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My previous video on conflict in Farscape the original series mentioned the Crichton body count. What do I mean?
People do understandably think of how many people died around Crichton <anyone else dies for the love of you clip>
But one reason Farscape is distinctive in science fiction is that the main characters are trying to avoid conflict, not fight. Especially Crichton. He’s not military. <damned scientist clip> He starts his time on Moya as a pacifist, or at least someone who seeks to avoid conflict and especially killing. <I’m not that kind of guy clip>
That’s one of the questions about Crichton. What made him become willing to kill? Crichton does kill a drak in the third episode, but he understandably assumed it was a pest to be exterminated. And who wouldn’t try to squash that thing?
Circumstances force Crichton to learn how to fight and kill. Maldis contrives to pit Crichton and Crais into a battle to the death in “That Old Black Magic.” Crichton at first tries to make peace, but Crais is having none of it. Crichton is forced to save himself by being willing to kill Crais, and he doesn’t only because Maldis intervenes.
Crichton does kill the intellant-virus infected Larraq in “A Bug’s Life,” though he acted to destroy the virus, the same virus that used him to kill Hassan, the same virus that D’Argo said could contaminate thousands of species before it’s able to be contained again.
Crichton continues to be a pacifist even late in Season 1 when some people say the Crichton body count begins. This is when the grand story arc shifts from Crais being the threat to Scorpius being the threat. Crichton feared Scorpius and he suffered trauma from being tortured by Scorpius, and he did, at times, want to kill Scorpius, but it didn’t seem to fundamentally change him, at least not right away.
After being rescued by the radiant Aeryn Sun, Crichton returns to avoiding violence. he inadvertently kills Br’Nee as he saves Zhaan, true. But when he develops a plan for Moya and friends to escape from Scorpius, he tries to keep casualties to a minimum. All indications are that the gammack base was evacuated without loss of life. A major accomplishment for Crichton. <admire him his strategy clip>
Crichton’s first deliberate, verified kill happens with < T’raltixx clip>. Yes, T’raltixx, the pest endangering Moya and her inhabitants. After it’s decided that T’raltixx must be eliminated, Crichton is nominated for the dastardly deed, which he does with a certain amount of panache. <triumphant pose clip> Well, I said a certain amount.
It’s ironic that “Crackers Don’t Matter,” the likely winner of any poll as to the funniest and most loved Farscape episode, is when Crichton commits his first premeditated homicide. It’s not until 11 episodes later that he commits his second—the self-defense killing of a Scarran in “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
He is still avoiding violence and killing only as a last resort. Even in the dire situation in “A Clockwork Nebari,” Crichton tries to find a way out without killing.
<Harvey – freak get out of my head clip> It’s in the “Liars, Guns, and Money” trilogy that something shifts within Crichton. <Harvey clip> Yes, Harvey, who first appears in “Crackers Don’t Matter,” then saves Crichton in “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by telling Crichton he has to kill the Scarran. It is in “Liars, Guns, and Money” that Harvey starts trying to directly control Crichton. <Harvey stops Crichton clip> Crichton is no longer alone in his own consciousness. <Scorpy put something in my head clip>
Scorpius’s neural clone prevents Crichton from killing Scorpius, but how else does its presence effect Crichton? Clearly not in good ways < begs D’Argo to kill him clip>. The neural clone causes Crichton to kill Aeryn, horrifying scenes I decline to show. Crichton has the chip removed but there’s a problem <Harvey survives clip> The best that Crichton can do is contain Harvey. <Crichton turns table on Harvey clip>
Harvey is still there, and as I explored in my video on Harvey, Crichton learns how to work with and use Harvey’s knowledge. But despite Harvey providing some of the funniest moments in Farscape, because of what Harvey is <Harvey explains himself and Scarrans clip> it’s possible that Scorpius’s violent tendencies have bled into Crichton’s personality. <bunny battle clip>
That’s one theory—that Scorpius’s neural chip influenced Crichton to be more violent. But I don’t think so. Despite Harvey’s presence and urgings, Crichton continues to eschew violence in “Revenging Angel.” But on the other hand, or on the other Crichton, he is willing to commit homicide on a grand scale < dreadnaught clip>. He commits this act after Harvey is removed. <clip>
It isn’t Harvey encouraging Crichton to kill Scarrans, it’s the Ancient known as “Jack.” <we need to destroy the dreadnought clip> And the Ancient gives a damn good reason to destroy the dreadnought, just as Harvey had given a good reason to kill the Scarran. Crichton kills to prevent more deaths.
Crichton never wants to kill. It’s just that circumstances force him to do so.
<closing the exists PKW clip>
He’s correct. Let’s look at the trial of violence he traveled.
Gammack base? Crichton and friends find the solution to escape Scorpius with the least possible threat to sentient life.
Murdered an entire Nebari battalion? False. Varla’s ship had a run in with a Peacekeeper patrol, and Varla was killed by Meelak.
Laid waste to a shadow depository? No, that was Talyn and Crais. Crichton and company would have just stolen stuff without destroying everything if Scorpius hadn’t have shown up and spoiled their plans. <why do our plans never work clip>
The one time that Crichton does go on a killing spree is when he goes commando in “I Shrink Therefore I Am.” Again, though, he kills only to save his friends.
In “We’re So Screwed” his nuclear gamble saved them, <blast clip> but at a horrific cost. <I could kill more people clip> That nuclear bomb in a field of flowers and the wormhole weapon are the main reasons Crichton is known for having a high body count. After 86 episodes of trying to avoid violence, he commits two ultimate acts of large-scale killing.
The wormhole weapon ends the grand story arc of the original series, The Peacekeeper Wars being the sadly shortened Season 5 that Farscape was never allowed to make. Untold number of ships were swallowed up by Crichton’s wormhole, killing an untold number of Peacekeepers and Scarrans. There is a shot that suggests that the only ships that survived were Staleek and Grayza’s. We learned much earlier that a Peacekeeper command carrier has a complement of 50,000. Times that by dozens or over a hundred. Add probably that many Scarrans. We are talking millions dead. <wormhole weapons do not make peace clip>
Of course, the Peacekeepers and Scarrans were already in the process of annihilating each other in only one battle in a galaxy-wide war. The wormhole weapon did make peace and Crichton used it only for that purpose. Was it worth the price? How do you calculate that?
The philosophy of utilitarianism says an act is moral if it brings about greater happiness. If Crichton’s wormhole weapon increased the net amount of happiness in the galaxy than it was a moral act. But how do you measure such a thing?
Another common moral system emphasizes acting out of a sense of duty to the moral law . This is how Crichton thinks. His actions are moral because he has a duty to protect his family and friends. <Einstein, they have my family clip> Crichton’s body count is high, but he considers it a necessary evil because his duty is to preserve life.
<is there another way clip> Was there? We can argue whether Crichton chose the best path. We can also argue whether Crichton was blinded by his sense of duty to his family and friends. Regardless, Crichton did leave behind a trail of death. Though to be fair, it was this guy’s fault for giving Crichton the wormhole knowledge in the first place. He upset the balance of the universe, and many people paid the price, especially Crichton. Perhaps it is his body count, not Crichton’s.