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Farscape Re-Watch: Kansas

Patricia Lynn Vanover watched Kansas. Crichton's concentration on HOME while transversing the wormholes leads to Earth only he screwed the pooch -- arriving BEFORE he left, a big no-no according to Einstein. It's 1985 and John Crichton is 16 years old and a mess. And Dad in this Unrealized Reality is going to die in the Challenger explosion causing untold trauma to the timelines of John's "family" on Moya and his future self.

So, how do you repair a timeline? Find the first thing that went wonky and fix it.

Ben's performance has a delicacy here that adds such poignant love for his family. The wonderful conversation between John and Chiana about family and how Dad was a very angry guy causing young John much grief which he acted out about, causing Older John to get very frustrated given the future of his mother's illness and subsequent death. No wonder, John never spoke about his past. Ben made sure that all scripts that mentioned anything about John's life on Earth and his past deleted that material. He wanted John to be the least forthcoming of all of Moya's crew, but the information would be leaked or eeked out slowly through these wonderful episodes as well as such earlier ones as Won't Get Fooled Again. Chiana's family relationships were painful but John's family life was just as dysfunctional.

One of the most beautiful scenes was one where Ben really wasn't present except as a voice and a shadow across Leslie's face as he pleaded with her not to let the pain get so bad and to see a doctor earlier. Something must have stopped her from dealing with her illness until it was too late. Maybe that's what stopped John from being there at her death: he couldn't face the pain and maybe guilt that she possibly sacrificed her own health for her children. Maybe Jack wasn't home. Whatever the cause, we see the pain in Ben's eyes every time he meets with Mom.

There is another reason why Kansas is so great: Aeryn, D'Argo and Chiana are experiencing Earth in different ways that are really funny. The throwback to Season 1's Old Black Magic where we learned that John lost his virginity to Karen Shaw in a 4X4 was brilliant. That was Chiana in Betsy with young John misunderstanding what she said and thought she gave her name as Karen. What a wonderful healing for Chiana to get her wish and have sex with John Crichton.

In the end, John gets to make peace with his past. He kisses his young self and tells him not to frown so much. He saves Dad and his past and has a special moment with his mom. In a way, he's ready for the events of Bad Timing when he closes the Wormhole to Earth. But first, he has to go through hell in the present as Moya joins Lo'La and John confronts Jack by pointing his pulse pistol at him and asking, "Was it a Bass or a Trout?"

External Publication

  • Farscape Screencaps
  •   Tuesday, 04 July 2017
Duncan's World (1978)
Durka Returns: Series 1, Episode 15

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