The story itself begins with a flashback, and as one would expect, its not good news. Crichton is apparently on his deathbed on a badly damaged Moya, and Aeryn is lamenting the possibility that Johns victory has come at the price of his own life. Two things are readily apparent: the war itself is over by Crichtons hand, and Aeryn has survived the final battle. All else is suspect, and that places everything in perspective.
Ever since the end of Bad Timing, the perfectly titled fourth season finale, events have escalated throughout the galaxy. With the promise of wormhole weapons no longer an option with the apparent death of Crichton on the water planet of Qujaga, the Peacekeepers and Scarrans turn back towards one another. The Peacekeepers had been using the claim of such weapons as a deterrent against a Scarran invasion; with that ruse long over, theres nothing to stop the Scarrans from pursuing galactic domination.
Enter Scorpius, who has somehow managed to rise to command of an entire armada in an incredibly short period of time. His swift ascension in the ranks makes sense, given his past history: the Grand Chancellor of the Peacekeepers sent Scorpius and all other undesirables to the front as cannon fodder. Scorpius, however, launches a pre-emptive strike against the Scarrans, using his knowledge of the Scarran military to his advantage. His theory is relatively sound: with no other advantage at their disposal, the Peacekeepers might as well force the Scarrans into military action before they are completely prepared. Its an act of desperation, but still, a calculated attempt.
Back on Qujaga, Rygel finishes the job of gathering the last of the crystals that used to be John and Aeryn. Anyone who thought they were really dead clearly stopped paying attention long before the end of the series. Apparently DArgo, Noranti, and Rygel have been working with the aliens on Qujaga to restore John and Aeryn, while the others have been attending to the task of quickly wrapping up other plot threads. The effects work for Rygel is fairly primitive, but considering that the character is usually a puppet, theres no problem accepting it.
Chiana and Stark greet the others upon landing, and little time is spent on needless exposition. Enough context is inserted into the story to allow new viewers to get some sense of the relationships and abilities without wasting the time of the educated audience. Chianas new eyes are odd, but they represent a nice evolution of her character. Chiana always seems to get abilities that match the growth of her emotional maturity, changing as experience informs her point of view.
One thing comes as an immediate surprise: the arrival of a Diagnosan and Grunschlk to Qujaga. As many fans would recall, Grunschlk was supposed to have been a victim of his own double-crossing in the third season premiere (Season of Death). His survival is clearly meant to be suspicious, and the fact that his apparent death is glossed over with unconvincing language is slightly disappointing.
It does, of course, speed the plot along, which is a priority at this stage of the game. What would have taken an entire episode takes less than an act as the Diagnosan methodically puts John and Aeryn back together again (shocked, by the way, at the lack of a Humpty-Dumpty reference). This also gives Grunschlk enough time to brief the rest of the cast on the war, underscoring the fact that the Peacekeepers dont have a prayer. Its mostly background for the new viewers, but like the character introductions, the execution of it is fluid enough to remain unobtrusive.
John and Aeryns first move, once they are restored, is a thing of beauty. One cant help but wonder how many takes it took to make it look so perfectly symmetrical, indicative of how they have joined fates together. The resulting showdown quickly reminds the audience that Moyas crew is on the planet under tenuous circumstances; misunderstandings aside, the crew is still considered a potential threat. This scene also gives the writers a chance to set the timeframe: 60 days have passed. In two months, things have gone from bad to much, much worse.
The scenes on Qujaga are mixed with scenes on the battlefront, where Scorpius is leading a somewhat effective charge on a Scarran fleet. Scorpius seems to have some strong tactics, and his knowledge is vital to the success of military operations. But as soon as Crichton is reconstituted, Scorpius is aware of it, and his priorities change dramatically. He elects to chase after Crichton rather than remain with the armada and achieve victory. Its a good scene that reminds the audience that Scorpius considers the wormhole weapon the ultimate prize; he would much rather chase the weapon that could end the war in seconds by sacrificing thousands of lives than fight out a protracted and costly campaign that could end in billions of casualties.
Continuing the strong exposition through creativity, John gets to give the audience a rather quick and dirty recap of the entire series to date during his endless interrogation by the aliens on Qujaga. Like the rest of the cast, Ben Browder steps right back into his Crichton persona, delivering a short monologue layered with deep sorrow and biting sarcasm in equal measure. This does much to set the tone and remind the audience that time hasnt passed for these characters; the insanity at the end of the fourth season has far more immediacy to them. This does much to explain why the characters have such a bunker mentality from the very beginning.
