A Snurcher's Guide to Farscape

A Not So Simple Plan (Liars, Guns and Money 1)

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Production No. 218

Best Viewed As 2.19

Aired As
2.19 (US & UK)

Original Airdates
05 Jan 2001 (US)
04 Dec 2000 (UK)

1.4 (US)
2.74 (UK)

A Not So Simple Plan (Liars, Guns and Money 1)
Abbreviations: LGM, LGAM, LGAM.1
Alternate Titles: (none)

Wassup? · Backstory · Reactions · Annotations · Microbes · Quotes · Cast & Crew

Writer: Grant McAloon
Director: Andrew Prowse
Wayne Pygram...............Scorpius
Paul Goddard...............Stark
Claudia Karvan.............Natira
Matt Newton................Jothee
Nicholas Hope..............Akkor
David Franklin.............Lt. Braca
Jennifer Fisher............PK Nurse 
Adrian Brown...............Gan
Complete Credits


Is the rematch ever better than the original fight?

Once again, Stark returns in a flash of exposition, but this time, he has a plan: to buy Jothee back from the slavers, he wants the crew to rob a bank. Naturally, the bank's manager has other ideas, and so does her most demanding customer -- Scorpius.


Farscape World


Terra Firma


Farscape Fantasy


The crew has apparently located Jothee, but lacks the funds to buy his freedom.

Moya has been following the coordinates for three solar days since Zhaan was contacted by Stark.

Stark says his body is a molecular creation which enables him to live in our realm; it's merely a vessel for his true incorporeal self.

When he was dispersed, he instantly travelled to locate the plans and blueprints needed for his plan, then reconstituted his "shell" and stole a ship to rejoin Moya.

Jothee is being sold in a lot of 10,000 slaves. Stark claimes to have worked out a plan to finance the purchase of the entire lot, by robbing a Depository located within transport pod range of Moya.

Stark has complete blueprints to the Shadow Depository, including the vault layout. He obtained them by helping the vault designer to "cross over". However, he does not know the firepower capabilities of the Depository.

It takes six hours for the Depository to reset their security codes after they go on alert; during this window, Stark can breach their systems without their knowing.

Zhaan's gas suspends Rygel's biological functions just long enough to sneak him past a bioscan inside his "statue" encasement.

Scorpius is a customer of the Depository, and knows Natira well. When the Gammak Base was destroyed, she seized his property, thinking he was dead.

When Scorpius needs his cooling rods changed, he reverts to his Scarran voice.

John and Aeryn finally witness Scorpius' cooling rod being changed.

Stark claims his sole motivation is to save his people and Jothee; ripping off Scorpius is just an added bonus.

Whatever Scorpius' original property was, it was worth 1/3 of a quarter sakmar of ingots.

John does not trust control to Stark, and insists on his passkey being activated.

When Stark is no longer able to control John, he seems to abandon his plan.

Natira owes a large debt to Scorpius, separately from his seized property.

Even when overheated, Scorpy is strong enough to push open a sealed door and hoist John by the throat.

Natira's shipment of ingots for Scorpius is booby-trapped.



  1. Stark is insistent and confident about his plan, right up to the point where John insists on being given control of the portals during his escape -- at which point he flips out and attempts to destroy the equipment being used to help the break-in team. Was his intent really to assist Moya's crew, or something more nefarious?
  2. Surely, D'Argo and John have forged a stronger friendship over the past year, than we saw fall apart in the space of the hour?
  3. What hold does Scorpius have over Natira? And what sort of revenge was she planning on, with her booby-trapped ingots?


  1. The special effects were outstanding from start to finish: nice CGI on the docking web (which we haven't previously seen), gorgeous sets and costumes, and the rain effect was lovely.
  2. Rygel's unionsuit -- the perfect touch!


  1. Around the 13-minute mark, as Rygel is being encased in the fake statue, Chiana pushes his sleeping form back upright -- and you can see his body is still outside the righthand edge of the casing.
  2. Around the 26-minute mark, just as Rygel begins trying to free himself from the statue, you can see a human hand move between the righthand edge of the statue and the crate next to it.


