I don't think season four was awful or nearly as sucky as I feared it might be. But there were a lot of little things, as well some big little things, to complain about, as I'll expound upon.
"Crichton Kicks" is probably the weakest of all four season openers. I liked Sikozu immediately because I like hot redheads with accents. Plus she can walk on walls, which is cool. It bugged me that Chiana's future visions, which they never bothered to explain, magically turned into present visions that leave her temporarily blind for no apparent reason. Well, it's convenient for the plot, but that's no excuse. She also seemed kind of off in this episode. And how do the DRDs know the 1812 Overture? And why is Ben Browder showing off his ass?
"Sacrifice"/"Resurrection" were also weak. Why is this silly Old Woman still hanging around with them? What's the point of all this Triforce business that never gets mentioned again? Why is Grayza controlling men with her breast secretions? What the hell kind of outfit is that for an authority figure? What is the importance of "Snerkan" or whatever the magic Peacekeeper code word is? Why is D'Argo kissing Jool? The best thing about the whole deal was that they got rid of Jool. It all seemed like an excuse to make them all Peacekeeper outlaws again.
"Lava's a Many Splendored Thing" was all right. The pulse weapon shield moment of "Why don't we have those?" was very much a, "YES. WHY NOT??" If these goons have them, surely they can't be that hard to acquire. Could've been useful over the years! The Noranti dance was very bizarre. The male henchmen were stereotypically drooling, and it just felt so beneath the show, like the weird girl-power-facing-camera kick in the last episode. But thank the Lords of Kobol we didn't have to see Noranti's chest. And Sikozu is smart, which is another reason she's better than Jool. But does vomit really contain DNA? I mean, I guess bodily fluids might contain trace amounts from the skin sloughed off, but it doesn't feel scientifically sound.
"Promises." Finally, a good episode. Aeryn returns! And apparently she did go out and be an assassin? I mean, she did say that's what she was going to do, but it doesn't sound like her. Running around killing people because people tell her to? They have a word for that, Aeryn: Peacekeeper. But ooh, Scorpius. Just chillin' on Moya. Huh. Shades of Crais, yes, although Crais quickly stole Talyn and ditched them, whereas Scorpius hangs with them all season. And check out Sikozu with the knowledge! See, she's actually useful. Unlike, say, Jool. How could you possibly miss Jool, Pilot? What is wrong with you? And why are you now all of a sudden asking for one spokesperson? It's not like you don't just do what Crichton says anyway.
The title of "Natural Election" implies the episode will actually focus on this conflict, but it doesn't, so much. Instead it's about pregnancy gossip and a metal-eating plant. Also, as annoying as Noranti is (I can't get over how freaking freaky she looks), she proves herself useful quite a bit. I was kind of surprised Crichton didn't win the election, though I knew it would be either him or D'Argo. But again, this whole plotline turns out to be pointless anyway.
Oh, "John Quixote." What have you been smoking, Ben Browder? And why did no one say, "Sorry, but your princess is in another castle"? Virtual reality games are fun, though, and it was nice to see Gilina again for a bit, since she's cute. And I thought of glumpish with the Max Headroom reference. But WTF Stark? Stark can do this? Go away, Stark. And oh no, not drugs! STAY AWAY FROM THE MAGICRACK, JOHN!!
"I Shrink Therefore I Am" was a pretty good retread of the old "villains aboard the ship" plot. And I mean, it's fun when characters get shrunk! I liked Sikozu's disbelief that she was shrunk because of the various ways it was scientifically impossible. She's kind of like Saffron with a dash of Jool. A hot, smart, smug redhead who's just a teeny bit annoying at times. I like the uneasy, but necessary, alliance with Scorpius. And ooh, Scarran. They sure seem to be important these days.
"A Prefect Murder" was not so hot. The whole "Let's show the same ten minutes from different perspectives" was pointless and repetitive and annoying. And how can there be a planet without bugs? Bugs are everywhere! Also, this is the evil Tormented Space Aeryn was so gloomy about? Um, okay.
"Coup by Clam" at least had an amusingly inventive plot. Those crazy clams. And what's a television show without at least one episode with your star in drag? But we really didn't need to see Noranti peeing. And I was surprised to discover that the mechanic was a woman impersonating a man because...I thought she was a woman to begin with. Scorpius's clam-eating sacrifice was interesting in that, well...it's not like any of them would have held it against him if they'd died. Maybe he was just really trying to fit in. Well, he didn't want John to die, but he could have conceivably let Aeryn die. Well, okay, if he saved John, then John would have asked him why he didn't save Aeryn too, and he would have killed him. Ta da.
