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My 2 Cents on The Key
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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Tue Dec 12th, 2006 12:48 am

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My 2 Cents on Episode 3.08: The Key
(8/19/02)



Despite season 3’s visionary story arc, darker tone, kickass special effects, and spectacular supporting characters, I have an inkling that this is the ep that will go down in history more so than any other from Lexx’s third season...and we all know why. I found this episode to be something of a return to normalcy. One could justifiably say that the last few eps hardly felt like Lexx at all, which I would quickly attribute to the absence of the Lexx itself.  For the first time since the show began the characters got to jaunt around an unfamiliar locale for longer than the standard sixty-minutes without having to immediately race back to the big bug. I must say it was a nice little change of pace, but I’m a creature of habit at heart, so it’s good to be back to what passes for normal on this show. While keeping with the aforementioned darker tone, St. Paul also injected a heapin’ helpin’ of good ol’ fashioned Lexxian zaniness into this ep, resulting in some of the downright funniest dialogue ever written, and a few dozen images that I’ll never be able to shake without the aid of a skilled neurosurgeon.

It’s nice to see 790 again, seeing as he was absent for several episodes. Some people have complained that we saw too much of him during season 4 (and I agree with them to a point), which I believe was because we saw so little of him during season 3.

In addition to a whole slew of other famous firsts, unless I’m mistaken, this episode marks the most times I’ve ever heard the phrase “hide the sausage” uttered within a sixty minute time period. Clearly the beans decided it was time to take a break from ultra-subtle double entendres and opt for the more direct approach (can’t say I blame them…being witty all the time can be exhausting…at some point you’ve got to just kick back and go lowbrow).

Xev’s behavior is a tad odd in this episode, though it doesn’t come as a complete shock, as she’s traversed the emotional spectrum a number of times so far this season.

Where else but on Lexx is it possible to see two of our chief protagonists strategizing about the immediate future in the commode? Furthermore, Stan doesn’t even seem to mind that Kai tagged along with him. True, he’s dead, but still, am I the only one who finds something fundamentally unsettling about this? Oh well, it provided for some of the funniest moments ever committed to celluloid. One exchange I especially liked...

Stan: “How could I be so stupid?”
Kai: “There are many ways.”

This is a perfect example of the deadpan way in which MM delivers his lines, and it had me rolling. But it pales in comparison to what followed shortly...

“The dead do not poo.”

Thanks to the miracle of flashbulb memory, much like the Challenger explosion, the waning seconds of Super Bowl XXXII, and other watershed events of my lifetime, I will always, until the day these old eyes close for good, remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard these immortal words come out of Kai’s mouth. I damn near hyperventilated the first time I saw it, and I still got a good laugh out of it this time around. It was just so unexpected. To be perfectly honest Stan’s set-up comment about getting used to using the Little Shop of Horrors toilet could have been left untouched and still have been one of the funniest, most awkward exchanges in the series. But the beans decided to put the icing on the cake, and delivered a quote that will achieve immortality within the speech centers of every Lexxian brain from now until the end of time. I honestly don’t know how either actor kept a straight face during this scene, and I’m willing to bet it produced some priceless outtakes.

Xev continues to act…odd, as she questions Stan about his belief in life after death (she’s died before, shouldn’t she know?), and pumps Kai (no pun intended) for information about the key. It was at this point the first time around that I began to put two and two together, though I still had no idea what was to come. To be perfectly honest the first time I saw this episode I was beginning to think that Prince had bought her off, much as he had done with May. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised in the end.

Kai taps into his Slain HDS rolodex and gives Xev a crash course in how the key to the Lexx works. One would think Stan would have broached this subject a long time ago…if I was in a symbiotic relationship with a semi-sentient energy wave capable of commanding the most powerful weapon of destruction in the two universes, I’d certainly want someone in the know to explain all the ins and outs [pun fully intended] of how the damn thing works…but this is Stan we’re talking about. All he needs to know is that the key makes him feel like the most important man alive…and if I came into possession of a super-powered whatzit, I’d probably take the same approach.

It was nice to see the old, spiteful 790 back doing what he does best. While his newfound hatred of Xev took a little getting used to at first (“shave your head and put on some weight”) it’s nice to see that some things never change, as his complete and utter, unwavering contempt for every fiber of Stan’s being remains steadfast.

Speaking of 790, just what the hell gender is he/she/it? He continually tells everyone that he is a woman, yet in season 4 we see him try to profess his love for Kai in a...how can I say this delicately...more prison-ish fashion. Hardly anything worth pondering at length…I chocked this one up to 790 simply wanting Kai via any means necessary, and then promptly vomited.

Now we come to another unresolved issue: the great key conundrum. We know for certain that the key can be passed at the point of death, as it has been demonstrated on several occasions. However, we’ve also seen it passed willingly, by Thodin in IWHS, and by Stan in Terminal (though he was severely wounded, he wasn’t dead). So, are we to assume that if Stan wanted to he could simply say “what the heck, here you go,” and pass the key? Perhaps this is the case, but he simply never really wanted to give it up. Secondly, though it is an extremely infrequent occurrence, we have seen Stan score from time to time, leading us to wonder why he never lost the key before. Obviously the beans slipped this in as a little latter-day rules rewrite, but I’ve always rationalized it by assuming that although Stan technically completed the act, he had never reached the level of orgasmic excitement needed to discharge (no pun intended) the key. Hence, the electrodes. Obviously this is all just speculation (and one more thing I don’t particularly feel like pondering at length), but I’m not one to take things for granted.

