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The Choice

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Production No. 317

Best Viewed As 3.17

Aired As
3.17 (US & UK)

Original Airdates
17 Aug 2001 (US)
07 Jan 2002 (UK)

1.2 (US)

The Choice
Abbreviations: TC
Alternate Titles: (none)

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

Writer: Justin Monjo
Director: Rowan Woods
Linda Cropper..............Xhalax Sun
John Gregg.................Talyn Lyczac
Raj Ryan...................Hotel Owner 
Mario Halouvas.............Voice of Seer (Cresus)
Steve Bowers...............Unspecified
Stephen Shanahan...........Tenek (uncredited)
Complete Credits


"This is my world, now. I think I liked yours better."

In the wake of John's death, Aeryn turns to a planet of mystics for solace, but she finds more than she bargained for thanks to Crais' past duplicity. She's not alone; it's a time for brutal honesty for all of Talyn's crew...Scarrans excepted, of course.


Farscape World


Terra Firma


Farscape Fantasy


Stark knew that "spirit channelers" dwelt on Valldon, and told Aeryn about them, thinking she would want to talk to Crichton's spirit. But he also says the planet has dark powers, and believes that Rygel must "guard his spirit" while on the planet's surface. Stark seems equally accepting that there are both real and fraudulent mystics there.

Stark thinks Aeryn wants him around to watch over her and protect her.

Crais calls Stark "slave" to his face. He also refers to him later as a child.

Aeryn kept the Charrid nerve knife from "Infinite Possibilities".

Aeryn had already been contacted by a channeler, and apparently chosen not to use his services, before she called him back, asking him to raise her father.

Aeryn's father was named Talyn Lyczak.

Stark keeps hearing Zhaan's voice, calling his name.

Aeryn was able to mask her signal, on the surface of Valldon, so that Talyn could not locate her from orbit.

At least one of the mystics on Valldon may have been legitimate -- he tells Rygel that the Dominar is missed, but also forgiven, by Kellor, who knew that he could not go against his parents.

Aeryn's "father" claimed that he had himself surgically altered, so that he could hide.

Early Peacekeepter standard blood spectrometers are accurate to near 100% certainty; they produce plastic strips with bar spectrographs.

The hotel owner also sells dead bodies -- mainly to a Diagnosan.

Stark has some very idealized, fixated ideas about Aeryn; he waxes lyrical about Aeryn's description, claiming that he and she are very close.

Fellip berries are quite dark in color.

Crais let Xhalax live in "Relativity" because he believed that if he killed her, High Command would simply send another Retrieval Squad after them. The deal was that he would let her live, if she reported to High Command that they were all dead.

Stark and Rygel are both willing to kill Crais, over his betrayal with regard to Xhalax.

Talyn (the ship) now has part of Crais' psyche, and only Crais (or possibly Aeryn, who's not aboard) can fly him. Kill Crais, and they're dead in space.

Valldon has some sort of settlement of "nelliks", who channel the dead.

The hotel owner suggests that Aeryn imbibe some more fellip nectar; the Journey Log on scifi.com refers to her beverage as "Rasnol". Whichever it is, apparently is blue.

Aeryn believes that Crais always wanted to take her away from Crichton. In her pain, she lashes out at him in the most humiliating manner possible, almost to the point of threatening rape. But her opinion of Stark is even worse, because he considers himself superior to Crais, even while he has actually been more blatant in his advances.

Rygel's throne sled can achieve some serious altitude; he's able to buzz all the way to the 96th floor where Aeryn is staying.

Rygel once had someone important in his life: a female named Kellor. Whether separated through death, distance, or social circumstances, he missed her for a long time, but knew that self-sacrifice was not the way to deal with his pain.

The Seer's (Cresus) words cannot be translated after his session with Aeryn; evidently he knows a language form that standard translator microbes cannot handle.

Aeryn wonders, "I returned from the dead. Why can't he?" -- but at the same time she knows better, hearing John in her heart saying, "You can't bring me back, you know." She wonders if John found it easy to be a hero, and to leave her behind.

After Crais left Xhalax on the healing planet, her leg became infected; she had to amputate it herself.

Xhalax deliberately kills "Talyn", despite having enlisted his help in carrying out her plan.

After Aeryn's birth, Xhalax was given an order, a "choice" -- she was required to kill either her lover or her daughter. Out of love for her child, she killed Talyn, so that Aeryn could live.

Even after being ready to kill Crais (and even keeping him in manacles), Stark is ready to trust him to save Aeryn, during the battle in the hotel.

