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Farscape episode
“Bad Timing”
Timing
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 22
Guest star(s) Raelee Hill (Sikozu); Melissa Jaffer (Noranti); David Franklin (Braca); Duncan Young (Emperor Staleek); Francesca Buller (War Minister Ahkna); John Adam (Pennoch); Kent McCord (Jack Crichton)
Writer(s) David Kemper
Director Andrew Prowse
Production no. 10422
Original airdate March 21, 2003 (US); March 10, 2003 (UK)
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"We're So Screwed - La Bomba" "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars"

When the Scarrans discover the wormhole to Earth, the crew of Moya must beat them there and find a way to stop them. Failure means certain doom for the human race, but could the cost for success be too great?

SynopsisEdit

Scorpius is telling John that his infantile obsession with betrayal is misplaced. Aeryn Sun asks him if Scorpius actually said that, and John replies that he did, as he continues to recount Scorpius' words. "Look past my actions, towards my goal. Our common goal," Scorpius said. John says that he led Braca and the command carrier here, and yet he says that John has an infantile obsession with betrayal. Braca is seen telling the crew that should they initiate starburst, the ship will be crippled. If Scorpius is harmed in any way, the Leviathan will be destroyed.

John tells Aeryn that they have Braca sitting on their doorstep, issuing threats with one hand, and Scarran messages with the other, and yet it's not a betrayal. "Do you believe them?" Aeryn asks. John doesn't know, and Aeryn says that it is possible, as crazy as it sounds, that the message was intercepted from the decimated Scarran base on Katratzi, as Braca had said. The message showed Pennoch telling Emperor Staleek that they'd set course for the wormhole that leads to Crichton's home planet, and Staleek telling him to begin subduing their defenses upon arrival.

John asks Aeryn to tell him the Scarrans don't know where Earth is. "They'll go," she replies. Flashback to John telling Staleek and Ahkna that their Crystherium Utilia grows on Earth. John tells Aeryn that they'll go because he told them the flowers were there. Aeryn says that, with that being the case, maybe they should listen to what Scorpius is proposing. "No, absolutely not, no," John says with finality, "He's manipulated us, Aeryn. He manipulates everything." He adds that from the moment they met, Scorpius has done nothing but lie to them. "I know, but what if the Scarrans are heading to Earth?" she asks. What if they really are?" She asks what else Scorpius said, and he told John that he had nothing to do with this, but "reality presents opportunity," and if John allies himself with the Peacekeepers, Scorpius will see to it that their entire might will be thrown into defending Earth. Aeryn tells him that is something he has to consider, but he disagrees. He says that he can destroy the wormhole and seal up Earth. Aeryn asks him if he can do that, but he's unsure – the knowledge is there it's just not in the correct order. Aeryn asks what happens if the Scarrans beat him there, to his family, and everyone. John recalls Scorpius telling him that he has nothing to fear from this commitment. John tells Aeryn that either one is a big commitment. "So you're... afraid? Of commitment." Aeryn asks.

Ka D'Argo asks John, who is telling him what happened, if she really hesitated or if it was just him doing it now. D'Argo says that if she hesitated like that, she knows John was talking about her.

"You said what?!?" Chiana asks Aeryn. "What I said," she replies, since she is recounting the conversation for Chiana. "Like you said?" Chiana asks. Aeryn asks if it matters, and Chiana explains that if she said it like she just did to her, then John knows that she knows.

Back to the conversation. "Now is not the time to be talking commitment with the Peacekeepers," John says, "Earth is not ready." "Will they ever be?" Aeryn asks. John says maybe, one day.

D'Argo asks if he got out of it, but John walks away, saying he doesn't want to talk about it.

Aeryn asks what they do. "We hope... we hope that I can figure out how to destroy the wormhole," John says, "Otherwise all the bad things happen. And it'll be my fault." "Well, I'm with you," Aeryn says.

Chiana tells Aeryn that's good. "Always position yourself so they have to come to you." Aeryn says it isn't about them. "Sure," Chiana answers.

