Captain Hornblower Rates the Farscape Episodes

The Captain gives "We're So Screwed Part 3" 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

Review:

If I could use one word to describe my reaction to this episode, it would be the following-frustration. This trilogy of episodes had been so spectacular up to this point, with parts 1 and 2 of "We're So Screwed" being in the top five of my list of all time favorite episodes. But unfortunately, frustratingly, this last chapter of the trilogy does not measure up to the first two installments.

First of all, the episode seemed so rushed in terms of plot. Fast moving plots can be good, but there is such a thing a moving too fast with a story, especially if it leaves the viewer confused too many times along the way about just what is going on. Whereas the first two installments' stories were action packed, they were mixed with drama and intrigue and characterization along the way. This episode was more like a Steven Seagal kick em, shoot em up type adventure-plot not required, intelligence not essential.

So much of the frustration with this episode comes from so many things that didn't make sense or were downright confusing due to lack of exposition. I actually compiled a list of things from the episode that just did not make sense or lacked explanation:

1) The flowers-just why are they important to the Scarrens again? Something about it keeping them from becoming stupid animals and dying out? I couldn't tell because they kept flipping back and forth between John talking to Scorpius and him speaking with that stupid neural clone in the part of the episode where this was explained. The constant back and forth kept the flow of discussion so interrupted that even with a second viewing, I still don't know why Scorpius said it was so important to the Scarrens.

2) Scorpius' reaction to John's betrayal-I wanted to say to Scorpius at this point "duh! I thought you were supposed to be smart!" Scorpius obviously put the failsafe in the neural clone because he suspected John would betray him to their enemies at some point. But when Scorpius found out why John came back for him (because of that same failsafe device), Scorpius actually seemed surprised that John would betray him. Can Scorpius really be that dense?! Of course John would betray him, considering their past history. It was why Scorpius put the fail safe in the neural clone to BEGIN WITH! His reaction of surprise, therefore, made absolutely no sense.

3) Grayza's move to attack the Scarrens-my question is-why? Why was she so hell bent in breaking the truce and attacking the Scarrens? This was never really explained either. At one point, she was adamant with Crichton about her genuine desire to maintain the peace between the Peacekeepers and Scarrens. Then, she takes actions that would surely start a war and get her ship destroyed and herself and her crew killed. Even Bracca realized how stupid this action was, and moved to relieve her of command. Even the dumb-dumb Peacekeeper grunts knew who was the right horse to back in this situation. Has Grayza now gone mad? Her actions in this episode were beyond confusing, and the only point I could see to this whole sequence was to give Bracca a chance to show he was a stand up guy in some ways.

4)Stark was really a bioloid-okay, the Stark that was torturing Scorpius was really a bioloid-the real Stark wouldn't do that. I'm sorry, but this really disappointed me. I think that having Stark, the REAL Stark, torturing Scorpius was such a compelling plot element in the previous episode, because it made the viewer question who's side they were really on, considering what Scorpius had done to Stark in the past. We could sympathize with both characters. Now, to know it wasn't really Stark, just makes it the Scarrens torturing Scorpius, and Crichton and crew does not have to deal with the conflict of battling an old friend in the effort to save Scorpius. Plus, if that Stark was only a bioloid-how did it have the powers of a Bannick Bekesh? The bioloid of Aeryn wasn't pregnant like Aeryn, nor did it know of the pregnancy. How did the Stark bioloid gain Stark's powers? There might be a difference here in the two cases that might explain it, but it was still a little bit of a reach to accept. That, given my dislike of the direction they took this element of the plot, really left me feeling cheated.

5) How did the real Stark help with the escape? They found and rescued the real Stark because he had been on Katratzi before, and might know a way of getting out. Okay, so they find and save him. How does he help? He just jumps on the ship with the rest of them. Oh yeah, big help there Stark. Now, if they had made it a point of rescuing him because he was an old friend who they didn't want to leave there, that would have made sense. But that is not why they said they needed to find and save him.

