| Posted: Thu Apr 30th, 2009 05:54 am||
|My 2 Cents on Episode 4.12: Bad Carrot
I learned something from my last episode review. Actually, I learned two things. Number one: the outdated version of Word that I stalwartly refuse to part ways with despite the fact that it has more bugs than the fat vats at Arby’s actually has a symbols program that features a letter ‘e’ with a little accent mark over the top that is not only easy to find, but virtually effortless to retroactively apply to a large piece of text, so the painstaking ends to which I went to try and replicate Folio-era Shakespearean diction were both a colossal waste of time that I could have otherwise dedicated to getting in touch with my inner dolphin or figuring out just what the hell is making that scratching noise inside my bathroom wall (from the sound of it, it’s something big…and by “big,” I mean, “Who do I know that owns a catcher’s mask and a pair of heavy-duty leather welding gloves, because anything short of a single-stroke kill-shot is just going to piss this thing off, and I’m pretty sure my carnival-grade health insurance doesn’t cover rabies shots”), and a megadose of totally unnecessary stress that caused me to become short with my loved ones, forgo sleep, and pushed my already weak-willed hairline a little closer to the back of my neck, hastening the day when I wake up and realize that I'll have to choose between looking like Hulk Hogan or Michael Chiklis for the rest of my life. Number two: being different sucks!
Yes, what I mistakenly approached as a chintzy, lighthearted little change of pace turned into a grueling three-month mental crucible. How Shakespeare—or whoever actually wrote all that stuff—managed to slave over an ill-lit table cranking out gobs of verse day after unwashed day without throwing his hands up and going on a suicidal matchlocking spree is beyond me (although it may have something to do with the fact that he couldn't arbitrarily say “I think I’d rather surf YouTube and google different variations of my name than write today”). I don’t know what the point of that sentence was, but the point is, I gutted it out to the end, shook my fist at the gods for daring to doubt me (in completely unrelated news, we had a freak snowstorm that day), and proclaimed to one and all that I was taking a big, fat, indefinitely prolonged break from writing about Lexx to chill out, max, relax all cool and work on some of the myriad of story ideas that have been clogging my frontal lobe to the point where I’ve almost forgotten how to tie my shoes. Adios suckas, see ya next football season!
So here I am again, in what must seem like record time. What happened? Glad you asked, thank you for taking interest (honestly, that’s the closest thing to genuine human contact I’ve had in months…)
Having thoroughly burned myself out writing about Lexx, I booted up a fresh Word document, re-secured the duct tape barrier over the potentially emasculating tear in my couch, flopped down, cracked my knuckles, brushed the hair out of my eyes, reared back and…hit a wall (figuratively…though prior to that I did almost take a literal header on some wet tile in my kitchen). Writer’s block…mongoose to my snake…Kahn to my Kirk…Ph balanced antiperspirant to my dull, lingering stench. Turns out that in addition to not wanting to write about Lexx, I didn’t want to write about anything. So I set about finding all kinds of new, exciting, potentially actionable ways to kill time until, faced with nothing to do on a rainy day, I figured what the hell, why not watch an ep?
Such is the addiction cycle. Pardon me a moment while I convulse...
Bad Carrot is a milestone episode for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it marks the halfway point for the fourth and final season, which means that from here on out we’re on the downhill slope to the big finish (it also means that if I hold to my present schedule I should wrap this review project up well ahead of the Mayan doomsday). It also marks the episode that plants the seeds for the endgame (oddly appropriate terminology), though there’s little to suggest it at first glance, and it’s not until you’ve seen the rest of the season to its conclusion that you realize that a single, seemingly inconsequential scene in this seemingly inconsequential episode provides the catalyst that brings the entire season, the entire series, and—if the Brigadoom players are to be taken at ruby-rouge-red face value—the most important story in the history of the two universes full circle, setting our intrepid band of all-too-human heroes on a collision course with a destiny too grand for any of them to fully comprehend. Oh yeah, and it’s the episode where everyone farts a lot.
Written by Jeffrey Hirschfield. ONLY Jeffrey Hirschfield. If that’s not enough to send your fight or flight response rocketing to Defcon 0, you’re either new ‘round these hyah parts, or you’re wearing an ascot made out of human flesh. In either case, you’re among friends, so come in, kick back, and wash your damn hands before you touch anything!
