Season 1, Episode 2: “I, E.T.”
** out of *****
“Aquatic? That’s water, not mud! Mud is…mud! You can’t breathe in it. You can’t move in it. It holds you, it grabs you, it sucks you down! You want to know about mud? I KNOW about mud!”
“The guy knows mud.”
This is one of my least favorite episodes of the season. My absolute least favorite is–well, I’ll mention that when we get there. Any guesses? The Peacekeepers put a LoJack on Moya, so our favorite group of escaped prisoners take her down into a nearby planet’s swamp to muffle the signal and search for a numbing agent that will allow them to cut the LoJack out without killing Moya. Along the way, John gets caught by an alien mother and son who get their first ever close encounter with what they view as “alien” life. It’s an interesting reversal, with John being pretty much just a week or so ahead of the woman in terms of discovering she’s not alone in the universe (and he seems to be really amused at the irony) but the episode’s rather mundane setting (the house has venetian blinds and a Persian rug!) makes things feel rather bland. Plus the kid bothers me.
Still, it’s not all bad. Mary Mara, the actress playing the alien woman Lyneea, brings a lot of life and wonder to her role. We’re also treated to a lot of good character development. I like Rygel’s mud-panic (quoted above) as well as the turn that while he doesn’t much like being shoved into small spaces, what’s really bothering him is that he might screw up because he’s not used to having to do things like that himself. Aeryn’s showing some vestige of loyalty to the Peacekeepers in her conflict about helping escaped prisoners–or is she just homesick and regretting having gotten herself into this mess? Her walls are up for pretty much the entire episode, though she does bond just a tiny, tiny bit with D’Argo as they bicker in a tree and make fun of Crichton. Zhaan gets to show off her pa’u pain-sharing (and coach Rygel through a tough time the way only she can do), and Pilot gets a lot more to do. We see some of his feelings for Moya, the responsibility he places on himself as her bonded pilot, and–for those of us who know about their past–hints of his feelings of inadequacy and guilt over how good of a match he is for her.
Oh, and Crichton continues to be physically assaulted by the Uncharted Territories, from getting headaches and weird facial twitches from the signal to getting blasted numb by an alien stunner.
“Don’t tell me you’re going to miss that rock.”
“No, not that rock.”
This episode features the first instance of “hezmanna” and the first time we hear Crichton’s voice-over in the opening.
How do Lyneea and her son understand Crichton without translator microbes?
 Moya is scared. If I ever get around to making a Farscape drinking game, it would involve drinking every time Moya is scared. Or in pain.
 He also bites (and eats! Gah! I’d forgotten that!) a chunk out of Aeryn’s forearm when she tries to send him back in. This is so very much NOT the Muppet Show!
 I do find it a little amusing in that Crichton likely draws on alien visitation movies from Earth in spinning a story to Lyneea about having selected her when he really just wants to charm her to avoid being turned in.