John and D'Argo join them in the corridor, and Aeryn asks John if he's ready. He says yes, and Aeryn opens the airlock. Scorpius and Sikozu are inside, in spacesuits. "We are natural allies, John. The Scarrans will ravage your planet and I can prevent it," Scorpius tells him. Sikozu tells John that a Stryker is following, which will mean a swift attack. Utilizing starburst, it may beat Moya to the wormhole. However, Braca and his Command Carrier will get there first. John asks for Scorpius' plan for saving Earth. "By a simple declaration of alliance. Even infuriated, Emperor Staleek would be forced to stay his attack, or by its inception, incur a war that he is still afraid of losing." John tells Scorpius his timing is terrible; it's too late. He connects a nuclear bomb to Scorpius, who tells him to see reason. John says he is no longer a chess-piece. Sikozu tells John that Scorpius is not wrong - John must trust him. John tells her it's not a good choice.

D'Argo tells Chiana to lock down the maintenance bay, and comms Braca. He explains that they've attached a bomb to Scorpius and are leaving. If they follow, the bomb explodes, but once they've gone the bomb will shut down. He tells Braca not to respond – they're not listening.

Scorpius asks John to explain the logic of resisting the Scarrans without allies, but John doesn't answer. Aeryn seals the bay. "I see," Scorpius says, "Reason has fled them all." He tells John that there's so much he misunderstands about him, and his actions put his world at risk. John says he did this, and he'll fix it. Either way, he'll live with it. He signals Aeryn, who opens the bay, and Sikozu and Scorpius are sucked out towards the command carrier. As they're adrift, Sikozu shouts, "Weak species!" Scorpius shouts at John to reconsider, otherwise he dooms Earth to destruction. Moya promptly starbursts.

On the ruined base at Katratzi, Ahkna asks why Staleek would send a strike force to Earth, for revenge against Crichton, or to separate her from her lover? Staleek says they're political enemies, but both Scarrans, and asks if she has the fortitude to ally herself for a greater good than her own advancement. "You destroyed my father. Your political office, the bounty of your rank were stolen," Ahkna says. "Just as he took from his predecessor." Staleek tells her she must put that aside, but she says it doesn't matter; the Hierarchy will judge them both harshly. The Crystherium Matriarch is gone, and this region of space denied to them. Staleek offers her a flower, and a partnership. He says that Pennoch travels to Earth because these flowers grow there...

John is in the maintenance bay, working out how to destroy a wormhole, while D'Argo tells him that it's not too late to call Scorpius, but once they starburst, it will be. D'Argo thinks he should concentrate on his training with Katoya. "Katoya was a frelling fruit loop," John replies. He says it's here, and Chiana suggests sex. "With you or with him?" John asks. "Whatever," she answers. When she leaves, D'Argo tells John that, while it's hard for him to say, not all the Peacekeepers are represented by Grayza's betrayal. He believes that if they made a pact with Scorpius, he would honor it, and not enslave Earth. "Thanks," John replies. D'Argo leaves, and John suddenly makes a realization. It's not a 12. He picks up a flame-thrower and burns some writing he had hanging up.

John calls Pilot, and asks why they haven't starburst yet. Since Strykers have a unique propulsion system that allows them to cover great distances, Moya needs three additional starbursts to cover the distance. So Pilot and Moya have elected to employ an extended starburst technique to get there ahead of the Stryker. Everyone is thrown about by the impact of this.

Noranti sits in a room with John, explaining that Rygel is continuously vomiting and Stark has passed out. John asks her to leave him alone, but first she wants to give him some drug. Aeryn appears at the door, and stands with her arms folded. Noranti attempts small talk, but Aeryn asks her to leave, and drags her out. She tells John she was looking for him in the maintenance bay and liked his solution. She sits down, sighs, and looks at him. He tells her he's going to fail. He's close, there's just not enough time. "It's always about time," she replies. "Yeah. Time. Timing," he says, "Timing." He gets up, kisses her and says he loves her, and to not ever change.

