|Episode no.||Season 4|
|Guest star(s)||Raelee Hill (Sikozu); Melissa Jaffer (Noranti); Kent McCord (Jack Crichton); Rebecca Riggs (Commandant Mele-On Grayza); David Franklin (Captain Braca); Carmen Duncan (Leslie Crichton); Jamie Croft (Young John Crichton); Tyler Coppin (Sheriff); Nadia Townsend (Kim); Casey Burgess; Louise Fox; Kosta Doukas; Amy Salas (Skreeth)|
|Original airdate||January 10, 2003 (US); December 30, 2002 (UK)|
|← Previous||Next →|
|"Unrealized Reality"||"Terra Firma"|
- You may be looking for the state of Kansas.
John's made it back to Earth, but he soon realizes that it's almost 20 years in the past. When he discovers that the timeline has been changed, he and his friends must restore history before it's too late.
John is still floating in space above Earth, alone. "Home – that really is Kansas," he says, before calling for Ka D'Argo and Pilot again. On Moya, the crew are on command, but have heard nothing. "I can't believe I'm going to die here. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," John says, looking at the Earth. Suddenly some radio crackling, "John... where are you?" asks D'Argo over the comms. John is surprised that they can hear each other, and D'Argo mentions that the wormhole keeps opening and closing. John tells them to lock on to his voice signal, and when the wormhole opens again, follow it.
John begins singing "500 bottles of beer on the wall..." as the others arrive at the wormhole's location, but aren't getting any readings. "The coordinates are exact. Wait for it..." Aeryn Sun says, and sure enough, the wormhole opens and sucks the crew through in D'Argo's ship. "He did it!" Aeryn exclaims. They retrieve John, who asks for a radio signal to find out what year it is. He hears that Reagan is President... meaning it's the 1980s. He tells them that Einstein said if he came back before he left it would screw things up ("Unrealized Reality"), so they need to go down to check things out. D'Argo turns Lo'La's stealth mode on, and flies down.
John is standing in front of his house. "Home... I can't believe I'm home." He takes it in for a moment, just listening, then tells D'Argo to keep everyone of comms and the ship invisible while he checks it out. Einstein told him that if there were a problem it would start close to him. He walks round and peeks through the plants growing at the fence, and watches as his family are celebrating. He spots himself – a younger version – and can't quite believe it. He then realises that they're celebrating because his Dad's going up on the Challenger. He explains to D'Argo that in 1986 the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded killing everyone on board, but his Dad wasn't on that flight...
Back on the ship, Rygel asks, in the scheme of things, "what does it matter if your father dies?" "No Dad - no Farscape Project," John replies, "You stay in Peacekeeper custody, she remains a Nazi, she ends up on Nebari Prime." Chiana asks how to fix it, and John relays that Einstein told him changes ripples out from the first mutation, so if they fix that everything will fall back into place. He decides they can't all stay in the ship for a long time, and knows a place where they can go, and luckily enough, tomorrow's Halloween.
The crew are inside an abandoned house that John says was raided by the police in a drugs bust. The dust is playing havoc with D'Argo's eyes; meanwhile Chiana finds some old clothes in a box. John takes some jeans to change in to, and tells the others to stay out of sight.
John steps outside to find his family arguing. Young John is having a go at his mother for backing down from his Dad all the time, while his Dad tells him not to talk to his mother like that, and to shout at him. Young John gets in his 4x4, and when his Dad gets in his face, he shouts, "Yo, hero, read the middle finger!" as he gives him the finger, and drives away. "What the hell is wrong with him – he's so damned angry!" says Dad as he and the others walk back in the house, and he says he won't go Sunday - he'll go tomorrow.
John spots a milk bottle on the drive. "Oh, God, milk!" he says as he opens it and takes a few long overdue satisfying gulps. Girlfriend Kim is at the front door unseen, spots him and asks what he's doing. "Do I know you?" she asks. Startled, he turns around, "Fred... Fred Scarran" John replies. She tells him he looks a little like John. He asks if John's gone to the lake, and she tells him that he's gone to the canal; he goes there whenever he's angry. John tells her he likes the spot with the overhang and the tall trees. "That's my favourite place! Johnny hates it there," Kim says. John tells her that he knows, but he shouldn't, and gives her the milk back and leaves.
