|Episode no.|| Season 4|
|Guest star(s)||Raelee Hill (Sikozu); Melissa Jaffer (Noranti); Rebecca Riggs (Grayza); David Franklin (Braca); Richard Carter (Ullom); Anja Coleby (Ponara); Damian Hunter (Rinlo)|
|Original airdate||12 July 2002 (US); 28 October 2002 (UK)|
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|"Lava's a Many Splendored Thing"||"Natural Election"|
With Ka D'Argo's ship still towing John's module, Rygel wonders how much longer; they have yet to spot Moya. D'Argo soon sees her in the distance, and everyone seems glad to see her again. "Moya looks beautiful" D'Argo tells Pilot. Pilot says they're eager to have the crew back. John asks if they're OK; "We are well" Pilot replies. "Pilot knows, knows what happened!" Noranti says enthusiastically. When questioned on where they've been, Pilot says they stopped at Arnessk, then searched for the crew at the burial ground. "Back it up a second" John says, "Moya was sucked down a wormhole and spat out again. What happened in the middle?" "My memory is unclear" Pilot says, "We were not harmed, merely examined." He says he doesn't know who by, and he remembers nothing more of importance. Noranti finds this odd, since Pilot told her he remembered. "Something's very wrong," she says. Chiana wonders if it's a trap, but John and D'Argo say the only way to find out is to walk right into it.
John steps off the ship first, seeing a shadowy figure in the distance. It steps into the light – it's Aeryn Sun! "You've come back!" John says, but she is visibly upset. "Everything's going to be alright" John ensures her, as she walks towards him. As they go to hug, she falls to the floor, and says she's got heat delirium. "But you have to promise me something" Aeryn insists, "You have to promise that you will not kill him." "Won't kill who?" "He found me, he saved my life." "Who saved your life?" John asks. "I did," and out steps Scorpius. John aims his gun, saying Scorpius is dead, he saw him buried. Scorpius says that he's put Aeryn in this coolant suit to stabilize her fever, and tells Aeryn that she must return to the coolant room to resume full treatment. John calls D'Argo out, but Aeryn insists he's not a threat. As the others come out with weapons ready, Aeryn climbs to her feet and stands between them and Scorpius. "I gave my word that he would not be harmed. Put your weapons down," she insists, adding that she'll leave Moya if they don't. Chiana asks what he wants. Aeryn replies, "He wants asylum."
John can't believe it, but Scorpius wants him to allow Aeryn to return to the chamber, then they can talk. Chiana goes to help Aeryn, who forces John to promise that he will not harm Scorpius. John and D'Argo move around Scorpius cautiously. "What did you do to her?" John asks. "I saved her," Scorpius says. She was alone and wounded, adrift in a Prowler in an early stage of heat delirium. D'Argo asks, "How did you find her?" "I was looking... for all of you." John tells Scorpius he'll never get the wormhole tech from him, but Scorpius reminds him that he couldn't use it even if he had it. "I merely want to safeguard it," Scorpius says, "and hope that when the inevitable Scarran bloodbath begins, you make the appropriate choices." D'Argo doesn't believe it, and John wonders what it will take to keep Scorpius in his grave. D'Argo suggests they cut off his head, since that worked for Durka. Into John's mind we go, where Harvey tries to convince him to kill Scorpius, originally saying Scorpius' plan was survival, but then that it's to steal what is in John's head.
Rygel has prepared Scorpius' room, including smashing several coolant rods on the floor; John stops him since Aeryn needs them. John ensures that there are DRDs watching at all times, and they leave him locked up.
Sikozu tells Pilot that the consoles need repairs. Pilot asks if they've been introduced, so she says her name and then tells him that command functions are their top priority, and to send DRDs immediately. Chiana overhears and tells Pilot to ignore her, and isn't too surprised to see she's been here only a few arns and is already trying to run the ship. "Someone has to" Sikozu tells her, but Chiana says that someone is not her, and reminds her that she's cargo, baggage, and that they haven't forgotten that she was in the grave with Scorpius. She pins Sikozu up against the wall and asks if she's working for Scorpius.
