"It should be easy. It's never easy." hehe had to start with one of my all time favorite John Crichton lines. Backing that up with "Didn't know things were supposed to be easy" from Chiana contrasts their points of view that comes from their very different backgrounds.
It could just as well be Aeryn saying that. Comparable contrast is there too. It's left to come out in due time that Bob is the nick name Chiana has acquired since we knew her where Farscape left off. You might have guessed it was Chi by the time it's clearly confirmed, either from uuumm the graphics hehe, or the way she talks or acts. Letting them speak for themselves a while without stressing that it was Chi seemed a better way to ease us into what had to be a very distant span between Farscape PKW and John & Bob.
Beautiful scenery here, shot on location. (My this is so much like a DVD commentary!) Superb photography by J. C. Ana, you've got to love the use of shaded light and the colors of the early autumn trees and red soils and rock, giving an earthy, very natural feel, and the use of a distinctive natural feature, this "paint bowl," to accentuate their presence on Earth. The nature of our world, not literally perhaps, but of humanity, is more of a factor than its abstractions such as, say, a military threat, and the nature of this opening sort of suggests that. At least in that sense, it's in keeping with much of the Farscape "Earth" episodes. A departure, this is, by the way, from the um spontaneous style of John's usual photographer, Bobby Crichton (okay, in joke there to Farscape episodes "Terra Firma" and "Constellation of Doubt").
Reference to Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune gameshow....is that show *still* running?! hehe in "Throne for a Loss" John keeps confusing the alien species Tavleks with Tabloids, this time we're on John's home turf and it's one of the others fudging Tavleks with Tabloids, and tadpoles to boot! Similarly, we fudge Oprah with Opera, something one of me friends has done....
As you can tell, our boy Johnny has been doing the celebrity front for the IASA, writing a book, doing book signings, schmoozing at parties, the whole public relations / media thing, owing to his good looks and the fact that the administration is keeping him otherwise occupied while they bog down in their beaurocratic mess over whether to fund projects, whether to think his project was a hit or a miss, whether he is or isn't being suspicious, whether to burn him at the stake, usual things.
We also learn Bob's been having a tough go of it, which is reasonable to expect. Just because she's squirreled away in a safe spot for now doesn't help her basic situation. It's especially scary for Chi, because she's such a free spirit by nature. Even if it was in a nice situation, being trapped is horrifying to her. There must be tons of buried baggage and miles of bandaged wounds in her past, so being stuck with little to do has to have its own problems. She's also used to adventure and crisis, doing things to shake things up and living by the seat of the pants. So far nothing has happened to allow her to confront things, and she definitely doesn't want to "shake things up," so the fear, anxiety and all that just simmers. She's not used to this. Then there's the boredom factor. So we learn while she's stewing back in the cabin, she's not eating well, she's taking things out on exercises, living vicariously through reading, yadda yadda, which are outward signs of how things are affecting her so far.
She does, however, respond to all the color and life of nature. "Love all these colors! And textures. I mean, around here there's....so much!" she says. Her own enjoyment is surprising to herself, but perhaps not as much to us, since we know her to be a very sensual creature and very open to experiences. Dropped in the middle of it, she responds keenly.
John didn't respond to her with joy and excitement, we learn. Somethin's wrong wit dat boy! His response was to worry, and we might further gather that it's a dulled response all around, probably affected by what he's gone through since we last saw him in 'scape. He says he's had to think about it and seems to have "warmed up" some recently. Hm.
We'll learn more about Johnny's Delicate Condition as we go, but right now here comes fate to find him all the way out there, in the person of Douglas Knox, abbreviated by John as DK. He was John's partner at IASA, the head geek in the module experiment which sent John through the wormhole all those years ago (years ago to John and Bob, if not to DK). He's here to help call Johnny back to face the music at IASA, Sydney. Doug says "dude" alot....he may be very smart in space technology but not necessarily about human nature. In other "realities" John had different experiences with Doug, which might have led John to be estranged from him, but so far John seems to be managing to keep the pasts separate and appears to be getting along. Doug has an MG "in the states" here and of course it's broken down.
He gives us an outsider's view of Bob in disguise. About Chiana's eyes. The one thing that can't be disguised is her "alien-ness" and her big black eyes. Trying to disguise further with contacts might "backfire" so she doesn't use contacts. There's also a risk because she couldn't have her alien eyes examined to get prescription contacts, and generic ones may not work well on her alien eyes. The only way to find out risks pain, infections, blindness, etc, so that's out. The reasons she doesn't have the "cats eyes" she "got" in "Peacekeeper Wars" are twofold. One is practical, obvious from the above. The other is that she can't act like she used to with them, so really it's kind of obvious the "transplants" have to go (hint, Henson). The solution is simple enough and if anything more believable than the story that lost them in the first place. We know Chi's people, the Nebari, are oh so expert at foolin with eyes (made so clear in episode "A Clockwork Nebari") and since the eyes she needs happen to be Nebari....so one thing that happened to her between PKW and J&B can be figured from that.
