Farscape: S02E11: Look at the Princess Pt.1 (A Kiss is but a Kiss)
Note: This episode (2.10) was (amazingly enough) aired out of order with “My Three Crichtons” (2.13). It doesn’t make much of a difference in this case (unlike the way in which LEXX was aired), but it is… interesting. I am not sure why SciFi US feels compelled to dink with the episode order of their shows, but there you have it.
Aeryn and John are sitting in Crichton’s module, with Aeryn trying to teach John the finer points of precision flying. In the midst of some banter about John’s flying skills, John notices that something smells really great – Aeryn’s hair. She plays dumb for a couple of seconds, but then smiles and admits that Zhaan gave her something, although she claims it wasn’t for his benefit, but for herself. She warns John, half seriously, “Personal indulgences can fracture a small crew.” Then she kisses John (who of course kisses her right back).
Aeryn: very passionate here! It was good to see our favorite fallen PK getting into the spirit of thing. But wait!
After almost literally flinging herself into John’s arms, Aeryn breaks away from him with a strangled sounding “No!” and bursts out of the module. She almost literally runs away, despite John asking her to wait, shouting, “I will not be a slave to your hormones!!” John is naturally outraged by this comment: “My hormones??! Hey, I was lips, you were tongue!!” he responds angrily, chasing the fleeing Peacekeeper. This unfortunate remark causes Aeryn to take a half-hearted swing at Crichton, who pushes her against the wall (to prevent her from actually landing a hit, it wasn’t a particularly aggressive move on his part).
John demands to know why she did her hair, and she admits she did it to see if he would notice. He tells her he is standing at full attention (Hmm!) and that he noticed. But Aeryn is rapidly regaining her cool after her brief brush with passion, and she tells him she’ll let Zhaan know that Crichton finds her oils pleasing. “It’s you I find pleasing,” John tells her, but Aeryn is seemingly unmoved by this declaration and stalks off.
Chiana, who seems to have been in the hangar doing some sort of work, finds all of this extraordinarily amusing, and offers some advice (whether he wants it or not). Pressing up against him as he works on the module, she tells John to “Go fast with the body, slow with the soul!” and to live for the moment. Chiana thinks maybe he should find someone who lives for the moment (I wonder who she’s thinking of to fill that role?). John is not immune to Chiana’s blandishments (actually, he gets what I would call a shit-eating grin on his face), but is distracted by Pilot hailing them.
Another possible interpretation of this scene is that John is amused full-stop, and not all that moved by Chiana, it is hard to say for sure. Maybe he just can’t believe that she made a pass at him after seeing him and Aeryn have a fight and is figuratively rolling his eyes. Although, he tries to maintain the brother/sister thing, but they aren’t actually related, and there has been some evidence that deep down, he finds Chiana to be not unattractive. So maybe it is a mixture of all this: He is somewhat flattered by Chiana more or less feeling him up, but is not particularly interested, since the woman he really wants just stalked down the hall in a huff.
The crew all assembles in Pilot’s room, and he tells them that they have been cross-targeted by some sort of Peacekeeper satellite cannon, and that trying to escape with cause them all to fire, thereby destroying the ship. The cannons appear to belong to an inhabited planet, who has been hailing the ship. Pilot decides to surrender, since there is no way out of the situation, even though everyone aboard is terrified that they have encountered Scorpius and his merry band of PKs.
The person who appears on Moya’s main screen is Councilor Tyno, an apparently Sebacean young man. After he learns that Moya and her crew are not affiliated with the Peacekeepers, he tells them they are free to go, but declines to let them come down to the planet. His people are preparing for a coronation ceremony, and they don’t want any distractions.
