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My 2 Cents on Tunnels
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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Fri Dec 8th, 2006 09:26 pm

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My 2 Cents on Episode 3.07: Tunnels
(8/16/02)



This will go down as one of my all time favorite eps (I know, I know, I promised to give the redundant lead-ins the heave-ho…and I’m trying…but this really is one of my favorites), not necessarily because of the story—quality though it be—but because it contains what I believe to be the best line of the entire series.

It’s already been more than established that Kai cannot feel any pain, so it should come as no surprise that he didn’t flinch when his captors decided to pull a Steven Seagal with his leg. But what I’m wondering is, just what was up with all that cracking. I’ve seen a leg or two get horribly mangled in my day, and I can tell you that they don’t pop THAT much. I chock this up to one of the following conclusions: either

a) When Kai smashed into the surface of Water he was damaged a lot more than he initially led on, and the majority of his bones have been crushed to a fine powder; or

b) the guy in charge of doing sound effects fell asleep with his finger on the button.

I shouldn’t harp on it too much though. After all, this is Lexx.

Stan and Xev are stuck in K-Town, having it out with Prince.  Before I get too far into that, there’s something I’ve been meaning to touch on for a long time now: Prince’s coat. 

Simply put…is that a badass looking coat or what? (wonder what became of it)

Moving on now…

You’ve really got to stay on your toes when dealing with Prince. The guy uses every possible situation to try and trick Stan and Xev into making a deal with him (his “I always stick to my deals” line is an ominous bit of foreshadowing). What’s ironic is, if you look at it from a broader scope (and with some prior knowledge as to the ending of season 3) you know that Stan is already damned, and that any further deal he cuts with Prince would be more or less moot.  So why not tell ol’ Prince to pound sand?

Which is precisely what he does! Did it seem a tad anti-climactic to anyone else when he simply walked off? We’ve seen the guy disappear and reappear at will, metamorphosize into other characters, and all manner of cool tricks, so why didn’t he just teleport on over to Hogtown? (And for the record, I know my old “Bilbo you dolt, then there would be no story” disclaimer applies here, but I gotta calls ‘em like I sees ‘em).

A town even Prince wants nothing to do with? What horror of horrors could this place possibly have in store for our heroes? What kind of twisted, depraved, unspeakable evil could possibly dwell within those accursed walls? That was the crux of my thinking when I first saw this ep. “Surely,” that seldom-nurtured rational part of my brain told me, “Kai must be in for it.”

And then we learned the appalling truth. The reason Prince has no interest in ruling over the people of Hogtown is because at some point he would have to deal with them face to face, which I believe many would consider a fate worse than death. The adjudication court certainly gives the Golleen clan and the “people downstairs” a run for their money in the “Who would you most like to see encounter the crazed Wake the Dead version of Kai in a dark alley festooned with rusty railroad spikes and blunted carpenter’s tools?” category. That being said, it’s a spot on send up of how bureaucracies operate. The court’s hopeless, self-contradicting adherence to procedure had me cracking up, though it did little to quell the disdain I felt for them. However…

I was quite intrigued by the substance of their long-winded, go-nowhere oratory: an attempt to record and quantify every individual act of cruelty, suffering, and depravity that takes place on Fire, in hopes that someday the planet itself might overcome its nature. Does this hint at something far more complex than the superficial “good guys go here, bad guys go there” nature of Fire and Water (ala Fifi and Mantrid, as I’ve already noted). Does it lend credence to the “clarity begets ascendancy” theory?

Infuriating though they are, I dare say the council’s objective is a noble one…unfortunately for them, they are so mired in procedure that they’ll probably never get around to accomplishing anything anyway (bet they don’t bathe too often either).

Mike McManus, playing the still-knocked-out-of-alignment Kai, did a great job in this one, as he appeared to be annoyed, and at times even pissed off, by the endless babbling to which he was subjected (gotta love how he eventually just tunes them out and starts singing the Brunnen-G hymn). Speaking of babbling, I’ve got my fair share of bigass words ready and waiting in my mental quiver, but I don’t know what the hell physiognomy is. Is that even a word?

How exactly did Xev know that step number 39,000 was the bottom of the K-Town stairwell? Did they cut out a scene that explained just how high up the city was, or does she have some sort of sixth cluster lizard sense that tells her this sort of thing? Or, for that matter, was there a door leading to the outside world at the bottom of the steps that I neglected to pay attention to? 39,000 steps...that would make for one hell of a slinky run, though with that many steps I would probably lose interest after the first couple of hours.

The tunnels between K-Town and Hogtown are certainly freaky, and I must say I liked Lex G’s portrayal of Dr. Rainbow. His initial chanting was a tad unsettling, and his warning to Stan makes you wonder just what kind of trouble Xev has gotten herself into now.

Back to Kai’s never-ending interrogation, where we learn yet another important lesson about Divine Assassins: the dead are sarcastic. I loved his reply to “Have you suffered any torture?” “Yes, from this commission.” I’m with you there buddy. If I had to sit through what essentially amounts to a live performance of C-SPAN I’d be screaming for somebody to drop me out of a window too. Ah, but this pales in comparison to the dead man’s next witty retort...

Kai: (after having been asked if he’s ever killed anybody) “I have killed...(never one to miss an opportunity to launch into that speech)...but it’s been a while since I slaughtered a whole room full of petty bureaucrats!”

