DNA MAd Scientist
They've Got A Secret
Til The BLood Runs Clear
Rhapsody in Blue
A Human Reaction
Through The Looking Glass
The Hidden Memory
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I, E.T. - somewhere over the rainbow
I realized as I was watching this the other night that this is one of the few eps I've never commented on. The first time it was shown was, I think, before I started posting, and the second time it was shown was during a chain reaction. Now that it's been on again, I'm going to finally bore - uh, regale you with my comments:
This is one of my personal favorites. It was written by the estimable Sally Lapiduss, who gave us They've Got a Secret, my top fave ep. She has a way with quiet introspection and emotion that really appeals to me, perhaps because I tend to write that way myself. The gentleness is apparent from the first in TGAS, and it is in this opus, too.
Okay, let's get this out of the way right off the bat: the translator microbe glitch. No, the people on this backwater should not have been able to understand John and D'Argo and Pilot, but who cares, in the long run? There were worse glitches on Trek, and no one screamed blue murder over them. Take into consideration that this was the second ep filmed, even if it was not shown in order, and leave this misstep aside. Or use any of the myriad theories that have been put forward to explain it.
High points, and there were several: the tantalizing detail of Pilot's tale of young Leviathans playing 'tag' with a planet's gravity well; Aeryn's quiet, heartfelt bitterness against John for messing up her life, and John's reply of "Join the club";
John's reaction to seeing the planet up close for the first time (and he's right, it did look like the wetlands of Louisiana....); Zhaan's eyes changing as she takes Moya's pain; Rygel's confession of ineptitude and his reaction to the tokkar knife; John's assurance that he does indeed understand how Lyneea feels about 'first contact'; Lyneea's reaction to seeing Pilot, and John's amused, "More like what you were expecting?"; D'Argo's gentleness with little Fostro (this was before TGAS and the revelation about his son, fine foreshadowing); Rygel's gleeful chomping on Aeryn's arm (and why didn't she need a tetanus shot or the equivalent after that??); Lyneea's reaction to John's goodbye kiss.
The gutwrencher: the final scene with John and Aeryn. As was pointed out in the fine post by Lostiguana, this scene would have been handled much differently in a network series, more expositional dialog, etc. The delineation here was minimalist, spare, and said all that was needed to say with a minimum of effort: Aeryn's derisive "Don't tell me you're going to miss that rock?", John's jaw catch and quiet, "No, not that rock...." and the close up of the heartache and longing radiating from his expressive eyes. This is cinematic quality storytelling here - a similar scene that springs to mind is in ALIENS, when we meet Drake and Vasquez for the first time. One line of dialog, ten seconds of film, and we know all we need to about their relationship. Kudos to the writer and actors for this one, it's a gem.
Performances were topnotch, from the regular cast and the guest stars. Mary Mara is a favorite of mine - I always look forward to seeing her name in the credits, and her sweetly intelligent face was perfect for Lyneea. The emotions, from awe to surprise to fear to delight, chase each other across her features, and each is captured perfectly. The little boy who played Fostro (and forgive me, young sir, but I did not catch your name in the credits) is very cute, bright and quick, very much his mother's son. The military commander was a perfect representative of his kind, and by that I mean the bureaucratic mindset that would rather destroy and autopsy than learn from the living - much as I'm afraid our leaders might do if confronted with actual intelligence from another world.
This was an ensemble show, with each character getting a chance to strut his/her stuff. Pilot's worry over Moya, his fear for all of them, the play of emotions over the crustacean face, all handled flawlessly. To Pilot's pupps and to Lani, once again, good on ya!
Rygel, proving one more time that he would come thru in a squeeze play (in this case rather literally), was wonderful, going from blustering arrogance to shamefaced humility in succession. Kudos to Rygel's wranglers and Jonathan for another fine performance.
Aeryn didn't get a lot of screen time this episode, but what there was was terrific. The confrontation with John, the amused exchange with D'Argo in the tree over the human's backwardness, her strong support of Zhaan, all pointing up the minute beginnings of her ongoing transition from PK and unwilling cohort to crewmember and ally. Claudia, as always, met the challenge brilliantly, setting the stage for the future.
Zhaan was at her full priest's power in this ep, showing there was more than just spirituality among her kind, there was practical muscle too. The strength and gentleness that have been the hallmark of the character were in full view here, and Virginia shone like the lovely jewel she is.
And John - hey, I admit to be a huge fan of the man, but seldom has he had to cover so many emotions in one episode, and seldom has it been done with such precision. The remorse on his face as he realizes he is holding a weapon on Lyneea and Fostro, the quiet determination not to leave without D'Argo, even tho their relationship is still so nebulous, the terror that he really might not recover from the stun shot, the empathy with Lyneea's reaction to first contact, and the quiet sadness of the final scene - looks like all that Shakespeare paid off, after all..... Superb work all the way around, Ben, and much appreciated, at least by this viewer.
In all, a super ep, and one I have watched fondly a number of times now, and will be pleased to continue to do so.
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DNA Mad Scientist - Frankenstein redux
Okay, guys, fair warning -- I've got a lot to say, so this is going to be a long one. Any bathroom breaks need to be taken now...
All right, everyone settled in? Very well then, let's begin .
I have to say up front that this was not an enjoyable episode There were a lot of very hurting things in it, and at least one characterization that jarred badly -- I will address each of these in turn.
But for the most part, I will honestly say that is was a superbly done episode in most aspects, and I will watch it again -- with my finger poised over the fast-forward switch on my remote ....
First, to the writer, Tom Blomquist: you have given us a dark, disturbing and at times terrifying episode. You have shaken up our concepts of what these people are like. You have given me enough mental images for a month of nightmares, if my psyche were so inclined. This is powerful writing, if not in the vein that I usually enjoy. The continued manipulation of Zhaan's character annoys me, but once again, I will take that up when the time comes.
Next, the special effects people: you have borrowed from Frankenstein, Dr. Moreau, the Borg and the id-creature inside all of us for the imagery you used to create the creatures in this episode. I bow to your skill, also -- it is magic of a very special kind.
Each character had a chance to come to the fore in this episode. The only false note in the characterizations is in the current writing of Zhaan. In last week's episode, she was terrified of releasing her dark side. This week she appears to have embraced it and let it rule her once again. She became what Rygel called her, "blue ass bitch". No longer the gentle pa'u, she is willing to do anything and sacrifice anyone to get what she wants.
I can't help thinking this is too much of a change in her character too soon. She didn't want to go back to what she was -- even Dr. Jekyll tried to fight Mr. Hyde, and ended his own life finally to defeat him. Zhaan has let the evil inside her have free reign, and this jars against what we have seen of her personality before this point. The one flash we get of her former self is when she offers to help Pilot ease the pain. Her desperation is so clear that you almost have sympathy for her plight -- almost. But not quite. I would have liked a scene with Zhaan's former self coming out just for a moment: if they can get her home, she can find help there. She is losing who she is to who she was, and she's terrified. Her actions would be, if not forgiven, at least understood.
I miss the gentle, strong priest, and I hope she returns soon. True strength comes from acknowledging that the darkness exists within, but not giving into it, learning how to harness the power that it contains. It will be interesting to see if she can learn this lesson.
D'Argo made me very angry for a while -- I consider him to be a being of honor, and participating in the removal of Pilot's arm was anything but honorable. But then I remembered -- he is a soldier. Most if not all of us have had friends and relatives that have been in combat situations in the conflicts of this century, from World War One to the current hostilities in Kosovo. All of these people could cite examples of the expediency of the moment overriding the normal morality they would have otherwise adhered to. And this is a battlefield the crew is living on -- fighting for their lives on a daily basis, always with the fear of being caught in the backs of their minds. And at the moment he removed Pilot's arm, D'Argo looked very ashamed.
The final scene, serenading Pilot, had me nearly in tears. D'Argo could not apologize in words, so he did the next best thing. His honor was redeemed at that point, as far as I was concerned.
Rygel was ... well, he was Rygel. The only flaw I found in his characterization this time was when it was found out that only one of the maps could be accessed, and the squabbling and backstabbing began. Rygel is the master of seeing all the angles -- how is it that he didn't think that, once they got back to one of their worlds, star charts could be obtained to get them back to ALL of their worlds? The only rationale for this lapse is that the star charts they have requested are so specialized - made to avoid PK activity - that they would be nearly impossible to obtain elsewhere, even in the charted territories.
Pilot -- to have him attacked, mutilated and dismissed in the first few moments of the episode was almost more than I could stand. I may never forget the horror of that scene. And his explanation to John of why he wasn't insanely angry -- we as humans may never totally understand the way these beings think, of just how 'alien' these aliens can be. And Pilot's comments to Rygel and D'Argo -- which body parts would they be willing to give up? -- had me cheering. He was angry, he was hurt, but there was no way for him to retaliate. As Tennyson said, his is but to do or die, and it will be difficult, if not impossible for a human to understand this.
In a related thought: if NamTar had requested a limb from one of the others, one that would not regenerate as Pilot's did, would Zhaan, Rygel and D'Argo have been so quick to agree?
John -- bless you, writing gods, my John was back this week! Last week there were times I didn't know who that man was ... I could probably go on for pages over the aspects of John's characterization that I loved this week. John's rage, sick horror, and total incomprehension of Pilot's thought processes -- once again, we see this universe through the eyes of our Everyman, and it's a chilling vision at times.