We’re back to season 4 basics with this episode, which means the dense, multi-layered characters we’ve come to know and love like creepy, previously incarcerated family over the past fifty-two syndicated hours are nowhere to be seen for the first five or so minutes, because honestly, why would we want to watch them when we can watch the world premier of Lexx: Cloverfield Style (now with twice the motion sickness and less pointless, non-story related viral marketing!). In the grand tradition of Abe Zapruder, Patterson & Gimlin, and anyone who’s ever captured footage of a washed up former A-list star roughing up a maître d' on their cell phone, some loitering looky-lou with a HD camcorder and no job to go to is wrenched away from a pickup shot for his Cannes-bound doucdrama Why I'm Not Paying This Parking Ticket by the thundering arrival of that vaunted pillar of organized, proportionate response, the ATF. With all the precision tact of an anti-personnel mine an entire division of their best shock-troops (i.e., the ones who didn't immediately furl their brows and ask “Whose name?” upon reading the first line of the application form) descend on the Anytown Grocery Emporium and Lip Waxing Hut...that's right, all my Cope-dippin' redneck buddies, those new tobacco taxes are non-negotiable! Through our jerky, nausea-inducing yokel's eye view we follow the alpha (i.e. the one who can zip up his own fly without the supervision of a stunt coordinator and an EMT) as he leads his intrepid band of boneheaded brothers through the automatic sliding doors en route to their air-conditioned, muzak-infused baptism by fire...we shall fight on the produce isle, we shall fight in the greeting cards section, we shall fight in the cart returns and the little plastic merry-go-round out front; we shall never surrender...once more unto the self checkout lanes, dear friends, now come on you sons of bitches, you wanna shop forever!? They can take our lives, but they can never take...our coupons!
...wow...not sure how I got off on that tangent. My fault for watching Lexx without getting a full physical and psychiatric evaluation beforehand (only two more and my next pizza's free!)
Okie-doke, the troops are locked and frosty, as you would be if you were just one seized shipment of poppyseed muffins away from filling your Friday quota and starting the weekend early. With the malicious swiftness of a swarm of early morning post-menopausal black Friday shoppers they plow through patrons and bag boys like paper-mache bowling pins, encircling the produce aisle in an effort to flank a lone carrot probe that has sought refuge amongst an undersanitized open-air pile of its crunchy orange namesake (all the more reason why I buy chemically altered baby carrots in vacuum sealed bags, and cannot start nor finish a meal without washing my hands thirty-seven times in a row…for the love of God, someone help me!!!).
No, I’m not sure why the ATF would be dispatched to investigate what may or may not be an alien invasion when we may or may not have top secret agencies who may or may not be specifically trained to deal with this sort of thing, if it exists, which for the record, it doesn’t. Nor am I entirely certain why they sent an entire SWAT team to apprehend one jittery little probe when informed sources tell me they could have simply dropped a net on it (…but more on that in a bit). What I do know is that Prince’s office is the stuff embezzling executive dreams are made of…nice high, Art Deco ceilings, a plush leather recliner that molds itself to the most intricate contours of your body while at the same time offering top of the line lumbar support, and a personal, taxpayer-footed Jumbotron, ideal for watching the big game with a few buddies, scrutinizing “neck-down only” nude scenes for signs of a body double, or in this case, watching half the ATF get royally pwned (as those damn kids might say). Yeah, it’s good to be king…or in this case prince…except he’s not a prince, he’s a director…
Speaking of having a few buddies over to revel in the spoils of make-work bureaucracy, ol’ Izzy is joined in short order by what appears to be a giant upright iron lung housing a nervous looking chap with a pencil-thin mustache that makes him look like someone who would quite enjoy playing host to a carrot or ten. Prince gives him the once-over, then turns his attention back to the viewscreen just as the erratic probe makes itself at home, prompting him to remember that a certain special somebody’s birthday is coming up and he still has some shopping to do.
And while we’re on the subject of “special” people (by which I mean people who are incapable of retaining anything they learn from the painful, humiliating lessons they inadvertently subject themselves to on a weekly basis, but we've got no choice but to just smile, nod, and keep awarding them gold stars or else the government will pull our funding), let's take a quick jaunt up to space and welcome our heroes home. After spending most of the past half dozen episodes cruising the international house of horrors that is the rest of the world, they’re thrilled to be back on the big bellyaching bug, where everything is just as they left it. Yes, their primary mode of transportation/habitation/poorly explained oxygenation is slowly starving to death, Stan has no messages on his voicemail, Kai’s improperly closed cryopod has resulted in the bridge and its surrounding precipices smelling like an abandoned truck stop shower stall, and any-damn-body who wants to can Charleston right onto the bridge like just signed a lease for the place and abscond with Kai’s ill-concealed protoblood pony keg. Yup. Exactly the way they left it.