D'Argo turns on the power in the house, and the TV turns on – it's Wheel of Fortune. "What the frell is that?" Aeryn asks. "I have no idea!" Rygel replies. Noranti shows Chiana a picture of one of the previous occupants sticking his finger up at the camera. "Must be some kind of a greeting," she says, "Yeah, to a friend." Meanwhile, Aeryn is still mesmerised by the TV. "Wwwwwheeel of Fortune," she says with a huge grin, "Wwwheel." They all continue watching the odd contraption, mesmerised and much amused...
John goes to the canal, where he finds his younger self sitting on his car bonnet. "Who are you?" he asks John. "My name is John, John Clarence. You know, you should go to the overhang more often. Kim likes it there," he replies. John tells his younger self that he needs him to talk to his father and convince him not to go up on the shuttle. "Look, I don't know who you are, but shove off," is the reply. John grabs his younger self and pushes him up against the truck, taking his keys. "We don't hit! We may shoot people sometimes but we don't hit!" John says. He tells teen John that he knows he has problems, and he'll outgrow them, and he knows he's upset because he thinks his Dad treats his mum badly. "How do you know that?" young John asks. "Same way I know you helped DK cheat on his SATs." He tells teen John that if he wants to go to college, he should convince his Dad not to fly on the challenger. Young John tells him that if he knew anything, he'd know he can't convince his Dad to do anything. "You're wrong," John says. "You're wrong," his young self replies, "He never listens." As teen John drives off, John says "Man, when you're right, you're right."
Back at the house, Aeryn is watching Sesame Street, as Kermit and a young girl relay the alphabet. Aeryn is going along with her, and tells D'Argo he should learn this. "Just a few of their words, just in case." He says Chiana's already told him a few words, "Yes - no - bite me." He says that's all he needs to know. Chiana is wearing a bright dress, and tells Rygel she's busting to get out – it's Crichton's home. Rygel tells her that John got home, so if she doesn't screw this up maybe he'll get him home. Nevertheless, despite D'Argo's attempts to order her, she goes, saying it's Halloween – she'll fit in.
As she walks out she meets a neighbour, and gives her the middle finger. The woman enters and is met by Aeryn, but sees Rygel and is freaked out, and leaves in a panic.
On Moya, Pilot tells Scorpius and Sikozu that Peacekeeper Marauders are approaching, and Grayza and Braca are on board. Scorpius calls to starburst, but Sikozu says they can't – they'd never find their way back to this exact location. Pilot wants to run, but Sikozu tells him that if they do, Grayza will hunt them down assuming John is on board. She suggests they let Grayza aboard, so she can see John is not aboard. Pilot is afraid she'll kill him, but Scorpius assures him that if John is not here, Grayza won't hurt him.
Young John arrives back home, and spots Chiana wondering the streets. He comments on her outfit, and asks if she's going to a party. "Yeah." He asks if she wants a lift. "Sure," she replies, as she climbs over the bonnet and slides in through the window. She cranks up the music. He asks her name. She says Chiana, but he mishears, asking "Karen?" She says, "Yeah, yeah Karen." She sniffs the car's lighter, burns her hand and says "shee-aw", which John interprets as "Shaw." "Karen Shaw, right? The name's John Crichton." "Crichton?" she asks surprised, and he asks what's the matter. She ignores him and tells him to drive.
Back at the house, a policeman has come to check out their house. Aeryn is left to greet him. She somewhat awkwardly speaks to him, saying the house was abandoned by their uncle, and lets her in. He says he's received a complaint from the lady; Aeryn tells him she thinks she was scared. "Saw Kermit," she says, picking up Rygel, and as she throws him on the floor she says, "We thought the batteries were dead. It's just a silly toy." The policeman asks where they're from, when D'Argo sneezes, revealing himself. The policeman gets worried, so Noranti reminds him it's Halloween, and says D'Argo's dressed up. "That's a mask," the officer asks. Aeryn says yes, and the policeman suggests he's a little old to be dressing up for Halloween. "No... Yes... Bite me," D'Argo replies, so the policeman gets hostile. D'Argo pulls out his Qualta Blade, which Aeryn calls a toy. Noranti blows some herbs in his face, and whispers that there's no danger here, telling him to see D'Argo remove his mask and see the human he expects to see, and then to leave them alone. Sure enough, D'Argo pulls off his "mask" to reveal a human male beneath (an African American man - a possible hint/dig at policeman's racism, as Aeryn had just told him he was her brother, so...), prompting the policeman to leave. "Bitch...I think you broke a rib," Rygel says, as Aeryn decides she has to go and find Crichton.