His all-encompassing concern for Aeryn, lack of regard for his own safety in finding a way to help her, his terror as he held her, convulsing, in his arms after the cure is administered -- "What have I done? What have I done?!". The walk through the gauntlet of glaring eyes after he shatters the map crystal that would have destroyed Moya -- as far as he was concerned, they were not even there, they were beyond his notice. The sweet touch (possibly my favorite moment in the ep) of the food cube happy face -- if I had not already been crazy about this man, this scene alone probably would have sold me.
The drinking binge after he discovers that NamTar's data banks didn't have the coordinates for his home, and his misery that he would be stuck forever was heartbreaking. Even when he is flawed and utterly human, as he is in that scene, the purity of heart and soul that shine through are what make him a hero, one that the ordinary person can relate to. No superheroics, often clueless about the universe and people around him, but muddling through the best he can -- the one who holds on for ten minutes more, is scared to death but does what has to be done anyway.
And Aeryn -- wow. From titanium steel battle goddess to small child afraid of the dark things under the bed, we saw more change in her this week than in the whole run of eps to this point, I think. She is having to come to grips with the notion that she is not a drone anymore. The life she was born and bred for is no longer an option, and of all the crew, she is the one who is most adrift of all. For the first time in her life, she is utterly alone, and is willing to try the impossible for the chance to fit in somewhere. The desperation with which she approaches NamTar, the horror when she discovers the price of her devil's bargain, the terror of what she is becoming and the knowledge that all her skill can't save her, were painful almost beyond bearing.
The little exchange with John at the end, confessing that for the first time, she felt like an individual, and NamTar was taking that away from her, and John's answering statement that she would have fit in on Earth just fine -- I took that to mean that here on earth, a good many of us are confused about ourselves, our places in the universe, and we are looking for where we fit in. Aeryn is going to have to keep searching for her place, and one day she will find it.
The relationship between John and Aeryn took a giant step forward this week -- trust and communication have been established, and I eagerly look forward to where it goes from here. From this point on, I think they both know they can count on each other, if not the others.
None of these wonderful characterizations would be possible without the talented actors who bring them to life for us. And without exception, the acting was superlative.
Anthony gave us the whole range of D'Argo's emotions: desperation, rationalization, guilt and appeasement, with his eyes and body language his only real tools. Serious chops shown here, and he carried it off admirably. I can hardly wait till next week to see what happens with D'Argo -- with this man in charge, it's sure to be spectacular.
Perversely enough, the reason I am so upset with Zhaan is chiefly because of the talent of the lady portraying her. Virginia continues to astound with her range and depth, drawing a portrait of a conflicted individual whose less than admirable qualities are coming to the fore. Once again, as always, a superb performance.
The grief, the fear, the pain and the sweetness that are all part of John's character were once again delivered in fine form by Ben. The scenes with Claudia in particular were riveting -- watching the dance begin between these two divergent personalities is wonderful. As with Lani last week, Ben once again strikes sparks off his costar, and the subtleties of his performance this week were myriad: the tears in his eyes as he held Aeryn, the shaking hand that had to be steadied before injecting her eye, the frank disgust on his face at the squabbling of his shipmates, the slurred speech and disjointed movements in the drunk scene, the cocked-head little boy quality in his eyes as he handed Aeryn her tray -- it was as always a joy to watch.
And the best for last -- Claudia. An incandescent performance, beautifully nuanced and realized by a supremely talented lady. So many new aspects of Aeryn's personality were brought out this week, and so many changes were made, more of a stretch than any of the others have had to make in one episode so far. Not one false note, not one misstep, each moment sure, true and clean. Where her character goes from here is anyone's guess, but Claudia will take us on the journey in fine style.So, bottom line - while I am not pleased with some aspects, the good far outweighs the bad this time, in direct contrast to last week. The journey into the uncharted territories continues, and I will definitely be along for the ride.
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They've Got A Secret - of families old and new
Right off the top - to all the creative people involved with FARSCAPE, you are hereby officially forgiven for TOBM!
Amazing, incredible, moving, heartbreaking - I could use every superlative in my vocabulary and it wouldn't be enough. Most of what I want to say probably has already been said by others, but I didn't have time to plough through 3 pages (!) of posts, so bear with me if I repeat anyone else.
To Rockne O"Bannon: whatever you are paying Sally Lapiduss, it is not enough! This talented lady was responsible for my favorite episode so far, I, ET, and shows once again that she has a way with emotion and quiet scenes in TGAS. She took the concept of D'Argo as Worf-clone, turned it inside out, and shook out its pockets. And the gems that fell from those pockets! Ms. Lapiduss, this was an amazing piece of work - every human emotion, and a few non human ones, were covered in the space of 45 minutes. I will eagerly look forward to further efforts from you.
The homages to 2001 (thanks for pointing these out, EyeOnStorm!) and THE BIRDS were inspired. The camera work on the conference scene is especially fine. Excellent work, all around.
The sets - we got a good look at some of Moya's less accessible places. She is vast indeed, and we may never see all her nooks and crannies. Beautiful work, and kudos to the designers.
I'm not sure how much time is supposed to have passed between the end of the last episode and the beginning of this one, but it would seem that enough has passed to have healed some of the rifts between the crew members. It was long enough for Pilot's arm to grow back (thank the Maker - don't know if I could have dealt with seeing him in transition for another week .... ) The characters continue to grow and change, and once again in ways we didn't expect.
Zhaan is coming back again, and I for one rejoice to see it happening. She has been around for 812 years, and I realized (with the help of a friend - thank you!) that this 'lapse' of hers may not have been the first of its kind. She so desperately needed to go home in DNAMS that she was willing to do whatever she had to. Her fear of losing herself may have actually driven her to use the darkness inside her to save herself. How many times over the centuries has the temptation risen to revert to the old ways, and how many times has it been driven back? Her one true hope for an end to the war inside her is going to be controlling, not denying, the rage inside her, and using that power in constructive ways. Only then will she be whole.
Her gentleness with D'Argo, her empathy with his pain, her quick work at reviving him after his inadvertent space walk - these are the traits of the gentle pa'u, and they are regaining strength within her. The tears flowing down her face as she hears the story of D'Argo's wife and child told more than any words could about the great heart inside her, the heart that will one day bring her home.
Aeryn and John continue their dance, and it's a delight to watch it unfold. This week, it was little things - the smile Aeryn gave John as he's helping her get the Superglue off her hands, the diminishing of 'personal space' as they sat together, how his voice was the one that got through to her and kept her from cutting Moya's higher functions. Tiny points, but all pieces of the picture, and it will be a beautiful mosaic when it's done.
Interesting to note that Aeryn appears to have held onto some of Pilot's abilities after all, a refreshing change from the usual fix-it-in-an-hour storytelling. It will be fascinating to see what happens with these new abilities in future. And the conversation with D'Argo where she promises never to reveal the existence of his son to the PKs - she is becoming one of the group, and it suits her well.
John proves once again that he's not just another pretty face. His role-playing psychology with D'Argo to get him to open up and remember what happened to Lo'laan, his realization that the DRDs were vital to the survival of Moya's child, and his pleading with Moya not to let them all die - the hero takes on some new faces, and they suit him well.
And D'Argo .... I am blinking back tears as I write this. The enormity of the pain he's been carrying inside him for eight years is almost incomprehensible. And what an incredible woman Lo'laan must have been! To be willing to go against everything she has been taught, give up everything she knows, for love - no wonder D'Argo cherishes her memory, and aches so for her loss. And now, with the information we are given about his son, the actions of last week make perfect sense. He had a chance to find the son he lost and he took it, consequences be damned.
His brother-in-law Macton - I do hope that one day D'Argo is allowed his day of revenge against him. To hunt them down, murder his own sister, frame her husband for her death, and send him into eight years of bondage and torture - it's hard to believe that anyone could be that cold, hidebound, and heartless. Strong overtones of the Nazi purity of species ideology here, a chilling reminder that evil is not confined to our galaxy.
The most powerful scene was by far D'Argo's tale of betrayal, loss, and heartbreak. No one in the scene was unmoved, even Rygel. Zhaan openly weeping, John holding tears in check but just barely, and D'Argo with every emotion naked on his face - all I can say is, I was very glad to have the kleenex next to me .... And the holographic image of his family - so beautiful, and lost much too soon.
They must have been teenagers when they met and fell in love, since D'Argo was imprisoned for eight years and is now about 30 cycles. The story of how they met, their courtship, and the full tale of their parting - all right, people, let's fire up those word processors! Start cranking out that fanfic! I have this beautiful mental image of a garden in the moonlight, and D'Argo serenading a pregnant Lo'laan with his shilquin. He loved her so, and discovering he was going to be a father had to have been the most joyous moment of his life. To be cheated of the chance to raise the son he obviously adored - I can't imagine the anger and pain this caused him. The story is there, somebody get busy before I do!
And then there is Moya's pregnancy. What is the gestation period for a leviathan, anyway? A care-and-feeding manual for baby leviathans would indeed come in handy. And what about morning sickness? And cravings? This is going to be a very interesting story arc in the coming weeks.
Side note: I made a joke on the bboard when I first heard that Moya was pregnant. I said that D'Argo was responsible ... and by golly I was right!
In all an incredible ep, and once again, the sterling cast rises to the occasion.
Claudia shows more facets of Aeryn's emerging personality. The gentle smiles, such a welcome addition to that striking face, the quick anger at John's dawdling with the solvent, the I-can-do-this look as she takes control of Pilot's station, the play of emotions as she talks to D'Argo - this is acting at its best, in the nuances, the fine strokes. Thank you, Claudia!
Virginia - what can I say that I haven't already said? As usual, you bring your own light and fire to our favorite Delvian, and it is once again a joy to behold.