Grand Chancellor Maryk declares Scorpius a traitor, making it a standing order for the Peacekeepers to shoot on sight. Granted, theres no love lost between Maryk and Scorpius, given the hybrids previous orders, but one would think that the Peacekeepers have learned to interpret Scorpys behavior by now. Certainly Grayza has, and the fact that shes attached herself to Maryk so quickly speaks to her own ambitions. She wants to be in the position to take control when the time comes, and her ability to influence others is already well established.
Of course, the real shock when it comes to Grayza is her delicate condition. Not only does this play a large part in the final showdown, in terms of her psychological response to Crichtons gambit, it raises a very interesting question about paternity. While Peacekeepers certainly have the ability to keep a fertilized egg in biological stasis for up to seven cycles, the timing is incredibly suspect. Could John be the father of Grayzas child?
In a plot twist that was almost certainly planned for the fifth season as an ongoing storyline, it turns out that Rygel forgot to upchuck every little piece of crystallized Aeryn. In fact, the one piece he retained is, quite against the odds, the same piece that was the activated embryo in Aeryns womb. With John and Aeryn reconstituted, it seems that the baby was as well, and now Rygel is the mother to be. The proud parents are, of course, suitably annoyed, but not nearly as much as Rygel himself.
Having protected Earth in Bad Timing, Crichton has no intention of putting his new family at risk by wandering around a war-torn galaxy. Since the aliens on Qujaga are hidden behind a concealment barrier, Crichton wants nothing more than to keep himself and his family hidden away. For all he knows, the rest of the galaxy still thinks hes dead; as long as he stays out of view, theres no reason for him to believe that the war will come to him any time soon. The trick is convincing his hosts and friends to buy it.
Its bad enough that Scorpius is coming to crash the party, but the Scarrans apparently have a spy amongst the players aware of Crichtons restoration, and they are planning to send their own fleet to make a grab for Johns wormhole knowledge. The writers toss out Grunschlk as the obvious traitor, which makes it equally obvious that hes not the spy. All things being equal, at this point, the most logical assumption would have been that Chianas new eyes were in some way transmitting information to Ankna. (That was this reviewers guess, anyway)
As John and Aeryn prepare for marriage (with Aeryn in a black leather wedding ensemble, stunning as always), things come to an abrupt halt as a PK command carrier arrives overhead. Considering that the alien city is supposed to be cloaked, this does not help with the crews PR campaign to gain the aliens trust. For John, of course, it must bring back some uncomfortable memories of his hallucinations in Dog with Two Bones.
Sending Noranti into cover with the aliens is the perfect introduction to the first real shocker of the mini-series. Noranti quickly recognizes symbols and design elements that remind her of something else shes seen, and before the audience can call out What Was Lost, she proclaims that the aliens are Eidelons. Meanwhile, John, Aeryn, and DArgo go outside to greet their new wedding guest, whose identity is no surprise. Nor is it shocking to learn that Scorpy knew John was alive thanks to Harvey, Scorpys neural clone still partially resident in Crichtons psyche.
Which of course leads into a Harvey scene, something that the writers dont even bother to explain for the new viewers. Like the similar scenes during the series, its all about working out the context, and in this case, thats not very hard. Harvey makes it very clear that Scorpius plans for every contingency, and in this case, Scorpy is aware that Crichton knows about a source for wormhole weapon technology.
Crichton is adamant in his decision to deny wormhole weapons to either side in the war, since both sides were equally willing to hunt him down and ruin his life. Scorpius has every intention of pressing the issue as long as it takes. Here the writers speak to the obvious assumption immediately: the scene jumps back to John on his apparent deathbed, with the voiceover revealing that John gives Scorpius exactly what he wants. Taken in context with the opening scene, its clear that John somehow uses wormhole weapons to end the war, and it is not a good thing.
Among the many frustrating dangling plot threads left by the abrupt cancellation of the series, the hints about the true origins of the Peacekeepers, the connection between Sebaceans and Humans, and the lost temple on Arnessk were ranked at the very top. For Qujaga to be the home of the descendants of the priests dwelling in the restored temple at Arnessk is a stunning connection, and one that had to have been previously conceived for the fifth season. For those plot threads to be addressed in the mini-series was a huge selling point.
As noted in What Was Lost, the lost temple was maintained by a race that had the ability to influence peace. It was strongly suggested that there was some connection between that unknown race, Humans, Sebaceans, and another race called Interions. The keepers of the temple created a peace that would last thousands of years, but when their influence was lost due to an attack by an unknown agency, that peace slowly eroded. The current war was the inevitable long-term result. Noranti claims that the people on Qujaga and the keepers of the temple on Arnessk are all Eidelons, and that the ones on Arnessk ought to be able to awaken the same peace-generating ability in their descendents.
