The Ninjabot

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

Posted on September 8, 2013 at 8:57 am by Will Wells

Farscape logo

“Liars, Guns, and Money” is another three-parter, so get ready for a long, wild ride.  First off, Stark returns from the dead in the first minute of the episodes.  Way to make his death two episodes ago feel important.  Except, weirdly, it is important.  While he was dead, Stark got the plans for a bank that he wants to rob so they can use the money to buy back D’Argo’s son.

D’Argo gets upset, runs off to the bank, and immediately gets caught.  This seems bad, but it is actually part of the plan – when D’Argo fails to break in, the bank resets its codes and, while they’re doing so, Stark hacks his way into the system.  That’s “The Plan.”

Stark's a hacker.  Who knew?

Except Stark didn’t bother telling anyone (including D’Argo) that he had such a plan.  John puts a gun to Stark’s head and tells him to never, ever lie to him again.

So, what does Stark do?  He lies to John again – by omission, anyway.  They’re not just here to rob a bank – they’re here to rob Scorpius’s safety deposit box.  This fact almost breaks Zhaan’s cover when she’s making a deposit in her own brand new safe deposit box of one Hynerian statue, Hynerian included.

Okay, Chiana, your left eye gets to be in this shot.

Everyone loves Pirate Zhaan!

One of the more interesting aspects of this episode is how much of the plan relies on Rigel.  In season 1, Rigel was often portrayed as a coward and more of a nuisance than a companion.  This season, particularly here and in “Look at the Princess,” Rigel takes on a far more useful and proactive role.

Scorpius is here to pick up his property, but Natira, the owner of the bank, seized and sold his property.  To make things right between them, Scorpius demands triple the value in repayment.  After some negotiations, Natira agrees to provide him his triple value in Borinium ingots, which she has transferred into his safe deposit box.  This is important later, trust me.

While those arrangements are made, Natira offers to show Scorpius her… hospitality.

It gets worse next week, folks.  Trust me.

Don’t they make a cute couple?

John is rather unhappy about this, but he isn’t going to look a gift gimp in the mouth – he’s gonna take the opportunity to assassinate Scorpius.

Rigel’s job is to switch the transponder on the containers so they get Scorpius’ deposit box rather than their own.  While they’re doing that, John uses the video feed to wait until Scorpius leaves his coolant rods – the rods he puts in his skull to keep his brain from overheating – and then plants a bomb inside one of them.  A heat activated bomb.

Rigel does his job – and just barely in time.  He’s still on top of the box when Zhaan calls it back for pickup.  This leads to a particularly epic shot of Rigel hanging on for dear life as the deposit box is moved towards the loading area at high speeds.  The shot is so good it ends up in the opening credits.  Well, up until Rigel’s clothes rip off and he drops back down into the container.  Zhaan loads up the Borinium ingots on a pallet mover and heads out, Rigel concealed in one of the boxes.

Unfortunately, Scorpius chooses that moment to check on his payment.  Rather than his Borinium ingots, Scorpius ends up with some junk from Moya and a fake Hynerian statue.  This sets off the alarm early, while Zhaan is still taking her pallet of loot back to Moya.  The place gets locked down.  Zhaan is nearly back to Moya, but John and Aeryn are deeper in having placed the bomb in Scorpius’s coolant rods.  John and Aeryn decide to provide a distraction while Zhaan and the other escape.

In a particularly amusing moment, John attempts to steal some guards uniforms so he and Aeryn can dress up as guards, but he doesn’t have time to put them on before more guards arrive.  John points down a hallway and shouts “they went that way” – the guards are not fooled and pursue him and Aeryn.

Aeryn gets away, but John ends up struggling with Scorpius.  For “some reason” Scorpius’s coolant rod isn’t working well.  He has it changed and seconds after it is removed, it explodes, killing Scorpius’s nurse/minion.  Scorpius demands that John change the rod for him and the chip in John’s head tries to force him to do so.  John resists, just barely, pushing Scorpius away and attempting to crawl away while Scorpius crawls slowly towards the last coolant rod.  The scene cuts away before we see if Scorpius reaches it or not.

"Take another hit, Scorpy - you'll see all the wormholes."

… great acting can be very difficult to screen capture.

This scene is amazingly well acted by all participants.  You can feel John Crichton struggling against the chip in his head.  You can feel Scorpius fighting to overcome his own bodily limitations.  Unlike Crais, who was just crazy or egotistical, Scorpius is a wonderful foil for John.  He’s smart, like John, and determined, like John.  Scorpius is John Crichton’s dark mirror.

John escapes and Moya flies off to go buy D’Argo’s son.  And it seems like we might have a happy ending for a change.  Well, apart from John being pretty messed up in the head, what with his chip and the control it has over him and all.

And, just when we’re thinking that the crew of Moya finally pulled it off… one of those Borinium ingots grows legs and crawls out of its crate.  And two other crates are moving.  Creepy.

Thus ends part 1 of “Liars, Guns, and Money.”

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