Ben - you've done it again, buddy! The comic touch with the flashlight (that is SO John!), the take with the dead refrigeration system, the empathetic pain during D'Argo's breakdown, the little gestures and looks exchanged in the scenes with Claudia - again, shadings that bring the character even more into focus. The power in the role-playing scene is a true gem - serious chops showing here, Good on ya!
And Anthony .... I've got a pretty extensive vocabulary, but I don't think a superlative exists, in English or any other language, that would do justice to your performance. From joy to grief, from tenderness to rage, from laughter to tears, I don't think there was a single emotion that wasn't covered in this ep - I can't imagine how tired you were at the end of each day. The transitions were flawless throughout - I don't know how it could possibly get any better than this, but I know you'll find a way to do it. And to make D'Argo romantic and sexy - Ron Perlman could have taken lessons from you on playing Vincent, and he was no slouch! You gained a legion of new fans last night, most of them female ....
This is going to rate as one of my favorites, if not the favorite - it just had it all! So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to rewind my tape, and view it one more time .....
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Till The Blood Runs Clear - the good, the bad and the truly ugly
The title kinda says it all - I'm in a playful mood right now. Nothing profound to say this time, and I'll try not to make a Russian novel of it this time.
I loved this ep as I was watching it. It was great fun, good dialog, good characterization, good everything. Lighter in tone than the last couple eps, and we really needed a reprieve, splendid as those stories were.
Then I heard the rumors of the enormous script and technical problems involved, and I was truly amazed at the quality of the product on the screen. To all involved, good on ya!
Some of the highlights:
The whole alpha male posturing scene had me ROFLMAO! I remember seeing the promo and hearing the line "Keep your damn mouth shut until I tell you to open it!" and thinking, "John, Aeryn is going to break you into little tiny pieces when she gets you back to Moya!" But in the context of the scene, it was terrific. John is what is known in show biz as a quick study, and he was very impressive. But it was amusing, too - I half expected to hear "Dueling Banjoes" in the background. And if there had been trees available, I think there might have been some territory marking .....
Side note: John should have used a different breed of dog for his analogy. I know Dobermans - fierce rep notwithstanding, they are the biggest marshmallows in the universe. Left to their own devices, they will live on the couch and show burglars to the silverware and wall safe. Wolves would have been better.
John saving D'Argo's life the hard way - very nicely done, even if it got him a kick in the face, ouch. However that was the only time he got hit - maybe the obligatory Crichton bashing quotient is going down? Please??
High point: the detente between D'Argo and John. The human is finally winning some respect, and it may one day turn into friendship. D'Argo has been betrayed too many times to allow it to go further yet, but the possibility is there. And now John knows that he will have backup if he needs it. That was well done, and nice continuity.
Someone in a previous post, Kieriahn I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong here) said it looked like John was willing to 'kidnap' Aeryn to go thru the wormhole. I have to disagree on that. John, in his right mind, would never endanger another crewmate. However, at the time he saw the wormhole, he was not exactly in his right mind. The man was not capable of any kind of thought just then - all he saw was potential way home, and the longing was so fierce it jumped out and bit me. Once Aeryn's voice broke through that, he was alright again.
Aeryn's temporary blindness and refusal of help from John - so vulnerable and can't accept help even from someone she now trusts. She still has a long way to go in her transformation, and may never totally get there, the PK mentality is so deeply ingrained. Nice touch, once again.
Furlow - she was an absolute inspiration! Round of applause to Magda S. for her portrayal - comical and calculating, subtle and sharp. I do hope they bring her back again, she was terrific.
And the end scene where John has to pay the piper. I truly thought he was in deep bantha poodoo there for a minute, and I almost think a physical payment would have been easier on him than giving up that data. But now he knows it can be done, and as Zhaan said, there will be other stars with solar flare activity out there. He will find one, and maybe he will find a way home.
And was it me, or did it sound like Aeryn was 'setting him up' by telling him that she wanted him to settle the bill?
Oh, to any tech studs/astronomers/science types out there: how does one determine if a worm hole is stable?? Someone email me and let me know - a plot point for a story hinges on that. Thanks in advance.
And...Butch and Sundance??? LOLOLOL!! Which, BTW, would have made a better ep title, IMHO. TILL THE BLOOD... should have been saved for whatever future ep (and I hope there is one.... ) where D'Argo catches up with Macton.
I do love the idea of photogasms. However, it would be more convenient for Zhaan if she has SOME control over them.....I did love how playful she was in this ep - we've never seen her just be 'silly' before. What a treat! And the teasing of Rygel was so funny!
And the bits about the baby - even D'Argo was concerned about it. That is going to be an interesting thread in weeks to come, and I'm looking forward to it.
Acting all round was uniformly good, as always. Ben - you're getting so comfortable walking around in John's skin, the line between actor and character is getting very blurred. And that is the way it should be, a seamless joining. You just keep getting better and better, buddy.
Virginia - beautiful work once again, adding yet a new dimension to our favorite Delvian. A lovely light touch, a welcome change after the heavy emotion of the last two eps, and flawlessly carried off. And so much for the notion that Delvian priests are celibate.... hoo boy!
Anthony - very good flow of emotions this time, esp. In the showdown scene between D'Argo and John. Fierce, apologetic, and ultimately willing to bend, even with sword in hand. Fine work once again.
Claudia - wonderful nuances here - the smile as Aeryn listens to the remastered beacon, the look of uncertainty as she hears Crais' 'amnesty' offer, and the body language as she struggles with the truth and what she wants to believe, all believably portrayed. Very fine.
In all, a fine job, and a very watchable ep. I will enjoy re-viewing this one often.
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Rhapsody in Blue: Notes from the orchestra pit:
I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the entire ep in one sitting, instead of three times in bits and pieces as I was chatting or getting caught up on e mail. (How could you answer email while watching this??? I know I can hear some of you screaming .... ) Now I feel qualified to make some of my 'brilliant' observations, tho how brilliant they will be depends on a brain that got about three hours' sleep - gotta stop staying up till dawn on Friday, closing down the chat room .....
The themes this week seemed to be love, loss, betrayal, and redemption. Love is shown on many different levels here - romantic, platonic and protective. Honor was at stake here, and sanity, and even a soul or two. A heavy plateful, and it was carried high and proudly by the sterling cast.
To start at the very beginning - hoo mama! What an opener! Lovely, warm, sensuous, romantic, the colors of virginal white against vivid red, punctuated by soft earth tones in the floors and walls, and the roses in the vase by the bed. The setting was right for soft gentle romance, but, as fate would have it, it was not to be. Alex's confession that she was leaving, John's expression going from tender passion to concern to confusion to heartbreak in the space of seconds, and then the simple act of closing the ring box and flicking it under the bed, signifying the closing of this door in his life. I couldn't help raging at Alex - I admit to being a diehard John fan, but any woman would love a man like him - smart, sweet, strong, and sexy - and she's walking out on him? I felt the betrayal almost as much as he did, and I wanted to take him in my arms and make the pain go away.
The settling of the underwear question was a hoot, as was Rygel's comment, "Hail, prince of the obvious!" and John's high five to the Dominar. Then seeing a Delvian with hair! I have a theory that hair or lack of same may have something to do with your rank as a priest, but I could be way off base on that one. Any thought on that one from anyone else, please feel free to jump in here.
John's reaction to Zhaan's crime could have been more delicately worded, I thought: "You murdered your lover," rather than "You murdered the man you were having sex with" might have worked better, since Zhaan did say she had loved him, which to me at least implies much more than just sex. Minor quibble, but it bothered me.
Aeryn's confusion and uncertainty when the pulse rifle "fell apart" and she found she could make no sense of the ops console was both funny and tragic at the same time. The self-sufficient ex-Peacekeeper unable to cope was a unique sight, and a bit unsettling. And D'Argo, suspecting Delvian trickery but falling for it just the same, bothered me a little bit, but considering the image they pulled from his mind was that of his son, I suppose it was understandable.
Tahleen's sincere beckoning of Zhaan into her spider's web was masterful, which made the resulting betrayal that much more shocking. To have power but not the wisdom or patience to control it is one of the seminal themes in literature, from "Frankenstein" to "Jurassic Park", as is the notion that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. These themes are repeated time and time again to great effect here.
John's reaction to Zhaan's transformation - the shock and dismay, and the knowledge that she wanted to stay behind to kill Tahleen, and his determination that it was not going to happen - all handled in smooth transition.
John's initial belief that "Alex" is an illusion almost seemed to be shot down too easily, but once again, if the past is delved into, it makes perfect sense. The woman he loved and lost, the one he was going to spend his life with, miraculously restored to him - what man would not jump at the chance to believe it, and damn logic to hell. Even in the confusion, the belief remained, and the ring scene was especially painful since we, the audience, knew he was being manipulated, but all he saw was his lover, asking him to make a choice that would hurt someone no matter what he did. A no-win situation if there ever was one.
The most heartbreaking scene by far was that between John and Lorana, when she releases him from the illusion and he sees it's all been a dream. In essense, he's lost the woman he loved twice in one life time - shades of Cyrano de Bergerac! The pain, the loss, the betrayal and the bitter hopelessness in the words, "So now what - kill me, cage me, teach me tricks?" had me reaching for the kleenex again. I would rather have seen him physically beat up than take the emotional pounding he was given, it would have hurt less. That Lorana found her own salvation in his mind was proof enough to him that he could indeed help Zhaan reclaim her self. There was fear in the realization, but hope as well.
