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Czehoski
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Hello, hi.

I signed up here a few months ago, both as a fan of LEXX and because I was hankering to rewatch the entire series.

I watched most of the show during its original broadcast run, and picked up the DVDs along the way.  However, it has been several years since they've been dusted off and watched. 

Well the wait is over!  I watched 1.0 - I Worship His Shadow yesterday and it was fantastic.  Like stepping into a time machine.  WOW!  I distinctly remember seeing this when it was first broadcast (which gives me an idea for another thread).

Reading through the epic reviews by Bilbo provided the inspiration to start my own review thread.  (Bilbo's masterworks rightly deserve a place all their own!)  :D

So as I rewatch each story, I'll keep posting comments and random observations here.  Hopefully that's OK!

A write-up of 1.0 IWHS in the next post.

Czehoski
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1.0 - I Worship His Shadow

Here we go!

It was a neat experience to slip in the old DVD and rewatch the very first LEXX story again, after many years.  Enough time has passed so that it feels like rediscovering the show all over again.

One example is Stanley Tweedle.  I remembered him only as the bumbling Class 4 security guard who lucked into taking possession of the LEXX.  I had totally forgotten his past as an Arch-Traitor who assisted a failed rebellion against His Divine Shadow.  The explanation whizzed by onscreen, but yeah, Stanley is the one-time rebel who subsequently faded into obscurity as part of the Cluster's bureaucratic leviathan.

There's a lot of ground to cover in the first story of any series, and each of the lead characters gets a decent intro.  The actors are still feeling out their roles here.  Even though their characters are not entirely fleshed out yet, there is an immediate familiarity in Stanley's security guard uniform, Kai's goth warrior suit and Giggerota's "skinsuit".

Watching this story again yesterday, what immediately jumped out is how much of it jumped out.  Not just the crazy characters and fascinating costumes.  The musical score is amazing and still holds up to this day.  From our vantage point in the 2010's, you can look back and call Marty Simon's soundtrack "classic 80s/90s SF music".  I love the combination of ethereal synth and driving guitar.

Another big deal at the time was how much of the show was CGI.  According to the DVD extra, over 60% of the story was computer animated.  I remember this being a big talking point when the show was on the air.  Looking at it now, sure, some of it looks cheezy, like the open-air stadium.  But in its day, the percentage of animation vs real actors and sets made the show stand out.

It is interesting that while most of the show was CGI, Thodin's bug bomb was realized in classic stop-motion animation, harkening back to SF of the 60s and 70s.

Speaking of Thodin, I wonder how Giggerota could resist sinking her fangs into those juicy thighs of his!  :D

From the start, I love Giggerota -- a maneater in the literal sense.  I love how she talks, how she looks at people, how she slinks around like she owns the place, with that human face bobbing behind her back. 

Giggerota's standoff with Zev on the bridge of the LEXX was remarkably restrained.  I can't remember if they will have more standoffs in the future, but this one was surprisingly uneventful.  Tame, really.  I imagine if this scene had been in Season 4 they would have been wrestling naked in the shower.

One more thing that jumped out in this story was the gore.  There was the pie-maker being disemboweled and slaughtered, and that old man who got squished by his own toppling security slab.  Kai actally beheaded one of Thodin's band as they fled to the LEXX.  Another of them was devoured by a cluster lizard -- yikes!  And the brains.  Oh so many brains getting squooshed, stomped and splattered.  I had forgotten all these body parts flying around!

After 90 minutes, we have met our team, watched their paths converge at the LEXX and seen them soar away into the Dark Zone.  This story immediately captured my attention back in the day, and was just as awesome in kicking off this re-watch marathon of mine.  As the first story of a new series, it's a roaring success.

I wasn't planning to rate these stories, but why not!

9/10

 

Abby1964
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The first time I saw it was channel surfing at work and it was in it's first run on SciFi. I actually had went past and then backed to see if I had really seen what I thought I saw, some long lost member of the B52's (The old college rock group)

Yes I did see big hair but on a guy and one that was pretty darn easy on the eyes too! I remember thinking WTF??? But it was strange weird wacky. All pluses in my book! But it wasn't until last year that I saw the first season which got me into the story arc and explained a lot that really made now sense to me first time around.

