Episode Guide > Season Two > Vitas Mortis

US OAD: March 24, 2000

Written by: Grant McAloon

Directed By: Tony Tilse

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While visiting a commerce planet, the crew are told there is an old Luxon woman nearby who must find another of her kind for some important reason. Against Crichton's better judgment, D'Argo and Zhaan decide to find this woman and learn what she wants. It turns out her name is Nilaam and she is a Orican-a holly woman. Though still powerful, she is dying and needs D'Argo's assistance in the "Ritual of Passage." This involves the sharing of spirits, D'Argo accompanying the woman's spirit to the holly realm and poses some danger for the Luxan warrior. John is very suspicious of the woman, but D'Argo ignores the human, accepts the consequences of what may happen, and goes through with the ritual.

The ritual involved Nilaam tapping into D'Argo's life energy. But when she does so, Nilaam inadvertently taps into Moya's life energy instead. Being a very large creature, Moya has the energy allowing Nilaam to initiate a very different ritual - the Ritual of Renewal. Instead of dying, Nilaam is transformed into a young, healthy sexpot ready to take on the world and D'Argo. Thinking the energy came from D'Argo, Nilaam decides the thank him by promising to find his son, help the crew find their homes, and make D'Argo a legitimate general. More importantly, she has wild Luxon sex with D'Argo.

Unfortunately, there is that word again, the life force Nilaam tapped into is draining Moya and aging her. The longer Nilaam lives, the closer the Leviathan comes to death. The crew is placed in serious jeopardy by the events Thinking Nilaam may have done all this by plan, they try to stop her. But she is too powerful for Peacekeeper weapons and it is up to John to convince D'Argo that Moya's only hope for survival is the death of Nilaam.


Vitas Mortis is an interesting, if dark, story that allows the viewer a glimpse of Luxan culture and mysticism. This story introduces the character of Nilaam - she is neither a hero nor a true villain. She honestly thought the great energy was D'Argo's and clearly wouldn't intentionally harm Moya. However, once the deed was done, she was understandably reluctant to save the Leviathan ship by killer herself.

Perhaps the only disturbing aspect of this episode involves the way John has been acting lately. He seems different--detatched--almost on edge all the time. The Aurora chair apparently had a long lasting effect on the human and has make him less likable, more cocky, and annoying. It is not the only change from last season.

One of the hallmarks of season one has been the effect John has with the females of nearly every species he has come in contact with. How refreshing to see Nilaam, in her young and sexy carnation, push John aside like he was day old bread. She wouldn't give Mr. Blue eyes the time of day - that wouldn't have happened last season. It is also symbolic of how different season two is compared to season one. Every Farscape cliché, every assumption one can make about the show can be thrown out the window. VM has a tone that is unlike any of the episodes in season one and is a sign of things to come. Good-bye Livin' La Vida Loca, hello Carmina Burana.



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