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My 2 Cents on End of the Universe
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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Mon Nov 27th, 2006 07:21 am

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My 2 Cents on Episode 2.20: End of the Universe
(8/1/02)


Ah, back to some familiar territory. This is the episode of Lexx that I have seen more than any others, thanks largely to Sci-Fi’s erratic pre-season 3 scheduling way back when. It is one of my all time favorites, as well as, IMO, one of the benchmarks of the series.

This episode wraps everything up in a nice little package. It not only completes the season 2 arc, but brings to ultimate fruition the consequences of what took place during the original movies. Basically, to rip off Giga Shadow’s tagline, it is the ending, and the beginning.

This particular ep boasts the most amazing special effects of season 2, and gives us a taste of the aesthetic treats yet to come. The opening shot of the Mantrid drone cyclone devouring a star is truly awe inspiring, though it’s nothing compared with what follows shortly thereafter.

Given the fact that Lexx was all sealed up, I have to wonder how those drones got inside. After mulling over this question for several minutes, I’ve decided to just reassure myself with the old MST3K disclaimer...it’s easier that way. Taking a page from the Inspector Gadget book of resourcefulness, we see that Mantrids little appendage hoard has any number of nasty surprises hidden up their sleeves (er, um...fingers....yeah...). Bone saws, nail files...heck all one of these little things needs now is a cork screw and a bottle opener and it could be the life of the party.

Ah, the 790 drone, arguably the most memorable aspect of this ep. Seriously though, it is nice to see a character normally relegated to one liners get to kick a little ass, and I can’t think of too many causes worthier of fighting for than Xev. While the replica 790’s looked demented, there’s just something about the original 790 drone that looked outlandish. The way he moved he gave off sort of a deranged muppet type of vibe. Hmmm....now that I think of it, perhaps that’s just one of the side effects of loading up on sugar in order to stay awake for Lexx.

The space battle scenes were definitely something else (pretty much a complete 180 from the X-Wing/TIE fighter dogfights of yore). It felt kind of like watching Braveheart, only in a massive head trauma/painkiller/too-much-time-in-front-of-the-microwave induced state. Even though I’ve seen it four times, I still cracked up when the drones took the form of a giant sledgehammer. Classic Lexx all the way.

On a downer note, it was sad to see Lyekka go. The goodbyes she and Stan exchanged were genuinely touching, and her death scene was right up there with Zev’s prolonged  torture in Terminal. Still, she did her fair share of damage before she went out. Who knew our carnivorous chlorophyll cutie was equipped with super stretch action. I can’t even begin to imagine the ways in which I could annoy neighbors and tightly packed concert-goers if my arm could do that. I also had to smile when Lyekka morphed into a dainty, feminine looking Mantrid drone. Even as a disembodied arm she’s still a 10 (a subtle tip o’ the hat to the hand-fetish subculture perhaps?)! Lastly, if any of you remember my Brigadoom comment about Kai’s “mysteriously erect hair,” well, multiply that comment exponentially and apply it to Lyekka’s coif. Definitely kept my attention.

For a guy who has essentially gutted an entire universe, Mantrid sure is a weakling when you meet him face to face. Lyekka was tearing the hell out of his machine, and he could do little more than politely ask not to be killed. Too bad Lyekka took her time. I know I wasn’t the only one who mouthed the words “just kill him” right before the moment of truth.

The scene inside Mantrid’s spheroid, in which he had placed billions of dummy ships, was another jaw dropper. Kudos to the special effects boys (and girls) on this one. When the Lexx started to systematically blast row after row of the fake ships, I know I wasn’t the only one to run these words through my head: “Man, so that’s what a live action Space Invaders movie would look like.”

The finale, in which the crew is preparing to sacrifice their lives in order to destroy Mantrid once and for all, is still one of the most intense moments of the entire series, and serves as a living bookend to the moral of Brigadoom (feet…knees…all that rigmarole). I remember being on the edge of my seat the first time I saw it, and to be honest it still gave me goosebumps. The look of utter disbelief on Mantrid’s face when he realizes he has been duped is priceless, and it almost looked as if Kai was relishing in pointing out to Mantrid that he had lost.

The capstone of season 2’s sfx had to be the big crunch; the collapse of the Light Zone. The massive geometric drone pyramids (whose individual numbers I can’t even fathom), coupled with the mesmerizing black hole, are all images I’ll never forget. It really looked like the end when the Lexx started to disintegrate, and I’m sure all Lexxians will agree with me when I say that the first time I saw this ep I breathed a massive sigh of relief when they were spit out in the Dark Zone (both because they were alive, and because there would be more Lexx).

The first three times I saw this ep I always wondered how Mantrid stowed away. But this time I caught it. When the 790 drone cloud is following the Lexx to the center of the universe, there is one straggler who looks like the original 790, but in the next scene the original 790 is on the bridge. I always assumed that was just a continuity error, but it’s clear that that was Mantrid, who apparently knew ahead of time that the jig was up. What I want to know is, after Kai disarmed him (GET IT???) with his brace, and he went into his hysterical “I destroyed a universe” fit, how long would he have continued?  I’m guessing until his voice escalated into an ultra-high pitch that human ears can’t detect (like a wigged out German dog whistle). Thankfully Xev shut him up with her steel-toed cluster lizard combat boots, but you have to wonder if he’d have continued on his tirade until he short circuited. Ah the road not taken.

Lastly, I’ve always wondered why they didn’t reattach the remaining drone arm to the real 790 again. Probably for the better, as he would have wound up following Stan and/or Xev around, constantly shouting, “you have to sleep sometime” (for wildly conflicting reasons, obviously).


So that’s season 2, for the most part (excluding the two eps that the prudish censor-mongers at SciFi decided we could not handle seeing…God bless them for relieving us of the crushing burden of independent thought).  It was a long, strange, goofy, glorious, sweet, violent, strangely arousing, nihilistic, spiritually/emotionally/phallically uplifting trip that I for one relished every step of the way.  As with season 1, the ending was both an upper and a downer, insomuch as the good guys didn’t exactly win, but survived nonetheless. And to top it all off, it only gets better from there. 

Well, that’s quite enough for now. See ya ‘round the Dark Zone.

Cheery bye.


 

Last edited on Mon Nov 27th, 2006 07:23 am by Bilbo67



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 Posted: Mon Nov 27th, 2006 12:09 pm

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The ending was glorious and powerful and I was cheering on the 790 drone arms.  The scene with Stan and Lyekka was touching and sad, I actually cried when she died and was turned into dead leaves at the end.  I loved how Xev just took her boot and crushed Mantrid who had destroyed the Light universe, it somehow seemed fitting and the way the beans would have ended it.  Another great review, Bilbo!



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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2006 12:19 am

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This episode kicked ass!! I hated that Lyekka died, but she came back in S3 anyway, so it was a trade-off. The image of Mantrid's fractal background on the Lexxscreen was mesmerizing...Great Ep !

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 Posted: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 09:17 pm

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phallically uplifting trip

 

that right there just sums it all up for me! :c030a:



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