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My 2 Cents on May
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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2006 02:05 am

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My 2 Cents on Episode 3.02: May
(8/5/02)


I missed May during my first season 3 go-around.  Thank God I’ve finally had a chance to see it, as it introduces several crucial plot points (all of which I was able to pick up on later, but it’s get it all up front this time). This is yet another expository episode, primarily concerned with setting various threads into motion. Thus, it leaves the viewer precisely as it should: pondering a number of unanswered questions and frothing about the corners of the mouth at the prospect of having to wait even a single minute before we find out what happens next.  In other words, the beans are doing their job to a T.

First of all, I like how they backtracked a tad and included the conclusion of Fire and Water in the beginning of May.  It’s a departure from season 2—where it was often difficult to tell how much time had elapsed from one episode to the next—that sets the pace for the breakneck pace of the rest of the season (which, from what I’ve been able to surmise, covers the span of a few days to no more than a week…give or take [but what the hell do I know?]). I always thought that with a little clever editing, season 3 could be spliced into one unbroken 12-hour episode. Now that would make for one helluva DVD purchase! (nice way to kill a sick day too).

Kai’s reaction after slamming into the floating city on Water is priceless. The way he was groaning and contorting his body goes to show that while he can take a monumental pounding, he’s not invincible. It was strange to see him actually react to pain, but one should figure that even for reanimated, decarbonized flesh, there are bound to be some sort of unpleasant consequences when you slam into a stone wall at roughly 700mph (give or take). This was also our first glimpse at the planet Water, and we see that Prince may not be entirely forthcoming when he claims that they are the aggressors. Also, Eating Pattern notwithstanding, I believe this marks the first syndicated appearance of the now infamous “Dead do not…” quotes, for those keeping count: “The Dead cannot be killed.”

Not even two full episodes and already Prince has stolen the show (as well he should).  Ol’ White-Hair further reveals himself as a master manipulator, effortlessly playing our heroes against one another, almost entirely unbeknownst to them. Xev is just a tad too naive for her own good, though one can hardly fault her (I’m sure the ladies will roundly back me up on that one). Prince is a charmer; a bona fide debonair if ever I’ve seen one, and one, and one must be on the top of their game (or have come within a split-second of being beheaded) to see through his eloquently sophisticated B.S.

“Are you playing with us?”
“No, but I will be shortly.”

That line right there should have tipped off the bad guys that the gloves were coming off.
Kai doesn’t disappoint, as he demonstrates that in addition to wielding a mean brace, he’s pretty handy in close combat too. (Though, in all fairness, the former is a lot cooler, and is more apt to get your undivided attention). Personally, if I were May, I wouldn’t trust ANYBODY who attempted to pick me up using what is akin to a giant pair of hedge clippers, but Kai wasn’t (and for that matter never is) in any mood to argue.

The SFX shots of the balloon going through the planets’ atmospheric ribbon were, like all of S3, breathtaking. That would certainly be an interesting ride, as you would literally lose all perception of which way is up or down (wouldn’t bode well for your breakfast).

Some fancy shooting by May. Prince seems remarkably easy to kill, considering he’s been built up as nothing but a badass since the opening moments of the season. Luckily, that whole issue is quickly sorted out, transforming what seemed like a major misstep into a riveting subplot. Simply put, if Prince hadn’t won you over yet, he damn sure had your attention once they lowered him into the well and his eyes flew open. I like how the one henchmen says “ring the bell” so casually. I guess this sort of thing must happen fairly often. Prince’s apparent assassination serves to further the developing rift between Stan and Xev, as each is now convinced that the other is under some evil necromancer’s erotic spell (how right, and yet utterly oblivious they both are).

Let’s backtrack a bit and talk about May.  First and foremost, she’s sporting some badass body art.  Easy enough to dismiss her tattoos as a minor aesthetic flourish, but it’s a nice little attention to detail (as is Prince's jewelry...for whatever reason, I always loved that little vial he wears around his neck), and the flame designs offer a bit of foreshadowing for the keen-eyed viewer.

On to the character herself.  Despite having her name in the title, and a good deal of the episode devoted to her, May—like Norb, in his eponymous ep—is essentially a McGuffin; more of a plot device than anything.  Not that that is a bad thing, as her interaction with Stan and subsequent death quite literally serves as the catalyst for the rest of the season, and for that matter, the rest of the series.  Speaking of Stan…

There’s a reason why Stan is my favorite character, and it’s not just because we share a predilection for form-fitting headwear.  He’s an average Joe.  As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, for every Jim Kirk, for every Han Solo, for every Stilgar, there are a million Stanley Tweedles.  Not heroes, not leaders, not warriors; just people.  Flawed, perfectly imperfect everymen.  And like most everymen, he wants more out of life than he will readily admit.  Yeah, the guy can be petulant and self-serving.  Sure, he’s frequently led around by his libido (more often than not, to some hilariously disastrous end); but deep down he’s looking for more than that.  Like most regular people, I think he’s desperately pining for someone to connect with on an emotional level (as is Xev…past the superficial, she and Stan are alike in almost every way).  Not just as an outlet for lust, but real, lasting human companionship.  We saw this with the character of Lyekka…as the series progresses we’ll see him edge toward this connection with Xev (albeit on a strictly platonic level)…and this, IMO, is precisely what he sought in May.  If you’re at all familiar with Greek tragedy, you’ll surely recognize this all-consuming yearning as hamartia…Stan’s tragic flaw.