With Scorpius looking over their shoulders, Crichton understands that his desire for peace cannot be realized until he finds a way to end the war and thereby stop everyone from threatening him and his family. Aeryn, on the other hand, just wants to stay out of it. The two characters have come so far in four years, so that now theyre overlapping in their points of view. The old Aeryn would never have placed family above all else, thats for sure. John wants to believe that peace can be achieved other than at the barrel of a gun, so he opts to take some of the Eidelons from Qujaga to meet their revived ancestors on Arnessk.
Considering that this portion of the plot is covered in less than an episodes worth of time, the condensed nature of the plot is more than a little apparent. Still, some attempt is made to allow time for character moments, like the conversation between Pilot and Muoma, the leader of the Qujaga Eidelons. Its interesting to note how different Pilots voice sounds in this mini-series; there was a definite attempt to upgrade the sound effects as an enhancement, but quite often, Lani Tapus voice is recognizable. On the series, it was just different enough to keep the illusion intact.
With Noranti staying behind to educate the Qujaga Eidelons on their heritage, two Eidelons come on board as part of an initial delegation. Scorpy and leather-clad vixen Sikozu also come along, because its just not fun without Scorpius to stand there and give John the supremely-confident eye. Oh, and DArgo assumes that having a Peacekeeper officer could be useful when trying to cross Peacekeeper space. Grunschlk and his Diagnosan dont come along; however, they do give Aeryn a device for transferring the baby from Rygel when the time comes. And that time is coming damn fast, thanks to the super-efficient biology of the Peacekeepers.
In a nice sidebar to the main story, Rygel receives news that the Scarran invasion of Peacekeeper space has created some serious instability for his cousin Bishaan on Hyneria. As a result, Bishaan officially wants Rygel to come home and assume some level of control. Rygel is rather pleased to know that his long-held dream of restoration to Dominar status is finally coming to fruition, but Aeryn makes it very clear that the current crisis takes priority. Still, this is a nice way to give the rest of the characters a feeling that there is something to fight for, a personal peace. Its also good to see Rygels plot thread within reach of resolution.
Of course, nothing goes right in the world of John Crichton, and thanks to the traitor, the Scarrans are aware of the fact that Crichton is on his way to a place where he hopes to find a way to end the way. Emperor Staleek assumes that it must be wormhole weapons, so he orders Ahkna to engage the Peacekeepers over Qujaga and then subdue the inhabitants of the planet. He intends to follow Crichton. This is never a good thing, and the prospect of real violence is definitely present.
The plot takes a strange diversion into more standard Farscape territory when Moya is boarded by mercenaries working as border runners for the Peacekeepers. Considering that the mercenary Tregans attack just as John and Aeryn are once again attempting marriage, its fairly clear that a literal shotgun wedding is in the cards. Since Scorpious was brought on board to help them get through Peacekeeper space, Crichton insists that he do his job. Scorpius looks thrilled at the chance to toss out colorful threats.
Scorpius is the kind of character that makes for incredible action poses, and this mini-series abounds with reasons that Scorpius should star in every television series currently made. His confrontation with the Tregans is classic Scorpy, just as Johns use of Scorpius as a shield is classic Crichton. As the fourth season indicated again and again, having Crichton and Scorpius in the same room is a recipe for instant drama.
Even if the Tregan attack seems somewhat removed from the main plot, it does provide a vehicle for some important plot developments. For one, it kills off one of the two Eidelons that were to gain the ancient knowledge from Arnessk, lessening the chances of success. Second, it gives Chiana a chance to display her new X-ray vision eyes, which is important later in the story. And third, it gives DArgo and Aeryn a chance to have a heart-to-heart about parenting. Its interesting to know that Aeryn is still not sold on being a mother; it speaks to her love for John that she would take that step for his sake alone.
If the connection between the Eidelons and Arnessk is one of the mini-series greatest strengths, then the characterization of Jool has to be the primary weakness. Jool gets barely any screen time in this mini-series, and in the end, theres a plot-driven reason for that. That makes it harder to understand why the character is saddled with some bizarre native huntress persona and a completely unjustified love for Crichton. Its not funny, it makes no sense, and it changes the motivations of the character in a major way without explanation.
Once the crew and Pikal, the surviving Qujagan Eidelon, finally meet with the Eidelons in the lost temple, the ancestors are less than enthusiastic about getting involved in galactic affairs again. And from their point of view, they dont understand why they should; after all, the Peacekeepers were supposed to keep things in order for them. The chief priest, Yondalao, seems to take Aeryns counsel to get involved and help their heirs inspire peace, but its still not enough. It requires some of Crichtons usual antics to get Yondalao to understand the urgency of the proposal.
