The first quality episode of Farscape is “PK Tech Girl.” It brings us deeper into the uncharted territories and introduces us to a new character and a new species. Most importantly, we get the first hints of the grand story arc.
The opening of the episode is a testament to the true artistry of the Jim Henson Company.
That Peacekeeper command carrier is the Zelbinion.
<it’s the Zelbinion clip>
This episode provides crucial backstory for Rygel and partially explains why he behaves as he does. We know he was wrongly deposed from his throne. Now we learn what happened to him after.
<Rygel admits being tortured and Durka taunts Rygel clips>
Like in earlier episodes, Rygel has to confront his insecurities. In this instance, confronting the memories of being tortured by Peacekeeper Captain Durka.
<Zhaan comforts Rygel clip>
This he does.
<Rygel finds Durka’s corpse clip>
Rygel finds some closure.
Meanwhile, everyone else is in trouble. The new species is the Sheyang, who are described as…
<D’Argo explains Sheyang – Zhaan asks about showing strength>
Moya is not a gunship, and leviathans have no defensive abilities other than starburst. D’Argo understandably is frustrated, but this time it works in his favor.
<D’Argo’s rage clip>
D’Argo somehow doesn’t go into Luxan hyperrage as he did in the previous episode. It does show that Luxans are feared warriors, at least that they are feared by the Sheyang.
The Sheyang had already visited the Zelbinion, and Aeryn learns the consequences of her actions.
<Aeryn learns her unit has been demoted clip>
Yes, Gilina, a new character, a new Peacekeeper, and a new potential love interest for Crichton. Of course, she has to be blonde, as the Farscape producers stuck with the cliches in the early episodes.
To be fair, Gilina is a competent tech and does not deserve the derision that Aeryn inflicts on her. Crichton is surprisingly also knowledgeable
<Gilina surprised clip>
but Gilina is the one who saves them.
<Lomus attacks clip>
Ultimately, though, this episode is about the relationship between Crichton and Aeryn. It establishes that there is something between them.
As in previous episodes, they butt heads over how to do anything, with Aeryn laying down the law to Crichton.
<this is my world, John clip>
She’s right, but her attempt to assert her authority is unsettled, watching Crichton and Gilina knowing how to repair the defense shield while she has to glumly watch and fetch and carry for them. <Aeryn watches clip>
<fetch the wires clip>
Adding insult to injury, Crichton kisses Gilina and Aeryn spots it, and well, reacts badly.
<Aeryn reacts badly clip>
Why Crichton feels he has to apologize is unclear.
<Would you wait clip>
His reaction suggests that he has feelings for Aeryn that he hasn’t, for obvious reasons, expressed. To his surprise, his confessions lead to…
<Aeryn finds him interesting clip>
Ehhhow. Well, well. Officer Sun has a soft spot for Crichton, surprising him and perhaps herself.
Aeryn gets to get back to her element of being Peacekeeper tough girl.
<Aeryn blows up Sheyang clip>
Mmm, mmm, fresh fried Sheyang.
Despite the mess, that resolves the Sheyang threat, but in this episode, things do not simply return to normal as though nothing happened.
Crichton and Gilina have to end their awkward first date and Crichton has to awkwardly reconnect with Aeryn.
<don’t like being ambushed clip>
Perhaps like the Sheyang, Aeryn responds best to strength.
What we learn in this episode.
Gilina gives us a clue that not all Peacekeepers are heartless jerks.
Peacekeepers have soldiers and techs, which makes sense, but if Aeryn is any clue, techs are treated like second-class citizens.
The destruction of the Zelbinion shows that the Peacekeepers are not invincible, but it remains a mystery who was powerful enough to defeat the most feared ship in the Peacekeeper armada.
We are reminded that Rygel has been in Peacekeeper captivity for a very long time—130 cycles. No wonder he’s a bit messed up.0
Crichton and Aeryn have different worldviews, or perhaps galaxyviews.
< Argument over Peacekeepers clip>
Aeryn rightly responds to Crichton. As she reminded him earlier, this is her world, and he doesn’t understand it and has no basis for judging.
Sheyang spit fire.
How breathing fire is a biological possibility is beyond my understanding.
Why is Aeryn so bigoted toward people different from her? She is beyond rude to Gilina, though she has shown condescension toward almost everyone. Granted, there has also been a lot of condescension and derision from D’Argo and Rygel. The relations among the various intelligent species and the nature of prejudice in this part of the galaxy will be explored in future episodes.
As will this relationship between Crichton and Aeryn. I did not know about Farscape during its initial TV run. I started watching it in 2011. I have heard that there was in Farscape’s first years a minor controversy between those who did and did not want Crichton and Aeryn to become romantically involved. Doesn’t seem to have been as contentious as the shipper controversy over X-Files. “PK Tech Girl” reveals that there is a spark and tension between Crichton and Aeryn. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to see these two together. Is it too cliché to have a romantic subplot? Nothing cliché about Farscape, as we shall see.
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