John is blaming himself for the situation, and agrees to see Aeryn. She's sitting on a bed, in a full Scorpius-style coolant suit, helmet and all. As John approaches, she tells him, "I'm really sorry." "For what?" "For everything." This is not how she pictured coming back. When John asks how she caught the heat delirium, she says that she can't talk to him about that. "I really want to tell you, but I can't, and we need to leave it at that." John notices it's cold, and asks how they found this room; Scorpius did. John asks if it was Scorpius who gave her the flu, but Aeryn is adamant. "He didn't, and I need you, I want you to believe that." "You make it very difficult."
Pilot suddenly announces that a ship is approaching fast, and they can't starburst because of the mass being too close. A loud noise overrides the comms, and a man calling himself Ullom addresses the ship, all her crew, including the assassin Aeryn Sun. He claims he induced her heat delirium, and only he can save her. He says that he'll give them the antidote as soon as Aeryn gives the names of her employers and fellow assassins. She can't tell John anything as she gave her word, but again says that Scorpius was not involved – he took advantage of a situation. John asks if she's an assassin, but she doesn't reply. John tells her he needs something, and asks if she believes he has the only cure, to which she nods. John asks what he's supposed to say to him. "If you love me, you'll say nothing."
John tells Rygel his plan; Rygel will talk Ullom into letting him and D'Argo aboard under the pretense of a truce, and turn it around on him. Rygel says that if he had half an arn with Aeryn, he could get the names, but he'll do it their way first.
Cut to the Command Carrier, where a Peacekeeper, Ponara, shows Braca a missile that, on impact with a Leviathan, will destroy its biologics, killing the Leviathan but not affecting the people aboard. But she wants a Prowler to carry it, although the pilot, Rinlo, says a missile this big belongs on a Marauder. She says that a Marauder would be detected quickly; only a Prowler could fly close enough to get a lock. The pilot is adamant that a Prowler couldn't fly steady enough, but she says a skilled pilot could. Braca tells them to run more simulations, and on his way out Grayza calls him over. "What sort of leadership was that?" she asks. He says this is an unproven weapon; it needs studies. "I don't want studies, Captain, I want Crichton."
John and D'Argo take a transport to Ullom's ship, unarmed. Ullom is holding the antidote, and D'Argo tries to tongue him but it's just a hologram. He reappears, and doesn't care what they want. He wants the names of those who worked with Aeryn. They say they don't know, so Ullom asks if they played a part in her "monstrous act." Apparently, Aeryn and two others invaded his home world, shot their way in to the governing chambers and assassinated their Prime Hokothian. "You know for a fact it was her?" John asks. Ullom says they dosed the killers with a contagion that induces heat delirium before they escaped. "Her illness should be all the proof you need," he says.
Chiana checks Aeryn's coolant rod, and thinks it should be blue. Scorpius tells her over the comm. to put it back and change it. Noranti has something to help Aeryn sleep deeply, and Chiana leaves to get a new rod. As Noranti goes to give her substance to Aeryn, Aeryn knocks it in her face, causing her to fall to the floor unconscious. Aeryn gets up and throws the coolant helmet on the floor, and goes to command where she throws Sikozu out.
Ullom tells John he might want to tell Aeryn that if she cooperated, he'd have no reason to hunt the other assassins. Aeryn appears on the screen, and says that threatening her friends won't help him, so to send them home and let Moya go. "I am breaking this stalemate," she says, and puts a pulse pistol to her head. "Goodbye John" she adds, as the others scream to get help. Fortunately, Rygel headbutts her from behind, knocking her to the floor. Ullom tells John that after a suicide attempt he's been too patient, and he could have his soldiers board Moya at any moment. "Go ahead, bring 'em on!" is John's response. They say Aeryn will never be taken alive, "And I need her more than you do," John says, "So back off and we'll get your names."
