The Ninjabot

Retro Review: Farscape, “Liars, Guns, and Money.” Part 2

Posted on September 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm by Will Wells

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Episode 2 of “Liars, Guns, and Money” opens with Moya arriving at the slave auction only to learn that D’Argo’s son, Jothee (and the other 10,000 slaves) have already been sold – to Scorpius.  He demands that John surrender in return for Jothee’s life.

D’Argo, as you might imagine, does not take this well.  He rips up one of the consoles, yells at John, and then stalks off.  Chiana follows him and, in a really touching scene, D’Argo admits to Chiana that, just for a moment, he wanted to knock John out and deliver him to Scorpius.  But he stopped himself.  D’Argo is stuck in the worst place imaginable – betraying his son, or his best friend.  For one to live, the other must die, and it is tearing D’Argo apart.  Anthony Simcoe sells this so damn well, even crying (in full make-up) as he delivers his lines to Chiana.  As fun and goofy as Farscape often is, when the time comes to deliver on drama, Farscape delivers better than almost any other science fiction franchise I can think of.  This scene is absolutely stunning.

Meanwhile, Scorpius orders Jothee brought to the bank, which he is using as a base, and the bug creatures shown at the end of the previous episode have begun to cause damage on Moya.  Minor damage – for the time being.

John Crichton does what he does best and comes up with a plan to get Jothee back.  While Jothee is being transferred to the bank, John plans to recruit a dirty dozen (or, well, four) of previous enemies to use as a strike force against Scorpius.  He’ll pay them with the ingots they didn’t spend on Jothee.  Plan in place, the group splits up to go recruit some mercs.

While everyone is busy, Chiana and Rigel go to help themselves to some ingots.  They arrive to find the money gone – stolen, they think, until they discover the truth.  The “money” is alive and eating the ship.

Crichton, meanwhile, attempts to recruit Bekhesh, a Tavlek merc who uses a drug-filled gauntlet to grant himself greater combat powers.  Unfortunately, when Crichton arrives, he learns that Bekhesh has become a monk, foresworn violence, and given up the gauntlet.

Aeryn, meanwhile, is going to see the Sheyang, a race of frog people who can spit fire.  She finds one, wounded, but still interested in profit.

While that’s going on, D’Argo is picking up the trackers that once tortured him.  He saves them from a pair of bounty hunters and offers them the job.  The female, however, is pregnant and can’t go.  She sends her husband in her stead.

Chiana, meanwhile, has captured one of the bugs for Zhaan to examine.  Heat kills the bugs, but Moya isn’t able to raise her temperature high enough to do the trick.  Before they can test any further, Scorpius calls up to talk to D’Argo.  Zhaan, Rigel, and Stark take the call instead (since D’Argo is out).  Rigel and Zhaan accuse Scorpius of sabotaging their ship with fake metal-eating money.  Scropius seems confused, but before it can go further, Stark steps in and rants at Scorpius, telling him to go ahead and kill Jothee before cutting the transmission.  Chiana begins beating the snot out of Stark, but he explains that Scorpius won’t take him seriously and that he didn’t want Scorpius to know how damaged Moya was by the infestation.

As if that wasn’t disturbing enough, we cut to Scorpius and Natira engaged in erotic asphyxiation.  Scorpius’s heating rod popping out the side of his head caps the moment off as a symbolic climax.

Enjoy the Scorpius O-Face.  You will never forget this moment.  But you may wish you could.

Yeah… that’s a thing that happened.

Since we don’t see anything below their shoulders, it is impossible to tell if a non-symbolic one occurred as well.  One interesting thing about Natira’s character design – she appears to have an exoskeleton on her head tentacles, suggesting that the blue outfit she’s wearing is actually her external chitin (and that she walked around naked all day).  I guess if one is a blue insect woman, one doesn’t need to wear clothing.

Just be glad I didn't choose the frame where Scorpius is sucking on her tentacle.

Scorpius is a bit peeved because Natira tried to give him ship eating bugs instead of money.  But Scorpius is a pragmatist and isn’t going to let a little thing like attempted murder get in the way of his acquiring John Crichton.

Back with Crichton, Bekhesh is having some issues with withdraw (apparently he only recently removed it – that or he takes a hit off the gauntlet every so often to avoid this).  Crichton uses this to learn the gauntlet’s location.  Bekhesh protests, but he’d rather join Crichton than have Crichton take his gauntlet without him, so he joins up.

Zhaan has a plan to clear the insects from Moya, and it isn’t pleasant.  She’s going to fill Moya with flammable gas into the infested areas and then ignite it, burning the bugs out.  The hope is that the fire will cause less damage than the bugs.

Rigel takes this opportunity to leave for his recruitment mission – he needs to bring back the Zenetan pirates and their Flax net.   Unfortunately for Rigel, the Zenetan pirates are under new management – that of Durka, a Peacekeeper torturer who once worked Rigel over for a year.  To make matters worse, a year earlier, Rigel left Durka in a disabled ship with a gang of cutthroats.  Durka is looking forward to taking personal vengeance on Rigel’s person for that.  Durka gets all up in Rigel’s face to tell him exactly what he’s going to do to him – and Rigel taser’s him.  Remember when I said last time that Rigel had grown and changed some in the past season?  Last season, Rigel would have run screaming.  This season, Rigel kills Durka and carries his head around as a scepter.

John arrives back with Bekhesh just in time to see the flames through Moya’s hull.  Zhaan’s attempts to take Moya’s pain have left both her and Pilot too stunned to answer Crichton’s hails.  It is a terrible, moving moment.  Later, after the flames are out, Crichton and Aeryn walk through the ruined halls.  Not only is Aeryn unsure if Moya will heal, now that they’ve burned their bug-money, they have nothing to pay the mercs they just recruited.  John’s plan to save Jothee is dead in the water – just like Moya.

Later, D’Argo and Aeryn are looking for Crichton.  D’Argo is still pissed at him.  Just then a transport pod arrives – carrying Jothee.

After a heartfelt reunion, D’Argo asks Jothee how he escaped.  Turns out, he didn’t.  Scorpius let him go when John Crichton turned himself in.

We cut to John and Scorpius.  John points out that, for once, their goals coincide.  John wants the implant out, and Scorpius wants the data on the implant.  So, John tells him, “you win.”  And, on that happy note, part 2 of “Liars, Guns, and Money” rolls credits.

This is the middle of the “Liars, Guns, and Money” arc, but in many ways, more happens in this episode than in the previous one.  The stakes are higher and John has finally proven to D’Argo how much of a friend he really is.  Jothee is on Moya – and Moya is burnt too badly to Starburst.  Oh, and a large group of angry mercs are on the ship and only being held in check by Rigel’s use of a head-on-a-stick.  Gotta love Farsacpe.

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