Wed
Apr 10 2013 2:00pm

Farscape Rewatch: “Thanks For Sharing”

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Aeryn, XhalaxThanks For Sharing
Written by Clayvon C. Harris, directed by Ian Barry
Season 3, Episode 7

1st US Transmission Date: 15 June 2001
1st UK Transmission Date: 8 October 2001

Guest Cast: Jool (Tammy MacIntosh), Sarova (Rebecca Gibney), Pralanoth (Robert Brunning), Tolven (Sandy Winton), Xhalax Sun (Linda Cropper), Felor (Julianne Newbould), Bloy (Hunter Perske)

There are now two John Crichtons, equal and original. Aeryn gives one a green T-shirt and the other a black T-shirt so she can tell them apart. Since they are in effect two characters, they now get their own names and sections.

Synopsis: Moya and Talyn hide in the dense atmosphere of the planet Kanvia while negotiating for the Chromextin they need to heal Talyn, who we discover was attacked by a PK Retrieval Squad led by Aeryn’s mother.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Rygel

The planet is ruled by Pralanoth, who has two children—a son, Tolven and a daughter, Sarova. Tolven gets into a bar fight with D’Argo after trying to force himself on Chiana. He gives them an arn to get off the planet and when they remain, he fires on Moya and Talyn, forcing them to descend and train Talyn’s guns on the main government building.

Black T John goes to see Pralanoth whereupon a lie-detecting creature called a strannat is attached to his head, and it is established that he is genuinely trying to negotiate for Chromextin and not take power on the planet, as Tolven suspected. Sarova calls Black T to a secret meeting and tries to warn him that Tolven will sabotage the shipment of Chromextin. A bomb explodes, Sarova and Black T are injured; Black T is smuggled back to Moya by D’Argo and Chi. Sarova is killed and replaced by a shapeshifting PK Retrieval agent.

Green T John saves his doppelganger with a blood transfusion. Some Chromextin is delivered but it has been poisoned with Clorium. Tolven has reports of John being taken, injured, from the bomb site so Green T goes down, puts the strannat on his head and tells Tolven the truth—he wasn’t at a secret meeting with Sarova and wasn’t plotting with her. He then turns the tables, strannats Tolven and finds, to his surprise, that Tolven did not plant the bomb or poison the Chromextin. However, Tolven lies about being loyal to his father and the strannat kills him.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, John Crichton

Moya filters out the Clorium and gives the Chromextin to Talyn, who is partly healed. The shapeshifter kills Pralanoth and fires on the Leviathans forcing them to separate and escape. Upon leaving the atmosphere they find the Retrieval Squad waiting for them and both ships StarBurst away—Green T, D’Argo, Jool and Chiana on Moya; Aeryn, Black T, Rygel, Stark and Crais on Talyn.

To lessen the chances of the Retrieval Squad capturing Moya and using her to force Talyn’s surrender there will be no contact between the two ships until the Squad has been dealt with.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Crichton, Jool

Buck Rogers Redux: Jool does genetic tests to compare both Johns with samples Zhaan took back when there was only one of them. She establishes that they are both identical, there is no discernible difference between them and the single John they were doubled from. It is therefore impossible to call either of them clones or copies—they are both John Crichton.

Green T: ‘Cross my heart, smack me dead, stick a lobster on my head.’ He wants to establish that he’s the original and thinks Black T is ‘an ugly loudmouthed son-of-a-bitch’ but gives him blood because he refuses to let him die. He is furious that Black T gets to leave on Talyn with Aeryn along with his notebook and Winona, although he admits he’d probably have done the same thing had the opportunity presented itself.

Black T: Nice going Black T, he’s got himself exactly where he wants to be—alone on a ship with Aeryn, far away from his irritating other half.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Xhalax

You Can Be More: Crais shows Aeryn footage of her mother, Xhalax, visiting her as a child (this is the chip referred to in ‘Die Me, Dichotomy’ and the footage portrays an incident Aeryn related to John in ‘Family Ties’). Although Crais could find no information at all about her father, Talyn, Xhalax has been promoted to an elite battle group and is now heading the squad sent to retrieve Talyn. Aeryn does not think her appointment to that post was an accident. She chooses to stay with Talyn because Crais thinks her presence may help sway her mother’s loyalties if the squad captures them. Aeryn swears she will kill her mother if that is what is required.

I Was A Teenage Luxan: ‘I'm your daddy!’ D’Argo is your daddy, and don’t you forget it.

Buckwheat the Sixteenth: Rygel’s negotiation skills again come to the fore and had Tolven not started trouble, Rygel would no doubt have secured the Chromextin. He is not at all happy being stuck on Talyn and is even less pleased at having to share quarters with Stark.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Chiana

Everyone’s Favourite Little Tralk: Chi tries not to start trouble on Kanvia, but her very presence is enough to provoke Torven. D’Argo comes running to her defence, as always, but doesn’t blame her, for a change.

