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My 2 Cents on Little Blue Planet
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Bilbo67
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Joined: Fri Oct 27th, 2006
Location: The Daisy Hill Cluster Lizard Farm
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 Posted: Thu Aug 2nd, 2007 06:16 am

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My 2 Cents on Episode 4.01: Little Blue Planet
(8/2/07)
 


Having finally put the kibosh on season 2, having at long last secured an unobstructed hour in which to once again lose myself in the Dark Zone, and having lived for months on end on good faith and vaguely worded noncommittal promises, the time has finally come to start giving the final season of Lexx the ol’ $0.02 treatment.  Yeah, I probably could have gotten around to it in a much timelier manner (considering my social calendar is a bleak, blasted hellscape of illimitable nothingness, plus I already took a four year break from the review gig, so it’s not like burnout is an issue), but on this rarest of occasions I actually have not one, but two honest injun excuses for my sloth.  

First and foremost, my computer speakers were shot to hell, and while I suppose it’s possible to enjoy the show without the luxury of sound, it turns out I only thought I knew how to read lips.  Secondly, I had a near miss with regards to my literary pursuits that has greatly exacerbated my recurrent contempt for the human species (actually a fairly handy outlook to adopt when approaching season 4).  Without getting too much into it: my agent had apparently found a publisher with a greater-than-passing interest in one of my novel manuscripts, I was all prepared to fly out to Boston to meet with her, then three days before I was due to depart I got a letter informing me that the agency representing me filed for bankruptcy.  Try as I might, I was unable to get a hold of the publisher myself—or my former agent for that matter—and so, after a brief lull during which I would not have been the least bit bothered if a Lexx-sized energy burst cracked the Earth in half, I’m back to square one: querying agents, pacing a lot, and fielding rejection letters.  Honestly, were it not for the sheer volume of barely readable crap that gets published every year, I might have thrown in the towel at this point.

Alrighty, I think that’s quite enough fishing for sympathy…what say we get down to business?

Season 4 is my least favorite of the series, pretty much by virtue of the fact that any time you rank something from best to worst, something inexorably has to be declared “worst.”  That said, I’ll briefly touch on a few particulars that contributed to the ranking: I’m probably not alone when I say that I was somewhat disappointed by the dramatic shift in overall tone – from the dark intensity and breakneck pace of season 3, to a more laid back, gag-oriented approach that seemed to tread into full-blown David Zucker-esque parody territory at times.  Of course this complaint only marginally holds water, as season 3 was vastly different from season 2, which was almost nothing like season 1, but I just couldn’t help feeling let down.  Moreover, the start-and-stop nature of the plot was a bit jarring (on more than one occasion the characters spend several episodes trying like hell to get back to the Lexx, only to turn right around and go back down to Earth), some of the humor—specifically the one-shot movie parodies—fell flat, and there were too many non-sequitorial filler episodes, which was too bad, because in hindsight, I believe they could have taken the 24 episodes they were allotted and pared the season 4 story arc down to twelve tightly plotted episodes, leaving twelve more for a fifth season that could have been shot back-to-back. 

But that’s not to say there aren’t gems aplenty sprinkled throughout the show’s final twenty-four episodes: first off there’s The Game (still my pick for all-time best episode); any episode featuring Prince, no matter how mediocre the story, is automatically elevated; the integration of vampire mythology into the history of the Divine Order was a masterstroke; and if ever there was a planet worthy of being mercilessly slandered to hell and back, it’s little ol’ Terra Firma.  Furthermore, even the less than stellar episodes have plenty of fun stuff to enjoy (I’m not as fickle as Sadgeezer), which will be my primary focus throughout the course of these reviews…for I come not to bury Lexx, but to praise it.

Like anyone who appreciates a good sequel-plug ending, my jaw damn near bounced off the carpet during the closing seconds of Heaven & Hell.  Not only is Prince alive, seemingly more powerful than ever, but his sun-yellowed aura is making a beeline for the absolute last place we ever expected our heroes to turn up.  Why the beans decided to bring the show to Earth after never once mentioning it during the preceding seasons is anybody’s guess (like you could ever squeeze a rational answer out of those three, even if you tied them up and strapped them to a table saw), but I tend to think that it was a last second decision.  Like many, I immediately forsook anything pertaining to the real world and set about pondering just what kind of Earth we would be treated to in season 4.  Would it be the distant future?  Some kind of idyllic utopia or post-apocalyptic nightmare?  That could have been mighty interesting, but I suspect it’s for the best that they decided to set the scene in the present day, because unlike some outlandishly speculative futuristic society, the here and now is under no obligation to make sense.