Farscape World
Farscape Fantasy
AV Club
Tourist's Guide


Farscape World
Terra Firma


The title is a play on a song by Warren Zevon from his 1978 album EXCITABLE BOY, titled "Lawyers, Guns and Money". Apparently, the phrase has since been co-opted by Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) groups.

"A Not So Simple Plan" is most likely a twist on the title of Sam Raimi's 1998 film A SIMPLE PLAN, based on the book of the same name by Scott Smith.

John: "Hang on, before we hear about any plan, inquiring minds want to know how the hell did you get here?"

THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER, the infamous tabloid newspaper, made famous the phrase "enquiring minds want to know" as part of their advertisement spiel.

John: "This is a depository, right? We have something to deposit."
Akkor: "What makes you think we'd be interested?"
John: "You ever hear of KFC?"
Akkor: "KFC?"
John: "It is, to my knowledge, unique in the universe, and unique is always valuable. Now, we have managed to procure all eleven secret ingredients. What we need to do now is discuss the terms of--"

John's referring, of course, to Kentucky Fried Chicken. The "secret sauces" created by founder Colonel Harland Sanders were always said to be what made the franchise so popular in the early days.

John: "Freakin' Attila the Hun."

Attila the Hun is the prototypical barbarian leader.

John: "Bonnie and Clyde...oh, no, forget about that one, it was a bad ending."

John's alluding to the end of the notable 1967 gangster film BONNIE AND CLYDE, in which real-life criminals Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) meet an unfortunate end.

John: "Hey, Stark, riddle me this..."

John's second reference (see "Beware of Dog") to the famous catchphrase of Batman's nemesis The Riddler.

Aeryn: "What are you doing?"
John: "Doing what guys do best. I'm looking for Baywatch. Better yet, the Discovery Channel."

Guys, of course, watch BAYWATCH for the busty babes in swimsuits -- at least, that's the theory. At the other end of the spectrum -- the Sublime to BAYWATCH's Ridiculous -- is The Discovery Channel, which offers intelligent, educational programming.

On the other hand, a few folks felt that John referred to the latter programming because it occasionally shows "those tribal documentaries, the ones where the natives run around butt [sic] naked". Others wondered if it were a reference to the Bloodhound Gang song "The Bad Touch", the refrain of which consists in part of:

You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals
So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel

John: "Go on, die, you grotesque bastard! Even if it means I die, too."
Scorpius: "Neither one of us...can die..."
John: "Ohhh, say can you see..."
Scorpius: "I command you...to help me!"
John: "By the dawn's early light..."
Scorpius: "John Crichton! I command you to help me!"
John: "What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight..."

Here, to keep his mind from succumbing to Scorpy's programming, John sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" -- the American National Anthem written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812.

Translator Microbe Report

Bluey Crichton's nickname for Zhaan
Borinium valuable substance, formed into ingots
Bristule tight analogous to "tight as Fort Knox"
Bubba Chiana's nickname for D'Argo
Gannet cylindrical structure that holds Scorpius's cooling rods in place
Jelifan paste a substance with explosive properties when exposed to heat
Maddium steel a particularly strong alloy
Melar gas gaseous sleep agent, which suppresses biological functions
Meta-vek explosion a particularly powerful explosion
Neuro-bio chip chip implanted in a subject's brain for tracking & control purposes
Nexus coordinates navigational guide to a specific position
Riga unknown; used to designate a specific corridor in the Shadow Depository: "Level 22, corridor riga, segment trada five."
Shadow Depository banking institution catering to the criminal element
Skerrick a particularly small amount: "I have less than a skerrick of faith in your words."
Taladine Tea tea taken in the afternoon, possibly a Delvian custom
Trada unknown; used to designate a specific corridor segment in the Shadow Depository: "Level 22, corridor riga, segment trada five."


