Farscape is great for two main reasons. One, it has characters with depth and nuance, and two, it has a grand arc story with depth and nuance. In “They’ve Got a Secret,” we are treated to another deep dive into one of the people on Moya and we begin our grand story arc. New viewers may not realize it yet, but events in this episode connect with events six episodes later to establish much of the foundation for the rest of the original series.
But first, let’s talk about the main focus of “They’ve Got a Secret”—D’Argo. Up to this point, we have seen D’Argo as a largely ineffectual, surly hot-head. In the previous episode, we got a glimpse beneath Aeryn’s cold, hard exterior. In this episode we got a glimpse beneath D’Argo’s cold, hard exterior.
We begin with D’Argo working, and he is, big surprise, being surly about it.
<D’Argo is surly clip>
Also, big surprise, D’Argo is impatient.
< D’Argo is impatient 1 clip>
<D’Argo is impatient 2 clip>
<D’Argo rescued 1 clip>
He is rescued.
<D’Argo rescued 2 clip>
<D’Argo rescued 3 clip>
But not entirely well.
<D’Argo rescued 4 clip>
And he’s not the only one.
<Pilot’s affected clip> Nor is Pilot the only other one.
The plot has the dual threads of how whatever has happened is affecting Moya and D’Argo. D’Argo is hallucinating.
< D’Argo thinks Rygel is his son clip>
< D’Argo thinks Crichton is Macton>
As Crichton says, D’Argo’s memory has short-circuited, He is both here and now and in his past. An apparently very painful past.
<she’s dead clip>
D’Argo had a wife, Lo’Laan, and a son, Jothee. Crichton, again in this episode filling the plot device of figuring out how to save everyone, plays along with D’Argo’s hallucination to break it.
More on D’Argo later, but Crichton is correct that there is an emergency they need to address, and that’s figuring out what’s happening with Moya.
Earlier, the DRDs threatened Crichton and worse:
<our beloved ship clip>
Aeryn manages to shut down the DRDs and D’Argo directs Crichton to where he had dismantled the Peacekeeper shield.
Well, it’s not a baby, it is, of course, a fetus because Moya has not yet given birth. Zhaan and Pilot correctly refers to it as a “fetus.”
So, DRDs are switched back on, life support is restored, but this is a major, major plot development that irrevocably changes everything. Moya is pregnant, life for her and all aboard is about to go into unknown territory.
Farscape is willing to dare to let things change, just as it willing to explore its characters in depth.
What We Learn in This Episode
Boy do we learn a lot. This is the most significant episode so far.
We learn D’Argo’s backstory. He was not, as he claimed in “Premiere,” imprisoned for killing his commanding officer. He was falsely imprisoned by Macton Tal, a Peacekeeper who murdered his sister–D’Argo’s wife, Lo’Laan–because Macton did not approve of the “evil” union between a Sebacean and a Luxan. D’Argo has a son named “Jothee” who D’Argo managed to spirit away before he was arrested. D’Argo has no idea where Jothee is now, but he is obsessed with finding his son. All of this goes a long way to explaining how D’Argo is.
Much of this is explained by learning from Aeryn that “Peacekeepers are taught from birth that they must keep their Sebacean bloodlines pure.” This matches what we learned in “Premiere” that for Peacekeepers, contact with “unclassified alien lifeforms” is punishable by death.
Luxans can survive in space for up to a quarter arn, though longer if revived immediately, as is D’Argo.
Pilot is connected to Moya’s central nervous system. He is also dependent on Moya’s circulatory system for nourishment. The temperature controls, air, and lights inside Moya are for her inhabitants; she does not need them.
Moya has “hundreds” of DRDs and both Pilot and Moya can control them. They can all be shut down from Pilot’s console, as Aeryn somehow knows, having retained some knowledge that Pilot has from her injection of his DNA in “DNA Mad Scientist.”
Leviathans can get pregnant.
Zhaan says her body has no bacteria but we do not yet know why.
Your vocabulary lesson for today: deep space internathermia – staying out in the vacuum of space for too long.
Much is made of how Aeryn cannot pry her hand from the floor after the DRD sprayed glue on her. But that same DRD sprayed glue on her boot and Crichton was seen carrying it back to Zhaan.
Crichton is quite bossy in this episode though surprisingly no one seems to have a problem with it. Perhaps it is because both Zhaan and Aeryn remain chastened from their experiences in the previous two episodes. D’Argo, of course, is out of commission this episode.
D’Argo breaking the Peacekeeper shield released biomechnical particles that were a “catalyst” for pregnancy–“catalyst” being a euphemism for sperm.
Crichton says that DRDs are not biomechanical like Moya; they are instead mechanical. How he knows this is unclear. Also unclear is how mechanical devices came to be an integral part of Leviathans. This is the only reference in the original series to DRDs being strictly mechanical, and that idea is not necessarily followed in later episodes.