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Terra Firma

Ep Synopsis by Toadie

Ok… I would like to start off with “Was it a bass or a trout?” however I still stick by my own interpretation, as it is more interesting. 

Now on with the review. We start off with the normal reprise with these kinds of episodes... yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah…”Was it a bass or a trout?” 

They say the best place to start is at the beginning, so always one to disagree with what's best I’ll jump to the end… it was a frelling good episode. More story based than normal but not lacking anything for it. As for the final scene… Quality is all I can say, sunglasses on, striding away… cool as. 

Now to the beginning. 

As you know Moya for reasons that we never find out is in orbit around earth, apparently that is where they arranged to meet John, so I guess they put it down to the time line being very very similar to the one they left but not quite. That is however beside the point. We left John demanding fishing advice from his father at pulse pistol point. 

Turns out they are on board because Sikozu could talk English and they wanted to say hi. They launched a shuttle and decided to hang about until John arrived. It just about what you would expect for the first human alien meeting, one guy that has a clue and a lot of advisors who couldn’t think their way out a paper bag with out detailed instructions and written authorization. 

It also turns out that she is alone on board. Scorpy is at the far end of the wormhole transmitting a signal so that when the wormhole is stable enough for Moya to travel through they can find there way back. 

Now the human with jack seemed impressed enough with Sikozu but lets be fair she is hardly the most threatening looking alien to meet. So it is understandable amusing when they introduce the others, especially D’Argo. They take Johns advice not to make any sudden moves very to heart. 

John wanders off while the two groups give each other the once over, from a Mexican stand off point of view obviously and ends up having a little chat with Sikozu. She is understandable confused as to Johns reaction to being home, asking if he thinks they might be a threat to the crew, to which John replies that he sees it more the other way about.

Start intro… 

Now we get to a bit I find annoyingly familiar, not that I have seen this ep before more to the style of it, The Memoirs of John Crichton. Maybe you’ll know what I mean when you see it for yourself. Anyway, there he is writing in his diary, expressing his thoughts. 

We get a brief bit about his return, meeting his sister Olivia again, seeing DK and his wife Laura, whom he is surprised married DK as she once called him a geek. And then we move onto the crew. Seems they are all down on earth with him, living in a beachfront mansion. A gilded cage as he calls it. The first thing granny does upon entering is… eat the flowers on the table. I know… I thought it would have been Rygel too. 

We see a lot of what you would expect, demonstrations of weapons and some of the military people getting injected with translator microbes so that they can listen to D’Argo telling them not to touch his ship. 

Back at the mansion, we get to see Chiana and Sikozu on bikini’s and I must admit to wondering just how long they had to be in makeup for those scenes. However long it was it was worth it. Rygel and Granny are busy eating everything they can find and loving every minute of it. Who would have thought Rygel and Noranti would be soul mates… well eating buddies at least. 

Now it seems that the American government want to keep all the discoveries and alien tech they can get in their own hands, not sharing it with anyone else. John is understandably against this. Worst of all it seems his own father disagrees with his position and has sided with the black suits. 

Oh by the way, it seems it is Christmas time. So John, Jack, Olivia and Aeryn are decorating Jacks flat in Florida and the baby pictures of John, with ass exposed, are about to be shown when, sorry ladies, the door goes and John goes to answer it. Guess who… A woman with mistletoe and a determination to examine John’s tonsils. 

Turns out she is an old girlfriend of Johns, but not Alex. This being Farscape, Aeryn turned her head just in time to see John getting kissed. Let me tell you, she did not look amused. 

So we cut to another few scenes, nothing really important until… John watching the box, feet up, scoffing away at either a bag of popcorn or chips and in walks Jack. Jack lets John know that every other nation is demanding access to the crew and their technology and John agrees with that position. His father tells him that he is being naive and that America should keep control of all the technology garnered from the crew. That after September the 11th the world is a much harsher place.  

John disagrees with him, says something about how this opportunity should be used to unite mankind, and how that always used to be his fathers dream. Seems they are both as stubborn as the other and both refuse to back down, but John still invites him along with him to visit Moya. 