John is in Pilot's den, asking if he can help confirm his theory. He says that a wormhole is a disturbance in space-time. Immediately before it opens, a pressure bubble forms. You can't see it, but it's there. "I can see it," Pilot says. John says he can smell it. The bubble starts tiny and expands outwards, when the bubble bursts, the wormhole opens. His theory is that he travels down the wormhole to Earth, it closes behind him and he waits. Before the wormhole opens, he dives in at the last moment, piercing the bubble. That collapses the wormhole around him over and over, all the way back to here, and the wormhole is sealed forever. "That is... brilliant Commander!" Pilot says. It all lines up perfectly. But the timing required to puncture the bubble at its maximum radius, thereby beginning the chain reaction he described is in the mili-microts. John's eye-limb coordination is lacking, so he can't do it. John says he's not going to ask Pilot another favor, so he's just going to beg, but Pilot apologizes and says there's nothing he can do.

Moya exits starburst at the wormhole, and D'Argo congratulates Pilot and Moya for their performance.

In the maintenance bay, John is preparing his module. "I'm coming with you," Aeryn tells him. He says they have one shot at the wormhole, but Aeryn says Pilot explained the maneuver to her, and he's not optimistic. John tells her if it doesn't work, they could be stuck on Earth. "There are worse places," she replies. "Not if the Scarrans get there." Aeryn says they'll have to do the best they can. John gets closer to her, and asks what she imagined for her life. "Service, promotion, retirement, death. You?" "This is exactly what I imagined," John replies, "And a couple of kids."

In Pilot's den, Rygel tells him that he should do it. "Would you?" Pilot asks. "No, but I'm not you."

On the Command Carrier, Braca, Sikozu, and Scorpius are in a large room, sitting to eat at a table. Braca comments on how pleased he is to have Scorpius back on board. Scorpius asks if Grayza will be joining them. Braca informs him that she is having difficulty adjusting to her confinement, and is under sedation. Scorpius tells Braca that next time they encounter Crichton, he should see to it that the older cook (Noranti) is brought aboard unharmed. Scorpius believes that Crichton may soon return of his own volition.

John is in his quarters, recording the final message on his tape recorder. "My name is John Crichton. An astronaut. Four years ago, I got shot through a wormhole to a distant part of the galaxy. I ended up on a ship... this living ship, populated by escapee prisoners who became my friends." Harvey interrupts him, the pair of them in bunny outfits. John wrestles him to the floor. John asks Harvey if he wants him to fail. Harvey says it's quite the opposite; he doesn't want to reside in the head that blames itself. He says that he's examined it thoroughly, and he believes that John will fail. John asks how Harvey expects him to trust him. Harvey says that either he believes, and so the bunnies are unnecessary, or he doesn't. In which case, he offers John a chocolate bunny.

John walks on to Command, to contact Scorpius. D'Argo asks if he's sure this is what he wants to do. John says he can't risk Earth, but Chiana doesn't understand why he'd sell his own people out. She tries to convince him that he can do it, but he's still doubtful.

On the command carrier, Sikozu has a chain, and has her back to Scorpius, who is seated, and is grinding with him. "To victory over Scarran domination," she says. "To you," he replies, "Your bravery." He makes her suck her finger. "For resisting the enemy?" "For not resisting... your friends." He sucks her finger, and they continue, as Braca watches on.

Aeryn is with Pilot, as he is getting distressed. He tells Aeryn that he and Moya have never been at great odds. They've never disagreed so fiercely. Pilot hasn't been entirely honest about not being able to help John...

John catches up with Rygel in the corridor, telling him that Pilot said it was Rygel that turned him around. "Do you want to pay me back?" Rygel asks. "We'll see how it turns out," John says, as he hurries off.

Pilot tells the crew that Moya is distressed about what they're about to do. Noranti tells him to ask Moya to be brave. John asks how this will work, and Pilot says that since the transport pod is made of Moya's own elements, he will be able to live in one for up to an arn. But if they're not rejoined, their neurological connections will have no chance of rejoining. John thinks it'll go smoothly, but Pilot says if not, his death is assured, and without Moya, he'll die alone. Stark says that Moya won't be alone, Pilot will return, and he is here. Aeryn says that most life-sustaining systems are on manual bypass. They're as ready as can be. Rygel tells them to do it, and D'Argo says he needs to hear it from Pilot. Pilot remands the ship to D'Argo's control, and tells him to cut him free from Moya.

