Wed
Feb 20 2013 4:00pm
Farscape Rewatch: “Suns and Lovers”

Farscape, Suns and LoversSuns And Lovers
Written by Justin Monjo, directed by Andrew Prowse
Season 3, Episode 2

1st US Transmission Date: 23 March 2001
1st UK Transmission Date: 3 September 2001

Guest Cast: Jothee (Matt Newton), Borlik (Leanna Walsmann), Moordil (Thomas Holesgrove), Alien Girl (Jessica Fallico), Cryoman (David Lucas)

Synopsis: Moya docks at a trading station near the twin suns of Qell. The station is severely damaged by a storm, and Moya is trapped by cables. The station is in an area considered holy by a fanatical religious cult, and it is discovered that the storm was attracted to the station by a flux broadcast coming from inside the body of the security officer, Borlik. She magnetises herself to a cooling pipe and taunts everyone that they will be cleansed by the wrath of her God, Gezma, when the next storm arrives.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

On Moya the storm has cracked open one of the cryo-tubes and released an Interion, who almost immediately dies. John uses the cryo-tube to attract Borlik off the pipe, seals her inside and takes her to Moya, intending to draw the storm away. Borlik manages to escape and magnetises herself to the wall of the storage bay. Happily, the wall is detachable—John flushes her out into space and the storm destroys her.

Chiana and Jothee are having sex on Moya when the storm hits. D’Argo discovers their betrayal. He confronts them and then, drunk and heartbroken, he goes outside the ship to try and release Moya from the cables. He attempts suicide by shorting two power cables, but he survives. Jothee leaves the ship.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

Aeryn treks through miles of waste pipes on the station and manages to rescue children that were trapped in the station’s nursery.

Buck Rogers Redux: When we find John he’s drowning his sorrows in aviation fuel and moaning to the bartender about the neural clone. He’s getting quite a reputation in the U.T.s, although his shipmates are relegated to bit part players in the legends. Borlik has heard about the Gammak Base destruction and the Shadow Depository raid; she has also heard that he destroyed an entire Nebari battalion and that he likes to do a bit of raping, pillaging and eyeball popping in his spare time.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

You Can be More: Aeryn has traded in a pulse pistol for some Tarnek Deployers, which she uses to blast open the Nursery door.

Big Blue: Zhaan is deteriorating faster than she and Stark predicted and has sores all over her head. The crew are searching for a planet that has the right soil and climate to help her recover.

I Was A Teenage Luxan: D’Argo finds a ship drifting amongst the station wreckage; he gets Moya to bring it aboard but cannot enter because its defence screen remains active.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

Buckwheat the Sixteenth: Rygel is a total pervert—he’s rigged a portable viewer so he can stroke his eyebrows and watch Chi and Jothee having sex. Nontheless the deluded little slug thinks that he still has the moral authority to call Chi a slut and tell her to keep her legs together. When Borlik is stuck to the coolant pipe he wants to kill her, and tries ramming her to death with his Thronesled.

The Man In the Iron Mask: Stark screams at Zhaan when she is reluctant to show him her sores, and he’s horrified by her decay. He tips servants hugely out of sympathy. He has charts that he hopes will enable them to find a planet where Zhaan can heal.

In The Driving Seat: Pilot gives out a huge, gleeful laugh when Borlik is ejected into space; who knew he was capable of such schadenfreude.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

A Ship, A Living Ship!: Moya’s elastic skin prevents her being too seriously damaged by her collision with the station, but three tiers are ruptured. The cables that hold her appear to have been deliberately attached, which implies that she was taking on power and perhaps nutrients from the station, much like a car takes on fuel. She can produce an ‘Inertial Field’ which allows people to walk on her skin outside the ship; it can’t stop them drifting off if forcefully dislodged, however.

