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Rhapsody in Blue

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Farscape episode
“Rhapsody In Blue”
10112
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 13
Guest star(s) Kate Raison (Tahleen); Max Phipps (Tuzak); Darlene Vogel (Alex O'Connor, Lorana); Michael Beckley (Hasko); Aaron Cash (Bitaal); Grant Magee (Jothee); Robert Supple (Young Crichton)
Writer(s) David Kemper & Ro Hume (story); David Kemper (teleplay)
Director Andrew Prowse
Production no. 10112
Original airdate July 23, 1999 (US); March 13, 2000 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"The Flax" "Jeremiah Crichton"

An encounter with Zhaan's people may have detrimental effects on the Delvian and the others are powerless to help when they become trapped in their own fantasies.

SynopsisEdit

John Crichton is in bed with his girlfriend, Alex. She says that she's taken a job at Stanford in the medical research program. Crichton's upset and slides the engagement ring under the bed, clearly a bit upset. Suddenly he falls out of bed – it was all a dream – because Moya's just entered Starburst. Pilot says she thought she picked up a distress call from another pregnant Leviathan, and was attempting to answer. Rygel tells everyone that he was dreaming about the last mating session he had with one of his wives, and Ka D'Argo says that he dreamt of his wife on the last night before she was murdered. Pilot informs them that there is no other Leviathan, but they've received a signal from a Delvian, who apologises saying she just wants to meet Zotoh Zhaan.

Zhaan, Aeryn Sun and Crichton go and meet the Delvian, Tahleen, down on the planetoid. Zhaan says that her use of deception continues to trouble her. They go inside the Delvian temple-like ship, where Tahleen shows them the food store, offering Crichton and Aeryn as much as they like. Zhaan asks why she was brought here, and says Tahleen invaded her soul last night leaving her bitter. Crichton has just caught a plant/animal thing for food, and is amazed by it. He lectures Aeryn for not giving any sort of response to the new and amazing things she sees every day. Tahleen asks Zhaan to give them the powers to help themselves; they need her secret before they all go insane from the madness. Zhaan doesn't know how she survived the early cycles of hatred, but Tahleen says she did, so if she shows her she will show Zhaan abilities beyond her comprehension. She makes Crichton remember falling into the sea as a child, and Zhaan tells her to put his memory back as it was.

Back on Moya, D'Argo says he's disturbed because he senses Delvian trickery since they all had the same dreams. Meanwhile a man called Tuzak approaches Crichton, saying he is here because of him, calling him a Peacekeeper. Crichton says he is not, and the man says he is himself insane. He says it's because of Crichton, and says the one he travels with, Zhaan, is in danger. A Delvian kicks Aeryn out of the temple since he was driven from his world by the Peacekeepers, and she's carrying a weapon.

Zhaan asks Crichton to help her come to a decision. She says last night she did dream – of the last person she ever loved. She asks him to keep an open mind, and Tahleen warns that his capacity is less than even a level one, but Zhaan says he'll understand. Tahleen shows him Zhaan joining in unity with her lover, Bitaal, when she decided to avenge the lives he ruined and the world he put at risk by murdering him. Crichton is angry with Zhaan, but she says she needs him to understand, because the others want her to do it again.

Zhaan says that Bitaal was a spiritual counsellor, and at the time she was studying with him. His tenure was up, but he and the other conservative Pa'us hired the Peacekeepers for external security instead of yielding control, changing Delvia forever. The Peacekeepers sent many Delvians to Asteroid camps, including her father. Tahleen and the others want Zhaan to give them control again. As Delvians train for purity they become vulnerable to the dark impulses, which if they surface they succumb to like an infection. It happened to Tuzak, and madness threatens his followers. She can help them through unity – the sacred surrender of two minds together, two spirits, two souls.

Tahleen does not want Aeryn and D'Argo to come down to the planer to distract Zhaan from her task, and tells Hasko and Lorana to attack their minds, including Crichton's. Meanwhile he sees Alex again, who says she joined the space program with him as his co-pilot, which he oddly remembers.

Zhaan goes to see Tuzak and asks if she gives Tahleen what she wants, will she us it to hurt people. He says she most certainly will, but she may also use it to free a planet from tyranny. D'Argo and Aeryn are about to go down to the planetoid, but she drops her pulse rifle and it smashes, and D'Argo sees Jothee and Peacekeepers on board, whilst Rygel seems to shrink!

Zhaan agrees to unity with Tahleen, who says she only wants a small seed to learn to control herself. They join, but Tahleen causes her pain, saying what Zhaan achieved will take her too long to master on her own, and rips out of Zhaan's mind all of what she needs. They break and Zhaan's eyes are red with the madness. Crichton goes to her, and she says her dark impulses are released. Tahleen ripped her ability to control them. She gets violent with him, and says she doesn't have the strength to start again.

Crichton looks for Tahleen, but again finds Alex who says he should forget about Zhaan – she made her own choice. Pilot calls him on the comm., and says everyone on Moya is acting strangely. Crichton goes to Tahleen, who says she will save over a billion Delvians living in fear on her home world. Crichton tells her to put right what she did to Zhaan, but she tells Lorana when he's gone to destroy his mind. Lorana wants to let them go, but Tahleen says she didn’t get everything she needed from Zhaan.

Alex corners Crichton again, who asks when she will become more important to him than Zhaan. She's wearing the engagement ring, and he has a flash of his proposal to her, and then their marriage. She tells him to honour his vows or choose Zhaan over her. Meanwhile Tahleen goes to Tuzak, her father, where it's revealed that he brought the Delvians here to accelerate the learning to create a new class of Pa'u. Tuzak says she should learn from his error, she's going too fast. He says what she does is worse than the insanity she's trying to stave off. She incapacitates him.