As Yondalao and Pikal have a generational discussion, theres time for a quiet moment between John and Aeryn. These moments are the real highlights, because the series itself was centered on the epic romance of these two characters. Johns travails were really all about getting the universe to back off so he could have the life he wanted with Aeryn. In this case, its Aeryn and their child, which Aeryn points out will be coming within days, not months. John is suitably stunned and pleased at the same time.
An unexpected pleasure is the conversation between Aeryn and Sikozu, two characters that had very little in common cause during the fourth season. Its interesting to see Sikozus mind at work, especially since there is little point for her to be lying in this particular scene. One can actually believe that Sikozu loves Scorpius on some level, but she also still has trouble with the idea of inferiority. It would have been interesting to see that relationship explored, had the fifth season been made.
The true motivations of the previous scene are indicated when its revealed that Scorpius is pushing John to explore other options while pursuing peace. The wormhole weapons are certainly on Scorpys mind, but John is adamant that they attempt to use the abilities of the Eidelons to their advantage first. After all, he notes, peace forged in the heat of conflict often lasts longer. Its quite clear, however, that Crichton is also trying to convince himself.
The pacing never really lets up, so these moments of relative calm are quickly broken when Staleeks vessel is detected on its way into Arnessk space. This is a very bad development, and one that Scorpius knows shouldnt be possible. Crichton tries to convince Jool and the Eidelons to leave the planet, but only Yondalao agrees to travel with Crichton back to Qujaga. This decision is alarming, because the audience cant help but know that something very bad is going to happen. Sure enough, within moments, the Scarrans wipe the temple (including Jool and the remaining Eidelons on Arnessk) out of existence.
Jools death might have been more effective had her character been more prominent and consistent with her earlier appearances during the series, but as it stands, it is overshadowed by the fact that the most obvious solution for peace no longer exists. Its somewhat ironic, considering what they all went through to restore the lost temple in the first place, but its a classic Farscape move to defy expectation at every possible turn.
Critical decisions need to be made when Moyas attempt at emergency starburst is halted, forcing the crew to surrender to the Scarrans. In an interesting move, DArgo and Chiana jump into his ship and immediately cloak. This could have easily been purely in service of the plot, but like much of Farscape, the writers dont have the characters act in a certain way just to move the story along. Far more shocking is Aeryns insistence that Yondalao be the priority over Rygel; that drives home the fact that Aeryn is desperately hoping for a peaceful resolution to the war.
The first look at the Decimator is damned impressive. The production values on this mini-series are top-notch, and it helps to make the confrontation between Staleek and the crew that much more visually daunting. Staleek does reveal the presence of a traitor among Moyas crew a little too conveniently, but at that point, the crew should have been wondering anyway. One nice touch is the strong continuity with the events at the end of the fourth season, right down to a reference to Scorpys Byzantine goals. When Staleek rips out Scorpys coolant system, all of the previous torture scenes from Were So Screwed come flooding back.
Back on his ship, DArgo reveals that he wants to take up Rygels offer to settle down on Hyneria. This echoes his similar decision earlier in the series, when he was planning on taking Chiana off to live the rural life, far away from the growing war. She wasnt willing to go with him then, but time and experience have obviously had their toll. As soon as the option is raised, of course, the audience knows that one of them wont survive. Its just a given!
Staleek and Ahkna understand very well that placing Rygel and the baby in mortal danger is the perfect psychological torture, even if they disagree on keeping them alive. And in a certain sense, because of that threat, Crichton is forced to go a lot farther than he would have ever wanted to prove that wormhole weapons are beyond his capability. This is reminiscent of Crichtons decision to distract Scorpius by giving him a ride down a wormhole in Into the Lions Den, but with much higher stakes.
In the meantime, there is one final connection to be made with the hints dropped in What Was Lost. Yondalao reveals that the Peacekeepers were genetically engineered by the Eidelons from a primitive race that none of the warring peoples had ever heard of before. While its never said explicitly, the meaning is fairly clear: humans were the genetic forebears of the Sebaceans. This origin for the Peacekeepers goes a long way towards explaining why Humans and Sebaceans are genetically compatible, and also why there is such an emphasis on cultural and genetic purity among the Peacekeepers. As Yondalao said, the original motivations for the Peacekeepers lifestyle slowly but surely evolved into the rigid, monolithic organization hated and feared.
The true nature of Johns gamble can be measured by the extremity of Harveys proposed alternative. Killing Staleek would certainly throw the Scarrans into disarray, but John is probably aware that Ahkna is more than willing to step into the role of Empress and continue the war unabated, killing Johns family and friends immediately as a start. Her casual decision to destroy DArgos ship is a perfect example. Demonstrating that he cannot create the weapons desired is Johns only real option.
