Crichton and crew waltz into Katratzi, a secret Scarran base, and make a
sales pitch – wormhole technology for cash. SuperJohn claims that he can leap tall
galaxies in a single bound, he can scorch planets with a wave of his hand, he can command
the stars to do his bidding. He flips back his cape, puts his hands on his hips and
declares, “I am an American!” No, no, no, forget truth and justice. It’s all about
capitalism, folks, and he’s out to prove it.
Of course, this isn’t as simple as it sounds. First of all, John has no
intention of selling the technology. Believe it or not, he’s there to rescue Scorpius
from the Scarrans before they get the technology by torture rather than by commerce. Next,
it’s not only the Scarrans John’s dealing with, it’s also the Peacekeepers in the
person of Grayza and her delegation who are currently in a “peace conference” with the
Scarran emperor. And to make matters better, John has wired himself up with a
thermonuclear bomb set to detonate if anyone messes with him.
The idea is to escalate the hostilities between the Scarrans and the
Peacekeepers, and to set the Charrids against the Kalish, starting a riot that will give
John and Aeryn time to grab Scorpy and run. Good plan, but there’s always the “oops
factor” in Crichton’s plans. Scorpius doesn’t want to be rescued. Why not? Because
he’s a spy working for the Scarran emperor. Or at least that’s what we’re supposed
to believe, but if he is, why didn’t he just give them the wormhole technology and avoid
the torture? Maybe Harvey is lying and Scorpy hasn’t got a clue about how to use
wormholes. If you ask me, something’s funny here, but I can’t put my finger on exactly
what it is. Farscape is rarely—if ever—inconsistent so I don’t think that Scorpius
has revealed his true agenda yet.
Stark is back! And he’s out for revenge. Here’s another guy who’s
agenda isn’t clear. He seems to have turned into evil Stark rather than insane Stark,
torturing Scorpius for pleasure rather than wormhole knowledge. Not that you can blame the
guy after all. He doesn’t have many warm fuzzy memories where Scorpius is concerned.
The Scarrans and the Peacekeepers hate each other, but they’re so much
alike it’s scary. They have the same goals (conquer the universe and suppress everyone
who isn’t of their race) and the same means of seeking them (suppress everyone who
isn’t of their race and rule the universe). Their thinking even follows the same
Each sneaks behind the backs of the other to offer Crichton more goodies
in the hope that he’ll like their offer best. The Scarran emperor marches up to John and
dumps Scorpius at his feet. He’s willing to give Crichton anything he wants just to get
wormholes and get rid of that frelling bomb. Good ol’ never-give-up Grayza offers John
and his friends a pardon from the Supreme Council on condition that there is no tech
sharing with the Scarrans.
Grayza doesn’t look at all well. Perhaps her Heppel gland is beginning
to wear away her health, perhaps her anxiety about her position in the Peacekeepers is
taking its toll. Or perhaps it was just the lighting. In any case she’s fighting for her
position in the Peacekeepers, if not her life. This is an interesting parallel with War
Minister Ahkna, who appears to be in the same precarious position with the Scarrans.
The bird of paradise/crystherium flowers must play a more important role
in Scarran culture than mere snacks. Even the emperor’s costume is based on them. Now, I don’t know about you, but I
don’t go around dressed to look like a potato chip. There has to be more significance to
the flower than a munchie.
I’m amazed at the fantastic job the Creature Shop did with the Scarrans.
They are absolutely wonderful! Each one is very different from all of the others. I
particularly liked the goofy-looking one in the helmet and the buck-toothed one talking to
Jenek when Chiana kneed him. The upper-class guys are just as incredible, especially Ahkna
(nice hat!) and Emperor Staleek. These aren’t humans with bumpy foreheads, people, these
Katratzi is Farscape at its best—a
fantastic episode in a long string of fantastic episodes. And I ask once again, “How can
SciFi cancel this show?” It’s about the only credibility they have left in the genre
of science fiction.