The climactic scene, when John 'challenges' Zhaan to unite with him, had some wonderfully comic touches at the beginning, which I have heard were ad libs - the 'chicken' noise, and the "Not much - I'm a guy." John is trying to ease the tension, and perhaps trying to quell the fear he must be feeling at that point - he is putting his mind in her control, and the consequences of any misstep on Zhaan's part had to have been horrifying to even contemplate. The ecstatic joy of the initial bonding, the chilling touch of the core of madness in her soul, and the calm assurance from him of the wonder he sees in her - her strength, her gentleness, her giving heart - and the pleading with her to find it and bring it back out again, all showed John once again willing to do whatever it took to help a friend, as he did with Aeryn in DNAMS. In the true spirit of the hero, he is afraid but does what has to be done anyway, and wins.
His urging Zhaan to fight the madness and come back, as we and he watch her eyes change from red back to their normal color, his near panic as she collapses, and his tender holding of her as she thanks him with tears in her eyes, was truly wonderful.
The fierce destruction of the tree was both a physical release for John, letting loose the pent up frustration and sense of violation and outrage, and a symbolic one. The twisted tree will be replanted, and the new straight roots will be a tactile reminder of the path the Delvians' souls should remain on. His line about it being a bastard sect in any religion was priceless, delivered with the perfect combination of condemnation and rage. And Zhaan's fierce protection of him with her newfound powers - she has come away with new abilities, and it will be interesting to see where they lead her.
The final scene, with Zhaan leaving her vestments behind, marked a transition of its own. Her calm center has been restored, but she is not ready to accept it totally. I have a feeling there will be a period of reflection and perhaps penance before she will allow herself to function as a priest again, but the day will come at some point.
The supporting cast were all wonderful but special kudos go to Darleen Vogel and Kate Raison. For their incredible work. Ms. Vogel essentially played two intertwined roles, and carried them both off well. And Ms. Raison showed the beautiful face that evil can sometimes present to the world. Both ladies are to be commended highly-they had difficult roles to play and play them they did.
Anthony and Claudia were indeed fine in their brief scenes, but the show truly belongs to Ben and Virginia. Ben, every week I think I've seen everything you can do, and every single week you pull another rabbit out of the hat! The range of emotions this week was grueling and the transitions as ever were flawless. Face, body language, voice and especially eyes were tuned in to the workings of John's soul, and your alter ego shone once again. Keep on surprising us, bro - cant wait to see what you have up your sleeve for next time ....
And Virginia - this is the ep I have been waiting for! I felt personally betrayed by Zhaan's descent into the darkness, and I was very angry about it. Part of my anger was, oddly enough, inspired in part by your masterful playing of Zhaan. Had your talent been any less, and your physical presence any less magnetic, it probably would not have mattered so much. But they are, and it did. And now you have brought our beautiful blue sapphire, not full circle yet, but back to the path of peace. She is not ready to take up her vestments again, but her soul has been mended, and as with a broken bone, it will be stronger at the bonding point. I know you will continue to lead us on Zhaan's journey, and we will look forward to the journey. Once again, milady, thank you.
On that note, I'll can it and try to get some real writing done. Oh, I think it was QuietI who brought up the idea that perhaps now that they have joined, Zhaan could begin teaching John some of her wisdom. That is indeed an interesting thought - any fanfic out there waiting to happen with this? Hmmm? And what about Aeryn's dream? All intelligent creatures dreams, even high level computers, so therefore Aeryn must have had one also - what was hers about? Come on, gang, I've already got three stories in the fire, I can't take on anymore right now. Let's fire up those computers! There's a new fanfic contest starting you know, let's see some of these ideas take shape!
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Jeremiah Crichton - Farscape Meets Hercules
I'm probably not going to say a lot here, since the most excellent posts by QuietI and Kieriahn have said almost everything I would have, but I do have a comment or two on the show.
Gotta say that, while it was by no means on the sub basement level of TOBM, this was not one of the series' better offerings. It was not bad, it just wasn't up to the caliber we have gotten used to from the incredibly talented writers. After analysing it thoroughly, I have come to the conclusion that the problem is that it 'reads' like a HERCULES ep, not a FS one.
Bear with me, I'll explain. Now, I have nothing against HERCULES - it's one of my faves, and the thing to watch when I want brain (and eye) candy. But deeply thought provoking? Not hardly. For those into the show, consider the following scenario:
Iolaus, sick and tired of being called 'shrimp' and 'little guy' and 'sidekick', decides to take off on his own for a while, maybe after having had a fight with his buddy Herc. He takes a ship out, gets shipwrecked, and ends up on this idyllic island, surrounded by natives who seem to have been there forever, but who range from white to black to tan to ..... well, you get the picture. They lead a happy, peaceful existence, and Iolaus is accepted into their ranks, mighty hunter that he is. He, however, can't quite bring himself to be assimilated into their culture, preferring to stay off by himself, even tho he is avidly pursued by the local chief's daughter, who thinks the handsome blonde warrior is ideal procreation material. This angers the head of the chief's guards, who also has a thing for the winsome damsel.
Meanwhile, Herc starts to worry about his buddy and, accompanied by Salmoneus, sets out to find him. They arrive in time to stop an ambush by the guards and save Iolaus' life. Herc tries to talk him into coming back home, but Iolaus doesn't really want to - he's happy here, or at least says he is.
The chief is upset by the 'unprovoked' attack of Herc on his guards, and sentences Iolaus and Herc to death. Salmoneus wanders in, wondering what happened to his friends, and the natives all gasp in surprise - their deity has come to them, in fulfilment of the ancient prophesy! Salmoneus is confused, then sees, on the wall of the temple, a portrait of the great god and, surprise, surprise! It looks just like him!
Well, I could go on, but you get the drift. Plug the names in the appropriate places, and you have a perfectly adequate HERC ep. It, however, makes for a fairly missable FS ep.
There was one thing that I don't think has been mentioned in a previous review that truly weirded me out - did it bother anyone else that the whole 'God will rescue us and take us in a starship to the promised land' bit sounded an awful lot like the whole Heaven's gate cult thing??
And minor point: just why is John's hair short and his beard long? Who's been doing his barbering? Though I have to admit, the semi-spiky look is pretty good on him .....
And side note to Ben: do the ladies in the audience a big favor and NEVER let them put a beard on you again, or at least not one like that! It doesn't do a thing for you, and hides that lovely face.
On the plus side, there were some good moments in the ep. The whole first scene, with John having his temper flare (long time coming, and not at all unexpected) was very good, and the "Oh, God, I'm a dead man!" as he watches Moya starburst, was a gut wrencher. And John's explanation of why he doesn't want to leave rang very true. Very well played, Ben, thank you for that.
D'Argo's insistence that they not abandon John even after three months shows the honorable warrior off to full advantage. His rescue of John (great choreography here, BTW) was very well done. Anthony, once again you've given us a new facet of D'Argo. We may see friendship blossom yet between these two.
The victor in the whole piece was unquestionably Rygel. The little weasel came through once again in majestic fashion. To be monarch once again, after so many cycles, was very touching to watch. And his speech at the end was very well handled. Though I have to admit I did love the 'slug who would be king' line .... Special kudos to Jonathan Hardy and all of Rygel's wranglers.
Can't say I was real crazy about sets or costumes this time, they looked a little too colorful and a bit cheesy. And I like diverse casting, but all these 'natives' are supposed to have been here for however long, and there is still so much physical diversity? There would have been a good bit more homogenization by this time, I would think. But, minor nitpick once again.
In conclusion I'll say that, while this is not going to be a fave, I won't avoid watching it either. I understand that the rest of the season rocks, esp. the next new ep, DURKA RETURNS. And two sub par eps out of an entire season is not at all a bad ratio - most series can't say that.
Hmm, like Joan, guess I had a bit more to say than I thought I did .... Oh, well!
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Human Reaction:I bought it for the eyelashes
On a scale of one to five stars, I will give this ep a rating of 4 1/2. It's not, in my opinion, quite up there with TGAS, but it has so many good points that the few flaws easily are outweighed.
The thing that has always impressed me about FS is the attention paid to little things, the nuances and details in performances, in writing, in sets, in graphics. I once bought a painting because of the eyelashes - you can count each individual lash. That's what is so wonderful about this show, we can see the eyelashes. And they've rarely been displayed to greater effect than here.
The loneliness of John's voice as he 'talks' to his father, and shadows in the room around him. The gray hair in his fingertips, and the knowledge that he's growing older, and may die there, so far from everyone he's known and loved. For me, the taped messages have been both sweet and heartbreaking - his only way to communicate with those he left behind, even tho he know they will never receive them.
The awestruck expression on John's face when he sees the wormhole, that deepens to an intense longing as he sees his home at the other end, is priceless. The last minute attempt to persuade Aeryn to come with him, and her painful refusal. D'Argo's insistence that his ally go, and his saying 'John' for the first time. The tearful prayer from Zhaan, and the sad goodbye from Rygel. The tumbling flight thru the wormhole, not knowing if it would stay stable enough for him to reach the end in one piece, or would break apart and swallow him with it.
John's joyful cry, "Hello, sky!" as he falls to the beach laughing. His delighted greeting to the soldiers that turns to astonishment and then panic as they tranq him. The sterile treatment room where the tests are done, and the close up detail of the blood going up into the syringe. The harsh white light, and the fluttering of not-entirely unconscious eyes.
John's pleas for information, then his adamant refusal to answer any more questions. (Side note: and I do wish the original adlibbed answer to Wilson's 'what did he say?' would have been allowed by the censors....) Jack Crichton's anger as he demands to see his son, then his distant demeanor as he enters the isolation chamber. John's look of shock at his father's attitude, every note of expression and body language saying, "My God, doesn't he believe me, either??" So much said about their relationship in the few brief sentences that followed: there was fear, and disappointment, but overriding all the negative emotions was an overwhelming love. John correcting his father on the type of fish he caught, and the look of joy on Jack's face as the final question to his son's identity is answered. The tears in both men's eyes as they hug.