Last edited on Mon May 2nd, 2011 01:17 am by Abby1964

Kaden
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I saw the original run on the Sci Fi channel, though I missed a few episodes. It makes so much more sense when you see the whole thing. (Duh! :P)

I remember it felt very secret and almost forbidden. No one else knew what it was or that it even existed. It was like I had gotten this accidental view into another universe. (Get it? Get it? Sorry, I had to. :c030a:) When I watch it now, it does not seem risque to me, but at the time it was naughty and almost shocking. I must have been very innocent. Oh, that was hard to type through the ironic laughter.

Truly, though, it was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Still is. There is nothing else quite like Lexx, the aesthetic is so unique. And even though I like the entire series as a whole (despite the fact that some of the espisoded were real stinkers towards the end) I must admit that it's the earlier, darker episodes that are the closest to my heart.

I try not to watch it too often because I don't want to lessen the impact it has on me.

Czehoski
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Okay, bit of a snag.  On the DVD cover, "Super Nova" is identified as story 2.0, but on Wikihaha, it is designated as story 1.02.  The latter makes slightly more sense, but never mind all that.  Let's do it!

 

2.0 / 1.02 - Super Nova

As the previous story showed us the crummy lives that the newly-minted crew of the LEXX left behind, this story now lays out the template for the remainder of these TV movies and the next season to follow.  In micro: Crew arrives on planet - crew explores - crew gets into trouble - crew gets out of trouble - reunion and departure.

I loved that little bit at the beginning, where the person in the survival pod floating through space is reanimated just in time to crash into the LEXX with hardly a flicker.  LEXX gives a quiet "ouch" and nothing more is said.  Nice little tribute, I thought, to a Douglas Adams gag from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."  If that wasn't the intent, it was still funny!

Compared to the busloads of actors and extras in "I Worship His Shadow," "Super Nova" has a drastically reduced cast.  For the most part, it's down to the main characters and some holograms.

This is one of the things I have always loved about LEXX -- it's about a disparate group of people, who likely wouldn't even be friends in a different set of circumstances, brought together and living a nomadic existence with all of space to roam.

This story is of course infamous for containing Zev's first shower scene, with Stanley peeping at her in total pervy mode.  OMG!  T&A!  Whatever.  I'm gay, so it wasn't as bonerific for me as it was to a generation of young males, but that's OK, plenty of shirtless men coming soon (if memory serves!).

It was an interesting choice to go to Kai's home planet in the very next story after the beginning.  They could have dragged it out, made the journey to Brunnis a quest all its own, setting the stage for a season-finale story.  But they got Brunnis out of the way immediately.  Yeah, it's dead.  Yeah, nobody here but us holograms.  Yeah, you don't want to screw with the stabilizers.

Kai and Zev get themselves into a pickle, and kind of disappear into the background.  A rather repetitive background, getting themselves sawed or not sawed while Poet Man leers at them from a video screen.

I betrayed my undying affection for Giggerota in the previous review.  I was delighted to see her steal the show in this story.  Roaring, scheming, dining out on the "flying meat", and bullying the hell out of poor Stanley.  One little moment I really liked was when the moth flyer abandoned Giggerota on one of the towers, and flew away laughing at her.  :D

For all her nasty behaviour, she got her just desserts (geddit!) at the end.

Who says you need a cast of thousands for a good SF action story!

I liked this, because of the small cast, the rampaging Giggerota, and Tim Curry's offbeat performance as Poet Man.  I am loving this show all over again!

8/10


Czehoski
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3.0 / 1.03 - Eating Pattern

 

There's that old saying about how "art imitates life".  Recently, I saw the movie Hobo With a Shotgun.  In it, Rutger Hauer plays a nomadic outcast who arrives in a city ruled by a demented maniac played by Brian Downey.

Reverse the roles, and you have "Eating Pattern", the third LEXX TV movie, in which Brian Downey plays a nomadic outcast who arrives in a city ruled by a demented maniac played by Rutger Hauer.  Shall we call it, "art imitates art?"

