Recap / Farscape S 02 E 11 Look At The Princess A Kiss Is But A Kiss

The episode begins with Aeryn giving Crichton a flying lesson in the module; however, things get intimate when Crichton notices that Aeryn has scented her hair. Unfortunately, both the lesson and the kissing end when Aeryn decides she doesn't want to be "a slave to (Crichton's) hormones", and she leaves in a huff. Following this, the trouble really begins when Moya finds herself targeted by a cluster of satellite weapons, having apparently trespassed into orbit of a Peacekeeper world. Following four arns of tense negotiation, it turns out the satellites aren't Peacekeeper at all; they belong to a neutral empire of Sebacean colonies that broke away from the Peacekeepers almost 2,000 years ago, and the planet below is their capital.

Zhaan remains behind on the ship while the rest of the crew enjoys some R&R at a club, where a few things are established: first of all, there's a tradition among the natives, in which they put a few drops from a vial on their tongues and then kiss. The taste determines whether the couple is compatible or not, like a saliva mood ring. Secondly, there's a succession crisis going on; the eldest child of the Empress, Princess Katralla, is slated to take the throne, but as she hasn't been able to find a compatible mate, it looks like her younger brother, Prince Clavor, will succeed instead. The bad news is that Clavor is a petulant brat with a gold-digger fiancée and a budding alliance with the Scarran Imperium; for good measure, they've sent an ambassador to keep an eye on him.

Complications arise when Scorpius' command carrier arrives in orbit. Zhaan and Pilot opt to flee, hoping that the carrier will follow them. Nice try; Scorpius doesn't take the bait. Back in the club, Crichton is approached by the planet's representative, Councillor Tyno, who introduces him to an anonymous kissing partner; Crichton doesn't suspect anything until the kiss turns out to be sweet — whereupon the whole club falls silent, Prince Clavor throws a temper-tantrum, and Tyno orders guards to take Crichton into protective custody.

The woman he kissed was none other than Princess Katralla; as the only man found that can provide her with healthy offspring, John is encouraged to marry her. And he can't say no, either. Clavor's pact with the Scarrans would result in the Peacekeepers invading, so the Empress wants to keep her son off the throne and Katralla on it; to that end, she invites Scorpius down for a visit, making Crichton's choices abundantly clear: either wed her daughter, or be given to Scorpius. With little other choice in the matter, Crichton accepts.

Unfortunately, it's not going to be as simple as just marrying the girl: once the royal couple are married, they are petrified and turned into statues, and left to stand in the royal court for the next eighty cycles; because they can still see and hear, they are expected to absorb as much information on court politics as they can, so that when the Empress and her husband finally die, the new couple are ready to take their place without any need for training. Crichton is understandably stressed, knowing that by the time he's de-petrified, all of his old friends and relatives on Earth will be dead, but with the threat of being given to Scorpius still hanging over his head, he's out of options. Faced with the prospect of losing everyone he knows, Crichton is left alone in his royal apartment...where he's attacked by a gang of assassins. He's quickly subdued and held in place while one of them shoots him with a beam weapon...

Meanwhile, far away from the Royal Planet, Moya is trying to find her way back when a signal draws her off course and into what appears to be a cloud of interstellar dust; as Zhaan watches in amazement, the cloud appears to reach out to them, and Pilot reveals that it's a representative of Moya's Builders — her gods.


