The Ninjabot

Retro Reviews: Farscape, “Look at the Princess” Part 3

Posted on July 28, 2013 at 8:33 am by Will Wells

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We continue with “Look at the Princess” as John Crichton has just been turned into a statue (immediately following his marriage).

Later that night, Prince Clavor and the Scarran show up and decapitate John. Being broken doesn’t harm John in statue form, but having his head dropped into a pool of acid…

… actually has remarkably little effect either.

Farscape S2 15 Part 3 01Scorpius drops by to fish John’s head out of the acid. Scorpius monologues with John’s head a bit before being shot by Jena. She takes his head back to his body and reattaches it. John, protesting over the com, asks her to get an expert. She does not. Fortunately, she puts his head back on the right way, as proven when she turns him back into flesh.

Also, since she overheard the conversation between John and Scorpius, she no longer believes that John is her fellow agent. John talks her out of murdering him and agrees to help her complete her mission since it requires him to be alive.

Meanwhile, everyone is looking for John (except Aeryn, who is off rock climbing). Scorpius offers D’Argo a deal: if Crichton will give him the info, he’ll let them all go, John included. D’Argo has no idea where John is anyway. However, the Scarran chooses that moment to pop up and butt in on the conversation. We get a quick taste of Scarran torture as he questions D’Argo about John. D’Argo has no answers, but he breaks –briefly – and says that Chiana might know something. D’Argo sends Rigel off to look for Chiana, hoping to find her first.

Sadly, for Chiana, the Scarran finds her first. She knows nothing, but he keeps her as bait. Prince Clavor says that their deal is off because the Scarran failed to do anything useful and his mother knows about their political alliance. The Scarran responds by using his heat power to kill Clavor rather gruesomely.

John spends the night with Jena and she gives him a Chekhov’s wristband. Aeryn, meanwhile, is sleeping under the stars with her broken-legged rock-climber date. He gives her some remarkably good advice about her relationship with Crichton – about the pain being worth it. The next morning, she’s rescued by a hiker.

Farscape S2 15 Part 3 02Scorpius and D’Argo go to rescue Chiana. The Scarran has seen too many old movies and has her chained up above the acid pit. Obviously the Scarran needs to grow a mustache to twirl. It’s hot in the room, so Scorpius is being negatively affected by the heat. The Scarran takes him out, then drops D’Argo, just in time for Crichton to show up and shoot him with the Chekhov’s Wristband. He stuns the Scarran and then kicks him into the acid. D’Argo gets back in the action just in time to catch Chiana before she falls into the acid.

John goes to kill the incapacitated Scorpius, but can’t do it. John seems disturbed by his inability to kill his enemy. Scorpius fakes fear, only to look smug as soon as John leaves the room.

John is trying to avoid getting statued again, but changes his mind as soon as he learns that the Princess is already pregnant with his child (via artificial insemination). However, the point is moot – because he’s human, he can’t be re-statued. John is momentarily floored, as he wanted to be there for his child, but then has an idea – Counselor Tyno, the Princess’s boyfriend, can take his place. She and Tyno are already in love, she’s already pregnant, and they already have his DNA on file for more kids if necessary. Crichton makes his case and the Empress agrees.

As a final gift, the Princess lets Crichton see a hologram of his future daughter (much like the theoretical one before, except that this one is based on the child’s actual DNA). Crichton gives the hologram a hug and tells Tyno to take care of his little girl.

Farscape S2 15 Part 3 03This is another one of those really well done John Crichton moments. Above all else, he doesn’t want to abandon his child. When he physically can’t be with her, he finds someone he trusts to care for her. John does what he can – and when he can’t win, he changes the game.

There’s a brief coda with D’Argo and Chiana, and then “Look at the Princess” ends in the cargo bay, as it began, with John and Aeryn. This time, she pulls out the drops that test genetic compatibility, looking rather grim all the while.

Farscape S2 15 Part 3 04

Silently, she offers them to John. They both take a drop, and then kiss. Then, frowning, both turn away. There’s a pause. And then Aeryn slowly smiles. She walks away without saying a word. John watches her go, and very slowly a smile spreads across his face as well.

Rating: A

Breakdown: The end of season 1 proved what Farscape could do. “Look at the Princess” proved they could do it again, and with style. This three part story includes excellent acting, good supporting characters (particularly Jena), and a well-paced plot. While a little slower than some of the other arcs, nothing feels dull, out of place, or like it only exists to pad the episode. “Look at the Princess” stands up with some of the best arcs of Farscape and these episodes remain some of the best in the series.

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