Outside, Aeryn meets up with John, who tells her that in these clothes she kind of looks like Cher. He tells her that things are getting worse – now his Dad is leaving tomorrow. They walk past his family's garden, and John spots his mother. He tells Aeryn that she dies four years before he left; now he's going to talk to her. He calls her, and she asks if she knows him. He says no, and mentions her reading the card. She says everyone thinks it's silly, especially her son. "He's wrong. It's not," John replies, "He's just... young." He says that he did a reading in Gainesville, and that she has to make Jack stay until Monday. She says she did a reading, but he says he doesn't know what will happen, she just can't let him go. He tells her not to back down like she always does. "How do you know that?" "I can see it in your face – you're a peacemaker, not a fighter." As he gets more emotional, he tells her just to make sure he doesn't go, and apologises for bothering her.
Back at the house, Rygel tells John to just tell his Dad not to go on the shuttle, but John says he wouldn't believe him. When he was 17, John was trapped in a fire and was in a coma for two days, and his Dad saved him. After, when NASA called he refused to leave, and the plan is to recreate that. He'll get Kim, his old girlfriend, to bring his old self here and they'll simulate it all. He then notices Chiana is missing.
Chiana is with John in his car at the canal, as John tells him about the troubles he has with his father. He says that the truth is one day he wants to go up there to, and she says he will. He's still unsure, but says that one day, maybe he will.
The policeman returns, snooping around, and Noranti catches him and blows more herbs in his face. In the garden, she makes him drink some concoction, and when D'Argo asks what she's doing she says she's running tests to make sure she won't hurt John when she puts him in a coma. They take him and stuff him into his police car. D'Argo attempts to drive. "Machine... Go," he commands in an attempt to start it, so Noranti points out that she thinks he has to turn the key. Unsteadily he drives away, and gives the agape mouthed onlooker, the nosy lady from earlier, the finger.
The Marauder arrives on Moya, and in his chamber, Pilot pleads to Braca to not have the control collar put back on. He says they didn't starburst – he has no idea where John is. Grayza tells Braca to find Crichton if he is on board, prompting Braca to commence a full tier search.
Back in the house, John sits next to Rygel who is cutting a pumpkin. "Make him scary you said... Scary!" Rygel seems to be on a sugar high, and asks John how illegal the candy is, because he needs more. John tells him just to breathe.
On Moya, Sikozu wants to hide in the fans, where they can't be detected, but Scorpius tells her to go, and that he'll be fine. She leaves, as Braca climbs down to their level. Scorpius growls and points his gun. "You! You're dead!" Braca exclaims. Scorpius asked how many are aboard the Leviathan. "30 Peacekeepers, and Grayza." He asks if they'll follow him down here, and when Braca says no, Scorpius calls him Captain, grabs his head and kisses him. "Well done," he says, as Braca grasps Scorpius' face, saying, "It's good to see you, sir."
The next morning, another officer and the lady find the policeman hanging out of his patrol car, and he says he thinks he needs a warrant.
In the house, the preparations are made, and John leaves to go get himself. He and Chiana spot John's parents in the garden, happy, as Mum has convinced Dad not to go. John says he just wished they stayed like that, but they think they've got all the time in the world.
At the canal, John gets in his car, as young John is throwing stones into the water. Kim tells John she did what he asked, but he thinks she's going to break up with him. As they continue to talk, Chiana comes round and knocks Kim out. She asks if this is what he's in to. "She's a nice girl!" John says, so Chiana proposes that he takes a bit of her, and she gets a bit of young John, no questions asked.
Meanwhile, at the house, Rygel scares some trick-or-treaters off and takes their candy, but John walks in and takes it off him. Rygel, hands shaking and in an obvious sugar rush, begs for the stuff back. "But I love this... and you-you-you won't buy me anymore! I want Kit Kat, and M&Ms, and Pez, and Reese's Pieces!" Already addicted to the sugar, he asks John if "this stuff is legal?" They're all set, and Chiana asks Noranti how long it'll be until the serum is ready. She says it'll be half an arn, and asks if Chiana can find a way to keep him occupied ('nudge, nudge, wink, wink').
