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Czehoski's LEXX Rewatch Thread
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Be_You_
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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2011 03:24 pm

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"But that still doesn't wash because Jihanna orders the execution of both Kai and Xev.  Kai is already dead and told her and the court that fact during the trial.  But Think of the political power she would have gained bu executing the traitor and his 'associates'."

Another sharp point, Abby.

I suppose it *could* be attributed to bad writing. And while I think I understand the story vis-a-vis Stanley's transgressions - as I described, first him leading the forces of HDS to the Heretic's base, and second failing to suicide rather than let the mercenaries steal his codes to access the Reform Planets defensive shield codes - initially I was a bit confused and realize it is possible the story metamorphosized over time and maybe wasn't finalized until the final edit. On the other hand, I can still hold out for Jihanna's seeming stupidity in ordering a dead man to be killed to be just that.

Jihanna's henchmen too seem completely stupified by Kai's failure to succumb to the blackpack: is this a possible manifestation of pseudo-religious inculcation and blindered thinking? 

Abby1964
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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2011 07:46 pm

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"Jihanna's henchmen too seem completely stupified by Kai's failure to succumb to the blackpack: is this a possible manifestation of pseudo-religious inculcation and blindered thinking?"

And they too should have known what Kai was.  Perhaps the reformed worlds like the Divine Order are based on propaganda instead of truth.  The government covers up what it does not want known (Undead assassins sent to dispatch heretics by his shadow).  There was good reason to keep this fact from people A Divine assassin hunting you down would have been a very powerful catlyst for loyalty to the Divine order by all but the die-hards. 

But you cannot completely suppress the truth, somehow it always survives.  For example 2000 years after Brunnis 2 is destroyed, Thodin still recognizes Kai as Brunnen G. 

So someone the reformed planets who were very recently fighting against the Divine Order should have no problem recognizing a Divine Assassin unless they are all morons or the powers that be have suppressed or manipulated the information.  In other words, Divine Assassins are regarded in the same way we regard the boogeyman, scary but not real.  That would mean that a concentrated campaign of misinformation was fed to the people.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 8th, 2011 02:20 am

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2.7 - Love Grows


A bit odd to start the next story in a remarkably similar way to the previous one, but here we go!

Horny Stan picks up a signal from somewhere in space, with loose women offering themselves up for pleasure. His most recent proposition to Xev having been rejected (as all the others before it), he orders the LEXX to track down the source of the signal.

During the aforementioned proposition scene in Xev's quarters, Xev rejected Stan with the blunt message, "Life is unfair." This is definitely the theme of the episode, as no one gets what they wanted, and it is also one of the constant themes of the series itself, as our heroes wander from one place to another, never finding what they seek.

Back to this story, it turns out the signal is actually a porn video being watched aboard a transport ship carrying a mysterious illegal cargo. The ship (nicely kitted out like a big rig) hits a magnetic field and is almost destroyed. Some of the cargo spills inside, just in time for the LEXX to come along and swallow it whole.

I love the way the LEXX's sheer size is portrayed here. Not only can it swallow other ships, but people can wander around inside for days, weeks -- maybe longer as we will see later.

As the transport crew roam the bowels of the LEXX (good lord it must stink in parts of that ship), Xev is trying to satiate her own lust. She propositions Kai unsuccessfully. Full credit to Michael McManus for his acting work in this story. Faced with all sorts of horny situations that left me giggling, he remains utterly deadpan, which made me laugh even more.

Defeated, despondent, Xev finally succumbs to Stanley's wishes. Strangely, when she presses Stan's hand to her breasts, they make a squeaky toy sound... or did I imagine that??

No sooner does that pair start rolling around than the transport crew find their way to the bridge.

Here's where it gets really messed up.

As Xev suddenly has living, breathing, attractive men to enjoy, and Stan finds himself being propositioned by the female transport crew member, an infection borne from the transport cargo mutates everyone's genitalia and genders become reversed. The men suddenly become skittish and the women become total cowboys. Cue the chase scenes. The only thing missing was some Benny Hill music.

Another classic moment: the LEXX itself changes gender and asks Kai if he finds it attractive. I would have been killing myself with laughter trying to act opposite that, but McManus pulled it off again (wonder how many takes?).

I wonder if this story was so much fun to write that the production crew may have had to rush the ending, finding it overlong. Actually, it took a long time for the story to get going and it would have benefitted from some shorter or amalgamated scenes earlier on. With two minutes left on the clock, the LEXX's immune system suddenly creating and distributing a natural antidote was a bit of a cop-out, but that's probably the only thing I didn't like about this story.

Overall, a zany, gender-bending romp, and I don't think anybody died!

