Season 2, Episode 12:
Look at the Princess, part 2: I Do, I Think
Last episode, Crichton was about to be assassinated by a gang of Clavor's loyalists. However, he's saved by the timely intervention of Jenavian, who proceeds to kill every single one of the attackers in hand-to-hand combat, finishing off the last one with a stiletto concealed in her wrist. It turns out that Jenavian is actually a Peacekeeper operative sent to pose as Clavor's fiance and kill him if he ever assumes the throne; more to the point, she thinks that Crichton is a fellow agent sent to create a pact with the Sebacean Colonies. Crichton plays along, thanks her for the help, and then hurries off to confront Clavor over the assassination attempt; unsurprisingly, though, slapping and punching the young prince in the face doesn't endear him to the palace security, especially when no evidence of the attempt on Crichton's life can be found.
Many light-years away, Moya is still awed by the fact that she's now face to face with her gods, the Builders. Inside, Zhaan and Pilot watch in amazement as a tendril of smoke reaches out from the surrounding dust clouds and enters the ship, eventually coalescing into a humanoid figure who identifies himself as Kahaynu, representative of the Builders. Though pleased that Moya is in good health, he is troubled by the fact that she can produce gunship offspring; as Leviathans were created to be exclusively peaceful beings, this means that Kahaynu has no choice but to decommission her.
Back on the Royal Planet, Crichton and Katralla are arguing over wether or not Clavor would truly have the balls to order an assassination, when a sphere-shaped robot appears and fills the room with poison gas. Thankfully, they are saved by ro-NA, a Jakensh servant, and Katralla finally believes Crichton's accusations again Clavor. Unfortunately, Empress Novia isn't so easily convinced. So, Rygel advises her to hide Crichton somewhere safe until the conspirators can be identified; nobody else will be told of this, so that any prospective assassins will get careless in their attempts to find him. The Empress agrees to this course of action, and assigns ro-NA and a squad of her own personal bodyguards to take Crichton up to an orbiting cargo ship of wedding presents; for good measure, she assures Rygel that both the servant and the guards are completely incorruptible. Cut to another part of the palace, where ro-NA is accepting a large amount of money from Scorpius. Whoopsidaisy.
Meanwhile, Moya is slowly shutting herself down. Though Zhaan believes that the Builders have taken control of the Leviathan's systems, Kahaynu gives Moya a voice to explain that she is doing this of her own free will, and that she will go to her death fulfilled if the Builders request it.
As Zhaan grieves over Moya's approaching death and Crichton is ferried to the cargo ship, the crew get very upset over Crichton's disappearance: all of them (except, of course, for Rygel) suspect either Scorpius or Cargn, and all of them proceed to shout at Councillor Tyno for it. Aeryn even goes so far as to assault Katralla and Jenavian, threatening to take revenge on their "overly made-up faces" if Crichton is hurt. Hilarity Ensues when Chiana tries the same thing on Cargn.
Finally, Crichton arrives at the cargo ship, only for his elite bodyguards to be shot dead by Lieutenant Braca, Scorpius' personal operative in the region. After he and ro-NA contact Scorpius to confirm that the mission has been a success, Crichton manages to foil both of them by going completely nuts: after all, since the objective of the mission is to capture him alive, he can't be held at gunpoint. Running about the ship, pressing buttons and flicking switches, he manages to switch on the transport's weapons, which attracts the attention of the nearby satellite defence network; in the resulting barrage of fire, ro-NA is killed and Braca escapes via the airlock. Unfortunately, since Braca had the only space suit, this leaves Crichton aboard the exploding ship, with a few hundred metres of vacuum between him and the transport pod he arrived on. Spurred on by the voice of Scorpius in his head, Crichton flings himself out of the airlock, using a pulse rifle to propel himself towards the transport pod; he manages to open the door and climb inside, where he immediately collapses, alive but in serious pain.
Moya's shutdown carries on, meanwhile. With Kahaynu refusing to accomodate Zhaan's request for another ship, Pilot will also die; he and Zhaan share a tearful farewell, and Pilot assures her that he is fulfilled- he has seen the stars...
Crichton has spent some time recovering from his injuries, and though annoyed that the Empress is still reluctant to follow up on the assassination attempts, he's now prepared for the wedding. Aeryn, however, decides not to attend; instead, she leaves on a mountain-climbing expedition with Dregon Carsinova, a member of the royal family who's been making eyes at her since the previous episode. Finally, the wedding day arrives, and Crichton manages to secure one small victory by using his newfound authority to ban Scorpius from the planet once the coronation is complete. In a ceremony attended only by the Royal family and their guests, the Empress marries Crichton and Katralla, actually going so far as to offer the chance to "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace": there is a brief pause as Cargn, Clavor, Scorpius and Tyno all consider speaking up, but none of them do.
