Farscape: S01E04: Throne for a Loss
The show opens with an argument between Moya’s crew regarding the imminent arrival of a Tavlek cargo ship. Aeryn is intent on providing an armed escort (just in case it’s hostile), D’Argo and Rygel are arguing about it’s possible contents, and Zhaan is appalled at how everyone (except her) seems to be confrontational.
The situation is resolved quickly however when the cargo ship docks with Moya and our hapless band of confrontational escapees are confronted by a group of Tavlek Pirates. Zhaan tries to talk to them but is fired upon. A battle ensues and one of the Tavlek geezers is disabled. His weapon, a device attached to his forearm is loosened and taken by D’Argo who secures it to his arm. Unfortunately it doesn’t help them and Rygel is captured and taken by the pirates.
As the pirate ship escapes, Crichton orders Pilot to engage the tractor beam on the escaping ship. “Tractor beam! What’s that?” replies Pilot.
“erm.. a graviton field… a tracto ray.. superglue! Whatever it is that you yanked me aboard with.” Ads Crichton urgently.
“You mean the Docking beam… It’s out of range” Concludes Pilot
The crew discuss what they should do. D’Argo is convinced that they should leave Rygel and escape. He gets angry and inadvertently fires the Tavlek weapon attached to his arm. The rest of the crew are impressed by it’s power (and a little apprehensive). D’Argo (still in a bad mood) tells them that the weapon had a number of needles in it and that these injected some fluid into his arm. It’s clearly making him into a very cranky puppy indeed. He tells them that this ship needs a leader and that HE will be the Captain of the Leviathan from now on.
They try to subdue him by but his increased strength forces them back as if made of paper. He storms out and Crichton and Aeryn follow to try and calm him down. It doesn’t work. Zhaan is tending the captured Tavlek thug showing rather too much compassion, for some reason she seems to actually care about him. Aeryn and Crichton have no such feelings and the Tavlek is questioned about the weapon. They learn that it injects a stimulant into the owners arm to increase strength.
Zhaan concocts a sedative that can be thrown at D’Argo. Crichton and Aeryn are about to leave when they receive a transmission from Rygel’s captors. The kidnappers demand that a ransom (of something ending in ‘idiom’) is paid before Rygel is released. The captive Tavlek is also part of the ransom, but he is clearly not worth the same as Rygel. Crichton tries to negotiate, but he gets nowhere.
D’Argo is finally rendered unconscious when Crichton and Pilot conspire to make Moya Jerk violently. D’Argo is thrown to the wall and Aeryn is thrown on top of Crichton (lucky geezer). “And that was your plan!?! …. That is THE last time I go along with one of your plans!” she says ungratefully. The slightly quashed and mildly happy Crichton takes the weapon away from D’Argo.
Meanwhile, back on the planet, the ugly thugs have thrown Rygel in a cell. The poor little slug is buried in mud and is very unhappy. He the learns that he is not the only prisoner, some awful looking gangly creature is in the next cell. It is a erm… creature of …erm some planet and is next in succession to the thrown. (The words it used were just too weird for me to get my head around – why can’t they just say something easy to spell like, ‘I’m the next king of Zog?’).
Rygel and the creature (from the consortium of … Traal… possibly) engage in some banter about the size of … each others……. Empire. The Dominar loses.
On the Leviathan, Crichton and the others learn that Moya is in a bad way. Apparently Rygel, intent on giving a good impression to the visitors, took a vital control circuit (which looks like a large red ruby) to decorate his sword. The control circuite is a small but very important part of Moya. Aeryn and Crichton need to go down to the planets surface to recover Rygel and the control circuit urgently.
Crichton and Aeryn have another argument. The disagree about going down to the surface and rescuing Rygel with force. – Guess who’s idea that was? This time it is resolved when Aeryn clobbers Crichton in the face!!. It was her turn to come up with a plan and Crichton was, after all, not playing fair.
He comes round while they are still en route to the planet in Aeryn’s Prowler. Crichton can’t believe that Aeryn hit him. “Hit you?.. No, a Pantack Jab…. You’re more susceptible than most.” Yeah right! Imagine using that in front of the judge! They land on the surface near the kidnappers.
Next we see a comical yet quite sexy scene on Moya. The captured Tavlek is naked except for a gold robe (no… no… no… that’s not the sexy bit!). His uniform was taken to help Aeryn and Crichton disguise themselves in front of the kidnappers. But the thug on the spaceship accuses Zhaan of wanting to strip him naked and ogle his wonderful body.
I nearly choked on my beer! This is one of the grossest looking geezers you could imagine. He has gaping scars, a mouth like a lump fish, teeth like a row of gravestones and a body that looks like badly poured concrete. And what does Zhaan think, as he bears all in front of her?