"I helped the Deposit designer cross over to death. His last thoughts led me to these. They're genuine."
"Did you kill him?"
"Not exactly."
- Stark, John Crichton

"It's not Scorpius; you're having visions again. Have a look. See?"
"Sorry 'bout that."
"And we're worried about D'Argo..."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"You ever heard of KFC?"
"It is, to my knowledge, unique in the universe -- and unique is always valuable. Now, we have managed to procure all eleven secret ingredients..."
- John Crichton, Akkor

"As a race, Luxans can be inartful at love, inadequate at war, and instrinsically inept. But this one...is intelligent."
- Natira

"But what if something goes wrong?"
"We have complete confidence in you, Rygel, especially where money is concerned."
- Rygel, Zhaan

"Your side, my side, my side, your side. Now, go away. Go back to your quarters, get something to eat, take a nap....do nothing, that's what D'Argo said you do best."
"Ground rule: you don't lie to me. Did D'Argo say that?"
"No, I'm sorry, he didn't."
"Do you have any other lies you want to confess?"
"You want want to guilt trip me that's fine, just...don't lie to me."
- Stark, John Crichton

"May I help you?"
"No. Bring me whomever's in charge here."
"I assure you, madam, I am more than capable..."
"Don't try to elevate yourself; I know a functionary when one crawls in front of my face. Now, fetch me your master like a good little minion."
- Akkor, Zhaan (as 'Aralla')

"Freakin' Atila the Hun..."
- John Crichton

"Bonnie & Clyde...oh, no, forget about that one, it's a bad ending..."
- John Crichton

"Hey, Stark, riddle me this -- what's black and white, and black and white, and black and white, and black and white...?"
"And in the bank!"
"You KNEW!"
- John Crichton, Stark

"Don't turn this into a vendetta, John."
"I didn't."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"One: get out of statue. Two: use gadget to retrieve prize. Three: jump into containers full of riches. The problem is step one...frell! The blue bitch said this would be easy..."
- Rygel

"Withdraw your possessions already? That's unusual."
"My life is unusual."
- Akkor, Zhaan (as 'Aralla')

"What are you doing?"
"Doin' what guys do best -- I'm looking for Baywatch...better yet, the Discovery Channel."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"It's just Scorpius, he's in my ear...how about some jelifan paste in his ear..."
- John Crichton

"Time to try Stark's lockpick....no, time to try something else!"
- John Crichton

"If Scorpius gets me..."
"I know, shoot you."
"No, nonono, shoot him...look, we have to talk."
"Not here, you'll get us both killed."
"Aeryn, I have to tell you how I feel. I have to tell you..."
"No, you don't."
"Yes, I do, I do..."
"No. You don't."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"A pill for Rygel? Of course not, when did anyone think of me?"
- Rygel

"Tell me, is the rematch ever better than the original fight? Hmm, hmm, hmm?"
- John Crichton

"You have no idea how patient I have been for this moment."
"Well, since I got ya here, tell me -- what the frell did you put in my head?"
"Some awareness...a neuro-bio tracer...call it what you like. A tiny chip, a tiny seed that's been growing in your brain, and touching every aspect of your personality, your memory."
"Didn't happen to see Luanne Johnson, didja?"
"And whispering advice. I trust it's helped save you once or twice, since escaping my gammak base."
"What's the matter, Scorpy, you don't look too good?"
"Neither do you, Crichton."
"I got a piece of you in me, now you got a piece of me in you!"
- Scorpius, John Crichton

"You cannot let me die, anymore than I can sacrifice you."
"That's what you're telling me in my head, but I think I'll give it a shot."
- Scorpius, John Crichton

"Insert the rod, John!"
"You're really not my type!"
- Scorpius, John Crichton

"Die, you grotesque bastard! Even if it means I die, too."
"Neither one of us can die..."
- John Crichton, Scorpius

"After all these desolate cycles, I'm about to see my son, and that tortured being there is the one who's made it possible."
"What about your other tortured friend?"
"Friends support one another unconditionally."
"They also forgive one another."
- Ka D'Argo, Chiana

