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Recap / Farscape S 02 E 09 Out Of Their Minds

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Moya is being targeted by a hostile alien ship, which has swooped in without any provocation. This really sends the crew into a tizzy, as they have no protection besides their stolen, perpetually-in-disrepair defense screen. Their only hope is Zhaan, who has infiltrated the Halosian ship to dispense some Chuck Norris diplomacy. After snooping around the seemingly-empty ship, she comes across Tak, a vulture-like creature who is badly injured. Tak says that his ship was attacked by Moya's progeny: Talyn. Zhaan offers to help them, and says Moya has no weapons. Hearing this, Tak immediately bolts up from the ground, in rude health (tricky bastard!), and orders his second, Yoz, to fire. D'Argo and Chiana manage to get the defense screen up in time, but the beam's impact on the shield causes a problem for the crew: when they come to, Crichton is in Aeryn's body, Aeryn's in Rygel's, and Rygel's in Crichton!

After much confusion, they discover that the remaining trio in Pilot's den have also switched bodies. D'Argo!Pilot is having a hopeless time trying to keep Moya together, so Pilot!Chiana talks him through it. Meanwhile, Rygel!John convinces himself that it's all a dream, then throttles John!Aeryn, desperate to get his original body back.

Tak declares that Zhaan lied – Moya has a defense shield. Why bother with a shield if you never attack anyone? (A revealing insight into the Halosian line of reasoning.) He shows her footage of Talyn firing on them, and says that thirty of his crew are dead. Talyn did a bang-up job of totaling their ship. It will take three arns for them to recharge their weapon, and Zhaan realizes that she has that much time to convince the Halosians that Moya means no harm.


With everyone gathered in Pilot's den, John!Aeryn gives them all picture tags to hang around their necks so they know who is whom. Pilot!Chiana explains what he last remembers – Zhaan took a space pod out to the Halosian vessel, and the defense screen was damaged by the shot; it's in need of repair. Again. Pilot thinks that if they align the defense screen to 62% like it was during the first shot, they may switch back, so Crichton and Aeryn get to work. Meanwhile Tak agrees to go over to Moya to see that it she has no weapons, but Zhaan must stay as insurance.

The Halosian shuttle arrives, and the remaining shipmates go to meet Tak. The Halosian representative will speak only to Crichton; therefore, Rygel!Crichton is stuck showing Tak around the ship to prove they aren't any weapons. Pilot!Chiana is getting queasy, his mind apparently unable to conform to a bipedal body. He tells D'Argo!Pilot that if he stays calm he's fine, but he feels like all his senses are gone. D'Argo!Pilot confides that he's in awe of what Moya has seen, and that everything Pilot goes through makes his own life feel insignificant. Pilot!Chiana glumly replies that he hasn't experienced love and friendship. He begins foaming at the mouth, apparently rejecting Chiana's body.


Tak is given the tour rounds by Rygel!John, who takes him aside and asks to be changed back. Tak assures him they can work out a secret arrangement. Suddenly, Tak feels ill and throws up on Moya's neural nexus. As they leave, the sick starts creeping up and slowly frying Moya's circuitry. Tak returns to his ship, where he tells Zhaan that he'll destroy Moya, so Zhaan so she takes the opportunity presented by Tak’s absence to influence Yoz to challenge Tak as commander, so she can "evolve" quicker.

Chiana!D'Argo corners Rygel!John in the corridor, then tells him that she wants off the ship. She tries to persuade him by offering to perform sexual acts (In D'argo's body — gee, who could resist?). Crotch-fondling notwithstanding, Rygel!John is obdurate; He wants his body back. Rygel's sole purpose in life is to reclaim his throne, and only a Dominar can do that. D'argo!Pilot reports on something that's eating away at Moya's circuits, and John!Aeryn realizes that Sparky's sold them out again. They go to the conduits, and find the puke destroying them. Crichton!Aeryn comes up with a plan to shut down the defense screen while they neutralize the acid. The Halosians fire just as they put the defense screen back up, and everybody switches again: Crichton's in Rygel, Aeryn's in Crichton, and Rygel's in Aeryn. Back in Pilot's den, Pilot's in D'Argo body, and Chiana and D'Argo can't wake him — he may be dying.

Tak says that he'll ram Moya since his weapons obviously won't work, but Zhaan manages to convince Yoz to usurp him. Back on Moya, Crichton!Rygel works out that the defense screen's power was at 62% both times that Moya was struck. He advocates dialing the screen to 62% again and letting the Halosians blast them, hopefully restoring everybody to their real bodies. The Halosians remain on a ramming course, panicking Moya into attempting to starburst.

Gathering strength through her prayers, Zhaan wrenches her hand out of the handcuff, knocks out Yoz, and manages to steer the ship away from Moya. Zhaan contacts Moya and says that she has control. Crichton!Rygel asks her to fire again, but she dismisses him as crazy asks to speak to Crichton (who is actually Aeryn at this point). Aeryn!John does her best impersonation of Crichton, complete with all-American thumbs up, and persuades Zhaan to fire the cannon. Everyone carefully stands in their original spots from the episode's start, and are transferred back into their rightful shells.

Everyone is happy to be back in their own bodies, and Pilot is eager to share his brief time as a biped with Moya, whom he says wants to know all his experiences. Zhaan's arm is in a sling, and she tells Rygel that the damage to her hand may never completely heal. D'Argo asks Chiana what she did with his tenkas, since they feel different. He says that he enjoyed being inside her body, but quickly corrects himself saying he likes her body, and they hastily leave together... Aeryn mentions what Crichton did in her body, and he says it was interesting to be in other's shoes, to which she replies, "you were in my shoes, I was in your pants!"


