Wed
Feb 5 2014 3:00pm

Farscape Rewatch: “We’re So Screwed III—La Bomba"

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, SikozuWe’re So Screwed III – La Bomba
Written by Mark Saraceni, directed by Rowan Woods
Season 4, episode 21

1st UK Transmission Date: 3 March2003
1st US Transmission Date: 14 March 2003

Guest Cast: Raelee Hill (Sikozu), Melissa Jaffer (Noranti), Rebecca Riggs (Grayza), David Franklin (Braca), Duncan Young (Emperor Staleek), Francesca Buller (War Minister Ahkna), Jason Clarke (Jenek), Jonathan Pasvolsky (Pennoch), David Downer (Vakali), Dean O'Gorman (Zukash), Jason Chong (Rahzaro), John Schwarz (Tugar), Sam Bettison (Grek)

Synopsis: Scorpius reveals his true colours—he stopped his rescue partly to prevent Lo’La being shot down, and partly because he wants to stay on Katrazi and defeat the Scarrans. After much to do, our heroes manage to do just that, by blowing up the core of the planet with John’s bomb.

Alien Encounters: Chrystherium Utilia is the biggest secret in the Scarran Empire. Unless they eat it, they revert to unthinking beasts, so they can only expand their empire from the few places suitable for its growth. The mother plant fertilises the others.

Although Staleek is the Emperor, he answers to a ‘hierarchy’ which can depose and replace him at will. So he’s kind of an elected Emperor, if that makes any sense.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Scorpius, Crichton, Staleek

Buck Rogers Redux: He plays his bluff as long as he can, but when they’re finally cornered, John makes a massive executive decision on everyone else’s behalf, and nukes the planet. It is a suicide move, the odds that he would survive were tiny, and he knew it. He and Aeryn face death together with a kind of resigned calm. But later, back on Moya, the swagger and bravado that he evinced on Katrazi are all gone, leaving him tired and weary of killing, sick to the teeth of it all.

You Can Be More: Aeryn nips off to the medical area of the Command Carrier to take care of a personal problem—want to bet she’s getting the baby both re-activated and checked out?

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Crichton, Aeryn

The Ballad Of Aeryn And John: Their resigned declaration of love before the bomb goes off is both touching and hilarious.

The Ballad Of D’Argo And Chiana: Following their miraculous escape from Katrazi, D’Argo and Chiana hop into bed together, following up on their moment of reconnection at the border post.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Chiana, D'Argo

The Man in the Iron Mask: Stark used to live on Katrazi, where he assisted the ruling class with their death rituals. When we first met him, Scorpius was torturing Stark to find the location of Katrazi, but John rescued him before he broke. The Stark who tortured Scorpius was a bioloid, which means his stykera torture was not real—all part of Staleek’s plan to deceive Ahkna and keep Scorpius’s spying a secret. The real Stark is imprisoned in the bioloid replication chamber. Rygel and Noranti rescue him, and at episode’s end he is once more aboard Moya.

Grandma, we love you: Noranti is a dab hand with a throwing knife, dispatching bioloid Stark with callous ease. She takes an instant liking to Stark, which he seems to reciprocate.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Stark, Noranti, Rygel

Bobblehead: Sikozu, and the other resistance bioloids, are genetically engineered to kill Scarrans by emitting intense radiation that destroys their heat-producing gland. The Scarrans have no idea such bioloids exist. It leaves her exhausted, so it’s a one-time weapon. It’s the first time she’s done it, and she does not know how long it will take her to fully recover.  She’s not so exhausted that she hasn’t got the energy to finally make a move on Scorpius, who’s equally keen.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Scorpius, Sikozu

Nosferatu in leather: Scorpius has known about the Chrystherium Utilia for some time, and even where it was being grown. Everything he has done, including working as a double agent, has been to either a) get wormhole weapons or b) get into the chamber and destroy the flowers. Either action would set the Scarrans back. He seems strangely surprised and almost disappointed to learn that John would have left him to die in Scarran hands if he hadn’t thought Scorpius had wormhole knowledge. He finally gets to the flower chamber and is thwarted by a simple forcefield, which really cheeses him off. He says he would trade his life to destroy the mother plant, and then releases John from his wormhole debt when John offers to destroy it for him with the bomb.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Crichton, Harvey

Hello, Harvey: Harvey did lie, Scorpius has no knowledge of wormholes. Scorpius set Harvey to re-appear if John betrayed him.

