|Digging for space turnips|
Short review: D'Argo takes up the life of a farmer, Rygel begins exploding, Aeryn has to do some sciency stuff, and Crichton has to figure out why everyone seems to be going insane.
Kha D'Argo works and parties
It's Friday again
Long review: This sixth episode of Farscape opens with yet another alien quirk: D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe) is in the midst of hyper-rage, a condition that leads him to want to kill Crichton (Ben Browder). One of the great elements of Farscape is the fact that the aliens are alien in their physiology. So far we have learned that Sebaceans cannot regulate their body heat, Hynerians fart helium when they are nervous or angry, Delvians can accelerate their actions to incredible speeds, and Luxans must bleed clear to prevent infection and now, they fly into a hyper-rage every now and then. The list of alien biological quirks is stacking up fairly quickly. They may look kind of like humans, but they are definitely not like us.
Unable to find Crichton, D'Argo apparently sets off to a nearby planet, but since Crichton doesn't know this he keeps hiding. While showing John video of enraged D'Argo Aeryn (Claudia Black) points out that they couldn't find him for three days after the Luxan left the ship, and comments upon how he must have had a lot of practice hiding. This is the first of Aeryn's quick-witted lines, and while we've seen glimpses of the sardonic and sarcastic side of her personality this is the episode where she really starts to come into her own. When Crichton wonders why he was the target of D'Argo's hyper-rage, Zhaan (Virginia Hey) says it was because he was the only other male, prompting John to ask the obvious question: "Well, Spanky here's male. I think, sort of. I mean, how come he's not after you?", in reference to Rygel (Jonathan Hardy). Other than Rygel growling "D'Argo knows better", there isn't much of an answer to this, one of the few times the series sort of ignored the fact that Rygel is supposed to be a full-fledged character. But I love every instance in which Crichton calls Rygel by the nickname Sparky, so that can be overlooked.
In search of D'Argo, and hoping that his hyper-rage has dissipated, the four mobile members of Moya's crew head off to the planet that he absconded to. We get a short view of the area they are landing in, which looks like a giant office building surrounded by not much of anything. Once on the surface, they find the planet hot, even though it is night, to such an extent that concern for Aeryn's well-being is immediately voiced. Upon seeing the red-clad, heavily tanned and blond natives, Crichton has to make an Earth-reference, bringing up Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, or at least Mel Gibson and Tina Turner, which is very apropos as Farscape was filmed in Australia as well. Deciding that the best place to find D'Argo is at a party, they stroll into an intergalactic rave, complete with generic television dance music.
Once inside, John comments on how the natives appear to be Sebacean, a suggestion to which Aeryn reacts quite negatively. John retreats to calling them kissing cousins to the Sebaceans, "just like humans", which drives Aeryn to hyperbole, stating that if it is ever shown that human are related to Sebaceans she'll let Palmolian meat hounds tear all the flesh from her bones. Well, maybe not Aeryn. Another funny little element in this scene is that Aeryn carries a pulse rifle with her the entire time. Not only does no one stop her, including the rather effeminately dressed guards in black mosquito nets standing by the entrance, no one even seems to notice she's packing a military rifle to a party.
Crichton notices D'Argo dancing along with the rave just as D'Argo notices him, and begins to run away as D'Aargo chases him. Once he catches Crichton, D'Argo begins to give him bear hugs, leading to Crichton to wonder "This is the end of hyper-rage? I get hugged to death?" And then the opening credits roll. One thing that should be clear now that the show is hitting its stride is that Farscape packs a lot into each episode.
As the group assembles around the now-found D'Argo, the wayward Luxan informs them that he is happy and wants to stay with the Skyarans (as the locals are called) and has taken up a life as a laborer. In the three days he's been away from Moya it seems that D'Argo has sunk some pretty deep roots. Aeryn reacts badly to D'Argo's new found love of farming, asserting that he's a warrior and not a laborer - a glimpse into Aeryn's view of the world, and coincidentally of her place in it, both of which will begin to be seriously challenged in this episode. D'Argo reminds her that he has been a prisoner and a fugitive for longer than he was ever actually a warrior, which is an interesting angle as well, since much of D'Argo's time as a fugitive seems to have been spent fighting threats to Moya and her crew, which one might think would count in the "warrior" column of the ledger. D'Argo heads off with one of the very blond, very attractive Skyaran women. As he walks off, Aeryn voices her belief that D'Argo has lost his brain, which seems to be her thinking any time a man of her acquaintance is in pursuit of sex. On the other hand, as this episode comes right on the tail of Back and Back and Back to the Future in which D'Argo admitted that he pretty much did lose his ability to exercise any kind of judgment over a woman, she does have a point.
|I'm really pale. I'm totally stoned.|
I'm also in charge. I think. Maybe.
|A woody? Did you really just say that?|
John Crichton, "Willies. She gives you the willies."
With that, the party breaks up and the crew heads outside. While everyone else is paying attention to other concerns, Crichton is accosted by one of the local women and told that he must stay on the planet. Aeryn voices the opinion that since D'Argo wants to stay, they should leave him, return to Moya, and head elsewhere. Crichton rejects this idea, saying they have to get D'Argo back. But other than the meta reason that Anthony Simcoe is a regular cast member on the show, one has to wonder why. Unlike in Throne for a Loss where recovering Rygel was necessary to recover the part of Moya he had absconded with, there is no real compelling reason why getting D'Argo back on Moya is required. The only connection between them is a few months on Moya, Crichton and Aeryn don't even have the shared experience of Peacekeeper incarceration with him. This is one of the instances in which the characters on Farscape seem to behave like a typical group of role-playing game characters: D'Argo is part of the group designated as special, so they must get him back. No other reason need be given. This sort of clannish behavior on television shows often takes place, but usually they have some reason to be together, which at this point in the show is more or less absent.
