2.22 Die Me, Dichotomy
|January 26, 2001
A doctor has been found for both Moya and John, but the neural clone isn't about to go down without a fight --- one that may cost John and the crew dearly....
And yes, the neuro-clone-tracer-chip is still being called Harvey. "Jorpy" sounds like a breakfast food to us.
John: Aeryn, what do you see in the mirror?
Aeryn: There is no mirror, John. There is no Scorpius. Look. You must confront your fears with strength.
John: You're right, Aeryn... [John's mental image of himself morphs into---]
Harvey: ...There's no Scorpius here. There's only me....
Harvey: I would be lost without you.
Aeryn: Then you'll never be lost.
Harvey: No matter what happens, you... have worked your way... into my heart.
Aeryn: You showed me I have one.
Harvey: I love you.
Aeryn: I love you too.... [They move in to kiss, and--- ]
Harvey: [headbutts Aeryn, then grins evilly] You are sooo... my girl. [Liiicks the bridge of her nose, still grinning, while your Tour Guides shudder]
Jothee: Stop what you're doing.
Harvey: Relax, boy. Scorpius only wants me.
Jothee: My father says you're in no condition to make that decision.
Harvey: And you're in no condition to stop me.
Jothee: Step. Back!
Harvey: Oh, my. You really should have brought a pulse rifle. [Jothee tries to tongue-zap Harvey, but Harvey grabs his tongue, yanks him forward, and knocks him out] Like father, like son.
D'Argo: [ZAPS! Harvey, who goes down like a stone] Hardly.
John: You're gonna tell me my health plan doesn't cover this, right?
John: Aeryn, did I say or do anything to piss you off? Other than caving the side of your head in?
Aeryn: Are you serious? Do you not remember?
D'Argo: Sthark, I can't feel my tongue.
Stark: Who'th fault ith that?
D'Argo: Fwell you.
Chiana: Pilot, you're high.
Pilot: I am not high. I've never been high. My position is fixed.
Harvey: [to Zhaan, inside Unity] Hello, darling. Tenth-level Pa'u. Pity. A twelfth could break this bond. Time to pray... [groowwwl!]
Aeryn: Given no other choices, I will shoot you down.
Harvey: Oh. I doubt it.
Aeryn: Make no mistake--
Harvey: I believe you'll pull the trigger. I just don't believe... you'll hit anything.
Harvey: How's the ride back there? Hmm? A little bumpy?
Aeryn: Weapons lock to your exhaust. I give you one last chance to stand down.
Harvey: Ah, the radiant Miss Officious. So sure, so confident in the void of space. Crichton was trained to fly in atmosphere. Against gravity. Welcome to our world, baby.
D'Argo: Aeryn, Crichton has often said he would rather die than fall to Scorpius. If you get the opportunity --- don't hesitate.
Aeryn: What makes you think I would?
D'Argo: Because, if our positions were reversed, I would.
Aeryn: Recognize, atmosphere included, I am the superior pilot.
Harvey: Darling, uncontested.
Aeryn: So land your craft before I'm forced to demonstrate that.
Harvey: You really would shoot your friend down.
Aeryn: You know the answer.
Harvey: Well then, I shall comply. Lowering landing gear.
Crais: Officer Sun, trust nothing!
Harvey: Oh hush, Crais. She doesn't need you to tell her that. Descending now. [He does, and the Farscape *crashes* into the roof of the Prowler---] Terribly sorry! Didn't see you there.
Aeryn: I am under attack! I repeat, I am under attack!
Harvey: Officer Sun, in deference to that part of Crichton that still cares about you, I feel I should point out that you are descending not over land, but a frozen lake.
Harvey: Officer Sun... Officer... Officer Sun...
John: [breaking through]... Aggghhh!!... that's it.... Aeryn... Aeryn! Can you comply?
Aeryn: Negative! Your frelling tire must have damaged the mechanism!
John: Aeryn, listen to me, this is John, it's John---
Aeryn: Yeah, is it really you, John?
John: Yeah, Aeryn, listen! You do not want to be in that chair when it sets down!
Aeryn: Well, this harness won't release, and I don't have anything to break it!
John: Aeryn, you have got to get out of the damn chair!
Aeryn: I don't have any choice!
John: C'mon please, do something, do something...
Aeryn: I don't have any options!
John: Baby, you are not gonna die like this, you are *not* gonna die like this!