And so, with the scene set, the beans pulled Jeff Hirschfeld out of his latest peanut-butter-and-quaaludes-induced stupor, read the complete Hitchhiker’s Guide series from cover to cover to get in the right cheerfully misanthropic mindset, and proceeded to rip the world as we know it a new one.

Let the good times roll!

Right from the beginning they tinkered with our expectations.  Instead of picking up immediately after the destruction of Fire and Water, we are bound, gagged, stuffed into the Wayback machine and spirited off to Newfoundland, circa 1901, where we meet a bombastically Italian inventor named Guglielmo Marconi, whom I was pleasantly surprised to learn was a real person (Lexx, I am in thy debt, for you taught me more in a single episode than I learned in my entire first two semesters in college).  Armed with a cartoonish accent straight out of a WWII-era propaganda film and a pasty, mouth-breathing sidekick who talks like he’s got a horseshoe lodged in the speech center of his brain, he’s braving the icy wilds of northern Canada (for as the screenwriters’ codex tells us, every establishing shot of Canada must include snow, lest the audience should get confused) in the hope that his crackpot theories about radiotelegraphy might bear fruit (why that requires some guy to stand around flying a kite is anybody’s guess).

To his horrifically stereotypical astonishment, the damn thing actually works (choke on that Tesla!), and we watch, in a nifty little time-elapsed interstellar montage, as his faint signal spans the galaxy until it is eventually intercepted by a massive mechanized asteroid that immediately takes off in search of the signal’s source.  And because we’ve yet to meet any benevolent, Spielbergian aliens during the course of our vicarious voyage through the Two Universes, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re bearing down on us with ill intentions, which, retroactively, makes Marconi’s invention the biggest well-intentioned blunder in human history (narrowly edging out New Coke, the accidental discovery of VX gas, and medieval Europe’s short lived “pet rat” fad).

Interestingly enough, in doing a little side reading on the historical Marconi, I learned that when asked about his work later in life, he said, “Have I done the world good, or have I added a menace?” (a rhetorical brain-buster echoed by my folks one fateful early morning back in ‘81).

From there you’d think we’d segue to the Lexx crew, but no (it’s like they were holding out for more residuals or something).  Instead we’re whisked from the inky depths of space to another vacuous, mostly empty void that my literary hero once referred to as “that grand, benevolent national asylum for the helpless,” Washington D.C. (that the first thing we hear are police sirens is a telling indicator of things to come).  In an attempt to keep things reasonably vague (and surreptitiously suggest that this could all still happen), we are informed that it’s “the very near future,” which by extension means that the events of the first two seasons actually took place in the very distant past.  How one can possibly reconcile that revelation with all of the Earth-oriented references and cultural nods sprinkled throughout the first three seasons is utterly beyond my knowing, although given the nigh-incomprehensible amount of ludicrous stuff that I’ve long come to accept, I’d be a hypocrite and a half if I chose now of all times to start nitpicking the little things (but don’t think I’m ever giving up on Stan’s hat).

In yet another gloriously laconic Marty Simon-infused intro, we follow a hurried retinue of police cars and unmarked government vehicles as they speed past our national monuments toward an unidentified NORAD-style bunker on the outskirts of the city.  From there, in an example of our tax dollars at work, we watch as a handful of shady dignitaries assemble at a single 4x12 foot desk in the very center of a big empty room that’s twice the size of Liechtenstein.  All the usual suspects (in more ways than one if they’re anything like the real McCoy) are in attendance: the president, select members of his cabinet, Prince…

WTF!!!

