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Mental as Anything

Ep Synopsis by Toadie

Mental as Anything… hmmm… well it was ok. Not great not weird but not a Coup by Clam either. Just simply… strange and not in a funny, ha ha way either. This was a D’Argo ep, not something we have often, oh sure John, Rygel and Scorpy do their bits but this was all about D’Argo in the end. 

Ok lets start from the beginning. John gets a Television from Aeryn for Christmas, well I presume he got the TV, I know her got the control and Aeryn said the rest was in his quarters but… who knows, besides I bet it doesn’t even have cable. 

She and John are sitting loving it up in the classic position in pilots den wishing each other a happy Christmas. Seems the boys are going to go learn the mental judo arts while the wimmen are being sent shopping on a dead leviathan colony for parts for Moya. Typical division of labour there. 

So off everyone goes… and that’s the last we here from the girls until I guess Bring Home the Beacon. The boys are running about in some nice blue PJ’s, well all but Scorpy. They are all there to learn how to be single minded in their goals, how to survive anything. Question is can D’Argo survive Macton who just so happens to be at the same mental gymnasium. 

D’Argo as you can guess is less than overwhelmed to see him and tries to kill him only to be separated by the owner of the mental giants gym who looks like a reject from DS9. It appears the point of this whole thing is to learn to overcome pain and concentrate on your goal to the exclusion of everything else… sound a familiar mantra? 

Anyway Scorpy and the Boys are all sitting round with Macton and a Charrid. The mental guru chappie takes Scorpy into the isodecahedron, a jungle gym basically, they put their hands in to the controllers and suddenly they are in a mental landscape where they challenge one another to a duel with a ball of energy, apparently when your losing it is very painful and Scorpy loses. 

Now john and the others are far from impressed but one of the rules is that once you start the course you can not leave otherwise this crystal they wear on the side of there heads will bore into their brain. 

Through out this sequence we have been seeing flashes of Lo’Lann, D’Argo’s wife. Macton has been telling the others that that D’Argo killed his wife during a hyper-rage and that during a hyper–rage it is not uncommon for Luxans to black out and not remember what happened and it was in such a state that D’Argo killed his wife. We then see a little demonstration of such Rage and Lo’Lann backing off fearfully. 

Now it is Rygels turn, the Charrid was picked to fight and Rygel demanded the chance to fight it. He fought and after a big struggle won, although he almost died in the process. It is at that point John exclaims that enough is enough and that they were leaving, typically enough he said this directly to the Gurus face so he got Knocked out for his trouble. 

Next we see John he is locked in a sauna, well not quite. He is locked in a large metal cage sunk into the floor. The only exit is through the top, which is the floor to those standing looking down at him, in one corner is a pile of glowing hot coals and it seems to be very very hot. Katoya, that’s the mental guru in every sense of the word, talks to him about having to over come adversity, then drops the key to John, unfortunately it lands on the hot coals under the floor grid and John burns his hands trying to retrieve it. So he is left alone in the heat. 

Scorpy then pays a visit and explains what is happening. It seems John is being put through a special kind of training. Anti-Scarren torture training. The heat the Scarrens use to weaken the body to get at the mind, that’s why John is in a sauna with the key periodically dropping from above into the hot coals. John keeps whistling the theme from the great escape however, which rather ticks of Scorpy who expounds on Johns limited mental capacity but also states he has a boundless will to overcome. 

D’Argo stops by t see John tries briefly to open the grate but fails. He tells John he no longer wishes to kill Mactron and is worried he might have killed Lo’Lann in a fit of Hyper-rage. Johns not in very good condition at this point but the water provided by D’Argo seems to perk him up a little. 

Now D’Argo and Katoya go back into the macine to see if they can access D’Argos memories of the events around his wives death. Macton however seems to kill Katoya and takes over, convincing D’Argo that he did indeed kill his wife and puts him back in chains in his cell on Moya, a prison within a prison since this is all in D’Argos head. Macton shows D’Argo Lo’Lann killing herself as she could no longer live with the beatings he supposedly gave her and this throws him into a fit of hyper-rage. Macton makes to leave happy that D’Argo will be trapped in such a state forever within his own mind. But D’Argo has learned something it seems and controls his rage and escapes the chains. 

D’Argo always knew that Macton killed his sister and forced macton to relive what happened. It seems that Lo’Lann refused to let Macton frame D’Argo for some minor crime and when he said he was going to do it anyway she attacked him with a knife. His Peacekeeper reactions kicked in and he accidently killed his own sister, then wanting to frame D’Argo started to beat the dead body to make it look as if it had been done during a fit of Luxan Hyper-rage. D’Argo leaves him there, in his own mind, reliving over and over what he done. 

John meanwhile is a little worse for wear. Trapped and very very hot. Finally he has had enough. When the key drops he grabs the grill on the floor and lifts it. Now this grill must be extremely hot as it was resting on the coals, he then reaches into the coals and picks up the key. We don’t see him use it but I presume he does as we next see him aboard Lo’la D’Argo’s ship. 

Johns hands are covered in goo, some healing agent for the burns no doubt and D’Argo is very very silent and introspective. He has been changed by what he has experience and that will no doubt have repercussions in later episodes. The last thing we see is D’Argo looking thoughtful. 

Now while all this was going on and before Katoya was offed by Macton, Scorpy had a chat with him. It seems it was Katoya that taught Scorpy all he knows about single mindedness, told you it sounded a familiar mantra. Scorpy makes three requests, on to intensify Crichtons Training, the second to see what could be done to remove Macton and the final one to see if he could identify the alien that attacked John on Earth. These were all done it would seem, although no doubt the removal of Macton was a surprise to both Macton and Katoya. Scorpy informs John that the alien that attacked him was known as a Screeth and they were telepathic and could communicate over vast distances. Throwing his own spin on things he makes it seem obvious that Grayza now must know where Earth is, John is understandably upset by this Knowledge. 

Now this episode was all about D’Argo, probably very important turning point in the character, it let him realise that rage is not the answer to all of life’s problems and also that he could control his anger instead of letting it control him as it has far too often in the past. 

So what did I think of this episode? Well… it was better than Coup by Clam, it wasn’t a stunning episode and it didn’t have an intense storyline or deep plot. It was however very important developmentally for one of the main characters. All in all it was an average episode. 

The synopsis of what happened looks a little thin on the ground but very little that has not been mentioned actually happened. As I said, this was an episode lived through flashbacks to when D’Argo was with Lo’Lann and his fears about hurting her. That is the entire premise of the story with a little side story for John and Rygel. No doubt this is important at a later point in the season and without it the arc would not hold up, but ths episode was a little sparse. Good but bare.

Episode synopsis written by Toadie.