  • Accidental Marriage: On Crichton's part, anyway.
  • Agony Beam: As the first episode featuring Scarrans, this is also the first episode that features the dreaded Scarran heat projection. Over the course of this episode, Cargn uses it on Clavor, Jenavian, and Aeryn — before the latter punches him in the head.
  • Beard of Evil: Saskaretski Cargn sports the Scarran equivalent of a soul patch.
  • Being Watched: Rygel immediately zeroing in on the angry-looking Scarran on the balcony. Looks like he's not happy about the new invaders.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: In the cockpit (heh), John leans in and nuzzles Aeryn's hair, asking about the fragrance she's wearing. Aeryn looks bemused and coolly mentions that Zhaan gave her some scented oils for her hair. He keeps his face pressed into her mane, and Aeryn warns him, "Personal indulgences can fracture a small crew." ...And then they kiss. And then they kiss more. And then Aeryn suddenly writhes away, throws open the cockpit hatch, and bolts. D'oh.
  • Black Sheep: Clavor, which Crichton lampshades.
  • Both Sides Have a Point
  • Brainless Beauty: Jenavian, Clavor's fiance. At one point, Cargn interrogates her on what she was thinking while he was torturing Clavor; her only answer is, "I was hoping you wouldn't wear that to our wedding!"
    • This is just part of her cover, however, given that she is revealed to be a highly trained Peacekeeper spy.
  • Breath Weapon: Cargn can also project heat from his mouth, evoking this.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: John and Aeryn cannot tell each other their feelings. John lampshades this with by saying it is the one thing they cannot overcome.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Clavor attempts to make a speech on how power is a burden and a curse; His dramatic proclamation is only slightly marred by the fact he's being fussed over by a servant who is adjusting his cloak.
  • Chekhov's Gun
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Twice in the same episode. The first time, it's fairly short, D'Argo can only indicate that Crichton should leave, and Crichton does so with a certain degree of embarrassment. However, in the second occasion, Crichton has just been told about becoming a statue and is too upset to care that Chiana is completely naked and orgasming; in turn, D'Argo doesn't even bother getting angry- he just asks "Why don't you stay and tell us about it?"
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Crichton outrights says that if all Katralla's family wants from him is an heir, they could just let him donate his sperm and be done with it. Which is pretty much how the plot gets resolved in episode 3, anyway.
  • Cliffhanger: This episodes ends with John being hit by some beam weapon from Clavor's loyal followers.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The Royal Capital seems to be this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The fight between Aeryn and Cargn.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: To her credit, Aeryn does manage to land a few hits, and stop Cargn from using his heat projection.
  • Curse Cut Short/Half Truth: Crichton and Aeryn are squished together in the Farscape-1's cockpit. Aeryn gives Crichton some piloting tips, and he points out that his ship isn't built for "hairpin maneuvers." Aeryn asks if he'd like to learn something, "Or are you content to continually display your ineptitude?" He huffs that she must mean his "improvisation, the kind that bails your sorry military—"
  • Decoy Getaway: Subverted. Scorpius doesn't follow Moya.
  • Double Entendre
  • Enemy Mine: Rygel proposing to Tyno that since he's royalty, he is obliged to come bearing gifts for the colonies' new sovereign. "Your hatred of the Peacekeepers can never approach ours. Fate has conspired to forge this alliance!" Tyno is reluctant to believe that any royalty of note would be travelling among escaped prisoners, but he eventually allows them passage, though only after seeing Crichton. An oblivious Rygel plays all 'I told ya so' at Crichton.
  • Everyone Can See It: Except Crichton. Chiana and D'Argo's relationship had flown right over his head.
    "How come I'm always the last to know?"
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • The Evil Prince: Clavor, obviously.
  • Exact Eavesdropping
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Trying to avoid further propositioning at the club, Aeryn performs the kiss-test on Rygel! They do their best to look as happy as possible until the failed suitor leaves, at which point they both spit in disgust.
  • Foe Yay: Acknowledged In-Universe when Scorpius greets Crichton with a bear hug. Crichton, being Crichton, naturally suggests that Scorpius find another girlfriend.
  • Foreshadowing: D'Argo and Chiana's taste test. D'argo thinks the taste-test is a bad idea, but Chiana overrules him and puts a drop on his tongue. They kiss, and (alas) D'Argo lets loose an irritated hiss. No good. Chiana reassures him it's okay; "We don't play by the rules they do."
    • Though the kiss-test is merely meant to gauge one's ability to bear healthy children, you can see it's a bad omen for this relationship.
    • [The puppet department sighs with relief at not having to design a grey-skinned, face-tentacled baby.]
    • When Crichton comes face-to-face with Scorpius, we get a quick montage of clips from his imprisonment in the Gammack Base. However, the montage also includes something we didn't see before: Scorpius about to inject something into Crichton.
      "Something to remember me by."
