Monday, November 21, 2011

Classics: Farscape 3:12 - Meltdown

Overall: 6.0

Extra Credit for the Guilty Pleasure Factor: 1.5

Final Score: 7.5

That's not Drexim oozing from Talyn's walls. That's cheese -- and a lot of it. But I can't help myself: For reasons associated with my warped brain, I like this episode.

Plot Synopsis:

The Farscape Wiki has a summary here.

The Skinny:

SABR Matt would probably prefer I punish this episode for its use of "chemical love," but I just can't bring myself to do that. For one thing, John and Aeryn are an established couple, so it's not like the Drexim manufactures an attraction that didn't exist before now. For another thing, I think the writers and the production team were fully aware of the silliness of John and Aeryn's predicament. Why else would they use the ridiculously obvious porno-style soundtrack? To me, it looks like they just said "frell it" and proceeded to hang a lampshade on it. And does that work? In my case, yes. I mean, I do find myself saying, "Really, guys? Really?" every time the porn music kicks in, but I certainly don't feel the urge to throw things at the screen (which is what would've happened if this plot were taken at all seriously).

The truth of the matter is, I'm willing to forgive much in this episode because I feel so sorry for Stark. Poor Stark -- he never really has a chance, does he? His motivations here are profoundly sympathetic; you see, he just wants to help both his shipmates and the stranded Sierjna. But too many things are working against him. Number one, his baseline mental status isn't exactly normal to begin with. Number two, we have the aforementioned Drexim floating through the air, which is evidently potent enough to affect the psychologically healthy (let alone a brain-damaged Banik). Given this set-up, if Stark had somehow managed to calmly sort through his competing duties (i.e., his duty as a Stykera versus his duty to the rest of Talyn's motley crew) instead of "wigging out," I would've been very surprised. And you know what? What John does to bring Stark "back to reality" is necessary, but it also makes me sad to see Stark cry. It always makes me sad to see Stark cry.

Writing: 7.0

As I noted at the start, this script is ludicrously cheesy, but I'm inclined to give it some credit for keeping Stark very much in character.

Acting: 5.0

Everyone overdoes it. Everyone. But again, because the overacting is somewhat conscious, I'm not going to be too harsh here.

Message: 6.0


1 comment:

  1. Actually, my co-author is incorrect. I just watched this episode last night and laughed hysterically at the cheesy porno scenes with Aeryn and John. She is absolutely correct on the differences between this one and the Grimm episode. This doesn't argue that chemical love generates devotion or subserviance. This argues that people who are already connected can be very distracted by their hormones. Which is a truism. And is funny. :) will carefully observe that they continued the porno act AFTER the sex-fog cleared. Implying that their attraction was always there. So...thisn one is not an example of muy problem with chemical love in sci fi. My problem is when we are portrayed as having no free will in the face of chemical attraction even minus a personal connection to the other person involved. This was harmless amusement.