Rygel has been trying to get a word in edgewise during this conversation, claiming that he’s the crew’s best negotiator, but has been restrained by John, who, for some reason, is under the impression that Rygel is only interested in serving his own self-interest. When he hears that there is an Empress and a coronation taking place, Rygel bites John in the hand and frantically introduces himself to Tyno, explaining that he is Rygel XVI, the Dominar of the Hynerian peoples – and that surely royalty is welcome at this ceremony. He also tells Tyno that his people can’t possibly hate the Peacekeepers as much as Moya’s crew, and that fate has brought them together. After taking another good look at the crew, Tyno agrees and invites the Moyans down on the planet, where they can trade and take in the sights – as long as they aren’t packing any weapons. “Was I right??! WAS I RIGHT??!” Rygel demands after Tyno signs off. John finally (reluctantly) admits that Rygel was right, and Rygel smugly follows up with, “Don’t EVER forget it!”
John and Aeryn meet up by accident in one of Moya’s corridors, and John tells her he wants to talk; she tells him she wants to talk less. “We tried that, it just leads to kissing,” John quips, trying to break through the ice. But Aeryn is unmoved, and tells him she wants more space. “Fine, have the whole universe,” he retorts, annoyed. While Aeryn is standing there watching, John strides over to Chiana’s door, and tells her he is going down to the planet. He then invites her to go down there with him. “Yeah! Oh yeah!” Chiana responds enthusiastically from the other side of the door. At this point, John takes a look back at Aeryn, who is laughing in disbelief at this ploy. “Oh Good,” she mutters sarcastically, and stalks off (again). one could just hear the follow-up words: “Very mature!”
Guys, don’t try this at home! The jealousy ploy never works, it just pisses off the object of your affection! You would think that Crichton, a handsome and socially gregarious young man, would know this. But it seems he is reacting, and not thinking (at least with his brain), at this point. Anyway…
John then enters Chiana’s room, only to find her happily… engaged… with D’Argo! From amidst the throes of passion, D’Argo waves at John to GET OUT!! Which he does, horribly embarrassed. (As well he should be! What the heck does he think the curtain over the door means, sheesh!)
In the hangar, D’Argo gets John aside to briefly discuss his relationship with Chiana. “Don’t blow it for me!” he requests urgently. John tells D’Argo he would never interfere, and that he’s happy for them (he seems absolutely sincere here, so obviously he isn’t particularly attached to Chiana in “that way.” As if we needed confirmation!)
The crew goes down to the planet and into a huge city (the cinematography in this scene was breathtaking), where they immediately join a huge party, filled with beautiful people in flowing white clothing. A number of people take little flasks of some sort of amber substance, take a taste, and then touch tongues! Sometimes, it leads to deeper kissing, but more often, it leads to polite smiles. Rygel is in his element, and very cheerful to boot. He discusses the Sebacean breakaway colonies with Aeryn: several groups of Sebaceans had left the Peacekeeper worlds about nineteen hundred cycles ago to strike out on their own, but Peacekeepers in general hadn’t given them any chance of survival.
John takes this opportunity to try again with Aeryn: he offers to buy her a drink if she’ll talk with him. Unfortunately, he has given her ample ammunition to snidely ask him if he wants to talk to her because Chiana is already busy with D’Argo. John takes this in the spirit in which it is intended, and tells her she is being unfair. Just then, one of the lovely Sebacean lasses comes up and offers to touch tongues with him. John tries to blow it off, and goes so far as to look at Aeryn for her reaction, but she is still in Ice Princess mode. So he touches tongues, and then goes in for a nice deep kiss. Aeryn is annoyed by this, and coldly tells him it’s a whole world “designed for your rutting instincts.” She then proceeds to angrily turn down a nice young man (OK, he was actually kinda smarmy) who swoops in to touch tongues with her. Meanwhile, other nice young women have discovered John standing around looking unattached. “I am never leaving this world!” he exclaims happily, after a nice smooch.
Above the dance floor, a Sebacean man and woman, and a dragon/reptilian being are deep in discussion. They have seen John cockily walking around the floor, and are somewhat concerned by his presence. The dragon-guy (A Scarran named Cargn) was under the impression that no one could get into the world, while the man, Clavor, was under the impression people getting in wouldn’t matter. Cargn assures Clavor that his sister’s DNA has been irreversibly altered, so it shouldn’t matter, and he will still be King. The woman (Jena) tells Clavor that if he isn’t going to be King, she won’t marry him.
