Thursday, May 3, 2012

Classics: Farscape 4:19 - 4:21 - We're So Screwed

(Note: SABR Matt and I decided to make a trade. I will be taking over on this review, and SABR Matt will cover the finale.)


"Uneven," I think, is the best word to describe this trilogy. While it's generally likable, I'm not sure I agree with all of the writers' choices.

Plot Synopses:

A recap for part one, Fetal Attraction, can be found here.

A recap for part two, Hot to Katratzi, can be found here.

A recap for part three, La Bomba, can be found here.

The Skinny:

First, let's tackle my primary criticisms:
  • I agree with the fandom's complaints regarding Aeryn's helplessness in part one. I too liked the scene at the end of Prayer in which Aeryn announces her intention to do anything and everything to protect her baby and would've liked to have seen some follow-through. Instead, alas, Aeryn is shoe-horned into the "damsel in distress" role, and for her, it's definitely not a good fit.
  • While I think it's perfectly sensible for Scorpius to put his eggs in multiple baskets - and while I appreciate the explanation for Scorpius' fascination with Stark - the revelation regarding the Scarrans and their dependence upon the "bird of paradise" did come straight out of nowhere. After all the emphasis the writers placed on Scorpius' quest for wormhole technology, I can see why the fans would boggle at his sudden burning desire to destroy some flowers.
  • Another revelation that feels rushed: Sikozu, her artificial origin, and her ties to the Kalish resistance. A few hints as to her true nature have been dropped here and there - like, for example, the fact that she can learn any language after hearing just a few minutes of conversation - but this plot thread would've been better served if we had spent some time earlier in the season exploring the character in depth.
  • The real Stark should've been brought in to torture Scorpius. Sorry, Scorpy, but Stark has plenty of reasons why he'd like to see you suffer. True -- I can't believe he'd agree to cooperate with the Scarrans, but I can certainly imagine Stark pretending to cooperate just to pull off his revenge.
So what's good in these episodes? Quite a bit, actually. What I find particularly compelling is John and his growing emotional fragility. He's the linchpin - the center of attention - and it's all over something he didn't deliberately seek to possess. What's more, he's made a series of no-win decisions just to stave off the conflagration -- and yet, despite his best efforts, the preparations for total war are proceeding apace. Personally, I'd go a little crazy too -- especially if I had a young family to protect.         

Writing: 7.0

See the discussion above.

Acting: 9.0

The performances were excellent. I have no huge complaints here.

Message: 7.5

I like what these episodes say about the burden of making the hard choices -- but I also believe this theme has been more powerfully explored elsewhere. (See also: Into the Lion's Den.)

1 comment:

  1. I think this explains to me why I didn't know what to say about this three-parter.

    There were like five plot threads that came right the frell out of nowhere. It feels like they were writing these episodes in preparation for a fifth season full of ups and downs for Sikozu and Chiana in particular (the blindness plot...nothing real was ever made of that) and never got to do it due to I feel like there were lots of cool ideas and unfortunately no fulfillment.