Its not clear how John knows how to initiate contact with Einstein, the other-dimensional version of an Ancient. He shouldnt be able to, since it was Einstein that purposefully initiated a limited and difficult contact in Unrealized Reality. One can assume that Einstein was aware of Crichtons need, and allowed the contact despite disapproving of it. One thing is very clear from that scene: Staleek now has personal evidence that Crichton cannot create wormhole weapons. This is the beginning of an interesting exploration of Staleeks character, something that was an unexpected pleasure.
Upon return, Staleek learns of Ahknas treachery, and he is not pleased. His word seems very important to him, and he makes a concerted effort to maintain some semblance of patience. It should be remembered at this point that the substance that allows the Scarrans to maintain their intelligence was lost at the end of the fourth season. As Emperor, Staleek is under pressure to assure the future of his people by any means necessary. He has been forced into the war by lack of resources, unconvinced that negotiation would ever work. To keep his word is to maintain the veneer of civilization that the Scarrans want so badly.
Yondalao, armed with an inner knowledge of the Scarran psyche and ready to use his powers to influence peace, points all of this out to Staleek (without getting too far into the details of why Staleek feels this way). By Staleeks reaction, it seems as though Yondalaos suggestion that the Scarrans could prove everyone wrong by initiating a peace effort was something he had long wished could happen. Scenes like this give the Scarrans a more complete characterization, rather than setting them up as cardboard cutout villains.
As is typical for Farscape, one moment of hope must be countered by a moment of treachery. Even as Staleek discusses a possible avenue for peaceful resolution to the war, Grayza assassinates Grand Chancellor Maryk for even considering surrender. Grayza has no intention of letting the Scarrans remain a threat to the Peacekeeper way of life. Its clear that Grayzas mandate of peace by any means necessary has become victory by any means necessary. One has to hand it to her; she certainly knows how to stay on task!
If Jools part in the story was a serious weakness in the narrative, then Jothees role does much to counter it. After the initial confusion of hearing everyone call some stranger Jothee (the actor looks and sounds very different), its great to see yet another plot thread pulled into the big finish. Jothees story may not have been one of the most compelling during the series, but it was important to DArgos character arc to see his son leading Luxan warriors into battle.
Chianas new visual talents, however, become a major plot point. Her enhanced vision would have played better if it had been established over the course of several episodes. The writers took the time for the Tragen attack at least partially to reinforce Chianas new ability, but one can hardly characterize that as a highlight. To the uninitiated, Chianas new eyes probably felt like a plot convenience, but the fact is, the writers mapped out the fourth and fifth season well in advance. Chianas evolving eyesight probably dates back that far.
Yondalaos death is a sudden but understandable plot development. Staleek reacts in a somewhat unfortunate manner, however, not realizing that his concessions and peace plan were really already in his mind, waiting to be given form. If the Eidelons were simply pacifying people en masse, then its unlikely that Crichton would want them in a position to control the fate of the entire galaxy. The character development for Staleek indicates that he wants peace, but he simply doesnt know how to bring it about. Ahkna, however, has no interest in peaceful co-existence with any other species.
Crichtons decision after to force Stark to gain Yondalaos knowledge is harsh but ultimately in character. Crichton has been forced, time and again, to set side his moral code to protect his loved ones, and considering what Stark tried to do to him in John Quixote, theres probably a little payback involved as well. Once again, the writers take established character aspects and use them to further the plot. Everything that happened with the alternate Stark in the fourth season leads up to this moment.
Since no crisis can exist in a vacuum, Rygels ability to carry the baby comes to an end at that exact moment, and sure enough, Staleek rewards the prisoners by trading the peace pipe with a deadly stasis gas. The prospect of being effectively dead but still alive enough for experimentation is just so very pleasant. Of course, theres no question that they get out of the trap, because once again, the writers flash forward to after the war to remind the audience that Crichton does in fact use a wormhole weapon and its all for the sake of his family. Whether or not John pays the ultimate price for his family is kept nicely vague, and given the mythological structure of the story, its all too easy to assume that he will.
Recalling that bioloid Sikozu has a number of useful finger-tools, making her the hottest Swiss Army knife in the known universe, Crichton thinks fast on his feet and uses the conveniently combustible gas to escape the trap. Forgiving for a moment the concept of directing the combustion of a gas cloud, the distraction lets Jothee also show off the capabilities of the upgrades in Luxan warship technology. Also forgiving the fact that DArgo didnt recognize the design of his ship as being Luxan despite the fact that modern Luxan ships look rather similar, its a lot of fun to watch the pretty explosions.
