In the first part of The Peacekeeper Wars, Crichton discovers that ignoring war is harder than it seems. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Farscape.
Trigger Warning: For body horror, and discussion of genocide.
Let me start out by saying that it’s just so pleasing to watch this miniseries, produced after the show ended, and feel like it’s a natural part of the show. This honestly comes across like an addition to season four because it’s that much of a continuation. It looks like Farscape, it’s got Farscape‘s humor, and it’s clearly written by the same people who are invested in ruining my goddamn life. I suppose I’m used to stuff like Serenity, The Adolescence of Utena, or any miniseries/film that ends up completing a series. They always feel slightly off, and it’s obvious that the medium is altered just a bit. That’s not the case in any way with The Peacekeeper Wars. It’s Farscape through and through, and IT’S JUST SO GREAT TO WATCH.
And by “great,” I clearly mean “continuously agonizing.”
In Media Res
So, is that what is happening here? Interspersed throughout the first half of this miniseries are glimpses of Crichton in bed on board Moya, his face bloodied and the ship in tatters. No one else is around, and the voiceover dialogue is grim as hell. It’s from some unseen argument between Aeryn and Crichton, and it’s upsetting. What happened? Did Crichton succeed in stopping the Scarran threat, but at some terrible cost? Why must you hurt me so?
Return to Life
In true Farscape fashion, the writers give us back Aeryn and Crichton in a method that’s both disgusting and hilariously literal: Rygel swims the oceans of Qujaga and EATS ALL THE PIECES OF HIS FRIENDS. He then THROWS THEM UP SO THEY CAN BE REASSEMBLED BY A DIAGNOSAN. Only this show would do something like this and have no qualms in asking us to accept that this is just what happens in this world. I didn’t think the miniseries would keep them dead, so I wasn’t exactly surprised to see them on screen. I was surprised by Grunchlk, and Chiana’s new eyes, and Scorpius being back in command, and Grayza’s pregnancy, and Pilot’s voice, and Sikozu’s new appeareance. (How did that happen? Why is no one talking about it? Is this an unrealized reality? JUST KIDDING.) But even with these few jarring changes, I never once questioned that this was the Farscape world.
It had returned to life.
The Pieces Assemble
This is a very, very complex story, one that relies wholly on the audience having seen all of Farscape, which I adore. This is a miniseries made entirely for the fans and to complete the story. (I HOPE, OH GODS.) Part of what we see here is a reference to past episodes, and it’s also a complex set of moving parts. We’ve got Grayza’s slow climb to power which also helps us understand how badly the Peacekeepers are faring against the Scarrans. There’s more political maneuvering on the Scarran side between Ahkna and Steelak, and it’s great to see a continuation of their competitiveness from the “We’re So Screwed” arc. Sikozu, Braca, and Scorpius have their own drama that they’re dealing with, part of which involves their escape from annihilation, since Scorpius is aware he’s been assigned to missions that will certainly end in his death.
And then there’s Aeryn and Crichton, who are ready to begin a new life as a married couple with a child. (WHO WILL BE BORN IN A FEW SOLAR DAYS, WHAT THE FUCK.) There is a humor in the show’s insistence in proving that Crichton is haunted by bad timing, since his wedding is interrupted TWICE. Twice!!! But that’s why his words at the end of this half of the miniseries are so haunting. Despite that he’s constantly trying to find an exit from this nightmare, he can’t seem to escape it. Him and Aeryn do get close to some sort of freedom, but they’re pulled back into the war with the Scarrans when they’re betrayed. (By Grunchlk, no less, which is the least surprising reveal imaginable. The guy has a history of betraying anyone for money!!! Why is he around!!!) Of course, even if they wanted to get away, they’ve got a logistical problem, which is that Rygel still has Aeryn’s baby within him. It’s a ludicrous idea because how the hell did that happen????? But then that means there’s canonical mpreg in Farscape, so I’m willing to completely ignore the science behind this or the statistical probability that Rygel would throw up all of Aeryn and Crichton’s pieces, but keep the fetus’s behind. Like… what. WHO CARES, MPREG IS HERE.
HOLY SHIT, THIS IS SO COOL. Seriously, if you hadn’t seen the whole “What Was Lost” arc in the beginning of season four, would any of this make sense? Yeah, I was confused by that arc when it aired because I felt like there was so much left unsaid and unanswered and LO AND BEHOLD NOW WE KNOW WHAT THE FUCK WAS GOING ON THEN. Now we know why there weren’t any bones of the Interions in that temple. THEY NEVER DIED. They’ve been in hiding this entire time, and I’M SO INTO THIS PLOT. There’s a lot of time spent developing the Eidelon culture, and it’s time well spent. Given what eventually happens, I needed to understand this culture’s biological propensity for peace, something that often confused me in “What Was Lost.” I needed to understand why it was significant to the Interions, particularly Hierarch Yondalao, that they’d suddenly come across an heir to their species. I needed to appreciate how rare it was that there was a species who had once brokered a peace between Peacekeepers and Scarrans and were suddenly in existence again. It’s worldbuilding that matters and isn’t just for the sake of it.
