Captain Hornblower Rates the Farscape Episodes

The Captain gives "Bad Timing" 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


"Bad Timing" has the distinction of being (for now, at least) Farscape's final episode. But since it was not intended to be the final episode of Farscape (merely a season finale with the usual cliffhanger attached), it makes it very difficult to judge its quality as a series finale. If this were the intended series finale, I would not judge it to be a very good one, because it leaves the series with a very unfullfilling ending. This is not merely because the ending was not a happy one really, but rather because it was an ending with too many unanswered questions and too many threads left hanging. But this is not the fault of the producers because they created this episode under the guise of having been promised another season to finish their story. Alas, for now, the story will remain unfinished.

The episode itself is a very good mixture of tension, action, and emotional drama. The tension comes from Crichton's race to find a solution to the problem of the Scarrens' imminent attack on Earth. His quest to find a way of collapsing the wormhole, while navigating through thoughts of alliance with the Peacekeepers (thus handing them Earth to protect it from the Scarrens). The action arrives when Crichton finally does find a solution, and must have Aeryn's and Pilot's help in collapsing the wormhole using a transport pod and split second timing.

But the really impact of this episode comes from the emotions experienced by the characters. Crichton's goodbye to his Father, standing on the moon where his Father once stood, is a moment of sorrow, but also fulfillment because one can see the pride that Father and son have in each other. It is also a symbolic moment, with Crichton standing on the highest moment of his Father's life, and his Father expressing his pride in John for being able to reach higher, to go further than his Father could have ever dreamed.

This is certainly an important episode as well for the emotional and dramatic climax of the relationship between John and Aeryn. Through all of the changes in the series over the past four years, this relationship has been a constant presence in the story and has never been far from the emotional core of Farscape. To see them find their way to each other at last, engaged to be married and expecting a child, was a moment of joy both for them and for the viewers who have watched their love grow, and their relationship's ups and downs over the past four years.

All of the characters have special moments in this episode, and all of them have an important role to play. Because of the unfinished nature of how the series was forced to end, there will be some questions about the fate of the characters left unanswered. Are John and Aeryn alive or dead? Will Chiana's sight be returned to her? Did Scorpius kill Sikozu? What will be the fate of Commandant Grayza? These, and other questions, will haunt Farscape's legacy, unless a way can be found for the producers to finish this story.

But the episode is understandably flawed as a series finale due to it not being created as such, I think that "Bad Timing" says something important in footnote to Farscape's story. From the beginning, the series has had plenty of action, drama, humor, suspense, thrills, heroes and villains. But also from the beginning, the center of the story has been the characters, and in particular the character of John Crichton. This has been Crichton's journey from the time he fell through that wormhole four years ago and found himself "lost in some distant part of the universe." For him, his choices, his relationships, to be so much at the center of the finale's is to give recognition to the importance of this character to Farscape's story.


Well, that's my review. Since this is my last review of a Farscape episode, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have read my reviews of episodes over the years. For those of you that have agreed with my reviews, disagreed with them, or both, I hope that you do recognize that I always did my best to be honest in my opinions about episodes, and that I never held back in my praise or my criticism. I am a proud Scaper, and will remain so, with hopes that this magnificent series will return in some form, so the story of John Crichton and the crew of Moya can be finished.

Over the next week, I intend to compose some retrospective reviews of first Season 4, and then the entire series, looking back at what I feel have been the high points and low points of the series.

Captain Hornblower



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Originally aired in the US March 21, 2003

Written by David Kemper

Directed by Andrew Prowse

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