2.17 The Ugly Truth
|Gabrielle Stanton & Harry Werksman, Jr
||September 8, 2000
An encounter with Crais and Talyn goes bad, and Moya's crew ends up in an alien holding cell, trying to get their stories straight... at least, straight enough to be released.
John: Wow. How far down does that go? [hawks some spit over the edge of the hubcap] That's a long way down. Either that or they got deep shag carpeting.... |
D'Argo: Where's Aeryn?
John: Good question.
D'Argo: Bad answer.
John: Sooner or later, one of us is going to have to find a bathroom.
D'Argo: [laughs hugely, then stops] I wish you hadn't said that.
John: Oh God, I missed you so much! God, I was so worried about you! [whispers] Play along!
Aeryn: [flat-voiced] I missed you too, John. Hold me.
John: This is the weirdest hoosegow I've ever been in. Slammer, clink, jail, prison...
Aeryn:Just how many have you been in?
John: Just what are you implying?
Pilot: When Talyn scanned the arms dealer's cargo, he asked Moya what it was. She realized it was novatron gas, one of the six forbidden cargos no Leviathan may carry.
John: Moya clued him in.
Pilot: And Talyn destroyed that ship. He... thought he was protecting Moya.
Another solid ep that takes a standard device and expands on it in a purely Farscape fashion. Okay, so, I'm not a huge fan of Roshamon, from which the multi-point-of-view set-up is derived. Totally aside from the fact that making this plot work depends on the audience being unfamiliar with it, I don't completely agree with the idea that five different people will describe the same events in ridiculously different ways if they're telling the truth. But since in Moya's crew you have about the five most wildly divergent viewpoints you can get into one room, and John was probably the only one who was ever a Boy Scout, it's extremely believable and fun that they're only telling the truth half the time. Trying to figure out not only who's right, but who's outright lying, gives this episode the extra edge necessary to keep it interesting. |
Totally aside from the character impact (which Perri deals with nicely below) kudos are due to the writers for managing *not* to repeat the story all the way through 5 times. Wow, that would've been a yawn. Lines get changed around so that different characters say them, more information is revealed in each scene, and every ending has a different impact-- Aeryn is bodily dragged off Talyn, everyone coweringly leaves in Zhaan's version, and there's a lot of screaming in D'Argo's take on events. (Not to mention Plakavians getting changed to 'Plakavoids' all the way through John's version. According to John, all alien species names end in 'oid'.) Kudos to the director for varying the POV, with each actor getting more reaction shots in their version, and keeping the focus front-and-center in the prison scenes. Having those bits in between interrogations not only anchored the audience in reality, but gave us a chance to look for more clues into the mystery of what *did* really happen. Satisfyingly, we do eventually find out whodunnit--- and how everyone could see it so differently because of where they were standing and what they already knew, as well as their own biases.
But the biggest kudos go to the actors, for playing six different versions of themselves in one episode. The most applause has to go to Lani Tupu --- as the focus of the action, he has the most variations in his character, from manic villainy to mild, reasonable diplomacy to the scheming manipulative double-crosser we all know and want to shoot. All this, while also giving voice to Pilot's completely separate storyline, and doing a sterling job on that, too. Give this man more storylines, damnit! Ahem....
John does a good job of being a stand-up guy who misses just one important point. I'm pretty sure Aeryn was the only one aware from the beginning that Talyn was responsible for the attack. (Perri expresses a different view, which, I guess, just proves that whole Roshoman thing right there....) Aeryn's concern for Talyn is still incredibly strong, even after months away; Auntie Godmama Sun doesn't want the kid hurt at all, and feels fully justified in protecting Crais to do it. D'Argo, of course, doesn't suffer fools or cowards for five seconds, and becomes the guy you *least* want to be stuck in a drunk tank with pretty damn quickly. Zhaan's moments with Stark are ambiguous but sweet (and how much money do you want to bet that this is the third lover of three who's died on her? Poor Blue). It's a moot point now, anyway.
What do I think about Stark's 'death'? Well, I'm not as mad as I could be --- I liked Stark in the earlier eps quite a lot, and thought he had potential. But all things considered, the cast is getting crowded, and Paul Goddard wasn't given enough here to really develop his character. He gets a fairly nice sacrificial death scene with some cool exit lines, and he isn't going to immediately be forgotten; not with D'Argo angsting about his sacrifice and his help in finding Jothee, and Zhaan mourning him. 'Bye, Stark. Write when you get to the next dimension, buddy (or drop us a postcard if you're in this reality again).
