Love and other Catastrophes on 3rd Rock

posted 13 Feb 2013, 23:53
A triangle is the strongest shape in geometry but somehow a love triangle just collapses.
- Dick Solomon, from Season 4, episode 7, D3: Judgement Day

The theme of love and romantic conquest was a recurring one on Third Rock from the Sun> (aka 3rd Rock) throughout its six season run. Indeed it could well be argued that it fuelled the purpose of their mission and caused it to be extended. We know from various admissions and insights that life on the home planet (in that barred spiral galaxy on the Cepheus-Draco border) is cold and sterile at best of times. The inhabitants of that world, despite their obvious superior intelligence, fulfil a role somewhat akin to drones whose lives are devoid of any real passion. On Earth they discover a sense of freedom that takes a long time to assimilate and absorb; six years to be precise and even then, not entirely.

The various romantic adventures and misadventures of Tommy, Dick, Harry and Sally is a subject upon which whole chapters could be expended. Indeed it is a subject that we had considered exploring here at length on the Third Rock from the Sun Fan Site. With Valentine's Day nearly upon us we were planning to use it as an excuse to do just that. Alas it was an exercise that proved beyond our capabilities to complete within the deadline allowed - too many nuances and avenues to explore. Hopefully we will return to it sometime in the near future though.

For now we have chosen to bring you this episode from Season Five in which the Solomon's discover the true meaning of Valentine's Day - and surprisingly it has nothing to do with a certain massacre that took place in Chicago in 1929; or ham sandwiches for that matter.

This episode is significant not just because Tommy (dirty old man posing as a hormonally crazed teenager) finally loses his virginity (albeit to the wrong woman). We can discern from this episode that the relationship between Tommy and Alissa echoes and contains traits similar to that between Dick and Mary. Despite Tommy committing what can only be described as a monumental act of betrayal vis-à-vis Alissa, she obviously finds it within herself to forgive him - as evidenced in subsequent episodes when, in classic TV style, they are back together as if nothing had happened. A bit like Mary, Alissa's calm demeanour, level-headedness, kindness and understanding emerge as character flaws when it comes to 3rd Rock, preventing them from noticing what is really going on around them.

Also on this episode, Don and Sally have a romantic misunderstanding which Don sees out with his trademark stoicism. Meanwhile Dick and Mary go through the motions except this time there's a psychiatrist involved - and not before time some might add. If you haven't already watched it, do so now.

As always, last words go to Harry: Nothing says 'I love you' like than having sex with a stranger the night before you're supposed to do it with your girlfriend for the very first time on Valentine's Day. Isn't that just so true? Who hasn't had that experience?

Happy Valentine's Day, 3rd Rock Fans everywhere!
We love each and every one of you.