Chi has done disguises, so she has some familiarity with makeup. At the start here, her makeup works, but if you looked closely it's pasty and too simple of course. In her black bob wig, denim overalls and tight red shirt she must look a teenager, and a funky , offbeat one too. Of course it was John who nicknamed Chi "Bob" after her the bob haircut of her wig (sort of Louise Brooks-like), which is something of a refined version of what Chi had donned as a quick disguise in the episode "Nerve." When Doug looks in her eyes he gets a sort of "electric" chill. His instincts might tell him she's otherworldly but he's not about to reach some conclusion like, oh, he's lookin at an alien.
Louise Brooks and her "Bob" hairdo
Doug has also sensed a change in his friend John, but again, he isn't one to reach for crazy explanations. He's quick to blame it on his relationship with this "electric" babe, who he also thinks has a drug habit. Rationalizing, yup yup.
Bob tunes right in on Doug's having an interest in the same sex, it's just something she "senses." That comes out in a little scene where we learn John and Bob are a little short with each other. Call it cabin fever hehe This great bit where Bob watches John walk into the store and sees the slobberin' dog was contributed by ChianaGray. The end of chapter 3 refers to Devine, the celebrated transvestite. I wouldn't say that but John might! Those are some tiny thighs to tie neckties around but he's more noticing other things and finds the humor in it....John's changed alot, he's not sensitive to some things like he would've been before Farscape. In other ways he's still, well, "he is Crichton" and both his reactions and absences of reactions are telling in this "Ding Ti" chapter, helping to set up where he's at now. Maybe ya get a sense he's come back a little overall, which is fitting.
Bob's taking care of the car, changing oil and stuff. It's not that she shines his shoes but she's obviously hungry for keeping busy. When he's gone and she's left there, it's a little like being in a cell, to her, certainly in the darker moments, which his leaving her there would be. Fortunately she's Chi.... oh yer local environmentally conscious cyber neighbor reminds you not to drop oil onto the ground at home, unless you happen to live on oil rich soil.
okay please turn disc over oh! here we are....
About that living vicariously through reading, we now find Chi, alien or no, sobbin' and sobbin' and sighin' and heavin' and sobbin' some more over dime store paperback romance novels!
Some of my favorite stuff in the whole shebang are little things. Character bits. Like how she puts the TV on "mute" (do not do this at home kids) or her unpredictable yet somehow characteristic look at the video game. Unpredictably characteristic, who does that like Chiana?
Farrwi IX hm....think aliens have been here?? Wouldn't it figure it'd be an easy assumption for an alien, Chi, and John never even knows, let alone thinks to ask....oh and Chiana and a raccoon, it's just too much to resist. There's more than a bit of the 'coon to Chi.
Here in "Cafe Aroma" we get into Johnny's head and definitely need flashlights in there ....we start to feel how Post-Having-it-all John was thrown by losing Aeryn. People remind him, lots of things do. Of course his feelings evolve and change through time and in reaction to the kinds of intense feelings he went through. Some of that gets a looking over by John. Poor lost astronaut, still lost in many ways.
My fav bit: "I'm a different kind of Astronaut," he replied, to which he added to himself, "I oughtta put that on my bumper sticker."
In "Leavin On a Jet Plane" (yeah i know, reference to a John Denver song....surprised ya, gasp why young lady, at your age and you know John Denver) we learn how much John has been warming to eternally patient Chi, and also more clues about what happened to get him there. Poor Johnny, when you're that set on someone, and then have to live without them....okay okay yes I need a tissue, thanks, okay we'll get back to it now.....probably most telling of his point of view was thinking of "home" again. After his life out there, some alien would have to figure in it.
Oh sure the sex was great but y'know. John has to face thinking of his future, and maybe involving someone in ways he'd set aside in his mind for Aeryn. It's not easy and has been taking time.
Back at the cabin, Bob has of course been keenly aware of all this and its part of her anxiety about exercising and stuff as we find out. She knows more about where she fit when they were foolin' after a while, and lonely. Now there's just no guarantees and one reaction to that is to anxiously take the familiar conclusions to it (brutally simple....) which takes them completely out of context, poor body. She just can't put stock in the commitment side of things yet, and having heard some from John we can get a sense of why. It's not easy for either of them and she's avoiding it. Yet o so desperate. The pattern holds over that John is oblivious to some things, or just can't pay attention, so there's some minor misunderstandings. If they survive, things are encouraging in some of the most important ways....
.....and hey, as for a few neuroses bein cultivated and digging up the stash of porn (wouldn't you just love that?) well, Johnny oughtta know, boredom and Chi make a good recipe for danger, but fortunately boredom with Chi is next to impossible.