Friday, January 27, 2012

Classics: Farscape 3:22/4:1 - Dog with Two Bones/Crichton Kicks

Overall: 6.0

I think SABR Matt is right: I think the writers blew their plot wad with Into the Lion's Den and, at this point, didn't really know where to go next.

Plot Synopsis:

Dog with Two Bones is summarized here.

Crichton Kicks is summarized here.

The Skinny:

The storytelling in these episodes is quite rough. In many cases, the plot elements either don't make sense from a character perspective or are left disappointingly underdeveloped. Consider, for example, the rogue Leviathan in Dog with Two Bones. Because her back-story is delivered in a perfunctory manner through Pilot, we don't really get a chance to connect with her and sympathize with her madness. Consequently, when she's destroyed, there's no real emotional impact beyond, "Holy crap! D'Argo's ship is ridiculously overpowered."

And John's daydreams? Those are even more perplexing. When you get right down to it, I just don't accept the premises that drive said visions. First of all, while it is true that the human race is currently unprepared to deal with someone like Scorpius, it's certainly not a given that Earth would be unable to accept John's friends. I think that would heavily depend on where John decides to land. Here in the West, we've been exposed to the concept of an alien through our popular entertainment for many decades -- and not all of those portrayals have been threatening. For every War of the Worlds, we have a Star Trek populated with extraterrestrials that are quite friendly and harmless.

Secondly, I don't buy the idea that, were John to bring Aeryn back to Earth, he would try to shoe-horn her into the "traditional" wifely role via a "white wedding." I think John knows Aeryn better than that, number one. Number two, kick-ass women - like aliens - are certainly not foreign to every denizen of our little blue planet. Okay, yes -- it would probably not be a good idea for John and Aeryn to settle in, say, Saudi Arabia. But the U.S. would work just fine. There are plenty of places in this country where Aeryn would be free to pursue a job in law enforcement -- or something else that is equally dangerous. And John? Well, I don't see any reason why John wouldn't be able to offer Aeryn the kind of wedding - and the kind of domestic life - that she actually wants.

The bottom line is this: The writers are portraying Earth as this repressed, xenophobic monolith, and that's not what our planet is actually like. Instead of venting their personal frustrations with our failings, the writers should've given the human race a little more credit. We are diverse -- and in many cultures, we are quite open-minded and inquisitive.

The second half of this two-parter is marginally better; at the very least, I don't spend the entire hour mumbling, "Where the hell did this come from?" Still, I didn't feel especially engaged in the story. By the time Crichton Kicks rolls around, we've segued into a standard action plot, and that's a bit of a let-down after the depth of the aforementioned Into the Lion's Den. I will say this though: 1812 is one of the most adorable things ever. I totally want to own the plushie version.

Writing: 6.0

As I noted above, the writers spend the first hour of this two-parter wandering around in a semi-haze, and they don't completely recover by the end of part two.

Acting: 8.0

The acting is good, though. It's hard to deny that.

Message: 4.0

The anti-Earth undertones are quite off-putting. We're not really that bad.

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