"Aeryn...I...meant what I said...didn't say."
"I know."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

Comments from Cast & Crew

Pilot, with Sean Masterson (Puppeteer) & Lani Tupu (Voice of Pilot), July 13, 2000

  • Moderator: I have to bring back a question from our last chat with Lani.
    Moderator: <optimusp> to <Moderator> Lani. In one sentence, how would
    Moderator: you sum up the last four episodes of the season, w/o giving anything
    Moderator: away?
    Moderator: to which you replied: "He'll hate it."
    Moderator: How about this time around?

    LaniTupu: Let me just say this 19, 20, 21 and 22! LOL
    LaniTupu: You will be blown away

David Kemper, with Richard Manning & Ben Browder ("Bruno"), August 17, 2000

  • Moderator: <stargatetravler> to <Moderator>: Now that filming for season 2 is completed which ep would you say was your favorite and which was the most difficult to film? BTW great con in Burbank, you guys ROCKED! Thanks!

    Kemper: Most difficult.
    Kemper: The last 4 -- an arc -- of the season.
    Kemper: More in them than most features.
    Kemper: You watch.
    Kemper: You see.
    Kemper: You smile.
    Kemper: THEN
    Kemper: you bow to Sci-Fi.

  • Moderator: <LittleLeviathan> to <Moderator>: To the wonderful David Kemper: Which was the most difficult show to produce?Costly?Time consuming?

    Kemper: Difficult?
    Kemper: "Family Ties" last year.
    Kemper: The last 4 eps this year.
    Kemper: Costly?
    Kemper: All of them.
    Kemper: And that's NOT a flip answer.

Wayne Pygram, September 21, 2000

  • Moderator2: <LittleLeviathan> to <Moderator2>: Hi Wayne. What has been the most difficult ep thus far to shoot (acknowledging of course that it might not have happened yet and you might not be able to say why)?

    WaynePygram: The final stages of series two became a real continuity challenge for us all as we were working at completing four episodes at once, so on any given day you could be asked to complete scenes from four different story lines. This was doubley difficult for me as I have a habit of throwing my scripts away as soon as I've learned my lines. I think I had better make some adjustments to this technique.
    WaynePygram: I did not know if I was Arthur or Marther... do you comprehend?

David Kemper & Ben Browder, November 12, 2000

  • Moderator: Blue_Dragon: what's been the hardest episode to make?

    David Kemper: Whooo. They're all tough. Ben?

    Ben Browder: The next one
    Ben Browder: always the next one

    David Kemper: If pressed, from a script point-of-view, I'd say "Out of Their Minds." From a production point-of-view, I'd say the

    Ben Browder: That was easy...

    David Kemper: huge four-part arc (upcoming) that ends the second season. ga

Justin Monjo, February 08, 2001

  • Moderator: <FourGOM> to <Moderator>: What happened to Stark's ship from A Not So Simple Plan?

    JustinMonjo: I don't know I'll go down to the maintenance bay and check...right now.

Paul Goddard, May 10, 2001

  • Moderator: <BigNoseBob> to <Moderator>: Paul, I know firsthand how hard it is playing an unstable character. Do you do any warm ups...mental or physical in terms of acting?

    PaulGoddard: I just take a lot of drugs....ha ha!
    PaulGoddard: No...I do drink strong coffee if there is a scene where Stark is supposed to be extremely agitated. I'm not much of a coffee drinker you see.
    PaulGoddard: For the initial preparation I looked at One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest of course. It was particularly the characters other than Jack Nicholson that were of use.
    PaulGoddard: I found the whole film in retrospect a bit of a romanticisation of mental illness.
    PaulGoddard: I also looked at Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys, I thought he was terrific.
    PaulGoddard: It's tricky playing an alien who is mentally unstable because you are not operating under the same perameters as if you were a human. You don't know what an alien's idea of stable is. Perhaps what we consider as a bit of craziness in Stark is actually the norm in his culture.
    PaulGoddard: I have wondered whether upon meeting more Banik slaves we might find they are all neurotic by our standards.

