Created by Rockne S. O’Bannon
March 1999 to March 2003
Sci-Fi (now SyFy) Channel
This is the fourth and unfortunately final season of this great series. The show ended on a bang and in a way that only this series could.
Season four saw Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) briefly subservient to Grayza (Rebecca Riggs) after being humiliated by Crichton’s sabotage and deposed by Grayza until he managed to escape and board the Moya. This was a definite change up in the status quo. The characters were justifiably worried about Scorpius betraying them but what they failed to realize in my opinion was that so long as whatever was going on served Scorpius he would not betray them.
Season four also saw the full introduction of Utu Noranti Pralatong (Melissa Jaffer) who is just called Noranti or even “Old Woman”. She just abruptly appears on the ship, and her appearance is explained as having coincided with a bunch of refugees that the crew helped out off camera. She is played as senile at times though you get the feeling it’s just a cover. She takes the place of Zhaan as scientist and doctor but unlike Zhaan she appears to have an agenda in the beginning though this melts quickly away during the season. Overall she’s helpful to the crew even if her help sometimes creates problems.
One of the problems she creates is by giving John (Ben Browder) a drug to help him forget Aeryn (Claudia Black). This creates a bit of a rift in the growing second relationship but as it turns out John is doing it to protect Aeryn because he knows if Scorpius understands what is truly important to him he will use it to get the wormhole knowledge. It’s actually a mixture of sweet and dangerous. But when this is revealed to Aeryn it allows them to begin the relationship anew and honestly it was a pinnacle moment in the whole series. The two characters bonded and interacted in a way that they had not before, and it was wonderful to watch what came after.
We also get the introduction of Sikozu Svala Shanti Sugaysi Shanu or simply Sikozu (Raelee Hill) who is a Kalish which is a servant species to the Scarrans. She starts out as part of a group of Leviathan hunters who harvest the neural tissue of dying Leviathans. Considering the creatures are sentient beings it is a little disturbing but in the universe of Farscape Leviathans are seen as not much different than cows or horses. John had been marooned on a dying Leviathan since at the very end of season three he had gone into his pod for a little alone time and learned via a recovered memory that Aeryn was pregnant. Just at that moment Moya was sucked down into a wormhole.
Anyway, Sikozu becomes an unwelcome member of the crew and quickly aligns herself with Scorpius which further alienates her from the rest of the crew. She was arrogant and even rude as she saw the others as beneath her. An interesting thing is that the actress impressed the creators of the show enough when she auditioned for another part that they created this part just for her.
One thing that impressed me about the series they could create unlikable characters that you liked. You would not like them but at the same time you did. It was a weird dichotomy that they had going on there that they could pull off. I cannot think of any other show that did that.
During the course of season four they discover the Eidolons who go on to play an important role in the miniseries wrap-up but in this instance are more like an alien in an alien of the week episode. This also serves as the stepping off point for the character of Jool who decided to stay with the Eidolons. This felt a little awkward and abrupt in contrast to the departure of Virginia Hey. There was no buildup here. Still, it was probably amicable enough since the actress returned in the finale miniseries. This also ended the burgeoning relationship between Jool (Tammy MacIntosh) and D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe). I had high hopes for what looked to be coming.
During the course of season four the crew stumbled across a secret meeting between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans where they learned that Grayza had decided to screw over D’Argo’s people who had recently formed an alliance with the Peacekeepers by ceding the Luxan territory to the Scarrans in exchange for peace. Aeryn is captured when they try to get away and is replaced by a bioloid (think android). John is desperate to save the love of his life and makes a deal with the devil. In exchange for his help John will give Scorpius everything he has on wormholes.
The crew of the Moya manages to save her but at the cost of Scorpius getting captured. The neural clone tricks them into rescuing Scorpius by implying that there is a telepathic link between John’s mind and Scorpius and that Scorpius does know everything anyway. Unable to take the chance that it is a lie they do their usual half assed plan. At no point in television and film history ever have I ever seen a main character walk into an enemy base with a nuclear weapon strapped to their chest but that is exactly what happens here. It is a badass scene that also manages to play well with the relationship of John and Aeryn.
During the storyline we see some real growth in the character of Rygel (voiced by Jonathan Hardy) and depth for Noranti. Gone was the selfish and self-centered Rygell. Noranti in an effort to stall activates a dormant disease in the Hynerian emperor in order to keep the station where they find Aeryn locked down and prevent anyone from leaving. At the conclusion when Noranti discusses with Rygel those that she has accidentally killed through her efforts, Rygel in a rare display of compassion and understanding comforts her and says how in his time as Dominar the undeserving died because of things he did and that such things are a part of being on Moya. It’s a deep and emotional scene between the two.
The finale ends with an insane chase involving an elevator that can go any which way and them dropping a nuclear bomb down into the food source of the Scarrans. Turns out the Scarrans can only eat one thing which turns out to be very similar to bird seed. The realization of what it is like comes from John and it’s a casual offhanded line which turns out to be significant. Farscape excelled at that thing.
The ultimate finale which was probably viewed as a follow up episode and not an actual season or series finale find John learning of the Scarran desire to go to and conquer earth via a wormhole. Midpoint in season four John had discovered a wormhole that connected to earth. In the story arc they basically illustrated how John no longer belonged on the planet and that his presence was a danger.
It was a heartbreaking but logical realization for the character. He was not the man he had begun out as and his friends were no longer his friends. The only thing that connected him there was his family. What made the story arc more painful was that he managed to strengthen his strained relationship with his father
Science fiction often does time travel episodes. It’s a staple of the genre. Farscape was no different. During this story arc they did only their second time travel episode. John was still unfamiliar with wormholes and how they worked and when traveling back to Moya after meeting Einstein (one of the Ancients-it was the name he gave him) at one point he lost his way mentally and ended up in his own past.
They showed up around Halloween so the Moya crew running around was a little less of a problem than it otherwise would have been. You get some humorous moments with them interacting with people. One of the weirder and maybe a little icky and maybe even a little humorous aspects of this episode is that John loses his virginity to Chiana.
The events had been something that were talked about at different points during the show when John would discuss his life. It was not that he knew Chiana was the one. He thought and perhaps it had always been a different girl but future Chiana being sexually liberated seduced young John which potentially caused a minor alteration of the timeline. Describing everything here is difficult. You have to see it to believe it. It is definitely a weird potential paradox with an equally weird resolution.
Anyway back to the series finale. John says goodbye to his father Jack (Kent McCord) while on the moon. He even leaves a photograph there for his father to eventually come and get. It’s some fine acting between the two of them. John collapses the wormhole from earth to his region of space. He not only saves earth from invasion but prevents himself from ever returning home. At least not in the near future.
But the most heartbreaking moment and most shocking finale of the series and of just about any television series is the very very end. Moya is on a water planet resting in its seas in order to heal her wounds. Aeryn and John are out on a boat and John proposes to Aeryn and she says yes and just at that moment an unknown fighter craft shows up and strafes their small boat and hits them with a weapon that turns them into tiny crystal beads. I think I actually screamed at the television right then. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. A little editing could have ended the show with John and Aeryn having some kind of happily ever after but here it ended with them looking as if they were dead.
It was a bad way to end a television series but perfectly appropriate for Farscape. This was a show filled with uneasy answers and less than happy resolutions. While I didn’t want it to be that way it fit with what the show did. At this point there was no guarantee of the show returning in any form and fans getting a resolution. It would not be for another two years until the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries was aired that multiple storylines were wrapped up but that’s for another time.
Up next is Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars