I love that movie The Cell, because it is beautiful to look at, and because Vincent D'Onofrio was well sexy back in the day. But I also love it because it is hilarious and stupid. Any time you write about this kind of stuff, you run the risk of universalizing your own particular creepy surprise parties: a statement about one man's mind becomes a really unflattering window on the way you see the world. And I really do think that this episode has fallen into that trap. It's not the usual, with this show, where it's just that you don't want to know these things about men. The show excels in the secret So-Called Life of men, and women, and soldiers, and scientists. The problem with this episode is specific to this episode, and it's not that I don't want to know these things about men, it's that I don't want to know these things about the show, this week. It's got its shirt tucked into its boxer-briefs and it's doing a Charlie Gordon dance.
See: Down on the table, Macton becomes Lo'Laan, begging him to stop. D'Argo wows. Macton comes back and points out that D'Argo is acting like an idiot: "Look at you. Your uncontrollable rage." Everything he says, about D'Argo anyway, is true, but we don't have to believe it, because in the final analysis D'Argo's right and he's wrong, which invalidates anything we learn during the episode. D'Argo raises a fist, just like Macton in the vision previous. "You're violent," Macton concludes, and D'Argo calms down. "You really think you'd be able to protect Lo'Laan from that? No." He's right, the whole time, and then it gets erased in the weird lazy Frankensteining of the plot points. "You must have known the truth. You've always known." Macton leaves, once again completely justified by D'Argo, forever and ever amen, and D'Argo watches him go and wonders if he's right.
Another key drops past John in his cage, and John grabs for it again, screaming in pain. He looks up, and this time it was Scorpius. John glares up, licking his burnt fingers. "You'd better have a key." Pretending they're all adults here, Scorpius mentions that Katoya's told him John's "been experiencing some setbacks." John asks if Katoya's spilled yet about the Skreeth, and Scorpius shrugs: "That is relatively unimportant." John protests that it's important to him, but Scorpius points out the not-entirely-true fact that it was "unsuccessful." I see where he's going with it, but DK might differ in opinion about that. "That's okay, then. I don't need to be in here...Earth is safe, everything's fine." Which is entirely the point, and Scorpius finally lets him in on it: "No, Earth is not safe, and neither are you. The Scarrans know you exist. They are already coming for you, John. You cannot run away for your whole life, and I...cannot protect you from them." I'm with John on his inability to understand, still, the lengths that Scorpius would go to, to keep him safe. As a man. But as a viewer, we know. We've seen things John hasn't. "Little Cat A: I don't want you to protect me, because -- Little Cat B -- you haven't been doing such a bang-up job of that in the first place, which brings us to Little Cat C: get me the hell out of this hole!" John ends in a scream. I'm feeling that. Except for Little Cat D, which is that Scorpius is always right, even when he's wrong. He loses control precisely once, in a field of flowers. Everything else is part of the chess game.