Jump to content

Commandant Mele-on Grayza: "Peacekeeper Bitch."


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.

20 replies to this topic

#1

Ben King

Ben King

    Loyal Viewer

Posted May 16, 2006 @ 7:43 AM

Your thoughts, please, on Commandant Cleavage.

#2

Firecracker1

Firecracker1

    Fanatic

Posted May 16, 2006 @ 10:06 AM

Very complex character.

I read a suggestion a while ago (and am not sure how much I buy into it) but Grayza might be part Nebari. That would explain her mantra "For the Greater Good." as she explains to Akhna in "Bringing Home the Beacon", and her willingness to use sex to advance her cause - which is exactly how the Nebari are planning to conquor the rest of the galaxy.

Not to mention the "Grayza" make up is somewhat different from the rest of the PKs. She is very white and the highlights on her face and lips are almost purple. Very Nebari. (Of course that might be the result of a makeup person having fun with the colours in their kit.)

Whether she is part Nebari or not, Grayza is not a one-dimensional villian. Her stated goal - like Scorpy's - is the preservation of the Peacekeeper Race. She seems to have powerful backers in High Command.

I think Scorpy also has backers in High Command - and Grayza and he are just the individuals the audience sees embodying the conflict between the two factions. Heck - maybe there are more than two factions... we don't know.

Grayza herself tho, is a member of the same department(?), as Scorpy. Their costumes are superficially similar - only Scorpy has his adapted to accomodate a coolent suit, and Grayza's is adapted to accomodate her... tools. (I can't believe I just typed that.)

I would have liked to have heard more backstory on Grayza and the PK's. When you think about it, all the PK's we ever encountered were those working outside the influence of the central core. They might have been working at the instigation of those IN the central core - but they weren't the central core themselves.

Neither of them... both characters were not exactly stellar examples of PK purity. At all.

Edited by Firecracker1, May 16, 2006 @ 10:10 AM.


#3

garymarcella

garymarcella

    Video Archivist

Posted May 16, 2006 @ 10:31 AM

Graiza it would seem to me to be the ultimate manipulator. She is devious to a fault. She saved enough of John's DNA (I wonder where she got that) to give to Skreeth to identify John and IMHO her main backer was The Grand Chancelor and when she fell into disfavor after "Were so screwed: La Bomba" she used some of John's DNA to impregnate herself so The Grand Chancellor would not have her executed. Graiza IS like Scorpious in that way she is a survivor and a conniver. Graiza wants ultimate power and it appears after the Battle in TPKW IMHO She was made Grand Chancellor because only the supreme leader of the Peacekeepers could sign such an all encompasing Peace Pact, Now before you argue remember the pact had to be worked out, The Vice Chancelloor was already on his way to take command. He would have arrived by the time a peace treaty was signed and Graiza would have been in the background. Graiza took over in a time of war and technically fought the Emporor Staleek to a draw until John ended it once and for all. That was more than the original Grand Chancellor was capable of. Anyway that is the way I see it.

Edited by garymarcella, May 16, 2006 @ 10:34 AM.


#4

Firecracker1

Firecracker1

    Fanatic

Posted May 16, 2006 @ 10:44 AM

Interesting.

If Grayza had been male she would be described as foresightful and with an uncanny ability to seize opportunity to her best advantage.

Instead ... Grayza is not considered someone who earned the rank that she was given but someone who had to have it 'cause the appropriate candidate wasn't available.

I don't like Grayza - but I don't think PKs work like that.

She gets the results. She gets the promotion.

#5

drgnfille

drgnfille

    Video Archivist

Posted May 20, 2006 @ 5:32 PM

*lol* Commandant Cleavage! I think I like that better than 'Peacekeeper Bitch'! Certainly both are true...

I don't know that Grayza was as completely fleshed out as she could have been (I'm talking character, not cleavage!) but then we did only get one season with her. And a miniseries. But nothing like either Crais or Scorpius. I would have liked to have found out more about her, but for what we saw, she was an appropriately eeeeevil baddie.

#6

BigBeagle

BigBeagle

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Big Spring, TX

Posted May 20, 2006 @ 5:43 PM

I almost hate to admit it, but of all the semi-regular characters on Farscape, I think I liked Commandant Boobsweat the least. For some reason and I don't know if it was the actor, the writers or me or all of the above she was always just sort of blah in my book.

