Thursday, July 10, 2014

Farscape: Till the Blood Runs Clear

Farscape Till The Blood Runs Clear
My Farscape rewatch continues with "Till the Blood Runs Clear," a reference to an earlier-revealed fact that when cut, Luxans must stimulate the wound to bleed otherwise they'd suffer a kind of septic shock. While D'Argo is indeed injured in this episode, and his wound is stimulated to make the blood run clear, that event is incidental to the plot, marking this as another of Farscape's throw-away episode titles.

While studying the formation of wormholes around a star that's throwing off massive solar flares, Crichton's Farscape module is damaged and he, along with Aeryn, are forced to land on an arid planet for repairs. The radiation-blasted planet looks suspiciously like the one Aeryn (ie Claudia Black) visited in the movie Pitch Black, but Vin Diesel doesn't turn up and Aeryn doesn't get dismembered. Yay! Crichton and Aeryn discover Mrs. Hoggett--apparently traumatized after the events of Babe: Pig in the City--working as a starship mechanic going by the name of Furlow. Furlow agrees to fix the ship, but there's something shifty about her. Aeryn and Crichton then discover a Peacekeeper beacon in the middle of the outpost broadcasting a wanted alert for Zhaan, D'Argo and Rygel, three escaped prisoners. Bounty hunters--the dog-life Vorcarian blood trackers--are already there, anticipating the fugitives' arrival. Crichton bluffs them into thinking he and Aeryn are bounty hunters as well, and the four agree to cooperate for the time being. Aeryn discovers a coded message for her in the Peacekeeper beacon--Crais promising her "retirement" with full rank restored if she helps turn over Moya and the escaped prisoners. Aeryn explains that Crais' "retirement" means execution. While this is going on, D'Argo lands in search of Crichton and Aeryn. The Vorcarians pick up his scent, ambush and capture him. Crichton discovers the Vorcarians torturing D'Argo. They've cut the Luxan, so Crichton punches and squeezes the wound on D'Argo's tentacle in the guise of torture so the blood will run clear and D'Argo won't die. More and more people are poking around the Farscape module, as word has apparently got out that it's been exposed to wormholes. Aeryn fights one, and is subsequently blinded by a solar flare. Crichton rescues D'Argo, but D'Argo, furious about the whole torture thing, fights Crichton. They do the macho thing until coming to a truce, and them promptly get into a firefight with the Vorcarians. Things get nasty, but Aeryn reprograms the Peacekeeper beacon to project Crais cancelling the bounty on the escapees. With no more bounty at stake, the Vorcarians disengage and let Crichton and D'Argo be on their way. Furlow does indeed complete the repairs to the Farscape module, but demands Crichton's accumulated wormhole research as payment, to which he reluctantly agrees.

Commentary: Not a terribly tight episode as far as plotting goes, this one is still a fun ride. The desert location and over-exposed scenes do a good job at conveying an alien world on a limited budget. Furlow is a simply repulsive character that has a certain charisma about her. The Vorcarians are incredibly stupid--they so easily and repeatedly duped by Crichton and Aeryn that it's a wonder how they don't starve to death as bounty hunters. Indeed, it's a wonder how they ever got off whatever world they evolved on. That's good for some cheap jokes, but doesn't make for a very logical episode. There's a minor subplot in the episode regarding the star's massive flares giving Zhaan "photogasms," which is the first hint in the series that Zhaan is a plant-based life form. Crichton's trading away his wormhole research will come back to bite him in the future, but the whole incident with Crais' offer to Aeryn pretty much closes the book on her long-running internal conflict over her break with the Peacekeepers. Not a great episode overall, but entertaining, in a silly way.

Crichton Quote of the Episode: "I’m Butch. This is Sundance. We're the Hole in the Sky gang."

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