Up until the "Liars, Guns, and Money" trilogy, it was really hard to see why people loved S2 so damn much. I expected more, frankly. I want this show to be awesome at points other than the end of the season.
The season started out pretty strongly with "Mind the Baby." The cliffhangers were resolved swiftly, and we got right down to the business of battling Crais for Talyn's soul. I really like the whole Crais/Talyn plotline because I can't figure either character out. Crais is supposed to be a villain, but is he really reformed? Talyn seems to be a rebellious son, but he still loves his mother when the occasion calls for it.
"Vitas Mortis" was okay, and "Taking the Stone" was the boringest episode that ever boringed.
The famed "Crackers Don't Matter" was probably the funniest episode of the series thus far, even though I don't generally like episodes where characters are externally influenced to do things that they can just take back later by saying, "Oh, it wasn't really me." This one worked because it was clearly bringing out a lot of their natural fears and paranoias about each other. Although I refuse to believe that deep down, Pilot doesn't actually like any of them. Scorpius cracked me up, but reading a review of the episode spoiled the fact that he was a neural clone rather than a hallucination. Damn you, Internets!
"Picture If You Will" was pretty cool with the return of Maldis. I wonder if the show normally had previouslies because you'd think they would have shown parts of "That Old Black Magic," which would have been a big clue that Maldis was involved. Instead, it was a nice surprise. Oh, and there was that amusing meta conversation about fanwanking at the end.
"The Way We Weren't"! Apparently a favorite episode of many, and I can see why. It felt a little retcon-y, but it still worked really, really well. Fantastic episode for Aeryn and Pilot. You know how I love issues of identity, so I loved that Aeryn had to deal with this part of her past and the fact that she wasn't that person anymore. I loved that Pilot only wanted to see the stars and that he actually felt irrationally guilty over the fate of the original pilot. I loved that we found out how the hell the Peacekeeper birth control thing got in Moya! Also, holy crap, Pilot's been in horrific pain all this time? Poor shell-headed alien. And dude, he totally tried to strangle the living fuck out of Aeryn. Man. Even though they were so tight.
"Home on the Remains" and "Dream a Little Dream" were eh.
"Out of Their Minds" was good! Oh, body switch episode. I was impressed that they let the actors ape each other's voices rather than just speak their normal voices. At first, I thought they were actually dubbing them over. I also liked this episode because there was some Crais/Talyn (um, I'm not shipping them or anything) action. One thing that confused me is...did I miss the part where Crichton officially took control of the ship? I mean, throughout most of the first season, D'Argo was usually the one "in charge," per se, but this season Pilot keeps calling Crichton "Commander," and the Holoceans expect to talk to Crichton when they get on Moya, and...why? Also, does it really matter that Crichton's body show him around? They don't know what Crichton what looks like. They could have had whoever Crichton was in do the talking. That was a bit contrived.
"My Three Crichtons" was okay. The word "facile" popped into my head at the end. Like, obviously it would spit out a dumb version and a smart version and the smart version would turn out to be evil and the dumb one would turn out to be good. And...that's what happened. And they conveniently got rid of both clones. I don't know, it went the tried-and-true route when this show is known for taking risks and going where other shows don't.
The Princess trilogy reminded me a bit of Pylea. They never came up with some sort of clever reason Crichton's DNA was compatible, the way they did with Rygel's being a deity in "Jeremiah Crichton"; it was just a plot device. Although it's kind of tiresome to expect us to accept the possibility that Crichton will bronze himself for fifty cycles, I was impressed that they actually went so far as to make him a statue the first time. And then they cut off his head. I mean, they have to leave themselves an out that you don't know about, but when it happens, you're just kind of dumbfounded and wondering how they're going to write themselves out of that one.
Peacekeeper Sydney was kind of hot (hotter than the princess). Casanova was a tool, and that whole plotline was annoying. I liked the Scarran and the fact that, in his overparanoia, he screwed up his own plans. Also: CRICHTON KEEPS KILLING PEOPLE. Jumping out of the doomed transport into space was pretty badass, though. And I still love Scorpius, and the conflict between Crichton, the chip in his head, and Scorpius is one of my very favorite things about the show. I mean, that total agony as he's trying to kill Scorpius and the little voice in his head won't let him.
"Beware of Dogs" was all right. "Won't Get Fooled Again" was great! So wacky and cracked-out, yet so well written in relation to the characters and the continuity. And I love the whole "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" type of deal: Crichton gets captured by a Scarran and Scorpius helps him out. I mean, not even Scorpius, but a neural clone of Scorpius. Like, "Hey, I own this brain! Get out of it!" And that lovely moment where he casually erases Crichton's knowledge of the chip. I'm sure now that I must have seen references to Scorpius in relation to Baltar and Six, and this is making me far more accepting of the chip theory if they go that way. Although Six is deliberately ambiguous whereas Scorpius is deliberately a chip.
"The Locket." Oh, whatever. Yes, I know John and Aeryn have a deep burning love for each other. You don't need to provide the ficcers with fifty cycles of planet fodder where they grow old together. I'm generally impatient with plotlines that will obviously be reversed and have no consequences, especially when they're not exciting and entertaining in and of themselves. And it's just weird that Aeryn has some granddaughter (who's pretty!) in another dimension and Crichton has a daughter waiting to be raised in fifty cycles.
