INTO THE LIONS
DEN: PT II - THE FADOP REVIEW
Disclaimer: I own nothing but
the sword and the paperwork. I've just hijacked Pilot for a couple
of arns! J
Before you start, a quick explanation;
FaDoP the Friends
and Defenders of Pilot who campaign tirelessly for the
greater inclusion of a certain four-armed, amber eyed alien into
episodes of Farscape, have recently revived an old tradition
of writing Pilot-based reviews. Now the members are taking it
in turns to write these little gems and since I saw the ITLD
two-parter a good three months before my fellow FaDoPi, I've
been given the honour of reviewing it. My review takes the form
of a fic because- well what the heck, I'm that kind of person
(awkward J ) and it proved easier for me at least to do
it that way! It's supposed to be an amusing but thought-provoking
piece of fun and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please tell
me so! If you don't well.
Oh, one last thing
the claw rating. This is our way of ranking the episodes by the
amount of quality Pilot moments within them. One claw is little
or no Pilot content (alas all too frequent) up to five claws,
the impossible Nirvana, an episode of nothing but Pilot! Unfortunately,
the four claw TWWW is closest we've come. But we live in hope!
Anyway the review.
Into The Lions Den Part Two:
a FaDoP review by Jess Pallas.
And this time he has vowed
to be ready. Already, the DRDs have succeeded in hauling several
dozen large sturdy storage crates down from the cargo hold, by
means that can best be attributed to sheer desperation and these
behemoths have somehow been wedged into place in a hotchpotch
pile across the four broad entrances to the den. The vents have
been sealed with a combination of sealant and spare sticking
plaster and ruthlessly trained commando DRDs have been assigned
to patrol the outer corridors to insure that none shall pass.
An unnatural quiet has fallen
over the chamber. There is not a FaDoPi in sight. For they have
disappeared. All of them.
Pilot desperately wants to
be ecstatic. But he has learned from long experience that the
wisest emotion is nervousness. With FaDoPi, quiet is bad.
"Well I do not care where
they've gone!" he mutters to himself, examining his preparations
with a careful smile. "They aren't coming back in!"
Pilot jumps violently
he only avoids contact with the ceiling by virtue of the fact
his lower body is tied into the ship. His eyes widen in horror
and he stares in disbelief at the small half-forgotten door that
has burst open with epic force on the far distant side of the
walkway, spilling out several tea kettles, a spanner set, some
tattered robes and a battered but otherwise undamaged Jess Pallas.
In the shadow of the tight doorway, several arms and legs and
various other protuberances, Human and less so, can be seen in
a cramped tangled heap amongst broken DRDs and bent crockery.
Jess shakes her head, glancing
back into the chaotic cramp she has just crawled free of with
"I made it!" she
bellows triumphantly. "Way to bend the space time continuum!"
"That's very nice,"
it is unclear who is offering the muffled response. "Now
close the frelling door! There's a draft and I'm trying to light
Jess frowns. "I thought
we were out of fuel!"
"I'm burning a lurker!"
"Oh, okay!" With
a shrug, Jess turns to the door. Using her sword, and ignoring
the various murmurs of complaint, she pushes back the extruding
body parts and forces the door to a close before glancing up.
Pilot is staring at her.
With a twitch and a start,
Jess straightens herself. Then abruptly, she adopts a wide-eyed,
zombie-like expression and slowly begins to move across the walkway
at a slow deathly march.
Pilot is unimpressed. "What
are you doing, Miss Pallas?" he asks incredulously.
A hint of irritation crosses
Jess' carefully stunned features. "I'm in a state of shock!"
she hisses covertly out of the corner of her mouth. "Because
of Into the Lions Den part two!"
"You're in shock now?"
Pilot raises an eyebrow. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't
you see this particular episode a quarter of a cycle ago?"
"Oh, fine!" Jess
abandons her slow march abruptly, slouching up to the console
and depositing herself before Pilot with a pout. "Just ruin
my dramatic entrance, why don't you?"
"I think your entrance
was dramatic enough," Pilot comments. "What on Moya
is going on in the DRD closet?"
"Shhhhhh!" Jess hushes
the navigator abruptly, glancing nervously over one shoulder,
but it seems that Tanika, whose head was last seen wedged between
timedancer's leg and Byrnstar's elbow, has not overheard the
"It's the Ambassador's
Lounge!" Jess corrects firmly. "It's our refuge!"
She sighs. "You may have noticed things have been a little
quiet around here lately."
Pilot adopts a dreamy expression.
"I know" he murmurs blissfully.
