Monday, June 09, 2014

Farscape: They've Got A Secret

I've really fallen behind with these, haven't I? I'm watching the episodes, but putting off writing my summaries. Must try to catch up in the coming weeks. My Farscape rewatch continues with "They've Got A Secret." And boy, do they. Pretty much everyone on Moya harbors deep secrets that will reverberate throughout the series, but this episode focuses on just two--D'Argo and Moya.

Aeryn is leading a concerted effort to remove every last remaining vestige of Peacekeeper technology from Moya, lest more booby-traps or homing beacons endanger the crew. D'Argo, crawling through an obscure shaft deep within Moya, comes across an odd installation obviously of Peacekeeper origin. Losing his temper, D'Argo kicks it, which releases a burst of fluid. D'Argo then falls down the shaft and is vented into space. Aeryn rescues him "half an arn" later, and although Luxans can survive in open space for brief periods, D'Argo's exceeded this limit. The crew manages to resuscitate D'Argo, but the big Luxan hallucinates, viewing the crew as people and family from his past. Meanwhile, Moya is suffering violent tremors, Pilot falls unconscious, the DRDs turn hostile and the life support systems shut down. The crew fears D'Argo unleashed a Peacekeeper virus designed to infect Leviathans, since analysis of the fluid shows it composed of identical particles. D'Argo, delirious, sees Rygel as his son, Jothee, Zhaan as his wife, Lo'Laan, and Crichton as his brother-in-law, Macton. In a moment of lucidity, D'Argo tells Crichton where the shaft with the Peacekeeper device is. D'Argo relapses, attacking Crichton as Macton before breaking down to mourn the death of his wife. Crichton escapes and attempts to reach the shaft, but DRDs block his attempts. Crichton confronts D'Argo, assuming the role of Macton to provoke his memory to return. In their back-and-forth, D'Argo reveals he and Lo'Laan fled their world with their son, Jothee, and destroyed their ship so they couldn't be traced. But Macton found them anyway and killed his sister for marrying D'Argo, a type of intergalactic "honor killing." Macton then arrested D'Argo when D'Argo found his wife's corpse... revealing that Macton was Peacekeeper, making Lo'Laan a Sebacian. D'Argo's was an interracial marriage, explaining why he sent his son, Jothee, away to protect him from those who would consider him an abomination. With his repressed hurt finally exposed, D'Argo recovers his memory. Unfortunately, the air on Moya is running thin, and by this point the crew has realized Moya is responsible for the DRD attacks and loss of life support. Desperate, Aeryn manages to deactivate all of the DRDs. The crew then decides that Aeryn will sever Moya's higher brain functions as a drastic, if desperate, attempt to regain control of the ship. Simultaneously, Crichton and D'Argo return to the shaft, now unguarded but sealed. They break through, and Crichton climbs down and finds a large side chamber filled with inactive DRDs and... something else. Crichton realized Moya is pregnant, that D'Argo and inadvertently release some sort of space sperm on his previous visit. Crichton stops Aeryn from performing her lobotomy on Moya just in time. Aeryn reactivates the DRDs, which move to attack Crichton but he's able to talk Moya down and a truce is established. Moya restores Pilot and life support, and the crew promises to help protect Moya's baby.

Commentary: Boy, a whole lot of backstory gets filled in this episode! D'Argo's "crime" was a setup, his punishment for violating the fascist Peacekeepers' obsession with racial purity. If it wasn't obvious before, the Nazi parallels are brought front and center. To be fair, the Peacekeepers aren't strictly a Nazi analog, but rather one of any totalitarian, militaristic society, seeing as how the Peacekeeper symbol is almost a direct copy of the bolshevik "Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge" symbol from the Russian civil war. With all this revelation, D'Argo moves significantly beyond the "violent Klingon analog" he first came across as in the early episodes of the series, and now is a character that is much more vulnerable and nuanced than originally perceived. Moya, too, has significant blanks filled in: Namely, what type of "experiments" those nasty Peacekeepers were performing on her back when she was still restrained by a control collar. The full extent and implications won't become apparent for a while yet, but it has a profound and lasting impact on the series from here on out. This is an intense episode, emotionally speaking, but is most significant in that it signals a shift from Farscape being primarily an episodic series to one with complex, interwoven story arcs. Rather than a bickering collection of escaped prisoners, the individuals on Moya (and Moya herself) are beginning to rely on, and trust one another (albeit unwillingly in some cases), thus showing signs of becoming not just a crew, but an actual team.

Crichton Quote of the Episode:: "Is there some kind of What to Expect When You're Expecting a Baby Leviathan book? Doctor Spock... Mister Spock..."

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