Sikozu visits Scorpius, and speaks in Pilot. He asks what else she can speak, Scarran perhaps? (In Scarran) Sikozu asks why he saved her life on Arnessk. "Your death would serve no purpose, but your life might" Scorpius responds. She says it hasn't thus far, and now she is blamed for Scorpius being here. "How did you survive?" "Foresight, and preparation," he says, and again reiterates he's here to safeguard John, "amongst other things."
John goes to Aeryn, who tells him not to be upset; death is nothing to fear. John hallucinates, with an Aeryn-Scorpius, asking, "why won't you allow her to die? Soon enough, you'll wish you had." John says they'll get the antidote, but Aeryn-Scorpius says he's still in denial, and asks why he won't just let her go. The real Aeryn says he has no right to do this; Ullom just wants her. "Not as much as I do!" John replies. She says she made promises and asks if that means anything to him. John asks if life means anything to her, and asks when she became an assassin. "When I found a cause that required hit," she answers. She still won't tell anything, other than she thinks it's worth dying for.
On the Command carrier, recon has found a Leviathan they think is Moya. Grayza asks Braca for recommendations, and he says he will fly a Prowler with this missile. When the pilot questions him, Braca says he's convinced the mission will fail and sends him away. "Good hunting, Captain" Grayza says.
Harvey tells John that he has to stay away from Scorpius, but John goes anyway. He finds Sikozu with him, and accuses her of being on Scorpius' team all along. She has in fact helped Scorpius concoct a device that will take the neural clone from his mind. Scorpius says that he can help John, "Simply clear your mind and I will." John continues pointing his gun at Scorpius, who reminds him that he saved Aeryn's life while the clone killed her. Harvey tries to convince him otherwise, and says he'll get back in the Dumpster. "That's not good enough" John says. He tells Harvey that this is a private place, he doesn't belong here. "I've been your ally John, and your friend," he says. "It's time for you to go" John replies. He gives Sikozu his gun, and Harvey asks how he could take this from him. "You're not real" John says. "I'm real to you, to myself," Harvey says, but John insists he come sit in the chair. Harvey does so, and says "goodbye then John, I will miss you." Scorpius stabs the device in John's neck. Harvey's final words are "without hesitation" and he is gone. After a few seconds recovering, John asks what Scorpius can do. He tells John that in less than three arns a Prowler will fire a missile, killing Moya. "If you don't trust me now, we're all as good as dead."
Scorpius tells John that once locked on the missile can follow even through starburst. John won't leave without a cure for Aeryn, but Sikozu has a theory about the other ship. The mass readings lead her to believe it's a chameleon, a projection; it's tiny with a crew of four or five at most. Scorpius volunteers, but John refuses, and he doesn't argue. John says Sikozu is coming with them, "we may need a nerd." Scorpius says they now have less than two arns before the Prowler's in range. "How did you learn that?" John asks. "I have a spy aboard the Command Carrier."
John, D'Argo, Sikozu, and Aeryn go over to Ullom's ship. John tells Ullom that Aeryn will talk, but her condition is worsening – she needs the antidote now. Braca leaves the Command Carrier with the missile. The crew board Ullom's ship, and John gets him to inject the antidote. John and D'Argo then turn on Ullom's men, and knock the real ones out. Ullom is still a hologram though, and seals the room. Aeryn begins to recover, and she tells Ullom to come out and face her unless he's a coward. He says he faced her once before; she shot him and left him for dead. "You killed so many that day," he says. She tells him that his leader had more slaughtered in one day than she could in a lifetime, and if asked, she'd do it again, and again, and for free. "I wasn't hired to kill him," she says. The real Ullom steps out from a chamber and shoots at her, but she's protected by the Tarkan body shield. John returns fire and Ullom's life-support system takes damage. Sikozu grabs his control orb, and John tells her to run the ship with it.