The Ballad Of Aeryn And John: ‘I don't need your emotions, but we can have sex if you want.’ The tension is getting to Aeryn and she proposes an emotion-free lowering of fluid levels; she goes so far as to start undressing in a cooling pipe while on a rescue mission, so eager is she to jump John’s bones. John interprets her offer as pity and tells her: ‘I got two hands, I can alternate, I can release all the tension I want.’ For once it’s Aeryn asking John what he’s afraid of rather than the other way around, but we never get an answer. Later, John seems about to take her up on the offer but she pre-empts him by agreeing that they should do nothing about it, even though it will lead to a backlog of body fluids.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

The Ballad of Chiana And D’Argo: Chiana was freaked out by learning of D’Argo’s marriage plans and knew he wouldn’t take no for an answer, so she decided she had to do something he would never forgive—have sex with his son. She makes a pretence of trying to keep it secret, but it’s hopeless and she effectively gives the game away by being obvious and nervous. D’Argo had bought her Luxan Union Tattoos, ‘a Luxan symbol of courage, honour and loyalty’ which are burnt into the skin of a couple; he instead brands Jothee with one and destroys the other. D’Argo will never listen to anything either of them have to say again and is utterly betrayed. Even when Chiana, distraught that she may have driven him to suicide, tries to comfort him, he tells her and Jothee to get lost. He overhears them talking afterwards; Jothee realises he’s been used by Chiana and decides to leave, but tells her to tell his father that one day he will return to make amends to both of them.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

Alien Encounters: The Interion who is released from the cryo-tube was part of an expedition to find the ‘Dimordis Tomb in the Berger Nebula.’ He and his colleague Stanis (whose brain was used to heal Crichton in ‘Season of Death’) fell sick and were found by someone called Jool, who is presumably the sole remaining frozen Interion in the Cargo bay. Given that Tocot froze his specimens just before death when they could not be saved, it’s no surprise that the Interion vomits and dies very quickly. John still thinks they may be related to Humans, as Grunchlk implied.

Disney On Acid: When trying to find the signal device that attracts the storms John says it’s ‘Scooby-Doo time’; but does that make him Shaggy or Fred?

Get Frelled: Jothee and Chi with an appreciative Hynerian audience. John and Aeryn almost, and at least negotiations have been opened…

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

Stats: There were three stations in the area but the first was destroyed by an asteroid, and the second by fire. The DRD that John fixed way back in ‘Premiere’ returns and has been nicknamed ‘one-eye’ by the crew.

WHAT did you just say? Manin: fiancée or partner.

Backstage: UK viewers missed Rygel’s voyeuristic activities, and most of the scene where John and Aeryn discuss sex, when this episode was shown on BBC2.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

The Verdict: This is a good tale, with lots of tension, escalating threat and it seems about a hundred things happen at once. It might have been expected that the Chiana/Jothee/D’Argo triangle would play out over a few episodes, but that would have been traditional and safe; instead it is dealt with quickly and efficiently in an action-packed episode so as to avoid the show getting mired in soap opera (although D’Argo overhearing Jothee and Chiana is a bit soapy). Crichton telling Borlik that the wall is detachable is laugh out loud funny, one of my favourite Crichton moments. But on the whole the tone of the episode is bleak, as Zhaan continues to decline and D’Argo’s left so broken-hearted that he tries to end it all.

Farscape, Suns and Lovers

Verdict redux: Picked up on some antipathy to this episode in the comments a while back. Don’t know why. I like it. It doesn’t propel the arc plot much, but the character plot leaps forward. Although it’s primarily a stand-alone story, when compared to what we had at the same time in Season Two it’s streets ahead of ‘Taking The Stone’ or ‘Vitas Mortis.’


Scott K. Andrews has written episode guides, magazine articles, film and book reviews, comics, audio plays for Big Finish, far too many blogs, some poems you will never read, and three novels for Abaddon. He is, patently, absurd.

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14 comments
George Brell
1. gbrell
I am one of the persons who doesn't like this episode. I'm not sure that I think it's bad (and you're right, it's MUCH better than Vitas Mortis or Taking the Stone), it's just that I think it's *shrug*.