Aeryn: [through tears] I hope you meant what you said in the neural cluster. I did.
[Aeryn's chair crashes into the lake, shattering the ice, and we cut to the horrified spectators---]
Aeryn: [rises above the waves briefly, struggling] Crichton... Crichton!.... [she can't stay above the surface, and sinks under the icy water, still fighting]
Zhaan: The Goddess receives to her bosom all who leave this life, regardless of faith or belief. She holds, however, a special place for those who travel this life as a journey. Aeryn Sun will surely hold this place in her heart. Her life was a series of strides toward enlightenment. Casting off the chains of prejudice and hatred, reaching beyond violence and bigotry. She sought a balance of lasting inner peace, in her name...
Rygel: [placing the Hynerian chain of office in Aeryn's casket]You are more worthy of this. At peace, Aeryn.
Zhaan: [punctuated by D'Argo and the others saying "Amen"] May the Goddess receive you with charity.... May she sanctify your spirit.... May she purify your soul.... May the Goddess recite your name on the whispers of the wind.
John:[leaning down to kiss Aeryn good-bye] Aeryn, forgive me. I love you.
Doctor: And this? Is what?
John: Critters. More close encounters.
Doctor: And this?
John: American politics. Nixon to Clinton. Lose it.
Doctor: And this?
John: All of my dogs.
John: No, but keep it if you can.
Doctor: And this section? Keep this? [John closes his eyes as memories of Aeryn wash over him]
John: You're going to take my memories, and I'm going to talk jibberish? Why not take my mojo while you're at it?
Doctor: Remove chip. Then attempt replace. You normal.
John:: What the hell. There's no one I really want to talk to. Not much worth remembering. Take the damn thing out.
Scorpius: What irony. The sensitivity to heal anything but oneself.
Scorpius: You've cost me much. And I do not suffer disappointment well. I condemn you, John Crichton... to live. So your thirst for unfulfilled revenge will consume you.... Good-bye. [Scorpius leaves John bound to the chair, yelling in inarticulate fury]
What is the sound of a million fans freaking?... Silence, as they all get online and post their screams to the SciFi and Farscape chat rooms, howling that they CAN'T BELIEVE THEY DID THAT! Noooooooo! Nooo! Nooooo!!!!
So let's get this out of the way: Aeryn Sun is not dead.
No, I don't have an inside track with the Powers That Be, His Sadisticness David Kemper and Geniusness Rockne O'Bannon, anyone at SciFi Channel, or some mole on the set Down Under. No, I am not psychic (well, I could be, but not about television shows. Unfortunately). And no, I'm not delusional, at least not any more than I usually am. I just know my shows; and there is no way in *hezmana* that the people that brought us two years of great angst and humor and adventure would be silly enough to really kill their Heroine, especially at the hands of the delusional Hero. Nuh-unh. Not happening, people. Everyone who actually thinks she's dead, take a deep breath. Flash Gordon did not kill Dale Arden, Buck Rogers never killed Wilma Deering, and Buffy didn't kill... okay, Buffy *did* send Angel to Hell. But he got over it. So, ha. If I'm wrong, I'll--- do something darn drastic, you betcha, to let DK and Rockne know that this was not playing fair. But I'm not worried about that.
Not when we have so much else to be worried about.
Seriously, the second Aeryn declared her love for John out loud, I knew something bad was going to happen. And not because the Brits spoiled us, either. It's a staple of opera--- space, soap, and classical --- that if someone declares their love, Catastrophe Occurs. Tuberculosis, revelations of a previous marriage, people coming back from the dead, murder, madness; you name it, it kicks in just after the really important stuff gets said. Tempt Fate, and Fate will give into temptation and bonk you with a two-by-four. If there is no more question about our lovers' feelings for each other, the universe has no choice but to make them suffer in *other* ways.