I'm enough of a pig to have enjoyed the outfit, though.

#7

hakirby

hakirby

    Fanatic

  • Location:Scotland
  • Interests:SF, the paranormal, Bollywood, the outdoors and healthy living

Posted May 21, 2006 @ 6:26 AM

The character was interesting, but the Boobsweat was gross.

#8

booklad

booklad

    Couch Potato

Posted Jun 6, 2006 @ 3:42 PM

I won't say I didn't like her, and I agree with garymarcella that she certainly isn't a one dimensional character, but she never did anything for me.

Maybe I need to watch the fourth season again to get a better view of her, but as it stands, for me she's probably the most superfluous semi-regular on the show.

#9

Astri

Astri

    Channel Surfer

  • Location:Santa Cruz, CA
  • Interests:FARSCAPE! Um...writing, both novels and fanfics; strategy RPGs; exotic music; and food, primarily pastries! But writing is my major love and pastime.

Posted Dec 5, 2007 @ 2:02 AM

I feel like Grayza was headed for something much bigger than she ever got the chance to reach. I honestly didn't like her at all until she stood up to Akhna--but that scene made me realize that there was more to her than breasts and Heppel oil.

Had Season 5 made it through, I think Grayza's ambition, determination, and driving desire to take revenge on Crichton would have pushed her to make some kind of terrible decision--traded something for a power she couldn't control. She showed her preference for operatives by using the Skreeth, and on top of that, the disadvantage of her Heppel gland was VERY clearly pointed out by Sikozu: it shortens her lifespan. We never found out how much so, did we?

I can very easily see Grayza running into the problem of the reduction of her lifespan--perhaps getting sick from it--and making some terrible trade-off, either to remove her Heppel gland and restore her health, or to allow her to kill Crichton before she could die. Maybe something like some kind of DNA change, or the grafting of some alien body parts? I'm not sure, exactly. But I felt that Grayza's hatred for Crichton was sidelined before it could ever grow; she was presented as a villain, but she very quickly became instead a neutral character who was not on Crichton's side, but was not against him per se either.

One could even tie that in with the Chiana-Aeryn-Noranti imagery, had she ever gone down that path, by casting Grayza as Nemesis, the Dark Goddess who wreaked vengeance upon those who tried to defy their fate. It definitely feels like the way the writers wanted her to go.

#10

beckyg

beckyg

    Fanatic

  • Location:Florida

Posted Dec 5, 2007 @ 7:28 AM

I can say without any qualms that I hate Grayza, although I have to wonder if I would have revised my opinion of her with enough time. After all, both she and Scorpius were introduced as villains through the terrible things they did to John. Scorpius raped John's mind. Grazya raped his body. And while I never forgave Scorpius for what he did, I grew to respect him and understand him and even like him at times. I never felt that with Grayza. Nor do I want to. I just plain hate her.

However, I definitely want to know what she had planned for her child. Was it really John's? Or would she merely want him to think that as a way to manipulate him?

Grayza as Nemesis, the Dark Goddess who wreaked vengeance upon those who tried to defy their fate. It definitely feels like the way the writers wanted her to go.


I'm not sure I would have liked this. She was already dangerously close to being one-dimensional, simply because we knew so little about her. To cast her in a pure revenge role would only add to that. I don't think I could have handled an entire episode devoted to her, like Scorpy had Incubator, but it would have been nice to learn more about her. Learning her backstory could have gone a long way toward mitigating the loathing I have for her.

#11

Astri

Astri

    Channel Surfer

  • Location:Santa Cruz, CA
  • Interests:FARSCAPE! Um...writing, both novels and fanfics; strategy RPGs; exotic music; and food, primarily pastries! But writing is my major love and pastime.

Posted Dec 6, 2007 @ 2:09 AM

Oh, I wasn't trying to say that she would have just gone even more evil than she already was. I think they wanted to flesh her out (pun not intended) as a multi-dimensional character; I think she was supposed to be a much more visible presence in Season 4 and 5 than she ended up being. She's ruthless and power-hungry, but she genuinely wants peace for her people; I can kind of see how her good/ bad motives might have cast her almost sympathetically, with enough time and, as you say, background.