Jack taking the 'bugged' wings off his jacket and tossing them in the water so he and his son could speak in private. Jack telling John which way the wind is blowing these days, and why everyone is so worried, and so hostile. John handing his father back the puzzle ring with the grand heritage.
John's delight in the simplicity of a chocolate bar, and his slight confusion at seeing a face he knew he should know but wasn't sure from where. Everyone's panic as the transport shuttle comes into radar range, and John's desperate insistence that the F 16s not fire. The unconscious forms of Aeryn, D'Argo and Rygel being wheeled in, and their incarceration in the containment room - incarceration not at the hands of Peacekeepers, but at the hands of members of their crewmate's species. Hearing Rygel and Aeryn's true speech for the first time. The way Rygel drooped as he told John how sick he was, and John's soft reassurance that he would protect them. Then the sick horror on John's face as he saw the Dominar's remains on the autopsy table.
The nearly homicidal fury as John confronted Wilson, and Wilson's calm replies. The reproach with which John was greeted by D'Argo and Aeryn, and the guilt in John's voice as he tried to explain away what happened. The utter condemnation in Aeryn's statement that even Peacekeepers didn't cut up their casualties to see what made them tick. Her refusal to even look at John, and John's look of sadness as he leaves them.
John's demand that Jack call in all his markers and get his friends released and Jack asking him if these 'creatures' were worth dying for (for me, the one truly wrong note in the whole script - couldn't believe that was a word Jack would use to describe them). The confrontation with Aeryn, and their exchange with Cobb. The look in John's eyes that told us he could not kill Cobb, and the anger that told us he wished he could have, for Rygel's sake.
Aeryn's childlike delight at encountering rain for the first time. John's heartbroken realization that the world he remembered as a paradise was populated with monsters. Aeryn's insistence that she would not be taken again, and John's assurance that he would not let it happen. And the kiss - tentative, tender and much needed by both of them, two lost souls in a world not of their making (And a thousand curses on whoever it was that cut the 'morning after' scene!)
Aeryn's obvious discomfort in the dress, and John's obvious appreciation of her in it. The panic in Aeryn's eyes as Jack appears at the door, gun at the ready to take him out to keep her freedom. The last goodbye between father and son, knowing it will be forever this time (still think there should have been another hug here.....) Aeryn's apparent compliment to Jack in her own language, and the shock on her face as she realized he understands her, the first sign there's more going on here than we have been aware of.
The pieces of the puzzle falling into place in the plaza, and John's desperate attempts to get some answers, panicking to the point of leaving Aeryn alone on the street (which, I'll admit, bothered the hezmana out of me at first, but the man wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders at that point - who would be?) The bit with the cigarette in the pool room. (And for those who didn't notice this the first time, run your tape back and check out the two occupants at the back of the men's room - Anthony Simcoe out of makeup, and the director, Rowan Wood).
The delight on Rygel's face as he gulped down the snails (and did anyone else notice those things were still MOVING!) The alien's confession of the trickery and John's fury at having his memory raped. The sadness as 'Jack' told of his dashed hopes that his people and John's could cohabitate, and his wish to find a world populated by people like John, where he and his would be able to live in peace. The knowledge that both beings were simply looking for a way home, not so very different after all.
The very few glitches were insignificant when factored into the whole. The performances were superb down the line. The brief moments of screen time given to Virginia were utilized to great effect, and Anth was no less impressive in his somewhat more substantial role. Kudos to Jonathan and all of Rygel's puppeteers for bringing out even more facets in our beloved Dominar. Claudia continues to amaze and delight, and I now wait with bated breath for the next new ep to see what level her relationship with John is going to hit. Will there be acceptance, embarrassment, denial? We'll have to wait and see.
Kent McCord - it was delightful to see you in the premiere, and wonderful to have you back again here. I've been a fan since Adam-12 (and if that doesn't date me, nothing will ....) and yours has been a face too little seen lately. Jack Crichton could have been a two dimensional hero-astronaut. In your capable hands he becomes a flesh-and-blood being with great flaws, but also with a great heart. Many a parent and child have gone thru times much like John and his father have, and so many of us can relate to their conflicts and their joys. Thank you.
Ben... what can I say? Amazing, my man, simply amazing. I don't think it's possible for one human being to cram more emotions into his voice, his face, his movements than you did here. With the help of a crack script from Justin Monjo, and with your own immense talent for ad lib, you took us on one wild ride. It was a story that could have fallen apart in so many places, but didn't, chiefly because of your presence. Accept my congratulations, and my admiration for a job supremely well done. (Emmy nominating committee, are you listening here????)
My one and only serious quibble with the ep was that the ending felt a bit rushed - it might have 'read' a bit better if they could have had ninety minutes, but it's a moot point. And for those who have complained that this plot has 'been done' - you find me one that hasn't! As someone said (and if anyone can tell me who, I'd appreciate it!), there is nothing new under the sun - it's how you handle it that makes it special.
In all, a superb ep, and a fine addition to the canon. And I shall enjoy re-viewing it in future.
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Through the Looking Glass - go ask Alice
Most of what I wanted to comment on in this ep has already been covered by the multitude of great posts, especially those from Oboe Crazy and QuietI - superb as always, ladies - but I do want to say a few things.
I had a lot of fun with this ep. It had some very positive things to say about relationships, cooperation, the sanctity of life and asking questions before you shoot....
First off, the contrast between the opening and closing scenes. Both set in the mess hall, both involving conversations by the whole crew, but what a difference! Argumentative and fractured in the beginning, cohesive and laughing at the end. The entire crew did some bonding and some growing up during this ep, and it was a wonderful thing to watch the changes.
One thing I didn't see anyone comment on (and if I missed it in someone's review, I heartily apologize, I haven't read all three or four pages worth of them.... ) was Chiana's concern for Zhaan when her arm was hurt. I've been wondering about the little brat, how she was going to fit in and if she was going to bond with anyone. I think Zhaan would be a superb role model for her - the Delvian knows what the dark side is like, its allure and its pitfalls, and might be just the being to guide Chiana around the rough spots and help her grow. I shall await eagerly developments on that front.
The one liners were rampant in this ep: Rygel's reply to John's comment "If I don't get out of here, I'll be just like you" "What handsome and with great sexual prowess?" put me in mind of Sam Gerard's answer to one of his staffers in THE FUGITIVE: "And Sam, when I grow up, I want to be just like you." "What, happy and handsome?" Very funny comeback. John's exclamation of "Salamonella!" had me on the floor, partly just because it was funny, and because I swear I heard Zhaan say 'neomycin' in her chant over the dead Drak in EfG..... Zhaan's "I've kicked more ass than you've sat on" was priceless, and Rygel's little ditty was most clever for being extemporaneous. And "One Mippippippi" was GREAT - kudos to whoever came up with that one! And John's answer to Zhaan's query about what is beyond height, width, depth and time: "Nausea" - rolfmao! "And, "I don't know what you've been smoking, Buckwheat...." too funny.
And let's see, just how many different names did John call Rygel this week: Spanky, Buckwheat, Guido.... I keep waiting for the day when Rygel turns to him and says, "I realize you're a brain function deficient lifeform, human, but even your miniscule brain should be able to cope with a name as simple and illustrious as RYGEL!" RHG, you really need to protest about this lack of respect for your Dominar!
Some time back I posted an article called "FS Goes To The Movies" in which I mentioned the film references I've noticed in past eps. This time I found a couple similarities to the film CONTACT: the alien presence attempting to communicate with prime numbers, and the fact that John perceived time as passing as he communed with the alien, where Zhaan did not. That plus the flashback to THE FUGITIVE gave me a chuckle. And I fully expected a riff from GHOSTBUSTERS as John, D'Argo and Chiana fire on the entity: "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass...."
And John managed not to get the crap kicked out of him this time, but he did puke three times, so I guess it evens out.... Loved D'Argo's reaction to John's losing it - with that sensitive nose, it had to just reek in there....
Loved the scene where Pilot sincerely, if sadly, tenders Moya's offer to lose the baby to save them, and John and Zhaan's adamant refusal to let her. They may all die, but they will die together, not sacrifice one of their own so the others might live. And Pilot reaching out to touch each of the crew as they are laughing after the dimensional rift heals - he and Moya love them all very much, and they are all finding out just how much they care about each other.
And for me, the highlight of the ep: the further adventures of John and Aeryn. Obviously, whatever happened in the motel room in HR was a very positive thing for both of them, since there is a new ease between them now. John's glowing pride in Aeryn's ability to reprogram the headsets: his suprise and awe of her knowledge about the engines; her smile as he says, "I'll never leave you"; his comment about 'gonna be harder to doubt you in the future' (an oblique ref to his panicked doubt of her in HR, perhaps?); and his 'back at ya baby' - the dance has turned into a waltz, slow and steady and comfortable and close. This is what we have been waiting to see - not the heat of the moment passion of FLAX, but the respect and caring of two adults who are still learning about each other, and like what they are finding out, and want to find out more. Don't expect sunshine and roses for these two by any means - I fully expect break ups, make ups and firefights before it's all over. But the foundations are being laid here, and they will support the structure as it grows.
Side note on John and Aeryn: loved the pantomime!
And everyone's joyful reaction at the news that they are going to be godparents soon - I have this mental image of Zhaan delivering, John coaching, D'Argo and Aeryn pacing, and Rygel handing out cigars, with Chiana getting the way so she can see everything.....
