The Ninjabot

Retro Review: Farscape, “Die Me, Dichotomy”

Posted on October 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm by Will Wells

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“Die Me, Dichotomy” opens with Rigel being generous and helping Moya. Yes, more Rigel character development. Rigel has come a long way since season one when he’d betray the group at the drop of a hat. Meanwhile, John is punching mirrors. Repeatedly. He keeps hallucinating Harvey in them. Aeryn tries to calm him down, but then something new happens – John morphs into Scorpius. At least in his own mind.

And thus Harvey-John is born.

This does not bode well.

After the credits, we meet Doctor Diagnosan, a weird alien in a red and black gimp suit and a huge open nose covered by a mesh mask – and his assistant, Grun-chlk.

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Grun-chlk and Stark discuss price.

To repair the burns on Moya, they charge as much as buying a new ship, but Moya isn’t just a ship; she’s a friend. Chiana attempts to flirt with the Doc, which provided an opportunity for exposition – Diagnosan can’t remove his mask without risking deadly infection. Because dying without a mask is one of those things that evolution encourages.

In the more creepy, less absurd part of the episode, John is walking around in Scorpy makeup. He punches Rigel, licks Aeryn’s nose after knocking her unconscious – yes, it is just as creepy as it sounds – and then sends a distress signal to the Peacekeepers.

Actually, the lick would be kinda hot if he hadn't just knocked Aeryn unconscious.

Immediately pre-lick.

Harvey-John is a truly bizarre mix of the two. He uses John’s pop-culture references and Texas accent combined with Scorpius’s coldness and cadences. I really have to give both the Director and Ben Browder credit for how thoroughly creepy Harvey-John is.

D’Argo, meanwhile, is stressed. He acts like a jerk to both Jothee and Chiana. He knocks out Harvey-John and they strap John down for surgery. And, because this is Farscape, things get worse – removing the chip will kill John. Well, unless they can find a compatible donor for him. It turns out the Doc has three in storage. Three out of five thousand frozen people that the Doc uses for spare parts. Zhaan is horrified.

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The Spare Parts Freezers… creepy.

So, why is D’Argo so stressed? I mean, aside from a burnt Moya, crazy John, and incoming Peacekeepers? Well, Chiana finds out – he’s planning to propose to her. He wants to buy a farm, settle down, and raise Jothee with Chiana as his new mother. Chiana is less than thrilled. Back to that later.

Harvey-John is looking to escape again. He asks Zhaan to join with him in Unity – basically the Delvian mind-meld – so he can give her messages for his friends and family. Zhaan agrees – and Harvey-John knocks her unconscious.

Zhaan makes the fatal error of putting her nose anywhere near John's.

On Talyn, Crais is trying to talk Aeryn into joining his crew to help mentor Talyn. Before he can make headway, Harvey-John steals a ship. Aeryn goes after John in her prowler. A really cool chase scene follows.

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Aeryn is the superior pilot, but she isn’t used to flying in atmosphere. Harvey, meanwhile, is accessing John’s skill as an atmospheric pilot. He gets above her, and when she demands he land, he uses his landing gear to puncture her cockpit. Her prowler crashes, but she ejects – and lands on a frozen lake. She crashes on through and goes down into freezing water.

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And, just like that, Aeryn Sun dies. We cut to Aeryn’s funeral, where John attends in handcuffs. Zhaan conducts the ceremony. Chiana wears a beautiful mourning veil in a moment that will be featured in the opening credits for the rest of the series.

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D’Argo lays his ancestral sword in Aeryn’s coffin. Rigel leaves his royal necklace. John tells her he loves her, too late, and takes a lock of her hair. After the funeral, John goes into surgery. There’s a neat bit where John has to tell the Doc which parts of his brain he’s cutting. He lets him cut American politics, but keeps the memories of the aliens he’s fought. He asks him to save his memories of his dogs. And then the Doc needs to know if he can cut John’s memories of Aeryn.

Cut to Chiana and Jothee almost kissing.

Sex - always the best way to get to know your new step-son.

Awkward….

Meanwhile, Braca is on the planet and invading the complex with a Peacekeeper squad.

Back to Crichton’s brain surgery, there’s a complication. The Doc has to damage his speech center to get to the chip. The Doc says he can fix the speech center after removing the chip. And, minutes later, the chip is out. Crichton is speaking gibberish, but it is happy gibberish. And, at that moment, Scorpius shows up in the surgery room and breathes heavily on the Doc’s face, apparently killing him instantly. Scorpius picks up the chip, gloating all the while. Scopius decides to leave Crichton alive so he can suffer as punishment for the various times John had caused him problems. Scorpius walks out of the room, leaving John Crichton screaming in impotent rage.

And that’s where the episode – and the season – ends. Yup. “Die Me, Dichotomy” holds up two massive middle fingers to the audience and says wait ‘til next season, bitches.

Rating: A+

Breakdown: “Die Me, Dichotomy” is another masterpiece from one of the best arcs in all of Farscape. Browder once again steals the show, this time with his Scorpius impression. He is terrifying in that capacity, and heart-breaking as regular John, scared and losing control over his very body. Powerful stuff. Speaking of heart-breaking, Aeryn’s death scene is by far one of the most powerful and memorable moments in the entire series.

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“Die Me, Dichotomy” makes sure to give screen time to every single cast member while remaining focused on John’s many problems. And, while doing all of that, it also manages to set up a number of plot threads for season 3, not the least of which is the love triangle between D’Argo, Chiana, and Jothee.

“Die Me, Dichotomy” may be the best single episode of the entire series. Even standing in the middle of its arc (beginning with “Liars, Guns, and Money” and ending with “Season of Death” next season), it manages to stand alone and do so with power, grace, and beauty.

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