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My 2 Cents on Gondola
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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2006 01:04 am

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My 2 Cents on Episode 3.05: Gondola
(8/13/02)


Well, if you’re like me (and I’d advise you to seek trained professional help if you are…damn the expense), your head is probably spinning like a diesel powered dreidel, what with all the doin’s that have transpired since season 3 hit the ground running. This is an episode I’ve never seen before, and it embodies the tone of the third season perhaps more than any other. This (at least to me) may very well be the only 100% serious episode of Lexx. Sure there were some humorous moments, but the satire and wackiness we’ve all come to take for granted was nowhere to be found. That being said, it’s still an excellent story.

In a way, this episode reminded me of two other stories: the first being Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, and the other being the obscure (but excellent) Canadian sci-fi flick Cube (both of which lay the Kafka-esque paranoia on nice and thick). Anyone who’s familiar with these two titles can probably see where I’m coming from.

Okie dokie, let’s recap: Prince has been hurled into eternity, Stan’s desperately in need of some fresh electrolytes, Bunny’s joined the elite 2 Episode Surviors’ Club, and Xev’s world has been thrown for a loop and a half by the sudden arrival of a living, breathing, fully functioning (in more ways than one) Kai, who appears to be decked out in a…blue sundress? (which, thanks to divine providence and some clever editing, manages to stay in all the right places).  That alone would ordinarily warrant enough questions to fill an atlas, but there’s no time for that, because they’re also being chased across the atmosphere ribbon by Duke and Fifi!

*big breath*

You’ve gotta love the sequence where Kai, and the other Kai (hereafter to be referred to as K2...or Kai Squared) take out the other moths, as K2 proves himself every bit as adept as his cadaverous counterpart. Who knew those things could explode in a fiery shower of green mucus. Certainly makes one think twice before swatting a bug on one’s favorite tablecloth, doesn’t it (come on…I’m not the only one…am I?). Duke and Fifi’s crash landing made me chuckle. The old “oblivious to the fact that they’re two feet off the ground” gag is right out of every old cartoon we grew up with.

As everyone who can pick up on such a concept has undoubtedly noted, this season is heavy on the foreshadowing. Duke’s quick little quip about Girltown should be enough to peak any Lexxian’s interest, and those who have seen that ep know that he’s dead on in his sentiment about it not being the friendliest of places for the male of the species.

The exchange between Duke and Fifi also got me to thinking about how Fire/Water operate. Was the fact that Fifi was on Water a mistake, or are we to believe that the people there are judged after each consecutive lifetime. Perhaps they are working their way up from the bottom, toward salvation (ala Dante’s conception of Purgatory), and are capable of backsliding along the way. Either way, Duke seems convinced that the future does not bode well for Fifi once the sun flash fries him. From what I’ve read about Fifi’s previous incarnation, Schlemmi (I haven’t seen Luvliner, due once again to the chimp in a pin stripe suit who we all know is in charge at Sci-Fi), he seemed like a pretty bad guy, so who’s to say for sure.

People REALLY need to learn to listen to Stan. Once again he could have saved them from disaster if people would have just trusted him and left Duke and Fifi out to dry.

K2’s wasting of Duke certainly came out of nowhere, and what really puzzled me was the fact that Duke simply stood there and let it happen...almost as if he knew it was coming. We also see that the Red Hot Sea certainly lives up to its name, as there wasn’t much left of Duke when Kai found him.

Speaking of Kai, while I think his decision to jump out of the balloon and follow on foot makes perfect sense, why did he have to walk? We’ve seen Kai haul ass before, and we know that the dead do not get tired, so why couldn’t he pick up the pace? I suppose the logical answer to this question would be “Well Bilbo, you dolt, if Kai were to keep up with them, then the story wouldn’t unfold the way the writers wanted it to,” but I can’t help myself. Nitpicking seems to be in my blood.

The little discussion about the concept of “birth,” or lack thereof, among the inhabitants of Water was interesting (the concept of “waking up” parallels a number of real-world creation stories), and pretty damn cryptic given what we already know about Prince.  I’d like to have seen it continued, but once again the unreliable gondola starts to sink, and they have to shed some more weight (I guess losing their clothes was out of the option…alas, with an across-the-board gender makeup, there’d have been something in that group for everyone). 

Once again, had everyone listened to Stan and pitched Fifi over the side, it would have saved them a lot of trouble, as well as saved Bunny (I knew she had to go, but I still didn’t want it to happen). Speaking of Bunny, does her apparent eagerness to kill herself mean that she knows she will be reborn on Water...or is she just that considerate?

I pretty much figured that K2 was going to be a ruse, and after his little talk with Fifi, I was convinced he was Prince. I actually got suspicious at first when he sported the same vial of water that Prince had in the earlier episodes. Much like Stan’s deal in May, what we essentially see here is the Last Temptation of Fifi. If he wasn’t getting ready to be Fed Ex’d to hell before, he certainly is now. I also found it interesting that when K2 asks Xev “Do you want me,” he is asking both as Kai, and as Prince…it’s clear from what we know that her answer applies to both.

Ah, poor sweet Bunny, we hardly knew ye. Oh well, such is the fate of any non-main character in the Lexx universe. One highlight of this particular scene was Stan’s reaction to her death with regards to Fifi. There are few instances when we get to see the deadly serious side of Stan surface, but following Bunny’s permanent Nestea Plunge you could see the ice take hold of Stan’s veins as he stared a hole through Fifi. It was clear then and there that he had absolutely no qualms about taking his life.