Unthinkable though it may seem, it appears that Prince—or someone who looks a helluva lot like Prince—has trimmed his hair to business casual length, abandoned his flowing black cloak in favor of dressing like a nineteenth century undertaker, and landed a cushy job as the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (you know…the first three things that come to mind when the average Cannuck hears the word “America”).  How an evil, self-serving enigma with a jet-black soul of primordial, netherworldly malice could possibly ascend to one of the highest levels of government is beyond me (…yes, I could do innumerable Karl Rove/Dick Cheney jokes at this point, but there would be no challenge in that), especially considering that at best the destruction of Fire and Water took place a day or two beforehand.  But, as we will later be introduced to the concept of duplicate souls/bodies (Stan and Kai both have them, and I assume there’s an unseen “fat Zev” doppelganger somewhere out there), I’m inclined to surmise that perhaps the Prince who escaped from Fire (who doesn’t have or need a corporeal form) merged with this Prince—identified only as Isambard in this ep—and only recently took over thinking for him (either that, or Prince simply materialized on Earth, applied for the job, and got it…smooth talker that he is, I have little trouble believing that).

Right away “Isambard” (cool name) takes center stage and more or less does all of the president’s thinking for him.  He informs the prez—and by extension, us—that a young boy from flyover country recently stumbled upon an alien spacecraft while combing the cosmos for a science project (per the opening credits, the kid’s name is Digby, a name so patently annoying that it all but screams “KILL ME!!!” --so much so that I actually borrowed the name and gave it to a wormy little puke in one of my stories).  And how has he seen fit to reward this modern-day Marconi, whose astounding discovery will forever alter our perception of life, the universe, and everything (couldn’t help myself) and radically alter the course of human history as we know it?  By gagging the overachieving little twerp and chaining him to the wall a hundred or so feet off the ground (how’d they get him up there?).  Perhaps a wee bit of an overreaction on the government’s part (the hell you say), but Prince is just warming up.  Having gone behind the president’s back and authorized the Hague-Schliefen plan—a directive pushed through congress in exchange for masking any number of presidential indiscretions (which, if you think about it, could easily account for some of the absolutely atrocious pieces of legislation we’ve had to swallow throughout history)—he has already:

*Had everyone at SETI eliminated (callous to be sure, but anything that helps curtail reckless government spending gets Bilbo’s Five Star Super Happy Smiley Face Seal of Approval [patent pending])

*Credited their grisly demise to psycho religious fundamentalists (damn Quakers played us for fools all these years)

*Seen to it that most major news organizations swallow the religious whackjob explanation wholesale (We Report.  We Decide.  You Eat Shit And Die.)

*Had the CIA clandestinely terminate any troublesome muckrakers who refused to toe the line (and yet those lying, manipulative Weather Channel bastards get to spew their mendacious venom with impunity…balmy with mild overcast my ass!)

Whew…hey I knew we were in for it from the get-go, but my word, the beans can really pile it on when they want to.

BTW, did anyone else notice that Nigel’s accent is all but gone in this scene?  I’m inclined to take this as further proof that Isambard and Prince are two separate entities…at least at first.

Well, needless to say, that’s quite a bite even for the perpetually bewildered leader of the free world to swallow, but it’s just the appetizer.  Before the prez can so much as mumble “Izzy, you’re doin’ a heckuva job,” Prince informs him that they have achieved satellite linkup with the aliens (no idea how they accomplished that) and hands him a thick stack of Presidential Talking-Point Flashcards.

So here it comes…the moment of truth…first contact.  Drumroll…drumroll…drumroll…

It’s Stan!  Looking cranky and standing far too close to the camera (so lemme get this straight…in the Light Universe they can regenerate a girl who’s been reduced to a pile of butterscotch goop with her memories and disposition intact, remove frapped vital organs and stuff them in a wondrous little plastic box that makes them good as new in the time it takes most people to heat up a can of soup, but they never got around to inventing the nose hair trimmer…I find that deeply suspect at best).  One would think that the president would leap right out of his seat upon discovering that the “aliens” look just like we do, but the man’s an Ivy League meat puppet, so he immediately turns to the cards, and in the single most telling sign of all that this is a science fiction program, cheerfully proclaims “We are a benign species…”

Of course Stan could give a damn about small talk.  As is customary when the Lexx rears its unsettlingly tumescent head in the vicinity of a planet full of unsuspecting dunces, he’s three sheets to the wind with power and has temporarily transformed his body into a colossal biological id reactor.  Come to think of it, I find it a little odd that Stan didn’t immediately recognize Prince, but in the Stunner’s defense, Prince has a new haircut and is sitting in profile, and Stan himself has undoubtedly erected a triple-reinforced mental retaining wall to keep from drudging up memories of that fateful night in the cryochamber when Prince taught him exactly what the definition of “is” is.  So he launches into his standard line of questioning: “Why would a guy like me want to go down there?” to which the prez replies—cheerful as before—”Our planet is decaying in its own filth and is best avoided by all aliens.”

