Cinescape review of Look At The Princess 3: The Maltese Crichton

***SPOILER WARNING***

The first Farscape fairy tale comes to the predictable happy ending for all in this concluding episode to the three-part story arc, Look at the Princess. The first episode packed in a lot of story and action, and the second continued along the same lines, with exceptional performances and special effects. It's no surprise, then, that this episode is a bit of a let-down. All the myriad plot points had to be rounded up and resolved. We both expected and needed to see the continuation of the character developments that the first two episodes launched. While these two goals were accomplished, there were moments that felt rushed, and some of the resolutions were just too pat.

By far the most infuriating aspect of this episode was the resolution of the Moya plotline, although some may argue with me there. We all knew that Moya, Pilot, and Zhaan would be returning; I just wish the "twist" that returned Moya and Pilot from the dead had been, well, a little more twisted. Usually when the writers give us such a well-recognized scenario, they tweak it enough so we can still get a lot of satisfaction out of it, but I was disappointed here. Although there were two positive notes, the first being Zhaan, who for once didn't just let the lone tear slide down her face and accept things as they must be. It's always fun to see Zhaan in her "determined" mode, getting tough. The second bright moment was the opportunity to hear Moya herself again.

Back on the planet, things aren't quite as irritating. There's a considerable amount of (literal) skull-duggery as Crichton's statue is decapitated, with excellent face-off scenes between Scorpius and the Scarren, Cargn. The Disrupter Jenavian has a much more significant role in this episode, handled quite capably by the lovely Bianca Chiminello, who steals the head back from Scorpius, re-attaches it, and re-animates Crichton. Whereupon she immediately smuggles him out of the Palace, for his own safety and her mission's success.

Needless to say, this triggers considerable angst and soon everyone is looking for Crichton. The Empress has issued an order that all the offworlders are to be executed, leading to perhaps the only truly surprising scene of the episode, a confrontation between Clayvor and Cargn. D'Argo is forced into an uneasy alliance with Scorpius as the Scarren tortures Chiana for information on Crichton's whereabouts, and some gratifying hand-to-hand combat scenes lead up to a super-hero save of the young Nebari.

While all this is going on at the Palace, Aeryn is out in the barren lands outside the city with Dregon Cassanova, having less than the time of her life. Claudia Black and Aaron Cash somehow still look smashing in spite of being bruised and grubby, as Aeryn literally drags the injured Dregon across the desert. In a moment of extreme exhaustion and vulnerability, this infuriating, inept male proves that he isn't completely useless, and manages to give Aeryn a tiny glimpse of the importance of emotional relationships.

Crichton is faced with a final painful reality before the perfect solution is proposed and accepted, and the crew is reunited on Moya. The closing scene demonstrates how much Aeryn took Dregon's words to heart. While no words were spoken, it's clear that Aeryn is finally ready to do something about her feelings for Crichton, and his for her. 'Shippers everywhere rejoice.

Again, this was a visually beautiful episode, and the few manipulative scenes (including a post-mortem with D'Argo and Chiana) should be forgiven in this context. Unlike the typical Farscape episode, this story arc was destined for a happy ending from the outset. As much as it may grate on the nerves, the story just did not lend itself to ambiguity or tragedy. All is as it should be, and for once, Moya and her crew have a moment of relative happiness.

That's it! See ya next week, guys!

--Joan O'Connell Hedman

 
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