Recap / Farscape S 02 E 18 A Clockwork Nebari

John and Chiana return to the ship to find Aeryn and Rygel behaving strangely. It is revealed that a couple of Nebari in a damaged vessel have come aboard Moya. The ship is quickly taken and the crew is temporarily mind-cleansed in turn. The last is Crichton, since the temporary version won't work on Chiana or Pilot, and that's when things get interesting. Brain!Scorpius manages to overcome the brainwash drug, freeing Crichton, who manages to enlist Chiana, pilot, and Rygel (whose fast metabolism drains drugs quickly) to free Moya. Chiana's brother Neri is discovered to be alive and leading a resistance movement against the Nebari Establishment.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Brainwashed: Most of the crew receive implants that dose them with mind-cleansing drugs. As it turns out, Harvey somehow interferes so that it doesn't work on Crichton, and Rygel manages to burn his dose off because the Nebari failed to account for his rapid metabolism.
  • Call Back: Part of the plot centers around Chiana's brother Neri, who she thought was dead.
  • The Cameo: Both Crais and Harvey appear briefly, although they were a trick and hallucination, respectively.
  • Eye Scream: The Nebari mind-cleansing drug is administered via the nerve stems of the eyes. OUCH.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: After electrocuting Aeryn & D'Argo, Crichton says "Bitchin'", and just before the screen goes to black, Rygel repeats him!
  • Irony: This gem from Rygel:
    Rygel: I'm nobody's puppet!
  • La Résistance: Lead by Chiana's brother, who is not dead after all.
  • Long Game: It's revealed that the Nebari Establishment has been running one of these for the last twenty years. Basically, they've been infecting deviants and rebels like Chiana with a highly communicable disease, then allowing said rebels to escape Nebari Prime, allowing the infectees to spread the Contagion to any species they encounter. To ensure that the Contagion spreads as far as possible and maintains a low profile in the process, it's been programmed to remain dormant and invisible until the Establishment are ready - for decades if necessary. Once the designated day arrives, the Contagion activates, crippling entire civilizations and ensuring minimal resistance to Nebari invasion.
  • The Mole: The Nebari Dragon.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The mind-cleansed Aeryn kept smiling, which Crichton admits should've tipped them off something was wrong.
  • Restraining Bolt: In the form of Shock Collars. The whole crew gets them as a precaution, despite all of them being Brainwashed save for Chiana and Pilot (who are incompatible with the brainwashing). The Nebari use this to shock them into submission whenever they resist (particularly poor Pilot).
  • The Reveal: The first sign that John and Chiana have that The Dragon is on their side is when he casually hands Crichton a weapon without explanation after discovering Crichton had dodged his brainwashing.
  • Shock and Awe: How Rygel takes down D'Argo and Aeryn, dropping a pair of live electrical cables in a puddle of amnexus fluid at Crichtons prompting (Crichton had just climbed up out of the fluid, and Rygel, as always, was floating in his chair.)
  • The Stoner: Crichton invokes a combination of this and Surfer Dude to fool the Nebari into thinking the cleansing actually worked.