In the fourteenth episode of the third season ofÂ Farscape, two familiar faces are back as John is warned about a terrible future that he may have set in motion. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watchÂ Farscape.
Goddamn, what an episode. Let me start this off with two things that sort of puzzled me so I can get this out of the way and then start SHRIEKING AT HOW GREAT THIS IS.
Okay, I don’t Google things on purpose because I’m always afraid of accidentally coming across a spoiler, so I’m actually going to ask if I’ve got this right. Normally, I don’t even allowÂ that but I was confused about the order of events. Didn’t the Ancients visit CrichtonÂ afterÂ he met Furlow? I wouldn’t say that this ruins things for me, but I’m pretty sure he gave her the data concerning the wormhole technology prior to the Ancients giving it back to him, so wouldn’t they have known about Furlow to begin with? Maybe not? Again, I suppose this doesn’t really matter, because the point is that the Ancients came across that Charrid in a model of theÂ Farscape-1Â and assumed that Crichton was responsible for it.
The other thing I was confused about was Harvey, and Harvey ended up bringing the exact point I made. How could Scorpius ever access the neural clone within Crichton’s head? It’s not like Harvey could just beam information to Scorpius, so that confused me a bit. However, I suppose this could easily be explained away by theorizing that Scorpius could just put Crichton in another Aurora Chair or put another chip in him or… something. It’s Scorpius. He can do a lot of things.
Anyway, these things ultimately don’t really matter to me, and I don’t even really consider myself that big of a continuity person. SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS EPISODE.
I support Furlow being around AT ALL TIMES. My god, she’s so endlessly entertaining and hilarious, she’s proudly morally ambiguous, and I could watch her sass everyone until the end of time. But she’s not just comic relief in “Daedalus Demands,” and I’m thankful for that. Her primary interest is in making money, and it’s why she initially allies with the Charrids. Well, I suppose that’s not quite the right term. SheÂ buys them to help her test the wormhole technology she developed with Crichton’s data that she got back in season one. (I can barely remember season one, y’all, becauseÂ so much shit has happened since then.) They turn on her, take over the facility, and then become the worst defensive army in the history of forever. Seriously, until the end of this episode, they perfectly fulfill that trope of the enemy force that’s comprised entirely of soldiers who are bad shots. How did notÂ one of them ever hit Aeryn or Crichton?
THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point is that Furlow, who trusts only the money that a person pays her, isÂ incredibly resistant to the idea of handing over the tech she developed to some random dude who speaks to her in a high-and-mighty tone. She’s always been a pragmatist. She values her own life, she values money, and that’s about it. Again, this is played for humor at times, but I find her character to be fascinating because she’s managed to survive in such a fierce and brutal world withoutÂ being all that brutal herself. She’s cunning and clever, and her practicality has gotten her extremely far in life. I mean, she had enough money to hire hundreds of Charrids, so she’s clearly good at running her business.
So I understand her reluctance here even while Ancient!Jack is telling her about the importance of her technology falling into the wrong hands. Furlow’s never been one to think about the ramifications of her actions in the way that Ancient!Jack wants her to. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t criticize that because the episode sure as hell does. She’s dealing with technology that can and will have disastrous implications in the future because Furlow can’t control who inevitably gets ahold of it. Sure, her own survival is important, but at what cost? At what point does morally detached pragmatism become a horrible thing?
You know, this is the first episode in a while that gives Rygel any sort of character development. The closest we’ve gotten is Rygel’s introspection during Zhaan’s passing, but even then, it’s clear he’s still the self-centered and egotistical jerk that he’s always been. How many times has he tried to cut ties with the crew just to save himself since Zhaan died? So I appreciate that his one-note characterization recently is challenged here while also calling back to Rygel’s need for revenge. This time, his race’s history with the Charrid race compels him to quietly and secretly offer himself up as the interrogator of the lone captured Charrid.
And he ruthlessly kills him, but not before finding out that a Scarran dreadnaught is on its way.
It’s not the sole way that Rygel gets involved here, though this first example is the only time he does so voluntarily. Aeryn demands that he help out and man one of the turrets, which he does so with great trepidation… UNTIL HE FINDS OUT THAT IT IS GREAT FUN TO BLOW CHARRIDS UP. Oh my god, bless his heart. He’s so adorable when he’s excited! It’s also neat to see himÂ actively contributing, since he so rarely does that. Which is why I needÂ Farscape to stop giving me such pleasant things and then having a piece of shrapnel pierce Rygel in the exact same spot where he was stabbed in “Relativity.” REALLY? YOU’RE GOING TO BE THIS CRUEL AGAIN? WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME?
Crais, Talyn, and Stark
I don’tÂ quite see where this is going. Yet! Talyn is badly damaged after he refuses to obey Crais and stay away from the solar flares, which is both foolish and lovably noble. At the moment, Stark is doing his best to help Crais calm down TalynÂ and act as his eyes, since the link between Talyn and Crais has blinded Crais, too. But there’s not much of these two in the episode in relation to the others, so I wonder if we’re just going to get more of it in the next part of this arc.
The Ancients / Harvey
It’s so weird see Jack again and even weirder to know that one of the Ancients is walking around in his appearance. But this episode further complicates what “Incubator” told us. Since we know definitively that both the Scarrans and the Peacekeepers are desperate for wormhole technology, that makes the events of “Daedalus Demands” a whole lot scarier and more urgent. The Charrids and the Scarrans have allied, making this disaster a lot worse, and so I am willing to avoid the need to explain why they haveÂ to purge Harvey from Crichton’s mind. In the grand scheme of things, it works within the episode, since the Ancients wantÂ no one to have the technology aside from Crichton and themselves. That means that any chance that Scorpius might get to it must be eradicated.
I’d gotten so used to Harvey being in Crichton’s head (and, contrary to what Crichton states in “Scratch ‘N’ Sniff,” I think he always offers good advice) that it was kind of shocking to me that we were going down this path. But this isÂ Farscape! Everything has to be fucked up and surreal. So the battle inside Crichton’s head for dominance is just as fucked up and surreal as anything else on this show. It’s something that, like many other things this show has done, is ambitious as all hell, but having Harvey as a physical presence within Crichton’s mind gives the writers a chance to represent this battle visually. What’s weirder than having it at a theme park on the beach? (I know that’s notÂ actually Coney Island, for the record, since I’ve been there and there is definitely not a cover or that bridge there.) Making the fight happen ON A ROLLERCOASTER. I approve, I love this, it’s so fucking bizarre and no one cares.
Except that Harvey’s threat that Crichton would regret this comes to fruition in the worst way: Harvey was willing to take Crichton with him if the Ancient tried to expel him from Crichton’s mind. I wasn’t sure what it meant to see both Crichton and Harvey plunge into that wormhole, but HOLY SHIT, HARVEY!CRICHTON IS BACK AND THIS IS SUPER AWFUL AND I DON’T KNOW THEY ARE GOING TO RESOLVE THIS IF THE REAL CRICHTON IS LEGITIMATELY GONE.
CAN WE NOT GO DOWN THIS PATH. Just kidding, this show is going toÂ sprint down this path, aren’t they? I’ll start crying now.
The video for “Daedalus Demands” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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