This opening scene sets the pace for the second half of the mini-series, since the quick and dirty overview of what would have been the bulk of the fifth season was more or less covered in the first two hours. Now its all about triggering every possible plot point established, and doing it with lethal calculation. The firefight on the Decimator establishes the fighting capability of the Luxans under Jothees command, and its just plain hilarious to watch John and Aeryn in a very delicate moment while dodging gunfire. (This is also nice foreshadowing of the eventual birth scene.)
With some small measure of hope restored, the crew returns to Moya armed with the knowledge that Staleek, at least, will not be hunting them down again any time soon. That doesnt mean that events are any closer to resolution, since they still need to get Stark to Qujaga to pass on the mind-frelling gift of peace. How thats supposed to work is never quite explained, but Stark has pulled off stranger things, so its not worth questioning. Just to keep the audience in the loop, Scorpius reminds an impatient Sikozu that he is still leading Crichton right down the path to wormhole weapons. Sikozus questions about the timing, of course, are related to her true mission for the Scarrans.
Jothee stays on Moya, which gives DArgo the chance for some sense of closure over the events of Suns and Lovers, way back in the early third season. Considering how ominous DArgos plans for the pastoral life on Hyneria were, his apparent chance to find peace of mind with his son adds to the foreboding. Thankfully, at this point, the writers have only revealed that Aeryn and Moya make it out alive at the end, so theres no sense that DArgo is the only one with a high chance of being dead before the war ends.
It doesnt take long for Crichton to come to the conclusion that the Eidelons arent a very likely option for creating the peace he wants; they are simply too vulnerable and coming into the process way too late. Theres an irony in his decision that goes back to the very first episode. Crichton immediately rejected the peace of the gun methods employed by the Peacekeepers, but in the end, thats exactly the method he knows he must employ.
Meanwhile, Grayzas gambit to take control of the Peacekeeper defensive posture comes to fruition. Shes well aware of the fact that Crichton is alive, and that something of immense value is hidden within the city on Qujaga. With Braka commanding a desperate defense, its only logical for Grayza to engage the Scarrans there. Despite all their differences, Grayza clearly understands that whatever has value for Scorpius has value to her. Of course, once Staleek and Ahkna learn about the Eidelons from Sikozu, they want to escalate the efforts to destroy every last one of them. The stage is set for a massive confrontation.
If the previous scene with Einstein is somewhat confusing in terms of Johns ability to call upon the other-dimensional Ancients, then the subsequent scene is confusing for the pure and simple reason that Einstein grants Crichton the knowledge he seeks. This is a scene that could have used a little more dialogue or explanation. It can be inferred that the Ancients were giving Crichton the knowledge because they knew how he would use it, but its one hell of a gamble, and contrary to the Ancients previous design.
To further explore Aeryns character development, she gets a chance to debate with John about his decision. Its interesting that she objects, since his decision is based on a mode of thinking that she has followed since childhood. John makes his case again, emphasizing his obligation to family. But Aeryn makes a very good point: John isnt the only one taking care of people, and it just about kills her to see John compromising his own values to end a war that he shouldnt have to deal with.
In keeping with the pacing from the first half, the journey back to Qujaga is just long enough to continue with some short but sweet character moments. Rygels post-partum depression is hilarious, and Chianas attempt to spoon-feed Stark evokes similar parental memories. The most important scene, however, is the one between Pilot and Crichton. Pilot and Moya object to John building the wormhole weapon technology on purely philosophical terms, questioning Johns motives and the morality of his self-centered decision. As usual, the production is strong enough for the audience to completely overlook the fact that Pilot is a glorified puppet.
Immediately, the action picks up again, as Moya drops out of starburst into the middle of a raging battle between Scorpys PK carrier and the Scarrans over Qujaga. The shot of Moya hitting the water and slamming into the seabed is stunning, and in a nice bit of internal consistency, all those open wounds from the Tregan attack make staying on Moya next to impossible since none of the crew has gills. Getting Stark to the surface and in touch with the surviving population of the city is critical, and the situation topside escalates with the arrival of Grayzas fleet.
In the midst of it all, Aeryn does something that speaks to the love and respect she has for John. She pleads his case for the wormhole weapon to Pilot and Moya, knowing full well that her bond with Pilot gives the request that much more weight. This is an aspect of the scene that could be lost on new viewers who dont know the history between the two characters, especially since the interaction is very subtle.
