|“Crackers Don't Matter”|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Guest star(s)||Wayne Pygram (Scorpius/Harvey); Danny Adcock (T'raltixx)|
|Original airdate||April 7, 2000 (US); July 17, 2000 (UK)|
|← Previous||Next →|
|"Taking the Stone"||"The Way We Weren't"|
The crew goes crazy, and an alien who really wants a tan...
Ka D'Argo has brought an alien named T'raltixx aboard, who has said that he can adjust Moya's electromagnetics so that they can't be traced, which has become a necessity because Scorpius has left wanted beacons all over the commerce planet they've just visited. They went there for food, but all Chiana brought back were dried food rectangles – crackers. Aeryn brought one of the wanted beacons on board, explaining that they only had time to get crackers since they had to leave the commerce planet before they could be recognized. She is now trying to access the beacon to find where Scorpius is headed so Moya can head in the opposite direction. Zhaan has decided to let T'raltixx test his device on the module. Crichton isn't happy that his ship is being used as the test subject, however Aeryn points that its the best choice since its been upgraded with systems from Moya. When Crichton activates it he thinks nothing's happened, but it worked – the module partially disappears.
Pilot is worried about how the device may affect Moya, but Crichton sharply overrules his concerns and tells him that going to T'raltixx's planet is worth the risk. They fly through a pulsar, which T'raltixx says occasionally affects "lesser" species with impaired judgment and wooziness, but the symptoms are only mild and temporary. No-one feels anything, except for Zhaan who is immensely enjoying the light.
As Crichton is walking with T'raltixx, he notices Chiana eating the crackers, and is concerned telling her she better leave some for the rest of them. As he leaves, D'Argo walks in, and Chiana says they need to talk. Crichton continues to try and find T'raltixx a place suitable for him, and walks past Rygel. After exchanging insults, Crichton tells him that Chiana is eating all the food.
Aeryn is fiddling around with the beacon, when Zhaan comes along and asks what she's doing. She then asks if Aeryn would tell them if there was a personal message for her from Scorpius offering a full pardon for turning them in, but Aeryn just tells her to go away. Crichton, clearly tense, calls Zhaan to come and "baby sit" T'raltixx. Concerned, she asks if he is feeling OK.
D'Argo sneaks up on Rygel, who is stockpiling crackers. He argues with Rygel, and then disturbingly starts ramming the crackers down his throat. Just as it seems that he's going to choke the Hynerian, D'Argo comes to his senses and, realizing exactly what he is doing, leaves in a state of panic and distress. Meanwhile, T'raltixx tells Pilot that he thinks there's something wrong with Zhaan, but Pilot says she's probably just enjoying the pulsar... as she's a plant, the light is intensely enjoyable for her to the point of giving her constant 'photogasms'. T'raltixx casually asks Pilot if he likes the others aboard, and Pilot says that he doesn't think he does.
Later Crichton comms Pilot but doesn't get an answer for a while. Although Pilot claims its a problem with the comms, it is clearly he was deliberately ignoring Crichton, who asks Pilot to run a scan as he thinks that the crew are starting to act strange. He then hears Chiana and Aeryn arguing, because Aeryn won't show her the hidden message on the beacon. Crichton tells her to show it to Chiana to shut her up, but then Chiana wonders why he wants her to watch the beacon. D'Argo comes in and asks what's going on, however Crichton is spoiling for a fight and deliberately provokes D'Argo into punching him. When he gets up, Crichton wonders why they're all fighting.
Crichton tells T'raltixx that he said the light would only have a minimal effect on them, and he says that he's never know of the effect being so bad, as Zhaan sits in the corner continuing to soak up the light. Meanwhile, Aeryn finds Rygel, and says she has a plan and needs him to watch her back from the others. She says she knows she can trust him because he's too cowardly to betray her.
Chiana still thinks Aeryn is hiding something, and maybe she and Crichton are contacting Scorpius to turn them in. Zhaan comes along, and D'Argo asks if she's working with Crichton, and when she tells him to leave her alone, he tongues her.
Crichton is in Pilot's den asking about the scan, however Pilot won't answer and instead heaps insults on him and talks about deficient humans are. Crichton is very irritated and eventually tries to run the scan himself, but Pilot doesn't take kindly to Crichton climbing into his console and the two get into a brief physical scuffle before Pilot ejects him by force. This attack clears Crichton's head, and he realizes that Pilot is acting very out-of-character and asks if he can see the light. Pilot eventually confirms that no light is physically reaching the den, leaving the question of how he's been exposed to it.