Acting was uniformly excellent throughout. Loved that everyone got a chance to loosen up and be a bit silly in this one, and everyone got adequate screen time, especially Pilot (the FaDoPi have to be ecstatic over this one.... ) And I would KILL for the outtakes from the 'yellow' scenes - I have a feeling that, once you get Ben and John Eccleston rolling with the laughter, it might be hard for them to stop....
A four and a half starburst rating for this one, I think - Mr. Kemper and cast, you did us all proud once again. Fellip nectar all round, and thank you!
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Nerve - pass the tranquilizers
This is gonna be another of my famous "Russian novels", folks, because after such a long dry spell I have to babble for a while. So bear with me - I am probably going to repeat a lot of what other people have said since I did not read all however many pages of posts there have been:
First off: to Richard Manning - I hereby absolve you for writing TOBM, which, I hate to tell you, is absolutely my least favorite episode. This one was amazing - in turns touching, frightening, horrifying, gruesome, and inspiring. And you even managed to deliver 'froonium'! I doff my chapeau to you, sir, you are a master.
Next: to Rowan Wood, a bow to you and a heartfelt thank you. Your direction took our talented cast to the edge but not beyond, pushed the envelope but didn't break thru it. Fear, pain, pathos, passion, dizzying highs and terrifying lows - you conducted the orchestra and the symphony was grand.
Sets: except for the pizza-wedge-shaped cushions on the walls, the base was very interesting looking - functional but reasonably comfortable. Even had its own disco - tho I think they hired the same bar band/DJ that the Skykarians had.... The Aurora Chair - just looking at it would have made me spill my guts (and a few other things), forget strapping me into it. John has far more backbone than I, I'm afraid.....
Costumes: we've seen most of them before, but, hey, any excuse to get John into leather again....
Music: very nice all round. The soft stuff during the tender moments, the driving beats during the action, very appropriate. I didn't catch the composer this time out, but whoever you are, keep up the good work.
Plot: more than you get in the average two hour feature film, or as in the song from The Court Jester: "plot we got, quite a lot." Aeryn's imminent demise, John's suicide mission, secrets revealed and kept, old enemies surfacing, love, honor and betrayal....quite a plateful, especially for hour long drama. To hit a few of the highlights:
The opening: anyone who had doubts about how John feels about Aeryn need only pay attention to this scene. His confrontation, demanding to know what's wrong; his shock seeing the blood on the punching bag and realizing she intends to kill herself before the deterioration does; his determined, "You are not going to die"; his immediate decision to find her a cure; his gentle reassuring touch to her cheek -- these all say far better than any words that he would do anything, risk anything, for her.
John's faceoff with the rest of the crew. He was tough but tender with Aeryn - here he's hard as nails and all business. Rygel's protest, self-serving but coldly logical - John is risking all of them. Zhaan's tears sliding soundlessly down her cheeks. D'Argo's eyes suspiciously bright, and his quiet, "No, I do not want her to die." The cold contempt in John's "You could have fooled me" was enough to take them all down a peg or three. They know what they have to do, and it could kill them all, not just the human.
John's goodbye to Aeryn. I've heard and read a lot of protest about the fact that they part with a handshake, nothing more demonstrative. This was neither the time nor place for a kiss, much as 'shippers like me would have liked one. Somehow I think a kiss at this point might have seemed like contrivance on the part of the writer, and a wordless admission from John that he will either not return or will return too late to save Aeryn. The handshake, and the look that the two exchanged - so much said, and so much left unsaid or between the lines.
Chiana's popping up and volunteering to help. Does she want to start pulling her weight around the ship? Was she trying to ingratiate herself with John for reasons of her own? Is she trying to get to the base and see what she can snurch? Truth be told, I have no idea - and that is what makes it interesting. John looking down into her eyes - am I the only one, or was anyone else yelling, "Is he gonna kiss her???" Whatever he saw there, he believed, because he could have made her stay behind. Good thing for him he didn't.
John disappears and the PK comes out to play. He's been practicing his accent, has our John - it's light, smooth and flawless. His gaze slides past the commander and his lieutenant like the lesser beings that they are. He is cool, calm and in command - even when putting his hands into the genetic scanner. Though his heart had to be pounding out of his chest, he didn't twitch a muscle. OK, gang, fanfic writers - what was going thru his head? How was he planning to slide out of it if the machine proved him false? Let's see those ideas!
Chiana's vamping in the bar scene - we get a sample of how well she probably can 'kiss her way out' of a situation. The heat is turned up full, and no man in the room appears to be immune to it. The exchange between John and the commander: "Does she give good...value?" "She has her moments." Hearing the word 'trollop' - thought that went out with bustles.... lol! Chiana's logic is flawless : "If they're paying attention to me, they're not paying attention to you." And the tush grab - priceless! Points to whoever came up with it, and points to Ben for NOT having John react to it!
The encounter with Gilina. Another example of the new, tougher John: earlier, he'd have been delighted to see her. Now he's looking for betrayal, holding his gun on her, waiting for assurance that she's still a friend, not too sure he's going to believe it when she gives it to him. Later, giving John the sample, Gilina kisses him, looking for his reaction: does he still care for her? His discomfort and goodbye, and the close up on Gilina --- she's not stupid, she knows she's lost him, if indeed she ever had him. And yet she keeps on helping him - under the circumstances, I'm not sure I could be so unselfish.
Nice bit of humor: John's admonition to Chiana: "Come home alone!" should have been followed by, "And if you're out past curfew, you're grounded for a week!"
Then comes the hard part: Scorpius ending the charade and apprehending John. John's quick thinking in hiding the sample - not sure how many people could have managed that while getting the snot kicked out of them.
The chair - even knowing it was coming (yeah, I read the spoilers), it was hard to watch. The first shock, and the tears on John's face. The mixture of fear, bravado and edgy humor as he defied Scorpius the best he could. The surprise of pulling out the wormhole alien's revelation, and the real purpose behind the secret base. Scorpius' cool, calm detachment - he doesn't really get off on causing pain, like Durka, but if pain is the path to getting what he wants, he'll use it. John's laughter, getting more maniacal as the sessions get more intense, but always there, always mocking, as if to say, "Give me everything you've got, you s.o.b's, I'm going to make you fight me for every bit you take. I'm tougher than you are."
The encounter with John's cellmate. John's ragged, wrung out, and the fragile hold on his courage is fraying quickly. Then Stark (think that was his name) gibbers like the madman he is, and John finds out the cause. His quiet, horrified, "The chair did this to you?" gives you a flash portrait of a man who's looked thru the gates of hell and seen his future there. And his 'Danger, Will Robinson" is heartbreaking rather than amusing.
Crais. Need I say more? John's laugh as he sees his nemesis, as if to say, "Dren, what the hell else can happen to me?" John hiding his face with his hand, perhaps masking the fear that had to be going thru him. I debate whether or not bargaining for his friends' lives was in their best interest - D'Argo for one said he'd die before he'd be taken again, and what Crais would do to Aeryn is too horrible to think about. But once again, there is no hesitation whatever in sacrificing himself to save them from death. John's doubt of Crais, and his brilliant unmasking of the lie, all without giving away his knowledge - I would hate to be opposite that man in a high stakes poker game, he's got no 'tells' at all. His keeping up the charade to buy his friends time with the only coin he has, his body and his mind, even if both are damaged beyond repair.
Chiana's quick thinking and daring in getting the sample back to Moya, and her cool (if such a word can be used under the circumstances) frying of the commander - she's becoming a force to be reckoned with, and I suspect a great many more talents have yet to be discovered.
Aeryn's return from the dead, surrounded by her shipmates. No protest about not being alone - in fact, she seemed pleased to see them all, and asked for John. Had she been feeling better she might have noticed the slight hesitation in her friends' demeanor. Then D'Argo staying to watch over her, and the gentle hand holding, not just tolerated but accepted and welcomed by Aeryn - I can't see this as blossoming romance, as so many people have been crying. I see this as one trusted friend giving comfort to another the only way he can. It took little imagination to see D'Argo at his wife's bedside, reassuring her after she gave birth to their son. There is a gentle core to this man, the core his beloved Lo'laan saw and that the crew of Moya is beginning to bring into the light again.
And the final, unsettling closing -- the 'to be continued' against the backdrop of John's screaming face.... I will simply NOT survive till next week!
The performances, as always, were superb. I have to say I was not all that crazy about Gilina the first time out, but Ms. Cook, this time I was on the point of tears for the woman. You took what had been a two dimensional character and gave her a depth I would not have thought possible. Thank you.
Lani - once again, you give us a man on the edge, more controlled than the last time we saw him but still teetering dangerously on the brink of madness. In less masterful hands Crais could be a parody. In yours, he is riveting, frightening and compelling. In spite of myself, I look forward to his appearances. May you give us many more of them.
Virginia - your screen time was limited this week, but you made the utmost of what you had. Cool, calm and comforting, Zhaan was again the glue to hold them all together in the crisis. And you, as always, were superb.
Anth - amazing work, my man. This D'Argo is a continuation of the one we met in TGAS - no wonder he could win the love of a woman like Lo'laan. He's come so far since the first episodes, and I wait with great anticipation to see where he goes from here. Good on ya!
Claudia - from Aeryn's calm, stoic confession that she is dying, to her sudden vulnerability and fear as John cups her cheek, to her quiet assertion that she wants to die alone, to her pleasure that her friends have not allowed this - this is a more subtle, subdued version of the range of emotions you displayed in DNAMS, but not one bit less shattering than that remarkable performance was. Every week we find out new facets of Aeryn's personality, and every week you bring them to vibrant life. And I do hope you didn't have to do too many takes with that punching bag - I was getting tired watching you!
