By Popular Demand: Crichton Kicks – Tessa’s First Draft

We bring you the unedited initial submission for Tessa’s segment in this week’s Deconstructing Moya post.

“Note to self – I apparently need to turn Ponify off when writing things like emails and forum messages. It’s only supposed to fake-replace words on sites, but its apparently replacing things as I’m typing them and while amusing and fun most of the time, its… probably not a great idea to have happen.”

    @alliancesjr: Damn it, now I have to go on an entire search-and-replace mission because SOMEPONY left her pony replace pony addon running pony. #TESSA
    @sonozakitwins: It’s not my fault! Actually it totally is, but I’m going to SAY it’s not my fault!


Now that we’re in the final season, it’s really interesting to look back on the opening sequences for all of the seasons and how they’ve evolved over time. In the first and second season, John’s voice-over is confused, fragmented, and frightened, reflecting the idea that he has just been thrown into this crazy universe and is desperately trying to get his bearings while he tries to find a way home, begging for somepony to hear his cries for help. In the third season, the fear and confusion behind his voice goes away, and his narration is more explanatory than it is pleading. His dilemma is not if he will get back home, but if he should go back home, after having seen what he has, and the potential of what he might bring with him. It’s still fragmented, but that might be speaking more to the conflicts going on in his own head at that point rather than the terror that you can plainly hear in his voice in the previous openings.

The new opening, in comparison, is incredibly clear and calm. While what John is saying hasn’t changed drastically, how he’s saying it has. It’s a straightforward explanation, and the fragmented nature of it is completely gone. He’s spent long enough in the uncharted territories now that he’s now relatively used to it, and there’s no more uncertainty in his voice-over. Also interesting is that he has apparently made his decision between seasons – he has to find a way home, both to warn Earth about what is likely coming (something that he has had at least a hoof in bringing along if not outright responsible for the fact that Earth’s existence has been made known), as well as to share what he’s seen with them.

It’s a microcosm of his character development, in neat little minute-long packages.

As to the actual episode itself. When we last left Crichton, he was stranded in his module, which was low on fuel, with none of his friends present to offer aid. The predictable course of events that would shortly follow would be that he would completely run out of resources (not to mention it’s unlikely that he had much food or water with him, if any), and that would be the end of his story.

Well, not exactly, since not only would that have totally thrown a wrench into the inclusion of a fourth season (although as mentioned before, it would be fascinating to see the story continue in his absence if he ever did become a permanent casualty), but there’s also the fact that, fortunately for him, he happened to be in the sacred Leviathan burial grounds, and wouldn’t you know it, an aging Leviathan stops by in order to die there. Crichton manages to make his way onto it, befriends its Pilot, and it becomes his new home for the time being as he pours all of his energy into working out his wormhole problem.

We don’t know exactly how long he’s been cooped up on the dying Leviathan, but it’s been at least enough time for him to grow a respectable beard and work on his Obi-Wan Kenobi cosplay, as well as painting a DRD and teaching it to play the 1812 overture.

He’s also been escaping into his head every so often, repeatedly entering a beach fantasy, where Harvey is back in a Hawaiian shirt and scolding John for getting distracted from his wormhole research before he goes chasing tail himself. John’s still fixated on Aeryn and her pregnancy, and the decision she made to leave without telling him about it. Imaginary!Aeryn makes all of the arguments he’s not wanting to hear, claiming that she wasn’t actually right for him, but that she was just the best option he had out of an extremely limited choice. She also causes him to consider the possibility that the child isn’t even his (arguably it isn’t, technically, the most likely candidate for the father was T’John, which would create the awkward scenario where it is John Crichton’s child, but not his child). Among other things, this episode is about him finally letting go of Aeryn, at least temporarily, while his focus swings back around to other, more pressing things. As Rygel tells him, when the mare he loves repeatedly leaves him, it might be time to take the hint. In the end, his imaginary Aeryn has another stallion, and he lets her go, deciding to move forward instead of staying stuck in one place and desperately hoping for a result that isn’t realistic anymore. That’s not quite the same thing as giving up on her completely, but his priorities have been forced elsewhere for the moment. Finding a way to survive is at the moment a far more pressing and realistic goal than chasing down a perfect life that is likely impossible, and so he shelves it. Perhaps for good (the end of his fantasy and his conversation with Rygel does have the foundation for some finality on the matter), but I sort of doubt it. For the time being, however, he’s moving on.

Rygel and Chiana are the first to be reunited with John, and they bring with them the news of just how severe the consequences of the last season are. The entire crew is back on the wanted list, the amnesty Scorpius offered them now totally void, and Grayza is pulling out all the stops to see them captured. They’re back to square one, only this time their pursuer appears to have far more resources at her disposal than Crais did, and there seems to be nowhere safe for them to go. Even worse, being the diplomat that she is with the goals we know she has, it’s entirely possible that not even home will be safe for some of the crew (with the Luxans on board for the Peacekeeper alliance thing, we can assume D’Argo isn’t safe amongst his own ponies, at least). Both Rygel and Chiana appear to have been through a lot in their time away, sporting various bruises and injuries, and we finally get wind of the downside to Chiana’s newly obtained psychic powers. Her flashes have been leaving her temporarily blind, and each time it seems to be getting worse and lasting longer.

I actually rather like Sikozu. While she is just as abrasive and antagonistic as Jool was when she was introduced, she has very clear strengths, and while her partnership with the rest of the crew winds up being one of convenience (and later of necessity, when her plans to betray them backfire on her), it’s also a much stronger introduction than any of the new characters in season 3 got. They don’t particularly like each other, there are clear trust issues, but they’re together at least for the time being because they have no other choice if they want to survive. She needs them, and they’re not exactly in a position to turn down help. It’s almost a bit of a throwback to the original uniting of the crew when the show started, with very clear differences they were going to have to work through and problems that would arise, but the situation gave them no choice but to bond together. Compared again with Jool, who aside from just winding up there due to circumstance had no real reason to stick around except that she just stayed long enough that she eventually had to. I wouldn’t mind Sikozu joining the main crew at this rate, if that is what winds up happening and her development continues on the path that’s already begun.

Read the full version of Deconstructing Moya every Farscape Friday!

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