In the back of his car, Chiana asks young John if it's his first time, and if it's how he imagined it. He says yeah, but not in Betty (the car's name), in the back of his Dad's four wheel drive. They kiss, and we cut away.
Scorpius asks Braca if Grayza knows that Braca is his spy. He says no, and Scorpius says she must never find out. "We've got to stop her," Braca says, "She's organising a Peace Initiative with the Scarrans." Scorpius says they're using her, and they'll agree to everything, then betray the Peacekeepers when their forces are battle ready. Braca asks, "What should I do?" Scorpius tells him to stall her, and that he's not one for exaggeration, but the future of Peacekeeper survival depends on him.
The policemen have a warrant, and go to search the house. As John watches TV in a chair, Noranti brings Chiana the serum, and she makes him drink it. As the police arrive, young John gasps and falls to the floor in convulsions. He has no pulse, as the officers knock the door insistently. In the chaos Chiana notices that John's arm is going invisible. He's fast becoming incorporeal. D'Argo runs in and asks where Crichton is, and he says he's there, but he's just disappeared. Noranti says that the sheriff's body weight is greater so she probably gave young John too much, and his body is ceasing to function so John is ceasing to exist.
Aeryn and D'Argo let the police in, and summarily knock them out. Noranti chews something, and passes it from her mouth to young John's, and he revives. She couldn't bring him back too quickly so John is still semi-corporeal. He urges Granny to do something, but she tells him to use his condition to their advantage, so John leaves to see what he can do. Meanwhile, the gobsmacked sheriff asks who they are, and Noranti says they're aliens, before D'Argo tongues him out cold, again.
John visits his mother, whom she recognises by his voice. He tells her that he loves her, and has wanted to tell her that for a very long time. He tells her to get Dad, because he's in trouble, so she runs to call for Jack.
Braca tells Grayza that scans were correct – Crichton isn't on board. She says she thought as much, since she checked the memory banks, and Pilot has no idea where Crichton has gone. She tells Braca to prepare the Marauders and set course for their meeting with the Scarrans. When he leaves, Grayza stands at a door and speaks to a creature in the darkness. She asks for reassurance that there's no way it will be detected once she has gone, but the DNA from John that she provided will be sufficient to detect his presence, so once he returns as she's certain he will, he can be captured... alive!
Noranti whispers in John's ear to remember nothing, but Chiana tells him, "Except for Karen Shaw, in the four-wheel drive." Noranti gets to one policeman, but they have to go before she can make the sheriff forget.
They drag the unconscious policemen to the car and pile them in (slumped, one face down in the other's crotch, amusingly) then leave, as Jack arrives to get young John. John, D'Argo and Aeryn squat and watch, but Jack hits his head on the light as he rushes in and falls to the floor unconscious. D'Argo realises he's been too long, and asks John, "Why do our plans never work?" "Murphy's Law," John replies, as he runs in the house. He calls in D'Argo and they drag both Jack and young John out the house, and lay them on the floor. John kisses himself goodbye, tenderly on the forehead, and wishes him(self) good luck. D'Argo leaves as John's mother is pulling up in a car in an utter panic. Aeryn tells John they have to go now, they run and hide behind some bushes nearby, looking on. Jack wakes up puzzled, then notices John, who is OK. As John is about to jump the wall, Jack spots him, and John lingers... They hold each other's gaze for a frozen moment, Jack with an intent look of almost recognition, then John jumps off the wall and out of sight.
The sheriff is explaining all in some sort of interrogation room. He swears that there was an invisible guy, and one with a really long tongue. He has no idea why no one else remembers, but he has Rygel's pumpkin, which has a face rather like Scorpius, and says it has to be a message or something – "No human could have made it" he insists, caressing the pumpkin utterly bewildered.
Aboard Lo'La, D'Argo asks if there's any way they can save the other people who are supposed to be killed in the Challenger explosion. Crichton states there isn't, in their case history must be allowed to proceed normally. The crew then pick up a message from Pilot. John gets him to check the year, and it's 2003. "Follow my signal. Commander, come home," Pilot says. The wormhole opens and they return through. "By Lannit... another Earth!" Rygel says, as they spot Moya, but in orbit of Earth in 2003. "No, same Earth, different time," corrects John. They dock, and when John steps round a corner, he's met by four humans – three of the officials from the interrogation room and his father! "Welcome home, son," Jack says, "We've been waiting for you a long time." As Jack approaches, John pulls out his pulse pistol, and takes a good long look at them. "What's wrong John?" his dad asks. John replies, "Was it a bass, or a trout?"