I'm not sure I would have liked this. She was already dangerously close to being one-dimensional, simply because we knew so little about her. To cast her in a pure revenge role would only add to that.


Sorry--I didn't mean that her role would be, "OMG kill Crichton." I meant that her dichotomy of motivation between peace and revenge could drive her to make a rash decision in an attempt to fulfill her objectives. Once she made that decision, she might realize that it was a mistake, but it would be too late to change it; and as such, she'd be trapped in the position of fulfilling her revenge.

I dunno, it was just the way I thought Grayza might have been developed.

#12

beckyg

beckyg

    Fanatic

  • Location:Florida

Posted Dec 6, 2007 @ 7:28 AM

her dichotomy of motivation between peace and revenge could drive her to make a rash decision in an attempt to fulfill her objectives. Once she made that decision, she might realize that it was a mistake, but it would be too late to change it; and as such, she'd be trapped in the position of fulfilling her revenge.


I see what you mean. And I agree, that could have been very interesting. Scorpius voluntarily chose his path. To see Grayza essentially forced into following that path would have been a different take on the whole villain role.

*thinks on the possibilities*

Man, I miss the Season-5-that-never-was! We were robbed of so much.

#13

Quizzical1

Quizzical1

    Fanatic

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted Dec 6, 2007 @ 10:16 AM

The thing about Grayza is that she kept losing. To make a convincing, viable villain, they have to win some of the time. The only time she won (well, it was probably a bunch of times), was when she ensnared Crichton in What Was Lost. And at the end of that 2 parter, she had not only been defeated, but suffered a really humiliating defeat, tied naked, to a slab. She also lost when Scorpius kicked her off the Command Carrier (though off-screen, had a win when her objection to Scorpius was vindicated via the Carrier's destruction). But then she was defeated when she tried to get Moya in Promises. And again in Terra Firma. And again in Bringing Home the Beacon. And in We're So Screwed--again humiliatingly, so she got locked in her cabin by her own men and told she was no longer "fit for command." And again in PK Wars.

Scorpius' goals ended up being sympathetic, once we saw that he was defending people-who-look-like-us against eviler lizards. I never found Grayza's goals to by sympathetic, nor do I think we were supposed to, because she was so clearly the Neville Chamberlain of the PKs, happy to surrender Czechoslovakia (the Luxans) to [seemingly] save her own ass.

#14

Firecracker1

Firecracker1

    Fanatic

Posted Dec 6, 2007 @ 2:55 PM

And again in PK Wars.


Grayza didn't lose in PK Wars though. She - and Scorpy - won. Not as she would have liked to have won, (and not as Scorpy would have liked to have won), but they both won.

The preservation of the Sebacean race by any means necessary - which was her goal all along.

It was a slightly different goal from Scorpy's, which was to preserve the Sebacean race (his mothers people) by destroying the Scarrans.

Edited by Firecracker1, Dec 6, 2007 @ 2:55 PM.


#15

Quizzical1

Quizzical1

    Fanatic

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted Dec 6, 2007 @ 3:46 PM

I don't really see it that way--I think Scorpy and she were both presented with the reality that they had to accede to John Crichton's demand that they stand down, or be destroyed. And Scorpy lost, because throughout the series, his goal had been Revenge. In order to tie up loose ends, they ended the miniseries on a happy note. But if this had been the series, none of them would have been placated.

#16

Astri

Astri

    Channel Surfer

  • Location:Santa Cruz, CA
  • Interests:FARSCAPE! Um...writing, both novels and fanfics; strategy RPGs; exotic music; and food, primarily pastries! But writing is my major love and pastime.

Posted Dec 6, 2007 @ 9:07 PM

Scorpius' goals ended up being sympathetic, once we saw that he was defending people-who-look-like-us against eviler lizards. I never found Grayza's goals to by sympathetic, nor do I think we were supposed to...


I'm not so sure there. As Firecracker1 points out, Grayza's goal was simple: save her people. She didn't care how it happened, she didn't care what she did to make it happen, she just wanted the Peacekeepers to be safe. She resorted to terrible, underhanded means to try and make this happen, but her goal was still noble: a classic case of a "the ends justify the means" character.