Anyone who watches Lexx knows that Xev can be, at times, way too trusting. But it’s an awfully big leap of faith to think that you can find help from the people who just tried to kill you. The scene where she’s climbing the side of the towering city wall goes to prove one of two things: either Xev has balls of steel (I mean that in a figurative sense of course, seeing as her gender swap with Stan has been long since cured), or cluster lizards bounce and she has nothing to be afraid of if she falls. I’m open to either interpretation.

And now, for those who hadn’t figured it out yet, we come to the shocking truth: K2 is Prince. Though he only got to act in a Prince-like manner for a short time, Mike McManus seemed to enjoy it, and the way in which he recited Prince’s catchphrase “I’m good with pain,” sounded particularly cool. Thankfully though—in large part to Xev’s spinning-cluster-lizard-ball-of-pointy-toothed-death trick—the bad guys are terminated with extreme prejudice. I’ll leave it to the female Lexxian contingent to argue the merits of Xev’s one-liner: that Kai is a better kisser than Prince (if this doesn’t lead to a massive fan-community schism, I don’t know what will). As for Fifi, I liked his hat, and there were moments when he seemed almost likable (once again, in a weasely Steve Buscemi sort of way), but he killed Bunny, so that right there sealed his Death Warrant (to quote my favorite science-fiction character of all time: “Fuck…he’s dead. You’re dogmeat pal!”).

All in all, a good episode, though as I mentioned before, 100% serious. That’s ok with me though, I’m always up for a change of pace. Besides, in my opinion, the best (including two of the greatest lines of all time) is yet to come.

Cheery bye.



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Shenandora
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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2006 01:51 am

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Bilbo wrote:
I also found it interesting that when K2 asks Xev “Do you want me,” he is asking both as Kai, and as Prince…it’s clear from what we know that her answer applies to both.

Really? I've never thought about that. Of course I discovered as well, that K2 is Prince, actually. But does Xev's answer really apply to both? Okay, we, the viewer, know that she does, but does she know that it is not ony living Kai, but also Prince she applies to?

I really have to re-watch that episode again...

I’ll leave it to the female Lexxian contingent to argue the merits of Xev’s one-liner: that Kai is a better kisser than Prince (if this doesn’t lead to a massive fan-community schism, I don’t know what will)

Oh, you're so right!

Ketana
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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2006 06:09 am

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I actually got suspicious at first when he sported the same vial of water that Prince had in the earlier episodes


 

yup yup yup caught that one..HINT HINT..*sledgehammer over head* oh d'uh...

Poor Bunny..alas I knew her well..

Kai, blue dress..*thud*



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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2006 07:22 am

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I liked this epsisode for many reasons.  First, living Kai in the little blue dress of course, and it showed just how much Xev really desired Kai and when she had a live one in her hands, she was like Wooo hooo, I've hit the motherlode.  You kind of had to desest Fifi, you got the impression he was a scumbag, and you know he kills bunny, at that point you just want to toss him over the side.  Stan really did show a deadly side then.  I loved how Xev took care of living Kai/Prince....I want a pair of those boots!



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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Tue Dec 12th, 2006 12:37 am

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Ketana wrote: I actually got suspicious at first when he sported the same vial of water that Prince had in the earlier episodes

Didn't even notice the vial.  Score one for eiditic memory.



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Julie
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 Posted: Sun Mar 20th, 2011 12:20 pm

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I enjoyed immensely this episode because I love Michael's portrayals of "baddies." I wish he had done more of them; his posture, facial expression, tone of the voice... everything works to render the evil behind angel's looks. I wish he had more screentime as Prince, it would have been much better episode. Of course, I got the sense of satisfaction that Michael had a chance to show the sensual side which Kai lacks, and for me it was a real refreshment. Are the directors blind? Why is he not torn apart by the producers? How come he even does not have an agent? I see so many so-called "stars" on the screen with no or little acting skills that it drives me crazy. Michael's involvement for me would make any movie PERFECT as Michael is himself as an actor.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 20th, 2011 01:45 pm

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Good old Dead Kai's decision to abandon ship was probably the one 'logical' moment in the whole episode. The slow walk across the Red Hot Sea has two possible explanations first-The dead don't get tired but their protoblood does expire so perhaps he was attempting to hold off going rancid for as long as possible or the explanation I tend to lean toward He simply couldn't move any faster due to furthering the damage he was already suffering from his initial landing on Water.

Remember in K-town he told Stanley and Xev that he had suffered damage when he landed on Water and that the damage had been progressing. By the time he caught up to them he was having major problems.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 20th, 2011 01:57 pm

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Kai seems to be quite a good strategist, far superior than the other members of the crew. I somehow neglect the idea about his totally dead nature. Without his mind's flexibility and analytical skills the Lexx crew would be long dead. Dead dead.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 21st, 2011 02:47 pm

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Julie wrote:  Why is he not torn apart by the producers? How come he even does not have an agent? I see so many so-called "stars" on the screen with no or little acting skills that it drives me crazy. Michael's involvement for me would make any movie PERFECT as Michael is himself as an actor.
 

Michael dropped his manager and agent back when he was still working on Lexx. One of his former agents was trying desperately to get him work as a romantic lead but he preferred  character roles and was not interested in going in that direction. Since then he's pretty much booked his own gigs. He also has no press agent or publicity person and prefers to do things his own way. The only presence on the internet regarding his work is the IMDB  page site and the MM.com site for his bio. His reasons for doing things this way are his own and we basically have to accept it, as much as we'd like to see more commercial work.

:(


 



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