Season 3, Episode 8:
“Green Eyed Monster”
****1/2 out of *****
“That’s no moon. That’s a budong!”
Take a love triangle that’s not really a love triangle, add in some neural transponder linkages, wrap it up in a setting that’s a fourth character in itself, and chuck it all down the gullet of a budong! What you’ve got is Farscape‘s answer to the psychological thriller Crichton, Aeryn, Crais, and Talyn all have to duel with each other’s emotions amid the pressure-cooker of a cyclopean alien stomach.
This ep is also written by series star Ben Browder, and hoo-boy, Momma Browder’s boy can write! Most of the episode is experienced from Crichton’s point of view, and we follow along with him through his worries, suspicions, and insecurities as he tries to figure out where he stands emotionally while also trying to work with everyone to not, ya know, die. Talyn’s literal situation—trapped in a dark, unfamiliar place with limited control over what’s happening to him—is mirrored in Crichton’s emotional situation.
The resonance of the two just heightens both.
One reason this episode works so well on a psychological level is that, despite us viewer-types knowing that Talyn is a living ship with his own ego and personality, it’s not something that most of us have practice with in our fiction. Talyn’s voice is never heard in a way that we as viewers can understand without interpretation, and that’s one less reminder for us to keep his sentience in mind when considering character agendas. Like Crichton, we’re also far more used to being suspicious of Crais, so Talyn just slips right past our radar until we’re in too deep.
Of course, when I say “we” and “us viewers” here, I suppose I’m really only referring to myself, but it’s more fun to project my reactions onto you, isn’t it? In any case, I figure at least SOME strange people out there must have minds that work the way mine does. If you’re reading this, let me know: Did you experience this episode in the same way?
By the way, another thing that’s so great about this episode is that we’ve never gotten to see quite this much of Talyn before. It’s refreshing to be aboard another leviathan, especially one that’s so different from Moya without being completely unrelated.
So, to sum it all up, this is just a great episode of Farscape, made even better because THE SHIP GETS SWALLOWED BY A MOON-SIZED MONSTER-THING RIGHT AFTER A STAR WARS REFERENCE.
Sometimes I’m easy to please.
“We can take our time.”
Stark makes a very, very bad counselor.