Food!  Glorious food!  Everyone needs it - Stanley, Zev, Kai (in the form of proto-blood) and even the LEXX.  This whole story is about the driving force that is hunger.  The crew is hungry, the ship is hungry, the inhabitants of the garbage planet are hungry.

Speaking of which, I like how the LEXX has enough free will to set off on its own when Stanley is too neglectful.  Badly in need of nourishment, the LEXX picks out a planet and sets course for it on its own.  We'll see more of LEXX's self-preserving sentience later on.

To the story itself.  Holy wow, it's a stomach churner.  The LEXX crew have come upon the planet Claggia, supposedly a dumping-ground garbage planet.  As Zev sets off to explore (with the ever-cowardly Stanley in tow), we learn that the planet has been decimated by a predatory monster that has fed on the people of Claggia and rendered them hosts to a species of parasitic snakes.  (yuck!)

The place is creepy from the start.  As the LEXX crew meet more and more of the locals, the planet's secrets are revealed.  This is a civilization that has been reduced to a cluster of drug-addled murderers, whose sickening desecration of life is exemplified by the "wheel of fortune" device where pathetic souls gamble their body parts in exchange for a hit of "pattern".  This "pattern" is an addictive fluid that is distilled from the churned-up body parts of humans, and doled out by Bog, Rutger Hauer's character.  It is a truly horrible place.

Bog is the belipsticked man in charge here.  But there is also Wist, an enigmatic, leather-wrapped female who renders Stanley into a zombie-slave by transfering one of the parasites into his body.  (did I mention YUCK??)

It is up to Kai to save the day.  He discovers what is really happening on Claggia, he frees Zev and Stanley, and helps to destroy the parasite queen (although LEXX again shows its sense of self-preservation by blowing up the planet and flying into the debris storm in order to destroy the parasite that clings to its exterior).

A wild, gut-wrenching tale.  You can see how this story continues to set the template for the season to follow.  Can't say this is a favourite, but still, it was compelling stuff.

7/10

 

Czehoski
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Holy kats, that's the first season over already. Well, it was only four made-for-TV movies, and serves as a hella long prelude to the series to come. Let's do this!

 

4.0 / 1.04 - Giga Shadow

[Pompous Alert] In this grand LEXX rewatch I have been undertaking, this story more than any other, blah blah blah (well okay, it's only been four stories).

This story more than any other reminded me why I love LEXX so much.

Watching "Giga Shadow" again, it brought home the feeling that our heroes are totally isolated and up against the worst evil in the two universes, all on their own. Sure there were other characters woven into the story, but when a notorious scene-stealer like Malcolm McDowell gets relegated to a quiet supporting role, it shows how strongly the leading characters stand out.

Everyone really hits their stride here. Kai is so utterly dead here that you'd be forgiven for thinking Michael McManus himself had been drained of blood to the point of near-death. Zev makes a legend of herself in her hell-bent quest to save Kai. And as for Stanley the Perfect, the Mighty and Terrible Champion of the Oppressed, he runs the gamut: cowardly, conniving, clever... and almost fully nekkid! :shock:

Did this story start with the longest preamble ever? First, we had an extended version of the familiar spoken-by-LEXX intro, then a windy explanation of the birth of the Giga Shadow by the Time Prophet. Fully eight minutes already gone!

There's that unsettling scene with the kinky perverts setting their sights on Stanley Tweedle, and finally -- finally! -- we catch up with our heroes.

It's quite simple. Kai needs proto blood. The crew failed to find any on Brunnis, there was none to be had on Claggia, and time's a wastin'. Zev unilaterally declares that the LEXX must return through the fractal core, to the Cluster, where Kai's body was first animated by proto blood. There, surely they can find more.

It says something for how fast-moving this story is, that the story was already half-over by the time the LEXX flew through the fractal core. There are many great little character moments along the way: Kai discovering and adopting the baby cluster lizard, the divine predecessors being forced to sing a stupid song by Stanley the Legendary, All-Powerful, Space-Stud Man, and Zev's barely-simmering anger as she is met with frustration from everyone else on the LEXX.