That laborious lean-over-to-reach-for-a-tissue-as-a-flimsy-excuse-to-brush-up-against-the-passenger-next-to-you-and-you’ll-miss-it trip from London to low Earth orbit can push even the most seasoned traveler to the brink, so it’s little surprise that the first to demoth is our crotchety, cantankerous captain who chips off the remainder of his shoulder in 790’s general direction amidst declaring “Well that’s one experience I don’t ever need to repeat,” referring, of course, to getting stiffed on the ice at the fish ‘n chips joint they swung by on the way out of London. All kidding aside, it’s not like he has all that much ground to complain about what happened at the Feast of Mograth…hell, Xev and Kai were both transformed into trees and forced to join an unholy chorus of the night; all Stan had to do was slink his way into a dress and bite his lip at Puck’s wandering hands…as degrading things that have befallen Stanley H. Tweedle go, that barely cracks the Top 25.
Contrary to how she behaved after her last long, boring moth flight, Xev's bubbly and cheery-eyed and basically not dead. She's even chummier with Stan than she has been in some time. Not enough to actually touch him...or look at him for more than nine seconds with anything more focused than fleeting peripheral vision...but ya know, if she was tear-assing down the street and saw him crossing it, why I bet she'd entertain the notion of considering the possibility of feathering the brake maybe. And why not? It was Stan who insisted they take Xev's body to England in the first place after Kai reverted to the “I have no interest in such things” stance he adopts whenever the possibility of hard work arises. And goshdarn it all, if Stan doesn't take that seldom trodden high road...instead of gently reminding Xev that she owes him her life—with interest compounded in foot rubs for the mental anguish he had to put himself through—and that she should retire with him to the shower room to discuss a payment plan, he simply waves off the kudos, proclaiming “You're our friend, what else could we do?” Brings a salty discharge to the eye for sure (shaddup the lot o' ya!), but in answer to Stan's question, I suppose they could always try making new friends. I mean, I'm a socially stunted, close-talking introvert, and even I'll tell you that four thousand years in a single social circle can't be healthy. Get out there and mingle, why don'cha?
Hmm...that's gonna be a tall order indeed, for the Scarlet Decider himself has rendered an edict: “I for one do not ever want to go back to Earth!” Signed. Witnessed. Codified (right alongside “I'm only going to eat one more,” “I drive better when I've had a few,” and “Come on babe, I'm good to go, I just needed to get that easy one out of the way"). So sayeth the Stunner!
So there you have it cats 'n kittens, our heroes are never going back to Earth. But through the magic of the celluloid jump cut, we are, which can mean only one thing: time to pay a visit to the First Family. You know, some old dead dude once said “the government that governs best governs least” (or something to that effect). If that's the case, then it looks like ol' Reggie may be well on the way to unseating honest Abe as the perennial numero eins among presidential historians. (Sidebar here: for whatever reason I paused the episode right at the 4:49 mark and beheld a terrifying vision...Rolf Kanies' throbbing forehead vein, high cheekbones, squinty eyes, and demented rictus grin are the stuff of high octane nightmares...dude looks like the Joker!...or perhaps the doughy white guy who played Charlie Chan in those old-timey serials). Nothing to ratify tonight, no heads of state to schmooze, and there's nary a giant ribbon to be cut for miles. Nope, First Lady Bunny (yay!) has swept all that off the table and whipped up a scrumpfrapulous carrot cake in honor of Priest's birthday, which he's determined to celebrate in style...even though it's not his birthday (you see ladies, us menfolk can take things like a forgotten birthday or being called by your sister's name in stride...you all have much to learn from President Priest. Study his autobiographical pop-up book carefully, for it may just open your eyes...or possibly poke them out).
