Sep 4 2013 3:00pm

Farscape Rewatch: “What Was Lost II: Resurrection”

Farscape, What Was Lost II: ResurrectionWhat Was Lost II: Resurrection
Written by Justin Monjo, directed by Rowan Woods
Season 4, episode 3

1st UK Transmission Date: 14 October 2002
1st US Transmission Date: 21 June 2002

Guest Cast: Raelee Hill (Sikozu), Tammy MacIntosh (Jool), Melissa Jaffer (Old woman), Rebecca Riggs (Grayza), David Franklin (Braca), Steve Le Marquand (Oo-Nii), Elizabeth Alexander (Vella), Kim De Lury (Tarnat), Dinah Shearing (Voice of Elack’s Pilot)

Synopsis: Noranti tries to kill John by making him jump off the cliff. Given that she threw him off the same cliff in the last episode and he was fine, it’s unclear why she thought the second time would be a charm. Anyway, he’s fine.

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, Crichton

D’Argo and Sikozu come up with a plan to get Elack to crash into the PK Marauders while they escape in Lo’la. John returns to Grayza and ‘distracts’ her for a couple of hours while they prepare. Grayza has Scorpy executed and buried to prove to John that she’s not working for him. Elack sacrifices herself to destroy all but one of the marauders and everyone escapes. D’Argo fires a probe that lures Grayza away.

Our heroes return to the planet, recover the darnaz probes and restore the planet’s health, dealing with Oo-Nii on the way. (Oo-Nii was working with Vella to find the probes and sell them to collect a bounty, but we don’t find out from whom.) The missing temple and its priests re-appear and Jool stays behind on the planet with them.

Buck Rogers Redux: John’s the only one who has a purpose—to find Aeryn.

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, D'Argo, Jool

I Was A Teenage Luxan: D’Argo teams up with Sikozu, travels to Elack to enlist her help, then returns the planet and jeopardises the whole plan by leaving Lo’la and going for a walk to knock out a few Peacekeepers just for a laugh. I kind of wish he’d felt able to stay with Jool on the planet—I think he’d have been happy there.

Buckwheat the Sixteenth: Rygel doesn’t trust Sikozu an inch, but persuades Elack to sacrifice herself to save the others.

Jool In the Crown: Jool plays the hardass when Sikozu wanders into the cell, but she’s just not up to the task. When the priests are recovered she decides to stay and help them catch up on 12,000 cycles of history. She tries to persuade the others to stay, but nobody will. She apologises to D’Argo, plants a smacker on him, and leaves the show.

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, Jool, Chiana, Sikozu

A Ship, A Living Ship!: Elack agrees to die to save them, but Pilot is so dotty they start their descent early, nearly scuppering the whole plan.

Grandma, we love you: When everyone leaves in Lo’la they haven’t got Noranti aboard. They only return because Lo’la is damaged—which kind of indicates they were happy to leave her to die. She was wrong about Vella wanting the probes, so her telepathy, or whatever it is, is far from foolproof.

Nosferatu in leather: Shot, but not fatally, then buried alive. Scorpy surely is dead this time. Right...?

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, Sikozu, Scorpius, Grayza, Braca

Bobblehead: Sikozu teams up with D’Argo and devises the plan to rescue the others, putting herself in great danger to pull it off. Unfortunately her plan involves convincing Grayza she’s betrayed them, and since they don’t trust her, they believe it. She nearly dies but is saved by Scorpy, who gives her Special Directorate code that convinces Grayza she’s a PK agent.

Captain Lickspittle: He shoots Scorpius without hesitation. What a scumbag!

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, Grayza, Braca

Servalan Redux: Grayza has been implanted with a gland to produce Hepel Oil, a kind of super smelly viagra. The person being influenced can’t smell it, but to everybody else it produces a foul stench so strong that even a prolonged dip in the ocean doesn’t diminish it. It’s unclear whether she got the gland because she was a Delos concubine, or whether she sought them out and had it implanted for her own ends. It’s an irreversible implantation and dramatically reduces lifespan.

She says she is focused on finding out why the Scarrans want Crichton, but she already knows it’s because of wormholes, so maybe it’s just her excuse for tying him up. John accuses her of being Scorpius’ ‘whore,’ so she has Scorpy executed. She’s so convinced of her power over John that she allows him to tie her up for a bit of light S&M, which makes her the single dumbest villain ever.

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, Crichton, Grayza

Alien Encounters: Humans and Interions are definitely linked or related somehow. Grayza seems to think they’re related to Sebaceans too.

