Farscape: Terra Firma — screenplay by Richard Manning

This episode from season four wraps up a trilogy that finally gets John Crichton back to earth, only to find that he doesn’t belong there anymore. This is why Farscape is so good; it manages to be funny and strange and thought provoking, and most of all the character development is right up front, whether you’re looking at a twelve inch tall Hynerian, or the old girlfriend who shows up hoping to hit up John for some renewed affection. (The nerve. The hussy.)

The funniest parts here are how the non-earplings (who are quarantined from the media and the rest of the world) react to the culture they see around them, most particularly Christmas.* Chiana and Noranti try to get into the swing of things and Rygel gorges on junk food (cop porn being one of his favorites), while Aeryn and D’Argo are trying to educate the NASA types about pulse weapons and advanced technologies.

Through all of this John is suffering. This episode does the most to move his character along because it makes him face many truths about earth (and I fear we’d be just about as awful as portrayed here, if we were suddenly presented with this situation) and about his own life that he had been avoiding. Unfortunately the long-awaited confrontation between John and Aeryn is interrupted by an alien with a lot of teeth, and an agenda. But then this is Farscape, and resolutions are never easy.

**In the previous episode, Kansas, Aeryn (remember, she is a life-long Sebacean soldier and fighter pilot) becomes completely entranced by… yes, Sesame Street and the Muppets. Here she’s frustrated with the little girl who fumbles the alphabet song, and announces in no uncertain terms: “This girl is slow! She’s slow!”

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