(Hmm. This is a disturbing trend... anyone from off-ship who expresses interest in the Farscape crew tends to die... Matalla, Larraq, Gilina, Liko, Stark, the Orocan... okay, the magenta hippie chicks and Jenavria and Katralla are fine, but still. These guys aren't the best risks in the romance arena. A warning button might be in order.)
Iiiiiick on the aliens. Wow, Aeryn lies with a straight face well. And wow, the make-up department likes goo. It's an ugly look, but it works on them, since the alien-ness of the environment and interrogation equipment is a good reflection of both their appearance and their very different attitude. I'm constantly amazed at the technical virtuosity of this show; with a few pools of dark and light and a little water, your mind fills in all the details of the Plakavian ship with very little effort. Much applause for the set & makeup & costume guys.
Chiana and Pilot's very cool scenes aren't as revealing as the rest of the crew's adventures. But as usual Chi sucks it up when she's on her own, talking sense into Pilot, who still seems to be supporting Moya's interests over the crew no matter what--- the fallout from TWWW is still in the forefront of his brain. Watching Pilot and Chiana together, I was immediately reminded that she'd briefly been inside his body, and he'd had a horrid time inside hers--- given very little backstory together, Gigi, Lani, and the Pilot Crew still manage a nice rapport here. Rygel barely makes an appearance in this ep, except to be annoying and smirky. Hit him with his little earbrush!
Little digressive burble here.... How cool is it that Moya is so completely a person in her own right, when she never gets any lines? And she's utterly distinct from but connected to Talyn, who is turning into quite a hothead--- but one who still loves his mom. While the Leviathans are more often plot devices than characters, they are still so consistently written that it never feels forced. I'm looking forward to seeing Moya's bad boy again, and I'm hoping soon (so we can stomp on Crais and yank that implant out and cut off his ponytail and bop some sense into Talyn.)
A fun take on the insides of the crews' minds without getting into another dreamscape, a great guest turn by Lani Tupu, terrific sets--- you'll want to rewatch this one for all the little bits you can't keep track of later. And possibly as an antidote to next week, which looks fair to raising the bar on the suffering factor for this show--- not to mention the torment of no new eps for weeks after that! Brace yourselves, everyone--- this'll be like a Starburst through an asteroid field.
It's the classic set-up, used by every genre show at one point or
another; the good guys all see the same events, then each get to tell
it from their own point of view. It's supposed to be an exercise in
character development, since everyone sees everything differently,
and Farscape is no exception. And, having seen it done spectacularly
badly a time or two (could anyone sit through that episode of
Due South?), I usually hate these episodes with a fiery
passion. But, as usual, Farscape takes the conventional and puts its
own twist on it, since we learn more about Our Merry Crew from their
lies than their versions of the truth. As if that should be a
surprise with this bunch...|
The opening is a grabber, if nothing else -- Crais and Talyn return!
And, having fulfilled their purpose of getting our guys into trouble,
head off back into the Uncharted Territories.... But Lani
still earns his paycheck, playing about five separate versions of
Crais, depending on who was telling the story (and managing to keep
Crais nicely in character regardless, which takes talent). I still
don't know if I believe his story about wanting to disarm Talyn; his
actions with the critters in Out of Their
Minds suggest that he's not into indiscriminate killing... but
he's a Peacekeeper, and a man who likes his firepower. We're going to
need lots more time with the good captain before we can make any
judgments on him and Talyn. But at least the boy still wants to
protect his mother....
Who is definitely growing up, by the way. Moya is, all too often,
caught in the unenviable position of choosing between her
responsibilities to her son, and her responsibilities to her crew
(kinda like D'Argo... Hmmm. There's fanfic in that), and she's
getting better at making the choices. She searches for Talyn as long
as she can, as long as there's hope -- then abandons the search to go
back for her crew, with only a minor kick in the seat from Pilot and
Chiana. Which is a definite improvement over her initial "My child
and the hell with anything else" instincts, which almost got her and
everyone else killed in Family Ties. I
wish we could talk to Moya again, darn it. And Lani really did
earn his paycheck, with Pilot also torn between responsibilities,
trying to juggle Moya and his crew. He only got a few scenes, but he
and Pilot's animation team made the most of all of them.
