Season 2, Episode 14:
Beware Of Dog
The Moya crew have been purchasing supplies in a system so isolated and boring that the writers can't be bothered to give it a name. They have heard dark rumours that food from the area can be infested with parasites: one ship with 200 people aboard got infected and all that the salvagers found were empty cocoons. D'Argo and Chiana have been investigating further, and come back with a weird-looking, horned biped with big ears called a Vorc, which is supposed to hunt and kill parasites. However, it spends most of its time peeing and crapping everywhere and humping Aeryn's leg.
It looks as if it may have been a wise purchase, though, when John starts seeing a horrible monster in the corridors, and then D'Argo is attacked and left near death from poison. Except that then the monster turns out to be the shape-shifting Vorc itself. When Zhaan finds no venom in the Vorc to match D'Argo's symptoms, John suspects that something more complicated is going on, and shoots the Vorc up with translator microbes to try and communicate with it. The Vorc is just sentient enough for this to work, and manages to convey that there is a threat aboard the ship. When John and Aeryn take it hunting, however, it attacks Rygel and they shoot it. Just as Zhaan is treating the injured Rygel, John and Aeryn find the real Rygel webbed up in the hold - a shapechanging gestalt horde of horrible spider-bug things has been impersonating him for most of the episode.
John and Aeryn wipe out the spider-bugs as they're on the point of eating Zhaan, and apologise to the dying Vorc for doubting it. Zhaan manages to make an antitoxin from the dead spider-bugs to save D'Argo's life. Everything seems OK.
Except that John's seeing increasingly threatening hallucinations of Scorpius all the time, and he's having trouble holding it together...
Tropes present in this episode include:
- All Webbed Up
- Bare Your Midriff: Yeah, the Vorc biting Aeryn on the stomach was just an excuse to show even more of Claudia Black's midriff than usual this season.
- Bottle Episode
- Call-Back: Crichton hates dealing with 'critters'.
- Finish Dialogue in Unison: John and Aeryn spout a Bond One-Liner in unison, then stare at each other for a moment before wordlessly leaving.Aeryn and John: Sorry about the mess.
- Foreshadowing: Right at the beginning, John is seen playing with a metal ball very similar to ones that Scorpius had been seen several times in earlier episodes using as a sort of desk toy.
- Horned Humanoid
- The Mole
- Ordered Apology: Aeryn's incredibly insincere apology when John orders her to say sorry for threatening to kill the Vorc. She genuinely apologizes to it as it dies.
- Orifice Invasion: According to Rygel, what the insects did to him before cocooning him. Yuk.
- Pest Episode: The premise of the episode — the crew buy the Vorc to get rid of the parasites, but then spend most of the episode trying to recapture the Vorc. Only for it to turn out the Vorc was, in fact, doing exactly what it was supposed to, including attacking the the swarm of parasites posing as Rygel.
- Pet the Dog: Rygel tending the injured D'Argo appears to be this the first time of viewing, but it's actually the parasite poisoning him.
- Red Herring: For a while, it looks as if the Vorc is in fact the one responsible for their problems, until they realize he didn't produce the toxin that took down D'Argo.
- Shapeshifter Baggage: The Vorc's monstrous form is human-sized, much larger than its "cute" form.
- Shout-Out: During the opening, Crichton is playing a pseudo-form of golf, and describing it as a "Cinderella story".
- Small, Annoying Creature
- Tomato Surprise
- Trap Is the Only Option
- Urine Trouble: Poor D'Argo gets pissed on by the Vorc.
- The Worm That Walks
- You Are Who You Eat