Once the crew arrives back at the Cluster, the story shifts into fast forward. Yottskry gets his head popped off and plugged into the Giga Shadow's brain, Zev and Kai continue the hunt for proto blood, and back aboard the LEXX, Stanley the Stunner, Makes Love Like No Other follows a false distress call and gets himself captured by the pervs.

I found both the concept and the realization of the Giga Shadow disgustingly effective. The gigantic, wriggly, stoney space insect was a suitably gross manifestation of all His Divine Shadow's evilness. The "blackface" thing that appeared inside the LEXX was a little less effective (okay it looks hokey now), but still, a loathsome villain.

Squish saves the day, the LEXX saves Stan, Stan, only Stan, and Kai gets a fresh dose of proto blood (and maybe some residual Shadow coarsing through his body, yikes!).

And there we have it! Season one of LEXX is in the books. Our heroes are more or less back where they were at the end of the first episode: through the fractal core into the Dark Zone and searching for a new home.

In the decade-and-a-half since it was first produced and broadcast, the show may have lost some of its innovative uniqueness, but that would be because of its influence and the imitation it inspired.

Give this one 8/10.

Looking forward to Season Two!

Czehoski
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And we're back. :D Time to kick off my rewatch of LEXX Season 2.


2.1 - Mantrid

What a black little story this is.

Centred around the concept of "life" and exploring its myriad forms, it shows the lengths (and depths) to which some beings will go (and plumb) in order to stay alive.

The first voice we hear is that of His Divine Shadow, as he provides us with a recap of how he came to possess Kai's body at the end of the last story, in order to continue his existence.

The possessed Kai persuades the rest of the LEXX crew to return to the Light Zone for more proto blood, supposedly because he is running out.

They pick up a dormant larvae and bring it on board to try and extract some proto blood. Kai realizes that they need help in the form of Mantrid, the Divine Order's Biovizier (which I assume is short for "mad scientist").

Mantrid. What a triumph of design and realization. The disembodied head locked atop an airborne casing that protects his remaining vital organs. The mechanical flying arms he has fashioned to carry out his physical tasks. The metal ruff and funky padded helmet that give him some semblance of retained human vanity.

Casting Dieter Laser to pull it all together was a great move. He exhudes sheer malevolence. Some fantastically lecherous tongue acting too, by the way. Only a Kai who was possessed by His Divine Shadow would trust someone as nasty as this.

It falls to Mantrid to deliver a discourse on what it means to be alive, and it brings home the fact that there are so many variations of life on display here: humans, disembodied humans, human-hybrids, reanimated corpses, insects, spirits, machines... all in one little 45 minute story. All alive in their own way.

Vigl, Mantrid's leather-clad servant, was pathetic yet strangely endearing. He more than any other character showed an unconditional love to someone else, but got nothing out of it.

Cut to the chase: Kai destroys Mantrid's casing, His Divine Shadow escapes Kai's body, Vigl rescues Mantrid, Stanley rescues Zev, and the LEXX destroys the planet, although everyone seemed to escape alive... except poor Vigl.

This story serves as a bridge between the previous series and the season to come. It establishes Mantrid and his arms as the new menace, and launches the LEXX and its crew onward to more adventures. And it was black, so very, very black. I really loved it.

9/10

Last edited on Tue May 31st, 2011 12:01 am by Czehoski

Be_You_
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Czehoski, I am enjoying reading this thread that you've started and I am inspired to make a few comments.    

Previously I've written that TV World was the first episode that I'd ever seen, but strictly speaking, that's only true in the sense that it was the first episode I watched in its entirety. Previous to that, I know I had run across Mantrid because I remember seeing the evil creature floating around on my TV screen and momentarily thinking I was watching a rerun of Dune - i.e. the similarly evil and gravity-defying Baron Harkonen character.

I was new to having cable at the time - having held out for years until I moved into a place where it was included in the rent - and I remember being shocked that such weird people were being portrayed... well - not that weird really for around where I live... but different from what I was used to seeing on broadcast TV. I'm sure I would have watched the whole show, but I must have desperately needed to do my laundry or something. I know if I'd watched the whole episode that I wouldn't later have been confused about which came first Zev, or Xev.

