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Self-Inflicted Wounds - Wait for the Wheel

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Farscape episode
“Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part II: Wait for the Wheel”
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 04
Guest star(s) Tammy MacIntosh (Jool), Victoria Longley (Neeyala), Nicholas Hope (Kreetago), Dwayne Fernandez (Cresto), Kerith Atkinson (Shreena), Brian Carbee (Lastren)
Writer(s) David Kemper
Director Tony Tilse
Production no. 10304
Original airdate April 6, 2001 (US); September 17, 2001 (UK)
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Self-Inflicted Wounds - Could'a, Would'a, Should'a" "...Different Destinations"

When one of the ships must be destroyed in order to separate, one crew member will be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Confronted by the serpent, John Crichton manages to reach for his pulse pistol and scare it off. The recording device is damaged, but when Aeryn Sun and Zhaan join him he says that he saw a picture of a TV transmission from Earth: The Three Stooges. He says it means that some part of the wormhole is 40 light years a most from Earth – he could get home when Zhaan points out the selfishness of this in the current situation. She asks where Neeyala's injured crewmember is, since their blood is on the floor. They realize that the phaztillon generator, which could alter the phase of an object, could have made them invisible.

Kreetago tells Neeyala that he continues to grow weak. She says that they must continue to make the crew believe that Moya grows weak; the remotest hope will make them rally to her, then Kreetago makes himself invisible! Neeyala tells him to sabotage the ship, to make them see that they must abandon the Leviathan.

Chiana, Crichton, and Rygel are discussing whether or not to go on Neeyala's ship if the aliens are lying, as the rest of the crew is also convening saying they cannot trust Crichton's judgement and Aeryn says she is sure Crichton is still talking to Scorpius. They describe their plan to discover Neeyala, but it's exactly the same as the others' plan. Rygel agrees to search below Pilot's den. Aeryn coughs something up and Stark notes that she sheds – referring to a tied up and gagged Jool.

Crichton meets Ka D'Argo in the new ship and they both ask each other what they're doing here. D'Argo fiddles about with the controls which worries Crichton and D'Argo says that being on Moya has changed him. He says that he neglected Chiana, but what troubles him the most is that he did his very best and it wasn't enough and as a result he lost her and Jothee. Crichton says that his grandmother once told him that life is like a great wheel, in that sometimes it grinds you low while other times it lifts you high. The point is, most times you get a second chance with it – you just have to wait for the wheel.

Rygel finds Shreena's body, apparently bitten by a serpent. He takes a sample of her needles for Aeryn as she says she likes to know her enemy. Zhaan snaps and tells Aeryn that Neeyala's betrayal must be punished. Aeryn says that it was a bad trade, her health for Zhaan's. She says she's just a soldier, but Zhaan tells her not to underestimate herself.

Jool is upset about her current situation - being captured on a ship after 22 cycles asleep by a group of prisoners. Stark snaps at her in his madness and says he'll show her something to make her cry forever, causing her to scream and a panel to short out. Stark tells the others that it was offline – someone invisible was here.

Neeyala tells the crew that her mission is guaranteed by their families, who will be executed if they fail. She says what's left in their situation is wormhole technology, garnered at great cost with extreme power and asks Crichton to compare it with the life of a Leviathan and its Pilot who are doomed anyway. Aeryn tells her to stop Kreetago, but Neeyala says that he has no communication device and will continue his mission.

D'Argo and Chiana find Kreetago with the help of DRDs, but Chiana gets shot by one of his needles. Zhaan gets Rygel's samples to make an antidote and tells Neeyala that if Chiana dies she will kill her. The generator has reached optimal phase and will gauge one last time when it's activated, then when it releases they'll find out if the ships are destined to separate. With Aeryn and Crichton's permission, she activates it, giving them an arn or so.

D'Argo gets Stark and Rygel to help him reconnect Pilot to give him a chance of survival. If they're not done in time, they'll race to the other ship. Meanwhile, Crichton and Aeryn are preparing for starburst, with Crichton saying that he really blew this one. They hear Jool scream and go to scare the serpent away from her.

Zhaan manages to heal Chiana thanks to Rygel. She tells D'Argo of how she wanted him to kill her when she first came aboard Moya so she wouldn't stay imprisoned. He says a planet is out there to heal her, but she says it is now in the hands of the goddess.

