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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide
Twice Shy

Review

Like any series that's lasted this long, Farscape has developed a few typical story-types. Twice Shy is an example of the "mind-frelling" plot seen before in episodes like A Clockwork Nebari and even this season’s Coup By Clam. So, for the first half of this episode, it was tempting to think, "not again".

That's not to say that it wasn't well done. Letting the actors play to their characters' strengths inevitably brought out some extremely strong performances. Gigi Edgely's sizzling Chiana especially must have left a strong impression on most male 'Scapers, and probably a few female ones too.

Just as the episode seemed to have settled down into a well-played but obvious character study, it confounded expectations by flipping over the premise. Suddenly everyone's playing to their weaknesses - and doing a frelling good job of it too.

Science fiction is usually criticised for having one-dimensional characters, there only to advance the bug-eyed monster plot, but here it was the other way around. Sure, there's a giant spider running around the ship, but what we care about is what's going on in Crichton's mind - because we believe in him as a person.

A few quibbles - Rygel was underused, and there wasn’t enough of panicky Aeryn - can easily be forgiven in return for Chiana's anger at the loss of her sex drive, and, of course, the stunning, romantic ending. Season four's set-ups so far are beginning to pay off, but never in the way you'd expect.

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