The hijinks on the floating hubcap are entertaining and
giggle-worthy, from the bathroom discussion to John and Aeryn's quick
"Hold me!" routine to exchange information. But the focus of the
episode is, of course, the testimony. Of the five versions of the
story we proceed to watch (while Rygel and Chiana are gallivanting
around on Moya), I'm inclined to take Aeryn and John's versions as
closest to the truth, since Aeryn knows that's the best way to keep a
lie believable, and John's a rotten liar. D'Argo and Stark both have
their own agendas, and Zhaan... well, she's almost a bad a liar as
John is pretty close to usual in Aeryn's version, sharing the lead
with Aeryn (although he's whiny as hell -- you can suddenly realize
why he gets on Aeryn's nerves so often); Zhaan is wishy-washy
(Aeryn's never had much patience for the meditation routine);
D'Argo's temper is out of control (Aeryn's a Peacekeeper; everything
is control). Her view of Crais is fairly clear -- she knows him real
well and she's also trying to avoid the psycho image that could
endanger Talyn -- and Stark keeps to the background as much as
possible, since Aeryn knows how to lie. You don't really start
snickering at Aeryn's version (aside from her portrayal of Zhaan)
until she has to be dragged off Talyn, still completely sure that if
they'd just done things her way....
Zhaan is almost as bad a liar as John, and her emotions color her
views of the others a lot more than Aeryn's -- not surprising, from
our uber-sensitive Pa'u. She, of course, is a model of control and
intelligence (it's only in her version that she has any clue who the
Plakavians are), taking the lead and making all of the good points
while everyone else (particularly John) is wishy-washy as hell, or
just ready to kill Crais and be done with it. The only one she gives
credit for self-control is Stark... Wonder how he would have come off
if she hadn't been trying to protect him? D'Argo, of course, has no
such qualms -- everyone else in his version is secondary to
psycho-Stark, but then, he's only trying to sell one big lie
outright, instead of shading lots of little lies. I would like to
know why D'Argo's got it in so bad for Stark -- as far as we know,
all Stark ever did was help John break out of prison, and bring
D'Argo evidence of his son. Talk about shooting the messenger, man,
jeez. And then we get to listen to him angst about it -- we have
really gotta get his guilt button removed.
John's final version is pretty straightforward, since he's too pissed
off at that point to bother to color much of anything. He tries to
fill in the holes in the others' stories, and mostly just tells the
truth; actually, he doesn't tell a single lie that we're aware of --
he just leaves out that one, crucial bit of information about Talyn's
manual controls. I take it back -- John does know how to lie. We
actually get our insights on John mostly from comparison with the
others -- John's the only one who doesn't feel compelled to be the
smartest person in the room, unlike the others (and did anyone else
notice how many people seemed to emphasize that John agreed with
them? < snicker > Considering how much they sneer at him, they all
seem awfully concerned with his opinion). Everyone gets a chance to
make the good points, everyone is reasonably stable, Crais is
completely ambiguous, and no one can remember the Plakavian's names.
< snicker > Okay, so maybe his version isn't totally
As for Stark... I'd feel a hell of a lot more broken-up about
his death if we'd seen him in just one more episode, acting as a
person (like he was in his first two appearances) rather than a plot
device with legs. He goes nobly, and gets his lie right the second
time, I'll give him that, and he had good reasons for hating Crais
and the Plakavians. Yes, the imprisonment, given what we saw,
probably was his fault. No, I don't think he deserved to die for it.
And yes, I hope he comes back as gets a real shot at being a person
again -- to show us him building up bonds with Moya's crew that make
him willing to die for them. But he really needs a crash course in
making his lies believable and sticking with the story -- that
was how he almost got everyone killed. And was anyone else vastly
amused that, in Stark's version, everyone down to D'Argo defers to
Stark's buddy and savior John?
Other things -- I love, love, loved the set-up of the Plakavian
vessel; it was completely, and totally nonhuman, completely
unconcerned with anyone's comfort but that of their species, which is
the only logical way to build a one-species spaceship. Deeply alien,
and a horribly bad gang of people to put on a jury. The floating
hubcap, the dentist's interrogation chair (way to stick in those bad
associations, set guys!), and the elevator (anyone else have
flashbacks to Empire Strikes Back when John was dropping?),
along with the water and the bad lighting, set a very creepy, very
alien atmosphere that does more to make us afraid of the Plakavians
than their irritating voice and skanky faces. Even their viewpoint is
perfect -- they see everything the same, so they can't see anything
different. And the use of the overlay of the faces, when John is
hearing the other versions, is damned creepy and deeply effective.
