Episode Guide > Season Two > Dream A Little Dream

US OAD: June 23, 2000

Written by: Steven Rae

Directed by: Ian Watson

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Summary:

Zhaan still experiences disturbing visions of John, D'Argo, and Aeryn dying immediately following the destruction of the Gammak base at the end of season one. Zhaan's meditation hasn't relieved the nightmares and John offers to help by listening to her concerns. The root cause for Zhaan's anxiety is the terrible experience she had on Litigara. Finally opening her concerns to John, Zhaan tells of the events immediately following FT that nearly broke her spirit.

After Moya had starburst, Zhaan, Chiana, and Rygel didn't know if their crew mates had made it from the Gammak base mission alive. For many solar days they searched every planetary system within range of Aeryn's Prowler. The final planet, their last hope for reuniting with their friends, was a planet called Litigara. This metropolis-like planet's population is 90% lawyers and one of them decides to take advantage of Zhaan's desperation.

Framed for the murder of a civil rights leader, Zhaan was charged with a crime she didn't commit. Her court appointed lawyer was not interested in defending Zhaan, so it was up to Chiana and Rygel to serve as her counsel. If ever there were two people well suited to be lawyers, it would be those two. However, according to Litigaran law, attorneys caught lying or mounting a deceptive defense are sentenced to the same punishment as their client. In this case, that would be death. Stumped by a complex alien legal system and the burden of telling the truth, Chiana and Rygel are out of their element and Zhaan's conviction seems inevitable. To make matters worse, Moya desperately wants to return to the asteroid field and search for her child. Pilot, caught in the middle of the conflicting priorities, can only emphasize to Chiana that Moya will wait no longer.

During her incarceration, Zhaan is visited by visions of John, Aeryn, and D'Argo. Her beloved crew mates give Zhaan strength during her ordeal and she is convinced the a return to her Priestess ways is the only path to salvation. Chiana and Rygel learn that the terribly complex legal system has a much simpler origin and decide to use this fact to their advantage.

However, once Chiana and Rygel start a competent legal defense, they learn the planet's powerful ruler is behind Zhaan's charges. Leaving the planet alive is not as simple as winning a trial - Chiana and Rygel must turn to their devious strengths in a long shot attempt to save Zhaan.

Analysis:

This episode has an interesting history. Originally intended as the season two premiere and called "Re-Union," DALD was sacked and replaced by episode #2--Mind The Baby--as the first episode. The beginning and ending scenes, with John and Zhaan aboard a transport pod, were filmed after the decision to alter broadcast order was made. After watching this episode, I can understand why the broadcast order was changed, but I don't agree with the decision. DALD is a fascinating and engaging episode featuring Zhaan, Chiana, and Rygel. The fact that John, D'Argo, and Aeryn's fate from FT is not settled simply would have added to the anticipation. The "what if" aside, DALD is a strong episode for Farscape and a joy to behold - no matter where it is placed in the season.

Zhaan is consumed with fear and guilt over the fate of her crew mates. Desperately seeking any information as to their fate, she is caught in the tangled legal web of local politics. The interaction between Chiana and Rygel, serving as defense counsel, is hilarious. They're not quite a legal dream team, but the methods they employ to save Zhaan are clever and very fitting for a couple of shrewd con artists.

Should add that I find the scenes at the beginning and end, featuring Zhaan and John, very interesting. While most of this episode was shot in November or December, the J&Z scenes would have been filmed much later - I'm guessing March or April. To me, they are a glimpse into the future of season two. For much of this season, John has been written as distant and uptight. He bares little resemblance to the John so many people enjoyed in season one. How nice it is to see his character written as a compassionate and understanding person, once again. Since this scene was filmed when later episodes--those we haven't seen yet--where being filmed, I suspect this old style John is written as he appears in those later episodes. At least, I hope so. Perhaps Farscape is moving away from its death and depressing phase and into something else.

Frankly, when this episode was sacked, I figured it was done because DALD was a stinker. Nothing could be farther from the truth - it is wonderful and very entertaining.

 

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