Crichton goes to see Aeryn, when she draws her gun on him. She and Rygel are only taking their fair share, but Crichton says he doesn't care about crackers. He asks where his ice cream is, sings a little rhyme about it and then runs off. In the mean time, T'raltixx is taking all of the DRDs, and says that he needs them to make light, but Pilot doesn't trust him. He says that he can help Pilot, but only if Pilot helps him. Pilot decides to help, since he'd rather do that than anything for the crew right now.
Chiana and D'Argo are trying to leave Moya in Crichton's module, but he's taken out a component that it needs to fly, and disabled the hangar doors, so they're not leaving. On command, Aeryn is moving some things around, and is angry that Rygel is not watching her back, when Crichton comes along. He wants them to lock all the guns away, but she says no and shoots at him. He calls Pilot and says that he thinks Aeryn may be trying to take over the ship, but Pilot says he's aware of her plan.
Crichton comes across Chiana meddling with the beacon, and he wants to know what she's doing. She knees him where it hurts, and runs off, and then the beacon starts to talk back to him! Scorpius starts reminding him of how he got revenge on a kid at school when he was younger, and says they must be ready as the others are coming for him. Meanwhile, T'raltixx asks Pilot for even more light.
Crichton goes and threatens D'Argo with his pistol, when Scorpius again comes to him. Crichton shoots D'Argo, and Scorpius tells him to finish him off. As Crichton talks to him, D'Argo runs off leaving a trail of blood. Crichton then finds Chiana and grabs her from behind. He's ready to kill her, when Scorpius appears and tells him to tie her up so they can have fun with her later.
Rygel tells Aeryn that Crichton is coming, and Aeryn knocks him out because she thinks he's going to betray her. Crichton comes up and they exchange insults, and Scorpius tells him to kill her. Crichton has words with him and shoots him, and then he and Aeryn exchange gunfire. They both run out of cartridges, and lunge at each other.
Next we see Crichton dragging Aeryn into a room where he has everyone else tied up. He tells D'Argo that he needs everyone to understand that crackers don't matter, while shooting the piles of the stuff that have been left lying around. He says that since T'raltixx came aboard they've all been acting crazy, but they've passed the pulsars so their behavior isn't due to the light. Zhaan says that when she was near T'raltixx she was more affected than when she was in the light. Crichton says that he needs their help, because Moya's starting to glow. He says that T'raltixx wants them out of the way so he can create light. D'Argo wants to pay him a visit, and Aeryn says they should kill him. When Crichton unties her, she tells him never to pull a gun on her again.
Crichton says that he will go and kill T'raltixx; all they need to do is find a way to keep the light off him. D'Argo and Aeryn both want to go, but Chiana says that Crichton must since he's the only one not as affected by the light due to his eyesight being far inferior to everyone else's. Although Crichton disputes that his eyesight is worse than the others, its proved when everyone reads a warning on a basin that Crichton can't even see.
So Zhaan pastes Crichtons face with some anti-light puke, and they all give him items to keep the light away as well as the device that was previously used on the module to let him approach T'raltixx undetected. They all take a look at the finished product, and he resembles some fake, tacky, failed superhero, and Aeryn says they're going to die.
Crichton uses the disappearing device, goes to T'raltixx and starts breaking wires to cut off the light. T'raltixx starts firing bolts at him, and clings to the wall, but Crichton shoots him off and then stabs him.
Pilot, feeling terrible for the things he said and did, talks to everyone to apologize for his actions. He finishes with D'Argo and Rygel, who both accept without reservation since they're feeling just as bad. D'Argo then says he's ashamed of what he did to Rygel, and Rygel says that he thought D'Argo was going to kill him, so he can't forgive him, yet.
Chiana tells Crichton that she was impressed with some of the things Crichton said and how he took charge. Zhaan asks if she did anything bad, as she has no memories of it. Chiana says no, she was best, and looked like she was having a great time. Crichton and Aeryn awkwardly apologize to each other, then Aeryn leaves. Crichton, filled with guilt over the way he acted, asks Zhaan how they can take it all back. She answers simply and honestly that she doesn't know.
- Pilot: How is your module?
- John: Checked out fine, I checked out fine.
- Pilot: While vaguely concerned about you, I'm much more interested in how this will affect Moya.
- John: Zhaan, where are you?
- Zhaan: I'm up in the maintenance bay John, about to have a fight with Aeryn.
- Pilot: Something the matter Crichton?
- John: It's that damn Peacekeeper bitch! She's barricaded herself in the Command! I think she's trying to take over the ship!
- Pilot: I'm aware of her actions.
- John: Shut her down! Lights, power, all of it!
- Pilot (HAL 9000 of the Uncharted Territories): I'm sorry John. I cannot do that.
- Rygel: I never run away! I strategically maneuver!
- Crichton: They don't get it, Scorpy. They don't get how crazy they are.