BTW, when Kai mentioned that death is basically the ultimate orgasm how many Lexxians out there said something to the effect of “I can’t wait to die?”

Once again, Xev is acting EXTREMELY out of character by seemingly throwing herself at Stan. Luckily for Stan, he fails to notice this behavioral switch, as he gives his brain the night off as soon as Xev comes on to him (as would a great many of us).

Kai’s sudden change of heart (I know the dead don’t have heart’s, but you follow me) really throws this episode for a loop. The instant he kissed her I was all but convinced that Kai was Prince (fella was walking across Fire for a long time…plenty of time for Prince to die and do another quick body-jump).

You’ve gotta love that blue outfit Xev changes into. Unfortunately, before we have time to properly fawn over her we are treated to the image of Stan, fitted in what I can only describe as the most God-awful uncomfortable contraceptive device known to man. Just what in the hell was the attachment between his legs supposed to be, and furthermore, why did they have one on the Lexx in the first place!? Did anyone else draw comparisons to one of those milking machines they use at a dairy, or am I the only truly sick puppy out there?

Well, Stan coughs up the key (would that it could have been a simple cough, instead of the marrow-freezing spectacle we were subjected to) and Xev absorbs it. We all pretty much expected Xev to tell Stan to get lost as soon as that happened, so the fact that she goes through with the act serves to cement the fact that this is not the Xev we all know and love. BTW, you gotta love the fractured subtlety of the Lexx floating between the two planets.

This is certainly a day for strange exchanges between Kai and Stan. First they discuss the inner workings of the posthumous digestive tract, then Kai demands that Stan cough up all the intimate details about his liaison with Xev (he’s thinking less like a corpse and more like a guy by the minute). I was more than convinced that Kai was Prince at this point, and I couldn’t help thinking that he and Xev were in this together, and that they were plotting against poor Stan. And yet, in the end, they managed to top anything I could ever imagine.

Actually, I thought this episode would have worked better as a two-parter. Xev mentions to Stan that he didn’t take her to the edge and beyond the first time, and Stan insists that with some practice he’ll get there. This could have made for some funny stuff, as they could have done a Rocky style “training montage” of Stan preparing to answer Xev’s challenge. Picture it: Stan rhythmically thrusting his pelvis in the air to the tune of Eye of the Tiger. Ah the road not taken.

Instead, Kai decides to massage Xev’s liver with his brace, thereby relieving her of the Key. Turns out Xev was Prince all along, and Stan’s reaction when he finds out just what it is that he did was absolutely priceless. You know for an evil enigma, Prince sure gets around. He almost scored with Xev, and then he climbed the Tower of Tweedle. Granted, it was the means to an end, but Prince must be really desperate to destroy Water if this is the length to which he is willing to go. Hell, I’d be half-tempted to just say “You know what…you’ve earned it, just waste the damn planet.”

Definitely an episode that will go down in Lexxian history. Classic dialogue and untouched levels of strangeness make this an ep that every DVD buff should have. This is Lexx at its best and I can only wonder as to what kind of stuff they cut out.

Cheery bye.



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 Posted: Tue Dec 12th, 2006 07:11 am

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790's piece of brain matter is really from a woman.  We saw this in the rated Lexx episode I believe it was.  I remember watching this ep, and found it quite odd at how Kai was coming onto Xev, when the dead do not cum.  Then we find out why, his suspicions turned out to be true, so so long Prince/Xev.  In a way, I'm surprised that Prince/Xev just didn't try and kill Stan for the key, but the other way was much more entertaining, if not quite kinky for Stan to go through, gotta love the beans for their wacky sense of humor.



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Ketana
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 Posted: Tue Dec 12th, 2006 09:51 am

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GOD I LOVE THIS MAN! sick puppy! twisted and demented! heavens above I laughed outloud when I read this one and everyone at work thought I had lost it..:s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a::s010a:

THANK YOU BILBO for making me feel good, especially today when I woke up feeling like death warmed over!



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 Posted: Sat Dec 16th, 2006 03:22 am

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Hehe, I really enjoyed watching this episode! Doing some dancing by myself (belly dancing) I love the dress Xev wear. Her moves were sensual at first, but later more agressive. I like that.
Poor Stan when he found out that it was actually Prince who 'tortured' him...

Great review, Bilbo, really great!

mayaXXX
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 Posted: Sun Jan 7th, 2007 01:26 pm

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You know, Michael must have had it in his contract that he could fondle any of the female stars at his whim....Here he gets not only to go tongue-diving with Xenia but he gets a 'handful' as well. This ep just REEKS of sex, and Xenia pretending to be Prince pretending to be Xev was brilliant...

:carrots_disco:



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 Posted: Thu Jul 17th, 2008 04:14 pm

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A very puzzling episode. While watching, I kept thinking: what's _with_ them? Kai seems unusually flat and disinterested - is he perhaps still suffering a small misalignment? - and Xev is somehow pulling a Kai: her voice is monotonous, her face expressionless, her eyes lackluster; her overall attitude is one of depression.

Xev plotting with 790 and Kai against Stan; Kai wanting to kiss Xev - things are definitely weird. When she finally seduced Stan, it dawned on me: she's not the real Xev. When applying the electrodes to Stan's nipple, she states that she's very good with pain - a line that reeks of May and Prince. She clinched my hunch when she stated that she always sticks to her deals.

But Kai's actions I still don't get. If he kissed Xev merely to test whether she was still herself, one kiss would have sufficed; and he's acting weird overall, not just towards her. I guess a later episode might explain more... Great line however, that Prince didn't kiss like Xev - it was a nice reminder of Xev's similar statement in the last scene of Gondola.



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