The escape from the flooding Moya is designed to take just enough time for all the players to arrive in the space above, sending the conflict into complete overdrive. Along with Jothee and his Merry Luxan Men, the crew races to get Stark to Brakas location in the Qujagan temple, where several Eidelons are being protected at great cost. As the story marches on, the chances for restoring the Eidelons get smaller and smaller, as the writers expertly force events into a crucible for Crichton.
Perfectly aware that Crichton has an amazing survival rate, Staleek offers Ahkna her most fervent dream should she bring evidence of Crichtons death and kill the remaining Eidelons: she will be Empress of the Scarrans while he administrates governance of the galaxy. As shown in the fourth season, Ahknas chances for that ultimate prize were highly compromised, and this is exactly the psychological prodding Staleek knows will get the job done.
On the way to the temple, the crew encounters Grunschlk, and the debate over whether or not hes the traitor returns to the forefront. Unfortunately, its long past the point where the crew should be considering him a possible candidate, since the traitor transmitted information that could only have been known by someone on Moya. Maybe thats a factor in keeping Grunschlk alive, but it seems more of a minor plot oversight or convenience. Just to keep the improbable deception going with the audience, Ahkna contacts Staleek and says, point blank, that the spy is now with Crichton.
Once at the temple, several of the running plot threads are triggered, ratcheting up the tension immediately (as if its not already high enough at this point!). Stark tries to keep himself and the remaining Eidelons alive while preparing to transfer the ability to create peace, the Peacekeepers and crew prepare to defend against another massive Scarran assault, and Aeryns water breaks. Its the usual Farscape brand of chaos, multiplied by 10 times over.
Starks part is resolved rather quickly, but a further complication is added. Sure enough, there arent enough Eidelons left in the temple to exert enough influence, even if they are all trained by Muoma. Noranti (who finally factors back into the plot) has gathered enough of them to make a difference, but they are cut off from the temple. With Moya unable to get back to the surface until sunrise, those within the temple are cut off from assistance and the other Eidelons. The net effect is that the Eidelons are no longer a viable short-term option, forcing Crichton to survive long enough to get the baby born safely under fire and then try to find a way to activate his wormhole weapon.
Of course, the Diagnosan gets killed right away, just after pointing out that the baby is breech and has to be turned. As if labor isnt hell enough, Chiana has to manage this while Aeryn is still firing her rifle at oncoming Scarrans. In a sense, this is probably a good thing, because right about then, Aeryn is ready to kill Crichton for the wonderful gift of Human labor. She certainly gets to vent her aggression!
Through quick cuts between the battle scenes, its revealed that Jothee has secured a Scarran transport to safeguard the surviving Eidelons; its just a matter of getting Muoma out of the temple. With the conditions less than sanitary, John tries to convince Aeryn to get into the central fountain. Shes less than enthusiastic. Somewhat harder to discern is Scorpys sudden realization that something is amiss about Sikozu.
What exactly it is that tips Scorpius off is hard to figure out, but its even harder to understand when and why Sikozu would have joined the other side. One could presume that it was during the gangs time on Katratzi, when Sikozu would have had the interests of her people in mind. But Sikozu had been working with the underground to undermine the Scarrans all along, so why the change of heart? Again, it would have made more sense for Chianas eyes to be bugged in some fashion, rather than force a betrayal that doesnt quite hold water. Its even stranger that Scorpy doesnt kill her right then and there; perhaps thats some sign of his actual love for her.
With the baby on its way, the writers stage an absolutely hilarious wedding scene that just about encapsulates everything that is Farscape in one quick succession of misunderstands and madness. It all ends in the birth of John and Aeryns son, which is a banner moment for the series. Had this taken place in the middle of the series itself, it might have spelled disaster; coming during a true event like this mini-series, it adds to the drama in less threatening way. Its also a little surprising to see a child so young actually on screen; that kid looks like a newborn in the close-ups, and thats not something typically done in American television.
To get the baby to safety and make it to the point where Moya can extract them, the gang goes on the offensive. This takes the ongoing battle out onto the streets, leaving the fates of Grunschlk and Sikozu completely unresolved. One could assume that they are killed at some point later in the narrative, especially if they dont find a way off the planet. Still, this minor glitch is nothing when compared against the seemingly endless series of glorious action stills. Aeryn with her baby takes down the enemy, and Scorpius spends every other moment making damn sure he looks as badass as he most assuredly is. The whole thing feels like Saving Private Ryan remade for the future.