8/10

Czehoski
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 Posted: Mon Aug 8th, 2011 02:23 am

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Be_You_ wrote:
Czehoski, this episode was indeed a bit slow, but I appreciated how the story of Stan's great failure in letting the access codes fall into HDS hands was finally fleshed-out.




Agreed, it was worth sitting through this (twice!) for the benefit of learning more about Stan's backstory.

Czehoski
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 Posted: Wed Aug 10th, 2011 01:53 am

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2.8 - White Trash


The lasting memory from original broadcast that I have of this episode is the bullying hillbilly character of Pa Golleen as played by Maury Chaykin.

A massive man-mountain, clueless yet cruel, Pa is the undisputed leader of his clan. As the story begins, Pa and the clan hunt down a nameless stowaway somewhere inside the LEXX. They club him to death and devour him. This is going to be a good one!

The clan next ambush Stanley in the LEXX's galley. Freshly fed, they don't devour Stan. Instead, they demand he tell them the situation. It turns out that the Golleens were kidnapped from their home planet and brought to the Cluster, but they (somehow) managed to escape and hide out inside the LEXX. It is well into Season Two, and they have been hiding aboard the LEXX all this time. This reinforces the point I made in the previous review, of how it is possible for people to be aboard the LEXX and roam around undetected for long stretches of time.

Pa takes a cautious liking to Stan. His daughter Sissy takes a more obvious, sexual liking to him. His son Junior sets his wild-eyed sights on Xev. Then there's this little kid, dismissed as unimportant by Pa, who ends up hanging around the cryochamber with 790.

Stan's utter lack of leadership and authority comes to the fore, as Pa quickly bullies his way into taking control of the ship. Pa demands that they all fly back to the planet Vermal, where he's got some kind of score to settle. Kidnapped by hillbillies! TV Sci Fi breaks another frontier!

But before that, it's time for a sex interlude. Stan beds up with Sissy, and Junior gets all worked up telling Xev of his intention to bring her to some sort of exhibitionist sex party. It sounds so unappealing that Xev is actually turned off. Oh, and remember how Xev's breasts made a squeaky toy sound when Stan squeezed them? Well, that sound was definitely absent when Junior groped her. I am certain this time.

Anyway, meanwhile, Pa catches Stan and Sissy in bed. He swings from one rage to another, ultimately pushing his daughter to her death. Just in time for Kai to appear on the bridge. Pa runs and hides. Junior flees to Vermal with Xev. Kai, 790 and the kid fly off in pursuit.

So what we have here is a wildly original take on the standard Sci Fi "base under seige" theme. The hillbillies have taken control of the proceedings, run rampant, and threatened the survival of the regulars. Big props to the writers Gigeroff and Donovan for bringing a fresh take to this well-worn story line. I really liked it.

Okay, to Vermal we go. Turns out the kid is the bastard child of Ma (long dead) and a space pilot who crash landed there years ago. With the help of 790, the kid repairs the pilot's crashed ship and flies off, letting it be known that his name is Norb, and he is most emphatically not related to Pa in any way. He ain't no Golleen, and Pa ain't his daddy!

*ahem*

Pa, back aboard the LEXX with Stan, is hurt by Norb's rejection. In the course of this story, he has killed his own daughter, learned of Junior's death on Vermal (killed by an uncle), and realized that he has no family left. He now turns his rage to Stan again. But before he can do anything, Xev returns to the LEXX with Kai and 790. Pa flees into the corridors of the ship, and ultimately meets his demise when Lyekka wakes up and devours him. Poetic justice, of a sort.

What a weird, wild, tale. Hillbillies. Hijacking. Horniness. A 10-second cameo by Lyekka. Not quite as surreal as "Love Grows", but still a crazy, laugh-out-loud romp.

8/10

Abby1964
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 Posted: Wed Aug 10th, 2011 01:58 am

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The Law! I knows The Law when I see it! 

Every time I see that scene I imagine Pa running off to hide his still and moonshine stash. :bouncebig:

Last edited on Wed Aug 10th, 2011 02:00 am by Abby1964



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Czehoski
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 Posted: Wed Aug 10th, 2011 02:02 am

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"You'll never find meeeee!"

:D


Credit again to MM for his hilariously deadpan performance amid all this craziness.

Abby1964
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 Posted: Wed Aug 10th, 2011 03:35 am

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This episode was just plain silly, but in all the right ways. I imaging keeping a straight face took a lot of willpower.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 10th, 2011 10:44 pm

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Czehoski, how's the weather been? Are you watching more t.v. now or is the rapid-fire nature of these last two review a function of you putting off writing the last one for a week? Anyhow, to catch up...