Pilot screams in agony, and Noranti soon runs down to D'Argo and Chiana, telling them that it's not working, "he" can't take it anymore. Not Pilot, but Stark. Stark is screaming and shouting, and Chiana goes and hits him. He tells her it's too much, too fast. Pilot tells Chiana that while he's gone, command sequences must be performed, or else most regulatory systems will fail. Chiana confirms that Stark flew Talyn, but he says Pilot has four arms, and it's all too fast. Chiana tells Pilot to slow it down, and uses her powers to watch Pilot's controls in slow motion. "Your eyes," Stark says, since they're all white. Chiana is now blind, and Pilot thanks her.

Rygel tells Noranti that they're putting Pilot in the transport pod, but he doesn't look well. Noranti says that she's fortified him, but she fears it'll be wholly inadequate. She is also keeping the neural circuits moist, for when they are rejoined. "Don't hold your breath," Rygel tells her, "This isn't even one you could get odds on."

On the transport, Aeryn is keeping Pilot's ganglia moist. John lets her know that the wormhole is about to open, so to grab onto something, while D'Argo informs them that the Scarrans are less than an arn away. The transport enters the wormhole, and disappears from Moya's view.

The transport is landed on the moon. John is outside, at the American flag pitched in the ground. He finds a picture of his family, left by his dad, clipped to the flag. Aeryn, on the pod, tries to wake Pilot up.

On Earth, Jack is on his phone, telling the person on the line that there's no way 500 scientists are going to space with handguns strapped to their uniforms. His phone is ringing in doors, and he answers.

"Hey Dad," it's John, from the moon.

"Where are you?" Jack asks.

John says he's on Serenity Base, on the moon, and Jack asks why he didn't make Earth orbit.

"Murphy, Dad. We've got a little problem." He tells Jack that the Scarrans have located Earth, and are on their way.

"What can we do?" Jack asks.

"Nothing. I've got to do it."

Jack asks what the hell that means, and why he has to do it, because he's already done enough.

"I'm going to seal up the wormhole," John says. It'll isolate Earth but it should protect it.

Jack asks how they get into deep space, and John tells him the old-fashioned way; build a rocket. John says he's left technology and navigation information (the tape recorder with his notes) at their flagpole.

"How long do we have?" Jack asks his son.

"Not long."

Jack tells John to take him, to take them all with him. 500 of the world's best – they can help. John says there's no time.

"What do you mean there's no time?" Jack asks, saying that Moya could get from the moon to Earth in seconds.

"We're down to minutes, Dad. How do you wanna spend them?" John asks.

Jack tells John that Earth is starting to come together, just like John wanted.

"That's good. Keep that up," John says.

"I was looking forward to going with you, boy."

"Well, sometimes things don't happen quite the way you imagine," John replies. After a long pause, John tells Jack to give his love to Susan and Liv, and says he'll contact him if he can.

"You tell my grandkids about me," Jack says.

"Ha, that's a no-brainer. They gotta know who my hero is." Jack says, "You're going to find, when you have your own, you want them to surpass you. Be better. Climb higher. I guess if that's the measure, I'm the greatest dad on Earth."

"I love you, Dad."

"You're the heart and soul of my life, son. I love you."

"Goodbye."

As Jack looks up toward the moon, the phone call ends.

The Scarrans are looming ever closer, and Stark tells D'Argo that Moya is too dazed to respond to anyone but Pilot for navigation. D'Argo says the Scarrans will be here momentarily, causing Stark to freak out. Chiana screams at him, and he says, "I think I'm OK now."

Pennoch tells Staleek that the wormhole has reappeared, and Crichton's Leviathan sits nearby, making no attempt to flee or defend itself. Staleek tells him to ignore them, and continue to Earth to fulfill his mission.

Pennoch's ship fires at Moya, crippling her, then enters the wormhole. John and Aeryn wake Pilot, and remind him what he has to do. As John and Aeryn prepare, John tells her that from the moment he laid eyes on her, he could never see the end. "What scares me, is I always could." Pilot sees the bubble forming, and begins acceleration. John counts down to the wormhole and the pod hits the bubble. As they travel through, Aeryn spots the Scarran Stryker, as Pennoch tells his crew to disengage. The ships pass through each other, both remaining intact. Pennoch tells Staleek that John turned the wormhole against them and the Stryker is destroyed, as Ahkna listens on. Meanwhile, the pod exits the wormhole.