I'm not posting this in a timely manner, but in your earlier write-up of Eating Pattern you accurately describe that central theme as "hunger" - and you did mention the addictive quality of "pattern" - but I'd add that this episode is nothing less than a haunting allegory to the hell of drug addiction. The writers did a bang up job of depicting what I once heard a friend of mine who was a recovering heroin addict and a very creative person describe as the "need state."

Sure, just like the hapless amputees going for another spin on the wheel as in the epsiode, junkies and other addicts often are seen doing things which nobody outside their world can fathom. Wist too - perhaps just like a drug pusher in a way - was in her own state of need.

The anecdote you added about how Rutger Hauer plays a traveler who stumbles into the realm of a demented maniac played by Brian Downey in Hobo With a Shotgun is golden. That's on my to-watch list now.

Thanks.

BU

Last edited on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 03:25 am by Be_You_

Czehoski
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Awesome comments, BU! Thanks for joining in.

Hobo With a Shotgun is pretty gorey in places, but probably not too shocking for any folks who watched and liked LEXX. There's a similar feel of absurdity to it. :D

Czehoski
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2.2 - Terminal

Well, who saw that coming?? :shock:

Zev is dead! :(

I don't know enough "behind the scenes" history of LEXX to know whether this episode was quickly thrown together upon the news of Eva Habermann's departure, or if her departure was known well in advance and there was plenty of time to script this send-off story for her character. Anyone?

Whichever way the show's producers approached the reality of a departing cast member, they ended up producing a sparse, almost minimalist story that results in Zev's death being a truly shocking, explosive moment.

(It is worth noting that following Zev's death, 790's wailing and caterwauling was perfect here and very reflective of how I felt!)

But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

This story actually begins with the near-death of another crew member, as Kai accidentally pulverizes Stanley's heart (woops).

Despite so many shows of faux animosity towards one another in previous episodes, the crew rally to rescue Stan. They bully their way onto a MedSat using the LEXX's destructive capabilities as a bargaining tool.

The sets aboard the MedSat were an interesting contrast of simple, 70s-style whites and blacks in the corridors and operating rooms, and the psychedelic CGI of the restaurant where Dr. Kazan took Zev.

Dr. Kazan, what a slimeball, along with his accomplices Dr. Funz and Dr. Veezra. (Is the universe destined to be populated by evil Germans at every turn?) Anyway, Kazan wants the key to the LEXX, and is so hell-bent on getting it that he electrocutes Zev to the point of death.

An interesting point to this story was that we saw the entire LEXX crew incapacitated: Stanley near-death from heart failure, Kai frozen, 790 damaged and malfunctioning, and Zev nearly killed.

It took 790 awakening Stan, and Zev morphing completely into cluster lizard form, for them to break free. And for Zev to rescue Kai - the man who was never able to reciprocate her love - that was tragic to the extreme. The reanimated corpse was barely able to acknowledge what she had done.

For a story that had one main objective - kill off Zev - it was very effective. It began with a near-death, and ended with a real one. In between, the script slowly wound up the tension like a clock-spring until the shock ending.

A bowl of goo - that's what Zev has been reduced to. Cue 790 bawling!

9/10

Abby1964
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Actually if you stop and think for a moment, Kai actually does show some level of emotion in this episode. No he's not wailing and sobbing but it is Kai that grabs the punch bowl and scoops up the goo. And when questioned he says he's 'bringing her home'. It is a far cry from how he reacts to a dead Xev later.

Czehoski
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Good point. I think he did manage to get out a single "Zev!" as she was dying, but he thought well enough to collect the remains. He, more than anyone, would appreciate that the dead can continue to exist in some form.

Kaden
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For me, the dynamic between the characters changed a lot when Zev died. I thought EH came across as more innocent and vulnerable than XS, and that added a much needed and interesting dimension. Like Abby has said before, Zev was in love with Kai, and Xev was in lust. I really missed that in the later seasons. Zev and Xev always seemed like completely separate characters to me.