In other words, the Stunner is easy pickings for Prince.       

The ending sequence, in which May has died and Prince is now bartering for her life, may as well be called the Last Temptation of Stan...

SPOILER:



 

 

 


...Those who have seen the rest of the season know that the choice Prince presents him with is what ultimately decides his fate. Damned by desire, you might say.  



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
And finally, in typical S3 fashion, we have yet another cliffhanger ending. Stan has backed himself into a corner, Xev’s loyalty is at a crossroads, Kai’s lumbar has been absolutely pureed, Prince is proving he’s harder to kill than a cockroach in heat, the Lexx is gearing up to do what it does best, there’s a war raging, and we’re left to ponder all sorts of things about the newly introduced moth breeders (for starters: what the hell have they been doing for the past four thousand years, why didn’t Kai make mention of them earlier [I know, I know…because they didn’t ask], why weren’t they wiped out by the Giga Shadow essence, etc).

Well, that’s all I care to write for now.

Cheery bye.

Last edited on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 02:06 am by Bilbo67



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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2006 07:21 am

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I agree that Stan was just the regular guy looking for some companionship/love and May immediately captured his interest, to the point he would have blown up a planet to have her back (but that's for another review :P).



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Ketana
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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2006 09:49 pm

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I also wondered about those mothbreeders but then again with the beans ya just never knew what would pop outta their heads but for anything they came up with we were just grateful..

loving your reviews Bilbo as always!  



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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2006 01:27 am

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...and I wonder what happened to may's costume and the pipe (love that song, btw)?

What a great review! You know what, I defenitely will have a little Lexx party on my own this weekend, watching s3 again...  ;-)

veyron
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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2006 03:44 am

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Shenandora wrote: ...and I wonder what happened to may's costume and the pipe (love that song, btw)?



Just going from memory...seems like the pipe got broken?

Not sure what song you refer to.  One of my favorite scenes is where Kai meets May, and in fact, this episode is one that really clicked my interest in the Kai character.

there are bits of this here

 

http://www.bleuler.com/annakathrin/showreeel/showreeel.html

 

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 Posted: Sun Mar 20th, 2011 04:25 am

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While I enjoyed the episode in general, it seems illogical to me why would Prince want to destroy Water if the shortage of water in Fire is so drastic; why not conquer/enslave inhabitants of Water and use it for themselves? Prince has stated many times that people on Water did not want to share their resources with Fire, and that was the reason of the war. However, Prince is sly, and most probably he has his own agenda, but this situation should have raised some suspicion. The destruction of Water clearly would not solve the water shortage problem on Fire, on the contrary.

Since it is only the 2 episode, I'm sure tings will be uncovered later.

I watched the making of the 3rd season, it was hilarious! One of the best "makings of..." ever!!!

UPD: I have watched the next episode, and I was really shocked that May was Prince's ally. Regarding the pipe, in the episode "May" it is around Stan's neck, but in the following one May breaks it. I enjoyed the song very much; they've made the sound emanating from it really pleasant.

Last edited on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 10:31 am by Julie

mayaXXX
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 Posted: Mon Mar 21st, 2011 02:51 pm

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One of the big themes that ran through Season 3 was one of Betrayal. You can see that in several instances, people are not who you think they are and will sell  you out for the slightest provocation. Prince masquerades in many forms, and basically provides the theory that there is both bad and good sides to all people and that a presonal agenda can make you compromise your own principles. I thought Season 3 was tremendous. It was dark and moody and angsty.



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Abby1964
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 Posted: Mon Mar 21st, 2011 03:11 pm

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In Season 3 Prince reminded me of a child who sees his brother with a toy and since he doesn't have the same toy wants to destroy his brother's toy. I never got the feeling that the ultimate goal was conquest, It was always destruction.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 21st, 2011 11:25 pm

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Yes, but Prince's whole existence is that of the Destroyer, simply because that's his nature. There always has to be a ying to the yang, and dark to the light, so his role is to either destroy, or tempt others to destroy, so that the cycle of rebirth and renewal can begin again. He's essentially the destroyer force of Kali, in a Western culture version. He's locked into this pattern and can't break free of it on Fire, so he's trying to cause the Lexx crew to free him by way of destroying his own prison.

In doing this, he paves the way for Kai's character to fulfill his final destiny.  Kai's part is that of the Redeemer and Messiah archetype, in that he takes what is essentially Death and will eventually recreate it into life by way of sacrifice. That's why there's a new little Lexx at the end of Season 4 and Xev and Stanley's lives continue on without impediment. If not for Prince, Kai would never have been able to sacrifice himself to save the lives of the crew.



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