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Twice Shy: Series 4, Episode 14


Along came a spider and 'sploded beside her.

Twice Shy is a strange cliched episode of Farscape that somehow works. I think it's because Talika the nasty spider lady isn't as important as the character developments we watch: John's main personality trait that keeps him going is HOPE.

Without hope, as he's said over and over again, he's nothing. Talika stole his Hope and left him dark, depressed, negative and dying slowly. And Aeryn lives by her ability to keep everything neatly compartmentalized and ordered in her life. She tries to understand and structure but she needs John to "humanize" her, allow her to express her emotions which were so bottled up. Talika stole her ability to cope with her emotions.

The juxtaposition of John who was losing it and Aeryn who was losing it both at the same time was some strong acting on both Ben and Claudia's parts as the spider bites slowly killed them. It was only Norati's pushing on John to pull himself together for Aeryn's sake that allowed him to face Talika.

Ben's portrayal of John's death wish is heartbreaking. It makes the final battle more than a typical hero's journey and almost a suicide. John asks Talika to kill him and he then asks fast or slow? Talika prefers slow, of course. John pulls one more burst of strength from his back pocket and rams that blunderbuss down her throat.

I have never been sure how Sikozou was able to figure out who's personality was whose given that the "nads" all looked alike, but luckily they were parcelled out correctly.

The tag of this episode is controversial. All of a sudden, I believe the writers realized that in order to get to the end of the season, they needed to bring Aeryn and John back together again. So, Aeryn confronts a pretty pissed off John with the Lakka and he admits that he was using it to forget about her (and adds weirdly that it is romantic). She's having none of it.

Then comes the kicker. John tells Aeryn after asking Pilot for some privacy, that he believes that Scorpius has bugged the comms and listens to everything so if John admits he loves Aeryn, he betrays a weakness that Scorpius can use to get to him and there's nothing John will be able to do. I found this to be specious given that John held himself aloof from Aeryn while on Earth and Scorpius wasn't there so there was no reason.

I think John had several other reasons for taking the lakka that he might take years before he'll confess to Aeryn: he feels befouled from Grayza's rapes and not good enough for her. I think he genuinely also is terrified of Scorpius' power over him (which proves true several episodes later when he goes to Scorpius for help rescuing Aeryn from Katratzi). He also still feels betrayed several times by Aeryn and maybe has forgiven her, but in his heart is still scared she'll do it again.

But the script leaves only something like five minutes to bring the lovers back together so they cheat: Scorpius talks over the coms, Aeryn suddenly believes John and wham!! They're back together again.

There are gobs of fan fics out there that talk about the secret love affair that proceeds before Aeryn is kidnapped. Pilot protects John and Aeryn and they have rendezvous all over the ship. I would have loved to actually have seen that but we got a taste right before the girls and boys went off on their adventures in the next two episodes

External Publication

  • Ben Browder Network
  •   Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Unrealized Reality: Series 4, Episode 11
Terra Firma: Series 4, Episode 13
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