTING REAL. Oh gods, how fucked up is everyone going to be when they discover that he’s still alive? Not just alive, but closer to mastering the wormhole technology… sort of. It’s complicated. It’s clear that Scorpius and the rest of the Gammak base’s crew have been hard at work dissecting and analyzing the data they stole from Crichton’s brain, and at the very least, they can now send non-living matter through a wormhole successfully. This seemed like a huge development to me!

But it’s because of that strangely intimate scene between Braca and Scorpius that I learned just how far behind expectations Scorpius is. I say “intimate” because Braca is present when Scorpius admits that he’s failing, and that’s really strange to me. Scorpius has such an intimidating presence in every scene he’s in, and it’s part of his persona. He strolls into a room, and he is in control. We see that later on when he uses Drillic’s rudeness against him and sends him to be turned into a puddle as part of the Sebacean trials. But there, alone in his quarters with Braca, Scorpius confesses to the motivations behind his obsession with wormhole technology: the Scarrans are set to wipe the Sebaceans out. It’s a context that’s certainly been hinted at before. It’s heavily implied in the whole “Look at the Princess” arc. But never have we heard this so explicitly. Outnumbered 10 to 1, the Peacekeepers need to develop this weaponry or they’ll face genocide at the hands of the Scarrans.

I don’t think I’m ready to say that I feel sympathy for Scorpius or the Peacekeepers in general because they’ve still done such horrible things in this world. But there’s a new angle here, one which complicates the portrayal of these characters. Scorpius is trying to defend his race from extinction, and surely that’s not the worst motivation in the universe, you know? Of course, that’s not to excuse the horrific things he’s done to Crichton and his friends. SCORPIUS IS CLEARLY THE ANTAGONIST HERE. But it’s not so simple anymore either.

So what the fuck are they going to do? The final scene suggests that Scorpius is more aware than ever of how desperate he is. I’d even say it confirms that he failed in getting what he needed from Crichton. Somehow, humans are able to survive travel in a wormhole and Sebaceans are not. That’s information that Scorpius needs and does not have. If he fails to retrieve it, then the Peacekeepers are doomed. Does this mean that Scorpius is going to go after Crichton again? Oh, shit, y’all, WHAT IF HE FINDS OUT THERE ARE TWO CRICHTONS? No, there are too many variables here, my brain hurts. This show is too much.

The video for “Losing Time” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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