“A Human Reaction” planted a seed, “Through the Looking Glass” birthed a family, and now, in “A Bug’s Life,” the roller coaster lurches forward.

<roller coaster clip>

It’s time to walk head-long into the grand story arc.

First, we need to deal with our visitors. Not surprisingly, Crichton has a plan.

<Zhaan: Let’s try Crichton’s way.>

As Crichton’s plans go, this is a pretty good one.

<Oh, I think not clip>

It fools the Peacekeepers, including their dashing commanding officer.

Larraq personifies the stereotype of the cold, brutal Peacekeeper. His subordinates are a clean-cut versions of the commandoes we saw in “Exodus from Genesis.”

Different from those commandoes, who were simply a hit squad, this bunch is a retrieval squad.

<Gammak base clip>

Ooo, a gammak base! That’s a … uh…we are never told what exactly a gammak base is. It’s definitely something super secret.

<that’s Science Military clip>

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Larraq and his mission are the raison d’etre of this episode. His mission is to capture and bring back an intellent virus. “Intellent” isn’t a word, and sorry to say that the trope of a bug taking over a host and causing murder and mayhem is unoriginal, and I can’t say that Farscape is adding much to the trope.

But really, despite the title, “A Bug’s Life”  isn’t about a body snatcher trope. This episode is about Aeryn.

< having trouble with your Marauder? Clip >

We know Aeryn can handle big, and Aeryn gets to play the Peacekeeper warrior with Larraq. She certainly enjoys that, but something has changed in her. Remember her earlier chance to get back into Peacekeeper mode in “PK Tech Girl.”

<This is my world John clip>

Now, she isn’t in Crichton’s face; she’s going along with him, letting him take the lead while she plays a secondary role.

< lower your weapon clip >

Aeryn’s mission is to grill Larraq for information. Crichton is correct about their need to understand what the Peacekeepers are up to out here.

< flying around in the uncharted territories ignorant of what the Peacekeepers are doing out here? That, to me seems dangerous. Clip>

He’s right, but Larraq is also dangerous and so is his mission. Laraq has succeeded in his mission, but there’s no mission that Rygel and Chiana can’t frell up.

< Chiana removes the seal clip >

To make a long story short, we are dealt the science fiction trope that a virus can control the actions of a person.  Chiana and Rygel release the virus, which infects one Peacekeeper, who kills another Peacekeeper, then jumps into Chiana.

Larraq is freaked out almost to point of ineffectiveness. But then, everyone else is fairly ineffective, as they fall for the lies told by the now virus-controlled Chiana and go hunting for Rygel. Poor Rygel, once again he has to hide in the access shafts, a hunted Hynerian.

The body snatching virus trope is fairly standard but well-explicated. The virus can’t be detected while it is in a host but when it jumps to a new host, it leaves behind a high-acid trace in the former host’s body, the host without any memory of having been taken over.

The virus jumps from Chiana to Crichton, kills the Peacekeeper Hassan, the first of the Crichton body count, though hardly his fault.

< Hey, lighten up clip >

It’s the first sign of Chaina’s softer side, but it sets up this dramatic scene.


< Thonn enters clip to “oh no” >

Oh, yes. Which means we get to the everyone yelling at everyone scene.

< said clip >

Such a display of testosterone. But cooler heads prevail, and so does Zhaan’s scientific approach, as they all agree to let Zhaan develop an antibody, or more accurately, a way to detect who has the virus. And it works well until the possibilities for the person body snatched comes down to D’Argo and Larraq.

< more yelling clip >

Crichton, naturally, casts the deciding vote.

< Eenie – meenie clip >

So, now they chase Larraq, who, now virus enhanced, subdues Aeryn, leading to this pivotal scene.

< Larraq subdues Aeryn clip >

Oh dear. But Crichton, naturally, comes up with the way to defeat the virus.

< No! Pilot … clip >

A most satisfying boom, indeed. But we still have a wounded Aeryn.

< Welcome back clip >

Which sets up the next episode, but that’s for next time.

 

What We Learn in This Episode

We learn some more about Aeryn’s background.

< You… ever fly anything a little sexier than a Leviathan? Clip>

That exchange gives us a hint that sebaceans mature young.

 

We learn that Chiana makes a good partner in crime for Rygel. Their exchange marks the beginning of a beautiful … um … let’s just say their self-centeredness is compatible.

<Rygel and Chiana meet at the crate … to “half”>

 

The Peacekeepers’ evil include  es their desire to control an obviously very dangerous virus. Apparently, that’s what this Peacekeeper gammak base is for. I wonder if we’ll find out more about that.

 

Of course we will because the roller coaster has started. Now, each episode flows one after another like one long beautiful movie.

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