And the season finally kicks into gear with "Unrealized Reality." A fun and interesting mindfuck about those crazy wormholes and the wonders of space-time. The various unrealized realities were very cool, and I liked the technique of having interview-style comments about Crichton, especially when they awesomely shoved Einstein's words into everyone's mouths at the end. Really well done. And damn, what a cliffhanger. I had no idea there was going to be one since it wasn't labelled as a Part 1.
"Kansas" tries to be a nice little Back to the Future-type romp, and it does have a lot of little things going for it, but in the end, especially after the next episode, it feels like annoyingly pointless filler. Some of the fish-out-of-water comedy worked, and some didn't. Aeryn watching Sesame Street was classic. So adorable. "This girl is slow!" Crichton getting to drink milk was nice, and as a milk drinker, I totally understand. Also nice for him to get to talk to his mother again. And of course, we have to mention Karen Shaw. How frelled is it that Crichton lost his virginity to Chiana? I remembered the name from "Losing Time," but apparently it was mentioned as early as "That Old Black Magic," before Chiana was even a glimmer in the writers' eyes. They totally got lucky picking a name that could be misheard from "Chiana." Also, nice to see that Braca's still loyal to Scorpius. I think I read somewhere on b.org that Scorpius had a beagle or something named Braca, and I waited a long time for a dog to show up, and it was only this season that I realized what they meant. And again, what a cliffhanger. Again, no idea. And a very nice callback to "A Human Reaction," which is fast becoming one of my favorite episodes now that I see how utterly pivotal it is to the entire series, my initial reaction to the "plot twist" a thing of the past.
"Terra Firma" kinda rocks. I couldn't believe Crichton actually got to return home. This is, like, the moment we've been waiting for. Don't screw it up. And they didn't. It was not "A Human Reaction," but it felt just as believable and real. Especially because Caroline showed up, just as I expected her to way back then! I'm glad John got to, for real this time, see that he can never return home permanently. He's changed too much. It doesn't get a whole lot of time devoted to it during the series, but I really like the relationship between Crichton and his dad. And I was so afraid the Skreeth was going to kill Jack or Olivia. Killing D.K. and his wife wasn't good either, but it was more acceptable since they were recently being asses.
"Twice Shy" was like the fifty billionth episode about some apparently harmless thing wreaking havoc on Moya. STOP BRINGING STUFF ONTO THE FRELLING SHIP. It wasn't bad, but it was very Been There Done That A LOT. You know, they never really did do much with the relationship between Sikozu and Scorpius. Like, okay, she's the only one who'll give him the time of day on the ship, for whatever reason, but nothing really comes of it. And oh criminy, I totally didn't buy John's explanation that he was taking the drugs to forget Aeryn so that Scorpius wouldn't use her as a bargaining chip to get his wormhole technology. Because for starters, it was pretty clear that he really was hung up on Aeryn and he wanted the drugs to take away his pain. And I thought Scorpius made it pretty clear that he didn't want the wormhole tech for himself; he just wanted to keep it from the Scarrans. He even said he came to Moya to protect him. And Scorpy, he's a pretty straightforward guy. I can't think of times before that he's outright lied. Also, Aeryn is a bargaining chip regardless of whether or not they still have feelings for each other. It bugged me and rang false and made John seem like an ass. A paranoid ass.
What is "Mental as Anything" even doing in this season? It feels like a season one episode. I mean, do we really have time to be revisiting D'Argo's sordid past? Does the revelation that his wife's death was somewhat of an accident really matter at this point? What's with all this hyperrage/blackout stuff when I don't think we've ever actually seen D'Argo go into hyperrage? What's the point of putting all this unnecessary angst on D'Argo if he didn't kill his wife? That would have been an astonishingly evil revelation.
Hey, "Bringing Home the Beacon." Space politics? What is this, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace? Good episode, though, and Crichton's crazy beacon/baby business at the end was nicely played. Poor crazy paranoid Crichton. He's down to his last nerve. I mean, being chased by various alien races for the knowledge in your head that could destroy the galaxy has got to be bad enough without the personal Aeryn angst.
I really liked "A Constellation of Doubt." Loved the style of it, and I loved all the videos and different reactions to the videos. So human, so real, so disparate. One thing bugged me, however: WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY ALL SPEAKING PERFECT ENGLISH? Aeryn, I can buy because she'd been trying to learn it. Sikozu I can buy because she's smart and picked up the language from Crichton. Chiana clearly knew several basic words in "Kansas." But there is no fucking way D'Argo knew how to say "ad nauseum." I have to fanwank that the tapes were dubbed by people with translator microbes. And they got people to impeccably impersonate the voices. Disregarding that, however, a great episode and a highlight of the season. The ending was pretty killer, though for Crichton to claim that he cares for only Aeryn, period, kind of shits on D'Argo and Chiana and Pilot and everyone else I thought he cared about.