Meanwhile having gorged himself to bursting, Rygel heads off to relieve himself and promptly finds himself in the middle of an explosion. He claims that someone tried to assassinate him, but Aeryn, continuing her barrage of sarcastic biting commentary, snaps "No one knows you here. Only the people who know you want to kill you." The crew then agree to split up, with Zhaan and Crichton staying planetside in order to try to get D'Argo back, and Aeryn and Rygel leaving to go back to Moya and the B-plot.
Zhaan and Crichton quickly locate D'Argo's new home, pointing out the rather obvious fact that as the only Luxan around he stands out among his neighbors. Zhaan and Crichton try to convince D'Argo to come back to Moya, but he asserts that he is content. What makes this conversation unsettling is that in the three days that he has been on Skyara D'Argo appears to have picked up the same speech mannerism displayed by Volmae. D'Argo cuts the conversation short, telling his crew mates that the next day is a rest day and he will be able to show them the wonders of Skyara in the morning. He apologizes for only being able to offer them the floor to sleep on, which is odd, since he pulls down a Murphy bed as he says this, which means they aren't actually going to sleep on the floor. He then opens his bedroom door and we get an idea of what D'Aargo's priorities for the night are as the lovely blond he left the party with is busy stretching in the bedroom. It seems that the "long time" that D'Argo brought up in Back and Back and Back to the Future has ended. One thing that rearranging the order of the shows did was move Back and Back and Back to the Future from episode five in the season, which placed it directly before this one, to third in the season, which meant that Throne for a Loss and PK Tech Girl came between the two in the inexplicably reordered original airing of the show. As a result the longing expressed by D'Argo in Back and Back and Back to the Future was distanced from the events of those taking place in Thank God It's Friday. . . Again, diminishing the connection between D'Argo's desire and the fulfillment of those expressed desires.
Left alone, Zhaan and Crichton bed down for what seems to be an incredibly uncomfortable night for Crichton. Zhaan, being an overtly sexual being, is clearly unashamed of nudity, or intimate closeness with a friend. Crichton, on the other hand, carries the baggage of human culture around with him, and is clearly uncomfortable sharing a bed with Zhaan. And even more so when her hands wander as she sleeps. So Crichton is visibly relieved when Aeryn calls in with an update on the B-plot. While Zhaan and Crichton have been trying to convince D'Argo to leave Skyara and spooning, Rygel continued to periodically explode despite being returned to the presumably safe environs of Moya. Aeryn quickly figures out that Rygel's bodily fluids have turned explosive, leading to her call to John for help. He tells her to deal with it, and offers the advice that she shouldn't let Rygel eat or drink anything, which makes the gluttonous Hynerian whimper. Aeryn, for her part, is trepidatious about doing what she calls "tech stuff", a clear connection to her disdain for D'Argo's new found fondness for "labor" expressed at the beginning of the episode. With no one available to help her save for Pilot (Lani Tupu), Aeryn is forced into a role she does not want.
|I am the Resistance!|
I am armed with worms
and I'm not afraid to use them!
|Peace out bro'|
|Rygelsicle. At least he won't blow up.|
|Look at my giant space turnip. Isn't it lovely?|
|Smile, we're arguing.|
|Negotiation by means of explosive urination.|
And what is Zhaan doing while Aeryn is performing shuttle bay surgery? She's talking to D'Argo about his dreams. It seems that D'Argo harbored two dreams before his incarceration. In the first he was a warrior performing deeds worthy of memorializing in song. In the other he was a family man with a wife and children living a simple life. D'Argo confesses that Skyara was so attractive to him because he thought he might find a way to fulfill the second dream there. D'Argo also expresses that while on Skyara he felt an attraction for Zhaan, which she states that she would have reciprocated. She also consoles him saying that his dreams are not out of his reach. The interesting subtext here is that unknown to Zhaan or any of the other members of Moya's crew D'Argo already had fulfilled one of these dreams before he was imprisoned, and he will essentially fulfill the other before the end of the series. As usual, this episode of Farscape ends on a reflective note, building the relationship between Zhaan and D'Argo.
Viewed in the correct order, Thank God It's Friday . . . Again is a strong link in the chain of episodes developing the individual characters of Moya's crew and their web of interrelationships. Coming on the heels of the actual time looping in Back and Back and Back to the Future the false time looping makes for an interesting thematic contrast. When viewed in the correct order the reappearance of the Peacekeepers after two episodes in which they were absent makes the revelation of their banners in Volmae's stockpiled tannot root an unexpected development. But the bizarre reorganized order in which they shows were aired throws all of these elements away. Because I, E.T. was shown after this episode, all of the character development in this episode and all the previous ones evaporates and the characters go from working together more and more closely to acting like they don't know each other at all. And all of the character development in this episode between D'Argo and Zhaan which is reflected in their close working relationship in PK Tech Girl is wasted, because PK Tech Girl was aired before this episode. In short, by airing the episodes out of order, the SyFy network executives decided to make the early parts of the show make no sense. Aired in proper order this is an interesting and entertaining episode. Aired out of order, it is far less so.
Previous episode reviewed: Back and Back and Back to the Future
Subsequent episode reviewed: PK Tech Girl
Previous episode reviewed (airdate order): PK Tech Girl
Subsequent episode reviewed (airdate order): I, E.T.
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