Rygel and Tyno discuss the coronation, and Tyno tells Rygel that if Princess Katralla, the Heir Apparent, doesn’t find a compatible mate in the next few days, the throne will go to Clavor.
Zhaan has stayed behind on Moya, and Pilot is curious as to why. Zhaan explains that she welcomes the chance for privacy, and will be using the time to work on her Seek. Pilot and Moya are entranced, and open all the doors in the ship to make the Seek easier (and to watch, to a certain extent). Zhaan sits quietly, than starts singing, her voice gradually rising and filling the ship.
Chiana and D’Argo partake of the amber substance; D’Argo tries to resist but with Chiana writhing around on his lap, what chance does he have? So they touch tongues, and find their kiss is bitter. Chiana tells him that only their DNA is incompatible; the rest of them seems to be very compatible indeed. Chiana and D’Argo actually seem a little disappointed that they can’t have children, but they swiftly move on to other matters.
Meanwhile, Aeryn and Rygel (!) are sitting and having a rather pleasant discussion. They have noted the Scarran, and are speculating as to the reasons for his presence. Aeryn believes Cargn wants a pact with this kingdom’s government. While they are sitting there, Aeryn is hit on by several Sebacean men, until finally she grabs the vial and touches tongues with Rygel! “Sweet!! I’m so pleased!!” she says, smiling brilliantly at her latest suitor, who expresses his happiness for them both. Rygel enthusiastically agrees; but when the poor schmuck turns to leave they both spit violently. Apparently Hynerians and Sebaceans aren’t at all compatible. Who’da thunk it?
Back on Moya, Zhaan is taking a break and is wandering the halls, when Pilot hails her. He tells her that Scorpius has found them. Although Scorpy and crew are stuck at the cannon perimeter, they have scanend Moya and are aware of her presence in the system. With no time to collect the rest of the crew, Zhaan and Pilot come up with a desperate plan to let the Peacekeepers physically see Moya, and then starburst away. They hope that this will lure Scorpius away from the system. With this hope, they starburst away, leaving the rest of the crew stranded.
This obviously doesn’t sit will with those still on the planet, and Chiana and D’Argo have made arrangements to try and locate Moya. Tyno comes to Crichton with this information, and asks him to kiss one last woman, a very pretty and delicate-looking young woman, so hands him the flask. John isn’t interested, but she insists. John touches tongues with her, only to find that their kiss is sweet! Tyno turns away, obviously distressed. About this point, John gets the point that something is going on: the crowd has fallen silent, and the woman is smiling in delight.
Above the dance floor, Clavor flips out, seeing his nefarious plans in ruins. Cargn urges him to calm down, so they can salvage the situation, but Clavor seems resistant to this good sense. Cargn explains that if Crichton’s DNA is compatible with that of the Princess, that he simply must die tragically within a day.
Tyno has placed Crichton under protective custody, while assuring him that he isn’t a prisoner. When John tests this statement, his guards prevent him from leaving. Tyno explains that Crichton is the only man they have found who might have compatible DNA with the Princess. He asks Crichton to consider marrying her, and explains that when the Princess becomes Empress, that John would be Regent. Many people would die for the opportunity, a turn of phrase which doesn’t help John’s state of mind. As they reach John’s room, they find Prince Clavor waiting for them, who smarmily informs John that power is a curse, and not a blessing. Clavor tells Tyno to leave, an order which Tyno declines. It seems that the Empress wants Crichton kept under protective custody at all times. With ill grace, Clavor leaves.
Meanwhile, Aeryn has been looking for the other Moyans, and stumbles across a very worn out Chiana and D’Argo. They tell her that Moya is no longer in orbit – and also that John is now in custody. This news naturally takes Aeryn by surprise. Chiana explains that John kissed the Princess, and are now refusing to release John. Aeryn is surprisingly angered by this turn of events, but Chiana cuts her off. “We probably wouldn’t be in this dren if it wasn’t for you,” she says sternly. Aeryn is taken aback by this comment, but quickly takes the offensive, leading to something of a catfight. Fortunately, D’Argo intervenes before the two come to actual blows. He tells them all he thinks they should just wait for more information about both Moya and Crichton, but Aeryn grabs Chiana and drags her off to look for Crichton.