Which doesn't negate how bad this hurt to watch, or how traumatic it is for the characters, John especially. God, they hit every button with that detailed, moving funeral. A lonely, lovely Valhalla-esque icescape; Chiana crying and kissing Aeryn's hand; D'Argo giving her his *blade* (and this is the one he wanted to be buried with, remember? Gestures don't get more meaningful than that); Rygel actually giving something of himself, as well as that chain of office (who knew the little slug had it it in him? Maybe he can change); Zhaan's sweet, sincere eulogy; and John's cutting a lock of Snow-Aeryn's hair before kissing her good-bye. (And thanks to Val for the nickname.) I didn't actually start to get upset until I saw Pilot mourning her during the ceremony, though; because it hit me that he couldn't be there to say good-bye. *Ow!* Does it matter that I believe that they're going to find a Miracle Max, and resuscitate her at some point early next season? No. Because I hurt enough for the characters, for the pain they're going through, that being sure it's temporary doesn't help. Rowan Woods directed this beautifully and painfully, and DK deserves either a good thwapping or his own cult for pulling this off. This is something that no one on the show (or off!) is going to get over fast, even if they fix it really, really well.
Which leads into the second problem--- I don't believe they *can* fix it like it never happened. And they shouldn't, because that would be cheating. But I can already see a full season's worth of angst and pain that they can get out of this, keeping John and Aeryn apart even longer than they already have. Especially given John's state when last we saw him, screaming along with the viewers as Ming the Merci--- I mean, as Scorpius exits with glee and triumphant venom. First we have to fix John's brain, *then* we have to revive Aeryn. Sometime after that, of course, we have to track down Scorpy and kill him and Harvey like the ill-begotten bad-Tequila nightmares that they are, and stop them from using the wormhole technology to take over the Uncharted Territories.
But what kind of shape are they going to be in? How much is John going to remember of Aeryn? All of her? Parts of being friends, but not being in love? Nothing? How much of his brain got taken out with Harvey? Is Scorpius going to develop a fixation on Aeryn because of John's memories tied in there? [And uuughhhhhhh for that licking-Aeryn bit. Ugh. Ick! Sorry. Just... it was wrong. On so many levels. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Ahem. ] And when Aeryn gets resuscitated, will she remember Crichton? Or will she have permanent brain damage and amnesia from being frozen and dead, like Jamies Somers forgot Steve Austin after she had an aneuryism when she became bionic? (As several TGUT tourists have asked us this week; evidently a lot of people remember that Six Million Dollar Man plot. I guess you never forget your first angst-fest). And even if both of them get all of their memories back, how much is the guilt and pain of what he did going to keep John from getting near Aeryn again? How much is his unwilling betrayal going to keep Aeryn from getting near John?
Questions that won't be answered for weeks and weeks (although not as long as it would be if I'd put this up real fast... sorry, dudes). And maybe months! See? We *still* have lots to scream about, even though Officer Sun will also rise. It's enough to make you hunt down a Farscape writer and torture them for answers! (Kidding. Just kidding. Not suggesting. No, no. TGUT does not advocate the torment of writers. Even if they really deserve it.)
Not to mention the five hundred other unanswered questions we have, like: What was on that chip that Crais wanted to share with Aeryn? Why do he and Talyn want her back with them so badly? Is it just a need for a mommy-figure, or something else? How the heck is Chiana going to handle being attracted to Jothee and involved with D'Argo? (Kiki suspects: very, very badly. Hoo boy.) What's up with Stark asking to share Zhaan's future? And can we kill him now? *sigh*
These parts of the episode didn't work as well as the main plot, but not because the actors weren't trying. As similar as Jothee and Chiana are (and as likely as many people thought this situation was before he even showed up) and as well as they did with these scenes, it's just too damn fast. The writers will have to really develop this attraction before I'll believe that Chi is dumb enough to blow what she has with D'Argo; especially since we know there *is* no happy farming community in their future. Not with Scorpy out there, and Macton Tal still at large. Nope. As for Stark and Zhaan.... Stark has yet to settle into a real person for me. I loved him in those first two eps last season, but they've never managed to make him as cool as he was then. Again, if they develop this slowly, *maybe* I'll buy it. Maybe. If not, letting Stark disappear again is always an option, guys. Having Moya turn into Jerry Springer in space in the literal sense is possibly not the best option for keeping things interesting, okay guys?
The most important thing is: the writers and producers topped last year. And I didn't think they could do that. Instead of just a kidnapped baby Leviathan and three crew members in imminent danger, they actually sorta-*killed* one, and left another with part of his brain gone, and they got more anguish and screaming out of it than the first time around! Ave, Rockne, Ave, DK, and Ave, Rowan Woods, for turning the screws and messing with our heads and leaving us hanging!
