A Constellation Of Doubt

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | Grade It Now!

Bobby watches D'Argo on the deck at Chez Alien, looking out over the water: "What are you doing?" D'Argo breathes. "I am absorbing beauty." Bobby asks if that means he likes Earth, and D'Argo smiles to himself. "I didn't think I did at first, but I'm...beginning to realize it's one of the better places I've visited. It reminds me of my own planet, about ten thousand cycles ago. It was meant to be undisciplined and adventurous." Just like John. Fletcher is agog: "Imagine! Think of how we view ourselves: a sophisticated culture, growing, evolving...then look at how he views us: 'undisciplined and adventurous.' As time goes on, I predict we'll be forced to realign every concept by which we judge ourselves." You could draw a line in the pundits and some of them would see God in every detail and some would see fear everywhere. What's most scary, and most true, is how most of them fall somewhere in the middle. "They say you're a great warrior," Bobby prods. "That's an accident of birth. There are better things to do with your life." Bobby asks if he's ever killed anyone with his tongue, and D'Argo gets a little intense, coming closer and closer, trying to make the point and ending up being more menacing than he might think. "Bobby, my tongue contains adaptive venom. The victim takes in only enough to lose consciousness. No one dies." Bobby asks to see. D'Argo says no chance. Dr. Adrian Walker, Xenobiologist: "Look, you see only differences: tentacles, a tongue with venom. Everything about him screams ALIEN. Now, close your eyes. Listen." I didn't know xenobiology included the hurling of anvils like cabers, but it's a developing science after all. Bobby tells D'Argo he was "good on Letterman," and D'Argo fidgets adorably. "Yeah, thanks. Um, yeah...I thought everyone was laughing with me, so..." One of my favorite short stories of all time: "My Appearance," by David Foster Wallace. Find it, read it. (The other one is "Good Old Neon," ibid and ditto.) Things begin to spiral south.

"For every instant when we may be lulled into accepting these alien visitors as perhaps nothing more than peculiar-looking versions of people we know here on Earth, there comes another moment on these startling videotapes that seemingly shatters any illusion of potential coexistence."

Bobby hounds D'Argo down the corridors of Moya, begging for something as he says again no. Why not? "For the same reasons that I've been saying to you ad nauseam. Why is it so important?" Bobby begs him to admit that it's "cool," which I completely agree is reason enough. D'Argo nods sheepishly: "It's cool." He asks Bobby to promise not to tell anybody, and to turn the camera off. Bobby, behind the camera, puts the camera on Moya's floor and lies that he's turned it off. "You ready?" He hisses, and lashes out with his tongue. Bobby grunts and drops to the floor, knocking the camera so that it only shows D'Argo's boots. Which tap their toes a couple of times, as D'Argo looks down, and then run off hysterically to get Noranti on the case. "I would have to say that we need to prevent these sorts of encounters from happening outside a research facility," says one of the kinder pundits; Buddhist guy points out that it was a learning experience: "The boy did not die. He is wiser." Anderson returns again to the worry about the aliens having "the run of our planet," without getting the full data on their psychology. Which was, of course, self-explanatory even in that brief clip, which is the point.

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