Jool In the Crown: Jool has a sweet tooth and T ratings in Genetics, Neuro science and Xenobiology. She’s filling Zhaan’s role as ship’s doctor and making a pretty good fist of it—she patches up Black T and Crais pretty well, and performs complex genetic tests. Finally, she’s earning her keep.

The Insane Military Commander: Neither John trusts new improved Crais even though, as Aeryn points out, he’s saved their lives more than once. Crais is stunned to see Aeryn alive and again tries to persuade her to join him on Talyn, although this time ostensibly because of her mother. He’s really annoyed when he sees she’s brought Black T along with her.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Aeryn, Crais

Nosferatu in Rubber: Aeryn still believes Scorpius to be dead.

A Ship, A Living Ship!: Moya can filter Clorium out of Chromextin provided there is not too much of it. She repays Talyn’s transfusion after her fire damage by transfusing him to help him heal.

Big Baby: Talyn is near fatally injured and has not received enough Chromextin, and so although he can StarBurst, just, he will be weak for some time to come. Talyn was designed with ‘intelligence gathering facilities’ and Crais and he have ‘been able to tap into high level Peacekeeper comm channels, accessing their central database,’ which is where they found the footage of Aeryn’s mother. His passenger sections have not yet fully grown, but he has started producing DRDs.

World’s Apart: Kanvia was a world at war until Pralanoth united the various countries and established peace.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, John Crichton

Alien Encounters: The strannat is a lobster of truth that, when placed on the head, detects lies and kills anyone who tells one. The PK agent who disguises himself as Sarova is a shape shifter and is surprised not to be killed for failing to secure Talyn’s capture (‘Relativity’ will name this race Colartas). The Retrieval Squad is using a Pantak Class vigilante ship with an Immobilizer Pulse. The reputations of Moya’s crew again precedes them and Torven wants them thrown off Kanvia for being dangerous criminals.

Disney On Acid: John refers back to ‘My Three Crichtons’ and says at least having another of him isn’t as bad as having the ‘Cro-Magnon copy or the Alien Nation reject’; Rockne S. O’Bannon created Alien Nation. John asks Crais if the Skeksis are after him, surely a reference to the fact that the Halosians in ‘Out Of Their Minds,’ looked like the Skeksis from the Henson film The Dark Crystal. John introduces himself to Pralanoth as the Wizard of Oz. He nearly quotes Jack Nicholson from the film A Few Good Men when he shouts ‘you can’t handle… ah, lets cut the crap.’ ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ comes from the film Scum.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Crichton

Seen It All Before: The alien shape shifter looks uncannily like the justly famous Ergon (often described as the Chicken of Doom) from the Doctor Who adventure ‘Arc Of Infinity.’ The political setup on the planet—strong ruler with two heirs jostling for power, one male, one female—is very reminiscent of the ‘Look At The Princess’ trilogy.

Stats: Chromextin helps to heal Talyn but can also be used to power weapons. Clorium (‘I, E.T.’) numbs Leviathans.

Logic Leaps: We know Peacekeepers are nasty paranoid types but they video their children asleep and then append that film to their personnel records? That’s a bit of a stretch, surely.

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, John Crichton

WHAT did you just say?:
D’ARGO: Crack a smile, will you? At least he's out of your nose.
GREEN T: Hair.
D’ARGO: That's what I meant, at least he's out of your nosehair.

Guest Stars: Rebecca Gibney is extremely well known as Halifax f.p. Sandy Winton has guested on Xena: Warrior Princess and The Secret life Of Us. Linda Cropper was one of the Plokavians in ‘The Ugly Truth.’

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Crichton, Aeryn

The Verdict: Another superb episode that sets us up for a split ship season. It uses the two Johns superbly and Jool is fast becoming amusing rather than irritating, which is a relief. As ever the sets and the CGI are excellent and everything comes together nicely, even though there are echoes of previous episodes. Not a classic, but a damn good forty-five minutes of sci-fi.

Verdict redux: A game of two halves. The stuff with the two heirs looks initially to be very tedious, and Torven is a tedious caricature—but it’s redeemed by the nice switcheroo with the two Johns using the strannat to fool and then kill him, and the surprise that Sarova was killed and replaced after the explosion. Was I only just warming to Jool first time around? Odd, as I’ve been enjoying her immensely this time. What most surprised me was that I had entirely forgotten that Aeryn’s mother was part of this season. 

Farscape, Thanks For Sharing, Crichton, Chiana, D'Argo


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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13 comments
Keith DeCandido
1. krad
"You been lyin' to your Daddy, boy, and you know you shouldn't lie to your Daddy. Who's your Daddy? C'mon, who's your Daddy? You know who your Daddy is. D'Argo, tell him who his Daddy is."

"I'm your Daddy."

Quite possibly the greatest moment in the entire history of science fiction television. With a magnificent callback in The Peacekeeper Wars.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
matt
2. graftonio
@krad

I never watched Farscape until this episode. I vividly remember seeing that scene on the weekly teaser Sci-Fi would run throughout the week and on the coolness of it watched my first episode. Hooked ever since.
Colin R
6. Colin R
@krad: Can't say it better than that. The only thing that makes it better is that it's quite possible that D'Argo has no idea what he's talking about.