Moya is resting in a large sea. Stark is stroking Pilot's hand, telling him he did a good thing today. "Float on memories, and time will heal your wounds," he says. He adds that he was Pilot's worthy successor, and starts to get hyperactive, so Noranti sprays him with something. "Troubled Stykera," she says, "Float on memories, and perhaps time will heal your wounds." Pilot wants the pumps discharged, and Noranti tells him that D'Argo has already released them, and to let the minerals in Qujaga's sea soothe Moya.

Rygel is asking Chiana how many fingers he's holding up, and she bites them. Her blindness hasn't gone, and she thinks she's going to be blind forever. D'Argo says that the Diagnosan they found near here will be the first stop they make, when this is over. Rygel is looking out the viewer. "Simpletons," he says, adding that Crichton has Aeryn in a boat.

On the boat, John holds up a coin, saying that a year ago, they let a coin make their decisions for them. "Not again," Aeryn says. But John tells her to call it, and flips the coin. She doesn't, and it drops in the water.

"Aeryn... I have a question."

"Can I go first?"

"Yeah."

"When I was on the command carrier, I went to see a surgeon. I was really worried about what the Scarrans did to me. The fetus has been released from its stasis. So I'm having a baby."

"You OK?" She nods. "And the baby?"

"It's yours." She pauses. "I just wanted to tell you. I hope it doesn't change anything."

"Um... Well, it changes everything." He stands up in the boat, shouting, "We're going to have a baby!" at the top of his voice.

On Moya, D'Argo tells Chiana that John seems very, very angry.

Aeryn tells John to sit down, and asks, "Are you alright?"

"Yeah."

"Are you happy?"

"Yeah."

"What was your question?"

"Oh, God. Um..."

D'Argo tells Chiana John's gone down on his knees. She asks why. "I think he's hurt himself," Rygel surmises.

"Will you marry me?" John asks.

Aeryn nods. "Yes." John laughs, and they hug.

Chiana asks what he's doing. "Err, the boat's sinking," Rygel says.

John tells Aeryn to wait, and puts his mother's ring on her finger. D'Argo tells Chiana what he's doing. "A ring?" she asks. She laughs, and asks if neither of them watched any of those Earth movies. "Crichton just proposed!" "Hmm? Proposed what?" Rygel asks. "Marriage," she says. "Marriage? Idiot!" Rygel says.

As John and Aeryn kiss in the boat, a ship approaches out of nowhere. D'Argo calls for them to get inside, not knowing what it is. "Give me a break," John says, "We're in a boat!"

On the alien ship, the alien speaks to a voice. "Tracker scouts were correct. One Leviathan, partially submerged. Two invaders have exited their ship. Request orders."

Chiana, unable to see, asks if they're going to make it, as D'Argo frets.

"Do you have target acquisition?" the alien voice asks.

"Positive. I scan no armaments," the alien replies.

His head splits open, and the voice, seemingly coming from inside, tells him, "Neutralize invaders for analysis."

"Acknowledged. Neutralization run, beginning."

D'Argo screams for them to hurry up. On the boat, Aeryn holds John's face. "You and your timing," she says. He smiles. "I love you," he says, and they kiss passionately.

The alien ship swoops down and fires at them. As D'Argo screams on Moya, John and Aeryn shatter into small pieces.

D'Argo wails, as Chiana hugs him. We see a final image, of their remains on the boat, and close on the engagement ring, which is upright in the remains.

To Be Continued...

