Thursday, August 30, 2012

Farscape Geekwatch: Mid season 3

My Geekwatch continues through mid season three, with two ships and two Crichtons.

S03E10, Relativity, features the confrontation between Aeryn and her mother, Xhalax. No real genre references to speak of, though John gets some pop culture references in there.  "We left a trail Stevie Wonder could follow," he remarks of their progress through the woods.  When observing some acidic berries, he quips that they're not something he'd put on his Cocoa Puffs. 

S03E11, Incubator, is a Scorpy-centric episode.  We see his background as he attempts to convince the John remnants inside the Neuro-Chip to help him.  Good episode, minimal geekdom.  Crichton Neuro-Clone asks if he's a ghost, a soul, or 'Holodeck Crichton.'

S03E12, Meltdown, features the crew of Talyn attempting to avoid plunging into a sun.  The real fun is that Talyn's systems are pumping out a gas making everyone a bit exaggerated, with Stark crazier than usual, Crais more controlling, Rygel hungrier, and John & Aeryn horny as hell.

There's plenty here for the sci-fi fan, too.  John tells Crais to "Never say never again, 007," regarding his prospect of returning to the Peacekeepers.  When the alien Mu-Quellis appears on Talyn, John asks him if he just 'beamed in', another of the ubiquitous Trek references.  "Phantom, new tune for the opera," John quips to Stark, a play on his mask. "The Pied Piper's found a new tune," John informs Crais of Mu-Quellis' machinations.

S03E13, Scratch 'N Sniff, is a light-hearted episode told retrospectively by John to Pilot, about a misadventure on a pleasure planet.  Ren & Stimpy get namedropped, but that's about it for the connoisseur of geekiness.  (John calls D'Argo Lassie, and the Clover's song Love Potion Number 9 is mentioned as well, for other pop-culture nods.)

S03E14-15, Infinite Possibilities, kills off our extraneous John.  It really was quite clever, since the one that died was the one who had the more weighty stories, and the one who survived the one who was cracking up a bit.  It really did seem like the 'real' John was the guy who passed away, at least for a little while.  No real geek references in the episodes, though the titles (Icarus Abides, Daedalus Demands) are pulled from geekGreek mythology.  The closest we get is John telling Harvey, "my, grandma, what big teeth you have."

S03E16, Revenging Angel, takes us back to Moya, as the still living John is almost (accidentally) killed by D'Argo and languishes in a coma.

In his head, the environment often takes the form of an animated Looney Toons landscape, specifically the Road Runner cartoons.  This is, itself, a nice geek reference.  I won't attempt to annotate where every cartoon comes from, though they borrow from the various Road Runner (and, to a lesser extent, other Warner cartoons) extensively.  Naturally, they got Trek in there, with John riding around on an animated Enterprise.  I did have to look this one up, though: "I know this guy. Dr. Chuck Jones. Wrote the...Dr. Chuck Jones wrote the book on these situations."  Chuck Jones was one of the animation greats, who directed many an episode of Looney Toons and helped create many memorable characters, including the Coyote and the Road Runner. 

An aside: when I first started watching Farscape, the episodes were in reruns on Sci-Fi.  For some reason, they were all mixed up, so I saw some random 1st season, 4th season, and 3rd season episodes.  Of course, the third season episodes had the two Crichton splits, so even there the crew kept changing.  It was almost impossible to keep track. Somehow I managed to see this episode immediately after Part II of Infinite Possibilities... and instantly dismissed it as some episode from earlier or later in the series.  I still wondered how they'd bring John back. 

Some other geeky highlights include a HILARIOUS exchange between Harvey and John about Kirk/Shatner. John: "Kirk wouldn't stoop that low."  Harvey: "That was a television show, John. And he made Priceline commercials. But if you insist...then look to Kirk the way he really was -- savage when he had to be." Harvey also asks John for reasons for him to stay alive, calling it... The Letterman List. 

Finally, there's a brilliant section chock-a-block with pop culture references wherein an animated fantasy Aeryn shows up.  It must be seen:

References here include various sexy ladies, including a Baywatch babe, Marilyn Monroe, Jessica Rabbit, Cleopatra (crossed with Romeo & Juliet), Dorothy Gale from the frequently referenced Wizard of Oz, and Madonna.  When John pushes it a bit too far, she retreats to Nancy Regan of all people.  Oh, and she ends with a Forrest Gump reference, "Run, Forrest, run!"

And, as John closes out the episode, so shall I close out this segment of the blog: That's all, folks!

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