Thursday, November 3, 2011

Classics: Farscape 3:10 - Relativity

Overall: 9.3

This is an outstanding character piece from top to bottom.

Plot Synopsis:

The Farscape Wiki has a summary here.

The Skinny:

Relativity strikes paydirt in its two-man (or two-woman) scenes. First of all, because I'm me, I just have to put in a good word for Rygel and Stark. I seriously want a spin-off series in which these two go out on adventures together because that would be frelling awesome -- and not just due to the comedy factor. That scene - after Xhalax guts Rygel - in which Stark marvels at the Dominar's little heart is astonishingly touching. I got a little teary-eyed, actually. Which brings me back to something I said when I first started writing episode reviews for this series: On Farscape, the muppets will make you cry. Oh, and PS: I love that Stark once again saves the day - for Rygel, anyway - with a madcap scheme. He may be crazy, but Stark's still a natural problem solver.

Elsewhere, O'Bannon also pairs off John and Crais, and that's another combo that works extremely well. As we see here, John's distrust of Crais is still alive and well -- and not exactly irrational. Crais has two main priorities at this point: 1) stay alive and 2) win Aeryn's trust. If he has to break a few eggs to make that omlette, oh well. And yet - and yet - there is still something about Crais that is fundamentally sympathetic. You can't quite put your finger on it, but it's still there. Meanwhile, John's imaginary friend also has an interesting role to play in this particular plot thread. Personally, I think the writers have kept Harvey around mainly because he's a convenient means to give John's darker, baser instincts a voice. Notice that John doesn't decide to use Crais as bait until after he and Harvey have had their little chat.

Finally - and most importantly - this is the episode in which mother and daughter finally meet again, and the result is not at all pretty. At times, I thought Linda Cropper's performance was a bit over-the-top, but there's no question at all that Xhalax Sun is a fantastically written character. Of course, the full scope of her personal tragedy - the unbelievable cruelty of the world in which she has lived - won't become apparent for a few more weeks, but we can already see that Xhalax has hardened her heart in large part because she believes herself to be utterly irredeemable. Aeryn, by contrast, has been given the opportunity - through John - to experience mercy, forgiveness, and genuine love, and that has allowed her to soften -- to develop a more humane outlook on life. Aeryn can't bring herself to kill Xhalax in part because Xhalax is her mother -- but also in part because she understands precisely how lucky she is to have avoided Xhalax's fate.

Writing: 10.0

As I said above, this is a terrific character piece.

Acting: 9.0

Some moments are a bit over-done, but generally speaking, the performances are impressive.

Message: 9.0

Love matters. Without it, you become broken and bitter -- like Xhalax.


Will be added at a later date.

1 comment:

  1. You didn't even mention the best part! Aeryn is learning just how FUBAR'd it is to think that sex and love should be thought of as separate needs and is actually allowing herself to love John...and this is the episode that clinches it IMHO...because it's here that I think she fianlly 100% internalizes the notion that John is protecting her immortal soul and comes to grips with the value of that.