Thursday, January 10, 2013
Apologies for my long absence... and Farscape Geekwatch
One of the factors is that, believe it or not, I'm running very low on Ark Addendum material. I've still got some pieces to share, but not a lot, and what I have needs more work. I'll try to share what's left. Does that mean no more animation models for you? No, no, no. I've got the next Joe animation model book due out in a few months, and after that, anything that didn't make it in (that I'm ethically allowed to share) will start to find a home here. Yo, Joe!
And now, the content! We're up to the series finale of Farscape on our geekwatch. The penultimate episodes are the three parter, S04E19-21: We're So Screwed. This is, incidentally, my favorite sci-fi episode title ever. The first part's subtltle, "Fetal Attraction", is of course a reference to the movie Fatal Attraction. (We also have "Hot to Katratzi" and "La Bomba".) Oddly, part one is a bit disconnected from the other two, featuring a raid on a Skarran outpost that results in Aeryn retrieved, but Scorpius captured. John would, of course, gladly let Scorpy go, except Harvey returns, claiming falsely that Scorpius has wormhole knowledge and John has to rescue him lest the Scarrans extract it. The other two parts are a more unified whole, featuring John's dramatic rescue of Scorpius. Crichton's journey is nearly complete. He's gone from a peace-loving scientist in search of truth to a nuclear terrorist, dancing on a table with a bomb strapped to this thigh. The imagery of him actually detonating said device in a strategically important field of flowers is terrific.
There are some hiccups, like the return of Stark. At first it looks like Stark is working with the Skarrans to torture Scorpius, something that seems totally in character for him given his hatred of Scorpius. We find out it's just another replicant bioloid, albeit one who can use Stark's Stikira abilities to torture. I think that missed a trick, frankly. Still, nice to have him back.
There's lots of other pop culture too. Much revolves around the bomb. When he's describing what happens if the bomb goes off, he calls it "John Lee Hooker time." I had to look that one up, Hooker was a blues musician with a hit called "boom boom." "Get ready to kiss your ass goodbye, Castro," John quips to the Skarran emperor when the latter attempts to heat probe the former, for the Cuban dictator. "We didn't need no stinkin' code," John sneers, in a nice homage to the oft (mis)quoted line from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. The bomb itself John calls Fat Man, the second and, hopefully, final atomic bomb ever set off as a part of active warfare.
The female Skarran war minister he calls Lady Macbeth. That's not the only nod to the Scottish play, when John paraphrases "If it were done when 'tis done, best it were done quickly." Ahkna is also called Minnie Pearl, the actress from Hee Haw, in reference to her enormous hat. When trying to convince the Peacekeepers and Skarrans alike that wormhole tech is for sale, he calls it a "blue light special in aisle 3, free set of steak knives and all the tea in China." The blue light special is from old K-Mart ad campaigns, steak knives call to mind late-night tv deals, and all the tea in china has been a phrase kicking around for over a century. Finally, John remarks on rescuing Scorpius that "Cadaver and Hutch" are back together, nodding to the classic cop show Starsky and Hutch.
And that's Farscape! The show, anyway. I'll have one more geekwatch that covers the Peacekeeper Wars, and it'll be a goodie.