"The Ugly Truth." Ah, the obligatory Rashomon episode. Okay, I obviously liked the part where it's about Crais and Talyn. And I liked some of the different perspectives (funniest were Zhaan's totally sucking up to the whatevers and D'Argo's characterization of Crichton as someone who hilariously, mindlessly agrees with him). Overall, not an extremely strong episode, but not bad.
"A Clockwork Nebari" was all right. Again, Scorpius protects the mind that is his domain. And aw, Chiana's brother is alive. Man, this ship. Crichton wants to get home and D'Argo wants to see his son and Chiana wants to see her brother and everyone's desires can be so fucking selfish at times.
"A Not So Simple Plan," the beginning of the heralded "Liars, Guns, and Money" trilogy, which I was primed to like. It has a cool name! Liars, guns, and money? How can that not rock? It's a heist episode, yay! Except Stark, dude, like, I liked you at first, but now you've turned into this kind of nutty freak dude. Plus: whee, Scorpius! Although whoa, I do not need to see that. You know what I'm talking about. And it gets worse in the next couple episodes. Ewww. The grossness is countered by Crichton's awesome plan to blow up his fucking head. I didn't want it to work, but it would have been cool.
"With Friends Like These..." gave me about fourteen continuitygasms. I was gobsmacked that some of those pointless S1 episodes ended up having a point. And holy crap they burned a ninth of Moya owwww. And Rygel cut off Durka's head! Guess that whole business is settled, eh? And Jothee! D'Argo got to see his son! And...waaaait a minute. As soon as he arrived, I knew what had happened, and the moment when everyone else realized it was very nicely played.
"Plan B" suffered from my being very tired, which may have lessened its impact, because I think it should be awesome since it has two of my favorite things: Crais/Talyn and Crichton/Scorpius. And blowing shit up. I don't think I've ever seen a plan go so spectacularly wrong before. They had to improvise like whoa, and people died, and they had to make leaps of faith and sacrifices and take risks and knock Crichton unconscious before he gave himself over to Scorpius. I think every episode should have Talyn blowing shit up. And in such a dire episode, there was still the hilarious line: "And thank you for teaching me to kill again." Although I still don't see why they needed his gauntlet so badly. Finally, poor Crichton. Oh man. That frelling chip.
And then. "Die Me, Dichotomy." See, when Crichton started mentioning that he knew how Scorpius thought because he had him in his head, I thought it was only a matter of time before he truly began thinking like Scorpius. I didn't realize it would be this soon. Oh man. So creepy. I loved the slow progression to this state through the course of the season. First, silly hallucinations. Then, voices at opportune moments. Toward the end, the voices become more frequent, more persistent, and Crichton struggles more and more. I don't know whether they intend to extend this into a true metaphor with Crichton looking inside himself for the parts of Scorpius's personality that were within him to begin with, but it could happen.
WTF AERYN CANNOT DIE OMG. THAT'S UNPOSSIBLE. My only explanation is that Crichton's creepy haircut will be used to clone her or something. Or that she was actually frozen a microt before death and she can be revived. BUT HOLY GOD DID CRICHTON ETERNAL SUNSHINE HER OR WHAT?
Mmm, okay. I must say I'm (again) impressed with the way they've drawn John and Aeryn's relationship. Because at first it seemed like one of those obvious UST romances that every show must have. But this isn't some silly Mal/Inara oh-I-hate-you-but-I-really-love-you thing. This is more like Mal and Inara at the end of Serenity. John and Aeryn aren't denying their feelings for each other, and that's the most painful part of the whole thing. They know they're in love with each other, but they don't know what to do next. They're too afraid to take that next step. And there are so many wonderful moments throughout the series where they just let Claudia Black and Ben Browder play that out on their faces. This isn't just unresolved sexual tension, it's unresolved-then-resolved-then-reunresolv
ALSO WHAT THE FRELL IS ON CRAIS'S CHIP?! AND NOOOOO AERYN'S PROWLER I MOURN THEE OH KICKASS LITTLE SPACESHIP!!!
And finally, the operation. The chip is out! But Crichton will now fail the AP US History test! AND OH FUCK SCORPIUS NO YOUR TIMING SUCKS SO MUCH. Of course he won't kill Crichton; he enjoys toying with him too much. Also because he's Crichton and cannot die. BUT OMFG WHO WILL PUT CRICHTON'S BRAIN BACK TOGETHER???
So yes, the end of S2 kind of made up for the rest of it even though I'm not sure I'm being as bowled over as I'm supposed to be, which could maybe be a result of mainlining it so. And I'm getting tired with the lack of sleep. Though I'm putting most of the blame on its being overhyped and people's tossing out words like "amazing" and "phenomenal" and such. High expectations, man. It's got a lot to live up to. And I'm tired.
BUT WHAT THE FRELLING HELL LET'S GET RIGHT TO SEASON THREE RIGHT NOW.