John wakes up on Earth. Things seem normal at first, but John's friends and enemies from the uncharted territories start appearing as human-like characters in a strange, mirror image of Earth. As the episode progresses, John slowly loses his grasp on sanity. Only Scorpius, the Scorpius John has been seeing visions of lately, holds the key to keeping John sane and alive.

This stunning episode will either amaze or disgust the Farscape fan. The last 15 minutes is a strange and brilliant flurry of scenes with an unsettling conclusion. WGFA is, bar none, the most daring and risky episode Farscape has ever produced. Yet, I don't get the impression WGFA is a "let's make a 'blow their minds' episode for the hell of it" episode. WGFA has purpose and consequence. No guts - no glory. For a more detailed analysis please read below.

 

 

Guest Analysis by 3Dbud

WGFA-Whom the Gods Would Destroy

Good afternoon, class. Today, Professor Buddd will lecture on WGFA. Anyone who has not done his homework and watched the episode may be excused now. From reading your papers, I see some of you have missed the point of this episode. So I will try to clear up some things for you. IMHO.

The Scarren is trying to destroy Crichton by twisting his hopes and fears. These are *not* his memories or his fantasies, these are distortions meant to hurt, torment, and disgust him into breaking. The key word is *context.* Write that down. Crichton says things are out of context. By putting the episode into context, we can understand the writer's intentions. And remember that word *disgust.* Crichton is a man with strong moral values (despite some lapses, he is Human. Humans may be Superior, but they aren't perfect.) and a strong sense of family, both his Earth family and his family on Moya. So, context. Most of the characters are out of context. They are the reverse of the way they are usually perceived.

Aeryn--John loves Aeryn, but she's not ready for a relationship with him. So in this context, she is seen getting it on with everyone but him. She's the one who looks after him, the one he depends on, so she's portrayed as a doctor, a figure of trust. But he soon discovers he can't trust her. He comments on her hair and that is later distorted into giant rollers inappropriately worn to work. He loves her, so the Scarren does everything he can to make her as disgusting and unappealing as possible to John.

D'Argo--D'Argo is John's best friend. From the very wistful "We'll never be friends." in TtBRC to the "I love hanging with you, man." In FT, John has worked very hard to cultivate this friendship. So D'Argo is shown as a man who loves beer, fast women, and fast cars. The complete opposite of Crichton's Earth friend, DK. John is expected to be turned off by this D'Argo, but he accepts him because he realizes it's an illusion. This confuses DK, but John is playing along. Later, when D'Argo comes on to him in the car and cranks up the disgust level by adding that Chiana wants to watch, Crichton backs off. The Scarren has reached John's disgust level. John laughs, hanging onto his sanity.

Zhaan--Zhaan was the first to accept John's alienness aboard Moya. Go back to Genesis "It takes me 10 minutes to open the door." The others regard him as a lower life form or as an idiot. Zhaan acknowledges that he's just in unfamiliar surroundings and will learn. He saves her sanity in RiB and later in DALD. She helps him stay sane on Moya. So she's portrayed as an alien psychiatrist trying to take away his sanity. Twisted, out of context.

Dad--John's biggest fear is of disappointing his father. "I can't be your kind of hero." from the Premiere. So the Scarren shows John failing the mission and refusing to attempt again. But John knows this isn't his father, so he largely ignores him. He doesn't care about Dad's reactions to his insanity. He expects him to be appalled and shocked when he drops Rygel in the parking garage. After AHR, John knows none of this is real, so he dismisses Dad as a recreation. He can shoot Dad in Rygel's office without guilt or remorse. So we get the "I wanted a terrier" scene. More disappointment. But Johm believes in his real father and this doesn't get to him except as part of the accumulation of weirdness that he must fight against.

Mom--here the Scarren scores. And the levels keep cranking up. John knows she isn't real, she's dead. But he starts to buy into it when she tells him how he's changed. These are things that bother John--that he's lost his innocence in the UT. Until she mentions that he's killed. He knows that she couldn't possibly know that, and it takes him out of the Scarren's scenario and back to reality. He backs off. So the levels are cranked. The Scarren plays on John's guilt over her death. "This is cruel." John's still aware that this is not real. But it's getting to him. Then the Oedipus scene. Context. This scene is disturbing. It's meant to be. The Scarren is reaching that disgust level again and apparently hit it with some viewers. Yes, Oedipus slept with his mother. But Oedipus never intended to, and neither does John. Not fantasy, distorted hope. John loves his mother.

So, class, for extra credit, what's the rest of the Oedipus story? Oedipus, in his arrogance (hubris), tries to defy the gods and does the very thing he's tried to avoid. Oedipus realizes he's slept with his mother and goes insane. Breaks. But even Oedipus isn't destroyed. He survives and regains the favor of the gods. Read the sequel, Oedipus at Colonus. John doesn't succumb, doesn't break, so the Scarren moves on.

Scorpy--It is significant that Crichton sees Scorpy as Harvey or Clarence. Again, context. These are imaginary "friends," but what's the rest of their story? The theme of "Harvey" is that sometimes you have to be insane to deal with an impossible world. The rabbit is the sanest character in the play. And "It's a Wonderful Life"? That suicide isn't the answer. The world may be impossible with you in it, but it would be worse without you. If John's beginning to feel that Moya and her crew would be better off without him, he should reconsider.

Yes, they probably would have been safe in the UT without John. Crais only followed them because he thought Crichton killed his brother. Scorpy wouldn't be after them, he wants John. The Scarrens want John because Scorpy wants him. Without John, no one would be chasing them. But would they be better off? Nope. So John sees Scorpy as his guardian angel, keeping him from killing himself. Okay, one more literary reference: "The play's the thing." Context. What's the rest of the line? "To catch the conscience of the king." Hamlet stages the play-within-a-play to get information from the king. Sound familiar? By confronting the king's fears and guilt, Hamlet hopes to reveal that the king did kill Hamlet's father, just as the Scarren is using the Earth scenario to confront Crichton's closet skeletons to get him to break. To destroy him as Hamlet destroys Claudius.

Okay, class, enough for one day. Dr. Buddd dismisses you. Go play. Oh, and "Whom the gods would destroy"? Homework. Look it up. Ricky Manning gets an A.

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Originally aired in the US August 18, 2000

Written by Richard Manning

Directed By Rowan Woods

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