It all comes to a head in a street battle that forces Jothee to strafe the entire area to eliminate the bulk of Ahknas forces. In the chaos that follows, Jothee gets the Eidelons to safety, leaving just the crew to make it to safety. In the ensuing flight to the extraction point, Ahkna manages one last attack on Crichton. Since this is the last of the hand-to-hand combat scenes, its not surprising that this is the moment DArgo is mortally wounded. But it happens so fast that its almost easy to overlook, and theres also Aeryns satisfying kill shot to Ahknas head. (Leaving aside, of course, the fact that Ben Browders wife plays Ahkna, which makes the scene too warped for words!)
DArgos death scene is one of the most moving moments of the mini-series, and it really sets off a barrage of incredible moments. As long as the siege is in the second half, it serves to keep the tension from fading. By the time DArgo is dying, the audience is exhausted by the war and stunned by the immediacy of its cost. The writers do an incredible job of letting each character say their farewell in their own unique way: Aeryn treats him as a fellow warrior, Stark offers to ease his passing, and Rygel simply touches him on the arm, expressing regret the only way he knows how.
The most moving farewells, of course, come from John and Chiana. John and DArgo developed an incredible friendship over the span of the series, and that bond became almost as strong as the one between John and Aeryn. John once sacrificed himself for Jothees sake, placing himself in Scorpius hands, and now DArgo is returning the favor. In one last act of forgiveness, he gives Chiana his Qualta blade. In a nice reference to one of their better days during the series, John tasks DArgo with the responsibility of telling the first Scarran who his daddy is. Its doubtful that theres a fan out there that wasnt struck with a sense of loss as DArgo made his last stand, allowing the others to get to the extraction point and escape.
Caught up in the full-scale war erupting over the planet, Crichton arrives on the command deck to see the wormhole weapon waiting for him. With the Eidelons safe and secure with Jothee and Moya under considerable fire, the moment of truth arrives. Everything has been leading to this one moment, the moment that almost never came to pass. Still reeling from DArgos death, the crew is ready for Crichton to end the war once and for all. But only he understands the true nature of the weapon, and the terrible price to be paid if its used.
After drawing Scorpius into saying that firing the wormhole weapon is what he truly wants, Crichton launches it into the space between the Peacekeepers and Scarrans. What follows is easily one of the best CGI sequences in the history of television. Hell, it even beats the pants off of most feature films. Ship after ship is pulled into the growing maelstrom of a rapidly expanding black hole, but even then, Staleek and Grayza continue to fire, all until the event horizon reaches so far that Qujaga itself is ripped apart before their eyes. Its a moment of such total annihilation that its impossible to describe in sufficient detail; it is the culmination of every action sequence ever put to film during the four seasons of the series.
With only Staleeks Decimator, Grayzas carrier, and Moya left on the edge of the maw, unable to escape, Crichton completes his endgame. He makes it very clear: the wormhole weapon cannot create peace; it can only destroy. People need to forge peace, and if that doesnt happen, then Crichton will let the black hole expand until they all die, and then everything will eventually be destroyed.
Grayza offers to stand down and sue for peace for the sake of our children. This once again suggests that her unborn child is Johns progeny as well, but its certainly not a given. Staleek hesitates, but he was already willing at one point to entertain a peaceful resolution. Perhaps aware that victory is out of reach without peace, he agrees as well. When Crichton jumps back into the machine to halt the process, its not without cost; Einstein fulfills his promise to remove the knowledge of wormholes from Crichtons mind. The process works, but the toll on Crichton is not at all pleasant.
When he falls to the ground, Aeryns hysterical screaming, quite out of character, drives it all home. For quite some time, it seemed inevitable that John would only make it out of the crucible by dying. Even Scorpius seems to be struck by the knowledge of it, even if he is altogether too pleased with himself for bringing about his own personal victory by forcing Crichtons hand. Finally, events catch up with all those flashes of John on his deathbed, and one cant help but remember the final scene of Infinite Possibilities. Certainly Aeryn cant imagine saying goodbye to the man she loves twice in less than two years.
Time is spent giving most of the characters some sense of closure. Stark finally gets the peace that he has been seeking, no longer cursed with the connection to the spiritual world that plagued his mind. Chiana still intends to get to Hyneria in honor of DArgo. Jothee doesnt take his fathers blade, so its left to question how all of that is meant to play out, but resolution doesnt mean that all the questions are answered. In a nice homage to 2001, Harvey fades out of existence, no longer necessary now that Scorpius wishes have been fulfilled.
The rest of the final act is utterly devoted to the shippers and saps in the audience, though its hard to imagine anyone who wouldnt feel something for John and Aeryn in that moment. Watching John awake with his son at his side was incredibly touching, especially Aeryns expression at the sight of father and son. Theres no question that they would name the child DArgo! Its pure melodrama, but damn if it doesnt make perfect sense for the character arcs and provide the perfect ending to Johns story.