Bunny's not about to let a little thing like forgetting what day it is dampen her spirits (and why should she, when she's gone two whole weeks without almost drowning in her toast? Screw the Lexx, give that girl the key to Cloud 9!)…she jiggles her way over to Priest, cake in hand and promises to blow out his candle, then give him his present…and you know, both of those metaphors are Roger Moore-level double entendres, so either that statement is patently redundant, or Bunny just threatened to kill him and forgot to use her “inside the head voice.” Methinks Fearless Leader might want to do a second background check on the mizzus, but he brushes off what could be a very real national security threat when the cake rolls out of her arms, flaming candle and all, at the sight of ol’ Izzy, who comes bearing the most distressing of news (he’s forgotten Stan’s shoe size...and the carpet's on fire).
With his customary blend of sadistic charm, netherworldly condescension, and perhaps a hint of “Dear God, I’ve played Hamlet and this is what I’m going to be remembered for” angst, he calmly informs the First Freaks that the Earth is being overrun by an alien menace that has been hiding in plain sight for some time in the form of ordinary, garden variety carrots (for as any kindergartener could tell you, carrots are the shiny metallic vegetable with arachnid like appendages, bug eyes, and tiny little rocket boosters). From there he introduces a couple of guests: the produce manager in the iron lung (you'd think he'd be smiling...personal politics aside, how many of us get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the President in the Oval Office?), and a walking exposition in a lab coat whom I've summarily renamed Doctor von Spectacles. Brief though his screen time be, Specs earns his keep and then some by touching off a fifteen second exchange that manages to seamlessly interweave quasi-plausible hard sciencey babbledygook about the nervous system with “they burrow in your ass, Mr. President.” Hirschfield, if we ever meet in person, I owe you a Coke (I said a Coke, not some coke). Bottom line: they're not of this Earth (as opposed to what, some other Earth?...and don't get all Hitchhiker's Guide on me!), you could be hosting one in your own body and not even realize it (on the contrary, unless you're from Nook or have an above-average appreciation for Hugh Jackman's pre-Wolverine work, I think you'd know right away), and they remind First Lady Bunny of a “rubber thing” she regularly uses on her fella (a thermometer?). Verily, these carrots are the stuff of night terrors...but look on the bright side, at least they aren't eggplants...or pumpkins...(for my own sake I have to stop here).
Well, after a while Produce Pete's patootie probe decides its present abode is a real dump, so it decides to do a little high-speed house hunting, which leads me to wonder: since the carrot is obviously CGI, what did they tell the actors to pretend to react to? Because half of them look like they're swatting at an invisible wasp, while the other half look like they're desperately attempting to play airborne Twister. At any rate, all those folks we've never seen before will never be seen again, while the three important people retreat to a limo, Kevlar sweatshirts tied firmly around their waists, whereupon we are treated to the following exchange:
“It's not in me.”
...we hope you have enjoyed Ten Second Theater's production of John Carpenter's The Thing. now return to your regularly scheduled PBS stock footage of the space shuttle taking off (my word, where do all those birds come from?)
Back up on the Lexx (hereafter the sanest place on Earth) we buzz by the galley, where Xev is either hankering for some green glandular goop, or attempting to tone up her recently revived forearms with some wife bank calisthenics. I was really looking forward to spending a little quality downtime with our heroes, reminiscing on their adventures and watching them put their heads together to try and make sense of all the damnable coincidences they've encountered on the little blue spitwad. Alas, the unholy trio have decided to invite themselves over, Prince immediately taking over the room with his infectious presence, Bunny and Priest looking none the worse for wear having just met the docking cradle (I don't think too many of us would be left housing much of anything after staring that abomination against nature in the...whatever the hell it uses to see). Naturally the cavalry―by which I mean Stan―rushes in to save the day―by which I mean wring his hands and stare at his feet while attempting to make strictly platonic small talk. This looks like a job for Kai...or Xev...or hell, even Stan, they've all got pretty respectable kill rosters by this point. Ah, but Prince has one over our heroes, because they agreed to take him with them on the Lexx (and really, what kind of double-dealing snake in the grass welshes on a non-binding verbal agreement they were tricked into making while under duress?). Ever the opportunist, Stan rebuts that he and Bunny have a longstanding (in more ways than one) agreement of their own, to which she shrivels up like a frightened turtle as Prince proclaims that they may be able to work something out (I don't know...everybody's sensibilities differ, but I fear he and Stan are too far along in their relationship to add a third partner without killing some of the intimacy).
Noticeably nauseous, Bunny asks to be lead to a washroom where, to the inexplicable backbeat of some weird hip-hop riff, Stan extols the virtues of the Videodrome-inspired terlet with a little too much enthusiasm as we (the people) are invited once again to mentally reconstruct the conversation that took place between His Shadow and the head of the special projects division when the subject of onboard utilities was broached (waters even the most shameless fanfic writers are remiss to tread).
