Captain Hornblower Rates the Farscape Episodes

The Captain gives "Coup By Clam" 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 less than fair episode
0 Moyas-a poor episode


"Coup By Clam" is not destined to become a classic Farscape episode. However, when appreciated for what it is (a good, fun episode with a decent plot and a few good laughs along the way), the episode is quite enjoyable.

The idea of the Mollusks was quite a creative one, forcing Moya's crew to be bonded to one another and feel what the other is feeling. Funny enough though, it seems I've seen this somewhere before. Oh, yes. That's right. The I Yensch bracelets did the same thing. That being said, this sort of repetitive plot device can be forgiven because of the more humorous emphasis given to it in this episode. Though essentially the same plot element, it is handled quite differently in this case.

One of the interesting things about this episode was the fact that you weren't quite sure where it was going in terms of the plot. But at the same time, the storyline was fast paced enough and peaked your curiosity enough to want to see exactly where it was going to go. What looked like at first to be a simple "find a way to cure the ailment" story turned into one mixed with some political intrigue, with the unexpected introduction of a "girl power" revolution and its effect on the plot.

But in a way, the "girl power" element did kind of fall flat in the episode. If it had been the focus of the episode's story, and thus given more depth and attention, this kind of feminist revolution might have made for an interesting dramatic plot, similar to the politics laden "Look at the Princess." But in this episode, mainly a humorous adventure story, this plot element seemed rather trivial.

The humor in the episode had mixed results. Sometimes, it was downright funny, such as D'Argo and Noranti having to remain in physical contact with one another for several arns to cure the mollusk ailment, and how Aeryn and Rygel imitated each other's bodily functions. But, sometimes, the humor came off more as corny than really funny. The scene with D'Argo experiencing an erotic episode from Noranti was an overly blatant attempt at humor that really just came off as an interuption to the flow of the plot. John Crichton dressed as a woman was not all of that funny at first, but towards the end, when Aeryn sees him, and when he pulls out his pulse pistols and fires, yelling "girl power", the joke did get better.

Perhaps the most interesting element of the episode was Scorpius. He actually goes out of his way to help the crew get through their situation, and they owe their lives to him. But, of course, the crew still doesn't trust him, so its not like they are showering him with praise. Scorpius' ambiguous and tenuous status on Moya continues to be perhaps Season 4's most interesting plot element at the moment.

Overall, "Coup By Clam", while not really a memorable episode, is still a good one. I would compare it to "Home on the Remains" in this regard. Though it had its faults, it was quite an entertaining episode, with a good plot and interesting twists to the story. While some of the humor didn't really work, some of it did. Nothing to write home about, but a solid episode nonetheless.

What did you think of "Coup By Clam", or this review? Feedback is always welcomed.

Captain Hornblower
Keeper of Jena's Jewel Gun
Worshiper of Aeryn's Remarkable Vessel

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Originally aired in the US August 16, 2002

Written by Emily Skopov

Directed by Ian Watson

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