High Command gave Xhalax a chance to redeem herself, but she was never truly reinstated. After killing Talyn, she was forced to abandon her pilot training and become an assassin. She claims that she killed so many times that she just stopped caring...but somehow she has come to believe that her own pain can be eased by causing Aeryn to suffer.

Stark feels there is something Zhaan's trying to communicate to him, and that he needs to go find out what it is.

Stark leaves his mask behind, with instructions to give it only to the John Crichton on Moya, who will somehow know what to do with it.

Talyn (the ship) thinks he's located Moya: long range scans have detected Leviathan signals from the Manin Nebula.

Crais plans to leave as soon as Moya and Talyn are reunited, and they've found someone else to pilot Talyn.

Cresus says that most of the time what he does is a distortion, a hoax, but claims that with Aeryn it might have been real.



  1. Aeryn wanted no part of Crais' plan to find Moya; was she avoiding the other Crichton, or simply shutting everyone out?
  2. Although he's the one who told Aeryn about the planet, Stark is insistent that the crew not leave here there, since it is too dangerous. So did he tell her about Valldon in the first place so that he would have an excuse to hang around her, "for protection"?
  3. Is this the first time we have seen Aeryn in a dress, aside from Old Aeryn in "The Locket"?
  4. At one point, Aeryn looks over at a pulse pistol -- was it hers, or was it Winona?
  5. What prompted Aeryn to seek her father's spirit, rather than John's?
  6. How much of Aeryn's experience on Valldon is the product of her own psyche and pain, and how much is actually some vestige of John(T)'s spirit?
  7. Does Aeryn now recall the events from "The Locket"? She reacted strongly to the sequence, seemingly feeling the same chest pain now as she felt in her old age.
  8. Why did Talyn's blood spectrograph match Aeryn's? Does the device merely compare species, rather than individual DNA? Or was it tinkered with to ensure a match in this instance?
  9. The hotel owner says that there are no Sebaceans here any more. He also says that the city is one of refugees, fighting for tent space. Was the planet once controlled or frequented by Peacekeepers?
  10. Xhalax claims to have paid a large number of individuals a large amount of money, to support her plans on Valldon. Where did she obtain these funds? How did she know Aeryn would come to Valldon? How did she get all the pieces of her plan in place, in time?
  11. When Rygel and Stark confront Crais about Xhalax, Stark winds up sitting on him, pulse pistol in hand. How did an experienced soldier like Crais get so taken by surprise?
  12. Stark apparently can commune with a spirit formerly associated with a corpse. How long after death can he continue to maintain this contact?
  13. Why does Rygel go looking for the cripple who spoke to him about Kellor? Didn't he see Xhalax kill the cripple, earlier?


  1. Aeryn's "father" claimed that he had himself surgically altered, so that he could hide. If he was thinking Aeryn would buy this story, then he either severely underestimated her intelligence, or plastic surgery in the Uncharted Territories is a very strange business.
  2. The blending between the bedroom scene from "A Human Reaction" and the scene here of Aeryn and John on the window ledge, is a lovely symmetry. Similarly poignant is her memory of John talking about "Earth, minus the sunshine", juxtaposed with her reflection that "This is my world, now. I think I liked yours better."
  3. Rygel shows surprisingly deep compassion for Aeryn; his voice sounds almost heartbroken as he reminds her of John's love, and that he wouldn't have wanted his death to lead her to this place.
  4. Aeryn somehow has sensed all along that she was being set up. She seems to see through Xhalax's diatribes to the wounded soul underneath -- perhaps recognizing her own pain reflected in her mother. She tells Xhalax, "You can't miss from here. Unless you want to." And in the end, Xhalax completes the symmetry, replying, "I died a long time ago. You live for me."
  5. Aeryn's last glimpse of John is in the mirror, as she returns to her Moya clothes and Peacekeeper style of braid. When he calls her to him, she recognizes that she has to send him away. But while her time on Valldon has made her realize that her life *will* go on, she hasn't yet found the balance between her old life and her new sense of self. And, even while we cheer her return to more objective thoughts and behavior, we mourn her abandonment of the amazing woman she had become before John's death: "Maybe, I could have become something different. If you'd lived, I could have truly changed. But you are gone. And I am...what I was bred to be."

Bloopers (none)


Farscape World
Farscape Fantasy
Tourist's Guide


Farscape World
Terra Firma


There are no pop culture references in this episode.

