Deconstructing Moya

A Farscape Re-watch Project

Episode [4.03] – “What Was Lost Part II: Resurrection”

Today, on Farscape

“Hey, Pip. Go with Jool. See if you can get those probes re-activated.”
“Right…. Hey, how do I do that?”
“Slam ’em in the ground and kick ’em.”
“Kick ’em. Right.”

Crichton survives his cliff jump and he and the others go on to wrestle a gillman, witness the funeral of Scorpius, beat Grayza at her own bondage game, kamikaze a Leviathan, and bring a new age of healing and hope to an entire planet. Oh, and Crichton finally gets Winona back.


Noel

It’s 4am after a full day of work and I’m strung out on caffeine, a substance that I haven’t had in my system for several years now, so if I get a little weird, bear with me.

Everything was going so well for Grazya. Hell, as this episode opens, they’re still going pretty well. John dies, but then turns out to still be as he once again falls into her hands. Then Sikozu shows up and again seemingly turns on the team as she lets info slip into enemy hands. Then Scorpius takes a pulse blast through the chest and is unceremoniously dropped in a grave in the middle of nowhere where dirt is heaped on his motionless form. Everything is still perfectly in place for the master of control. Until, of course, our team shows why they’re our team.

First, there’s John. He washes up in the Gillman’s lair where D’Argo and Sikozu have a rather unmapped master plan to win the day and escape. They just can’t tell John, because they need him to be captured and know he’ll spill the beans when he gets a fresh whiff of Grayza boob oil. Sure enough, that’s the case as Sikozu selling them out was yet another piece of the plan, and John has a convenient memory of Granny telling him that the single legged bugs slowly sliding around the place can be cracked open and snorted as a stimulant. Magic cure for boob oil hypnosis for the win yay! So he seduces Grayza with a backrub and gets her spread eagle and strapped to the bed, leaving her betrayed, humiliated, and more than a little pissed that he’s broken through her hypnotitizing titactics. And John is back to being John, barging through gun fights and underwater brawls left and right, barely surviving, getting his ass kicked, literally asking the enemy about his ass at one point, and getting through it with his usual “Aw, hell, what now.” slump until something makes him smile at the wonders he sees.

There’s some powerful goodbyes this episode. The first is from Elack and her elderly Pilot. It’s such a brave plan, that these ancient, dying things are so dedicated to the service of others that they’ll go out in a blaze of glory by plummeting straight down into the camp and taking out the Peacekeeper Marauders. In classic Farscape fashion, it doesn’t go right, with Pilot falling asleep, then waking up in a fluster as she begins her plunge way too early, with our heroes still on the ground and Rygel is still within the Leviathan. It’s a little bit of a stretch that Elack is able to pull up at the last minute and loop around for another pass, but I’ll give it to them as the final moment is still strong.

And then we get to our second goodbye: Jool. But wait, let’s set this up a bit.

There’s so much going on this episode that I didn’t realize there was still quite a chunk of time left following Elack’s suicide fall and Grayza taking off after what she believe are our heroes. I should have guessed that they would actually pay off the Gillman, the missing priests, and the three atmospheric probes, but I thought they’d be yet another adventure realistically overlooked by a cast too focused on other things. The Gillman turning out to be just another thug in it for the money is a bit disappointing, but I like the ticking clock of the heroes having to save this planet, not out of altruism, but because they’re stuck on it and will die if they don’t. The atmosphere is fixed and whaaaaa the ancient priests are suddenly in the present, having been perfectly preserved as some side effect of the probes. Okay. I guess that… no, it doesn’t make sense, but frell it, it’s such a small part of the episode that I don’t care.

And then we get to our second goodbye: Jool, who wishes to stay with the priests, catching them up on the time they lost and learning what she can of their ancient knowledge and how her race ties into that of Humans. It’s a shame to see Jool go now, just as we were all starting to like and accept her as part of the team, but that makes it stronger. She’s the missed opportunity, the one we all eagerly wanted to discard until the time for her to leave arrives and, dammit, we just want to hold onto her a little longer. Props to the writers for not just killing her or quickly writing her out in the first episode of the season. This two-parter was a great final adventure to see her off.

