Sep 5 2012 3:15pm

Farscape Rewatch: “Crackers Don’t Matter”

Farscape, Crackers Don’t MatterCrackers Don’t Matter
Written by Justin Monjo, directed by Ian Watson
Season 2, Episode 4

1st US Transmission Date: 7 April 2000
1st UK Transmission Date: 17 July 2000
1st Australian Transmission: 10 December 2001

Guest Cast: Wayne Pygram (Scorpius), Danny Adcock (T’raltixx)

Synopsis: While visiting a commerce planet Moya’s crew find that Scorpius has seeded it with wanted beacons. They buy 1,000 units of crackers and leave with a technician called T’raltixx who promises to make Moya invisible to scans if they take him to his home planet.

He builds a small demonstration device which successfully turns the WDP invisible. On the way to his planet they have to pass some pulsars and T’raltixx warns them that the light may affect their judgement. The crew turn on each other – D’Argo nearly kills Rygel for stealing crackers before he teams up with Chiana, stinging Zhaan unconscious and trying to leave in the WDP. Aeryn and Rygel team up, steal some crackers and barricade themselves on the bridge. Pilot stops talking to anyone, and Zhaan writhes around in the light having photogasms.

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

John begins to hallucinate Scorpius, but realises that they are past the pulsars and it must be T’raltixx who is affecting them. He manages to capture all his shipmates and persuade them to work together and help him kill T’raltixx, who is barricaded in the sluice chamber making Moya bathe him in light. Using T’raltixx’s invisibility device John enters the chamber and kills the bad guy.

Buck Rogers Redux: Pilot tells Crichton what he thinks of him: ‘you have no special abilities. You're not particularly smart, can hardly smell, can barely see, and you're not even vaguely physically or spiritually imposing. Is there anything you do well?’ John’s got the worst eyesight of anyone on board and since it’s light that makes the crew nuts, he is the one best able to keep it together.

Howie Lewis beat him up when he was 12, but he got revenge by pouring sugar in his Harley’s petrol tank. He doesn’t like Italian food, has blue eyes and better than 20/20 vision.

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

After three episodes in which John’s become increasingly erratic he finally goes entirely off the deep end, but only because of T’raltixx. Still, he is VERY nuts, can it only be the light? Also, his initial distrust of T’raltixx, before he has anything to back it up, is just that bit too vehement and reminds us that he’s pretty out there even before the light takes effect.

That Peacekeeper Bitch: Aeryn allies herself with Rygel and barricades herself in command with their share of food cubes. She shoots at John when he comes to talk and calls him a ‘self-important, deficient little man’ which provokes him to call her ‘a frigid, flat-butted Peacekeeper skank.’ It must be love.

Big Blue: ‘She’s a plant – put her in the light, watch her smile.’ Zhaan is least affected. At first she tries to pick a fight with Aeryn, but in the end decides it’s too much hassle and goes to sit in the light and get her jollies.

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

I Was A Teenage Luxan: D’Argo allies himself with Chiana, tries to kill Rygel by forcing crackers down his throat, stings Zhaan because he thinks she’s in league with Crichton and tries to run away with Chiana. He also takes a gunshot in the leg, from John. He later apologises to Rygel and tells him how ashamed he is, but Rygel can’t forgive him yet. His speechless befuddlement when Crichton reveals he's disabled the WDP is hilarious.

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

Buckwheat the Sixteenth: As ever, in a crisis Rygel’s thoughts turn to food, but after D’Argo attacks him he hides in a conduit until Aeryn finds him. He attacks Aeryn when he thinks she’s going to betray him and gets knocked out for his pains.

Your Favourite Little Tralk: Chiana’s distrust of Aeryn surfaces first, then she joins forces with D’Argo. John captures her and for a dodgy moment that left this reviewer feeling a little uncomfortable it looks like he’s going to get all rapey, but instead he calls her a slut and knocks her unconscious.

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

In The Driving Seat: T’raltixx capitalises on Pilot’s distrust of his shipmates, and gets him to admit that he neither likes nor trusts them that much.

Hi, Harvey: When John hallucinates Scorpius it’s assumed that it’s just the affects of the light… but is it?

A Ship, A Living Ship: T'raltixx implies that his race specifically needs Leviathans to provide the kind of light-rich environment they require. Moya’s bio-luminescence is so increased that the ship actually glows.

Alien Encounters: T’raltixx says that there are thousands of his race in dormancy who will be revived by Leviathan light and will swarm around killing everybody. A set up for a returning villain that never got picked up? He is blind but has a strong internal radar that is just as good. He can shoot bolts of light from orifices on his face where eyes should be. He can climb walls like Spider-man (well, like the spider-man from the dodgy seventies TV show, at any rate).

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

Disney On Acid: “I hate when villains quote Shakespeare!” There are simply too many references to list, as mad John goes into pop-culture stream-of-consciousness mode.

What Does This Do?: Zhaan pre-digests some food to make a paste that will protect John from the radiation in T’raltixx’s light room. So he goes into battle smeared in light green puke. Lovely.

Logic Leaps: It was a bit daft of T’raltixx to tell the crew that the light from the pulsars would affect them, because by doing so he revealed his own techniques and gave them the information they needed to defeat him. Oops.

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

WHAT did you just say?: John’s vision of Scorpius tells him to shoot D’Argo: ‘Go on John, do it! Then we can go to the beach. I know a place with naked Sebacean girls and margarita shooters!’

Guest Stars: Danny Adcock will return to Farscape as Co-Kura Strappa in four episodes of Season Three.