  • Forgot Flanders Could Do That: We're reminded of the fact that Rygel is quite a capable statesman.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Coronation time turns the royal court into this.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Cargn spends most of his scenes barefoot.
  • The Dutiful Daughter: Katralla; however, it's made clear that she's only this because she has absolutely no other choice in the matter.
  • Gilded Cage: The Royal Apartment that Crichton ends up imprisoned in.
  • Hard Light Hologram/Kid from the Future: The projection of Crichton's future son.
  • The High Queen: Empress Novia.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: During the scene where Aeryn kisses Rygel, Claudia Black's cell phone went off, meaning she had to buy a case of beer for the crew as punishment.
  • I Come in Peace
  • I Warned You
  • Improvised Weapon
  • Iron Lady: Empress Novia. While she does care about the millions of people that would be killed if the Peacekeepers or the Scarrans were to invade, she's scheming, manipulative, and unbendingly stubborn. Katralla herself admits that this is also Novia's style of parenting.
  • I Want Grandkids: The whole point of the marriage is to produce healthy heirs, so Novia takes the opportunity to note that she expects a steady flow of grandchildren from Crichton. Gulp.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: Crichton chasing Aeryn across the landing bay while she declares, "No, no! I will NOT be a slave to your hormones!" Crichton, incredulous, shouts back, "MY hormones? Hey, I was lips, you were tongue!" For her rejoinder, Aeryn's turns around to slug Crichton (he blocks it).
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The Scarran ambassador muses that the Princess' new hubby must "die tragically" within the day.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Cargn to Clavor.
    "You will rule not because you desire it, Clavor, but because I doooooo..."
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Crichton urgently pressing Aeryn against the bulkhead and inquiring, "Why did you do your hair?" (it makes sense in context). Aeryn confesses, "To see if you'd notice." He releases her and replies, "'''Standing. At. Attention." Aeryn retreats back into her shell of stoicism and flees.
    Aeryn: I'll let Zhaan know that you find her oils pleasing.
    Crichton: It's you I find pleasing!
    • Lampshaded by Chiana, who accurately predicts that since Crichton's off the market, Aeryn's now going to "mess with his head" with some more and possibly derail the marriage. This would put everybody, not least of all Crichton, in serious jeopardy.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Cargn, the representative of the Scarran "Master Race."
  • Neck Snap: Used by Clavor's assassins on the only security guard left in Crichton's apartment.
  • No, Mister Bond, I Expect You to Dine: After meeting D'Argo at the bar, Scorpius defuses the potential brawl-to-the-death by ordering him a drink.
  • No Sympathy
  • Not What It Looks Like
  • Oh, Crap!
  • Opposites Attract Revenge: Subverted at both ends. Casanova doesn't have much of a shot at wooing Aeryn, as we'll soon see next episode.
    • Crichton tries to confront Aeryn in the corridor, but she dodges him again, saying she wants some space. Fine! Crichton decides it's his turn to act like a bratty teenager and calls out to Chiana, invoking much teeth-gnashing from Aeryn. "Yeah, I'm going down to the planet, you wanna hang?" Off-screen, we hear Chiana moan, "Yes!...Yeah!" Crichton obliviously takes this as an affirmative and barges into her room, where (of course) Chiana and D'Argo are having a close encounter.
      Crichton: WHOA-HO-HO! Bad timing! Good time— uh, sorry, wrong time!
  • Playing Cyrano: Subverted with Chiana, whose relationship tips are suspiciously skewed toward convincing Crichton to boink her instead.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Clavor snapping at his servant, Ro-Na, for performances her duties in front of guests. "Stop it! I said, before I speak with them, not during!" She looks down, abashed, and Clavor turns back to Crichton and sighs casually, "Ignorant creature."
  • Professional Killer: Clavor's hit squad.
  • Prophetic Name
  • Real Men Wear Pink
  • Resistance Is Futile: As a flurry of weapons satellites fly past them, Rygel shouts, "Run, fight, surrender — PICK ONE!" However, it is Pilot (or rather, Moya) who waves the white flag immediately: "Resistance by her means death."
  • Rigged Contest
  • The Rival
  • Royal Brat: Clavor.
  • Sadistic Choice: "My daughter, or that abomination. Choose."
  • Say Your Prayers
  • Shotgun Wedding: Novia turns the Arranged Marriage into this when she brings in Scorpius to prod Crichton in the right direction.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Clavor.
  • Sissy Villain: Clavor, again.
  • Smug Snake: Clavor, again.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Builders (possibly).
  • Taken for Granite: Discussed, but not actually demonstrated this episode.
  • Tempting Fate
  • To Be Continued
  • Uptown Girl
  • Villainous Demotivator: During yet another one of Clavor's temper tantrums, the prince goes so far as to threaten to reveal the extent of Cargn's mission to the Empress; the emissary simply blasts Clavor in the face with a heat beam, and warns him that any attempt to end their alliance will mean Clavor's instant death.
  • The Wise Princess: Katralla, for the most part; knowing that she can never really have what she wants, she's forced herself to think of the bigger picture. For good measure, she also apologises to Crichton for how badly things have turned out.
  • V-Sign: When Clavor grandly introduces himself as "first among my people", Crichton flips him the peace sign. (no. 2) Harmless greeting, or sounding out his rival?