Worn out (sated!), D’Argo sits with his back exposed and unguarded: very unlike him. Unfortunately for him, Scorpius chooses that moment to come up behind D’Argo and introduce himself. As D’Argo arms himself with his drink beaker and stands ready to fight, Scorpius suavely explains that he is not armed and just wants to talk. He smiles gamely.
Cargn and Clavor observe Scorpius and D’Argo leave the room, and Cargn feels the plot has thickened. He is familiar with Scorpius—a half-breed Scarran/Sebacean. Scorpius’ father was a Scarran, and seeing Cargn will make you wonder just how that particular pairing… worked. Perhaps the Peacekeepers do a bit of genetic experimentation, or perhaps Scorpius came about in other ways, but regardless, Cargn obviously considers Scorpius to be a huge fly in his ointment. Cargn believes that Crichton and the other Moyans work for Scorpius, with the aims of marrying a Sebacean spy (Crichton) to the Princess to block the advance of the Scarrans. (O the irony!) Cargn reassures Clavor that he will be ruler, because Cargn wishes it to be so.
D’Argo relates his conversation with Scorpius to John and Rygel. Scorpius offered to let the other Moyans go free, and promised not to destroy John’s brain, as long as John willingly give up the wormhole technology. John is naturally underwhelmed at the offer (actually, he starts getting rather strident at about this point), and also adamantly refuses to marry the Princess. Rygel thinks that the safest place on the planet for John is where he is, and tells John that he would marry the Princess. John reminds Rygel that unlike Hynerians, he isn’t a polygamist. D’Argo and Rygel lose patience with John, and tell him that they are stalling for time, and that the longer John can stall by pretending to love the Princess, the longer they will have to figure something out. John tells them he doesn’t care what plan they come up with, but that he’s going to tell Katralla he won’t marry her.
On Moya, Zhaan and Pilot discover that the Peacekeeper’s didn’t take their bait, despite Moya having made the shortest jump of which she was capable. Horrified that they abandoned their friends, they decide to backtrack, but there are problems, since they are in the Uncharted Territories and don’t have any navigational markers. Moya’s navigation system resets the markers in her database whenever they make a jump, so backtracking will be tricky. Nevertheless, they resolve to try and find the others.
Clavor confronts John, who assures him that he will not be marrying the Princess. People in his culture marry for love — unless they’re critically ill billionaires, as John sardonically observes. Clavor is thunderstruck, apparently unable to comprehend that someone might not wish to have all that power. Katralla joins the group in the room, and John starts to tell her his thoughts, when the Empress herself walks in and armlocks John. “I anticipate sturdy grandchildren from you,” she informs him regally.
The Empress and John talk, and the Empress tells John that the reason she doesn’t want Clavor to rule is that he will sell out their kingdom and its precious neutrality to the Scarrans. Clavor’s desire for power would result in the loss of hundreds of millions of lives. The Empress explains the delicate balancing act she has been performing: treading a razor-edged wire between the Peacekeepers on the one hand, and the Scarrans on the other. John tells her that he understands, but he still isn’t going to marry Katralla.
Smiling sweetly, the Empress gestures behind John, and Scorpius walks in! He walks up to John and engulfs him in a comradely embrace, affectionately saying, “Oh hello, Crichton!” as if they were long separated friends. This results in a slew of memories: Scorpius brandishing a long, stiletto-like object while dulcetly offering, “Something to remember me by!”; John screaming in agony, John vomiting from pain. John tells Scorpius that he’s wasted his time. “The rift between us need not be terminal,” Scorpius returns, undaunted. John tells him to find another girlfriend, but Scorpius refuses to take no for an answer, and rather cryptically tells John not to let the Empress frighten him—to make the correct decision. As Scorpius walks away, the Empress pleasantly tells John to choose between marrying Katralla, or dealing with Scorpius.