Damn. I’d imagine that at that point, anyone out there who may have convinced themselves that they could take Kai in a fight was asking for their words back. I love the raspy, forceful way in which he delivers the line. I guess the dead do get pissed off after all. I also cracked a smile when it turned out that standard punishment #1 is in fact the same thing Kai was asking for all along. I guess SP #2 must mean they leave you in the adjudication room, a fate I would wish upon no one.

I’ve always hated being at a loss for words, but damned if I’m capable of accurately describing Xev’s captors. I’ll give the ol’ plebian college try nonetheless: A trio of sadomasochistic ballerinas who dispatch their captors with giant bear traps. Think about that sentence. Read it over a few times. In any other setting, and I mean ANY other setting this would fall into my “what the hell is this crap?” category...but in the world of Lexx…business as usual!

Anybody else get the feeling that when Dr. Rainbow (gotta love these names) spoke of cutting off “parts you don’t need” he wasn’t offering to giving Stan a free appendectomy? Speaking of which, as a card-carrying Stan fan, I would have loved for him to reply to the good doctor’s “unnecessary parts” line with something in the flavor of: “Well why don’t you just go ask the girls on Boomtown how ‘unnecessary’ they are?” A lost opportunity for sure, but it’s hard enough for a normal person to be suave when they’re terrified, let alone Stanley Tweedle.

So Prince decides to be nice for a change; and in the process, kicks ass all up and down the tunnels. One would think that when the three S&M ballerinas where hurled into the pit full of traps (anyone else willing to bet the beans were playing Mortal Kombat while writing this ep?) that it would be a tad messier, but I suppose with half a dozen castration references already under their belt, the beans decided to play it safe in order to secure that TV-14 rating. BTW, between the doctor’s surgical practices and the three whacked out cheerleaders, does anyone else feel like Freud could have wrung an entire three-volume psychiatric desk reference out of this episode alone?

Prince is a lot of things, but a good fighter isn’t one of them. Sure he dispatched both of the warped plastic surgeons, but one would think the supreme evil ruler of the planet Fire wouldn’t let a couple of relative nobodies bump him off. Oh well, not like it hasn’t happened before. This guy treats dying the way the rest of us treat paying our cable bill.

Lastly, for anyone who has seen the next ep, you know who is really who, but what I found odd was that we saw Xev and Prince’s body at the same time. Not sure how that is supposed to work, but I’m willing to venture a guess: what if the “Prince” who followed Stan and Xev around during most of this episode wasn’t really Prince at all?  Given his dying words—”I wanted you to love me, Stanley”—I have reason to believe that that “Prince” was actually May.  After all, she is/was something more than the average Fire/Water resident, and if Prince and (presumably) Duke can manifest themselves in different forms, perhaps she can too.

Well, as the lovingly departed Dr. Rainbow might say, I’m cutting it off here. I conclude by reiterating that I enjoyed the performance by Lex Gigeroff, but it actually got me to thinking...we’ve seen him and Jeff Hirschfeld step in front of the camera, but how come Paul Donovan never does? What is he, covered with open sores or something?

Cheery bye.



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Shenandora
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 Posted: Sat Dec 9th, 2006 03:34 am

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Thanks for this one, Bilbo! This is one of my favs too, because it has lots of Prince in it and scenes I love...



Ketana
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 Posted: Sat Dec 9th, 2006 01:29 pm

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hahahahahahahahaha..lord but you're a riot Bilbo! I simply adore the way your mind works..warped warts and all! I truly admire your sense of humour..Ill that it is...by the by are you thinking of heading towards Megacon? I'd love to meet you!

 

Last edited on Sat Dec 9th, 2006 01:30 pm by Ketana



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Angel
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 Posted: Sat Dec 9th, 2006 04:14 pm

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One thing about this ep is Kai's line about kill a room full of petty bureaucrats.  That line alone speaks for the average citizen who has to pay tons of taxes and stand in lines a mile long at government agencies, gotta love the beans.  Lex as Dr. Rainbow was truly creepy and just when you thought Stan was a goner, in comes Prince of all people to save his ass.  And I'm surprised that Xev didn't wear a hole in the sole of her boots going down all those steps, so not only is she resilient as a cluster lizard, but so are her boots. :D 



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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Tue Dec 12th, 2006 12:31 am

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Ketana wrote:  are you thinking of heading towards Megacon?  

'Fraid I'll be otherwise occupied around that time, but who knows.  If I ever land a book deal perhaps I'll do a tour and swing by your neck of the woods.



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If you're normal, the crowd will accept you. But if you're deranged, the crowd will make you their leader.
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Karin Spaink
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 Posted: Thu Jul 17th, 2008 11:24 am

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One of the best season three episodes... Prince is becoming more and more complicated (and thus intriguing), and the adjudication committee's session was prime and painful satire: convoluted, labyrinth-esk, autistic, twisted and unfortunately, all-too-true. Btw, 'physiognomy' is the theory that you can infer somebody's character from their appearance.

(Yes, I'm new here, and yes, I'm happy to have discovered this forum and to make your acquaintance. I'm re-watching the whole series so I might chime in on one or two of Bilbo's wonderful reviews.)



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Angel
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 Posted: Thu Jul 17th, 2008 01:56 pm

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Hi Kairin, welcome to Lexxverse.  Bilbo has written some very amazing, witty and funny reviews.  Hope you have a pot of coffee and some time, because they are well worth reading.



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Karin Spaink
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 Posted: Thu Jul 17th, 2008 02:26 pm

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Angel, I'll happily _make_ time for them and will read as I watch. Currently, I'm half through season three. And thanks for the welcome :)



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