TO BE CONTINUED...
- John: I'm Casper the friggin' joke.
- D'Argo: (attempting to drive the police car) Machine ... go!
- Aeryn: D'Argo, you should study this. (practicing her English singing along with Sesame Street) "... L, M, N, O, P, Q ..." Just a few of their words. Just in case.
- D'Argo: Chiana has already told me a few words. "Yes", "No", "Bite me". That's all I need to know.
- Aeryn: "... R, S ..." - S! - This girl is slow.
- Sheriff (to D'Argo in football costume): You're little old to be dressing up for Halloween, aren't you pal?
- D'Argo: No. — Yes. — Bite ... me?
- The exterior sequences were filmed in Sylvania Waters, a suburb of Sydney. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.2)
- There was a lot of debate about whether to use footage of the Challenger explosion, but in the end, it was decided to show what Crichton was thinking about. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.2)
- Jamie Croft, who played teenage Crichton, asked Ben Browder's advice on how to speak his lines. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.2)
- Crichton had earlier recalled that he'd lost his virginity to "Karen Shaw". This episode reveals that "Karen" was in fact Chiana. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.2)
- Despite his numerous guest appearances, this is the first time since "Premiere" that Kent McCord actually plays the real version of Jack Crichton. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.2)
- Crichton's question about a "bass or a trout" is a reference to "A Human Reaction".
- Browder was hoping for an open-mouthed "Roman kiss" when Braca reaffirmed his loyalty to Scorpius. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.2)
- Justin Monjo had finished the script for the episode long before the prior episode was written and nagged David Kemper to ensure that the two episodes tied up closely. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.2)
- The stunt car's owner was not impressed with Anthony Simcoe's driving, nor the number of retakes required. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v4.2)
- The series firmly establishes the Earth year in which the episode, takes place: 2003. This confirms that the events of "Premiere" occur in 1999, the year it first aired.
- The episode incorporates footage of several real-life TV programs, including the game show Wheel of Fortune (including a brief glimpse of Vanna White), and Sesame Street which includes a brief glimpse of Kermit the Frog (which, like Farscape, is produced by The Jim Henson Company). At one point Aeryn refers to Rygel as a Kermit toy. Another Henson creation, Cookie Monster, is also heard.
Links and references
- Ben Browder as John Crichton
- Claudia Black as Aeryn Sun
- Anthony Simcoe as Ka D'Argo
- Gigi Edgley as Chiana
- Wayne Pygram as Scorpius
- Raelee Hill as Sikozu
- Melissa Jaffer as Old woman
- Kent McCord as Jack Crichton
- Rebecca Riggs as Grayza
- David Franklin as Braca
- Carmen Duncan as Leslie Crichton
- Jamie Croft as Young John Crichton
- Tyler Coppin as Sheriff
- Nadia Townsend as Kim
1985; 1986; 2003; 911; 99 Bottles of Beer; arn; bass; beer; Betty; Buckwheat; Burroughs, William S.; Carson house; Casper the Friendly Ghost; Challenger; champagne; Cher; Clarence, John; comms; control collar; Cookie Monster; Deb; DK; drad; dren; Earth; Einstein; Farscape Project; fek; Florida; France; frell; Gainesville; God; Hallowe'en; Human; Kansas; Kermit the Frog; Kit Kat; Lannit; larnapse; Leviathan; Lo'La; Luxan tongue sting; M&Ms; marauder; milk; Moya; Murphy's Law; NASA; Nazi; Nebari Prime; neural cluster; Nicaragua; nookie; Peacekeeper; Pez; Pilot's den; pulse pistol; pumpkin; Qualta Blade; Reagan, Ronald; Reese's Pieces; SAT; Scarran; Scarran, Fred; Senate; Sesame Street; Shaw, Karen; Space Shuttle; Sparky; starburst; State Department; Tarot; television; trout; Wheel of Fortune; White, Vanna; White House; wormhole
- Farscape World Synopsis by Dani Moure