As I reach the end of my rewatching of the entire Farscape epic, it dawned on me that “John Quixote,” an episode I always loved (I know fan opinion is split on this one), can actually be seen as a thematic template for the fourth season, much as many of the Buffy standalones function. When John first told Aeryn in “Twice Shy” that the reason he had been taking Noranti’s drugs to forget her was so Scorpius would not realize that she was his Achille’s heel, I didn’t fully believe him. But it dawned on me this morning that he first started taking the drugs at the end of “John Quixote,” an episode during which John’s worst nightmare played out in one section: Scorpius gets his wormhole knowledge by using Aeryn against him. Now I think that fear, which was clearly illustrated in the very episode John started taking the drugs, is not just an explanation he came up with later to justify his drug use but was definitely present from the start.
Rewatching “John Quixote,” there are actually a bunch of elements that foreshadow later events. The fake Chiana foreshadows the bioloid Aeryn in “Bringing Home the Beacon.” John’s quest for the princess foreshadows his rescue mission of Aeryn in the last portion of the season (“We’re So Screwed”). In fact, John’s kissing the “wrong” princess could be interpreted as another bioloid reference. The virtual reality itself foreshadows the concept of unrealized reality, particularly the one that John and Scorpy travel back into to get information on Katratzi (“A Constellation of Doubt,” “Prayer”). Just as in “Prayer,” John “pulls” Scorpy into an alternate reality. Even Zhaan being the real princess for John to kiss in the game refers to later events in the season, as the reality in which Sikozou!Stark says “Katratzi” is also the one in which Stark is in love with Aeryn and John with Zhaan. John, therefore, had to travel to the reality where Zhaan really was his “princess” in order to discover Aeryn’s whereabouts! Also, if I recall correctly, John trades his wormhole info for Aeryn in “John Quixote” just as he offers to do at the end of “Constellation.” And I’m sure I will find more the next time I watch the episode.