Darn it all if the beans didn’t totally head-fake me and do exactly what I would have done, although if I were in the president’s shoes (and I assure you, if I ever am, it will only be because I broke off from the White House tour group and looted the executive coat closet) I would have upped the ante a bit.  Something along the lines of: “Our female populace consists entirely of nine foot tall green-skinned cannibalistic cave dwellers who secrete carbonic acid from their pores at seven minute intervals, we’re presently battling a worldwide outbreak of airborne leprosy, and the humidity’s an absolute bitch.”

Needless to say, the conversation tanks harder than a quadriplegic dance recital, and at long last we finally cut to the Lexx.  Stan’s acting kind of pissy, but given the last few days’ goings on, who can really blame him: fighting, dying, losing the key to the Lexx, having to do the world’s most awkward ex post facto walk of shame after realizing that that was Prince he spent two hours spooning with (just imagine Xev and Stan lying together, their bodies absolutely spent…then Xev casually rolls over, and in Nigel’s inimitable tenor says “So Stanley…what’s for breakfast?”)…gotta figure that would make anyone a tad testy.

With little buildup and a complete lack of fanfare we’re then reintroduced to the others, as they each chime in with their suggestions.  Xev’s itching to go down to the little blue planet to do some prospecting (and since I’m going with mining terms, I assume she’s looking to sink a few shafts…), 790 suggests they kill the bitch (admit it ladies, the romantic rat race has spurred you all to low, murderous thoughts from time to time), and Kai, as is so often the case, is the only one of the lot with anything useful to say.  Drawing on his purloined memories, the dead man informs them—and us—that this planet is at the center of the darkest part of the Dark Zone, which makes the most sense of anything I’ve ever heard or am ever likely to hear.  As if that weren’t foreboding enough, it is a Type 13 planet; a disastrous, doomed-from-day-one hellhole that is destined to destroy itself, be it through war, environmental catastrophe, or calculating the mass of the Higgs-Bosun particle.

Ok, let’s see…we’ve go those first two pretty much covered, nothing we can do about that…seems the only rational course of action is to band together and travel the world demolishing physics labs, just to be on the safe side.  As both Lexxians and quasi-compassionate human beings, it is our solemn duty (modified itinerary for the next convention: meet, greet, choose your weapon).
  
Well, it’s not like our heroes haven’t encountered disaster-prone backwater worlds before, so the prudent thing would be to head someplace else, but Stan seems hellbent on blowing the Earth to smithereens simply because one duly elected clod was a wee bit uncouth with him (then again, I do not suffer discourtesy lightly either, and if I had recently schtupped my sworn enemy and spent untold timeless hours pedaling a demonic exercise bike, I’d probably be a crotchety old cynic too).  And even if he wanted to leave right away, they can’t, because the Lexx is still starving (these people would make thoroughly unfit pet owners).

I don’t know about you, but I quite enjoyed seeing the Lexx gang together again—especially on the heels of a prolonged off-season—but I guess the beans didn’t feel that way, because the scene immediately cuts back to Earth, to what looks like a recycled corridor set from the original Alien.  There we meet a slightly effete, clean-shaven Jack Sparrow look-alike named Kobra who’s taking his last long walk down the grated green mile.  I always thought they phased the rickety wooden electric chair out of use decades ago, but hell, I also thought the ATF was little more than a pack of low-grade bunglers whose abysmal track record and much ballyhooed screw-ups have rendered them the laughingstock of the justice department for the past decade and a half (or so my old man—a retired United States Marshal with a diamond-tipped wit I could only dream of fully inheriting—tells me), and look how wrong I was about that!