Stats: John explains that wormholes are always there, but at right angles to our reality. If he can create the right conditions, they turn and appear. But he’s forgotten how to make them appear, again. Or at least, that what he tells Grayza. A motra is just over half a metra.

Blooper: Oo-Nii is touching John when Chi shoots him with the carver, so John should have been turned to water too—or Oo-Nii should have been turned human.

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, Crichton, Jool

The Verdict:  A far better episode than the first because things actually happen, our heroes have obstacles to overcome, peril to survive and escapes to make. But it still feels less than the sum of it parts, certain plot points are left frustratingly unresolved, some things seem to happen for no readily apparent reason, and halfway through the episode the show suddenly hits its lowest ever point as John suddenly starts calling everybody a whore.

Is this the most offensive moment in Farscape ever? The double whammy of whores, both coming from the mouth of our hero within a few moments of each other, are deeply unpleasant. Why abandon tralk at this point and substitute it for a word that carries so much misogynistic contempt? I was left feeling deeply uneasy and actually kind of disgusted that nobody, from producer to actor, raised a red flag.

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, Chiana, Sikozu, Jool

Meanwhile, sexy time with Grayza is just bizarre, and not in a good way. That she allows John to tie her up is beyond belief, and renders the character laughably stupid.

Following two abysmal episodes this at least does some things right, but the inescapable whiff of misogyny in this episode and its predecessor makes this, for me, the lowest and most regrettable point in the whole of Farscape.

Best forgotten, let’s move on.

Farscape, What Was Lost II: Resurrection, Crichton, Jool, Sikozu, Noranti, D'Argo, Chiana

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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Colin R
1. Colin R
Oh, right. There was more of this. Um, I liked the women breaking out of prison. And Elack's noble sacrifice--I can't have been the only one who got nervous seeing a Leviathan crashing in the credits.

Anyway, moving right along... at least the next episode is thoroughly enjoyable.
Colin R
2. Crusader75
From context of usage I believe "tralk" has about the same connotations in the local culture as "whore" does in ours, why does the fact that it is more visceral to us matter? Also, why should Crichton use tralk when he really wants to insult someone? Thiscritique just seems like pearl-clutching. As to whether this is the low point of Farscape; Jeremiah Crichton exists.
Colin R
3. Fahrbot
Well, there has been a lot of negativity about these two episodes, and someone said last week that this season had a lot of weak episodes.

But despite a couple of minor misfires, Season 3 and 4 are actually Farscape's strongest, I personally think. I think the show got even better in it's tail half (after already being superb in it's front half), but perhaps isn't remembered as fondly as the first half due to nostalgia, and is better appreciated in repeat viewings. Farscape is a lot more enjoyable when watched back to back in a binge.

All that wierdness and use of bodily fluids this season that grossed some people out, has a purpose, and is part of the show's philosophy. I had a kind of minor epiphany once when re-watching the episode about the stomach bugs later this season, and realised how important that all is to Farscape's identity; it's a big source of creativity in plots (which in say Star Trek would have come from a quantum filament or something), comes from the show's 'biopunk' attitude to alien life; coolant rods, killer starfish that sense lies, telepathic stomach parasites. And the lack of respect for norms of decency is like the philosophy of Montaigne "Kings and philosophers shit; and so do ladies".

In some ways, the thing that makes John the protagonist, is that Farscape continually tests his ability to remain objective and rational, in a world that sometimes seems to have no meaning, cares nothing for his ability to adjust, and continually harasses him; one of the best illustrations of how warped John's emotional intelligence and empathy could have become, is when we see Earth's reaction to Moya, later this season (glorious episodes).

Grayza's sex games were perhaps not good characterisation, but were more just another scenario in which John finds the limit's of his ability to be normal tested, and follows a moderate path, being tested by overwhealming stimulus (drugs, physical stimuli and emotional blackmail). But not actually finding it neccecary to get payback or be hyper vigilant, or any of the other fear-driven responses we often see in post-9/11 drama.

In some ways the first two seasons were just a setup for the great Peacekeeper War arc. I found the Sebecean/Scarran conflict compelling, in a way that I rarely find war compelling in sci-fi. The ambiguity of whether John should have sabotaged Scorpius, or actually thrown his support in for the Peacekeepers, is one of the best parts.
Colin R
4. lvsxy808
It doesn't occur to you that John is deliberately lashing out with the ugliest word he can think of? He's just been raped FFS, and then been specifically sent back by his so-called friends to be raped again. Of course he's going to be projecting his ugliest feelings onto others. It's completely understandable psychologically.