Now through out this there has been Johns cousin Bobby running about filming everything on his handy cam, he particularly seemed interested in Chiana and Sikozu in their bikini’s, anyway he joins john and jack along with Aeryn and D’Argo on the journey to Moya. He and jack go to visit Pilot, while after a few frost words and not a glance in John’s direction Aeryn goes to check out her prowler. I have said it once and I’ll say it again, Ant as D’Argo injects a great amount of humour with very little effort. It lasts a few seconds but it is a great scene. 

Now there is a nice scene with John and Aeryn. It is obvious that Aeryn is feeling left out of things by John and offers to stay on Moya if John wants her too, but John insists it is her decision and she decides to return to earth with her prowler so that the techs on Earth and scratch their heads over it along with everything else they can’t figure out. 

Now we get o see the alien Grayza left behind on Moya, let me tell you it wins no prizes on the beauty front no matter how big a grin it has. On the carrier, Grayza has a thing, which she attaches to Braca’s forehead and it lets her talk to the alien through Braca, who apparently will remember nothing. Grayza orders the alien to find out all it can about Earth, it’s defences and it’s position but to leave John alone for now. When she detaches the device from Braca she convinces him that he had a great time recreating with her and orders him to ready the carrier to destroy a planet. The alien is called Skreeth or something similar and is the world’s largest chameleon. 

Now back on Moya it turns out the crew has about 70 arns to wait before Moya can safely travel back through the wormhole. D’Argo is also glad that for once John is seeing things the way D’Argo is seeing them. That is that they are going to be leaving earth long before earth can organise the people that John offered to take with him. He says better to offer it and leave before they can get things organised rather than not offer it and having the choice taken from them. Seems John has a high opinion of Governments. 

Aeryn offers jack a ride back to Earth in her prowler but first takes him on a side trip to Saturn where they have an interesting conversation. Seems like old Jack knows that Aeryn has feelings for John and thinks that John has feeling for Aeryn also. 

On earth Sikozu is on the phone refusing to take part in medical tests and finally throws the phone out the patio doors. Rygel is busy eating burgers and Noranti is attempting Christmas carols until, thankfully, Sikozu throws the music out to play with the phone on the lawn. 

Now it turns out that not only is DK a geek he is also a jealous and rather annoying one. He is convinced that John knows more about the technology than he is letting on and just wants to grab yet more glory for himself. Seems getting married didn’t do much for him because his wife is just as bitchy about it. 

Thankfully, Skreeth decides to start her investigation of earth with those two and interrogates them, reports it’s finding back to Grayza who tells it that they no longer needs the two whom it interrogated… guess what happens next…<G>

Anyway the result of this is that they decide to go after Crichton and get the wormhole information from him before killing him. 

So back to John, who is sitting going through some old pictures and talking to his sister. He tells her that he thinks coming back to earth might have been a mistake and that he can’t even explain why that is to jack because there are something he does not want the Government to find out about. 

At the beach house pervy cousin Bobby is interviewing Caroline, the old girlfriend of Johns and just as Aeryn walks up, wearing some of Johns sisters clothing tat she borrowed, he asks her, Caroline that is, how long she has been Johns girlfriend. She tells bobby to stop filming and to go take a break. Aeryn comments that she would like to know how she would have answered the question. The two females has a little chat where it turns out that Caroline is sure that John loves Aeryn and how sometimes humans often repeat a lie to try and convince themselves it is the truth. 

Back on the other side of the wormhole the disturbing relationship of Scorpy and Sikozu takes another leap forward. She has decided to join him there instead of staying on earth. He has apparently been bust turning his transport pod into a bomb so that he could destabilise the wormhole in case Grayza and her command carrier appeared and threatened John and coincidently earth. She asks him how he would survive and he said he wouldn’t and then she says that two transport pods would make a bigger bang and the move closer… Thankfully the scene ends there. 