  • Moderator: <RygelEstrogenBrigade> to <Moderator>: Paul, you didn't have much chance to work with the puppets before "Liars, Guns, and Money". How did you find working with them as opposed to a live actor?

    PaulGoddard: When I first came on the show and me Rygel I said to myself, "He is an actor, I would *love* to develop and onscreen relationship with....I don't mean that romantically.
    PaulGoddard: When I was a kid I used to rush home, aged 14, to watch Seasame Street just for the Muppet moments.
    PaulGoddard: I wanted to be a Muppet! Failing that to be a Muppetier.
    PaulGoddard: So working on a Henson show was a dream come true
    PaulGoddard: I have had more to do with Rygel of late, in particular an ep. coming up Rygel and I spend a great deal of time in a little power struggle.
    PaulGoddard: It was fantastic doing this episode because in a way it was like a little road movie for me and Rygel.
    PaulGoddard: He may appear rude and selfish on screen but off he's always a gentleman and a joy to work opposite.

Dave Elsey, July 19, 2001

  • Moderator: <GutPageant> to <Moderator>: Did any particular creature or makeup job exceed your expectations?

    DaveE: Yes. Scorpy, I think, just hits the mark. I think what I tried to do with him was create the most evil character that I'd ever seen on TV. He's the grim reaper, he's the Emperer from Star Wars, he's the SS. And Wayne took what I did and took it a stage further.
    DaveE: Also, one of my persona; favourites is Natira. She's cool.
    DaveE: When the writer said that they were going to show Scorpy's girl friend, I just went mad!!
    DaveE: Then when I met Claudia Karvan, and she told me that her one condition for being on the show was that she got to play a creature, everything just clicked into place.

  • Moderator: <JennHi> to <Moderator>: What is your absolute favorite creation? And if it's different, what's your favorite in Farscape?

    DaveE: Cool question.
    DaveE: I have many many favourite creatures.
    DaveE: As I said before, of my own creations, I'm very fond of Scorpy and Natira.
    DaveE: But there are some characters that I've created this season that you haven't see yet that are going to knock you socks off!!!! I hope.

Farscape Wrap Day Extravaganza, July 26, 2001

  • Moderator: <Jup> to <Moderator>: Tim, what's the largest set you've designed/constructed for Farscape?

    TimFerrier: Probably the Shadow Depository at the end of last season. There were a lot of big sets in that Ep.

  • Moderator: <Gmmas> to <Moderator>: Tim: did you design that ball like think Crichton was strapped to in Liars, Guns and Money, and was it as uncomfortable as it looked?

    TimFerrier: My regard for Ben Browder grew imeasureably after that experience.
    TimFerrier: Yes, I did design it and yes it was uncomfortable but I personally didn't try it out!!

  • Moderator2: <Scaper1984> to <Moderator2>: HI! Tim, what set are you most proud of?

    TimFerrier: The shadow Depository at the end of Season Two. From this season, the Kanvia Office form Ep. 307

  • Moderator: <primatebrain> to <Moderator>: Do you know what species Natira is, yet?

    FrooniumRicky: Don't think we ever named her species
    FrooniumRicky: Maybe we should have a contest ;)

  • Moderator: <WITGOB> to <Moderator>: Froon - Will natira come back at any stage?
    Moderator: <Dallascaper> to <Moderator>: Was Natira wearing some kind of body armor or was she naked?

    FrooniumRicky: Well, I'd sure like to see her again
    FrooniumRicky: Claudia Karvan, btw, is doing a series here in Oz
    FrooniumRicky: called "The Secret Life of Us"
    FrooniumRicky: sort of an Oz version of Sex in the City, kind of
    FrooniumRicky: as for body armor... well, I think that was all "Natira", myself
    FrooniumRicky: rather like a turtle shell
    FrooniumRicky: I'll get a can opener and let you know