PKs are clearly stupider than Stormtroopers. Two prisoners and an untrustworthy wild card are whispering conspiratorially a matter of feet away from them, and yet they're caught off guard when they try to escape.

The colour treatment is this episode is gorgeous. The way the images gradually bleach out over time, slowly enough that you barely notice it's happening, until they bloom back into gorgeous full colour at the end, is wonderful.

And Elack is male.
Colin R
5. Colin R

I love Season 4; it's unfortunate that the lowest point occurs in the second and third episodes of the season. And I'll agree with
lvsxy808--at least the production values are decent. It's a pretty episode. And I forgot, I do also love Scorpius's 'execution'. Even when he is ostensibly a prisoner, Scorpius is in complete control of the situation.

As for the w-word, it's jarring because the whole Grayza subplot is jarring and bad. Yes, Crichton is raped by Grayza--and no one seems to take this very seriously, or even acknowledge that it happened. I have no idea what anyone involved was thinking.
Rob Rater
6. Quasarmodo
I actually found this episode to be pretty fun. I loved John's line when they were running, and Sikozu protests that there's no point to it. "There's always a point to running!"

I don't know if letting John tie her up makes Grayza the stupidest villain ever. I'm betting that no man has ever been able to break out of her hold before. She's surely become too confident and complacent with her ability to be as wary as she needed to be.

And Noranti throwing John off the same cliff isn't that bad an idea if she's still trying to kill him. There's still rocks at the bottom of the cliff, and he can easily hit the water at a bad angle, or die from several other scenarios. If you shoot someone with a gun and they don't end up dead, you would still try to shoot them later with the same gun. You wouldn't throw the gun away and think it wasn't capable of killing anyone.

And her trying to kill John twice more than justifies them taking off without her. Even if they weren't hauling ass to get the hell out of dodge in the first place.
Scott K. Andrews
7. ScottKAndrews
> And Elack is male.

Oh frell it. That's what I get for trying to juggle the blog with an imminent book deadline and week of job interviews. Sorry.
marmot smith
8. marmot.smith
lvsxy808 "PKs are clearly stupider than Stormtroopers. Two prisoners and an untrustworthy wild card are whispering conspiratorially a matter of feet away from them, and yet they're caught off guard when they try to escape."

I had to log in on my vastly behind-the-curve rewatch to agree.
That prison escape was perhaps the most stupidly written or directed scene in all of Farscape. The women clearly speak loudly enough to let the guards hear Sikozu's treachery, Jool's screech didn't effect them as it effects anyone with hearing, they don't respond to melting handcuffs, the metal of the bars and weapons are uneffected, the guards just stand there as the woman, now with no cuffs, turn to them and allow themselves to be kicked in the chest and that somehow knocks them out? Battle hardened troopers in obvious chest armor taken down by one kick to the chest? They should have shot the women in any of 5 possible moments of obvious treachery and don't. ...

I was groaning, laughing and saddened for in Season 3 Farscape went from a decent scifi thriller to a paradoy of some of the worst Dr Who episodes during the 1970's.

I half expected Terry Nation to be credited at the end as it had all the hallmarks of some of his worst work. Weird unknown creature of the week, ridiculous fight scenes, vaguely written ancient civilization on a Dr Who planet-of-the-week and yet another deus ex machina escape or solution to the dilemma of the hero.

EDIT: I watched every episode of Dr Who and Blake's 7 that Terry Nation wrote and am rewatching Blake's 7 a last time for the bucket list and to make sure I missed no episodes (broadcast viewing in the 80's and 90's was inconsistent without DVR). I loved a lot of his work and perhaps most of the laughable fight scenes and gaffs were production/direction problems but those people remain mostly nameless to me. Terry's name remained tied to the work, in my mind, both creative and atrocious.
marmot smith
9. marmot.smith
John didn't have to jump off the cliff and Noranti didn't push. She just threw Winona off. John chose to jump off instead of taking a safer route making John the stupid and impulsive one here.

Not the actions of a intelligent, great scientist.

BTW, it's hilarious that she has a cavity in her body large enough to hide away a pulse pistol! The fact that the series makes cracks about female body secretions throughout is refreshing. Decades of non-stop dick and fart jokes get's tiring and I'm vastly amused at the disgust of male fans who can claim they 'Rygel's fart jokes are funny but they went too far making jokes about a crones' vagina!!!"
Ewww, yuck old woman vagina. That's too disgusting.

Now that's some misogeny there. Old women are to be unseen and undiscussed and certainly they aren't allowed to be sexual. Noranti would rock your world, young man!

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