We don’t learn a great deal about Kobra, although he doesn’t require a whole lot of exposition.  He’s German, he’s not Xev, so on this show that automatically makes him evil.  Condemned to fry for his crimes (after one last manicure…don’t know what to make of that), he is granted an eleventh-hour stay of execution by a surprise phone call from Prince…yet another thing I didn’t know the ATF could do (although if it turned out they really do secretly run the country, that would certainly explain some things).  Quicker than you can say “jump cut” Kobra is whisked away from wherever the hell he was to a secret meeting with Prince, where ol’ Izzy offers him an ultimatum…you can die…or you can die a little later after killing those aliens for me.  Gotta say Prince has all the angles covered here, although if I were Kobra (never happen…I chew my nails) I might have been tempted to stick with option one, just to bust his chops a bit (ok not really…call me old fashioned, but I’ve kinda grown accustomed to being alive, and am too set in my ways to consider exploring any of the alternatives).

Thankfully, Kobra doesn’t bother to analyze the situation as thoroughly as I just did (for once again, there would be no show if that happened), and volunteers to do the dastardly deed on the condition that he be allowed to take his manicurist and personal trainer along with him.  Not sure why they agree to tag along (no friend of mine, no matter how intimate my relationship with his cuticles, could possibly persuade me to join him on a suicide mission, and I cannot fathom what good a personal trainer would be in zero-g), but what the hey…the more bad guys we accrue, the higher the inevitable body count!
 
So Prince’s evil scheme is afoot, and after the first of what promises to be many stock-shots of the space shuttle taking off, we meet the rest of the intrepid crew: two mopey, terribly underdressed astronauts who seem to think they’ll be able to land the shuttle on the moon (although given recent revelations about NASA astronauts getting shitfaced before takeoff, it’s no wonder they’re so durn gullible).

I know I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t a huge fan of the David Zucker-style shtick that popped up throughout season 4, but so help me I laughed my head off when it was revealed that the shuttle controls consist of little more than a gas pedal and a steering wheel (complete with novelty horn).  Of course it was made all the funnier by the captain’s laundry list of NASA credentials (top gun pilot, eight years of training, etc…).  I don’t care how out of place it was, that was funny as hell.
 
You know I might have liked the shuttle captain…unfortunately, he was a complete imbecile who got what he had coming to him.  Let’s see…you know this guy’s a homicidal maniac, yet you still show him how to fly the damn ship…sorry pal, but you walked right into that one.  For a time it looks like smooth sailing for Kobra and the rest of the Eurotrash Mod Squad…unfortunately, his buddies accidentally arm a nuclear bomb (they must not watch TV), and because some thoughtless yutz forgot to equip the shuttle with a brake, the Lexx promptly swallows them up. 
 
From there it’s back to the Lexx crew…or at least that’s what I thought (what is the name of this show again…?).  Instead, we are inexplicably dropped into the middle of the Amazon, where a stomach-churningly annoying safari group from the finest travel agency in all of Hoboken is marveling at a pair of luminescent toucans…I cannot possibly quantify my instantaneous contempt for them in plain English, so I will simply say that when the Lexx swooped down to take a big bite out of South America I felt like doing the wave (doesn’t work all that well with one person).  

So by now Murphy’s Law is in full effect.  The shuttle mission is a complete disaster, and a giant dragonfly that can conjure up miniature solar flares is gnawing on a huge hunk of our sister continent; but none of that matters in the least to the president, because it’s election night (as we all know, the primary duty of our elected officials is to get reelected) and he’s getting his incumbent ass handed to him by a mysterious write-in candidate named Reginald J. Priest.  Seems this guy’s a coast-to-coast sensation with the disenfranchised electorate, despite the fact that the only thing anyone seems to know about him is that he was a Vietnam P.O.W. for thirty-two years (an apropos stab at “flash over substance”); and because like me, most clear-thinking Americans would pull the lever for any independent candidate capable of touching his nose with his eyes closed just to stick it to the beltway bums, a full eighteen seconds after the polls open, Priest is announced the winner in a landslide.