So, who's hungry now? Lord knows I'd sooner bite chunks off my own forearm than eat anything that has so much as touched anything that's touched anything that's touched any part of the Lexx, but then again I can't say I've ever eaten what looks like jellybeans (?) with chopsticks, so what the hell would I know about culinary finery? Prince being the refined conversationalist that he is, the dinner blanket chit-chat naturally turns to the carrot probes (which ought to assure that skinflint Izzy that nobody feels up to asking for seconds). With a wave of his hand he pronounces the Earth a lost cause (kind of like I did when my Broncos made their befuddling first couple of draft picks, but I’m holding out hope nonetheless) and declares himself an honorary member of the Lexx crew, eager to earn his keep. Rather than engaging in a little reverse psychology—like, say, welcoming him aboard and then immediately ordering him to go swab the john until he can see his reflection in it—Xev gets all defiant, referencing all the shoddy deals he's attempted to broker with them in the past even as he plays the nice-guy card and tries to assure her "I have different ambitions from you" (which is true...Xev is in no way interested in dipping Stan in Crisco and fitting him with a neon green riding crop).
Kai, wasting even more precious, irreplaceable protoblood, offers to eighty-six their white-haired pest problem then and there, but rather than spoil his appetite with something as nauseating as the quick, clean killing of a satanic enigma who has caused him nothing but pain, hardship, and an irregular burning sensation, Stan would rather talk about the ass probes some more...as soon as he loads up his plate with another round of curry. Per 790, the probes are a scouting party sent ahead of a massive alien mothership to taste test the planet and report their findings (which sets up a joke that's so easy I'm not even going to frame it!). It's easy pickin's for the Lexx right now, but with the key still MIA Stan is forced to cook up a lie with the complete opposite of panache, leaving Prince no choice but to whip out his handy-dandy X-Files cell phone and hand it off to Priest, who gets in touch with the Pentagon and authorizes something called Operation Hard Encounter (there's a mother-in-law joke in there somewhere) amidst a squall of poorly synched fart noises that may only be happening in his head.
Chinese jellybeans being the mega-source of L-tryptophan that they are, the tuckered out diners take their leave of the freshly festering bridge to turn in for the night while Prince offers to teach Kai how to play his second favorite game, chess. It's an ancient game of strategy and domination, wherein the weak are often called upon to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the strong. Very much a metaphor for life, and not unlike a similar game that Kai enjoyed playing on Brunnis 2 (red rover).
Cut to the next scene and we see the President of the United States—sporting a wicked looking fishnet tank top like the bad guy in Commando—giving Xev’s bedchamber the once over with the big, shiny third eye in the middle of his forehead (so that's what that weird floating eye...thing...on the back of a one dollar bill is supposed to represent) as he methodically samples her abdomen with what looks like relish-flavored Nesquick (oh to die and come back as a gob of condiments). He's making an awful mess of things, and really, a head of state should know better than to eat with his elbows on the unconscious girl, but hail to the chief nonetheless for carrying on while his brains are leaking out of the front of his skull. That's two he's got over honest Abe...if he can emancipate something and keep his pratfalls to a minimum, he's a shoe-in for that top spot!
Just then nature calls the prez in a big way. He makes a clenched and limping run for it just as Bunny storms in, and before you can say Dynasty we've got us a good ol' fashioned ten-on-ten slap fight the likes of...wow...whoever thought a Xev vs. Bunny catfight could be that listless (although you've got to love Xenia's complete non-response to Bunny's pathetic punches...it almost looks like the ladies were half-assing around during rehearsals and the director decided that material was funny enough to use).
Meanwhile, Priest is looking at a photo finish. He rounds the corner, bolts into the throne room, drops trou and...oh Lord...you know, I was hoping for some tasteful, narratively unnecessary partial nudity...but not like this...not...like...this...damn you karma, you hideous bitch goddess.
I need something to clear my mind after that, and unfortunately I left my hip flask full of hemlock juice in my other pants, so I'm going to check back in on Kai and Prince and hope like the Chuckiest of dickens that their chess game is so enrapturing that it blots out the past few seconds. Unfortunately, the cacophonous agony of Priest's porcelain pillow talk rouses them from their board and they join the rest of the characters in the can just as a carrot probe makes a grand exit from the First Fanny and bolts to the bridge where, after leading it on a chase, 790 temporarily usurps the voice of reason and wryly proclaims, "this is getting stupid." Huzzah for the metal one on that call...although "getting" implies that the situation has not yet "gotten," and boy has it gotten!
