(Yes, I realize the above is not from either of the eps discussed. But I don't have any APM or CbC caps and I love the above shot. Bonus points if you guess which ep it's from).
4.09 - A Perfect Murder
First off, I still do not get the reason for showing same conversations different types with more bits filled in. Other than this, it's an episode that makes my not-so-inner shipper squee.
Clearly, Crichton has to rely more and more on drugs to keep his feelings for Aeryn in check. When he feverishly hunts for the drug because he hears her speak English - ohhhh. I can see why this an especially vulnerable point for him because it is both a memory related to her 'choosing' Talyn-John (because that's why/how she really picked up English) but it also signifies acceptance of who he is, his background, even a callback to younger, more naive Crichton's hope of taking her home with him. He doesn't yet realize neither of them fits on earth any more.
Aeryn is having a hard time in this ep too, and I am not just referring to her and John's mindwipe. She is someone who's tried so hard to get away from being an automaton, a mindless killer - sure, she still kills now, but she needs a reason or a cause beyond 'orders.' And yet the bugs render her a mindless automaton again, worse than she was in PKs.
And the end, with John and Aeryn forced to point guns at each other, knowing they will be forced to kill each other, and resisting the most they can, but knowing it's a losing battle. It takes this extremity to bring out the conversation about the coin toss - it is only the knowledge of death that makes John desperate and fearless enough to bring the coin toss and say he thinks it ended badly - i.e., he still wants Aeryn. And it takes equal desperation and fearlessness for Aeryn to agree. And then when the compulsion is broken, you can see them on the floor, and their fingers are touching through his gloves and they can't help but touch each other's hands - tiny, almost unconscious gestures, but so huge in meaning considering where they are in their relationship (and later, he touches her again, at the grave of the prefect she killed - it's like he cannot shut off his longing and their comfort off right away).
In other news, the whole clan thing reminded me of medieval Scotland and Chiana's line to the priest about whether it's true they "give great...religious experience" cracked me up.
But the thing that interested me most was Crichton's offhand comment in response to a query about Aeryn being difficult "Should have met her mother." !!!!!! But the only one who met her mother was Talyn-John!!!!!!! I know they never addressed it explicitly, but in FS, nothing is meaningless, so I always believed that on some level, Moya-John got 'merged' with Talyn-John/got his memories, on a subconscious level.
4.10 - Coup by Clam
It's funny, this used to be the only episode of FS that I actively disliked, but I actually really enjoyed it this time. I think after having a baby, my gross-out threshold has disappeared (this is the most body-fluid happy ep of the show). Leaving aside the hilariousness of Crichton in drag (ugliest woman ever), what I really loved both Rygel's and Scorpius' ruthlessness. Rygel feeding the molluscs to the doc, thus condemning him to a hideous but well-deserved death = so chilling, so Rygel, so kinda awesome. (And this wasn't his motivation, but it does prevent the doctor from killing/blackmailing more people). And what struck me about Scorpius is what an unusual 'bad guy' he is - he doesn't particularly enjoy the horrific things he does (unlike e.g., Grayza) because all his hatred is reserved for the Scarrans. But he cares only about his goal and the means are immaterial. (I do wonder what he'd do with himself if Scarrans got obliterated - he would lose all meaning in life).