Starting in on season 4.... I'm three episodes in and really enjoying the setup and direction of the show.
401 Crichton Kicks - The opening episode is very well constructed, distilling the history and baggage of the previous three seasons down to a dramatic opening that effectively introduces Sikozu and reintroduces Chianna and Rygel. Returning audience members get caught up to speed and new viewers are given essential character and plot points. The dying Leviathan is a wonderful setting and skilled story device to showcase the look of the world and direction of the plot.
402-403 What Was Lost - The slow reintroduction of the cast continues, and very effectively. Jool has been continually maturing as a character over season 3, and we finally get a good, solid payoff of her character arc from last season. The plot arc for the rest of the series is set up, and we get a villain in Grayza with a properly sustainable villainous motive. I'm sorry to see Jool go, but it was good to see her grow up.
This two-parter is the kind of Farscape I really enjoy. It's got a dynamic villain that is susceptible to her own vice, a complex plot that grows from the motivations of both sympathetic and unlikable characters and their situation, and the various elements are handled with subtlety. Plus, there's a bare minimum of tomfoolery on the part of Ben Browder. Season 3 was heavily focused on Aeryn, but was very haphazardly plotted. If this is representative of the rest of the season, 4 is going to be very good indeed. It's no surprise that Justin Monjo wrote this two-parter, as some of the very best episodes of the past three years have been his (Taking the Stone, The Locket, A Human Reaction, Losing Time, The Choice.....)
It's been awhile since the Shawarma episode, so I figured I'd go back and hear Paeter's thoughts again.
Paeter hated Jool because he found her uninteresting. I liked her quite a lot after her whining proved to be a complicated character flaw, one that she was working to overcome.
Paeter finds Grayza uninteresting because she is more stereotypically evil than Scorpius. Plus, I was really shocked that he didn't get into the "lust sweat" thing, as much as he goes for the gross elements of this show. I find Grayza to be properly villainous, selfish, ambitious, and short-sighted with a properly descpicable attitude toward others. Her motivation is very sustainable and does not limit itself to a single goal in the way that Crais or Scorpius did. This girl is a nasty opponent because she's a nasty person.
I know Scorpius is coming back, and I found the whole subjugation thing pretty bizarre. I'll wait to see where it goes. I think he's a fascinating character, but he developed into a really strong anti-hero somewhere down the line instead of being the poop-your-pants terror he was at the end of season 1 and beginning of season 2.
Jool. I love stories about people growing up, and her arc did just that. Tammy Macintosh's star was rising at the end of 2001, and she filmed the two episodes of Farscape season 4 before leaving to spend the next 7 years on the critically acclaimed drama All Saints. Rockne O'Bannon did not want to lose her.
On the next episode. I need to catch up, and this season is starting strong!