Last edited on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 01:21 am by Kaden

Czehoski
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2.3 - Lyekka

An unknown length of time has passed since Zev's death. The LEXX flies on, its crew coping with their loss. 790 keeps a vigil by the container of Zev's remains, reciting elegies to her. Kai is in cryostasis -- the dead do not cope. Stanley meanwhile is dreaming of a girl from his youth who rejected and humiliated him publicly.

This same girl mysteriously reappears in his bed chamber. Only it isn't really her, its an avatar produced by a space spoor that has entered and embedded itself within the LEXX.

This spoor -- one of many that we saw flying in space -- is capable of reading a person's fantasies and provoking hallucinations that make them seem to come true. It does this in order to eat, and Lyekka is hungry.

Enter the brave astronauts of the Eagle 5 on an exploratory mission from the planet Potataho. Red blooded good ol' boys driven by values and patriotism, the astronauts serve to provide the audience with a refresher: we hear all about the LEXX and its crew as they do. They don't get a chance to do much else before Lyekka begins picking them off one by one, granting them a hallucinatory fantasy before devouring them.

This episode is pretty straightforward. It's a vehicle to introduce two new characters, Lyekka and Xev, who is made by the combined proteins of Zev and Captain Moss. Not sure if this means that Xev is now part human, part cluster lizard, part Potatahoian or not, but there she is! Xev reborn, based on descriptions recited by 790 -- the only character whose fantasies come true in real life.

I liked the use of "regeneration" here to allow a new actor to take over an existing character from a departing one. The departure of Eva Habermann left a gaping hole that needed to be filled, and it was brilliant for that hole to be filled by the same character in a new form. I'm a big fan of Doctor Who and this was right up my alley.

Of all the fantasy sequences, Captain Moss's was the most memorable. He works the soil of his beloved planet, sowing row upon row of living-faced "cabbage patch" creatures. What the hell was that??

Anyhoo, Xev is back! Kazaa! Did I catch Kai of all people getting teary-eyed during the reunion? Perhaps he is indeed able to feel things for others, even if they are just echoes of real emotions.

Weirdly, despite the obvious threat that a man-eating plant aboard the LEXX poses, the crew let Lyekka stay. This was a bit weak -- I guess her gift of a new Xev put everyone at ease for now.

As for Potataho, it got annihilated by Mantrid's arms. The pursuit of the LEXX continues.

7/10

Abby1964
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Some scientists theorize that plants react to emotion. I think this episode was an expansion of that theory. Stanley of course runs to Kai for help immediately but Moss and grew show up before Lyekka can eat anyone.

But Lyekka liked her food 'happy' Perhaps she picked up on the sadness of the crew. Kai was off the menu being dead, 790 didn't have a body to eat which left Stan and remember although he was dreaming about Lyekka the dream left him with negative emotions which made him not so tasty also.

Now the Potatoho crew was riding some seriously positive emotions! they were the first from their little back water planet to encounter intelligent life, so they were probably riding a serious high which made them very tasty indeed, so Lyekka chows down on them and them uses Moss to bring back Xev. Perhaps she was trying to make her next meal tastier? Kind of like fattening a hog.

But if you notice whenever she is hungry, Stan is going through negative emotions so she eats someone else. I think in time the crew became more like 'companion' animals than 'food' animals. Lyekka would not eat Stan or Xev unless there absolutely was nothing else to eat. This kind of plays out during the second season but I don't want to get ahead of you.

Czehoski
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I love the comments from other posters! It brings another angle to these stories other than my own basic reactions. :)

Czehoski
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2.4 - Luvliner

Did I miss something here? The story picks up with everyone in their respective bedchambers, having their own respective sleepytime experiences. Xev is having wet dreams, Stanley is tossing and turning, Kai is frozen, and 790 is once again reciting lyrics to his beloved.

But when they wake up, Stanley and Xev move to the bridge of the LEXX and begin their next adventure, just like that. It feels like we've missed a scene or two. No joyful reunion with the reincarnated Xev, no explanation of how she might be different from the previous Zev, it's all just let's get on with it, no bridge between the previous story and this one. Felt weird.