"Prayer" was all right, though the constant fakeouts as to the identity of Aeryn's child's father got annoying. Also, Scarrans: HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU LEARN WORMHOLE TECHNOLOGY FROM CRICHTON'S CHILD'S MOTHERFUCKING FETAL DNA?! THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. YOU MUST ACQUIT. The adventures on Bizarro Moya were nice, and, aw, Crichton doesn't like killing people. Sometimes.
Here comes "We're So Screwed," which is apparently too raunchy a title for 6:45 on BBC. "Fetal Attraction" is a nice little episode, except I had trouble believing that no one recognized any of them. These guys are practically legendary now, with numerous bounties having been placed on them. I guess you can argue that their exploits haven't reached the Tormented Space, but do they really expect me to believe that this high-ranking Scarran military officer doesn't know what Scorpius and John Crichton look like? Funnily enough, at the end my thought process went something like this: "But they're living Scorpius behind! Why don't they go back and get him?! Wait a sec...why indeed, Sunil. Why indeed." Except of course I don't actually think in "indeed"s. Usually.
"Hot to Katratzi" begins by asking me to accept the fact that Crichton can apparently make a nuclear bomb. Okay. Um. See, that could have come in handy last year when you wanted to blow up the Command Carrier. Or when you were trying to destroy the Dreadnought. But once you get past that, it's a very fun plan! Interesting to watch them go back and forth between the Scarrans and the Peacekeepers, while the rest of the crew employed the age-old trick of turning two peoples against each other by implying that they're secretly out to get each other.
"La Bomba" led to an inevitable conclusion. I knew they'd end up nuking those silly flowers, which...sure, magic flowers. And seriously, Scorpius, did you really think the mother plant would just be completely vulnerable? You're usually so much smarter. But go Braca on the not-so-hostile takeover! And Crichton, you just nuked a base full of innocent people. Remember last year, when you actually let people get out? Initially, I thought the, "Oh, we should have voted" scene was amusing, but on further reflection, it's...really not. He just dropped the nuke down, giving no thought to his or anyone else's survival.
There were a lot of little things in the trilogy that kept it from being awesome. Sikozu suddenly having heat-probe hands, a rotating eye, and magic Scarran-killing radiation was kind of random. And Scorpius's twisty-turny loyalties are so byzantine as to be...something ridiculous. I'm glad they didn't actually make him a Scarran spy because it would have made NO FUCKING SENSE. And then...Stark. And the bioloid Stark has the magic light powers? What-the-fuck-ever. I can see why people complain about S4. It's not like it sucks or anything, but there are all these things that don't seem up to the usual standard. The big shit in S2 and S3 went catastrophic in entirely believable and awesome ways.
One little retcon that kind of works is the revelation that Stark had been on Katratzi. Because that means Bizarro Stark was probably channeling him.
Finally, "Bad Timing." Ooh, it's like the "Gift" montage! And now it's time to save the planet Earth, because Scarrans are so impetuous and gullible as to believe that this Earthman knows exactly what their magic flower is and is totally confident that whatever similar plant he has on his home planet is genetically identical and thus has the same IQ-boosting powers. Aww, John's recording next season's opening credits voiceover. I liked Crichton's crazy plan because, under the assumption that there's no other wormhole close to Earth, he's pretty much resolving never to go home again, which is sad because he'd just figured out how to harness the power of wormholes so he could come back and visit every now and then. Season Five could have been like a total Doctor Who ripoff. Jack could be Rose's mum, and Caroline could be Mickey. And aw, Pilot. Who can see pressure bubbles for some reason. And oh man. Loved the scene between Crichton and his dad. I don't care if you think it's overly sentimental and sappy. It was great.
Then, the end. It took me this long to realize that John and Aeryn are like Sydney and Vaughn. Yeah, maybe the scene's a bit too sweet, but I enjoyed the amusing misinterpretations by the peanut gallery. And then out of nowhere some alien comes in and disintegrates the happy couple.
WHAT THE FRELLING HELL?!
I mean, I know they have to come back for the mini, but that's a fucking ballsy way to end when you know you're cancelled. It's at this point that I ask one of you oldbies to tell me all about this cancellation business. When it happened, why it happened, when did they know, what was the big deal, etc. Did they have any sort of hope for anything after? How/why did the miniseries get made? The Farscape fandom story is one of those big ones you keep hearing about, so, now that I know what everyone was fighting for, give me details!
OKAY IT'S TIME TO WATCH THE MINI—HEY WHOSE BRIGHT IDEA WAS IT TO WAIT A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE MINISERIES TO GIVE THE END OF THE SERIES PROPER TIME TO BREATHE?!?! OH WAIT IT WAS MINE.