Recap / Farscape S 04 E 15 Mental As Anything

Season 4, Episode 15:

Mental as Anything

While the women are shopping for supplies on an asteroid outpost, the men of Moya's crew visit a man named Katoya who can teach them forms of mental conditioning. Scorpius believes it will help Crichton to resist the Scarran heat probe should he ever encounter it, but Crichton is more concerned with finding out if Katoya knows anything about the creature that attacked his family. During the training, D'Argo discovers that someone else has arrived to learn from Katoya: Macton, the brother and murderer of Lo'Laan, D'Argo's wife. D'Argo is determined to take revenge, but Macton throws doubt onto D'Argo's strongest convictions about what happened on the night Lo'Laan died.

As D'Argo's Luxan hyper-rage and Macton's love for his sister are examined, the truth about what happened comes to light: when Macton threatened to get rid of D'Argo, Lo'Laan tried to stab her brother to save her husband. Macton instinctually defended himself and killed Lo'Laan, then beat her corpse to make it look like D'Argo did it in a fit of Luxan hyper-rage. Macton is left in a coma, forced to relive the memories of killing his sister, while the men of Moya leave. Crichton and Scorpius discover that the creature they encountered on Earth was most likely reporting to Grayza, and the Peacekeepers now know the location of Earth.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • And I Must Scream: Macton's plan is to trap D'Argo in an endless nightmare where he relives his tortured memories. D'Argo breaks free and traps Macton in that instead.
  • Continuity Nod: Crichton is on this trip because he wants to know about the creature that murdered his friends and attacked his family.
  • Cruel Mercy:
    Rygel: If you were fine, you'd have killed Macton instead of leaving him there.
    D'Argo: He's trapped in a coma with his own nightmares. Killing him would have been merciful. I'm not that enlightened.
  • Flashback: Many throughout the episode showing D'Argo's marriage.
  • Genre Savvy: How D'Argo ultimately realizes Macton is lying about Lo'Laan being Driven to Suicide.
    "I loved my wife, but you wouldn't know that. You didn't know Lo'Laan; I did. She could have left me for my failings. Maybe she should have, but I know this: she would never have left her son without a mother."
  • Noodle Incident: Following up on an old plot-point, in-between Seasons 3 and 4, D'Argo tracked down Macton, but he hesitated from killing him.
    D'Argo: Part of me knew that wouldn't bring Lo'Laan back. And another part couldn't resist letting him know that I knew exactly where he was.
  • Retcon: When Macton and Lo'Laan were first mentioned, it was established that Macton murdered her in cold blood over her marriage to D'Argo, which was even corroborated by Crais. This episode reveals that Lo'Laan attacked her brother with a knife to stop him from falsely (maybe) reporting D'Argo for abuse. Macton's Peacekeeper training kicked in, and he killed her in self-defense and entirely on reflex. His only actual crime in her death was desecrating her corpse and framing D'Argo for the murder. It didn't make him any less of a douche, but it does make him somewhat more sympathetic .
    • Additionally, it's suggested that D'Argo may have killed Lo'Lann in a fit of hyper-rage. While D'Argo's struggles with his anger have long been established, the episode attempts to claim he's always had doubts about whether or not he did kill Lo'Lann. Prior episodes never once had him express doubt about it, even having Crais admit he knew D'Argo was wrongfully imprisoned.
  • Shout-Out: Crichton whistles the "Colonel Bogey March" at various points during the episode.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While mentioned in the present, Jothee is never shown during the flashbacks.