Jess ignores him. "Well
that's because FaDoP is having a small problem with it's server
at the moment namely it hasn't got one which basically
means that we can't get in here to see you." She pauses
to sniff. "But we've found a temporary home in the Lounge,
just until we get FaDoP back and we can return to you! So that's
Pilot looks disappointed. "You
mean this isn't permanent?"
"Nope," Jess grins.
"But anyway, I'm not here to spin tales of woe! I'm here
to do the second part of my review for Into the Lion's Den!"
She glances around. "What happened to my papers?"
"They had a small accident,"
Pilot comments with an innocent expression, choosing not to mention
that he had the DRDs flush them down the dren compacter. His
expression becomes perturbed. "You don't have any more,
"Nah," Jess shakes
her head. "I think I may have over-prepared a little last
Pilot snorts. "A little?"
"So this time I thought
I'd wing it do the review off the top of my head and see
"Just so long as it isn't
as long as the last one," Pilot drawls resignedly.
Jess smiles endearingly. "I'll
do my best! So, Into the Lion's Den Part two, with a claw rating
of three and a half claws for almost excellent Pilot representation!"
Her expression fills with glee. "And what a frelling fantastic
episode it was! For me, it was the best of the season, no contest
at all! It just blew me away the action, the drama, the
emotion it had everything you could ever want from any
TV show and it pulled it off with true panache! After such a
disappointing season as season three, it was Farscape back at
it's best, doing the kind of quality stuff I'd almost forgotten
they could do! Wow!"
"You liked it then,"
Pilot comments mildly.
Jess nods. "Yep."
She shakes herself. "But
all that can wait this is a FaDoP review so let's take
a look at your scenes. And first up that beautiful moment
with John" She pauses briefly to sniffle slightly and wipe
her nose on her sleeve. Pilot grimaces.
Jess shrugs. "I forget
my tissues. Anyway, that scene with John was just perfect. There
is no other word. Sad and perfect. It left me justspeechless."
"There's a first,"
Pilot mutters under his breath.
"And you were just oh,"
Jess wipes her nose again. "You looked so upset! I just
wanted to give you a hug!"
Her arms begin to twitch towards
him. Pilot's expression becomes instantly wary firmly he
rests one claw against Jess' forehead, holding her at arms length.
"Don't even think about it," he warns ominously.
Jess sighs. "Spoilsport,"
she mutters, but does not pursue the matter. "You let John
Pilot removes his claw with
a long breath. "That was different."
Jess fixes her eyes upon him.
"Because you and Moya thought it was goodbye forever?"
Pilot nods softly. Jess smiles.
"But it was gorgeous
and that tactile contact made it the sadness all the more palpable.
It was so nice to see you too so close again after a season of
stress and bickering." She sighs once more. "I think
I mentioned this last week but never went into it I do
feel you have been rather isolated from the rest of the crew
this season. When Zhaan died and Aeryn left on Talyn, you lost
your two closest confidants outside of Moya herself and you never
found anyone to replace them no wonder you got so frelled
off with the crew you had been left with! I mean, out of those
who were left, John was really the only one you'd ever had any
kind of an affinity with and he was so wrapped up in missing
Aeryn and finding wormholes that the pair of you ended up almost
hating each other!"
Jess shifts her position as
she leans back against the bulkhead. "But what I've really
missed this season is your interaction with Aeryn. The pair of
you shared such a beautiful relationship through seasons one
and two where has it gone? What with the splitting of the
crew and the shippy focus, interactions other than John and Aeryn
and to a lesser extent, John and D'Argo, have rather been shunted
into the background over season three. I can only think of one
moment you've had with Aeryn over the length of this season,
way back in SIW, when it was even implied that the pair
of you were anything more than regular shipmates! We didn't get
to see your true reaction to Aeryn's death in DMD, other than
chanting and being a little snappish, and we never got any indication
at all of how you felt about her being brought back in SOD. We
also never got to see your reunion in Fractures again the
focus was on John's reaction. I know he's the "star"
Jess puffs out her cheeks irritably.
"That more than anything frustrated me surely you
would have at least tried to speak to Aeryn about what had happened
to her! I even wrote a fic with a filler scene for Fractures
that portrayed exactly that! I just feel as though that connection
you shared with Aeryn, which has always been one of my favourite
aspects of Farscape, has been put on the backburner or forgotten
entirely! It does annoy me the way they tend to forget or overlook
the stuff to do with you and Moya I mean, the re-bonding
for example, after TWWW is that completed yet? It was mentioned
in passing once, way back in HOTR and never brought up again!
Surely such a momentous event as the completion of your bonding
cycle should at least warrant a couple of lines of dialogue!
I've said it before and I'll say it again the focus on
John and Aeryn this season has been to the detriment of everyone
else, especially you and Aeryn!"
