Episode Guide > Season Two > Taking The Stone

OAD: March 31, 2000

Written by: Justin Monjo

Directed By: Rowan Woods

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Summary:

Distraught over the death of her brother, Chiana seeks comfort from the one crew member that she has trusted the longest - John. But John is busy messing with Moya's systems and doesn't have time to deal with the young Nebari. Commandeering Aeryn's Prowler, Chiana lands on a royal cemetery planet where she encounters a group of young, drugged out people known as Clamsmen. Their destructive, almost suicidal culture is just what Chiana thinks she needs and joins their community.

Realizing he let Chiana down, John goes to the planet with Aeryn in an attempt to locate their grieving crew mate. It doesn't take long to locate her, but Chiana is happy with the Clamsmen and doesn't want to leave. Part of the allure of the place is a ritual called the gathering. Individuals hurl themselves into the abyss where they are saved at the last second from death by a sonic net, or maybe not. This ritual, and others like it, are known as "taking the stone." Crichton discovers the inhabitants of this subterranean world are being poisoned by radiation, which explains why none live past their mid twenties. The Clamsmen leader, Molnon, is using Chiana in hopes she will take his place at the next "taking the stone." John and Aeryn use every means at their disposal to save Chiana, but ultimately it is up to her to decide if she lives or dies.

Analysis:

This is the big "Chiana Episode" we've been reading about for some time and I'm sure it must have looked great on paper. Unfortunately, it is a dark, dreary, and depressing story I found almost impossible to sit through. Part of the problem is the sound. I had great difficulty understanding what the "Clamsmen" were saying half of the time. They sounded like they were talking with baby armadillos stuck in their mouths and their unintelligible speech made the episode much more difficult to follow. Then, while I was playing the episode on my PC--for video capture--I had an amazing idea. Why not turn on the closed captioning, turn down the sound, and simply read what the hell is going on in this episode. You know what? There IS a story in there - you just have to read the text to follow along. The best part is at the end when Chiana actually takes the leap - it is a thrilling sequence and a much needed uplifting experience for an otherwise depressing and forgettable episode.

Should add that Farscape's second season is dominated, so far, by themes of death. Last week it was the death of an old woman. This week we go to a cemetery planet. In a few episodes the crew lands on the carcass of a huge rotting animal in search for food. What's next, an AIDS planet? Perhaps we get to see Rygel go through bankruptcy on an IRS planet. Farscape needs to lighten up a bit, these death episodes are a little too dark for my taste.

 

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