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18 June 2014
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My Three Crichtons
Teleplay by Gabrielle Stanton & Harry Werksman, Jr
Directed by Catherine Millar

It's a good thing that episodes of Farscape like this don't have episode titles on screen: knowing the title made the first 12 minutes or so a little tedious awhilst waiting for the revelation that there were now three Crichtons.

Making it three instead of just two was clever. There was never the remotest doubt that our Crichton would survive, we knew one of the others must die. So far, so little tension, but it was extremely difficult to predict how the show would handle the third Crichton in a satisfying way. He had to die, no question, but how?

Unfortunately, the solution the episode found wasn't satisfying. Caveman Crichton killed the brainy one and chose to carry him into the sphere, delivering two Crichtons for the price of one. The caveman's inadequate reason for sacrificing himself – "Not my place here" – was not strengthened by Crichton's "I understand".

The cleverness of this episode (making it Farscape and not any old science fiction piece) should have been Crichton's moral crisis at the end. The dilemma over his willingness to sacrifice the caveman Crichton was well conveyed. The episode argued that it was the caveman who was the most principled of the three. This is debatable because he killed the brainy Crichton without hesitation.

Yes, he did do it to save our Crichton. He in turn had been nice to the caveman Crichton, but was that really sufficient reason for him to assume the brainy Crichton was an enemy? The silly sacrifice aside, caveman Crichton really killed the brainy one to help himself. As our Crichton was also at one point willing to kill to help himself, their moral stance was identical and the principle of the episode felt pretty nullified.

back to ploton to did you notice?

My Three Crichtons

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