Scorpius' goal was actually less noble than Grayza's, IMO: he wanted to kill the Scarrans. True, he claimed it was because he also wanted to save the Peacekeepers, but revenge was definitely all that Scorpy really wanted. Grayza is actually nobler, in that light, than Scorpius was. However, Scorpius also had a higher code of morality than Grayza (again IMO,) which is why he is a more likable character.

Pretty bad to say that the guy who would stick neurochips in your head, make you chew off your own finger, and spin you 'round the Aurora Chair without a second thought possesses a "higher code of morality" than ANYBODY, but there you go.

if this had been the series, none of them would have been placated.


Man, I miss the Season-5-that-never-was! We were robbed of so much.


Amen to that! *cries over the loss of Season 5 as well*

#17

kristinL356

kristinL356

    Channel Surfer

Posted Oct 1, 2008 @ 12:20 AM

I really never thought much of Grayza until I saw an interview with Rebecca Riggs. A lot of her thoughts on the character were formed pre-boobsweat thing. She seemed kind of disappointed that Grayza turned into Commandant Cleavage. I do think it served to diminish her character. It was just made it so easy to write her off.

#18

Firecracker1

Firecracker1

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 2, 2008 @ 11:06 AM

I have been thinking about Grayza lately and why the writers would have included the boob sweat thing (arguably a poor decision).

Putting the whole 'evil character' into perspective - in Seasons 1, 2 and 3 all the villains were, by and large, male. And there were homoerotic overtones with most of them - especially Scorpy.

But Season 4 we get three (at least) major villains who are female. The Skreeth (quite female), Grayza (who uses her female attributes as a weapon) and Akhna (who doesn't).

I think the writers/creators were trying to balance the equation - recognizing that villains come in all shapes and sizes and inclination - including female. To exclude that facet is just as sexist as only casting women as victims.

I am not convinced that Grayza's boob sweat thing was a successful idea - but I do think that the intent that drove its inclusion into the series was admirable.

Edited by Firecracker1, Oct 3, 2008 @ 10:23 PM.


#19

ThigpensRevenge

ThigpensRevenge

    Video Archivist

  • Location:San Francisco

Posted Oct 3, 2008 @ 3:27 PM

The boob sweat never really bothered me -- I actually think the concept behind it is a well-used sci-fi staple, really. (Where does a woman's power really lie? Farscape explores this through all of its female characters from the outset.)

But this:

The Skreeth (quite female)


I've never thought of the skreeth as female. I've never genderized it in my mind but when I read that, I really reacted -- so I have to think I would have assumed its maleness.

What's the thinking on that?

#20

Firecracker1

Firecracker1

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 3, 2008 @ 10:30 PM

Farscape consistently pulled the gender role reversal thing. Starting with the two leads: John - the sensitive, intellectual. Aeryn - the unemotional soldier. Both those stereotypes are generally gender reversed. But not in Farscape.

The Skreeth is a prime example of a 'male' stereotype that was cast as a female. (If you look at the picture it is clear that the body is female - although the face is a nightmare.)

Another way of challenging our perceptions.

What's the thinking on that?


Is that what you are talking about?

Edited by Firecracker1, Oct 3, 2008 @ 10:32 PM.


#21

lvsxy808

lvsxy808

    Channel Surfer

Posted Oct 11, 2012 @ 7:47 AM

There's a massive amount of gender politics wrapped up in Grayza's character. I'm not in any way qualified to discuss it with any authority, but I find it quite intriguing, and as a gay man I have a different perspective than either a straight man or a straight woman would on the subject, I think.

This is a woman who is the highest ranked Peacekeeper we have seen yet on the show - not that the PKs have ever been shown to be a gender-dysphoric culture, but from our unfortunately America-centric cultural perspective this is at least notable. She is also clearly positioned here as the worst villain yet, bringing the previous worst-ever-villain character (a male) to his knees in only her second appearance. And how does she go about her villainy? By using her sexuality.

I'm really not sure what to make of this. Farscape has been noted before for its refusal to make sexuality (especially female sexuality) into a bad thing - Zhaan's sensuality, Chiana's promiscuity, Aeryn's sex-with-no-emotions. All just variations on a theme with no value judgement. Hell, even Noranti stops for a five-finger shuffle in the middle of a crisis just cause she feels like it.