Gigi - Chiana this week was a total revelation: part vamp, part spy, part commando. There is obviously far more to our little thief than meets the eye, and while we may not yet know all her motives, I know you will take us on a wild ride to find them out. For such a young actress, your range and skill are truly awesome. The producers were fortunate to find you, and your castmates and we fans reap the benefits. Thank you.
And the best for last: Ben. My man, I am running out of words - you continue to surprise me. (Now quit gagging - I don't say what I don't mean....) You in the chair, screaming your lungs out, straining every muscle, laying every bit of emotion out there for the world to see - I cannot imagine how tired you were at the end of the day's shooting. And it was all worth it - you are giving us a new John. This one is tougher, grittier, less trusting, more aggressive. He's learning to survive in this world that he didn't choose. I said once I like my men like I like my coffee, light and sweet. This new take on John may just prove me wrong. And thank you for the glimmers of light in the darkness - the tenderness, the humor, the courage and the caring. It's been a remarkable journey so far, and will only get more amazing as it goes on. From a grateful fan, my deepest appreciation.
OK, it's late, I've gone on far too long (Dominion, if this thing crashes the server while posting, you have only yourselves to blame for the drought...) Waiting with bated breath for next week!
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Hidden Memory - secrets revealed
I'll try not to ramble on too long with this one, and sorry it's so late - Real Life sorta intruded this week in the form of work and company. But I'm back now, so here goes:
To Justin Monjo: once again, as with Human Reaction, you have given us a roller coaster ride. Emotions ran high, and ran the gamut from quiet tenderness to screaming firefights, all delivered by the deft hand of a master. I envy your ability with action, my personal demon - I hope one day to capture the secret you handle so effortlessly. Thank you, sir.
To Ian Watson : you took up the reins handed off to you by Rowan Wood, and guided your team to triumphant victory. I have only one small quibble, and that will be discussed later. For the rest, I have no complaints and nothing but praise. I will continue to look forward to your name in the credits.
So many wonderful things, most of which have been well covered by the wonderful posts from Quiet I and OboeCrazy, among others (sorry, gang, but once again I didn't have time to read everyone's). So I'll just hit some of my favorite bits:
I have a thing for 'the eyelashes' as I said in a previous post - the little details that bring an episode to full flower. And this one was loaded with them:
John in the chair - interesting note, after the shock there seems to be a bit of tardive dyskinesia going (for those who didn't wade thru an abnormal psych course, that's a repeated involuntary physical movement, often lip licking) - John's tongue appears to have a mind of its own there for a minute. Now, TD is a condition that generally indicates an adverse reaction to psychotropic drugs such as Thorazine, but I suppose putting one's neural synapses thru a high tech Cuisinart could produce the same effect. Very good detail here, and scary to see John so close to the edge.
"....Scorpy and Peacekeeper Barbie'll do it for you." A line that should be funny is chillingly accurate, and kudos to Ben for coming up with that one.
Stark, part 1: finding he is not mad, even after two cycles as Scorpius' captive. The single tear falling as he shows John his decoder, John's derision, and Stark's quiet rejoinder, "At least I'm trying something."
John begging Gilina to 'get them off my back for a while' - he hasn't got much left, and he seems to know that one more good session will either kill him or break him and make him betray Gilina, the only thing they haven't pried loose from him yet. Touching the viewport with gratitude and a shaking hand - that had to have broken Gilina's heart, it did mine....
"Do you know who the daddy is?" What can I say, Scorpy's a tough audience....
Gilina's 'whammy' with the chair. I still don't know how she managed it, but it was a good one! I've read a couple of people who wondered why she didn't do something simple like shortcircuit the chair. I have a simple explanation for that: self-preservation. If the chair suddenly goes kaflooie after she's been underneath tinkering, who is Scorpy going to go looking for? So she has to be devious. Coming up with the false footage of Crais was a masterstroke - the woman is brilliant as well as beautiful. And John's "Melrose Place" line - in joke and great adlib. And the fact that he could come up with a story to match the false memory, even under such duress, shows what a sharp mind the man has.
And we now have a new word to add to our FS vocabulary: 'numnuhs' - and I don't care what closed captioning says, it's NOT 'numbers' - it's guts, cojones, huevos rancheros, pick your favorite euphemism, and it will take seeing a page of the actual script to make me believe differently....
Crais' past: learning that he was not elite, but a farmer's son, and charged since childhood with the care of his brother - no wonder Tauvo's death hit him so hard. And how nice that the PKs ripped children from their families - if I didn't like them much before, I thoroughly despise them now! I do think it was rather a shame that inferior Earth weakling John could withstand session after session in the chair without betraying his closest guarded secret, but only one or two sessions has Crais crying like a baby. So much for superiority.....
Stark, part 2: this is a tie for my fave scene in the ep. John has been drawing on reserves of strength, courage and stamina he didn't even know he had, but the well has run dry. He collapses in spasming pain, and as Stark gathers him in, you know he just wants to die and have it over with. Then the vision comes, and the pain eases, and he looks almost childlike for a moment. The tears sliding down his face as Stark strokes his hair and tells him of the Banik, their gift and their destruction at the hands of the PKs. This is something I hope is explored further, I want to know more about these people. Is the physical/telepathic anomaly genetic, do only certain Banik get it? How did they become a slave race, and who enslaved them? Questions answered and more questions to ask.
Aeryn to the rescue: barely able to function, commanding her hand to stop shaking, she comes into the cell, and John must think he's dreaming or seeing an angel, albeit a leather-clad, pulse rifle-toting one (yeah, gents, I know, your favorite kind, right?) Stark's homicidal rage at John for giving him up, melting into confusion ("How many PKs do you know?) and then apology. John' intro of Aeryn as "the radiant Aeryn Sun" -- Ben, you made a whole lotta 'shippers real happy with that one! And dang if it didn't even sound a little Shakespearean! The little exchange between John and Aeryn, saying so much without hardly saying anything at all. His cracked "How are you doing?" telegraphing his joy and relief that she's alive and, if not totally well, at least very much on the mend. Her 'Better now" and smile is an unspoken thanks for his courage and selflessness.
Aeryn and Crais: this is the other half of the tie for my fave scene. Two electric personalities clashing, creating a tsunami of emotions. Crais, trying to bluster and bully her into letting him go, and Aeryn, ablaze with righteous wrath, telling him to shove it, she likes her life now, and would never go back to his, even if given the chance. Then her 'gift' of his life - slamming all the controls on full, without perhaps really even knowing just what it could do, and stalking away as he screams. And I can't help but wonder if a bit of her retribution isn't on John's behalf, to give Crais a little payback for what he did to John. That might signal feelings that haven't thus far been explored on screen, and that Aeryn may not be quite willing to admit to out loud. Food for thought.....
Gilina and John, part 1: in the crawlspace, once again, much said without being said at all. Gilina's direct question, and John's sidestepping. Perhaps she did deserve a straight answer here, but there was no time to go into a lengthy discussion, and the look of relief on his face when Aeryn returns and saves him from answering tells Gilina everything she needs to know. And in the hallway, when John is told Gilina chose not to come, the agony on his face, knowing that what he's said, or rather hasn't said, has made her stay behind, is heartbreaking.
The birth of Moya's baby: I too half expected Rygel to come up with a line like "I don't know nothin' about birthin' no babies!" And the Titanic wink - priceless, a much needed note of humor in a tense situation. However, I would like to know, since Rygel isn't a 'body breeder' just WHAT was poking Chiana, and why he was looking so pleased..... Then Chiana to the rescue, with no hesitation, and her immediate inquiry, "How is Moya?" after the baby breaks free. Our little thief is earning her keep in spades, and in ways she herself probably wouldn't have thought possible even a little while earlier.
The baby is a very handsome young man, bedecked in PK colors, but if I were Moya I'd be a bit nervous about a kid that could kick my teeth down my throat from day one - I vote for naming him Baby Badass, and lord only knows what kind of nicknames John will come up with.....
The rescue: blazing guns and qualta blades (I too noticed the bolts from D'Argo's weapon are a different color. Since the PK weapons are fueled with shakkin oil, it makes one wonder what power source Luxans use?). Another 'eyelash' here - John's evil grin as he plants the incendiary device. The pacifist who tries to talk his way out of situations is gone, and the new improved John 6.7 has come out to play (ok, trivia buffs, where did I pull that reference from?). Then on the point of escape, Scorpius gets the drop on him, and it's Gilina to the rescue. Once again, John does something an earlier John might not have been able to: he tells Gilina to shoot Scorpy. I know, I bitched a blue streak about John's aggression in TOBM, but at that point, it didn't fit his character. He was reactive then, he is proactive now. She hesitates, Scorpy doesn't, and she falls but provides enough of a distraction for John to disarm, scoop her up and get away with his friends.
And the final shot of Scorpy stalking through the smoking ruins put me in mind of Terminator after the fiery truck crash. He'll be baaaack.....
Stark, part 3: Gilina spasms in pain, and a panicked John begs Zhaan to help her. Stark's gentle "May I help?" and John moving to make room for him. The vision of the beautiful place that he gives her, and the tears falling as the agony lessens. Then the glance he exchanges with Zhaan, the pain and sadness - the emotions that 'sometimes don't show' were in full poignant evidence here.
Gilina and John, part 2: If I had any doubts that we were totally losing the 'old' John, this scene would have laid them to rest. Gentle, compassionate, tender, this is the John I fell in love with. Gilina asking him a question he can answer honestly and without hesitation, and the answer is one she can be happy with. Her request for one last kiss, and his trying to dissuade her - one last kiss would be admitting openly that she is dying. But she persists, and the kiss is as soft and comforting as his words. She dies knowing that she saved the life of the man she loved, and with him at her side - not a bad way to go, all things considered.