Captain lickspittle: Finally, Braca grows a spine—and gets a christian name, Miklo—and relieves Grayza of her command. The crew obey his orders, showing Grayza where the power really lies.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Grayza, Braca

Servalan Redux: Grayza actually accuses John of being self-righteous. She has used all the skills at her disposal, including her Mind Controlling Boob Sweat, to pursue peace at any cost. It’s hard to square her passionate desire for peace with her equally passionate desire for power, but it seems both drives are equally responsible for her actions. And oh, finally, John gets in a rape dig at her, and boy does that jibe land. Long overdue, but satisfying.

When she finds out John is being hunted by Steleek, she arms the Command Carrier and prepares to go out in a blaze of suicidal glory.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Crichton, Grayza

WHAT Did You Just Say? The funniest line of the episode—‘It’s the hat’—was an ad lib by Claudia Black.

Stats: Lo’La is an Eradicator class ship. The Scarrans easily neutralise Lo’La’s defences, and download her charts and logs. This will give them a map to the wormhole that leads to Earth.

Scarrans create bases on planetoids using Rabricators—an elevator that can drill through solid rock.

The Verdict:  Great fun but very familiar, as was last week’s, and a bit of a mess plotwise.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Sikozu

Not once but twice, John and Co. back themselves into corners from which there is absolutely no hope of escape, and both times they are saved by sudden deus ex machinas—Sikozu’s oh so handy, never previously mentioned radiation trick, and John’s previously unfixable but now suddenly fixable bomb which, by the way, predates and outdoes nuking the fridge in the ridiculousness stakes.

The revelation about the Scarrans’ dependence on flowers is bonkers in the best way. Scorpius’ true goal is finally, unambiguously revealed, which could conceivably have robbed the character of a lot of his appeal, had the show gone on. The fun, as with last week, is in the interplay between the characters—John and Aeryn, Scorpy, Harvey, Grayza… each scene is fabulous in its own right.

Farscape, We're So Screwed III: La Bomba, Crichton, Aeryn

It feels like a lots of plot strands have been wrapped up, and John certainly feels totally drained by everything he’s gone through. Time for a nice happy ending wrap-up episode and then we’re done, surely. Feels like a clean slate—surely nothing else can go wrong for them…


Scott K. Andrews has BIG NEWS!

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12 comments
Pirmin Schanne
1. Torvald Nom
Time for a nice happy ending wrap-up episode and then we’re done, surely. Feels like a clean slate—surely nothing else can go wrong for them…
Mwuahahahaha, mwwwuuuahahahahahaaaahhhhh...
Colin R
2. Colin R
I like that rather than changing the basic idea of infiltrating an enemy base as a two-parter each season, they change up the emotional stakes. Like last season they're going in for a cause, but this time they're not even sure they're committed to their cause--and in any case, the reason that brought them here was a lie anyway. Everything is just soaked in despair--even a victory feels like defeat.

And frankly I think it's kind of amazing that John Crichton goes from a boy scout lost in space to the kind of guy who can nuke a planet--and who is fully aware of the transformation he has made, and hates himself for it. If Farscape had been cancelled after a season or two it might have just been a really cool sci-fi show like Firefly, but the arc of Aeryn and Crichton's characters make it epic.

I think this is one of the best episodes in the series.
Colin R
3. Crusader75
The Holy Roman Emperor was elected by a group of nobles, the Polish King was an elected position. Elected royalty was an occasional thing.
Colin R
4. lvsxy808
I find the fact that all parts of the We're So Screwed trilogy have punning titles rather exhausting. But this is the best one. "La Bomba" doesn't just refer to John's bomb - it also refers to Sikozu herself, who is a bomb in human form, and to the general issue of weapons of mass destruction.

"A nuclear bomb in a field of flowers." Shivers.

re Stark being on Katratzi. It's a reveal that actually works perfectly. Baniks like Stark have always been referred to as a slave race. But nobody ever said who they were slaves of. Now we know - the Scarrens. Still, it's almost a disappointment that the Stark in the last episode was only a bioloid copy. Him torturing Scorpius was great payback.
Chrystherium Utilia is the biggest secret in the Scarran Empire. Unless they eat it, they revert to unthinking beasts, so they can only expand their empire from the few places suitable for its growth.
Here's my theory. SPOILERS UP TO PKW.