Rygel says to Stark that it's too bad about Pilot – he liked him. Stark says that Pilot liked Rygel to; he told him so. Meanwhile Crichton unlocks Jool and tells her to call them back when she thinks the generator will blow.

Moya begins decompressing when Crichton and Aeryn encounter the serpent again. Crichton says that he has a plan, but she says that they never work. He says that they always do, but she says they never do. They climb into the new ship and turn on its force field which the serpent runs into and dies.

Crichton finishes off his tier and Aeryn eventually gets to hers. Zhaan prays to the goddess to see her path when Aeryn enters Pilot's den. Zhaan asks the goddess to save Moya and Pilot and to ask anything in return when Aeryn says that the seal held and the air is thin, but breathable.

Aeryn gets Moya's adrenal secretions pumping to attempt to revive Pilot. Jool asks Crichton why Moya is so important to him and he says she's like a parent – she raised them. Crichton is visited by Harvey, who says that he's free – no more dumpster. He says that Crichton will do anything to save his ship, so why assume less of Neeyala?

He runs to Jool, who's been hit in the head. Aeryn has managed to wake Pilot as Crichton confronts Neeyala, who says that she should have killed them when she had the chance. She has gassed the room so that if Crichton uses his pistol it will cause an explosion. She's attached a beacon to Moya so her race will come and seek her out if Moya survives. She begins to shoot needles when Crichton runs into Jool. Neeyala shoots at them to kill but Jool's scream melts the tips before they hit. Crichton kicks Neeyala and she falls onto the generator and is vaporised.

Crichton and Jool get to the generator's control, but Aeryn says that Pilot needs more time for the calculations. Zhaan enters and tells Crichton the controls, as Aeryn is on her way. The others won't make it, so they say they have voted to stay together no matter what.

Pilot has to initiate starburst seven microts after the generator is unleashed and Aeryn tells Crichton they don't have to be as close as he thinks, since Moya's weight gives an advantage with the gravitational pull of the wormhole. Pilot gives Crichton manual control and Crichton wants Aeryn to take over. She's reluctant when Zhaan says to Crichton "John, no!" He says he's got this and Aeryn asks what's going on. Jool says that someone has to actually trigger the generator., meaning they will be stuck on Neeyala's ship when it is destroyed. Aeryn wants to, but Crichton says this is his fault so he will. Zhaan interjects and says that in this instance they are both wrong... she is willing to sacrifice herself to save the others as her illness is frighteningly efficient and it is likely too late for the planet to save her. Stark yells "no!" but is stuck in another room. Zhaan says she has chosen this path while she still can. D'Argo says that she's needed aboard Moya, but she says at one time she was and now a family has been born. He says that she birthed it and Chiana says they love her. Crichton says he can do it easily, but she says if it's so easy then to allow her to. Aeryn objects, but Zhaan says that if she's so valued and so wise, they will honor her words; they will obey her. She says that she knows she's worthy to meet the goddess now.

Zhaan tells them that there is no blame, only what is meant to be. She tells them to grow through their mistakes, and redemption will find them. Crichton says to "wait for the wheel", and she thanks him, and then gives them a goodbye. Stark screams, when Zhaan touches him mentally, asking him to guide her to the place of rest, so she can share her last moments with the man she loves. She initiates the sequence and the ships separate. She can be seen on it one last time as the crew cry out for her before the ship is destroyed. Crichton helps Aeryn to the control and they manage to steer Moya out.

With Moya still damaged, Rygel is with Pilot who says that Rygel has never paid this much attention to him before. Rygel says that he just hasn't noticed and that he likes Pilot, a lot, and knows Zhaan did, too. He says it's a shame that he didn't get to say goodbye, but Pilot says when he was unconscious she came to him in his mind. He already misses her.

Jool is after Chiana, giving her a hard time about some shoes. Chiana says that she has just lost one of her very best friends, so she is nothing but nerves right now. If she wants someone to like her, she should invest in a mirror.

Aeryn is with Stark who says she doesn't have to hover over him. Aeryn says she expected him to be more upset, but he says Zhaan was not resistant. She was so at peace, so certain what was next was better, she doesn't want them upset, but wants them to be positive in her spirit.

Crichton sits alone in Zhann's destroyed quarters, knowing that it was his obsession with the wormhole that cost his friend her life. In his head, he's watching a memory of the Three Stooges at a Drive-In with Harvey, who asks him why it is always the gentle ones who pay the price for someone else's ambition. Crichton, knowing the words to be true, throws his beer bottle away in a rage.