While Scorpius smilingly watches (a romantic at heart?), John strides over to the Princess and asks her what her wishes are. She tells him she wants to be Empress, to have children and to keep the peace. She assures John she won’t make him miserable (too late for that, I think!), and John, hardly able to speak, asks the Princess to marry him. She accepts with alacrity.
This whole scene is filled with things that make you go Hmmmm. Scorpius is so confident — despite knowing everything John must be feeling towards him—it makes you wonder why he isn’t more urgent. He was decidedly non-threatening in this scene, but I can’t decide whether it is out of contempt for John (as his embrace would seem to indicate) and his powers of resistance, or because he has something up his sleeve. Or both.
John tries to explain all this to Aeryn, who isn’t having any. He tells her he had no choice, caught as he was between the Empress and Scorpius, but she tells him she is disappointed in him. “You should lower your expectations,” he responds tiredly. To Aeryn’s comments about the Princess’ good looks, wealth and power, he tells her all he wants is to get off the planet the way he got there: single and alive. Aeryn starts to tell him that she’ll help, but they are interrupted by one of the guys who has been hitting on Aeryn. He turns out to be related to Katralla. He takes this opportunity to hit on Aeryn again, but she blows him off. “Seemed like a nice guy,” Crichton remarks “innocently” to Aeryn, after watching her brutally rebuff Dregon. “Oh stop it,” commands Aeryn, getting back to the subject at hand. John tries to tell Aeryn how afraid he is of Scorpius, although seemingly she doesn’t really “hear” him. He also asks her to help figure out someone else to marry the Princess, but if she can’t, he tells her, “Better wed than dead.” This seems to cause Aeryn some dismay, and as usual, she stalks off.
This scene was a little more like the John and Aeryn we have come to know… two friends who can talk about anything at all, and rely on each other to the bitter end. There was no animosity whatsoever in any of it (except maybe a bit, at the very end), just two people who are so close they work together as a team almost without realizing it.
While pondering the situation, Aeryn takes a walk in the Imperial Gardens, and happens to observe Tyno and Katralla in the midst of a rather heated discussion. Katralla begs Tyno to take her away from the mess her life has become, and asks him to save her from her marriage to Crichton. Although assuring her that he does love her, and he knows she loves him, they both (Tyno and Katralla) have their duty, and to preserve the peace, they need to follow their duty. Katralla is unimpressed by this argument and hugs Tyno fiercely; she and Tyno are obviously in a great deal of pain over the marriage situation. Aeryn thoughtfully observes them both, while Tyno puts Katralla away from him. “You must do your duty,” he repeats.
Aeryn seeks out D’Argo and Chiana, and explosively tears into Crichton (in his absence). Both Chiana and D’Argo tell her that Crichton had no choice in his actions, but Aeryn tells them that they could hide out in the badlands outside the city until Scorpius left. (!) “Marrying her is the only thing that will save Crichton’s life, Aeryn… don’t you get that?!” asks Chiana, incredulous at Aeryn’s obtuseness. “I’ve had just about enough of you!” hisses Aeryn fiercely. “It’s not me that you’re mad at… you should have told him how you felt when you had the chance,” retorts Chiana, taking no prisoners as usual. “You don’t know anything,” Aeryn rather lamely responds, turning away.
Chiana picks up this rather promising gauntlet (of course), and tells Aeryn a few choice items about her personality, the bulk of which amount to Aeryn wanting men she can’t have. “So,” finishes Chiana, “you’re gonna go to Crichton, you’re gonna mess with his mind, he’s gonna be turned over to Scorpius, and DEAD.” “This marriage is WRONG, and you both KNOW IT,” answers Aeryn furiously to this analysis of her motives, storming off yet again.
Back on Moya, Zhaan is frantic; Moya is moving even farther away from the royal planet. Pilot explains that Moya is following some sort of signal, familiar and compelling, and refuses to turn away from trying to track the signal. In fact, the signal is beyond compelling: Moya is almost obligated to follow it.