And here, at the end, we have my one minor quibble: a lack of tears from John at the passing of Gilina. Granted, he didn't love her as she loved him, but he did care for her very much, and she did save his life. My take on the lack of tears is that perhaps John just couldn't, at least not then - he is just too emotionally wrung out, there are no more tears to give, no matter how much he might wish for them to ease his pain. And far be it from me to try second-guessing either Mr. Watson or Ben - I'm sure they had a good reason for playing it the way they did. Perhaps when we get one or both of them in chat again we can get the answer to this burning question.
Performances: as before, and as always, superb all round. In addition to all the kudos I spread around last time, I have to give a rousing 'good on ya!" to Paul Goddard. To go from gibbering madman, to sane, even saintly being, to hellraising commando without breaking a sweat - this takes measured control over a prodigious talent. To you, Mr. Goddard, my thanks and I hope to see much more of you in the future, and to whoever cast him, you deserve a raise!
Special recognition to Lani and Claudia for their scene, one of the finest the show has produced yet. Y'all are going to make me run out of superlatives yet! Anth and Virginia, you made the most of your limited screen time once again and as always it was a pleasure to watch. Gigi, keep pushing the envelope, girlfriend, show us what that little spitfire you inhabit can do. Ms. Cook, heartbreaking and heartfelt - thank you for giving our PK Tech Girl a good end. Ben, I hope you got some time off after filming these two eps - don't know how you kept from falling over after some of the scenes! Nerve and body wracking but the end result was well worth the effort.
So, now I have to wait two more days for this week's installment
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Family Ties - the ones that bind
Hey all, I'm late again - where does the time go these days? I'm going to try not to drone on forever here, since so very many excellent posts have covered about everything. But I do want to voice my comments on of my favorite stuff in a slam bang ep:
First off, to the writers: Messrs. Kemper and O'Bannon (how do y'all decide on billing by the way? Alphabetically?), you are amazing! A myriad of small questions that have bugged all of us for a while now, and you managed to answer most of them in one episode! And give us a satisfying dose of emotions, and plenty of action, and one hezmana of a cliffhanger! We are simply not going to survive till March, you know that, don't you??
Next, to the director: Mr. Tilse, you kept the pace going, restrained where needed, full out as necessary, handling introspection and action with an equally deft hand. And we have heard that you were at the helm of the much anticipated Ep. 7 for next season - can't wait! Note to the Dominion - when can we get him for a chat?? Please????
'Eyelashes' - the last time I saw this many, I think they were on Tammy Faye.... Droplets that raged into a flood, so many wonderful little bits. To get into just a few:
Ben recently referred to this as a 'chick episode', and I can understand why. This was packed with more touchy-feely moments than the rest of the season put together, and there were some excellent points made about family and home, what constitutes them and why.
Aeryn's "I just love basking in the glow of all this testosterone..." -- LOL, you tell 'em home girl! John's exasperated "Abso-fudgin'-lutely great!" and his dead serious "I'll tell you one thing for free, they won't take me alive." Love the idea that Luxans have no word for suicide - rather fitting if you think about it; a code of behavior that values honor and bravery, and suicide might strike them as the ultimate act of cowardice. D'Argo's threat to Rygel, and Chiana's surprising ability to translate it - not sure why the microbes couldn't handle it, unless it's like French curses, they lose something in the translation....
Well, we won't find out till next season what happened to Stark, but at least we know what happened to M'Lee. And Scorpy's offhand comment about her missing guard had me LMAO - how nice of him to provide her with lunch....
Rygel's return to the ship with Crais in tow - this whole scene is brilliant. Everyone's look of amazement as Crais enters, John's laugh, D'Argo's slack jawed shock, the steel in Zhaan's eyes, the contempt in Aeryn's for both Crais and Rygel. The 'choreography' is terrific here - no high kicks, but complete synchronicity of movement. The four crewmembers turning as a unit, weapons drawn. John transferring his gun to his left hand, right one held out to take the qualta blade D'Argo hands him without a backward glance, knowing his ally will be there to back him. D'Argo's rage at Crais, Crais' confession that he knew D'Argo was innocent, watching John's trigger finger tightening, knowing the effort it's costing him not to blow his nemesis to hezmana, and his quiet, "If life was fair, you'd be dead."
John and Crais talking - there was recently a post on the board regarding our leading man's abilities. I direct the poster to take a look at this scene and rethink his position. No histrionics here, this is quiet power at its best. John's confession of his hunger for normal human male to male conversation, knowing he'll never have it out in the UT. "Every day, every hour, every minute, every second...." The catch in his voice, the tears sliding silently from unblinking eyes -- all the pain, all the fear coming out in a few quiet words The unspoken challenge, "Why shouldn't I kill you now? Please give me a reason!" Crais' measured confession, sounding so sane, so sincere - I know some folks have said Crais was being straight up here, but I can't believe it. We have seen just how far round the bend the man has gone, he will say or do anything to save his own skin right now, and he's got the calm of the true lunatic to aid him. and the one and only big flaw in the whole story for me was the fact that the crew, after all he's put them thru, buys his little song and dance act!
Aeryn's rage that she is to be left behind on the suicide mission, even tho she knows she is the only one that can 'talk' to the baby. Her walking in, amused, on John's explosion, and her confession of the circumstances of her birth. John's instant assumption that the 'battle scarred soldier' was her father, and his surprise when Aeryn corrected him. That she was a wanted child, the product of love between two people, was obviously a memory that sustained her thru a lot, and made her able to care herself. John sliding the recorder to her and telling her to leave her father a message, too.
And dang if that wasn't the finest 'non-kiss' I've ever seen on film! Does my little 'shipper heart good, it does!
Everyone had a little confession of sorts in this ep - John telling Zhaan that, altho it's a 'Jerry Springer kinda family', he regards them all as family now; D'Argo calling Chiana a 'pain in the eema' (anyone catch on closed caption just HOW that's spelled anyway?), but one he was fond of; Aeryn's naming the baby after her father - he would be proud to have that fine ship as a namesake, I think.
Chiana and John. There's been a whole lotta noise on the board about this scene, and esp. the kiss, but it's not really warranted. This is a sweet, gentle scene, and beautifully played. Chiana is coming on to John a bit here, yes, but there is no real seduction going on here, just Chiana trying to express her gratitude the only way she knows. John, flattered by the idea, much as a young man would be when confronted by the teenage sister of his best buddy, but knowing it's not the thing to do, not wanting to hurt her, accepting the kiss, breaking it off gently before it can go too far - he's a gentleman, is our John. His admonition to 'pass it on' - his father did indeed teach his son well.
John and Rygel - again, beautifully handled. John is disappointed in, but not surprised by, Rygel's treachery, and sees right thru the Hynerian's protests. "The time for doing the right thing is at the beginning of the day, not after you've been caught." And I loved the "Spanky, Sparky, Fluffy, Buckwheat the 16th.... "
Chiana's feast - just where did all that food come from, and when did she have time to make it all? And I hope to K'halenn most of it freezes, 'cause there's gonna be a drenload of leftovers..... I don't remember who the fanfic author was, but someone has Chiana being quite a cook, and looks like they were right!
John's tape to Dad. John playing with Little Blue (sorry, I can't think of him as anything else - John's got a pet!), and his calm acceptance of his probable fate, knowing the time to become his own kind of hero has arrived, and ready to meet it. Interesting note: "... I'm probably not going to have kids, so I won't have a chance to be a hero to them .... " If there were any doubts about how John felt about his father, this one line alone should lay them to rest. Jack Crichton should be very proud of the young man he raised - brave, kind, decent, and caring. And John's confession that these people are family, and this is home -- is this a sign that perhaps the search for earth is not going to be so important if he comes back from this? Food for thought here.
Zhaan's blessing of our heroes, D'Argo's quiet growl: "I hate this stuff!" and John's "Yeah, but chicks love it" - got that right, my man!
D'Argo handing Zhaan the holo for safekeeping: "Make sure he remembers me!" It bothers me a bit that Zhaan refers to LoLaan as his 'mate' rather than his appellation for her, "wife", but a minor quibble. Aeryn's assurance that she'd get them to safety, and one more wonderful non-kiss. Shippers had to have been going nuts here.....
John and D'Argo. Knowing about a billion things could go wrong with this plan, but going with it the best they can, and facing their fates smiling. John's giving D'Argo the puzzle ring, and D'Argo kissing it And John's "I love hangin' with you, man" - male bonding at its very finest, the allies becoming friends at last. Superb moment.
"How are you doing?" "I have to pee." ROFLMAO!!!! 'Nuff said....
The gammak base, and the moon, go up in flames, and John's wolfish grin and quiet, "John Crichton was here" were perfect touches. D'Argo's unconscious hand unfurling, and the puzzle ring floating into void. As heart stopping as this ending is, if you think about it, this could have been a perfect SERIES ender - they did what they set out to do, and did it well and gallantly. Seems to me our intrepid writers were still putting the finishing touches on the script before they knew for sure the series had been picked up for second season.....
All the cast was magnificent - special nods to Lani and Gigi - new facets added to the gems of your respective characters. Jonathan and Rygel's wranglers, superb work, the best yet. Anth and Virginia - wonderful as ever, making the most of each moment. Claudia and Ben - never been better, so many tiny touches, so perfectly handled.
OK, enough rambling, I have more to say but it's bed time and I've been at this for three hours..... It's not addiction, it's not it's not it's not......
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