Today, we take a close look at “Exodus from Genesis.” In the third episode of Farscape the original series, we are still in character development.
<kinda minty clip>
Much needed for a new series, but like in “I, E.T.” “Exodus from Genesis” gives us a Star Trek episode, this time using the classic Star Trek trope of “oh no, the ship has been taken over by a mysterious alien force!”
But, the Farscape writers took an overused trope and made it better. It’s a slightly clever idea having the aliens taking over Moya being what they are.
Although, having the aliens be able to duplicate the passengers on Moya is a bit silly, sorry.
“Exodus from Genesis” provides some essential character expansion, but the main plot is another easy in, easy out affair. Aliens take control of the ship, our heroes figure out what’s going on, and eventually get out of it, no harm done, everything back to the way it was.
The episode’s strength, besides watching mascara-wearing Australians sweat, is its focus on the people on Moya who are struggling to adapt to their new reality. Like in “I, E.T.” Rygel is challenged to overcome his lack of confidence and save his companions. New, though, is Aeryn being challenged to deal with her inherent vulnerabilities.
First, let’s talk Rygel. Again, his size, or lack thereof, comes in handy, as he is thrown into the role of scout in Moya’s passageways.
<D’Argo throws Rygel clip>
But plucky little Rygel finds the source of the problem.
<building a nest clip>
The drak are breeding and using Moya to do it. That’s bad enough, but they need heat, and that affects Aeryn.
<Pilot catches Aeryn clip>
The Peacekeepers have an Achilles’ heel.
<D’Argo explains heat delirium>
Crichton, as is quickly becoming the norm, figures out what’s going on.
<Crichton explains to Monarch>
Thus, a truce is entered, but evil Peacekeepers ruin it, just like they ruin everything.
<Pilot announces intruders clip>
The increased heat brings up the most important event in this episode.
<Aeryn asks Crichton to promise clip>
Aeryn, who earlier in the episode said to Crichton…
<what could I possibly need from you clip>
…now turns to him for the ultimate need. It is significant that she turns to Crichton, not D’Argo, who understands what Sebacean heat delirium means. It is a huge step for Aeryn not only to deal with her vulnerabilities but to reach out to Crichton for help. Her action is one step closer to Crichton, foreshadowing so much to come.
But it is Rygel who is the real savior. He walks in (yes, we see Rygel walk) to the drak nest and somehow negotiates with the Monarch of the drak.
<Monarch announces agreement clip>
Yes, Rygel saves them again, the others playing a supporting role.
Like in “I, E.T.” Rygel overcomes his insecurities and rises to the occasion. In “Exodus from Genesis” his royal lineage is confirmed, as is his leadership.
<Great Ruler clip>
Although, yes, Crichton faces down the Peacekeeper Lieutenant.
He’s figuring things out.
<getting the hang of a few things clip>
That conversation leads to our Philosophical Moment.
<Crichton and Zhaan clip>
Who lives and who dies? There are few more important questions. Farscape lacks a philosopher on the show, but it always has a strong ethical sense, especially personified by Zhaan.
What We Learn in This Episode
Aeryn had applied to transfer to a commando squad.
Aeryn refers to “ship’s beetles” as though they are commonplace.
Sebaceans lack the ability to regulate body heat above a certain temperature. D’Argo says they lack a gland to do that. Aeryn describes the symptoms” “As our cells overheat, the nervous system shuts down. First short-term memory, then motor functions. The last thing to go is long-term memory. We don’t die. Our body lives on in that state. It’s called the Living Death. It’s the only time we kill our own from mercy.”
First appearance of the word “yotz,” which appears to be Hynerian for “hell.”
Crichton went to JFK High.
The terrace is an area atop Moya that is protected from the vacuum of space by an invisible barrier.
At the scene on the terrace at the end of the episode, we see Aeryn smile genuinely for the first time.
Sebacean heat delirium is an odd thing. As this episode demonstrates, Peacekeepers are easily incapacitated and defeated by warmer temperatures that other species can easily tolerate. That an advanced species could survive with such a profound vulnerability is surprising. That such a species could be a military power is even more surprising.
The Monarch of the Drak has no real reason to try to communicate with the inhabitants of Moya. She has control of the ship and could easily just snuff out the inhabitants of Moya. Also, how can the Monarch understand Crichton and Rygel? Does she have translator microbes? How did the Monarch communicate to Rygel when she said she needed to use Zhaan to speak to Crichton? Sometimes suspension of disbelief is necessary for the plot.