Bone To Be Wild

 

Summary: Chased by the Peacekeepers and Scorpius, the crew has found an asteroid field in which to hide. They receive a distress call from one of the large asteroids and decide to investigate. D'Argo, Zhaan and John find a small world filled with lush vegetation and one woman, M'Lee, being attacked by a "Swamp Thing."

Things are not as they seem as it's the woman who is the killer and the other creature, Br'Nee, is her prey. M'Lee is a bone-eating creature whose people where put on the asteroid to rid it of all animals. They did their job too well and now M'Lee is the only one of her kind left. She is slowly starving; John, D'Argo and Br'Nee are on the menu.

Meanwhile, Aeryn has boarded Moya's child and has established a relationship with it. The ship recognizes Aeryn as Peacekeeper and slowly learns to trust her. The Peacekeepers are having issues of their own. Scorpius has prepared a report detailing Crais' crimes to High Command that will surely result in the captain's execution. Crais is powerless to stop Scorpius from taking over command of his ship and the search for John Chrichton.

Analysis:

Going back to mid season, Farscape was on quite a roll. At least eight episodes of such quality entertainment that one had to wonder how long the show could keep up the pace before letting up a bit. Well, every streak has an end and Bone to be Wild is Farscape's. This horrible episode is so bad, it makes JC look like quality television. I had to take a shower after watching BTBW just to get it's stink off of me. Did I say I didn't like it? This choppy episode just seemed out of step with those that preceded it. Here are a few of my issues:

The acting is not up to standard here. I suspect the cast, after reading the dreadful script, just mailed in their performances. Ben, in particular, seemed distant and out of character here. I read that he hadn't acted with his wife, Francesca Buller(M'Lee), in nearly ten years-it showed. He seemed uncomfortable with the material and played John a little too cavalier to be believable. John spends most of the episode being stupid and waving a gun.

Then there is M'Lee. Yes, I know, she is starving. But I felt her plight was being rammed down my throat. I've seen over-the-top characters before, but this was really annoying. Please, please, please,please, please can you help me? Please, please, please go away! Ms. Buller is obviously an accomplished actress, but I don't think anyone could have done much with the material she had to work with. It would be nice to see her character return with a more engaging script.

So, Zhaan is a plant-that's nice. Too bad this interesting revelation is wasted on such a bad script. And don't even get me started on the whole cannibalism issue- I'm trying to forget it.

Of course, every pile of dren has it's bright spots and this stinker of an episode is no exception.

The scenes of Aeryn with Moya's baby are great. First, the set design for the baby is first class and reeks of money well spent. Second, and more important, Claudia Black's performance was a delight. Aeryn almost glowed when she was with the child - do we see a little maternal instinct here?

M'Lee with Scorpius at the end was rather fun.

The ending credits - never have they been so sweet or taken so long to arrive.

Overall, the worst episode of season one. I may be addicted to Farscape, but a few more episodes like this one and I'll be cured.

July 11, 2001 update:

I've gotten a number of emails from scapers questioning why I rank this episode dead-last for season one. I think my reasons are laid out for you in the text above, but I'll add one more. Not sure exactly what it is about BTBW, but it's the only episode that put me in a bad mood after watching it. I got spoiled by Farscape producing, week after week, one amazing episode after another. After getting blown away by Nerve and THM, I found this episode to be a complete turn-off.

Part of the problem involves the way Crichton behaves in this episode. At the time of first broadcast, I assumed Ben Browder had lost his mind, considering the way he was playing Crichton. Little did I know at the time that it was Crichton who was losing his mind. Spoilers: I'm speculating about this, but it's possible that Kemper & Co. told Ben about the Scorpius chip in John's head and wanted Crichton to display a slighly different personality in this episode. While Ben does a wonderful job in season two with John's mental situation, I get the feeling he hadn't given much thought as to how he'd play a changed Crichton at this point in season one. The result is a Crichton character that is a very rough draft of what we'll see in season two.

Watching BTBW for the first time in over a year, I still don't like it and stand behind my rating of this episode.

 

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Originally aired in the US January 21, 2000

Writers: David Kemper & Rockne S. O'Bannon

Director: Andrew Prowse

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