And grumbles: "This won't bring her back, you know." There's concern in Rygel's voice, for all that, even as he's spitting out the popcorn. John's never rejected him like this, not ever. One of the amazing things about this episode is how seamlessly and subtly it weaves Rygel's love for John, and for Aeryn, into his unique perspective on their relationship. He really does believe in the Love That Oh My God, and you rarely get to see it. Just think about the first ten minutes of Peacekeeper Wars in that context, for a second: he's a bigger part of them than anyone else, including Stark and D'Argo, by the end. Which is as it should be: as their love passes the test of vulgarity, it is transcended. Through the body to what lies beyond, not below and not around and not skipping a step: that's the story of love. They had to have a lot of sex before Rygel could possibly administrate the physical expression of that love; they had to let their own Rygels into the conversation. Same as with all Zhaan's storied sexual prowess, she mostly fucked: the sun, probably Stark who's equivalent, and that dude she killed. And her own arrogance, of course. Am I leaving anybody out? That purple guy, yeah, but that was like some Sikozu/Scorpius stuff, and they didn't actually do it.
John pours himself a drink and comms: "Sikozu Shanu." Her answer, from command, is a simple "No." Upon which she elaborates -- in response to his "Nothin'?" -- that "nothing" is a "reasonable interpretation" of the word "No." John knows, in his heart, that the word for Aeryn is Katrazi. That her abductors, the Scarrans who so cruelly stuck him with yet another fake Aeryn, have taken her there. Onscreen, we see Aeryn in PK garb, next to Cousin Bobby, being photographed in front of a lit Christmas tree. "As stupid as you must think them," Sikozu says with much ire, "the Scarrans have managed to build one of the most extensive empires in the galaxy. In part -- and I shall repeat this because it does not seem to sink in -- by not advertising the location of their secret bases." I always talk about how creepy she is, but I'm always on her side. Even with the hair later, she's really the most admirable among them in many ways.
She's a political operative, a terrorist and spy in an actual cause. None among them -- John, Rygel, even Scorpius -- can claim that. She's got to be so very many women at once, and that's exhausting; even more exhausting to find herself caring about these freaks all around her. And she does care: this is the voice of lost hope. She was just beginning to crack Aeryn, just beginning to make a friend and equal aboard the vessel. They didn't just take Aeryn away from John, and that knowledge, in this episode, is expressed in the quietest, saddest ways. "Are you asking the right people? Are you asking in Scarran?" She calls him an unkind word, because of course she is. We've had so many quasi-Sebaceans onboard through the years -- Aeryn, Crais, Scorpy -- and she's such a weirdo that it's hard to remember she's the Scarran version of them in a lot of ways. And the more you know about her, the longer her story gets, unfolding around itself, the more you see she really is just like them. She gets no credit at all, because her story is so veiled in secrecy that by the time you know the whole thing, the stakes are too high to go back and remember all the times you could have been kind. "I know what that means, and I love you too," John snits. She says -- by way of grudging apology -- that he earned the epithet: "Bother me one more time and you can come down here and do this for yourself." John sits again and turns the TV up; Sikozu continues to try.