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Taking the Stone

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Farscape episode
“Taking the Stone”
Tts
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 03
Guest star(s) Anthony Hayes (Molnon); Peter Scarf (Das); Michela Noonan (Vyna); Natasha Beaumont (Janixx)
Writer(s) Justin Monjo
Director Rowan Woods
Production no. 10204
Original airdate March 31, 2000 (US); July 10, 2000 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"Vitas Mortis" "Crackers Don't Matter"
This article is about the episode "Taking the Stone". For the ceremony of the same name see Taking the Stone ceremony.

Chiana experiences a great loss and goes on a journey to live, though Crichton fears that that very journey may have the opposite result.

SynopsisEdit

Aboard Moya, Chiana walks around in pain. She goes to speak to Crichton, who is busy in the maintenance bay attempting to learn more about Moya's systems. It's clear she's distressed and needs to talk but Crichton is too engrossed in what he's doing and basically tells her to get lost. Leaving, she moves to another area and cuts into her flesh before extracting a small glowing disc from her body. After being extracted for a few seconds, it stops flashing. Chiana is upset, saying "Nerri" before smashing a DRD that arrived to dispose of the disc. Chiana then steals Aeryn's Prowler and flees Moya.

Naturally, Aeryn is furious that Chiana has stolen her ship and makes her anger known to everyone. Zhaan and Ka D'Argo bring along the disc, having found it covered with Chiana's blood. Zhann explains that it's a Life Disc, which some species have implanted in then to maintain a bond with someone close to them. However, as this Life Disc no longer functions, the person Chiana was connected to has died. Crichton finally realises that this is what Chiana wanted to talk to him about. Down on a planet, Chiana is cornered by a group of young men...

Aeryn, Crichton, and Rygel go down to the planet, which Rygel says is a royal cemetery planet. Crichton finds some of Chiana's clothes, and he and Aeryn go to find her in the underground caves, whilst Rygel finds a crate of jewels. Aeryn and Crichton hear Chiana screaming, and go to save her. She's in a room hanging upside down, but apparently is doing so by choice. She tells the others that they shouldn't have come looking for her, and the youths start talking some dren. Chiana has made a hasty exit, and when the boys leave, Crichton tells Aeryn to go find Chiana, since she is angry at him.

Rygel returns to Moya, with the jewels stolen from the cemetery, where D'Argo berates him for leaving Crichton and Aeryn behind on the planet. Aeryn visits Chiana, and returns the disc. Chiana says it's her brother, Nerri, and he's dead. She tells Aeryn about what they do on this planet, and asks Aeryn to stay with her, at least for "the Gathering."

Crichton speaks to two of the youths, who say it's time to jump. They go out into an opening, at the top of a huge pit. One of the youths, Molnon, starts a short speech about how they are "taking the stone", and one of them jumps into the pit, only to be caught near the bottom by a sonic net, which Aeryn says is sustained by their own voices. Another jumps, but is not caught, and dies. Chiana then says that she has got to do that.

Chiana is with a pregnant girl, Vyna, and when Crichton calls her Aeryn tells him to leave her alone. She tells Crichton that it was her brother's life disc, and says that if he tries to make her leave she will stay to spite him. Molnon is then seen asking Chiana to stay on the planet. On Moya, Zhaan is chanting, saying that Rygel's items may be cursed.

Aeryn asks Vyna what she spoke to Chiana about; apparently Chiana wants to jump. Crichton goes to speak to Chiana, but she doesn't want to know and tells him to go away, stating she doesn't need his help. Crichton tells her that she doesn't need them – they're just stoned monkeys that jump off cliffs. Chiana says that at least they live before they die. Aeryn tells Crichton that it's Chiana's choice, and annoyed, Crichton leaves. Aeryn then asks Chiana if she'll really jump, and she says she might.

Crichton finds an older woman, that has been following him. She says that at 22 cycles if they don't take the stone they hide and make themselves lost, because the others don't like seeing them diseased.

Crichton talks to Molnon, saying that it's easy for them to jump knowing they will die, but Chiana isn't going to die. Molnon won't talk until Crichton takes a drug, so he does. Molnon then tells him that he's scared of dying, so Chiana will take his place in the jump. Crichton then trips out from the drug.