6) The nuclear explosion-okay, it incinerated everything in the flower chamber, came up the shaft, and incinerated everything around the elevator. But, IT DIDN'T INCINERATE THE ELEVATOR! I'm sorry, but that is definitely stretching it. The room around the elevator and everyone in it were incinerated, but not the elevator itself. I can see the elevator resisting pulse rifle blasts, but for it not to be incinerated or even penetrated when everything else around it was annihilated just doesn't wash. Plus, how did they get out of the elevator and to Lolaa safely? One thing about nuclear explosions-they leave that tricky thing called radiation. How did they avoid being eradicated when they left the elevator into the nuclear wasteland left outside? I can stretch my imagination quite a bit, but to accept these things with the explosion is to extend my beliefs into the realm of the absurd.

7) Sikozu's powers-one question-why didn't she use them on the Scarrens on the asteroid when Aeryn tried to kill them and got captured? Now, this can be a forgivable thing, seeing as she wanted to keep her powers secret. But tossed in with all of the other confusion, it just makes yet another question like this a little less palatable.

8) Crichton at the end of the episode-okay, I didn't get why John was so glum at the end. They dealt a serious blow to the Scarrens in their quest to conquer the universe, they rescued Scorpius and kept wormhole knowledge safe, Aeryn and their friends are all safe. Why is he so depressed? Are the writers and producers of this show so against happy endings anymore that they always have to have Crichton depressed at the end of an episode? You've got Chiana and D'Argo going at it, Sikozu and Scorpius doing the same (ewwww! by the way). Why couldn't they have John and Aeryn laying in bed after a job well done, with Aeryn telling John she had activated the pregnancy? Instead, you have John lamenting because he nuked a bunch of Scarrens and their flowers. Boohooo! I know he is scared of the power he has with the wormholes, but he has been dealing with that for a while now. Could he really be this depressed because he had screwed the Scarrens, the same people who tortured the woman he loves and tried to take her baby from her? I mean, he has nuked a Gammack Base, blown up a shadow depository, and destroyed a command carrier. What's one more big boom on his list? Yet another frustration on the list of frustrations with this episode.

Now, with all that I found frustrating and confusing with this episode, I did find some silver lining to it. It was a pretty good action adventure, for one thing. I really didn't know at one point how the hell they were going to get out that mess. Second, I actually did like Bracca and his men showing some sense of honor in upholding the truce they had with the Scarrens and stopping Grayza's stupid attack. It gives more complexity to Bracca and the Peacekeepers' character in general-even they have some semblance of honor in some situations (though, self-preservation might have had more to do with it). I also liked getting more exposition on why Scorpius was torturing Stark in the aurora chair three years ago. It is always neat when they go that far back and explain in more detail something that happened. Perhaps if the producers were given the fifth season promised to them originally, then they might have explained or cleared up all of the confusing and unexplained stuff in this episode.

All in all, Part 3 of "We're So Screwed" is still a good episode given all of its faults, but it is definitely a disappointing end to what was a spectacular multi-part adventure. In spite of Part 3's failings, I would still call "We're So Screwed" the best multi-part adventure Farscape has ever done, though part 3 contributed little to this distinction. Luckily, Parts 1 and 2 can more than carry the trilogy and make up for Part 3's shortcomings. In ranking the three episodes of the trilogy, I would say Part 2 was the best, followed closely by Part 1, with Part 3 a distant third place.

Ratings for each installment: Part One-5 Moyas, Part Two-5 Moyas, Part Three-3 Moyas. Overall rating for the trilogy-5 Moyas.

Captain Hornblower
Keeper of Jenavia's Jewel Gun
Worshiping of Aeryn's Remarkable Vessel



 

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Originally aired in the U.S.
March 14, 2003

Written by Mark Saraceni

Directed by Rowan Woods

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