Anyway, here we are. The LEXX picks up another broadcast, this time from a space bordello advertising its sexy offerings to all and sundry. The adverts' resemblance to late-night TV sex phone lines of the late 1990s is quite amusing, a reminder of the era in which this show was produced.

If there's one thing Stanley and Xev have in common, it is their sadly unsatisfied libidos, and their quest for satisfaction forms the basis of this adventure. To the Luvliner, posthaste!

And what do they find there? A rather scuzzy environment, populated by lowlife perverts in less-than-sanitary conditions. The crew separate to try and fulfill their individual sexual needs, to predictably unsatisfying results. Stan's selected lover ends up getting atomized by the Deutscher-Villain-of-the-Week, as does Xev's. 790 however has an experience that words cannot possibly describe, other than the robot head ended up giving unwilling head to one of the Luvliner's pervy staff (yoiks!)

What does it all mean? The perils of seeking out paid sex? The futility of desire? Ah, who knows. The crew end up having a typical adventure which involves discovering a new place, exploring and getting into trouble, and having to get bailed out by Kai. Is it too soon for this pattern to be established? I don't think so, as long as they keep finding new ways for Kai to be jettisoned into space or lost by other means.

The show still feels fresh. Xenia Seeberg has barely done anything so far, except confirm her Xev's desire for sex, and lust for Kai. There's still much ahead.

This story reflected the adventures of its cast. For all its promise and titillating subject matter, it felt ultimately unfulfilling. Maybe I'm just disappointed because Xev never got that hottie Varrtan out of his pants. Anyway...

Onward!

6/10

Abby1964
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Call me weird but Luvliner came off as something written by a bunch of neurotic Victorian Era prudes.  This is definitely a 'cautionary' tale. The message is not 'safe' sex but no sex.  Xev and Stanley end up with vaporized partners and poor 790 ends up having an 'electrifying' experience.  You almost have to feel sorry for him.

And then at the end you get the moral of "Don't cross the boss." 

I also felt it was a bit of a jump from Lyekka.  There's no issues that Xev needs to work through? She and Kai don't get into a philosophical discussion on Death?  That is what really gets me, Kai and Xev finally have something in common and instead of acknowledging it Xev, simply becomes fixated on getting into Kai's pants?  I do feel like the beans dropped the ball on this particular issue.  But then it won't be the last time I feel like the beans dropped the ball and overlooked a goldmine.

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I need to do a bit of catching up on my commentary to your commentary Czehoski, sorry to be a bit out of step here!

Terminal:

The story illustrates just how duplicitous malignant people - even medical professionals - can be. And of course its a great send-up of the for-profit medical system we have here in the United States.

Would the writers and producers of Lexx be among the small minority of Canadians so often quoted by right wing pundits in the U.S. to bolster their attack on the - now subverted - concept of socialized medicine? I think not.

Zev blows up a nearby moon as a means for getting MedSat's attention after the admissions nurse determines that standard policy requires Stan be classified as a "Type M1313 case: ignore" due to the lack of any insurance waivers or bankable metals to cover his treatment.

Czehoski, just like you, I don't know if it was a surprise to the producers that Eva Habermann was going to leave the show, but I remember the sense of vexation I felt when for a short time I mistakenly believed that Xenia Seeburg had been replaced by Eva Haberman instead of the other way around.

Seeburg has an earthy buoyancy in her character and those luscious lips - but Habermann is just such an exquisitely perfect specimen of feminine pulchritude. A delight to look upon! Upon further reflection, I wouldn't mind at all living in an alternate universe where the original Zev had stayed with the cast.

In this episode Kai was almost destroyed again. Maybe the heretics should have tried to force those slimy doctors to work for them.

Lyekka:

I too found Captain Moss' fantasy to be quite bizarre. Disturbing even. Could that have been commentary regarding the thought-processes underlying paternalism?

Let me add that Louise Wischermann is freaking hot... especially when dolled-out like Daisy Duke in some rustic cut-offs and freckles.

Loveliner:

I think the message is that there are many forms and level of sexual encounters both noble and depraved. The writers were just interrogating these limits. (I think they left out the scat - but that might have been hinted at... eww!)