Jess concludes with an emphatic
head gesture, folding her arms sternly. Pilot is staring at her
once more, but this time looks vaguely impressed.
"That was quite a rant,"
he says with a certain respect.
Jess smiles modestly. "Practice."
Pilot nods. "That is what
FaDoP's swordmistress grins.
"Need some lessons?"
Pilot shakes his head. "Not
after the cycle I have just had!"
Jess leans forward, draping
herself with a certain elegance over the front of the console.
"That's another reason I liked this episode," she comments,
rolling languorously onto her back. "You've been so grumpy
all season it was nice to see a bit of a change although,
admittedly heart-breaking sadness isn't necessarily a step up
the ladder to happy-land." She frowns thoughtfully. "And
that brings us onto perfect scene number two; your reaction to
watching the carrier explode."
She draws a deep breath. "That
was probably the closest I've come to tears all season
and takes a lot to do that, believe me. It was just those three
simple words I see it- they made the moment. It was so
poignant, so terribly tragic, a simple memorial to the passing
of your partner's son, the son that had mean to so much to her.
It was beautiful. It really was."
Pilot is gazing sadly down
at his console. Jess rolls quietly back onto her front, reaching
over to gently enclose his closest claw in the embrace of her
"Now this is pure speculation
on my part," she begins softly, sympathy evident in her
tone. "And I don't expect you to answer or even react. But
I have to say, there have been times when I've wondered exactly
how you felt about Talyn. You've told us often enough how much
Moya loves him and we know how much you love Moya. But how did
you feel about him? I have to say I always got a slight impression
that you weren't too keen on him and you did have plenty
of reasons to feel uncomfortable about him. After all he has
hardly proved trustworthy in regards to his mother he loves
her but seems unable to stop bringing harm to her, directly through
their emotions and his physical attacks, or indirectly through
trouble towed in his wake such as the Retrieval squad, the Plokavians
or the Halosians. And Moya does have a dangerous blind spot where
he is concerned. And then there are his peacekeeper associations
and his partnership with Crais which in themselves could
be reminders of your own past since it was the project to produce
his conception that was the reason Crais and Velorek brought
you aboard in the first place. I can see why you might not feel
comfortable with him as a result."
Jess sighs, patting Pilot's
claw softly. "But in that scene there was no doubt
that the mourning was not just Moya's it was yours too.
And it really brought home the impact of what had just happened
that two valiant beings had lost their lives. Just perfect."
With a final squeeze, Jess
releases Pilot's claw and sits back. "Sorry about that,"
she apologises quietly. "I hope you aren't offended."
Pilot smiles wanly. "Of
"Anyway," Jess opts
for a swift continuance. "And then finally there were the
scenes at the conclusion, as the crew finally faced the prospect
of splitting. I liked these because they showed that, despite
all that has happened this season, you and Moya still care for
the crew you looked so sad when Jool raised the prospect
of everyone leaving!" She frowns. "Although that scene
was only two lines long here in the UK so I may have missed something,
but still" She coughs and continues. "And the way you
and Moya endangered yourselves for the crew yet again you
were so brave! It was just so nice to see a bit more unity after
a season of conflict. That's one of the reasons I miss Zhaan
she brought a little harmony to the crew that has been
lost now. How they think that Stark the loony-tune could possibly
replace her, I'll never know! I haven't missed him in the least!"
A shudder runs through Jess'
body. "Hate him!" she mutters under her breath. "Just,
Pilot is watching her with
obvious incredulity. "Are you done now?" he asks tentatively.
"Almost," Jess' hand
has been twitching towards her sword at the thought of Stark,
but she regains control of herself at the sound of her idol's
voice. "I just have to do a quick run down of all the rest
of the stuff you know, all the dull bits that you weren't
Pilot sniffed. "I don't
know why you bother with that."
Jess turns on the navigator
with a slow, pointed stare. "You told me to," she pointed
out with gritted teeth. "Last week."
Pilot regards her with equal
firmness. "You had not said much about the episode last
week! This week you have!"
Jess adopts a haughty expression.
"Well Hard Cheddar! I'm doing it anyway, so sit back and
Pilot folds his front two arms
grumpily as his mouth slips into a pout quite an achievement.
Jess chooses to ignore him.
"Crais I never thought
I'd hear myself say this, but what a guy! That defection
he really had me fooled for a microt there! And the heart and
soul he showed in this episode his compassion for Talyn
and the way in which he denounced his ex-girlfriend publicly
to protect her from recrimination! Bialar Crais is a god. The
look on his face when John shouted, "You're a dead man!"
at him he looked so haunted because he must have known
it was true but not in the way Crichton expected. And his final
speech wow. Why the frell did they have to go and show
him at his very best and then frelling well bump him off? Not
fair but what an exit! A brave and noble man,he proved
himself to be." Jess grins. "He almost reminded me
Pilot draws himself up indignantly.