Some random musings about what transpires next:
1) After what Priest just went through, I'm surprised he has any bones left and find myself reaffirming my commitment never to venture too far south of Texas
2) I applaud Bunny's unconventional attempt at bringing her husband back around, and wish she'd been on call when I nearly keeled over from blood loss last summer (though given the state I was already in, I almost certainly would have lost consciousness within a few seconds...)
3) I'm perfectly willing to accept that the Lexx crew are dumb enough to trust 790...but I expect so much better from Prince!
Yes, not a one of them think anything of it when the sawed off little psychopath who has wished death upon them as recently as THIS EPISODE nonchalantly tells them that the probe left the Lexx. Rather than politely asking Kai to wring the truth out of him, everybody shrugs their shoulders and decides to give sleep another try. One by one we watch them retire from a strange quasi-upshot angle that reveals two things of monumental importance:
*Bunny's pink nighty is worthy of mention alongside Xev's penguin suit
*Kai's got some wicked cool boots
Once all those pesky oxygen-gobblers are gone, the dead man and the whatever-he-is finally settle in for their game of chess, and while it never once dawns on Kai that Prince could simply be baiting him into wasting protoblood, I'm going to let this one slide, because the speed-chess sequence that follows is pretty cool. Can't say I agree with every move Kai makes, but I suck at chess, so what do I know?
I'll tell you what I know...I know the way Stan's walking past the bridge should get Kai's spidey sense all hot 'n bothered, and...sweet Jebus, is the can in plain view of the bridge!?!? What the hell, HDS?!
O...kay...(damn you Hirschfield), so far this episode has been a lowbrow gag-fest with little to offer in the way of overarching plot ramifications (although I maintain they could have worked an inability for either Stan or Priest to sit down into the next couple episodes). But here's where it all changes. Midway through their game Prince looks up from the board and informs Kai that it would be much more interesting if they played a game for stakes (or perhaps ribs). Per the proposed wager, if Prince wins, Kai is barred from ever killing him again, and while you'd expect the response to be "the dead do not make wagers" (or, barring that, "let me kick you off the bridge and think about it"), Kai is sufficiently intrigued by the second half of the offer, wherein Prince utters what may be the most important words in the entire series: "perhaps I could be of help in putting [your] soul to rest." As I mentioned at the outset, with this sequence we've officially entered the endgame. Full steam ahead from this point on!
And then Kai leaves! Just like that he abandons the board and runs down 790, because it finally dawns on the writer that it should have dawned on Kai that 790 might be in league with the carrot probe (by George, Holmes, how do you do it?). Under the uniquely judgmental gaze of the indifferent dead man, the twitchy little toaster folds like a cardboard suit, confessing that the probe is still onboard the Lexx and he is not "sorrey" (eh).
I nearly forgot, this episode marks yet another milestone...it's rare when one character lives through the end credits after a stopover in Xev's bedchamber. How often can two of them make that same boast in a single ep? This time it's Stan, who's sampling Cluster-fried epidermis with a dash of ketchup (and here I imagine that Brian Downey had an impossible time deciding between ketchup, catsup, catchup, or red sauce, which lead to him demanding several alternate takes). Now, while I'm reasonably certain I could have talked my way out of this dilemma as soon as Xev woke up--you can bet lots of groveling and the words "not the face" would be involved--some other little pointy thing is doing Stan's thinking for him, so this situation calls for a slightly more holistic approach: gentle massaging of the jugular veins with the pincers on Kai's brace. A little mortal terror is all it takes for Stan to eject the probe, with considerably less fightin' and fussin' than Priest required (thank you Feppo, Smoor, Prince, and one extremely mis-timed jump into the cockpit of a moth). His aggressor dead to rights, Kai takes a cool, confident aim with his brace and...almost trips over a blanket. Tell me again why Thodin couldn't finish him off. Because he's a master tactician you say? Alright...hold that thought...
When the sleepy, aching lot of them are assembled on the bridge, Kai unveils his master plan for dealing with the probe: rig up a complicated system of overhead nets that will automatically drop onto the probe when it happens by. And where will these nets come from? Shut up, that's where.
