Episode Guide > Season Two > The Way We Weren't

OAD: April 14, 2000

Written by: Naren Shankar

Directed By: Tony Tilse

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Summary:

If Chiana does one thing well, it is snoop. When she came across an old Peacekeeper recording device, hidden within the ship, she obviously couldn't resist what information it contained. The old recording was a sad and very Peacekeeper scene showing Moya's first Pilot being slaughtered by several Peacekeeper commandos, under the command of Crais. To Chiana's shock, one of the Peacekeeper troops was revealed to be none other than Officer Aeryn Sun.

Confronted with the evidence by Moya's crew, Aeryn doesn't deny her hideous actions. Of course, Pilot was not included in the conversation for fear of how he would react to seeing the murder of his predecessor. Aeryn tried to explain that those were different days and she is now a very different person - no longer a Peacekeeper. However, the crew clearly views Aeryn with suspicion, doesn't know whether to believe her or not, and vows to never let Pilot see the recording.

Aeryn, always secretive with details of her past, must now confront a time filled with dark emotion and pain. Clearly, there is more to the story than what is contained on the recording. John tries to comfort Aeryn, but she resists his help, at first. Finally, broken by the guilt of her actions, Aeryn opens to John details of her painful past. It is a past of regret and, to John's surprise, lost love.

To no one's surprise, Pilot sees the recording and orders Aeryn to his chamber. The recording forces Pilot to relive a painful time of his life, one filled with regret as well. Angered by what he feels is Aeryn's betrayal, Pilot attacks her and orders her off Moya. As he always does, John tries to keep the family together and talks to Pilot. But Pilot isn't listening, he is drawn into memories of when he first came aboard Moya and the unfortunate circumstances that allowed him to take her command. Filled with overwhelming guilt, he severs his connection to Moya and places all aboard her in extreme risk.

Analysis

Earning a top rating of 5 on my scale requires an episode to be more than just entertaining. It must be dramatically solid and draw the viewer into the world of Farscape. In the first season, only four episodes--AHR, Nerve, THM, and FT--earned a 5. Must admit, the way season two has been going I wasn't sure we'd see another. Then, without warning, Farscape produces an episode that epitomizes what the show does best - it tells a story that engages the audience and draws them into the strange, dark world of science fiction. The Way We Weren't does precisely this and does it better than any Farscape episode before it.

Through the skillful use of flashbacks, neatly tied into the current story, we learn of Aeryn and Pilot's past. It is a past tied together by another Peacekeeper named Velorek. Velorek is Aeryn's superior officer and lover, Pilot's link to becoming a Leviathan pilot, and the unwilling instrument of Crais' "abomination" of a project. Velorek is very much a Peacekeeper, yet he is sympathetic of the plight facing the old and new Pilots. Determined to undermine Crais' plan, Velorek tells Aeryn that he will sabotage any attempt to harm Moya. It turns out Velorek probably should have kept that information to himself, thus saving his own life and the true source of Aeryn's torment.

Complex, gripping, and engaging, Naren Shankar's story is the best Farscape has ever told. TWWW is tightly directed by Tony Tilse, features an amazing performance by Claudia Black, beautiful voiceover by Lani John Tupu, and extraordinary work by Pilot's puppeteers. TWWW is proof that Farscape--when it wants to be--is the best science-fiction show on television, bar none.

 

 

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