“Quite respectable for your age” (As compared to what! A half rotted elephant carcass?) She then asks the Tavlek if he is ashamed of his body. “Is nudity a taboo in your culture?” (Hey, If I had a body like that I’D be covered in concrete!)
“It would be if I looked like you!” exclaims the ugly nude bloke comically. I sat watching in mild disbelief when suddenly Zhaan stripped off revealing a rather shapely blue bum.
(Well?! did you notice any
change in his expression?!)
I guess the nude ugly dude was surprised, though I couldn’t really tell with all those gaping wounds and scars etc. Then Zhaan put her robe back on and asked, “Are you sure you’re not hungry?” Did she mean food or sex? The Tavlek’s answer was wrong on both count’s, “No.” He replied. (Never look a sexy blue naked woman in the mouth.. erm..)
Rygel discusses his ideas for escape with his reluctant captive comrade while on Moya, Zhaan tried to help a weakened D’Argo. While Aeryn and Crichton try to find out where Rygel is being held captive from members of a hunting party. Aeryn disguises herself in a Tavlek uniform and puts on the handy arm weapon. She manages to learn the location of Rygel before Crichton blows up their only weapon while attempting to cover Aeryn in case there was trouble. They manage to escape and head to the kidnappers camp. D’Argo later decides to go down to the surface to help.
On Moya, the captured Tavlek is suffering withdrawal from the stimulant in his missing arm weapon. Zhaan offers to help and performs some medical procedure to help remove the pain and withdrawal symptoms by kissing the ugly dude and fondling his chest. (wadda cool bedside manner!).
On the planet, D’Argo arrives just in time. The stimulant is having a negative effect on Aeryn who seems to be gaining testosterone by the bucketful. They confront each other and D’Argo attempts to wrestle with her (they don’t use weapons because that would be cowardly !?!). As Aeryn pins D’Argo to the ground, The big doggy gives her a fearful lick on the neck and she is rendered unconscious. The arm weapon releases from Aeryn when it opens obediently.
Rygel’s attempts at escape are ruined with the big heavy boot of one of his captors. As the Dominar attempts to squeeze under the door of his cell, he is stamped on and, it seems, killed! Rygel’s captive comrade however extends one of his tentacles over Rygel’s mouth and in some way, breaths some life into him.He then tells the captor that if Rygel’s people don’t pay the ransom, his government will. The kidnapper agrees and Rygel is returned to his cell.
Crichton leaves D’Argo and Aeryn to scout out the camp, while on Moya, Zhaan and her prisoner continue their banter. I can’t decide if Zhaan fancies the ugly dude or simply wants to tease him, surely she doesn’t want to help him!?! His initial aggression however, seems to be fading.
While Crichton is away, D’Argo and Aeryn chat about their wimpy companion. “Imagine, somewhere out there is a whole world full of Crichton’s. How useless that must be.” Says Aeryn. (You don’t know the half of it luv!), “Who would have thought that there could be a race more clumsy and pathetic than the Luxan’s.” She ads.
D’Argo abruptly removes the arm that he was using as a pillow for Aeryn. “I’m sorry, you know how clumsy we Luxan’s can be.” He says predictably.
In the prison, Rygel learns that he was saved by his buddy only so that Rygel and his people will be owned by him and his consortium. Rygel laughs and tells the story of his deposition by his wicked brother.
Crichton and D’Argo approach the prison encampment. It seems that al the guards have fallen asleep. They learn that Rygel has been moved to a separate location but not before the guards wake up. A battle ensues and Crichton and D’Argo manage to escape with Aeryn’s covering fire. D’Argo unfortunately was hit and when they are safely away, he collapses to the floor bleeding a dark red almost black blood.
Aeryn then helps D’Argo by bashing the hell out of his wound. The only way for a Luxan to recover a serious injury is to have the blood run freely. When this happens it turns clear. Crichton puts on the handy arm weapon and heads off to find Rygel on his own.
On Moya, Zhaan tries to get the prisoner to stop his craving for the stimulant. I think, as a healer, she feels challenged by his addiction and is trying to help, partly to test her abilities and partly out of a sense of compassion.
Crichton catches up with four of the kidnappers and noticed Rygel parceled up in a bag. He shots three of the soldiers rendering them unconscious before seeing that his supply of stimulant has almost run out. He attempts to persuade the remaining soldier that the Dominar Rygel is worthless. The soldier seems fairly open to discussion but asks to speak with his comrade on-board Moya to see if they really are penniless. The captive on Moya confirms that the ship and crew are worthless and that he has been treated well.
Rygel is returned as is the prisoner on Moya. Rygel gives back the jewel of a control circuit and everyone lives happily ever after.
– until the next episode that is.
Not the best of episodes I guess, but there were some good moments and some funny dialogue. Most of us will remember this episode I think, because of Zhaan’s brief absence of clothes.
What did you think?
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This episode review is ©2000 – 2019, Tony Fawl
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