Cinescape review of Look At The Princess 2: I Do I Think
Look at the Princess, part 1, ended with a whiz-bang cliffhanger, and part 2 picks up where we left off. Obviously, the beloved and beleagured Commander Crichton is once again snatched from the jaws of death, but this time by a most unlikely savior. After the assassination attempt, Crichton spends the greater part of this episode trying to escape the various threats to his person: the palace, his impending marriage, and Scorpius, not to mention further attempts on his life. To say that Crichton is having a bad day is beyond an understatement.
However, all this turmoil gives us an action-packed episode where more than one character is revealed to be something else entirely from what we were led to believe. Basically, it's more of the same as we had in part 1: politics, intrigue, love thwarted or unexpressed, and violence contained so as to be later undetectable. The trapped Crichton struggles to find a way out while his friends look on, essentially helpless. Ben Browder's performance in this episode is absolutely brilliant, as the pressures send Crichton right over that edge he has been teetering on for so long, in what is sure to be one of the most-quoted scenes of the series to date.
While the plot thickens on the Colony planet, Zhaan and Pilot encounter Moya's God, leading to the most intense scenes we have ever witnessed between Zhaan and Pilot. For a wonderful moment, Kahaynu grants Moya a voice so that she may speak directly to Zhaan. The beauty of her voice does not diminish the tragedy of her words, however, leading to the second, much more understated, cliffhanger of this episode.
I scarcely thought it was possible, but this episode was even more beautiful than part 1, including the exquisite fight choreography in the episode opener, the scenes aboard Moya, and a short space walk by Crichton. To all the nit-pickers out there, yes, it is possible to survive for that long in a vaccuum; NASA research confirms it. The use of color in wardrobe was beautifully done, with the honored guest changing from their white outfits into robes of deep pinks and reds. The art direction and sets continue to make this one of the most cinematic arcs in a series that excels at this kind of work.
In spite of the sense of impending doom for Crichton, there was plenty of humor, as well. Rygel continues to bask in the glow of being close to power again, and is uncharacteristically helpful. D'Argo and Chiana play supportive friend roles, and Chiana has a particularly gutsy and amusing confrontation with the Scarren. Aeryn, however, is still torturing herself and Crichton (which should come as no surprise to anyone) and refuses to attend the wedding; ultimately, there is no escaping it for Crichton. D'Argo, steadfast in his loyalties, gets in a last great line as Crichton submits to the "freezing" process, which was certainly a homage to The Empire Strikes Back.
It's easy to see why the producers chose to make this story a three-part arc. There are still so many unanswered questions, so many situations to resolve. In the best tradition of "to be continued," we're left wondering "How are they going to get out of this?" The Farscape twist on that well-known idea is that it's not just one situation we're wondering about, but at least three or four.
If you've missed the first two parts of this arc, it's still very much worth tuning in next week to see how everything resolves. And if you've been following along, I'm sure that there's nothing that will keep you away from your television as part 3 airs next Friday. This is Farscape at its very best.
--Joan O'Connell Hedman