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.
  • Call-Back: Crichton is on this trip because he wants to know about the creature that murdered his friends and attacked his family. Scorpius gives him the information at the end of the episode.
  • 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.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Macton says his Peacekeeper reflexes just kicked in when Lo'Laan attacked him.
  • Determinator: Scorpius notes that Crichton has "an abundant will to prevail."
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted. Macton attempts to convince D'Argo's uncontrollable rage drove Lo'Laan to kill herself—even faking a simulation of her plunging a knife into her side. D'Argo realizes it's a lie because of Lo'Laan's devotion to Jothee.
  • Flashback: Many throughout the episode showing D'Argo's marriage.
  • Foreshadowing: Aeryn hints at getting a very large gift for Crichton while on Earth. "A Constellation of Doubt" will reveal it's a TV, and it forms the wraparound for that episode's documentary story.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Invoked and lampshaded. Scorpius has never encountered a Skreeth before, so he doesn't know where exactly it came from, what its abilities were, or that Grayza was behind it. He needs Katoya's help in figuring that out.
  • He Knows Too Much: Why Scorpius wants Crichton to succeed in his training. He would otherwise have to kill Crichton someday to prevent the Scarrans from torturing the wormhole knowledge out of him.
  • I Owe You My Life: While asking for Crichton's training to be intensified, the information on the Skreeth, and helping D'Argo, Scorpius reminds Katoya that he saved him from Peacekeeper captivity.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Scorpius when explaining why Crichton has to be put through intensified training.
    "No, Earth is not safe. And neither are you. The Scarrans know you exist. They are already coming for you, John. You cannot run away for your whole life, and I cannot protect you from them!"
  • 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.
  • The Power of Love: What allows D'Argo to turn the tables on Macton. Thinking of Lo'Laan motivates him to control his rage, and he proceeds to lecture Macton about the love his family had for each other.
    "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."
  • 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.
  • The Reveal: While it's no surprise that Macton killed Lo'Laan, we see what happened. When he tried to have D'Argo arrested, Lo'Laan attacked him and his Peacekeeper reflexes caused him to kill her. He then beat the corpse to make it look like D'Argo killed her during a fit of hyper-rage.
  • 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.