From there we go to Priest campaign headquarters where Prince’s erstwhile lap dog—now the glassy-eyed president-elect—announces that upon taking office, his first order of business—in keeping to his campaign promise to grant amnesty to all criminals whose names begin with “P”—will be to pardon President Davidson for “all his crimes,” at which point Prince kicks back on the Oval Office couch, cracks a big smile, and calmly opines that “Humans are a flawed species” (if you notice, Nigel’s accent creeps back in at this point).

Finally, after all of that admittedly hilarious rigmarole it’s back to the Lexx, where once again a group of strangers have trekked unscathed from the big bug’s gut to the bridge in record time, despite the fact that Lexx is bigger than several of our punier states.  Because Kai is pissing away protoblood by allowing Stan to pester him about the pros and cons of getting rid of 790 (kind of touching when Stan says he won’t kill him because “he’s part of the family”…we’ll just see how long it takes him to eat those words), the prissy little ashcan intercepts Kobra and his killing crew and convinces them to whack Xev for him, after which one of the disposable minions alludes to possibly having a “thing” for six thousand year old dead men…normally, this is where I’d make some kind of crass joke, but I’d be roundaboutly slighting about 85% of the Lexxian community if I did.
 
So where, pray tell, is Xev?  Why she’s in bed doing her nails, which, like any highly engaging, multi-step chore, requires her to conveniently shut off her Cluster Lizard spidey sense.  Surprise, surprise, Kobra shows up, announcing that he too is a love slave who has been hiding on the Lexx since they left the Cluster (something about concealing himself in a moth breeder cell…hey, it holds up better than some of the flaccid excuses we’ve heard), and now that he’s awake he’s looking for a bit of a pick-me-up (not to be confused with the miracle elixir of the same name from my old fanfic [coughshamelessplugcough]).  And because Boomtown was not nearly as much fun for Xev as it was for Stan, she’s warmly, blissfully, idiotically receptive toward the newly arrived Austro-Hungarian Adonis…in fact, it’s not until she’s rarin’ to go that she thinks to ask just how the hell he knows who she is.  Whatever his half-assed off-screen excuse may be, she seems to buy it, and while 790 briefly attempts to bond with Stan before singing like a caged bird about Kobra, Xev makes her way to the Freudian galley from hell, where she coquettishly chows down on a dollop of Lexx’s homemade carnauba wax in preparation for her four thousand year slump buster.

And then Kobra has to go and open his big, fat, eerily symmetrical mouth.  Had he gone ahead and kept the “I’m going to kill you” stuff to himself, he probably would have come out on top (somebody…rim shot!).  Instead he goes from “I’m going to kill you,” to “I’m going to have my way with you, then kill you,” to “I’m going to give you a manicure, then kill you.”

Well, needless to say, Xev’s not too keen about option two (and I’ve got to think that most women would be taken aback if a strange psychopath offered them a free manicure…most anyway), so she dispenses with the heavy-breathing chit-chat, and one Cluster Lizard Freakout later we’ve got ourselves a little role reversal.

Whatever she plans to do with him—undoubtedly some sort of viciously holistic exfoliation will be involved—we’ll never know, because right at this moment Kobra’s running buddies decide they can’t go on living, and settle on pissing off Kai as their most expedient means of committing suicide.  It works.  It’s worth pointing out that Kai kills a hell of a lot more people in this season than he ever did before (in the past, there were times when he went out of his way to avoid killing unless it was absolutely necessary).  Of course this is far and away the most violent planet our heroes have ever visited (take a minute to assess that one), so perhaps when the dead are in Rome, the dead do as the Romans do.
 
Right about now it begins to dawn on Kobra that he’s in for more than he bargained for, so he reverts to looking out for numero uno and whips out a hand cannon.  Xev, who has never seen a gun before, thinks little of it (like most dangerous things they encounter throughout the course of their travels, I’m sure she thinks it’s pretty), but the key damn sure knows what’s going on.  In yet another display of the Lexx key’s semi-sentience it abandons Xev’s body the instant Kobra pulls the trigger, seemingly able to sense its host’s immanent death.

Too bad for Xev it didn’t anticipate Kai’s physics-defying Matrix bullet-time trick shot, or it might have stuck around a little longer.  But in the half a second it takes for Kai to deflect the bullet and turn Kobra’s heart into cranberry sauce, the key has already retreated back to Stan’s irritable, unconventionally callused hand.