I don’t think that negates my thoughts at the time. I just re-read my reviews for those episodes, and aside from missing some of the Jool characterization, most of this information really was a mystery, intentionally held away from my grasp so that it could benefit a later story. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. I’m glad I committed to watching this series in complete, though I do worry about people bailing on season four because it’s got such an odd start. For me, though? Goddamn, y’all, THIS IS SO SATISFYING. And what about that reveal that the Peacekeepers originally were a peacekeeping force??? AM I MEANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE PEACEKEEPERS ARE ACTUALLY GENETIC DESCENDANTS OF HUMANS??? Christ, that reveal was so good.
Anyway, I’m interested to see what the hell the team is going to do in the second half of this miniseries. Crichton had placed all of his hope in the Eidelon solution to this conflict. After the Scarrans wiped out all the Interions and Jool (FUCK YOU FUCK YOU NO TAKE IT BACK), that left Yondalao as the last person left to teach the rest of the Eidelons how to properly access their magnificent power. Make no mistake: whether this was intentional or not, the Scarrans are participating in genocide here, wiping out an entire culture, one that poses a genuine threat (in their opinion) to their quest for power. It is, of course, incredibly frustrating because we get a very brief glimpse of what a peace might actually look like before Ahkna SHOOTS YONDALAO IN THE FACE.
How? How are they going to solve this???
Sikozu / Aeryn
It’s a very short scene, but holy shit, I loved that uncomfortable conversation between these two about self-worth and love. What’s great to me is that while Aeryn doesn’t feel a lot of affection towards Sikozu anymore, she doesn’t tell Sikozu that her love for Scorpius is invalid. Is it weird? To Aeryn, most definitely. It’s hard for Aeryn to even imagine feeling anything positive towards the guy, but when she hears how Sikozu speak of Scorpius’s hidden depths, she understands the language. It’s the same way she feels towards Crichton.
I LOVE AERYN SUN.
This miniseries becomes exponentially more difficult to watch, and it’s fueled by an urgent sense of desperation. Initially, that desperation comes from the antagonists, but it rapidly transfers over to our heroes by the end of the first half of The Peacekeeper Wars. The Scarrans suspect that Crichton is up to something, and they pursue him viciously. It’s why the destroy all the Interions down on Arnessk; they cannot take the risk of allowing whatever was down there to survive. It’s like anything that touches Crichton or his life is disposable. So, as the team witnesses the way in which the Scarrans can dispose of what they love, they become more and more desperate to escape. I mean, y’all, I THOUGHT THEY KILLED OFF D’ARGO AND CHIANA. I WAS SO UPSET, DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH THEM.
But let’s talk about Crichton’s desperation and the gamble he makes. I think Crichton knew that the Scarrans innately do not respond to reason, but he took a chance regardless. He took Staleek to Einstein (!!!!! OH MY GOD THE CONSTANT REFERENCES TO THE SERIES ITSELF !!!!!!) so that he could demonstrate the truth: he honestly did not possess the information to construct a wormhole weapon. Could he convince Staleek not to pursue the weapon? No, and I’m certain that wasn’t why he brought him to Einstein. It was a last-minute gamble, one that would make Staleek understand that he was chasing Crichton for something he couldn’t ever provide.
It almost worked, y’all. IT ALMOST WORKED.
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD IT’S JOTHEE AND CHIANA AND D’ARGO AREN’T DEAD AND THERE’S A CHANCE THEY CAN DESTROY THE DECIMATOR HAHFDSAFHAJKLASDF
I LOVE THIS SHOW. just kidding, i despise it for ruining my life. just kidding, i’m broken.
Ahkna, what have you done? Y’all, I wanted to hear so much more from Staleek once he let down his guard in Yondalao’s presence. He started talking about shit we’ve never heard before. He was concerned about the way that the Scarrans were perceived by other races! He wanted to negotiate a peace that changed that perception and respected Peacekeeper agency, but still assured economic power for the Scarrans! Crichton would be free! IT WAS AN ANSWER.
Bad timing, y’all. It’s all bad timing, and I don’t know how they’re going to survive the poison gas. I don’t know how Rygel is going to survive his pregnancy. I don’t know what the endgame of this show is now that weaponry and peace are both gone. WHAT’S THE SOLUTION??? WHAT AM I MISSING? What if they’ve done something terrible to Stark? What if he didn’t get Yondalao’s knowledge? HELP ME.
Goddamn, y’all, I loved this. OFF I GO FOR THE REST OF IT.
The video for The Peacekeeper Wars: Part I can be downloaded here for $1.99.
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