The other thing I like about this episode is that it really highlights the change in tone (if there was any doubt, after Different Destinations.) In the first couple of seasons, the crew would be trying to pull a Star Trek--resolve the planet's issues, help the better ruler take over. But they're so screwed now, they just want these people to leave them alone.
if there was any doubt, after Different Destinations.
Rob Rater
7. Quasarmodo
What sold the 2 Chrichtons for me was when Chrichton #2 came in with his little rhyme and dumped the "lobster" on his head. I was actually slightly disappointed that they split the 2 of them up because I was excited of the prospect of them working together, but I'm sure it was cheaper and far easier to film with them separated.
Rob Rater
8. Quasarmodo
@2 graftonio

The S3 DVDs have the SciFi's weekly promos from way back then for each show, so I'll definitely check the one for this episode out!
Vicki Smith
9. EclecticMayhem
Great review!

I'd just like to take a moment to tip my hat to Ben Browder. While (almost*) everyone else in the cast gets a wee bit of a break, as the season swings back and forth between Talyn & Moya for the next few episodes, he's there plugging away, 24/7, 200%, in his lovely leather trousers. Hell, he even wrote one of the upcoming episodes. What a guy!

*Lani Tupu is technically on-board both ships... does anyone know if he hung out on set to do Pilot's dialogue for the puppeteers and other actors or did a member of the crew fill in? I think they had to post-sync/ADR most of the show's dialogue anyway because they were filming in a shed so I doubt they'd capture any of Pilot's stuff live...
Colin R
10. Colin R
Lani Tupi did his voiceover work after the fact, as did Jonathan Hardy. Puppeteers voiced them on-set. They mention this in the audio commentary tracks--it was a surprise to the actors when they first heard Pilot and Rygel's 'real' voices. I think in parts of Season 3 and 4, Rygel's puppeteer was a woman, so that was probably kind of weird.
Rob Rater
11. Quasarmodo
I think there might be some footage on the DVD where you can actually hear Pilot speak with the original onset voice IIRC.
Vicki Smith
12. EclecticMayhem
@Colin R & Quasarmodo
Thanks! It's been a while since I've watched all the extra footage. I remember seeing the main puppeteer for Rygel doing his funky thing but I've completely blanked on the team behind (and underneath) Pilot.
Elizabeth Heckert
13. silhouettepoms
I think my favorite line of the entire series is in this episode... "
Cross my heart, smack me dead, stick a lobster on my head"
gary blaney
14. scifitattooguy
Scorpius: This is insane, Crichton.
John Crichton: Four years on and your finally gettin' that?
- from Peacekeeper Wars

Always excited when this ep comes up in a rewatch.

It's a perfect example of the series totally hitting its stride... the humour, the swagger... much like Crichton the character.

2.5 cycles being sh*t on by the universe + we're so screwed = cinch up your mivonks i'm not gonna take it anymore!

When John #2 strides in to see Pralanoth (seemingly none the worse for wear)... that whole scene make me wanna cheer every time
Joe Henlin
15. RinnicBob
The atmosphere of this episode alone is another technical aspect that made me love Farscape. Mostly dark and rather bleak, with a planet inhabited by a very VERY pale race. Kind of like my home in the Pacific Northwest. Or England. ;) But the colors/contrasts and interplay of light & shadow make it every bit as fun to watch as the way the plot unfolds.

I'm an old-timer, so to speak, having been there to watch Farscape in its original run, and this episode just grabbed me. (My online handle came from this ep, after all.) The comedy, the action, John (finally) getting to use his brains and turn the tables on a very dangerous and dysfunctional ruling family, and the impending dread of the PK Retrieval Squad all add up to just about perfect, for me.

By the way, what a wonderful bunch the PK's are, huh? Let's just destroy the stability of an entire planet in the name of tracking down some fugitives. Great.
Heather Dunham
16. tankgirl73
You know, I watched through Farscape when it came to Netflix Canada last year (or so), "just because". It was there, it was more-or-less classic sci fi that I hadn't watched, I at least should watch it to have it in my repertoire, so to speak.

For the most part, I disliked it.

I found the music irritating. The puppetry was beyond suspension of disbelief. The alien cuss words were cheesy. The plots were rehashes. The potty humour was infantile. The characters were overdone.

I never liked Browder or whassername when they joined Stargate SG-1.

The first positive thing that I felt about this series was that I liked Browder and whassername better than when they were on SG. I could understand why Aeryn had been such a popular character.

But I was still annoyed and tended to laugh *at* the show more than *with* it.

I started to become less annoyed when Crichton started to go crazy. It was a compelling move. But then I got annoyed again when they added Jool. And just when I was started to tolerate Zhaan, they killed her off.

But then came the two Crichtons. And this episode, where they split up the cast. And the subsequent split storylines.

This is when I actually started to respect the show.

I said "wow... that takes some balls." I could not think of another show that had done this.

Well, maybe Lord of the Rings after The Breaking of the Fellowship... heh...

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