Love Grows


At first taken in by the delightful Planet Orgasmos storyline, I ended up being slammed back when the tale took a turn towards full-on gender blending. 

I'd probably have acted just like Stan if I'd been in his shoes... and how vexing to find Xev finds him attractive at last, but only as a woman. Is that a statement about how men always and forever will have lower standards?

How fem can Stan get? Now we know.


White Trash

So those clever Canuckians decided to poke fun at another one of our sterotypical ethnic groups here to the south, laying it on extra thick by featuring cannibalism, incest and vicious fratricide as common among the Goleen clan.

(Perhaps in passing - and I realize I may be reaching here - another shot was taken at U.S. health care because owing to Pa's shape and his proclivity for "sleeping where-ever he wants" right after eating a big meal: we might infer that the man's got a serious undiagnosed and untreated case of diabetes.)

When the daughter Sissy expresses her amorous interest in Stan - and reveals her lovely bustier - I was thinking that this was going to work out okay for Stan. As the product of the relatively discerning "Ma" and her spacefaring berry-picking partner, Sissy was definitely above average among Vermal denizens, and Stan lost possibly his best hope at lifetime happiness when she fell from the bridge. At least he finally got laid. )

Sadly for Stan, Pa's great strength despite his obvious mental shortcomings makes for a generally unpleasant meet-up. This episode is a great piece of literature which explains and illustrates the phenomenon of how there are different types of intelligence: oftentimes it is the brutes who possess what for shorthand I'll call the "intelligence of power" and who know just that which is needed in order to be able to take charge over others.

Pa never lets subtlety or doubt cloud his direction or delay him. When shown Kai in his cryochamber, he dismisses the dead man as "frozen fast asleep" and moves on. He also evidenced that push-pull character of so many bullies when he previously he offers a mocking salute to Captain Stan and ostentatiously asks for "permission to come aboard" then later declares himself captain.

Stan acted in a completely craven manner as he buckled under Pa's control and gave the order that would have certainly resulted in Xev's death if it had not been for the skill of the dead man. That's among the lamest things he does in the whole series.

Abby1964
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 Posted: Thu Aug 11th, 2011 02:59 pm

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"I'd probably have acted just like Stan if I'd been in his shoes... and how vexing to find Xev finds him attractive at last, but only as a woman. Is that a statement about how men always and forever will have lower standards?"

That made crack up.  I was thinking about male Xev's words to Kai in Love Grows,
"I'm a lot less picky...to a point"  and the look on Kai's face.  I don't know if he was relieved to get a breather from her constantly chasing after him or if MM was just trying his best not to ruin  the take by bursting out laughing.

But it made me think that the beans passed up a great opportunity for a little turnabout.  It would have been hilarious to see Xev now chasing Stan, and Stan  chasing Kai!

Last edited on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 04:55 pm by Abby1964



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 Posted: Fri Aug 12th, 2011 10:05 pm

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I'd forgotten about the line where Xev spells out her lowered standards.

Stan wouldn't have thought to chase Kai unless the writers had arraged a mind-switcheroo rather than a simple gender transmutation. Just such a storyline was used around the same time for an episode of Farscape (a vastly inferior show to Lexx, though not without its own appeal).

I haven't just rewatched this episode, but I seem to recall that Stan and the guys from the garbage scow displayed very little appreciation for their altered status.

Was it a play about Freud's notion of penis envy? ... and does such truly exist, and/or is it a product of social conditioning?

I digress here, but from what does the notion of penis superiority come? True, the penis with its ability to penetrate and displace the flesh of a vagina might be seen as the more powerful of the two apparatuses, but is this not a subjective judgment nonetheless? I mean, its kind of like rock, paper, scissors if you look at it the right way... "paper covers rock."

I suppose another possible rationale is that women may undergo nine-months of pregnancy after sex and thus exhibit a more lasting change after the act than their male partners - yet men are not capable of giving birth to new life as women do.


Last edited on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 10:09 pm by Be_You_

Czehoski
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 Posted: Mon Aug 15th, 2011 01:17 am

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Hmm, Stan lusting for Kai would have been quite the scene! Comedic opportunity missed, or cringeworthy moment thankfully excluded?

On the notion of stereotypes, there are a lot of them in this series, eg. one thing that struck me so far is that any German actor who appears on this show (other than Habermann/Seeberg) is a villain. Even the secondary villains or accomplices are Germans. What is casting trying to tell us?? :D

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 Posted: Mon Aug 15th, 2011 01:59 am

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2.9 - 791


Holy moley. Let's get right to it. In this story, Stan is almost raped by 790. :shock:

I've thought long and hard (eee!) about whether this sort of scenario has featured in any other SF show. Anyone?