We know thanks to PKW that the Eidolons visited Earth in the distant past, took the dominant lifeform there, and created from them two servant races - the Sebaceans as their foot soldiers, and the Interions as their scientists. (Foreshadowed in plain sight since the very first episode by the fact that both races are named after parts of the human body – sebaceous gland; intron. For that matter, Eidolon is the name for a genus of bats, a species known for their ears, or a phantom of the human form.)

Now look at the Scarrens. They have hired the Charrids as their foot soldiers, and conquered the Kalish to be their scientists. They have inadvertently fallen into the same social pattern as the Eidolons.

It sounds to me as if the original conflict was between the Eidolons and the Scarrens. But that when the Scarrens won at Arnessk by using the Darnaz probes, and (almost) all the Eidolons were taken out of the picture, the Peacekeepers took over the fight in the absence of their creators, hence leading to the PK-Scarren animosity.

Now go even further back. People have said that Scarrens kind of look like dinosaurs. Well, I thought... what if they are dinosaurs? What if, before they went for humans, the Eidolons visited the same planet and took the dominant life-form at that earlier time to be their servants? But, because dinosaurs generally don’t have the necessary cranial capacity, they engineered them... with, say, a native flower for help. A Bird of Paradise flower, for example. It would certainly explain how come an alien species from the other side of the galaxy is dependent upon a flower that grows on Earth for their intelligence. But the Eidolons lost control of their creations somehow, inadvertently giving rise the original conflict with the Scarrens. And what if, after that, the Eidolons went back to the same planet and took the next dominant lifeform in line – humans – for their next try?
Zayne Forehand
5. ShiningArmor
lvsxy808, that is a brilliant and extremely well thought out idea. I love it! I feel like that's a comic prequel series waiting to happen. "Rise of the Scarrens"
Colin R
6. RinnicBob
lvsxy808, I, too, am very impressed by your observations/opinions on the Scarren/Peacekeeper/Eidolon animosity. The proposition that the Scarrens were "genetically enhanced" by the Eidolons makes a good deal of sense.

Consider that the Scarrens are reptilian. The most advanced portion of a reptile brain, as we understand it, is the medulla oblongata and the midbrain. Very ancient parts of that organ, and centers of aggression and base survival instinct. Now, add to that a whit of intelligence and higher-level reasoning and you get just enough brain to be very dangerous. This could also explain the Scarren pathological distrust of other species and their drive to either exterminate or breed all other species out of existence.

All in all, an insight I had never considered. Well done!

From a reader's point, though, it's sad that we're almost at the end of this delightful series, in re-watch. I've really enjoyed reliving this whole adventure. But, I can still get some Farscape on TV from pivot TV here in my area.
Colin R
7. alreadymadwitheidolons
That's a kooky idea and it unfortunately makes a twisted kind of sense. It even answers why the Scarrans and the PK were able to interbreed without apparent assistance, if at an extremely low success rate.
Colin R
8. ad
We know thanks to PKW that the Eidolons visited Earth in the distant past, took the dominant lifeform there, and created from them two servant races - the Sebaceans as their foot soldiers, and the Interions as their scientists.
Running with this idea, I always wondered if the Nebari were engineered from the same stock to act as police. They look very Sebacean, after all. And left to their own devices, they created a police state.
Colin R
9. lvsxy808
That's a kooky idea and it unfortunately makes a twisted kind of sense. It even answers why the Scarrans and the PK were able to interbreed without apparent assistance, if at an extremely low success rate.
Eww, I hadn't even thought of that! That means that Scorpius is a human-dinosaur hybrid. Oh, that's nasty.
Running with this idea, I always wondered if the Nebari were engineered from the same stock to act as police. They look very Sebacean, after all. And left to their own devices, they created a police state.
Interesting, interesting... I worry about taking it too far for fear of small universe syndrome, but it is a thought. We never did get a complete explanation for Grayza's strangely Nebari-like makeup.
Colin R
10. LovesAeryn
Braca gets a first name, not a christian name.
Colin R
11. Alreadymadwithgrayza
lvsxy808 @9
I thought Grayza was part Nebari. And used Heppel oil to distract other PK's from asking the pertinent(or impertinent) questions.
Colin R
12. LovesAeryn
@Colin R
Loved your post.

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