Finally, it's time for the newly-declared royal couple to become statues. As Katralla undergoes the process, Crichton is warned that because the petrification machine was calibrated for Sebaceans, the transformation will be painful for him. So, as he steps into place, he has one last conversation with D'Argo before it activates:
- Crichton: This is not happening. Just feel free to wake me up any time, D'Argo.D'Argo: Well now, I can only speak truth... and that comes as good and bad news.Crichton: All right. Give me the bad news first.D'Argo: The bad news is that you're married, and must endure as a statue for eighty cycles in a strange world.Crichton: ... what's the good news?
There's a pause, and then the two burst out laughing. Then the machine starts, and Crichton, still laughing, grins and strikes the cheesiest pose he could possibly take, complete with two peace signs; unfortunately, the pain kicks in, leaving Crichton's statue half-collapsed on the floor, his face frozen in a grimace of pain.
Tropes present in this episode include:
- Abandon Ship: Braca gets in one last parting line before leaving Crichton to his fate:Braca: You can have the ship. But I have the helmet!
- Abhorrent Admirer: Dregon- to Aeryn, at least.
- Action Girl: Jenavian
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Katralla slaps Crichton across the face during a very heated argument.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Jenavian's concealed wrist-stiletto.
- Chekhov's Gun: The satellite weapons introduced in the first episode are brought back to blow up the cargo ship.
- Crazy Awesome: Once again, Crichton is an unstoppable force of nature whenever he goes absolutely insane.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: During his fight with Braca, Crichton points Braca's pulse pistol at his right hand and exhorts him to "Kill my sex life!"
- Deadly Gas
- Deadpan Snarker: Cargn gets to snark epically in this episode, especially when Chiana tries to threaten him with Nebari retribution.Chiana: Well, you also may also have heard how we can defeat full Command Carriers. Not to mention, uh, mind cleansing...Cargn: We are both impressed and daunted. By all means, Nebari, continue.
- The Dragon: Lieutenant Braca
- Family-Unfriendly Death: ro-NA tries to subdue Crichton during his freak out session, and instead gets thrown into a piece of equipment and electrocuted.
- The Good Chancellor: Rygel manages to become a rational advisor to the increasingly obstinate Empress; for good measure, he's also been teaching D'Argo about the politics of this sector.
- Groin Attack: Crichton suggests that Braca do this to him... by pointing Braca's pulse pistol at his crotch and shouting "John Wayne Bobbit!"
- It's Not You, It's Me: After Dregon gives her one of the vials, Aeryn rebuffs him by flinging it into a lake. For consolation, she remarks, "Don't feel bad: it's not you, it's me. I don't like you."
- Jerkass Gods: The Builders.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never really established whether the Builders are actual gods or just Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
- The Mole: ro-NA. Immediately after it being established that the Empress considers her entirely trustworthy, we see her receiving a pay-off from Scorpius.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Crichton, during the fight with Braca.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Jenavian reveals that she's been using this to disguise her role as a Peacekeeper Disruptor.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Chiana has a very slow-acting version of this when she realises that her attempt to intimidate Cargn isn't working as planned.
- After Braca escapes and the ship he's on is targeted for destruction, Crichton has a... less understated reaction"Frell, frell, frell, frell, frell, frell, frell, frell!"
- Only a Flesh Wound: Purposely subverted by Crichton when pointing out that Braca can't just shoot one of his limbs off to subdue him: "Human, Sebacean; human, Sebacean! We're different. One wound, I bleed out!"
- Our Souls Are Different: Discussed by Kahaynu.Zhaan: You must be one of the ships Builders - one of those who gave Leviathans intelligence.Kahaynu: Anybody can give a machine intelligence. We gave her a soul.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: ro-NA has deep red eyes that glow under certain conditions. However, loyalty to Scorpius aside, she's a very shy and timid being who uses her glowing eyes to guide Crichton and Katralla to safety.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Scorpious makes it clear to pretty much everyone except ro-NA that she won't have long to spend her newfound wealth.
- The floating gas-attack droid, which looks remarkably like Obi-Wan's training remote. Even Crichton notices.
- Once Crichton points out that ro-NA and Braca can't shoot him and he starts going wacky, he quotes almost word for word a scene from Blazing Saddles, pretending to threaten himself by holding his fingers to his head as if they were a gun.
- Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Slightly different phrasing but the intent is clearly the same. Despite several characters looking like they want to say something, or in John's case like he wants someone else to object, nobody says anything and the ceremony goes ahead uninterrupted.
- Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: As noted above in Shout-Out. It works.Crichton: You people are so dumb!
- Super Smoke: Kahaynu and the Builders.
- Taken for Granite: Finally demonstrated in this episode.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Both Braca and Crichton demonstrate voluntary versions of this, though Braca's the only one to do so with the aid of a space suit.
- Working the Same Case: Crichton convinces Jenavian that he's also a Peacekeeper spy. It helps that the Peacekeeper inteligence agencies seem to keep their agents in the dark about this sort of thing.
- You're Insane!: Used by Braca against Crichton, who has apparently flown off the handle at that point.