Captain Hornblower Rates the Farscape Episodes

The Captain gives "Lava is a Many Splendored Thing" a rating of:

3 Moyas

Captain's Rating Scale
5 Moyas-one of the best episodes
4 Moyas-an excellent episode
3 Moyas-a good episode
2 Moyas-a fair episode
1 Moya-a not so fair episode
0 Moyas-a poor episode


"Lava is a Many Splendored Thing" is a pretty good action/adventure story. Its a well constructed story with a basic premise of Crichton and crew landing on a planet, Rygel finding a stash of loot, and getting the others into a confrontation with bad guys intent on stealing the loot and seeing Crichton and comrades as threats to that intent. The action is well done, the dialogue is good, the plot is clear and concise, and there is a good mixture of humor thrown in along the way.

The best thing about this episode has to be the portrayal of Crichton and D'Argo, both as partners and as individuals. Its a teaming with a great mixture of trust, partnership, collaborative thought, and sense of humor. This episode clearly showcases how far along their relationship as friends, allies, and dynamic duo has come in the past three years of the show.

These two characters as individuals were also showcased in very much a back to their roots sense. Crichton, while still being the fast action hero he has involved into in this series, thought and acted very much like a scientist in this episode. His use of theories regarding forms of energy and his deductions on how to use the shielf belts to protect him from the lava showed his lately dormant scientific know-how and innovative thinking. At the same time, while D'Argo has quite often lately been turned into a somewhat goofy character and an old softy, in this episode, he is back to being a kick ass Luxan warrior. It seems that so many of the endearing qualities of these two characters, both as individuals and as partners, shines through in this episode. And Crichton even got a great fight scene with the head bad guy, mono a mono.

There are also some great character moments for Chiana, Rygel, Sikozu, and (at long last) the old lady (who's name I keep forgetting). In the case of the ladies, they were each shown in their own way to be innovative as well. Even the old lady used her powder for clear purpose for once, to distract the bad guys.

The humor in the episode was also well done. All of the characters have some great one liners. And I feel what must be the funniest scene so far this season is when Crichton and D'Argo react to seeing the old lady disrobe.

Although this episode was overall good, it was not without some difficulties. There really wasn't any great drama in this episode. While, normally, having an ep that doesn't have as much great drama is not necessarily a bad thing, the fact that the drama has been kind of dry since the beginning of the season kind of makes the viewer wish there had been more of it in this episode.

Also, they're still has not been enough resolution to the cliffhanger elements left from the end of Season 3, and it continues to be a distraction from the flow of the story. What happened in D'Argo's quest to find Macton? One would think someone would have asked him about it, Crichton at least. But if they have, we sure haven't seen it. What happened to Moya when she fell down the wormhole? What happened to Aeryn? Though these last two might get some answers in the next ep, since at the end of this one they hear from Moya, these answers have been far too long in coming and has interrupted the show's forward motion into the plot of the new season. Then again, since other questions (such as the one about D'Argo) have not been answered, perhaps they will blow off the what happened to Moya and Aeryn questions as well in the next episode.
If they do, then the new season's plot will be hindered even more by too many unanswered questions STILL left from the Season 3 cliffhanger. This distraction needs to be ended, then the show could move forward with more impetus and less confusion and plot holes.

Overall, this is a pretty good action/adventure story, sort of in line historically with such episodes as Home on the Remains: good, but certainly not excellent or very memorable. Nothing to write home about.

But I will say this for "Lava is a Many Splendored Thing", its a much better shoot em up episode than Crichton Kicks was, and LIAMST is the best episode the show has put forth so far this season.

Feedback is, of course, always welcomed. What did you think of the episode, or this review?

Captain Hornblower
Keeper of Jenavia's Jewel Gun
Worshiper of Aeryn's Remarkable Vessel
Caretaker of Porthos, the Enterprise Dog



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Originally aired in the US June 28, 2002

Written by Michael Miller

Directed by Michael Pattinson

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