But male sexuality hasn't really had such an exploration, I don't think. A little playing with it for laughs and creeps in "Won't Get Fooled Again" maybe, a whose-is-bigger joke in "Green Eyed Monster"... can't really think of much else.

So it's all the more uncomfortable when we get to Grayza, who specifically uses sex as a weapon, or at least as a tool. Sex is just one weapon in her arsenal, as she describes it. Which brings up the strange question - isn't sex just supposed to be an emotionless release of tension for Peacekeepers? Why then would she be able to coerce anyone to do anything by using it, if they can get it any time they want and no-one places any emotional attachment on it?

Maybe it's that the heppel oil actually just places them in her thrall and then she takes the opportunity to have sex with them while she's at it, just cause she likes sex. But judging by both Crichton and Braca's reactions that's not the case - it's definitely an aphrodisiac.

And she went out of her way to acquire the implanted gland precisely for that ability. She didn't have it previously - she chose this method of interrogation and control out of a variety of options available to her. This method appealed to her over others. She went out of her way to acquire the ability to use sex as a weapon, to place this tool in her arsenal where it wasn't before. She chose to use her sexuality in this way.

Is it somehow worse that it is a female villain using sex to get what she wants? She might call it using what she's got (which is what Chiana does), but that's a lie, because by removing the ability to consent via the heppel oil, it becomes rape. Now, how would we feel if a male villain used the same method - seduction and rape to achieve his ends? Men have just as much of a sexual appeal as women - they could call it "using what they've got" just as well.

But if a male were to rape his way through the season, the outrage would be explosive. That's from our POV to be fair - as a patriarchal culture we see females as the 'weaker sex' who need protecting from males. That concept is lessening over time as it should, but I believe it's still there to a certain extent. I don't think the PKs have ever seen things that way. So would a woman raping a man be seen as equally monstrous as a man raping a woman by PK culture? We are clearly intended to see it that way in "What Was Lost" (and rightly so, consent is consent regardless of the genders), but would PKs?

It's basically written off as a joke in "Terra Firma," when Grayza pretends to Braca that she coerced him into sex when she actually didn't, just to cover what she was really doing. He doesn't complain, he just takes it. Regardless of the genders, isn't that sexual harrassment of a junior officer? Should that not be against PK rules? Yes, sexual contact between senior and junior officers is not forbidden - we've seen that in "The Way We Weren't" - but surely rules of consent still apply. Maybe Grayza thinks she's above the law, and she's convinced Braca of the same. If it were a male senior officer raping a female junior officer, would it be the same? Or do we sexistly assume that because Braca is a male he really wanted it anyway?

(We could also add a extra layer of complication by noting that David Franklin is a gay actor. If we roll that over onto Braca [he is the Smithers to Scorpy's Mr Burns, after all], then he's even being forced into sex with the gender he wouldn't normally have sex with. But obviously that's mixing the real and fantasy worlds to an untenable degree.)

From our POV, there's something different about it being a woman doing the raping. In our culture there is still debate over whether a woman is even capable of raping a man, legally speaking. We don't have heppel oil, but we have GHB and viagra and so on. There's an instant response to the idea of a man raping a woman - of course it's wrong, how could you even ask? But when it's a woman raping a man... well it's still wrong, but there's that extra split second of confusion, of figuring out the dynamics (again I'm talking about our culture, not the PKs), before we come to that conclusion. And it's because of that uncertainty that Grayza can even exist as a character - no male recurring character would ever be created to do the things she does, not even as a villain unless he were the target of some great police hunt on CSI: Uncharted Territories or something.

In fact, the only male character I can immediately think of who uses his sexuality in this way - to gain alliances and information and a certain level of coercion - is James Bond. He's a stud for England of course, doing it all for Queen and Country. He's a "hero." And Grayza probably thinks she is too.

So much complicated stuff to think about, without even getting into the other aspects of Grayza's character that define her just as much as the sex.

As I said, I have absolutely no background to discuss these issues from, so if I've inadvertently offended anyone, please accept my apologies, it was not intentional. But it's a fascinating subject, no?

.