Episode Guide > Season Three > Losing Time

US OAD : June 29, 2001

Written by: Justin Monjo

Directed by: Catherine Miller

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Summary:

Meanwhile, back on Moya...

Green-eyed Monster dealt with the adventures of Talyn's crew; this week it's Moya's turn for excitement. Which is convenient, since it seems that excitement has been somewhat lacking for Moya's crew lately. For ten solar days, John has led the crew on a fruitless search for wormholes. D'Argo, Chiana, and Jool are tired of the tedious search and are ready to abandon John's obsessive hunt. With little warning, Moya passes though a seemingly harmless energy cluster. Immediately, John finds himself face-to-face (or whatever) to a floating, translucent, butterfly thing. It passes though John twice, nearly knocking the man unconscious. John then floats, facing downward, about 6 feet off Moya's floor, with blood dripping from his face. When John awakens, he's disoriented and lying in a large pool of blood.

Believing others may be injured, John runs through Moya searching for his crewmates. John comes across Chiana, who can't understand why John is so upset. Chiana is unharmed and unaware of any invading aliens. She examines John's head, determines there is no injury to the human, and promptly slaps him on the forehead. Not amused, John drags the nebari to command, but finds the floor clean of any spilled blood. Chiana and the others are convinced John hallucinated the entire incident. After the others leave command, John finds himself bleeding again. This time he is bleeding from his arm and heads straight to Pilot's chamber. Pilot sees the blood, but doesn't have any explanation for John's condition. Pilot speculates that John's bleeding may be a result of the twinning process, but that it has nothing to do with the energy clusters.

Concerned his body is falling apart, John convinces his shipmates to sit with him around a table and observe any future bleeding spells. Chiana quickly bores of the endeavor and gets ready to leave. However, Chiana finds the floor, which was dry only moments before, covered with water. Suspecting there is a connection between the wet floor and his bleeding, John made sure a DRD was nearby recording the group as they sat at the table. The DRD's recording shows the crew sitting normally, and then suddenly losing consciousness. All four shipmates are then seen shaking violently, then snapping back into reality. D'Argo determines they were unconscious for about half an arn, with no memory of what happened during that time.

The crew finds Pilot unconscious, but still breathing. Suddenly, Pilot comes alive, yelling and throwing the crew aside. Pilot is no longer himself - he is now possessed by an energy creature named Tallip. Tallip explains that it has no desire to harm Pilot or any of Moya's crew. When Moya passed through the energy cluster, it momentarily entered the realm of energy creatures that lived there. A diseased energy creature child escaped from its group and entered Moya. Tallip claims the child has possessed a member of Moya's crew, but isn't sure who is the lucky carrier. The crew losing consciousness and time earlier was Tallip's way of tasting them - determining which crewmember is carrying the child. Tallip hoped to complete its task of finding the child and returning to the cluster unnoticed by the crew, but now that its cover is blown it has another plan.

Tallip will now give each member of the crew a full-scale test to determine which body is hiding the child. Unfortunately, the testing process is quite violent and painful. Jool is the first to experience the test and nearly dies from the process. Not sure Tallip is telling the truth, John decides to get Moya directly involved in resolving the problem. Using a DRD's lights and a one blink for yes - two blinks for no method of communication, John and Moya develop a plan of their own. John and Chiana enter Moya's starburst chamber, the one place within Moya that Pilot - thus Tallip - can't detect. Not sure why Moya chose to bring them to that place, John watches as Chiana activates starburst. Of course, Moya stops the process before John and Chiana are incinerated. For some reason, the aborted starburst allows John to see the alien child hovering over Chiana. She is the one possessed by the creature and quickly determines John has discovered her secret.

Instead of threatening the human, the child alien explains that it simply wants to escape Tallip and return to its home. To prove its peaceful intent, the creature tells John that Chiana's body wants him in a sexual way. To demonstrate its point, the alien sends shockwaves of pleasure through John's body - a type of alien sexual orgasm, if you will. John appreciates the experience, but is now left more confused than ever. Does he believe Tallip or the child?

The child isn't the only one enjoying the corporeal existence. Tallip is learning how to master Pilot's body and no longer wants to leave. Left with aliens inhabiting two of their shipmates, John, D'Argo, Jool, and Moya must come up with a plan to evict the body-squatting aliens.

Analysis:

Losing Time is a good, but not great episode that should be better than it is. Written by Justin Monjo, whose credits include some of Farscape's best episodes, LT is an interesting concept that is missing something. Although Farscape's third season has - so far - been its strongest, the show has never quite gotten over the void left by Zhaan's demise. Zhaan added a sense of wonder to the cast and a much needed stable element to many plots. I mention Zhaan because this episode is plagued by the complete lack of another important Farscape dynamic: John and Aeryn. Without John and Aeryn's sexual tension, Farscape's crew seems, well, kind of boring. Yes, D'Argo, Chiana, Jool, and green John are there, but all they do is argue with each other and that's it. The chemistry between the characters lacks intensity, thus the episode seems a little slow at times. I even miss the Hynerian slug's way of screwing the crew at every chance. To be honest, the Talyn version of Farscape - with Crais, black John, Aeryn, Rygel, and Stark - is a more volatile and fascinating combination of characters.

This episode may not be Farscape at its best, but LT is still generally entertaining. There is the issue of John bleeding, even when he doesn't suffer any apparent injuries. Pilot made the point the bleeding could be related to John's twinning process. Green John seems resigned to the possibility that he may be the inferior, damaged copy of John Crichton. The bleeding issue is not resolved in LT, which suggests the subject will play a roll in a future episode.

Speaking of copies, it seems there is a third John Crichton in the UT. The Scorpius chip stolen from John's mind apparently contained a clone of the human's personality. The clone of John now resides in the mind of Scorpius, to be tormented into revealing anything he knows about wormholes. However, things are not going well for Scorpy's wormhole experiments and he accesses the John clone once too many times. The John clone turns the tables on Scorpy, twisting the Peacekeeper's arm and flaunting Scorpy's failed experiments. Not sure where the writers are going with this, but there may be poetic justice in the UT after all.

I suspect the people who write for Farscape were a little unsure how to make this episode interesting without the John/Aeryn relationship. I still believe splitting up the crew is an interesting idea, but wouldn't recommend it become a permanent part of the story. Overall, LT is a good episode that demonstrates the risk of breaking up a successful ensemble of characters.

 

 

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