Granted, it is not actually 790 attempting the rape, rather an out-of-control human body that 790 has cyborgized (?) himself to. And the robot head did try to resist the body's impulses. Still, what a scene!

I really liked this story because it returned to an earlier theme of existence and the different forms that life can take in the two universes.

790 is alive but feels incomplete, as attested to in his foreshadowy little song at the start of the episode. He sings about the things he would do with Xev, "...if I only had a body..."

We know Kai's situation, and are reminded of the other bizarre character on board when Lyekka drops in again. She's hungry, and she needs humans to feed on. This was a bit odd considering she had just presumably eaten Pa Golleen. Anyway, here's Lyekka. She's a plant that has taken a form pleasing to Stan, but she readily admits that she would devour both Stan and Xev in order to survive. Expressing only the mildest revulsion at this creature, and dismissing Kai's suggestion that they abandon her on the next planet, Stan and Xev agree to help her find food. Lyekka has, of course, proven herself of great value to the crew, having dispatched of Pa Golleen and other menaces. It's the sort of symbiotic relationship that only makes sense aboard the LEXX.

More curious lifeforms abound on the crashed ship on the planet below. There is the headless body of the cyborg pilot, and there are prisoners whose hearts have been removed and who are kept alive artificially. As 790 finds away to bring the cyborg back to life, so too does Kai find a way to restore one of the prisoners to walking health. He literally plunges her heart back into her chest cavity with a great squishy sound. Done and done!

One of the things I have always liked about LEXX is that we get these fascinating stories that are played out with a bare minimum of other characters. Stan, Xev, Kai and 790 are able to carry so much of the story that, sometimes, we never even learn the names of other characters until the closing credits -- they are that incidental to the story.

I've been rambling a lot here, moving from one thing to another. Am I skirting around the rape scene? Well let's get to it. This is not the first act of sexual violence that the cyborg pilot has committed. Stan discovers the a corpse whose arms have been bound and whose pants have been forced down -- this, after "791" blurted out something about bending someone over during one of his seizure moments.

Stan is the cyborg's next target. 790 tries to resist and take control of the cyborg body, but it is futile. He tells Stan to flee, but the body catches him. Startling moment as Stan's uniform is torn off and the cyborg readies itself. Kai intervenes, rescues both Stan and 790, and blasts the cyborg body out of the ship. Just like that, the threat was over. They tried to play it for a mild laugh here, with Stan and 790 both acting sheepish, and considering what almost happened, I was glad they didn't go for a big guffaw or even an awful pun. The friends just gathered themselves up and returned to the ship with few words spoken. Best way to close it out, I thought.

Wild story, decent finish.

8/10

Be_You_
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 Posted: Mon Aug 15th, 2011 11:57 pm

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I think you said it Czeh: Stan lusting for Kai = cringeworthy moment thankfully excluded.

As for episode 2.08:

After the sex-criminal cyborg body turns tables on 790 and impersonates Xev to lure Stan down to hold of the ship, we are to behold what I think is the creepiest scene in all of Lexx: the dessicated body bound by the wrists, and bent over to a banister with pants down around his ankles. Eww. It is shown so briefly that I had to rewind the first time so as to understand what it was I was seeing. I think that added to the effect.

The statement of the other male prisoner - who just like the girl was lying about almost everything he said - becomes clear: "bam, next thing I knew I was boarded: all the way!"

Notice how when 790 is in control, his teeth are straight and even and when the sex maniac cyborg is in charge the teeth are pointy and menacing. And the eyes? I'd describe 790's eyes as a blinky pot-smoker's eyes, while the evil cyborg's are pure bloodshot unblinking crank freak.

Two memorable quotes from the evil cyborg (while addressing Stan):

"You're not pretty... but you're *my* *kind* of not pretty."

"You're not going anywhere until I deal with the sizzle in my pizzle"

Lyekka indeed is an unlikely hero. Think of it. An intelligent man-eating plant saves the day. Another sci-fi first, I suspect.

(EDIT: err, well, I guess she didn't save the day per se, but only acted to dispense with the evil character by eating her up.)

BU

Last edited on Tue Aug 16th, 2011 12:14 am by Be_You_

Czehoski
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 Posted: Tue Aug 16th, 2011 12:16 am

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791 had some great terrorizing dialogue. As for his sex-maniac face, ever see that 70s flick, The Phantom of the Paradise? When 790's eyes and mouth went all sex maniac, it reminded me so much of the phantom mask from that film.

"Violation." Another theme run rampant in this story, now that I think about it.


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