Recap / Farscape S 04 E 07 John Quixote

En route to Moya in a transport pod, Chiana tries out a strange, neural link game she bought. She soon forces Crichton to try it out and for good reason: it starts out as a recreation of the escape from the Gammak Base. All of a sudden, however, the game shifts into a medieval-esque adventure game, with Aeryn as a princess in a tower, Stark as "guide to the game embodied" and other familiar faces playing other parts. Unable to just opt out, Crichton and Chiana have to play the game to escape, but there's a far more sinister motive at work here.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Black Knight: Rygel's role in the game.
  • Bluff The Imposter: To figure out which Chiana is which, Crichton asks what Aeryn's secret is.
  • Callback: The first part of the game recreates the escape from the Gammak Base.
  • Car Fu: During his second run-through of the game, Crichton steal's male Zhaan's van and uses it to run over Game!Rygel.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The dead John Crichton gets a couple of nods.
    • A very subtle piece, with the constant cries of "Eat me," the title of an episode about duplicating the characters. Jool also says "Why won't anyone eat me?", referring to her being the only character to not be duplicated in that episode.
  • Creator Cameo: Rowan Woods (director of other episodes and a series producer) appears as the male-Zhaan.
  • Darker and Edgier: Scorpius in the game is a far nastier, less honorable person - soon outright trying to kill Crichton over being inconvenienced.
  • Elevator Floor Announcement: Yes. The game-game-game has a dedicated announcer for inter-level transit. You'll either love it-love it-love it or hate it as much as John does.
    John Headroom: (Elevator music plays constantly) Yes I know. This elevator sucks. My job su-su-sucks. Day after day the same-the same thing. Up. Down. Up. Down-down. Just once-just once it'd be nice to go... sideways. Just-just... sideways. Frog Princes! (Door opens, a monster blows fire, John slays it.) N-n-not that I plan on doing this forever-ever. I have plans you know - (softly) Big (loudly) PLANS! I-I-I'm studying to be an astronaut. And... Penthouse! Have a good day.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The whole plot. In the game you play as Crichton (as interpreted by Stark), and so when Crichton himself logs in it goes utterly insane and dumps them in a Minus World.
  • Gender Bender: Zhaan is male for most of the game. This proves to be a clue to what Crichton really needs to do to win.
    "Ugliness enslaved..."
  • I Am A Humanitarian: Game!D'Argo likes to taste his victims. Recreations of Chiana and Jool are oddly okay with that.
  • Mind Rape: The game itself. Game!Stark states that when Crichton's body dies, his spirit will become trapped in the game "with us." Scorpius also takes over Moya in this fashion, though this is later revealed to be part of the game.
  • Minus World: The game is supposed to be a simulation of the Gammak base raid from season 1. The level they spend most of the episode in is due to a bug and shouldn't exist.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
    Crichton: So how'd you do it? Who helped?
    Game!Stark: You did. You and that tragic brother; pouring his heart out on his deathbed.
    Crichton: Bull. This game has crap he couldn't know.
    Game!Stark: It's crap you gave me along the way. You talk so much.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Crichton kisses Game!Aeryn and... nothing happens. As Crichton thinks he's trapped and has no way out, Game!Stark boasts, "This is ''my' world, meat; you're just walking through it!" This, however, prompts Crichton to figure out what he needs to do.
    "Your world, your princess!"
  • Not in the Face!: Game!Stark appears on a TV screen to gloat, only to panic as Crichton raises his sword. And since he's on the TV, only his face is being shown.
  • Oh, Crap!: Crichton when he's been on Moya for a while, only to realize he's still in the game.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: And this episode is deranged!
  • Shout-Out John Headroom.
  • Spot the Imposter: Chiana has a double in the game, who swaps places with her off-screen when she and Crichton get separated. It takes Crichton until getting back to that level to realize what has happened.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Virginia Hey's appearance was meant to be a last-minute surprise, but Sci-Fi Channel's promos focused on that particular moment. Some reviewers commented at the time, "That sound you hear is Ben Browder screaming over the plot twist being spoiled."
  • Trapped in TV Land: Of the video game variety. Humorously, when Crichton first realizes he's trapped, a television does fall on him.
  • Win to Exit
  • Written by Cast Member: Ben Browder's second and final script. He likes the weird stuff - the other one had the ship get swallowed by a Space Whale.