None of which they could have pulled off without an *amazingly* talented cast. I know I say this every time, but Ben Browder just rocks. He nailed every single one of Wayne Pygram's 'tells' as Scorpius: the speech pattern, the tilt of the head, the sly, wicked smile--- and then he managed to twist it, thickening his Southern accent when Harvey was pretending to be John, keeping his eyes too steady and freaking out the audience even without the cadaver make-up. shudder The scene with Aeryn in the neural cluster is heart-breaking, not just because it's all the stuff we always wanted to hear and she's saying it to the wrong guy--- but because you can see the calculation on BB's face as Harvey figures his way out of getting caught, and uses her feelings to do it. Technical virtuosity of playing Harvey aside--- and he had a great script full of Scorpyish John'isms to help him--- the scenes in the Farscape, as he finally breaks through and panics about Aeryn are even better. I get exhausted watching him, I think both John and Ben Browder are due for another vacation on a tropical planet any time now. Hopefully with Aeryn.
Claudia Black's awesomeness shows up in Aeryn's hurt over Harvey-John's reactions, and her determination to save John no matter what. Anthony Simcoe did a masterful job being frantically afraid for both of them and having to advocate John's death in the crunch. Virginia Hey and Gigi Edgley were also solid, all the way through. Lani Tupu again did excellent double duty, leaving me wondering what Crais was up to (just when you think you know him... he gets stranger) and mourning and suffering with Pilot as Moya healed and Aeryn died. As for Wayne Pygram... words fail me. He was only in the last bit. The rest was Harvey. And yet--- I have never wanted him more dead than I do now. I think he's finally hit that irredeemably evil line in his victory over John and murder of the sweet-and-weird alien doctor. He's gotta die *really* really really painfully now; and clearly, he didn't read his Evil Overlord's Handbook, since he left John alive. It's just a matter of time, dude. You'll get yours. < snarl >
I'd like to take this moment to apologize (kinda) to the people I sucked into this show. It was popcorn when I started, and I'm sorry you now have bleeding ulcers and are being driven to drink. Quality will do that to you. Console yourself with the thought I am also being forced to consume my weight in anti-depressants (chocolate) because of this opium-laced cake of a show. That you are not alone in not-mourning Aeryn, worrying about John, and obsessing about Scorpius. And that in four weeks (4! Four! F-O-U-R!) we *will* have new material to get crazier and crazier over... Just keep the faith, peoples. Pick up your "Officer Sun Also Rises" and "Not Dead, Damnit!" T-shirts in bar, contribute to the John Crichton Anti-Shatner Toupee Fund, and scribble your suggestions for Scorpy's final fate on the whiteboard by the bar. We'll keep serving until next season starts, so raise a glass to the cast and crew of our favorite addiction, and toast them with me: it should always be as painfully wonderful as this.
For some reason, this episode just didn't send me into the tortured state that it reduced most of the rest of the fandom to. I'm not sure why, because it was brilliant in its agony -- maybe because Kiks and I were spoiled so early on by the Brits regarding Aeryn's death (thanks, dudes :P), because I was busily trying to get ready to go out while the episode was airing the first time, or because I'm just flat unable to believe on any real level that Aeryn is dead. I've been around sci-fi fandom (and Marvel Comics) a long time -- death is such a... relative term. At any rate, this was a hell of a finale, producing the requisite sniffles and sighs, but Family Ties left me doing a lot more screaming.
"You must confront your fears with strength." Yeah, now that's useful therapy. Not that Aeryn wasn't trying, but she was hampered in dealing with the whole chip-thing by her complete inability to grok the concept of mental illness, natural or induced -- an enemy that simply being strong will not fight. She gives it a hell of a good try, with more patience than anyone can ask of her, given how tired, terrified and frustrated she is, but she just never quite gets the concept until Harvey-John knocks her cold. And, you know, forces her into a frozen lake. < shudder >
There is absolutely nothing more terrifyingly horrible than John wandering around in the Scorpy gear. Our worst nightmare, grafted onto our hero, the most absolutely trustworthy person on the ship.... < shudder > I don't feel the need to dwell on how absolutely wrong and bad and wrong that was, or how utterly brilliant the directing was. The turn around Aeryn and John, with the camera coming back up on Harvey-John -- eeep! And then, as the scene turns sweet and tender, the sudden crash back to Harvey.... Yee. I'm going to be over in the corner with my teddy for a while.