What's that? You say even the most capable field general has to have an audible or two in mind? No sweat. If for some unforeseen reason it turns out that coating the interior of an organic spaceship large enough to hold four of our smallest states turns out to be...unfeasible...they can simply rig up hand held butterfly-style nets, with which they can easily snare the small, pointy metal thing that's capable of punching through flesh and bone with the force of a heiny hammerin' howitzer. Just remember folks, Kai was the BEST assassin the Order had at their disposal. A DARK LEGEND! Now once again...tell me why the heretics lost.
I suppose plan C would have required a cardboard box, a stick, and a piece of string. We'll never know because all at once an infected Bunny bites Prince on the neck (?) and power-walks off, Kai slowly shuffling behind her like an apathetic Jason Voorhees who's just trying to ride out his last two weeks until retirement. Once they've killed another minute or so of screen time the probe bolts yet again, leading everyone to wonder who it might be cruising aboard now.
And thus, we come to it at last...the infamous, ever-perplexing carrot searching prong. This lone piece of super-advanced scientific befuddlery raises more questions than the last four seasons of Lost. For example: why, given the Lexx's unique array of radically advanced, one-of-a-kind technology, can they not procure something as simple as an X-ray camera (and don't tell me they don't have one, because they seem to find whatever else they need whenever they happen to need it...bug flashlights, fifty miles of fishing line, zippers...)? Moreover, is that the same protein regenerator device that Kai had Stan stick in his mouth after Vlad bit him? And the most pressing of all: does Kai have any idea what any of this stuff is or how it actually works?
Well, he certainly thinks he knows how this device works, although we never saw him pouring through technical manuals or chatting up a bioengineer for information, which can only lead me to assume that the knowhow was acquired from one of the memories he absorbed...in this case, probably some go-getting young engineer who eagerly marched in and said "Divine Shadow, let me demonstrate my latest invention," seconds before being thrown to the Lizards. Of the lot of them, the only one who doesn't seem completely repulsed by the idea is Xev (although I suppose the Matron blazed this trail in a lecture entitled "And on his birthday, he may ask for..."), but none of them object too forcefully. Oh, Prince tries to play that "I'm more deity than man" card that we've all used to try and get out of chores, but Stan shuts him down with a stern "Drop 'em, pal!" (talk about your role reversal)
Countdown to Operation Hard Encounter. You know, I for one think a robotic arm jamming a banana clip into the side of a space shuttle serves as a perfect metaphor for a thousand-volt enema. They could have cut away to a scene immediately AFTER that, with everyone idly chattering about everything except what just happened, but HELLZ NAH! Subtlety already choked to death on its own vomit ages ago...this is the episode that desecrates the grave and smacks up the corpse. Much love for the key-carrying moth breeder, however, who doesn't complain a lick when the carrot bums a ride. Now there's a trooper (or, for the purposes of this joke, a sailor...)
Fearing for the survival of its brethren, the probe lights a fire under the breeder's ass and orders him to destroy the space shuttle, which he does, by way of the key and the coolest damn voice this side of Doc Longbore and the dear departed Barry White. Speaking of which, I can't imagine how the rest of the characters could possibly NOT hear the Lexx's colossal, booming voice, or why nobody suggests they check to see if one of the moth breeders is infected, but what the hey...if I'd just been jump started by that damn thing, I'd probably want to temporarily withdraw from the outside world too.
So it's hunting season yet again, this time utilizing that time honored "bunch tightly together and walk around out in the open" tactic. 790's scanners are working overtime, Prince clutches a net (!), Kai is covering their six with his brace cocked and ready to fly, and Xev is packing some kind of giant...hose...thing...that I can only assume is some kind of catheter. I don't know who in their right mind would go nosing around in the appliance shed after what's happened, but I guess I've never wanted anything dead that bad (and trust me, I've carried some extreme hate in my heart for certain spiders). Likewise, the probe wants something dead real bad...so bad it can taste it. Be careful what you wish for! Calling on his years of advanced yoga training and the fact that he lacks a nervous system, Kai performs a near-supersonic inverted hip thrust that's got to make Xev all the more frustrated that he's ill-equipped for lovin', crushing the carrot to dusty, jagged bits. Having taken care of business, the dead man then excuses himself to go take care of business. Just a regular guy...
