Easily Farscape at its saddest, Prayer pushed our heroes further than ever before in forty-five minutes of the tensest, scariest and most affecting science fiction television ever seen.
From Aeryn’s desperate appeal to a god she doesn’t believe in, to John’s appalled horror at the destructive consequences of his trip to alternate-Moya, the episode hits the viewer with one finely honed shock after another.
Prayer made good on the promise of Unrealized Reality - turning that episode’s mixed-up freaks into real people you cared about and didn’t want to see get hurt. This could so easily have gone badly wrong, ending up no more than an exercise in oddness, but brilliant performances by Raelee Hill as Sikozu/Stark and Claudia Black as Aeryn/Chiana avoided that, and then some. Seeing Scorpius show his true colours at last was also a joy.
Saddest, and scariest, of all was Aeryn’s horrifying captivity. By turns tortured and drugged, slowly having all her defences stripped away until she betrays the person most dear to her in the universe, yet she still never gives up, never breaks down.
In a brilliantly cruel and clever twist, the writers tricked us, the fans, by giving us the answer we’ve all clamoured for - who is the father of Aeryn’s child? Yes, they’ve given it to us alright, but in a way that makes us wish we’d never asked.
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