Captain Hornblower Rates the Farscape Episodes

The Captain gives "What Was Lost Part 1" a rating of:

2 Moyas

The Captain gives "What Was Lost Part 2" a rating of:

3 Moyas

Overall Rating: 3 Moyas (that's rounded from 2.5)

Review:

After a more than shaky start to Season 4, Farscape finally turns in a good episode in its new season. While not a spectacular installment to the series, the "What Was Lost" two parter was a pretty good adventure story with some great moments, a decent overall story, but still tempered with some problems.

Its really the second part of this two part adventure that carries "What Was Lost". The first installment was really a whirlwind of confusion, laced with too many unanswered questions connected with Crichton's reunion with D'Argo, Jool, and the Old Woman. Add the fact that it was filled with confusing flashbacks and flashforwards, and you really get a first installment that leaves you thinking "what the frell was that all about?" Cerebral can be good, but the first installment was just too cerebral. There is such a thing as too much of something, and this is a good example.

Luckily, the second part of this adventure is really where the story comes together. Most of the confusion from the first installment is explained and the pieces are put together in the puzzle to allow the plot to take shape. This is really, in general, a story that has been done before on Farscape several times. "Crichton gets captured and the others have to rescue him." But, this time, there are some twists tossed into the story that really let's you ignore the fact that this general plot has almost been done to death on Farscape.

First, Crichton is really in a position where he doesn't wait for the others to save him for a change. He goes a lot further to save himself, by turning the tables on Commandant Cleavage and leaving her in her own stirrups. Go Crichton! (Though this did contain an element of unfavorability which I will explain late). Then, he get's into a shootout with Bracca that begins with a great one liner from our hero.

Second, the girls. Chiana and Jool-that scene in the cell where they kick those two Peacekeeper's buts, with a little help in distraction from Sikozu. This really showed how the relationship between Jool and Chiana evolved into a great, thought reluctant partnership. Its unfortunate that it appears Jool has been written out of the series with this ep because she had been developed, over time, into a good character, one that could have been taken even further.

Third, Scorpius. It appears he is pretty much booted out of the Peacekeepers (and we know he can't be dead and buried forever-Scorpy can't die-that's now a Farscape tradition). In a way, this leaves his character wide open and a rogue element in the series. Will he remain a villain out on his own? Perhaps the Nebari, or some other power will put his expertise to good use? Or will he embark on a journey similar to that of Crais-becoming a question mark for a while with eventual evolution to semi-hero status? This last one would be hard to do, because Scorpius' villainy was more profound than Crais' and a more prolonged element to the series.

Now, although this was a good adventure story, there were still a few elements that made this ep less than spectacular, and along with the episode's pluses, these not so good elements should also be considered:

1) Yet again, we are given no backstory on what happened to D'Argo after he left in search of Macton, or Moya after she went down the wormhole at the end of Season Three. And what happened to Aeryn, and her possible pregnancy? They are prolonging this out too long, and need to do much more resolution of season 3 ending plot elements. Its still a distraction that is holding up the forward motion of the plot, and is manifesting itself as plot holes.

2) What happened with that connection between humans and other races in the Uncharted Territories? It was barely mentioned after the temple was discovered, only with an offhand remark by Jool to Crichton "hey, I guess our races our connected". How? When? Why? You would at least think Crichton could ask Jool "hey, if you find out the connection between your race, Sebaceans, and my race, let me know, okay." It would have given the issue more closure, and a more defined future in the series to come. Now, its almost left as a dead issue, perhaps never to be brought up again. I understand why it should be left open for future plot exploration, but they left it TOO open ended.

3) Elack's death scene had all of the emotion of a toilet being flushed. This Leviathan and its Pilot sheltered Crichton for months, and helped him, Chiana, and Rygel be reunited with the others at the expense of dying where they wanted to. And who gives their sacrifice any recognition? Rygel! That's all. I mean, its good Rygel did, and that show's some evolution in his character, but the others don't even seem to care. That could have been a very emotional moment, and it ended up being just a half way decent explosion sequence. Not very well played out.

4) Commandant Grayza is not a compelling villain. Its unfortunate, because the producers could have gotten creative with a female villain-look what they did with Natira. Instead, we have a villain who uses a breast sweat aphrodisiac to control men with sex. Its an old, cheap plot element that one would expect from a little boy's fantasies, not the creative Farscape production staff. Even with the explanation of how her breast sweat works doesn't change the fact that she uses something as stupid as breast sweat as the method of her villainy. And Crichton escapes her by finding a way to beat her breast sweat. Now, we have Grayza chasing Crichton and crew. Why? Crichton beat her breast sweat and left her in the stirrups. Give me a break! Crais and Scorpius had far better reasons for chasing Crichton than that. This villain is way to over the top, and lacks the complexity that Farscape villains in the past have exhibited.

Despite the two parter's flaws, it was still a good two part episode. Part 2 was especially needed after the poor to mediocre start Season 4 got with "Crichton Kicks" and "What Was Lost Part 1". This probably won't be a two parter as well remembered as many other episodes of Farscape have been, but it was still a good, decent episode.

Before I sign off, I want to make one final comment about the preview for next weeks ep. I was actually dreading tonight's ep (believe it or not) because of the preview they showed for it this past week, in combination with the fact I had been disappointed before this ep with Season 4 (some of you may have read my post from last night about this). The preview for this next week's ep didn't look good either. I think I know why now, what these two previews had in common. They are putting too much emphasis on the wacky, over the top stuff, like Crichton with Grayza in the stirrups and the Old Woman stripping in this next preview in the previews. And in reality, at least with this week's ep, the over the top sex stuff had very little to do with the ep. I hope the same holds true for next week. Some say that Scifi used to do this with Lexx as well. Sci-Fi Channel-change your schema for ep previews, please. Your making our show look bad in previews.

That's all. What did you think of "What Was Lost 1&2"? Feel free to let your voice be heard on the ep, or this review. Feedback is always welcomed.

Captain Hornblower
Keeper of Jenavia's Jewel Gun
Worshiper of Aeryn's Remarkable Vessel
Caretaker of Porthos, the Enterprise Dog


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Originally aired in the US June 21, 2002

Written by Justin Monjo

Directed by Rowan Woods

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