Memorable quotesEdit

Pilot: Ahh... Dominar.
Rygel: You should do it.
Pilot: Would you?
Rygel: No. But I'm not you.
Harvey (wearing bunny suit): Curious holiday, Easter. A religious leader dies, comes back from the dead, and you end up celebrating like this.
John: Pip, I can't do it. I'm not smart enough, I'm not fast enough, I am not alien enough, and you know what, there are people in the universe who don't like me.
Stark (Panicking) Nono! Scarrans! Scarrans torture! Scarrans kill! TORTURE, KILL! TORTURE, KILL!
Chiana: STARK!
Stark (calmly): I think I'm okay now.
D'Argo: Crichton's gone down onto his knees.
Chiana: Why?
Rygel: I think he's hurt himself.
(As John and Aeryn kiss)
Chiana: What's he doing?
Rygel: Uh, the boat's sinking.
Rygel: Hmm... Proposed what?
Chiana: Marriage.
Rygel: Marriage? Idiot!

Background informationEdit

  • The original title to this episode was “No Turning Back”. The title was changed after news of the show's cancellation. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.3)
  • The montage at the beginning of the episode featured four frames from each episode up to the finale in the producers' preferred viewing order. Instead of the customary "And now on Farscape" that usually follows recaps, Browder says "And finally on Farscape". ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.3)
  • The Qujagan was an animatronic puppet. If the show had continued to a fifth season, plans were to have some of the Qujagan be puppets, others humans. This one was voiced by Ben Browder. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.3)
  • The radio voice issuing orders to the Qujagan pilot belongs to first assistant director Michael Faranda. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.3)
  • Kent McCord's scene was filmed while he was in Australia filming "Kansas" and "Terra Firma". Ben Browder's side of the scene was filmed three months later. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.3)
  • The final scenes with Aeryn and Crichton in the boat were filmed on the water near the studio. Nearby apartment blocks were removed from the background by the special effects department in post-production. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.3)
  • For only the third time in the series, the regular theme music isn't played during the closing credits. The silence was to mark the show's passing. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.3)
  • Brian Henson credits "the tireless, unwavering efforts of Farscape fans" with motivating the production of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, the miniseries sequel to the series that continued the story and wrapped many of the dangling plot threads unanswered by the finale. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.3)
  • Sikozu utters the line "Weak species", echoing the words spoken by her unrealized counterpart in "Unrealized Reality". Interestingly, this would not be the only thing that they have in common.
  • Sikozu's original makeup is seen for the last time. When she returns in Peacekeeper Wars, her appearance is altered.
  • Chiana has been permanently blinded by the latest use of her power.
  • Despite the opening credits monologue indicating three years since Crichton was "shot through a wormhole", the scene in which Crichton recites a version of the monologue on screen indicates it has now been four years since the events of "Premiere".
  • Kent McCord makes his final appearance as Jack Crichton. He is the only ongoing character not to appear in some way in the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries.
  • Due to the DVD release rights to the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries resting with other parties, the 2009 A&E Home Video "Complete Series" box set ends with this episode and its "To be Continued" message. Another company issued the miniseries to DVD.
  • Crichton, Aeryn, D'Argo, Rygel, Pilot and Jack are the only characters to appear in both this episode and "Premiere".
  • For the UK airing, the BBC considered removing the final 'To Be Continued' caption before deciding to respect the producer's intentions and retained it.

Links and referencesEdit

StarringEdit

Guest starsEdit

Guest castEdit

PuppeteersEdit

Voice artistsEdit

Uncredited co-starsEdit

ReferencesEdit

1-800 number; arn; astronaut; chess; chocolate; Coleman, Susan; Command; command carrier; comms; Crichton, Leslie; Crichton, Olivia; Crystherium Utilia; Dear John; Diagnosan; dominar; DRD "1812"; dren; Earth; Easter; Encyclopedia Britannica; Eidelon crystallization weapon; Farscape-1; frell; frellnik; Fruit Loops; Goddess of the Delvian Seek; Goldilocks; Grasshopper; Harvey; Human; Hummingbird; Jesus; Katoya; Katratzi; Kung Fu; Leviathan; Luna; maintenance bay; microt; movie; Moya; Murphy's Law; Peacekeeper; Pilot's den; Pip; Qujaga; RMS Queen Mary; Rosetta Stone; Saturday Night Live; Scarran; Scarran Hierarchy; Serenity Base; Smalley, Stuart; starburst; Stryker; Stykera; Talyn; tralk; transport pod; United Nations; United States of America; Winters; wormhole

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