There’s so much more to say about this episode – the three ladies kicking ass together, Scorpius having about as many lives as an unkillable immortal thing that can’t die, John’s desperate search for a battery that’s not dead, the lingering question of where Granny was hiding Winona, D’Argo/Jool shipping delights – but I’ve got to save something for the others to squee about. So I’ll leave you with a final question…

Does my ass look big in these pants?


Weston

I love this episode. The fantastic camera work from the previous episode is still here, along with some snappy dialog. I might call it Whedon-esque, but it may not be quite redundant enough. After three years of starship interiors, I love the outdoor scenes with the wind blowing everyone’s hair/robes/tentacles around.

Grayza’s seductive secretions are explained when D’Argo and Sikozu get a whiff of what’s left after Crichton’s second ocean plunge. Sputnik believes it to be Heppel Oil, something used by Dellos concubines. Neither of those words really means anything to me, but the upshot is that Grayza has a limited lifespan. She may not be around in five or ten cycles, but she’s plenty dangerous right now.

Crichton does everything he can to resist the rape sweat. Straight willpower, raw violence, baiting and name-calling. It takes the old woman’s all-natural fresh-squeezed bug juice to put his mind in a place where he can ignore it. Grayza’s faith in her mammary emanations is such that she actually lets Crichton tie her up. Maybe it’s justified, maybe she’s been tied up before by people under her influence, maybe Crichton is the first to successfully resist. Any way you cut it, he leaves her tied up and naked while he makes his cunning escape. That’s gonna leave a mark. The sort of mark that’ll turn Grayza’s professional interest in Crichton into a vendetta.

Speaking of vendettas. Crichton suggests that Grayza is working for Scorpius, that he’s the brains and she’s the dumb muscle. She responds by forcing him to dig a grave and ordering him to drop Scorpy in. Crichton doesn’t outright refuse, but he neither does he believe that she would actually give him a loaded weapon. Braca, loyal soldier, creative subordinate, Captain of a Command Carrier, takes the weapon and shoots Scorpius in the back. Then leaves him in an open grave. We’ve seen that his coolant suit is pretty solid body armor, but Braca shoots him point blank and we see the exit pulse. He remains conscious long enough to prevent Sikozu from joining him permanently in the grave, but that doesn’t prevent his burial. So. My favorite villain has been wounded and buried alive. Clearly he is staying dead this time.

The three (four? Does the old one count?) ladies in the cell is a great scene. Jool has finally been pushed far enough to get violently proactive, though she still can’t take a punch. She, Sikozu, and Chiana hold a whispered war council before deciding to trust each other and giving the guards one of the scarier looks I’ve seen. Jool’s scream is finally useful, and well used.

Nobody trusts Sikozu. This is unsurprising, given the group’s makeup, but she has no reservations about where her loyalties lie. Anything that permits her to survive gets her vote. It’s all well and good if she can help the others live to see another day, but her first priority is herself. No one has enough experience with her to place their trust, but they work with her anyway because options are limited. Trust Sikozu while she sells you out to the Peacekeepers, or accept captivity.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon has a name, but I don’t recall hearing it from anyone. Maybe the old woman slipped it in with her ramblings, but they’re hard enough to decipher. It’s a little strange how long he’s treated as a non-hostile, especially after the first time he tries to get the probes’ location from John. He does have a nice fight sequence in the water, culminating with being turned to water by the archaeological device. Neat tool.

There’s a distinction between metres and motres. Throughout the series, the locals have been using “metres” as a distance measurement for both long distances (kilometers) and short (meters). This distinction changes that to a subtle difference in pronunciation, and means that a Command Carrier can hit you with it’s flak cannons from more than fifty feet away.

D’Argo has a deleted scene in which he tells Chiana about what happened while out hunting down Macton. Short version, he found inner peace and got a more subtle revenge than he had originally intended. Pretty much the exact opposite of what happened to Chi.

Finally, the old woman is named. Utu-Noranti Pralatong, shortened to Noranti. She’s riding in Lo’la with the group (including DRD 1812, rescued by Rygel) while Crichton chills in the towed Farscape Module, presumably because the others can’t stand his smell.


Kevin

The others have a pretty solid grasp of what was happening in this episode, but there are a couple subtle points I’d like to expand upon.