"I have got absolutely nothing in common with Captain
"I don't know," Jess
ponders thoughtfully. "I reckon he sounds a bit like you
when he gets excited."
Pilot snorts. "Hardly!"
"If you say so,"
Jess shrugs off the denial. "Although, I have to say one
or two things about his departure bugged me. For one wasn't
Talyn supposed to be brain-dead and wiped of all his memories?
But yet when Crais went aboard him, he seemed to know who he
was and remember both Crais and Moya. This niggles me it
makes me feel that perhaps Talyn wasn't quite as shutdown as
Crais had led us to believe. And if he lied about that, perhaps
he's lied about the Starburst being kamikaze. After all, he never
actually said it would be fatal John took the inference
from his words. Could that mean Crais and Talyn completed a successful
Starburst and are still out there waiting to be found?"
why does it survive wormholes that turn other pilots to goo?
I had a thought on this a thought actually inspired by an
episode of Star Trek: TNG in which a ship was destroyed when
it raised it shields because they enhanced the effect of an energy
wave. Well, perhaps this could be a similar thing. Have all the
prowlers that have ever entered wormholes had some kind of shielding
and is it that very shielding that leads to their destruction?
After all the only two ships we know of to survive wormholes
John's module and Moya went in completely unshielded.
I could be miles off here but it's just a speculation!"
"And finally, a few questions.
Why didn't Jool's scream melt the prison bars? Why did Co-Kura
convert so easily? How cool is it that Aeryn has a prowler again?
And why didn't we see the crew actually escape the carrier? It
just broke off to safety just like in SIW! And last but not least,
is Scorpius dead? I say most emphatically no it's obvious
he sent Braca to prime an escape pod. I'm sorry, but a brilliant,
complicated, popular baddie like Scorpius does not die
offscreen! Broken man or not, he'll be back."
Jess takes a deep breath as
she slides slowly down off the console to rest her feet back
on the walkway. "Well that's it!" she exclaims. "That's
Into the Lions Den part two all reviewed; a fine, inspiring episode
rated three and a half claws for almost excellent Pilot representation."
She smiles cheerfully. "You may not have had many scenes,
Pilot sweetheart, but the ones you had were gold dust and I loved
them." She sighs deeply, tapping one finger against the
burnished golden surface.
"Well, I suppose I'd better
get back to the Lounge," she comments, a hint of depression
in her tone. "It's a shame because I've really enjoyed these
little talks. It's been fun."
Pilot regards her. "You
mean you won't be coming back again?"
Jess sighs. "Not to review,
no. You see the UK tends to be a bit behind when it comes to
new seasons of Farscape. I probably won't be in a position to
write a weekly review again." Abruptly she perks up. "But
I'll still be around! I'll just be back in my corner working
on my fic again! And if I'm feeling really brave." Jess
leans forward and pats Pilot's claw once more. "I might
even pop out of the shadows to say hi! You don't get rid of me
With a last wink, Jess turns
and wanders back across the walkway to the now decidedly contorted
entrance to the Ambassador's Lounge. Kneeling carefully, Jess
peers through a recently crack in the door through which is protruding
what appears to be somebody's finger.
"Charming," she exclaims.
"Hey guys!" she bellows more loudly. "Is it safe
to come in?"
"You'll have to be quick!"
A voice drifts back from beyond the cracking entry. "If
you open that door for too long, we may lose a few of the smaller
members and we haven't that many to spare!"
"How's that lurker coming
"Charring nicely! Want
a cup of tea?"
"Hot chocolate would be
good! Now get ready! I'm coming in.Now!"
With a spurt of speed she scarcely
knew she possessed, Jess yanks back on the entrance to the Ambassador's
Lounge, and using her shoulder to prevent a catastrophic collapse
of FaDoPi, she bulls her way inside. The door screams in protest
as she tried to haul it shut but finally gives in when a helpful
DRD gives it a final shove from outside.
Pilot sighs in relief. The
great navigator glances around the den, suddenly still and silent
once more and smiles. Peace at last.
A small impact causes him to
start a DRD stares up at him with flickering light-bulb
eyes. Pilot pauses thoughtfully, glancing quickly from DRD, to
cargo crate, to the small cramped entrance to the DRD closet
where the entire of FaDoP has taken refuge. He gazes wistfully
once more into the silence.
A slow grin spreads across
"You," he orders
the DRD abruptly. "Go find as many others as you can and
report back here at once." His gaze shifts from cargo crates
to the closet once more.
"You have some crate moving