On the planet, Cargn, who desires to have a word with her, accosts Aeryn. Still believing that the Moyans are working for Scorpius, he tells Aeryn he has a message for Scorpius: the Scarrans will not tolerate Scorpy’s interference so far out in the Uncharted Territories. He then asks Aeryn a tactical question about the Peacekeeper strength. Aeryn refuses to answer this question, but Cargn refuses her refusal and, using some sort of breath ray, tries to read her mind. The Scarrans seem to have psychic powers; in fact, Scorpius has given evidence that he has at least some as well (in “Nerve” he was immediately able to tell that Crichton wasn’t a Peacekeeper). These powers manifest themselves when the Scarran points his clawed finger and emits some sort of ray from his hand; in any case, it causes the air to ripple (like a heat wave). It isn’t clear what this ray does, but it seems to be painful. In any event, Aeryn recognizes the ripply air as a threat, and throws a punch at Cargn (probably relishing the opportunity to vent a bit), who pretty much proceeds to clean the room (a bathroom) with her. She is only saved by the prompt arrival of the Empress, who gives Aeryn a stern warning about her behavior.
Rygel, royally following in the Empress’ train, gravely tells Aeryn to listen up. (Actually, he calls her a Peacekeeper, apparently feeling that her recent behavior is PK-ish). He tells her that the longer Crichton follows along with the plan, the longer everyone will live, and not to dissuade him from the marriage. “Thank you Rygel,” Aeryn says, wincing in pain on the floor, “but I’ll do what I think is right.” “For Crichton… or for you?” the Hynerian responds huffily.
Meanwhile, John has been undergoing further DNA testing, and Tyno asks John what species he is. After John tells him he’s Human, Tyno tells him that that information has been sealed, so no one will know John isn’t Sebacean. Tyno tells John that he believes that Cargn and Clavor were responsible for poisoning Katralla’s DNA, and that until John came around, no one had been found that could make healthy babies with the Princess. After having some of her own blood drawn, the Princess turns on a machine, and shows John a hologram of what a son of theirs might look like. John, finally, is mesmerized by the sight of his potential child, whom he can touch and feel through the powers of the machine.
This was a very touching scene, with John seemingly somewhat reconciled to the whole thing through his children. It is obvious he cares deeply about having children (in fact, in A Human Reaction (I think) he remarks to his tape that he knows he’ll probably never have kids). His general demeanor when he sees and touches the baby, shading its eyes from the harsh light in the room; as well as playing with his somewhat grown son, is very tender.
Aeryn sees the interaction of Katralla and John with the potential son, and for the first time, perhaps, realizes that she may have lost John for good. She looks absolutely devastated. As does Tyno.
After John and Katralla finish looking at potential offspring, Tyno tells John he needs to be fitted for clothing for the royal statue. John at first is taken aback that a statue will be made of him, but is even more surprised to learn that a statue will literally be made – of him! His and Katralla’s bodies will be made into statues for eighty cycles so that they can oversee the planet’s Senate and learn about the governmental process. Crichton doesn’t like this plan.
Clavor and Cargn are frantically discussing how to deal with the new knowledge that Katralla and Crichton’s DNA is totally compatible. Cargn tells Clavor that his loyalists must assassinate Crichton within the next solar day. Clavor is starting to feel antsy in the relationship with Cargn, and makes a few threatening remarks, but Cargn quickly brings him back into line with his hand-ray. “Destiny’s scalpel, you are,” Cargn remarks disgustedly.
Moya, Zhaan and Pilot finally reach Moya’s destination, and Zhaan and Pilot observe an ethereal stream emanating from the planet. Pilot tells Zhaan that the stream is alive, and is in fact, Moya’s builders – in effect her Gods. Zhaan seems enraptured by this knowledge.
Stunned by the news of the statue issue, John barges into Chiana’s and D’Argo room (again), and interrupts them in the midst of some “recreating.” Completely ignoring the very naked Chiana in the throws of passion, John sits down and starts ranting out about being a statue for eighty cycles. D’Argo emerges from under the bed’s covers, and wryly asks, “Why don’t you stay and tell us about it, John?” (Now that’s a friend!) Chiana gets up and leaves.