Chiana and Rygel don't get much to do, except to give Pilot someone
to yell at. I almost wish those two had also been caught, since I'm
sure their versions would have been indescribably hilarious. Chiana
does get the one sweet scene begging Pilot to go back, and Rygel gets
to chuckle evilly -- these are not bad things. Also, Chiana's scene
as she tries to console D'Argo is very nicely done, subtle and
heartbreaking performance from both actors. And yeah, I was feeling
for Zhaan as she was crying for Stark. (Anyone wanna bet they were
lovers while he was aboard? Anyone wanna fic it? Anyone wanna get her
a guy who doesn't die?)
There were a few clunkers -- I could only tolerate a few minutes of
Zhaan's story before I had to reach for the mute button, and what was
that thing with Stark losing his mask? -- but overall, the episode
was a solid ride that holds up on the second viewing. Now, if you'll
excuse me, I'm going to go curl up in a corner and 'meep' in
preparation for next week's torment and anguish.
2.18 A Clockwork Nebari
||September 15, 2000
Just when they were almost completely forgotten, the Nebari show up again--- and their charming personalities and interest in mind-cleansing haven't lessened one bit, while their interest in Chiana has increased for reasons which are even more sinister than before.
Chiana:You're just cranked 'cause Wynonna jammed.|
John:Hey! Wynonna has been very reliable. It's not her fault that she jammed.
Pilot: If you're here to tell me what a wonderful thing the Nebari are doing for you, I am *not* interested!
John: No, Pilot. I'm here to tell you that the Nebari are a bunch of geeks! And their damn mind-cleasing doesn't work on Mother Crichton's baby boy! John Crichton, astronaut, Master of the Universe!
Chiana: You're really not cleansed?
John: Nah. My thoughts are as dirty as ever.
John: ~Oh, Rygel, my little Husky.... I have a stick for you-uuu....~
John: Shut up, you miserable excuse for a life! I'm sick of having you selling us out every chance you get!
Rygel: I don't do it every chance! Believe me---!
John: Don't you BS me, Guido!
Varla: All is forgiven if it's in the service of the greater good.
Varla: You... betrayed me....
Meelak: And you have betrayed the spirit of our people.
Pilot: Crichton, did that work for you? I thought it worked.
John: He's alive. Take that. It's more than you had yesterday.
Chiana: I want to go to him.
John: I know. But since when do people like us get what we want?
Any time that John is impersonating Keanu Reeves. Duuuuuuude.
Okay, so just why did Nerri's life disk go out, leading Chiana to almost kill herself on the Planet of the Deeply-Annoying Teenagers? Given that he should know the effect it would have on his sister, Nerri would almost certainly not have let the thing go out intentionally -- so what's his excuse? The life disk wasn't even brought up, in fact; you'd think Chiana would have pinned Meelak to
the wall on that one right off!
Isn't it just perfect that the sight Aeryn Sun smiling widely, mildly, and sweetly, is a major sign of psychosis? Yeee! The utter shudder effect, I tell ya. Aeryn being cranky is a constant of the universe. Having the Nebari undermine something so basic so early --- as well as negate Rygel's consistent self-serving selfishness -- goes a long way to establishing them as people not to mess with from the get-go. Following it up with the (flinch, flinch, *flinch*) eye-gouging effects and zombie acts is almost overkill. While "A Clockwork Nebari" doesn't take full advantage of the scifi set-up, there is the definite hint of things to come by the end of this installment--- and not very fun things, at that.
Our bad guys are scary and smart, but individually they're not that impressive --- Varla's too freakin' trigger-happy and pleased with herself the whole time, and Meelak, while a bright guy, is too unhelpful to be anything other than annoying. The Nebari as a whole are, on the other hand, skin-crawlingly creepy once you understand what they're willing to do to subjugate the galaxy in the name of peace and conformity. The PK's would probably go this far if they could get away with it (witness their attempts to tame the intellant virus in A Bug's Life) but you have to think that they wouldn't put the facade of "it's for your own good" on top of it. That these guys actually seem to believe it's for everyone's good doesn't help. Losers! I'm with John: they're a buncha geeks! And not in a good way! They're not imaginative inventive geeks, they're a bunch of twits who couldn't get invited to a sci-fi convention even with a fax number for Starfleet Command! Mostly because twerps like this can never have fun; they're too obsessed with power, because underneath they're terrified. This kind of extremism only comes out of fear--- fear of anything new, anything unknown, anything outside their control. I'm all in favor of scaring them like a bad case of hiccups, at this point. Further exposure will probably intensify this feeling, but it will also hopefully give us a chance to see more of the conflicts the Nebari are facing.