And, of course, Ben's outstanding (as usual) performance just made the badness worse. His imitation of Wayne Pygram is dead-on, frighteningly so, from the voice to the twitches. The transitions from cold Harvey to frantic, horrified, suicidal John -- and worse, John's whoops coming from Harvey's face -- were completely heartbreaking. His frantic screams for Aeryn as she was crashing.... "Baby, you are not gonna die like this, you are *not* gonna die like this!" Okay, for that, I'm sniffling. A lot.
I cannot believe Crais pulled out the "the kid needs a mother" routine! Geez, that one's gotta be old even in the UT!!! He seemed sincere enough about wanting her to join him aboard Talyn, but I'm having a hard time believing in unrequited love from Crais -- he definitely needs Aeryn for something. The question is, what the hell is the information he has, and what does it have to do with Aeryn? And are we going to have any nasty Empire Strikes Back flashbacks when All Is Revealed? I don't know, but I do know that he wanted her alive, that he was doing his damnedest to save her, that his grief for her death was quite genuine, and that his reaction when she hit the lake was... extreme, wasn't it? Grabbing his head, yelling.... What the hell?
I have absolutely no intention of trusting Jothee any time soon. I'm tired of never having the faintest idea of what's going on in the boy's head other than the fact that he's conflicted as hell about life, the universe and absolutely everything -- particularly his father. He learned the hard way to take care of himself, and I'm relatively certain at this point that himself is going to overrule pretty much any other consideration. I'm not blaming him, mind you -- he's had a bitch of a life, and he's done what he had to to survive. I'm just not turning my back on him. But can I note how much of a surprise that almost-kiss with Chiana was not. Jeez, that's gonna be a messy, but what do you expect when you put two socially maladjusted teenagers in a high-stress situation together?
And Chiana is feeling the stress. Dealing with her 'stepson' on all kinds of weird levels (including attraction and a weird-ass kind of sibling rivalry as they compete for D'Argo's attention) and her boyfriend talking about 'settling down', on top of Moya's injuries, her official 'big brother' John losing it and < sniffle > Aeryn's death. The poor kid doesn't know which way is up at this point.
Not that D'Argo's doing much better. His loyalties are being pulled six ways from Sunday, and all the man ever wanted was a home and a family. Both are being dangled in front of him, but... Chiana as a wife? And Jothee the marginally insane as a farmer's son? He's kidding himself, and not doing a particularly good job of it. Still, the image of him rehearsing his proposal to Chiana was hopelessly sweet -- and his very real grief for Aeryn was heartbreaking, particularly when he gave her his Q'ualta.
The funeral brought out the best in everyone, actually, as these things tend to do. I wonder when's the last time Rygel lost something he really cared about (as opposed to something he could buy another of), and when he actually had to acknowledge feeling anything real (as opposed to whinging endlessly about minor irritants)? If Aeryn's death accomplished nothing else, maybe it finally gave our favorite slug some badly needed perspective on his own life. Zhaan was her priestly self, as only she can be; no comment on Stark except to reiterate my partner's desire for his death, and John... I don't want to talk about John. Watching him made my heart hurt.
The doc is quite cool, but you have to wonder how much of what his 'partner' is selling he actually gets. There's no way in hell Grunchlk wasn't inflating the prices for his own cut while he was driving the bargain -- I think the writers have some Issues to work out with their agents. < g > And everyone who didn't know the doc was dead the second we found about the germ weakness, raise your hand to be thwapped. Too bad, cool character (and the mind-bender of the feminine voice for a male character was nicely done. Way to challenge those assumptions!)
Incredible CGI work throughout the ice planet Prowler chase; what a ride! (But the Prowler is history now, lots more so than Aeryn, I bet, which is going to make things damned interesting next year.) The brain surgery scene was... disgustingly awesome. And the score throughout -- particularly Aeryn's funeral theme -- was just gorgeous, rich and wonderful. Kudos to the editors for those marvelous cuts from John to Harvey, and the cascade memories from John's surgery.
What's going to happen next season? Aeryn Sun will return in some way, shape or form (if they go the clone or identical twin route, I'm going to start screaming incoherently about fourth season Lois & Clark and it's not gonna be pretty!). Crais will frell with her life in some way, shape or form. Chiana/Jothee/D'Argo is gonna get messy. Stark will continue to annoy me. how or why any of this will happen..... I have absolutely no frelling clue. One more week to wait. Alcohol and chocolate are on your right, massive infusions of Sports Night and Due South available to your left -- choose your tranquilizer and hang on for the ride.