I think you're right that all the character bits feel strong and interesting, but I didn't find the main plot substantial enough to hang anything weighty off of. We only get a loose sketch of the reasons for the religious fanaticism and it doesn't explain why the crew appeared just as the fanatacism hit its peak point (save their plot-necessary ridiculously bad luck).
Colin R
2. Colin R
As a standalone episode, this wouldn't stand out from the pack. But as a part of the greater whole I think this is a very solid and well-crafted Farscape episode. The last five episodes have been unbelievably tense and eventful; plotwise this is a comparatively simple and uneventful episode. It's all about processing what has been going on, and setting the stage for the rest of the season. The terrorist plot isn't important, but all the emotions being sorted out are.

That said, I think that the 'real' plot works well and is pretty entertaining. I think it actually takes a lot of skill to blend the action plot and the character melodrama the way that it does. What else could you want from a typical Farscape episode?
Colin R
3. Crusader75
The writer's just love making Ben Browder do horrible things to his wife, don't they?
Scott K. Andrews
4. ScottKAndrews
@Crusader75 They certainly do but, um, not in this episode... she won't crop up again until Scratch and Sniff, IIRC.
Colin R
5. Eugene R.
I have to agree that the "detachable" wall was one funny reversal of expectations. Perhaps a cheap laugh but a deep one for all its "pulled out of the pocket" flimsiness.

"Streets ahead", Mr. Andrews? Do I detect that you belong to a, shall we say, "community" of TV viewers?
Scott K. Andrews
6. ScottKAndrews
@eugene R. I guess you're referring to Community, which I've, sadly, still not got around to watching :-(
Colin R
7. Crusader75
@ScottsKAndrews: Ah, nuts. I thought she was Borlik, as Borlik kind of looks like her Scratch n' Sniff character.
Colin R
8. EclecticMayhem
Leeanna Walsman - Borlik - also plays the bounty hunter at the start of Attack of the Clones.
Zayne Forehand
9. ShiningArmor
This episode holds a special place in my heart if for no other reason than containing my favorite use of Frell.

Aeryn: Frell me Dead...

Overall this episode is not that bad. I agree with @2 that on first viewing this episode breaks the intense continuity-heavy arc that had been occuring for the last 5 episodes with not the strongest MotW episode. I still watch it every time in my rewatches....unlike some season 2 episodes previously mentioned.

@ ScottKAndrews - Where did you hear "streets ahead" then? I was under the impression that phrase orginated from Pierce.
Colin R
10. EclecticMayhem
Huh... Farscape is no longer streaming free via Amazon Prime. I was just watching some two days ago (having caught up with all of these marvellous rewatch posts). What a bizarrly random time (ie mid-February) to pull the show off of Prime?

Perhaps both Netflix and Amazon found about about the rewatches and decided to screw as much $$$ out of us as possible. Frellnics.
Colin R
11. lvsxy808
D'Argo doesn't get a lot of sympathy from me here. He never proposed to Chiana - we saw the video of him practising in DMD, but he never actually did the deed. And yet he seems to go around assuming that they were as good married already, and reacts to a "betrayal" that's more perceived than actual. He made all these plans for him and Chiana and Jothee - that they would retire to a farming planet somewhere and grow vegetables together like a happy family without ever asking either of them what they wanted, and if he had bothered to look at their personalities he would have seen that they both want very different things out of life than he does. But no - he just makes plans, and then reacts badly when Chiana and Jothee chafe against them, without ever considering that he might be the problem. He has control issues with women, and it takes him till "Mental as Anything" in season 4 to even start getting over them.
Christopher Hatton
12. Xopher
Farscape isn't on Netflix Streaming anymore, either. Sure glad I bought it on DVD years ago -- I had been feeling sort of foolish about that.

I watched the scene where Borlik got blown out into the storm over and over. Nutso terrorist jackhole.
Rob Rater
13. Quasarmodo
Yeah, I was more than sick of Borlik by episode end. Was more than glad to see her go buh-bye!
Colin R
14. DavidB
The ballard of Aeryn and John finished here for a while.
John kept a lock of Aeryn's hair in his pocket.
This ep played out pretty much as it did just without Aeryn.
Pilots wicked laugh insightful.
If Dargo actually knew Chi then he'd have known no way in hell she'd want to get married. Felt sorry for the guy but he really should have known better.

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