First off, Sikozu getting help from Scorpius. Out of everyone involved, she is the one who has absolutely no concept of who Scorpius is (that we know of, at least), and has also proven to have no real ties to Moya other than the fact that they’re the only ones who won’t shove her out an airlock the first chance they get. Which means that she’s looking for anything, any angle at all that will A: save her own hide and B:

…actually there is no point B. Sikozu, thus far, has been completely about herself. Anything that benefits Moya’s family is done because it directly benefits Sikozu – primarily, preventing them from shoving her out an airlock. This is not a bad part of her character, of course. It’s selfish and morally questionable, but it’s an interesting take on something that we’ve seen many times before from a few people who will not be mentioned.

(*cough Rygel Rygel Rygel cough*)

Her latching onto Scorpius’s “dying” words can be seen as an extension of that. Although it makes you think… She has Scarran ties (her growing up in occupied territory) and vehemently dislikes Peacekeepers, and here’s someone who visually has Scarran ties and is an enemy of Peacekeepers. When she is let out of the grave, she could have left him to die, but she follows through and tries to save him. Sure, it fails, but she made the effort.

It’s an interesting mark of her character. Is she true to her word? Or is it something else? We’ll be watching to see.

Furthermore, we get more mention of wormholes, and how they work. As in, they’re always there, but they’re phase-shifted ninety degrees from our current reality, and the trick is to get them to shift our direction. It’s a secret that the Scarrans are after, and that Scorpius wanted. Grayza should know why the Scarrans want him. Or at least, she would if she had been patient with Scorpius and let him do his thing.

Grayza has little patience. She prefers to steamroll her way through life, and she has no contingencies. I repeat: Grayza has no experience with adapting to unfamiliar ground. When Crichton escapes her influence, it completely wrecks her, reducing her to a trigger-happy berzerker who backpedals as hard as she can.

Crichton? Loves to adapt. When he’s not making it up as he goes, he’s rapid-fire changing the situation to account for anything and everything. It’s a skill he honed when his opponent was, well, Scorpius. And he’s not going to be caught by Grayza’s standard modus operandi again. He may be on the defensive, and Grayza may have the might of the Peacekeeper Armada behind her, but he just knocked her main cannon out of alignment, and she has no idea what to do next.

Notes!

  • Noranti will remain Nana Peepers to me. I don’t care.
  • That’s…about it, actually.

Tessa

Between everyone else going over just about everything anyways and a serious lack of time, I’m a little crunched for what to say here. So I’ll leave off with a few very brief observations.

  • Is it just me, or has Jool’s hair been extremely… red these past two episodes? Like, constantly? I had thought that was a thing that only happened when she was extremely agitated. Although I suppose it could be argued that there’s enough going on the entire time to have her worked up enough for that to happen. Or maybe something got forgotten in the writing.
  • Grayza, who seems primarily to be a diplomat, cares about appearances far more than Scorpius or Crais ever did. She is adamant that word about her failure does not become gossip or ridicule, and threatens to do… something to Braca if he doesn’t do everything in his power to keep the incident quiet.
  • Goodbye, Elack and his Pilot. Having the two of them around made for a very interesting alternative to Moya in quite a few different ways. For one, they’re a gender-swapped version of the Pilot-Leviathan combination we’re used to (Elack is male and his Pilot is female), and unless I’m mistaken, Elack is the first non-altered male Leviathan we’ve come across (as far as I recall, any other Leviathans that made their way into the story have been female). There’s also the contrast of age (we’ve mentioned before that Moya and Pilot are both relatively young for their species), but probably most interesting is the difference in experiences. While we don’t really know Elack’s backstory, he seems to have lived a much less eventful and more standard Leviathan life than Moya has, and his Pilot acts much more like Pilot did back in season one than how he’s been more recently.
  • D’Argo has changed so much since the beginning of the series. He’s far more laid back, and John seems to have rubbed off on him considerably, as he cracks witty one-liners in the course of making his rescue attempt.
  • Also, looks like Scorpius is dead. Bye Scorpy!
  • Honestly who actually believes he’s “dead” for good? Yeah, thought so.
  • Poor John can’t catch a break with guns that aren’t Winona.
  • Let me ask you a question. You’re a man of the world, right? Does my ass look big in these pants?
  • I mean really we’re probably gonna see Scorpius back up an on his feet in no time.
  • Short bullet points that actually don’t say anything make my post longer and make it look like I’m a smarty smartpants who has something relevant to say.
  • Ponies.

Episode [4.02] – What Was Lost Part I: Sacrifice || Episode [4.04] – Lava’s a Many Splendored Thing

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