- Scorpius: You're right, John, they don't get it. They don't get how crazy they are. It's 'cause they stole the crackers.
- John: But D'Argo I need you to understand that crackers don't matter
- John: I have GREAT eyes they're better than 20/20 and they're BLUE
- John: I'm not deficient, I'm SUPERIOR! Humans are superior.
- John: What the hell is this?
- Zhaan: Heat-deflecting paste. You'll burn up in there without it.
- John: It smells like puke.
- Zhaan: I pre-digested it to increase its potency.
- John: It's puke!?
- John: Does this strike any of you superior beings as a little bit ironic?
- Chiana: Why?
- John: I'm the deficient one, and I'm still saving your butts.
- Ben Browder added the humming of Ride of the Valkyries in during ADR. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- Danny Adcock had to look through a series of mirrors in order to see out of T'raltixx's makeup. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- Director Ian Watson described this episode as The Shining retold. Crichton references this when he does his Nicholson impression of "Heeeeere's Johnny." ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- Watson remembered some deliberately odd choices during the production, including the martial music during a romantic scene. "That was a conscious decision, I was trying to do the unexpected. Trying to push the style and push everything we did into new places. Rather than saying this is safe science fiction, we were trying to work with opposites, trying to make a likeable character unlikable, trying to make a comic situation – like when Claudia and Ben are having a big shoot out, and it ends with a big gag – 'are you out of bullets?' 'Are you out of bullets?' And they run towards each other. We were trying to do the inappropriate to shake the drama up. I think the music followed that through." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- The controversial near-rape scene was added after filming with the main unit was complete. Watson said, "We shot that second unit about a week after I'd shot the whole episode. I was looking at a rough cut of the whole episode and I thought, 'This hasn't gone dark enough for me.' The story was, they were meant to turn on each other, really turn on each other. There's always a level of niceness, even in dark eps, a line you don't cross. But Crichton doesn't always have to be likeable, and he can go to a place where he's abhorrent to women, particularly. It was designed as an ad hoc response." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- Rockne S. O'Bannon said that the production crew was still "trying to find the ultimate tone of the show, how far it could go without going absolutely too far." He felt that the near-rape could have been see as over the top, but felt that it was "really a question of muscle flexing to see how far we could push the show." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- The episode was written quickly due to production delays on "Picture If You Will", and the production required a ship-bound story. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- At the time this episode was produced, Crichton's vision of Scorpius – complete with flowered shirt and margaritas — was intended to be a one-off manifestation of the insanity affecting him in this episode. At the time it was written, the Harvey sub-plot had not yet been created. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- The force-feeding scene had to be edited because it was too violent. It originally required major contortions from the puppeteers. These contortions nearly broke the new Rygel puppet that had been introduced in this episode. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
- Virginia Hey felt that Zhaan's photogasms were not sexual, but that as a plant she needed the light to feel complete. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
Links and references
- Ben Browder as John Crichton
- Claudia Black as Aeryn Sun
- Virginia Hey as Zotoh Zhaan
- Anthony Simcoe as Ka D'Argo
- Gigi Edgley as Chiana
20/20 vision; 60 Minutes; Adams, Grizzly; arn; Baskin Robbins; Ben & Jerry's; bingo; bioluminescence; black book; bozo; Brainiac; Buckwheat; car; center chamber; chakan oil cartridge; Command; commerce planet; comms; cracker; creamsicle; cycle; Delvian; Disneyland; DRD; dren; electromagnetics; Farscape-1; Ferris Bueller's Day Off; Five Pulsars; fluffy doll; food cube; football; frell; French Revolution; fudgsicle; game show; Gilligan; Gilligan's Island; Ginsu Knives; Ginger; Goddess of the Delvian Seek; Good Humor; Harley-Davidson; Hawaii Five-0; heat-deflecting paste; Human; Humpty Dumpty; Hynerian donkey; ice cream; infomercial; ionic radiation; Italian; Lewis, Howie; Luxan tongue sting; maggot; maintenance bay; malik; margarita; Mary Ann; Medusa; microt; Mississippi; Moya; optic neuron; Peacekeeper; Peacekeeper wanted beacon; photogasm; Pilot's den; Pip; pizza; plak; pulsar; pulse pistol; Qualta Blade; Ride of the Valkyries; Ronaldo; Sebacean; sentra device; Shakespeare, William; shooter; solar day; solar-reflecting flare wrap; SS Minnow; Star Trek; television; The Shining; tomato; trace signal; transformation yard; transport hangar; waste tunnel; Wheaties; Wonder Bra; Yoda; zakkian laser pulse; zannet; zelma
- Farscape World Synopsis by Dani Moure