Back on earth there is a boring official Christmas party taking place that is basically a photo opportunity. Chiana is swigging champagne from the bottle, classy chick as ever. So after a chat with a suit about having Jack pressure John into changing his stance on sharing the tech, jack stands up and delivers a speech all about how John is right and the tech should be shared for the good of humanity and invites the other countries to join in. thus the rift between father and son is healed and they head home. However as their cars pulls away we see the giant chameleon that is Skreeth is hanging onto their fender. 

Now we have a scene with Olivia, Johns sister and Aeryn. Aeryn has come to return the clothes she has borrowed as she is returning to Moya. Olivia is surprised about this as the next day is Christmas and she had expected Aeryn to join them to open presents in the morning. Its at this point that John, jack and their security detail return home, jack offering the guard some egg nogg. 

Meanwhile at the party, after pulling Chiana off a poor guy as they are leaving D’Argo smells something bad. That something turns out to be DK and his wife. Both dead as dead things, in the back of their car. 

The next scene is a very powerfully written one and well acted. It seems that Aeryn is offering to leave Earth if that is what John wants. She just wants a straight answer, yes or No. she wants to give him the space she knows he needs but she needs to know what he wants. John moves in closer to her and… Enter Skreeth stage left. 

Olivia screams, whack, unconscious. Jack attacks, whack, unconscious. Guard fires a few shots at Skreeth before being put through a wall. John attacks and ends up ruining the table set for Christmas dinner and is stunned. Aeryn pulls out her pulse pistol and adds quite a few holes in the structure of the building before Skreeth pulls a vanishing trick. John stands up and is almost shot by Aeryn and as she raises the pistol away from john Skreeth appears beside her and for reasons known only to it, decides to chow down on the pulse pistol. 

So it seems John has Winona in his room and makes a run for it while Aeryn distracts Skreeth but that does not last long as Skreeth knocks her out but John makes it to his room after a little tussle on the stairs and reappears with Winona. But there is no Skreeth to be seen, obviously. So as he is looking about Skreeth reappears beside him and they fight over the Pistol and fall over the balcony railing and both hit the floor stunned. 

Skreeth recovers first and is in the process of doing whatever it is it does to interrogate prisoners, some sort of Vulcan mind meld gone crazy with hands in desperate need of a manicure. Aeryn recovers rolls grabs Winona who has fallen near her and firs at the chandelier, telling John to get clear, which she does and the chandelier falls and nails Skreeth. 

They check that everyone is all right and D’Argo appears in Lo’la hovering just outside the French windows. Cue Olivia screaming again and it turns out Skreeth has recovered but D’Argo takes it out with the cannon on Lo’la. Ain’t no way that baddies is coming back. 

Meanwhile Grayza has been following the fight through the stick head thing she puts on Braca, when Skreeth is killed Braca collapses. So she lies beside him and convinces him that the two of them had decided to recreate on the hard metal floor, out of sheer boredom no doubt. Poor guy, there he is a spy for Scorpy, used as a dupe by Grayza and now he’s been demoted to a walking radio, so much for his promotion to Captain. 

Now during the fight back on earth John used some of the drugs that Noranti had supplied him to throw in Skreeths face to stun him for a second or two. Aeryn questions Noranti about what they are and what they do and she is less than happy about the answer she gets back. 

On Earth John is saying his goodbyes. First to his sister, who gives him their mother’s wedding ring, then to his father. A very emotional scene this one and well acted. Jack is afraid that he won’t see his son again but John promises him that he will. After a few hugs and kisses it is time to leave. 

The last we see John is him striding away, long black jacket on, sunglasses and a great rocky score in the background, very matrixy. So frelling cool. 

This is an excellent ep, well written, powerfully acted and well scored. This is easily one of the best episodes in my not so humble opinion. Some people might disagree with me but that’s ok, they are allowed to have their own opinions even if they are wrong. The best line is this ep is uttered by Aeryn after the fight with Skreeth, “Merry frelling Christmas!” to which John responds “Amen” 

All in all this is an ep with something for everyone. Farscape is back on form after he disappointments early in the season epitomized by “Coup By Clam” although Aeryn's reaction to John dressed as a woman made that episode for me. 

Anyway I digress. Excellent episode. Well worth watching over and over and over.

Episode synopsis written by Toadie.