Oh, and that twenty megaton interplanetary gift basket ticking away in Lexx’s gut?  It detonates, mercifully vaporizing the safari group (for all his evil scheming, Prince just did the world a solid), and Lexx shrugs it off like a mild jalapeño.

So once again, all’s well that ends well…except that ugly little blue planet is still out there, perpetually mocking Stan, and Xev won’t allow him to give it a piece of his mind until she’s taken in the sights (…do I even have to bother typing “among other things” anymore, or is that more or less implied?).  And so she and Kai board a moth and light out for the little blue planet to see what they can see, leaving Stan to rummage through Kobra’s pockets and quietly contemplate all the great comebacks he wishes he would have slung at the president.

All in all, a pretty good episode, despite the fact that the main characters are only onscreen about half the time.  As someone with a flair for self-deprecating humor, the gloriously biting satire is right up my alley (hey, we’ve all been telling Canada jokes for the past 231 years…turnabout’s fair play, I say hit me with your best shot, hosers!).  The plot, such as it was, was essentially a series of setups with a small self-contained story tacked on, but that’s fine by me, as it lets us know right away that we’re in for a good long haul (although I think it would have been hilarious if the beans had baited us with the promise of an Earth-based season 4, only to blow the planet up in the very first episode and never mention it again).  

So what more can I say about the kickoff to season 4 that hasn’t already been said?  Probably nothing much.  It is worth noting that in approaching it for the second time I find that rather than instantly recoiling like a reactionary fanboy, I was able to thoroughly enjoy it on it’s own term, as I suspect I will the remainder of the season.  It wasn’t what I was expecting…in hindsight, I was expecting a retread of something I’d already seen, which runs completely counter to everything the show stands for.  Like you, I was drawn to Lexx because I wanted some strange…and there is no stranger place in the universe than this little blue pebble we call home.

Lexx and Earth…hell, they were made for each other.


Cheery bye.



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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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Mana: 
 Posted: Thu Aug 2nd, 2007 12:19 pm

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Oh man, Bilbo, sorry to hear about your agent, and that happening right when a publisher was interested in your novel just bites.  The way you write I KNOW you'll get published as you already have fans on this board by your writing style.

Quote Bilbo:
(although I think it would have been hilarious if the beans had baited us with the promise of an Earth-based season 4, only to blow the planet up in the very first episode and never mention it again). Unquote.

That actually would have been more Lexxish if it had kept to that theme and went on and explored what was out there in this new and chaotic universe.  You have a way of nailing these episodes on der head, I always look forward to your reviews.



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mayaXXX
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Mana: 
 Posted: Thu Aug 2nd, 2007 06:43 pm

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Hey keep plugging away at getting a publisher, Bilbo, remember, JK Rowling got turned down by 6 publishers before she got accepted. Don't you know those guys are all on the unemployment line now?

As usual, stunning review, and  you nailed every concept on the head !

:3_3_6:



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Shenandora
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 Posted: Thu Aug 2nd, 2007 09:04 pm

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Wow, Bilbo, I very much enjoyed this one! I'm just thinking about to open a "Bilbo fanclub", and I would be - of course - president of your fc ;-)

I'm sure one day you'll find the right publisher.

"BTW, did anyone else notice that Nigel’s accent is all but gone in this scene?  I’m inclined to take this as further proof that Isambard and Prince are two separate entities…at least at first."

Really? I never noticed that. Maybe because I'm German. I should watch it again...

"...Before the prez can so much as mumble “Izzy, you’re doin’ a heckuva job,” Prince informs him that they have achieved satellite linkup with the aliens (no idea how they accomplished that) and hands him a thick stack of Presidential Talking-Point Flashcards."

LOL, love it!

"...walk of shame after realizing that that was Prince he spent two hours spooning with (just imagine Xev and Stan lying together, their bodies absolutely spent…then Xev casually rolls over, and in Nigel’s inimitable tenor says “So Stanley…what’s for breakfast?”)…gotta figure that would make anyone a tad testy."

LOL, you/this really made my day. Couldn't stop laughing after reading this part of your review (during my break).