Nerri is fully cool enough to both justify Chiana's grief in TtS, and her intense wish to get back to him, now that she knows he's alive. Smart, far-sighted, funny and not a coward, I can completely believe that he's related to Chi. Hopefully we have a good shot at seeing him again, since this resistance/underground plot seems like a set-up for future encounters with both sides of the Nebari internal war.
This ep is Chiana's and John's, even more than it is the Nebari's, though. Little Miss Kiss-Kick-Cry gets to move beyond that almost immediately after we hear about one of her classic in-over-her-head situations. The self-preservational desperation that usually motivates her to action is underscored this time out by her genuine concern for both her shipmates and her brother. Over the last year, she's gained the emotional strength to risk herself for the people she cares about against her worst fears. The only way that Varla could've taken her was with that control collar and extra help--- because I seriously thought Chi was going to rip out her throat a few times there around the end of the ep! Very, very nice turn by Gigi all the way through.
Pilot has a little too much fun with that clip show. < snerk > Not to mention a truly impressive acting job, to the point where *I* bought that second-string "But Commander, we really *are* under attack." Having this happen simultaneously with the clippies of Crais was a nice irony, and Lani and Crew do an excellent job on this and his frustration with everyone else during capture. I think our Pilot is finally on his way to being a worthy replacement for his predecessor.
Ben Browder is just way too wound up, giving Keanu a run for his money in the mellow stoner department. Thankfully, while his efforts form a part of the crew's escape this time out, he's not solely responsible for it --- Meelak's defection, Chi's constant resistance, and Pilot's support are just as important in the final outcome. I would've been somewhat torqued if John's immunity to brainwashing was the sole reason they got out of this. But daaamn, Scorpy does brilliant wetware design, doesn't he? How annoying is that? His little nano-chip with the Scorpy-Xerox personality on it is now the incredibly useful but ugly lamp you'd give away at the first opportunity--- if it weren't going to leave you in the dark permanently. I have to think that he designed it with an overriding survival imperative along with everything else. Which doesn't mean we have to be grateful to the brat for his little 'gift', but it does make me wonder if John's going to feel safe taking the stupid thing out eventually! < sigh > Wonderful ambiguities you have to face when you're a fugitive from the whole galaxy, aren't there?
I am now officially annoyed that Rygel Never Learns. The scene with the amnexus fluid was the only time I *didn't* want to smother him. I mean, come on! He made some progress toward the end of last year, especially in the season closer--- he seemed to be developing a remedial sense of shame and concern for others, and yet none of that has persisted for more than one episode. If he doesn't begin evolving into a slightly less self-centered slug, I'm all for stranding him on the next commerce planet. I *mean* it. This has gone beyond ridiculous!
Aeryn's eerie complacency could have disguised the ability to beat the conditioning --- I was wondering if her residual Pilot DNA was going to undermine the process. Sadly, they didn't go there, but who knows? It might work out that way in the future. D'Argo's freaked-out confession would have been funnier if I'd been able to watch it. < urrrrrrgh! > I'm sorry, that whole eye-scene was just... something your Tour Guides won't require you to take pictures of, okay? Eeeeeee. And Zhaan got a whole *three* lines. I'm left thinking that Virginia must've had a schedule glitch, because some of Aeryn's stuff would have made more sense coming from our fave Pa'u. The only fun to be had here was watching how annoyed all of them were in the cell, afterwards--- though I think Rygel oughta hide for a while when they get out. All three of them probably want to indulge in some primal scream-and-punch therapy after this incident, and Rygel would make a great hockey puck.
This one's more of an introduction to an arc than a complete episode, but it's full of excellent, sweet John & Chiana interaction, as well as the truly ick-inducing mind-cleansing moments. And I'm not just talking about the eyes (eeeee!). Right now, I'm just grateful that we're *not* dangling on a cliffhanger, since we've got three months until the next fix. Meanwhile, kick back and cheer for the Aussies as well as your own home-team in the Olympics --- remember, they're helping bringing you the galaxy; a couple gold medals seems like a cheap price, don't you think?
Ooo, look! Farscape won the gold medal in ickiness in guest villains, with a 9.8 from the TGUT judges! (Betcha didn't know we get the Olympics way out here on the TGUT satellite. Well, duh! Men's swimming! Men's gymnastics! Men's triathlon! Cute Aussie accents everywhere...!)|
But I digress, probably to avoid the serious visual trauma associated with this ep. < shudder > A pretty well done effect; Crichton's eyes
were obvious prosthetic, but who actually cared when they started being pulled out?!? Your Faithful Tour Guides admit to hiding their faces in the couch cushions during this deeply creepsome, if totally gratuitous, scene (come on, mind-cleansing that requires the eyes to be pulled out of their sockets? What's up with that?!?).