Pilot tells everyone that they're too late to get back before the missile is fired, as Sikozu gets the hatch open. D'Argo takes Aeryn back to the pod, while Sikozu and Scorpius tell John that the missile locks on to Moya's pulse. Pilot can shut it down, but only through a full biological shutdown, which Moya can only survive for 800 microts. John tells Sikozu to create a decoy with this ship's chameleon abilities, and although she doesn't think she can, she agrees to try. Braca comes into range with the missile. Ullom tells John that he's finished what Aeryn began. Sikozu gets the decoy working, just as Braca begins his scan. Moya is shut down, and Braca reads two Leviathans on scan. They are fooled by the decoy, thinking Moya is "dead." Braca fires the missile, locking on to the decoy, and Pilot manages to get Moya resuscitated. They starburst, as the other ship is destroyed by the missile. Braca reports that the dead Leviathan is moving, and relieves the Peacekeeper of her duties. Grayza takes over, and tells her to report to the Aurora chamber. "Just take a seat," she says, "I'll be with you shortly."
John congratulates Scorpius on making it through the day. He has two questions. "Did you do anything at all to Aeryn?" "No, I have not harmed her, in any way," he replies. "Two. On the Carrier, you said you knew where Earth was. Is that true? Do you?" John asks. "I do." "Anyone else?" Scorpius says no, he purged all records; the knowledge exists only in his mind. "You can use it to get home," Scorpius says, "Or you can safely eradicate it, by killing me. Again the choice is yours."
Chiana tells Pilot it is great to see him and Moya again, "it almost feels like coming home." Pilot is equally happy to see everyone, with the exception of Sikozu. "I now miss Jool more than ever," he says. Chiana tells him that if Sikozu ever speaks to him like that again, gives him any lip, he can drop her in the bat dren. "Nobody should tell you what to do" Chiana says. "Yet... everybody does" Pilot replies. He says that they can't serve so many masters at once. "We ask you to choose one spokesperson," he says, "A single voice for us to follow." Chiana says she'll tell the others, and they'll take a vote or something.
John is on command, and Aeryn joins him. "Hi," she says, "I'd like to stay." John says he's sure Moya would be happy to hear that. She says she also wants to help him keep an eye on Scorpius. "I want to be here," she adds. John asks if she has any other oaths or silences, and she shakes her head. Awkwardly he asks, "So, you could tell me if you were pregnant?" Her face changes, but she stays silent. Upset, he leaves her, alone.
- Chiana: What if, what if the people who examined Moya are still on board? Maybe it’s a trap?
- John: One sure way to find out.
- D'Argo: Walk straight into it. Okay.
- Rygel: Plan?
- John: Yeah. You’re going to talk Ullom into letting us aboard under a flag of truce.
- D'Argo: Then we take that flag of truce and hit him over the head with it.
- Harvey: Without hesitation.
- Richard Carter previously provided the voice of the Hangi in "Scratch 'N' Sniff". He also starred with Lani Tupu in the 1989 film The Punisher.
- One of the background aliens was played by set supervisor "Safety Bob", who enjoyed playing an alien from time to time.
- The Reservoir Dogs inspired scenes between John and Harvey were filmed in the corridors between the stages of the Farscape studios.
- The writers discussed a plotline where the consequences of Aeryn's time as an assassin catch up to her again, but it never happened.
- Braca's line "Here's your rematch, Crichton!" refers to "Liars, Guns and Money" when Chricton punched out Braca.
- Footage of Talyn is reused for the montage where Sikozu uses the Lukythian ship's neural interface.
Links and references
- Ben Browder as John Crichton
- Claudia Black as Aeryn Sun
- Anthony Simcoe as Ka D'Argo
- Gigi Edgely as Chiana
- Wayne Pygram as Scorpius
- Raelee Hill as Sikozu
- Melissa Jaffer as Noranti
- Rebecca Riggs as Grayza
- David Franklin as Braca
- Richard Carter as Ullom
- Farscape World Synopsis by Dani Moure