Aeryn finds Crichton on the floor, and he tells her that he convinced him to get Chiana not to jump. He sends Aeryn to take a sample of the youths to Zhaan to see if she can cure them. Crichton takes some pills for his headache, and Chiana runs up to him saying that Molnon told her what they spoke about. Crichton says that it's great; now they can leave, but she says no – she's jumping. Crichton argues with her, but she says that she wants to jump – she has to. Crichton says that she can't want to die, and injects her, knocking her unconscious. Aeryn won't let Crichton take Chiana, saying that he can't take her; if Chiana wants to kill herself then she'll find a way, if not here then elsewhere, so he has to let her jump. Crichton asks when she became so insightful, and she simply replies that she understands loss.

Rygel has decorated his quarters with the stolen goods, which all start to fall off the walls. Zhaan tells Crichton that the youths are suffering from radiation poisoning– the caves amplify the effect. Rygel has a go at Zhaan and D'Argo for making the stuff in his room cursed. Vyna is having her baby, and Crichton and Aeryn say that if they move out of the caves they'll live longer, including her baby, but she says that it's the clans that make the rules, not Molnon.

Chiana is about to take the stone, as Crichton and Aeryn come and tell them about the radiation. Molnon says that they won't move to the surface, so Crichton says he will force him to take the stone if the clans don't vote. Naturally, Molnon agrees.

In his quarters, Rygel is getting scared, and just to make sure he takes the items back the curse causes some needles to fire at him pinning him against a wall,so he agrees to take all the items back. Molnon tells Crichton that the clans voted to stay – all of them – they want to take the stone. Chiana has apparently gone ahead, so Crichton punches Molnon out. He then visits Chiana and tells her of the clans' vote. She tells Crichton that when she was younger she never had any courage – she followed Nerri, so she has to do this. She jumps... and is caught in the net. Both Crichton and Chiana are overjoyed that she made it.

Chiana buries Nerri's life disc, whilst Crichton asks Aeryn if he seems a bit crazy lately. Rygel's returning his stuff, as Crichton goes to Chiana to see if she's OK. She says that the jump was incredible – he should have tried it. He says that he's too old, and it's time to go.

Memorable quotesEdit

John: (after punching out Molnon) Why does it always end in tears?
John: Lately, do I seem a little crazy to you?
Aeryn: What do you mean lately?
D'Argo: You robbed the dead!
Rygel: And believe me, that wasn't as easy as it sounds.
John: Yo, Bob, Marley you seen Molnon?

Background informationEdit

  • The original plan was for the pregnant woman to have her baby attached to the side of her neck, but that was changed to a see-through stomach. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Gigi Edgley was comfortable on the trapeze, and used those skills during filming. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • The concept of a cemetery planet came from Rockne S. O'Bannon's first trip to Australia when a location scouting trip discovered a cemetery built into the side of a hill in February 1998. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Originally, Nerri was going to be Chiana's sister, but Gigi Edgley suggested Nerri be her brother. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon stated that if the series had continued, "the story of Chiana's brother would have gone a lot further. I tried to get him into the four hour miniseries. I thought that was an important part. As David Kemper and I ambitiously began developing the story, our intent wasn't to close our everybody's story but to deal with all those familial and relationship things that we'd opened up." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Sci-Fi Channel was letting Farscape deal with more adult themes in the second season. O'Bannon recalled that they were "really letting us know that we could be bolder in those sorts of areas. The more Farscape evolved, the more we started to see that we could push envelopes in many directions, and so having characters on screen deal with the rougher aspects of life, like drugs and that sort of thing, started to be possible." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Rowan Woods felt that there were missed opportunities in the episode saying, "you look at some of the ones that don't quite work, and it's nearly always because you haven't been able to keep the reality going. [...] "Taking the Stone" had elements in the setup that could have made it a really top drawer episode, really affect the audiences emotionally, but at certain points, and in certain areas, including mine, it just fell over somewhat." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Due to required safety harnesses, the feral youths were wearing more clothing than originally planned. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • In a deleted scene from the episode, after a light-hearted moment with Aeryn, Crichton looks directly at the camera.

Links and referencesEdit

StarringEdit

Guest starsEdit

Guest castEdit

PuppeteersEdit

Voice artistsEdit

ReferencesEdit

arn; bungee jumping; bus; Clansmen; Cool Hand Luke; cycle; dog and bone; dominar; drad; DRD; dren; Erp; Excedrin; frell; garda; Gathering, The; Gathering Dome; Hynerian; Hynerian death mask; life disc; life force; life link; Lost people; Luxan; maintenance bay; Marley, Bob; metra; microt; mivonks; Morna; Moya; narl; nixar; Nerri; pin-up girl; pleek; prowler; radiation poisoning; royal cemetery planet; scope; sonic cowl; sonic net; Sparky; Taking the Stone ceremony; Three Stooges; trad; tralk; transport pod; yotz; yotzah

External linkEdit

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