Translator Microbe Report

Blood Spectrometer accurate to near 100% certainty, it prints out bar spectrographs for genetic matching (Peacekeeper)
Brasma expletive: "Oh, frelling brasma, tell me you're joking."
Fekik personal slur: "I'll touch you if you keep telling these fekiks about me!" (see alternate spelling Fekkik)
Fellip berry something dark brown or black in color: "She's very beautiful -- hair as dark as a fellip berry."
Furbot personal slur: "Stark's meeting every cousin and furbot he ever knew."
Krank based on context, some sort of material which can deflect or absorb a pulse blast
Kratada refugees, homeless people: "Infested with kratada!" (see possibly related Critada)
Long-range frequency modulator equivalent of a two-way radio for space
Manin Nebula location from which Talyn detects signals from a Leviathan
Nak pejorative: "We are trying to find her so we can get out of this nak house."
Nakky pejorative: "We're in some nakky hotel."
Nak-nok personal slur, as in "You stupid, selfish nak-noks!"
Nelliks unknown: "I hear he's been studying with the nelliks who channel the dead."
Seer, the a four-eyed being who claims to communicate with the spirits of the dead
Sintar, the a being who can sometimes turn spirits corporeal
Spirit channelers mystics who claim they can speak with the dead
Stallic Hotel a hotel on Valldon where Sebaceans may stay
Ta-nak-nee! Nee-nak-nak! an insult Rygel received in the hotel lobby
Valldon a planet filled with mystics and criminals


"Can't leave her on Valldon. It's dangerous. It's filled with mystics and criminals."
"Then it's just like here. You're a mystic, and we're criminals. But Aeryn doesn't want to be here."
- Stark, Rygel

"Do you remember?"
"Who the frell are you?"
"I remember it all, now."
"What are you talking about?"
"Touch me. Don't be afraid girl, I...I ain't gonna bite. Touch me. Remember it all."
- Old John Crichton ("The Locket"), Aeryn Sun

"If I may ask, what business have you with Talyn Lyczak?"
"I was his daughter."
- Talyn Lyczak, Aeryn Sun

"We've been all over this stinking city. Now we're in some nakky hotel, Stark's meeting every cousin and furbot he ever knew. It's a planet of Starks down here!"
- Rygel

"He's some kind of weird probacto, and she can't stand the smell of--"
- Rygel

"How much for your finest room?"
"Finest room? Where do you think you are? This is a refugee city, and you've got to fight for tent space. [...] Look at my foyer, infested with cretada."
- Rygel, Hotel Proprietor

"The only time we're letting you up is when we flush you out the airlock."
- Rygel

"Do I look like an idiot? Huh? Huh? Does he look like an idiot? Do I look like an idiot? Yeah? Well, I'm not! And we're not fooled by you. If you've got a deity, you better make your peace with it now, because I'm going to lead you to the other side, real quick."
- Stark

"Someone could use some fellip nectar. You know where to get it."
"What a good idea."
- Hotel Proprietor, Aeryn Sun

"You're not a child, like he is. How can I help you if I'm cuffed?"
"Oh, you'll help. If someone starts shooting, you'll make a very good shield!"
- Bialar Crais, Rygel

"No, that's all right, he wants me. Isn't that right? You always wanted to take me from Crichton, and now here's your chance. I do not want Bialar. If I squeeze my eyes closed tightly enough, you could be someone else. No, come on, right here. Right now, give it to me. Give me what you've got."
"That's it, you're coming with me, I'm taking you now--"
"Don't...you...touch...me! I swear, I will spear the last eye you have left. Do you know what makes you so much worse? It's the fact you think you're so much better than him. Always pressing against me. Stealing looks. Get out of here. Both of you, get out!" - Aeryn Sun, Stark

- Rygel

"You're all set?"
"Under here, solid krank. Don't miss."
"I won't."
- Xhalax Sun, Talyn Lyczak

"This is my world, now. I think I liked yours better."
- Aeryn Sun

"Let me guess, you're my long-lost sister."
"Look, Aeryn, I know you're upset. I too had someone important in my life. Kellor was her name. I missed her for a long time. But I knew, as I'm sure you do, that self-sacrifice is not the answer. Look, I'm not like Crais or Stark. I'm not trying to save you or recreate with you. You can do whatever you like, but...Crichton loved you, Aeryn. He wouldn't want his death to lead you here."
- Aeryn Sun, Rygel