Crichton asks Zhaan to go back to Moya, but she says she'll join with Tahleen one more time. He says she's planning to kill her, and Zhaan says he was always the clever one on Moya. Crichton says that Alex said she'd do this, but Zhaan asks who Alex is, and says they're both lost. Alex asks Crichton why Zhaan is so important to him, and says Zhaan doesn't like herm or know her. Alex says she's a forced memory created to distract him, and she morphs into Lorana. She says she shares his feelings for Zhaan and all of them now that she's been in his mind, and says her people have fallen off the path. In his mind he showed her she was wrong, and he can show Zhaan.

Hasko speaks to D'Argo, Aeryn and Rygel, telling them to stay focused but they must not invade the planet to allow the Delvians to do it their way. D'Argo gives them two arns. Meanwhile Lorana tells Tahleen that she's wrong, but Tahleen says she's simple, easy and pleasurable. Lorana says that Crichton and Zhaan are attempting to leave, so Tahleen says she'll stop them.

Crichton says he wants to join in unity with Zhaan, he was told she can protect him from injury. Her curiosity if his mind makes her agree. They join, and Crichton says that it's like ten years of great sex all at once. Zhaan tells him not to absorb any of her rage, and Crichton shows her his view of Zhaan, telling her to see what he sees, the gentle Pa'u, to try to be her again. They break suddenly, and Crichton tells her to fight the madness. After a few moments she manages to, and as he holds her she thanks him.

Crichton is chopping the spirit tree, angry because he can't remember. Zhaan tells him that details of another's mind fade after unity but the essence of the bonding remains. Tahleen runs in and she says she'll destroy Crichton's mind, but Zhaan blocks her. She was also gifted as part of their unity – she's now a Pa'u of the tenth level able to protect. She tells Tahleen it's over and with her father gone she is needed to tend his orchard.

Zhaan and Crichton go, but she leaves the vestments of a Pa'u behind, saying she is no longer worthy of them. She says she'll be a Pa'u again someday, but not today. Crichton says it's a shame to waste all those years of training, but she says they were hardly wasted – they were the best cycles of her life.

Memorable quotesEdit

Tuzak: I know who you are.
Zhaan: I know who you are. I do respect your teachings Pa'u Tuzak.
Tuzak: I respect your choice of murder victims.
D'Argo: Something Crichton said is disturbing me.
Rygel: Finally! I've been saying that since he arrived.
(Crichton makes chicken squawks)
Crichton: Your translator microbes handle that one?
Zhaan: Although...I have always wondered what could possibly go on in there...
Crichton: Not a lot. I'm a guy.
Rygel: I like my wives pregnant, and my ships cold to the touch, that way my feet stay warm and my slumber is uninterrupted.
John: Wives plural? Big fella!
(high-fives Rygel)
John: Little long for a starburst, don't you think?
Rygel: Hail prince of the obvious.
Crichton: It's like Disney on acid! Ten years of really great sex all at the same moment!

Background informationEdit

  • This episode was Virginia Hey's favorite episode. She stated, "that whole episode was very important for me, and I learned a great deal. Andrew Prowse directed that episode, and I loved every second of it. He really pushed my performance, and I think that since then, there's been a great strength in Zhaan that was borne out of that particular story." Talking about receiving the script, she continued, "I was in heaven, but when we started shooting, i also felt like I was in some kind of strange bowling alley in the sky." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
    • Although it was her favorite, Hey (who had had to shave her head for the role) was mildly annoyed to discover that other Delvian females had hair.(Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • Prowse recalls the thinking behind the episode, "The problem with saints is that they're fundamentally excruciatingly boring, and you want them to have internal conflicts. [...] Rather than gradually change her into something else, we decided to do it with an axe!" He continued saying "A soon as we got in a rut on Farscape, we went at it hard to try and break it." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2))
  • Paul Butterworth stated that Unity was an example of creating an effective visual sequence under pressure. "The fusion thing came about as a last minute thought while we were on set," he remembers. The original idea was to use a prosthetic effect to show two hands, one inside the other. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • This was David Kemper's first solo script and Rockne S. O'Bannon stated that "it was a tough one to visualize and figure out what that environment was and to start to solidify the Delvian hierarchy and the Delvian spirituality." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • David Kemper said that "when the makeup people realized that they had to sit every one of those actors in a chair for three and a half hours a morning, they went crazy!" He went on to point out that "there's never another episode where there's more than one blue person." (Farscape Minisodes)
  • Eight makeup artists were needed to create all of the Delvians seen in this episode. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • The painting in the archway of the Delvian Temple was based on a painting by Maxfield Parrish titled "The Old Glen Mill." ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • An internet chat before the episode had Ben Browder promising that the question of "boxers or briefs" would be answered by Crichton, but he admitted that he thought that Crichton should "go commando." ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • There were discussions about taking the crew to Delvia later in the show, but they never panned out. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)

Links and referencesEdit

StarringEdit

Guest starsEdit

and

Guest castEdit

PuppeteersEdit

with

Voice artistsEdit

ReferencesEdit

altar of essence; arn; calamari; Calvin Klein; Cape Canaveral; Command; cucumber; cycle; Delvia; Delvian; God; Goddess of the Delvian Seek; holy reaper; IASA; Ka Jothee; Leviathan; Looney Tunes; LSD; Luxan; missionary habitat; Moya; New Moon of Delvia; O'Connor, Alex; Pa'u; Peacekeeper; pulse rifle; reflecting pool; sanctity root; seeker of the flame; solar day; squid; Stanford University; star chart; starburst; starfish; Tadesh; translator microbe; transport pod; trigopod; Unity; Walt Disney; water snake

External linkEdit

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