Yuckiness aside, this is the first good, solid Chiana ep we've had since Home on the Remains, and the first
good, solid chunk of background we've had on her. A bunch of questions get answered, too: how did she get off Nebari, how were
she and her brother split up, why did the Nebari (in the form of Salis) bother to track her down? Of course, in return, we get bunches
of other questions, and what could turn into quite a good arc. Nerri and his resistance obviously have some support in some high places --
first by getting the antibodies for the ebola-equivalent they were seeded with, then to start turning people like Meelak, obviously
quite trusted by the Nebari Powers That Be.
Who are even more not-nice people than previously suspected. Not content with having their own planets full of people with april-fresh
brain cells, they're going to go out and do their Mega-Maid impression to the entire galaxy -- after killing enough people to make resistance futile (sorry, couldn't resist; tell me they're not a
sneakier, sicker Borg). Makes you wonder just what went wrong, for a society this hellbent on peace and lawful society to turn into the
conquistadors. Or was it the plan from the beginning...? Many questions remain unanswered -- but going by the supremely disturbing
Varla (who bore a frightening resemblance in
smiling-while-she-kills-you attitude and annoying voice to Angel's Darla... separated at birth?), I think we can assume the worst about the Nebari and be reasonably accurate.
Chiana deals with this blast from her past with... okay, an almost total lack of being able to cope. After almost a cycle of being safe
from the bogeyman, it shows up and takes over the people she was depending on to protect her. Talk about living a nightmare.... But
she comes through in true Chiana style, fighting the &*^%^ control collar and, with John and Pilot, buying Meelak enough time to Do the
Right Thing. And she has the hope of tracking her brother down someday. Goodie, someone else on a quest, just what Moya needs. < g >
But I'm dying to meet Nerri, so let's hope for some success. Gigi takes a good script and runs with it; outstanding performance.
Who knew a Chiana-focused episode could also turn into one of Pilot's finest hours? Caught in a nightmare of his own, enslaved again, Pilot
also comes through. That simulated attack was damned realistic -- I thought the command carrier really had caught up with them! He keep
sit together when John and Chiana are both on the edge; while he doesn't get to do any of the punchy-fighty stuff, he's definitely one
of the big heroes of the day. Lani and Pilot's animation team do an awesome job throughout.
I hate that we keep having to be grateful to John's Scorpius implant (from now on referred to as Harvey, since I'm tired of typing out
John's Scorpius implant), but I do wonder how the crew would have survived this long without it. John definitely wouldn't have made it
through Won't Get Fooled Again, Harvey
was probably one of the reasons he was semi-keeping it together in Crackers Don't Matter, and now, it defeats the mind-cleansing. In fact, I think we pretty much have to count
Harvey up there with Pilot as the hero of the night. How... annoying. Wonder if this was exactly what Scorpius had in mind.... Meanwhile,
John returns to the land of the hash brownies, giving a dead-perfect imitation of every surfer Southern California has ever seen. 'Fess
up, Ben; you were impersonating someone real, weren't you?!? A fun performance regardless, bouncing from the comedic to the deadly
serious without missing a beat, and occasionally pulling both off at once. And how perfect is it that our Southern boy named his gun? (Any bets on whether it was after Wynonna Judd?)
No one else got much to do, except that Rygel continues to exceed our expectations of how rotten the little slug can be. I think John
showed great self-control in not shoving him out an airlock -- but their little moment of cooperation in knocking out the other two was
classic! Anthony was making the most of his few scenes -- overact much in that "I am so sorry!" bit, dude? -- and Claudia has fun being the anti-Aeryn (although she had me convinced at one point that she was faking it).
Overall, a pretty solid episode; too dependent on shock-value FX for the emotional impact, and spending most of its time in set-up for an
arc rather than bothering with a stand-alone plot outside of "Moya gets taken over. Again". And Rowan Woods let the actors off their
leashes a bit too much -- both Ben and Anthony had a distinct tendency to go over the line between comedic and slapstick. But the
guest characters were quite nicely drawn and performed, the makeup
outstanding, and Gigi Edgley had a beautiful showcase. I'm looking forward to where they take the Nebari set-up, although I suspect it's
not going far until next season, since they've been trying to get to D'Argo's son for two episodes now.
Enjoy the break, guys -- we'll see you back here in January!