  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Crichton advises sending out the "Don't Shoot Us, We're Pathetic" signal in the episode's opening.
    D'Argo: It's the first thing we tried.
  • Barbarian Tribe: Even under the best of circumstances, the Halosians are no chirping birdies - in order to "evolve" they must register hostile kills - but this particular Halosian ship has a particular bone to pick with Moya, having just had their goose cooked by none other than Talyn and Crais.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Zhaan can apparently pull her hand out of tight spaces (because she's a plant), although if the fibers are torn they may not heal if they're extensively damaged.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Let's open fire on Crais and his unstable juvenile gunship Talyn while they're flying under a flag of truce. Best idea ever.
  • Challenging the Chief: Yoz usurps her own boss at Zhaan's urging.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: D'Argo!Pilot threatens to use his giant pincers to tear Rygel's head off if he doesn't shut up.
    • John!Aeryn can't resist the urge to remove his top and experiment a bit. Aeryn catches him and threatens to break his legs. Even if they are hers.
  • Fake Defector: Inverted - Zhaan convinces Yoz to betray her lord, following his (several) failed tries at blowing up Moya. Yoz murders Tak, then takes control of Halos-1. Rather than accepting Zhaan's peaceful offer, however, Yoz attempts to "evolve" in Tek's place, setting Halos-1 on a collision course with Moya.
  • Feathered Fiends: The Halosians.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Multiplied by six.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: As Rygel!John starts freaking out, John!Aeryn impatiently storms up behind him, grabs his head and slams it against the table. OOOF!! ..That was real.
    John!Aeryn: Oh, that's just great. It's the Three-freaking-Stooges! I'm HITTING MYSELF!
  • Good Thing You Can Heal
  • Grey Goo: Needing to find a way around the defense screen, Tak boards Moya under the pretense of inspecting them for weapons and/or hostile intentions. While touring the ship, Tak began to act sick, vomiting a red slime near one of Moya's conduits. The puke, however, turns out to be sapient, crawling upward and insinuating itself throughout Moya's systems.
  • Groin Attack: Rigel accidentally snagged John's penis while zipping up his pants.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: The crew has difficulty convincing Zhaan to open fire on them, especially after all the trouble she went through to hijack the Halosian ship.
  • Ho Yay: Chiana (in D'Argo's body) coyly propositioning Rygel (in Crichton's body) and then grabbing his crotch. "It gets lonely out there."
  • It's a Long Story: Aeryn!John realizes the futility of trying to explain the whole situation to Zhaan.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: As soon as John!Aeryn he has a moment alone, he unzips Aeryn's vest and proceeds to bounce, shake and fondle his new playthings. In the obligatory 'busted' scene, Chiana!D'Argo and Aeryn!Rygel catch him in the act and stand agape.
    • Well, he did wait two whole arns. That alone deserves him a medal.
    Aeryn!Rygel: You are mentally damaged.
    John!Aeryn: No, I'm a guy. A guy! Guys dream about this sort of thing!
    • Inverted at the end of the episode, when it is strongly suggested that Aeryn also took some liberties when she was stuck in Crichton's body.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The DRDs have the ability to spit out Polaroid-style instant photos.
  • Not Me This Time: Crais appears to not be leading Talyn astray, since they only fired on the Halosian ship after being attacked first, and then they didn't destroy the ship.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite her anger at what John did while John was in her body, Aeryn implied she enjoyed herself in his when she got the chance.
  • Pinch Me: Once he awakens in Crichton's body, Rygel tries to convince himself he's insane - no, wait, dreaming. Yes. That's better. Dreaming. "I'll wake up in my royal bed chamber surrounded by my concubines and everything will be fine!"
  • Potty Emergency: As the Halosian shuttle begins docking, Rygel!John suddenly needs to pee. His comrades bark at him to hold it in, but Rygel can't grasp the mechanics of the Crichton's body. Exasperated, John!Aeryn orders him to go pee in a corner.
  • Power of Trust: John sees just how much his insanity is trusted by the fact Zhaan will only fire on them when his body is the one to confirm the plan. He might come up with scary and deranged plans, but after all this time if they come from him, they tend to be trusted.
  • Ramming Always Works: Averted by Zhaan, who seizes control of Halos-1 and swerves to avoid impact with Moya.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Halosians were an homage to the Skeksis, the major villains in an earlier Henson feature, The Dark Crystal, and may or may not have been built using the skeletons of the Skeksis.
    • This episode's title is a tribute to a novel of the same name by sci-fi author Clifford Simak, which is one of show writer Michael Cassutt's favorite books.
    • The Halosians are also an obvious stand-in for sociopathic RPG players. Their stated goal is literally to murder the crew for Experience Points.
  • Tap on the Head: It's beddy-bye time for Yoz, as Zhaan knocks her lights out with a punch that makes a sound like a frying pan hitting a large bird.
  • That Came Out Wrong: At the end of the episode, D'Argo tells Chiana that "I really enjoyed... being inside your body."
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: Zhaan spends most of the episode trying to negotiate with the Halosians, before finally giving up and beating Yoz unconscious.
  • Voices Are Not Mental: The characters' voices are briefly blended with their new bodies' voices after the switch, but this is only to make it perfectly clear what has happened. Otherwise, the actors are merely copying the mannerisms and inflections. The writers admitted that they did consider simply dubbing over the voices, but they realized that wouldn't be nearly as much fun.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Tak's "pavement pizza."
    Rygel!John: We do that sort of thing all the time here on Moya. I just peed in the maintenance bay.
  • Wave Motion Gun
  • Wounded Gazelle Warcry: For a so-called warrior race, the Halosians are remarkably cowardly.
  • You No Take Candle: The Halosians' broken English.


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