"I should also tell you, Crais and Stark weren't lying. Xhalax is on this planet."
"And I wasn't lying, either. My father's here too. Crazy place, Ryg."
- Rygel, Aeryn Sun

"Touch me. I must feel you, to reach him. Soft, touch me soft. Tell me about this Crichton."
"Did he love you? Hold you? Touch you soft?"
"Yes, he loved me. He was very...he made me better."
- Seer, Aeryn Sun

"Aeryn, help me...bring me back."
- Vision of John Crichton

"Just believe."
"I returned from the dead. Why can't he?"
- Talyn Lyczak, Aeryn Sun

"This is where it hurts."
"Right here."
"You can't bring me back, you know."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"Was it easy to be a hero? Leave me behind?"
"You never think you're gonna die. I didn't know."
"You...you did."
"Yes. You did."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"Hello, soldier. What's the matter, surprised to see your old mum? This isn't quite the family reunion you'd imagined."
- Xhalax Sun

"My leg? After you left me on that planet, it got infected, and I had to amputate it myself. Now that...that hurt."
- Xhalax Sun

"And now you want my pity."
"Oh, no. I want your pain. To know how close I was...to love. So close...and then to lose it all in an instant. I've heard loved ones leave you in pieces, that little by little you start to forget things about them...but that's not true. You lose them, everything, instantly. And suddenly nothing can replace them...nothing. And now you have nothing. How does it feel?"
- Aeryn Sun, Xhalax Sun

"Uncuff me! Uncuff me!"
"Under the circumstances... Uncuff him!"
- Bialar Crais, Rygel

"You know, we Peacekeepers think that we are so remarkable, soldiers without equal, precise tacticians, purebloods. But I've realized that we're not remarkable. We do nothing for love. Not one thing."
"You're wrong. Cycles ago, after your birth, I was given an order. They called it a choice. One of you must die, they said. I killed your father, so you could live. I did that for love."
- Aeryn Sun, Xhalax Sun

"Save Aeryn! I'll hold them off here! Go! Go!"
- Stark

"I was bred to be a pilot, but they made me kill again, and again. And finally I stopped caring. But I knew your suffering would ease my pain. And it has. It has."
- Xhalax Sun

"Here. You can't miss from here. Unless you want to."
- Aeryn Sun

"Let me fall, Aeryn."
"Do it. Let me go. I died a long time ago. You live for me."
- Xhalax Sun, Aeryn Sun

"Please do not waste time trying to look for me. It's vital you take what I have left you to the Crichton on Moya. He and only he will know what to do with it. Goodbye, my friends. Take care of Aeryn. I will find you again."
- Stark

"Maybe, I could have become something different. If you'd lived, I could have truly changed. But you are gone. And I am...what I was bred to be."
"Aeryn. C'mere."
"No. You have to go, now."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

Comments from Cast & Crew

Ben Browder, Mat McCoy (w/Fiona Gentle and Tim Mieville), Lily Taylor, & Richard Manning, July 12, 2001

  • Moderator: <shokoti> to <Moderator>: Can you tell us the title for 317? Because SciFi have mysteriously left it off their schedule announcement... or does it contain spoilers?

    Lily Taylor: The Choice.
    Lily Taylor: Written by Justin Monjo. Directed by Rowan Woods.

Dave Elsey, July 19, 2001

  • Moderator: <Jayce66> to <Moderator>: It sounds like there are critters or aliens in upcoming episodes of which you are particularly proud ... any episode we *must not* miss?
    Moderator: Just a heads up for you Dave. In the states we are currently up to episode 13 "Scratch 'N' Sniff", which will air tomorrow evening.

    DaveE: Kabbah is pretty cool in Scratch 'n' Sniff.
    DaveE: He's a very good puppet and is capable of much more than we showed in the episode.
    DaveE: Maybe he could come back.
    DaveE: Also, I think you will enjoy Rowan Woods's episode (Ep. 317 coming up soon-ish)
    DaveE: This was epic for us. And without giving anything away, has the most unique character I think I've ever seen.

Farscape Wrap Day Extravaganza, July 26, 2001

  • Moderator: <OzDebP> to <Moderator>: Deb, have you ever got to the stage where you have thought, I am never going to get this done in time?

    DebPeart: Definetly but the post crew are amazing - we've never not done it (she says biting her nails and thinking about Eps 316 to 318)

  • Moderator2: <Scaper1984> to <Moderator2>: Hi! What special things ought we to be looking for in Season 3?

    SheldonWade: Look out for some really cool aliens in an upcoming ep - 317...