Captain Hornblower Rates the Farscape Episodes

The Captain gives "Twice Shy" a rating of:

4 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

Review:

When are the members of Moya's crew going to learn. Don't let Chiana bring ANYTHING ALIVE aboard the ship!

In many ways, this episode reminds one of other great past episodes of Farscape. The fact that the crew's minds are being messed around with by someone brought onboard Moya by the crew is clearly similar to the plot of "Crackers Don't Matter". Chiana bringing aboard a seemingly innocent looking something that morphs into something monstrous is a slightly altered copy of "Beware of Dog". In fact, the story is so similar to those two previous episodes that it almost makes one concerned about whether or not the producers are running out of story ideas, and are relying too much on regurgitating old, already used plots. Its happened to the best of shows.

But in this case, the viewers concerns can be alleviated by a simple placement of two lines in this episode. Someone referenced the Vork from "Beware of Dog" when they were discussing the fact Chiana was bringing aboard something that looked so innocent. Crichton also referred to having their mind messed with as someone pulling a Traltixx, the name of the villain from "Crackers Don't Matter". These references are each a well placed "wink-wink, nudge-nudge" from the writers, telling the viewers, "we all know we did these ideas before, but we promise it will play differently." And it did.

By effectively altering and combining these past story elements, with some new twists and turns tossed in, the producers managed to put together a quite enjoyable action/adventure episode. The creature was very convincing in both its forms. The innocent girl, even in the same form, towards the end moves like a spider. And the creatures she transforms into is very scary, especially given the fact that you don't know where its going to pop out next. The scene that best illustrates the last part was when it was stalking Sikozu.

What results is a Farscape episode that may have lacked some originality, but made up for it with suspense and thrills. If this had been all there was to the episode, it probably would have gotten a 3 Moya rating from me (meaning it was a good, solid episode, but not necessarily a great one).

But this episode's most important moments are clearly in the last five minutes, and it's these last five minutes that truly elevate the episode to a level of excellence (the 4 Moya rating). Many of the characters' actions from the beginning of the season crystallize into an overall pattern, setting up a future conflict between two forces on board Moya. Scorpius has plans for Crichton, and is looking for a way to manipulate Crichton into giving him wormhole technology. We the viewers kind of suspected this from the time Scorpius came aboard Moya.

Yet, three things have now changed. 1) Sikozu is now firmly in Scorpius' camp, and will be an ally in his schemes. 2) We now know that Crichton knows something of what Scorpius has been up to when he reveals to Aeryn that he believes Scorpius has been watching and monitoring him, looking for a weakness to use against him. That is why he has been putting distance between him and Aeryn, to protect her and her unborn child from becoming pawns to be used against him by Scorpius. 3) Aeryn also knows about it now that Crichton has told her, and being the only one who does, will be Crichton's best ally in defeating Scorpius' plans.

This effectively sets up a coming contest of cunning and will in the near future of the series. There are battlelines being drawn on Moya, in secret and through clandestine means. Eventually, this will break out into open conflict within Moya's crew itself.

On a side note, Crichton's revelation to Aeryn has allowed him to finally show her what he truly feels, and has placed their relationship back on solid ground, though secretly at the moment due to the threat Scorpius poses to Aeryn and her baby. This creates a great deal of emotional satisfaction among the many Scapers who have shown a great deal of interest in their romance since the show began.

For those reasons, an episode which would have been good based solely on the main plot, is raised to the level of being excellent because it focuses the lens on many things that have been happening on Moya this season (about damned time, too), and sets up a fascinating future conflict among the characters.

That's my review. What did you think of the review, or the episode? Let your voice be heard in a reply below.

Captain Hornblower
Keeper of Jenavia's Jewel Gun
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Originally aired in the US January 24, 2003

Written by David Peckinpah

Directed by Kate Woods

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