"We don’t learn a great deal about Kobra, although he doesn’t require a whole lot of exposition.  He’s German, he’s not Xev, so on this show that automatically makes him evil..."

Although Kobra's accent sounds more Russian to me/us German people ;-)

"From there we go to Priest campaign headquarters where Prince’s erstwhile lap dog—now the glassy-eyed president-elect—announces that upon taking office, his first order of business—in keeping to his campaign promise to grant amnesty to all criminals whose names begin with “P”—will be to pardon President Davidson for “all his crimes,” at which point Prince kicks back on the Oval Office couch, cracks a big smile, and calmly opines that “Humans are a flawed species” (if you notice, Nigel’s accent creeps back in at this point)."

Yes, I really should re-watch this ep again...! Never noticed that.

Again, Bilbo, what a wonderful review!!!

A true fan ;-)
Shenandora

Bilbo67
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 Posted: Tue Aug 14th, 2007 03:33 am

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Angel wrote: That actually would have been more Lexxish if it had kept to that theme and went on and explored what was out there in this new and chaotic universe. 


It would have somewhat negated the closing seconds of Heaven and Hell, but I think it would have been hilarious if the Lexx had somehow destroyed the Earth on accident without Stan and Xev ever noticing the planet at all.  Prince's spirit could have floated away from the wreckage muttering "...Not again" or something like that.

 

mayaXXX wrote: Hey keep plugging away at getting a publisher, Bilbo, remember, JK Rowling got turned down by 6 publishers before she got accepted. Don't you know those guys are all on the unemployment line now?

:3_3_6:

Don't think I'm not filing away the names of the ones who've burned me...that way, any time I write a story in which someone dies in a brutal, horrific manner I'll have plenty of names to use.

 

Shenandora wrote: Wow, Bilbo, I very much enjoyed this one! I'm just thinking about to open a "Bilbo fanclub", and I would be - of course - president of your fc ;-)

I suppose having a fanclub would look good on a resume...on the flip side, if my head gets any bigger I'm going to start to resemble Barry Bonds.



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Ketana
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 Posted: Wed Aug 15th, 2007 09:24 pm

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well I like that!!! Shenandora says she's a true fan! and what am I chopped chicken liver? why I've been crowing about whatzhizname, oh yeah, Bilbo for like..well like...a long time..like ages! yeah..I mean he's my hero..okay maybe not hero..more like ham and cheese but still!! Harumph..some noive..fan club..tcheah yeah right..count me out now..cause I'm pissed..pissed I tell ya..



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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Thu Aug 16th, 2007 03:06 am

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Ketana wrote: what am I chopped chicken liver?



Actually, I always thought you'd make for an ideal wartime consigliere.  After all, who better than an ebil she-cat to sway my thinking when it comes time to get prehistoric on somebody's ass.

 

Ah hell, the fan club thing is a moot point anyway, because I technically already have one.  That is to say, my mom technically started one twelve years ago when I first started playing football; and though she was technically the only member (she never could convince anyone else to wear one of her hand-drawn 67 is #1! t-shirts), she technically never disbanded the organization.

Technically.



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Ketana
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 Posted: Thu Aug 16th, 2007 02:51 pm

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hehehe okay okay..consigliere eh? I'll think that one over next time I gnaw on a calzone big boy..by the by your review was off the hook baby..I loved every single word! You know I do adore you darlin'..



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Shenandora
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 Posted: Fri Aug 17th, 2007 05:16 am

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Ketana wrote:
hehehe okay okay..consigliere eh? I'll think that one over next time I gnaw on a calzone big boy..by the by your review was off the hook baby..I loved every single word! You know I do adore you darlin'..

And so do I !

;-)

mayaXXX
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 Posted: Fri Aug 17th, 2007 10:03 pm

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We are all love slaves to the Mighty Bilbo !!!

:BULLWHIP::yeahbaby::147::10SCORE:



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Angel
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 Posted: Sat Aug 18th, 2007 12:37 am

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I Worship His Divine Bilbo!

:147::carrots_disco::jumping_smiley:



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Ketana
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 Posted: Sun Aug 19th, 2007 09:56 pm

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Angel wrote: I Worship His Divine Bilbo!

:147::carrots_disco::jumping_smiley:*s

 

*snarf*



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