Memorable quotesEdit

Rygel: Goodbye, you big, beautiful, blue bitch.
Aeryn: What is this?
Stark: She sheds.
D'Argo: Do you know what troubles me the most? I did my best...I did the best I could, and it wasn't enough. I still lost them both.
John: My grandmother used to say, that... life is... a great wheel. Sometimes it grinds you down into the mud, and other times it lifts you up into the light.
D'Argo: Are we strapped to this wheel?
John: That's a given. Point is, is that most times you get a second chance -- you just gotta wait for the wheel.
Stark: Dead. All of us, dead. My love, dead. My dreams, dead. You dead. Me dead. You dead, me dead, you dead, me dead, you dead, me dead! Your list is short, and unworthy of entree to this ship of horror, tortured by demons you can never know, mocked by love that will never be! Oh, you want to cry, young creature? I will show you something that will make you cry, forever.
Neeyala: Will is a poor substitute for beersian alloy, when crushed by astronomical tidal forces.
Jool: Then why did I survive?
John: I don't know. You're not sick. Maybe they shanghaied you for body parts. You're the freebie.
Jool: Everything I have seen so far is despicable.
John: Welcome, to the Federation Starship S.S. Buttcrack!
John: Go on, keep moving, I got a plan.
Aeryn: Don't tell me you have a plan!
John: What's wrong with them?"
Aeryn: They never work!
John: Damn these doors... They always work!
Aeryn: Not the way you detail them.
John: Hey, look, I get results, you're hung up on details!
Aeryn: Your plans never work!
Stark: Imagine being so at peace, so certain that what was next, was better. She does not want us upset. She wants us to carry on in her spirit, positive and hopeful.
Aeryn: And you can do that?
Stark: Not always. I would appreciate you hovering, then.

Background informationEdit

  • Crais does not appear in this episode.
  • Claudia Black suggested the "Yoda from Dagobah" line since she felt Aeryn would have picked up on some of Crichton's pop culture references. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.1)
  • The scene where Chiana and D'Argo look for the invisible Pathfinder was done live on set with dry ice and laser beams. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.1)
  • Both Virginia Hey and Gigi Edgley had trouble shooting their final scene together and had to have their make up redone due to their genuine tears. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.1)
  • Guy Gross used his score to reflect Zhaan's religious beliefs and inner peace in her farewell speech. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.1)
  • The original plan was to have Zhaan planted in a planet's soil and return for her in a few episodes. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.1)
  • The Three Stooges film Crichton watches is Disorder in the Court, one of about a half-dozen Stooges shorts from the 1930s that have fallen into the public domain, meaning the footage could be used without the production team needing to pay royalties or licensing fees. They got clearance to use the clip on the morning the drive-in scene was to be shot. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.1)
  • Crichton's calculation that the wormhole is no more than 40 years from Earth is based upon the theory that television broadcasts on earth, particularly those directed at broadcast satellites, continue outward from Earth at the speed of light and may therefore be receivable by spacecraft or planets within range.
  • Virginia Hey becomes the only day-one cast member to leave the series as a regular.
  • For the first time since his debut in "Crackers Don't Matter", Harvey is shown wearing Earth clothes familiar to Crichton.

Links and referencesEdit


Guest starsEdit

Guest castEdit


Voice artistsEdit


A Nightmare on Elm Street; Adam-12; arn; beersien alloy; Chevy; college; Command; comms; Curly; cycle; Dagobah; dekka; disco; Disorder in the Court; DRD; dumpster; Earth; Federation; Fort Lauderdale; frell; Georgia; Goddess of the Delvian Seek; hamman; Harvey; Hatala; Heavy D; hetch; hyper-rage; Ka Jothee; krell; Kruger, Freddy; Larry; Leviathan; Lo'La; Luxan; Macon; mating spike; metalline venom tip; microt; Moe; Moya; Mr. Wiggles; neural cluster; Pa'u; Pathfinder; Pathfinder poisonous barb; Pathfinder vessel; phaztillon generator; Pilot's den; Qualta Blade; quellian tibor; Rado Slana; Scorpius; spring break; Star Trek; Star Wars; starburst; stripper; television; thermal condenser; Three Stooges; Winona; wormhole; wormhole technology; Yoda; yotzah

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