Very compassionately, D’Argo tells John that he has to go through with the wedding, that the alternative is to have his brain dissected by Scorpius. John tells D’Argo that the only thing keeping him going from day to day is hope, the hope that one day he will be able to return to Earth. He explains that in eighty cycles everyone John knows and loves will be dead, including best friend, his father and his sisters. D’Argo points out that John might never see them again anyway, and that perhaps his destiny is that he settle down with Katralla. “I have hope, or I am nothing,” says John with finality. D’Argo reiterates that John should look at the positives of the hand he has been dealt: the chance to be free of Scorpius, the chance to raise a family.
“If I do this, you have to be my best man,” John responds, after thinking about it for a few minutes. “Uhhh… I am with Chiana now, John” quietly returns D’Argo, trying hard not to hurt Crichton’s feelings. (This remark nearly caused me to choke on my soda.)
After this discussion, John returns to his room and starts dressing in some sort of red silk outfit, aided by a reptilian valet/butler named Ro-NA, whom we had previously seen suffering the abuse of Prince Clavor. Ro-NA had been employed by the royal family for twenty-two cycles, and is beginning to talk to John when Aeryn bursts in, demanding to speak to John alone. Ro-NA beats a hasty retreat.
“So, you’re going to take D’Argo’s advice over mine?” Aeryn asks dangerously. Her issue seems to be that Crichton will be a statue for eighty cycles, but she completely tunes out the part about that choice being better than being given over to Scorpius. once again, John tries to explain the depth of his fear of Scorpius: Scorpius is in his head, in the back of his mind, always there — and John can’t get rid of him. Aeryn, remarkably intense, tells him that there was never anything they couldn’t overcome together, prompting John to say ironically, “Except each other,” and to turn away., leaving Aeryn looking rather wounded and defeated, and struggling to restrain her emotions (which John doesn’t notice, dammit). She tells John she can’t come to his wedding, and John tells her he needs her there. “Don’t be absurd,” Aeryn says flatly. “Don’t you think… that there are things to say?” John asks.
Aeryn tells him the only thing they have left to say to each other is Goodbye, and John, perhaps tired of beating his head against a wall, tells her she’s right – she’s always right. Perhaps he didn’t notice the look on her face – very close to tears. Or perhaps John was simply hoping that Aeryn, in the final clinch, would give him some hope to cling to. But Aeryn wordlessly turns away and leaves. “Bye,” whispers John dejectedly, continuing to dress in the red outfit.
A servant enters the room and tells John they’re almost ready for him (for his statue, perhaps), and then snaps the neck of John’s guard. John heaves a bench at this assassin and starts to pummel him, but several more assassin-types enter the room and immobilize John. “Here’s your wedding present from Prince Clavor,” says one of the goons calmly, and shoots John with some sort of gun that causes his flesh to ripple!
Comments: Well, this was a total angst-fest, wasn’t it? It reminded me strongly of being in high-school, where the same John/Aeryn dance was performed on a regular basis. I suppose that in many ways Aeryn in fact is emotionally a teenager, but John at least should know better. on the other hand, Aeryn seems to literally flee in terror at the slightest hint of any softer emotions – even when she invites or initiates them. There are a couple of nasty phrases for this sort of behavior, but I don’t think she is aware of what she’s doing. She was raised to be a soldier, to not engage in anything softer – and when she did it was an unmitigated disaster. Still, her own mother procreated out of strong feelings for her partner, a fact which she conveyed to Aeryn. It is obvious that Aeryn has been terribly scarred by her various experiences; I hope she gets over it. As far as John, I am not sure what is going on with him, except perhaps a desire for Aeryn to come clean about her feelings. He acted jerk-like in a number of scenes as well, but he has been remarkably patient, although I think he forgets that Aeryn isn’t a Human, and does not necessarily react to things the same way he does. I got the impression that in the last scene, before he said she was always right, he was waiting for her to say something, anything to make him change his mind. I don’t know why she just doesn’t ask him not to do it for her sake; perhaps that would be too much of a commitment for her, though.
Anyway, this was an awesome episode, filled with romance,
intrigue and other good stuff. I rate it 5 out of 5!
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