And so this ep closes out very much like the previous one; nobody really wants to talk about what just happened, and they all just twiddle their thumbs and try to pick back up where they left off. Stan and Priest wander off in search of some inflatable cushions while Kai and Prince resume their game. Just as before, it's a blistering, thousand-mile-an-hour affair. Until the action grinds to a halt...with Prince in check.
Well...that was definitely something else. Certainly not the greatest episode, but it had its moments, and I found myself wondering more than once if any of the dialogue was ad-libbed (particularly Bunny's lines, a couple of which had me in stitches). I don't mind for a second that the beans decided to throw nuance to the wind and go completely lowbrow, but I do think they could have approached some of the boorish humor with a little more style...and that's damn near an (oxy)moronic statement, but you know what I mean!
I can't say I'm a big fan of how Xev's death and resurrection was simply hand-waved either. I've never been a big fan of so-called "comic book deaths," especially when the saw-it-coming-from-a-mile-away resurrection occurs almost immediately. As I suggested way back when they killed/revived Zev/Xev the first time, the least they could have done was keep her dead for a couple of episodes, to drive home the idea that she's really gone for good. Both of her death scenes were extremely well done, and I feel both were cheapened just a bit by hitting the reset switch less than sixty minutes later. But what's done is done, so why not take advantage of it? Hint at some lingering after-effect of crossing over, some fundamental shift in Xev's behavior, personality, or consciousness. The afterlife as we knew it in season 3 is gone, but departed souls still have to go somewhere. And given what Prince reveals about himself in the final episode (which I don't entirely take at face value), perhaps Xev could have come away from the experience with a greater understanding of who and what he is...something he and Xev could touch on to each other throughout the remainder of the show. Alas, nuttin'.
But for all it's faults, this episode certainly had it's moments...some funny lines, some downright hilarious nonverbal acting, and the decision to secret the precursor to the climax away in what could easily be dismissed as a "filler" episode was a damn fine touch. And at the end of the day, you can't help but applaud the beans for putting their heads together and asking "Where haven't we gone?"...seconds before the sound of a flusing toilet preceded the arrival of a hungover, highly irregular Jeff Hirschfield. Art imitates life, and whatnot.
Well, I'd best go, I've got some business to attend to (...not THAT...I'm talking about tax evasion!)
Shuttles wasted- 4
Kai kills- 12 (we'll count this one)
If you're normal, the crowd will accept you. But if you're deranged, the crowd will make you their leader.
— Christopher Titus
| Posted: Fri May 1st, 2009 04:03 am||
|The non verbal acting as you called it was hysterical, the looks on their faces was a very precious moment in the show.
I often wondered if Jeff H. got his inspiration from this site -
I don't think I'll ever forget the look on Kai's face after his first carrot movement in 6000 years!
I bet you won't think of carrots the same way again......I seem to have a hankerin' for carrot cake..
The dead do not squeeze and please....
|Joined: ||Wed Oct 25th, 2006|
|Location: ||Lioness' Lair, USA|
|| Posted: Sun May 3rd, 2009 06:43 pm||
|but look on the bright side, at least they aren't eggplants...or pumpkins...(for my own sake I have to stop here).
*personally I prefer a cucumber, but that's just me* oh lordy lordy Bilbo..I'm so glad you're such an integral part of LexxVerse..I LUBS YA MAN..*hey Maya can you send me cash, that last check didn't clear!*
Xev is in no way interested in dipping Stan in Crisco and fitting him with a neon green riding crop). *see nowI don't get this one, I woulda gone with a neon green condom and the riding crop as an accessory!*
so be truthful Bilbo how was your first gay experience?
Don't sprinkle sugar on your bullshit and then tell me it's candy!
| Posted: Sun May 3rd, 2009 11:10 pm||
so be truthful Bilbo how was your first gay experience?
I think Bilbo goes through the front door, or he doesn't go to the party at all. Oh wait, that's Stan, never mind then.
The dead do not squeeze and please....
| Posted: Mon May 4th, 2009 12:37 am||
so be truthful Bilbo how was your first gay experience?
Etymology:Middle English, from Anglo-French gai, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gāhi quick, sudden
1 a: happily excited : merry <in a gay mood> b: keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits <a bird's gay spring song>
I would have to say when I first figured out that I couldn't be sucked down the bathtub drain. What a fifteenth birthday that turned out to be!
If you're normal, the crowd will accept you. But if you're deranged, the crowd will make you their leader.
— Christopher Titus
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