Backstage: There’s a deleted scene of Scorpius singing ‘99 Bottles of Beer’ on the wall with John. It’s covered extensively in issue 5 of the official Farscape Magazine.

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

The Verdict: The best episode of the season so far and one of the most purely enjoyable Farscape episodes to date. All the cast have a whale of a time acting silly, but Claudia Black and Ben Browder get the best lines and get to have a big gunfight that’s loads of fun. It’s almost a mirror image of 117, ‘Through The Looking Glass’ – a bottle show with an enemy that the crew have to work together to fight in spite of forces pulling them apart – except this time there’s no happy ending.

Lots of old wounds are reopened and harsh truths voiced, and even though they eventually unite and win the day, the crisis pulls the crew apart rather than bringing them closer together. Wayne Pygram has a blast as Scorpius/Harvey, and seeing him in a Hawaiian shirt rambling about margarita shooters is laugh out loud daft, but it’s still topped by the sight of John in that absurd outfit, daubed in Zhaan’s puke, ready to enter T’raltixx’s light chamber.

Farscape, Crackers Don’t Matter

This is a sparkling return to form with a script that’s crammed full of brilliant one-liners.

Verdict Redux:  Hard to add to my previous assessment. This is great fun, a return to form after three episodes that ranged from acceptable to dull. 

Scott K. Andrews is launching his new book, School's Out Forever at Forbidden Planet, London, this Friday 7 September at 6pm.

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Keith DeCandido
1. krad

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
2. silhouettepoms
I just watched Farscape all the way through (I had watched the 1st season some years ago) for the first time last month. Now I find myself re-watching it again, because I didn't give it the proper attention while I played the first season or two as I was mostly watching it just to say I finally watched it and didn't know yet if I really liked it or not... so I was frequently doing other things around the house while it played. This is one I think I missed fully appreciating, and so I am glad I decided to go back and watch the episodes again - even though I pretty much just finished watching it... LOL Such a bizarre show, there are times I find it hard to follow but I just find the overall feel of it enjoyable, love the characters and the story arcs. After I finished watching it, the idea of picking up another series to watch didn't appeal as everything seemed so dull and colorless after 5-6 weeks of Farscape...

Sidenote, these captchas are annoying, I assume if you have a login they go away? But I can't seem to create a log in - it insists I need to "agree to terms" and there is nowhere that terms or a checkbox is listed that I can see...
Elizabeth Heckert
3. silhouettepoms
ah disregard that last, silly me I thought "receive information and updates" was optional, not a "term and condition" ...
4. Kappi
Crackers don't matter!

Probably my favorite episode.
5. Ryan Viergutz
Drat! Krad got to "Humans are SUPERIOR!!" first!

Watch for this line next time you watch it:

Aeryn: "When I'm old and fat... when I'm /old/..."
6. politeruin
#2 True, other sci-fi does seem extremely pedestrian and colourless after you've invested your time in farscape.

I'd forgotten what a great example this episode is to show farscape at its insane best and i seem to recall it inspired fans to send thousands of boxes of crackers to the network when news broke of its cancellation.

*One of the captcha words was 'frracked' heh...
Emily Lind
7. Malana
This was the first episode of Farscape I saw, and it remains my favorite. It is a showcase of some of what the show does best. It's awfully fun and silly, but then there are those little dark moments, like the above-mentioned John/Chiana scene that really make Farscape something special.
Kristen Templet
8. SF_Fangirl
What you said about this episode. This is the craziness I associate with Farscape and exemplifies why bottle episodes on Farscaoe are a good thing. An awesome episode title to boot.

But, by now, why do they ever invite anyone onto Moya? They always turn out to be bad guys. They seriously need to make better choices.
9. Froonium Ricky
NITPICK ALERT! before 200 fans jump in on the same nitpick:

'Tis not a HAWAIIAN shirt, it's a Mambo "Loud" shirt, as Australian as they come. Google "Mambo Lost Weekend" for more.

That particular shirt was chosen because I just happened to be wearing that particular shirt in the episode's production meeting, and director Ian Watson saw it and said "That's the shirt I want for that scene. Ricky, can we borrow it?"

Of course, I feared I'd never get it back, so I said, "Here's a possibly better idea! Call Mambo, tell 'em what we're up to, and ask 'em if they'll give the production, say, 10 of those shirts, and after the shoot, we'll give some away at conventions or whatnot." He did, they did, we did, a legend was born, and Mambo wound up selling, oh, at least another 100 of those shirts to fans. Win-win all around, and I still have my shirt, and about 40 other Mambo Loud Shirts as well.
Scott K. Andrews
10. ScottKAndrews
@Froonium Ricky - Best comment ever :-) My nit is duly picked.
Rob Rater
11. Quasarmodo
This was the only episode on the DVD with a commentary, which I assumed was because it was the best episode on the dvd. However Claudia Black and the director droned on and on about acting preferences and tons of other pretty boring nonsense, making all of 2 comments about the actual episode itself. One comment was about Aeryn's "battle pony". I don't remember what the other one was.
12. Mreen
It was a boring commentary, unless you wanted tech notes about directing. But take heart, other later releases and releases in other regions gave much better commentaries. Get the Starburst edition.
(To be fair, Claudia came to the commentary ready for fun - eating crackers. But the directer clearly hated talking over his own work and had to be drawn out by technical questions on directing to comment at all.)

Great ep. And great shirt Froon, glad you were able to keep it
13. Eugene R.
Scorpius and John singing "99 Bottles of Beer"? And it's NOT on the DVD?? Oh, there is NO frellin' justice in the Universe, is there?

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