I think Stan would have gotten good measure from his bony redhead had she been spared.

Notice the bad guys for the second episode in this season came within a hair's breadth of eliminating Kai. I think that subsequently the writer's decided to make him a bit more invulnerable; I don't think there were more than a couple or three such pickles for the dead man in all the remaining episodes of the show.

(Edit: well... maybe six or seven.)


Last edited on Sun Jun 26th, 2011 03:52 am by Be_You_

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And we're back. Sunny summer days make for less TV viewing, but I managed to kick the next disc into the DVD player the other night. :cool:



2.5 - Lafftrak

Of all the insectile grotesqueries on this show, all the horrific deaths and all the phallic food dispensers, the one thing that has most creeped me out so far is Kai's attempt at laughter. It's like a cross between ape-like barking and parrot-like squawking. Creepy!

By now, we're getting used to the pattern. New planet. Xev charges ahead, Stanley trails behind, 790 makes some quips. Kai stays behind until shit gets real and things get out of control. Cue rescue.

Don't get me wrong, the template is simple yet open to a new interpretation every week, as we see in "Lafftrak."

[Quick aside - these misspelt titles kill me. I keep typing the words properly, then have to go back and misspell them.]

This is one of my favourite stories, and one that I well remember from its original broadcasts. Take the LEXX template and apply it to familiar TV templates: the chat show, the kids' show, the hospital drama, the sitcom. Our heroes are led on an ominous race through a mouse maze of TV studios populated by animatronic characters, a kind of Improv or Die.

I was hoping that the writers might go all the way and have Xev and Stanley end up on a sci fi program, on the bridge of a spaceship not unlike the LEXX itself. Maybe the array of living heads wasn't into that sort of thing. [Decapitations seem to figure prominently throughout the series so far, just noticed that.]

A couple of things that I liked about this story were that Stanley got to do more than cringe and whinge before Kai saved the day. It was Stan who fought his way back through the maze and rescued Xev. It was also Stan who had the scene-stealing moment when he kicked the head off one of the animatronic kids. I don't know why I laughed so hard at that, it was ridiculously violent. We've all been there, I suppose.

And to bring us all back down to blunt reality, Kai wraps up this episode with the cutting remark: "Being alive isn't everything." What other show would end with a line like that?

Loved it. This episode is fondly remembered and it was great to watch it again.

Bring back The Xev Show! "She's a special kind of girrrrl..."



9/10

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Czehoski, as you say, that laugh certainly was creepy - as was much of this whole episode. Of course the dead man was only feigning amusement to save Xev's pretty neck, but he was doubly handicapped because in his decarbonized state he probably couldn't reference anything which he might find funny in any case.

Also as you mention, Stan plays a bit of the hero in the end - though not until after Kai has already come on the scene and donated his body to the cause.  (Is Kai only able to control his body by remote control when his head is within a certain range - or within view?)

Interesting that the "CG" - which is a reference to computer-generated graphics no doubt - and the rest of the T.V. World apparatus was flexible enough to take Kai on as an extra. Were Slinka and Yo Yo's lovely and brightly bikini-clad bodies - and all the others on the planet - made of flesh and bones and controlled by computer heads? I think so.

I also think I recognized Paul Donovan as the most creepy "Specialty Show" host and Lex Gigeroff a both a contestant on the game show and a guest on the daytime talk show.

One thing that made an impression on me is the silly graphics generated for the original space battle scene. It was so hokey and obviously tongue in cheek. Maybe a nod to the original Star Wars in there too. It sets up a great counterpoint to the phenomenally bleak existence of the T.V. World studio audience.

Last edited on Thu Jul 21st, 2011 07:42 pm by Be_You_

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Is it too late to start tracking how many cameos Lex Gigeroff makes? :D

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2.6 - Stan's Trial

I find "courtroom" shows very boring. In fact, I watched this episode of LEXX almost a week ago, and finally got around to forcing myself to type out some thoughts.

Don't blink, this will be a quick one.

The story starts off with -- what else? -- one of the LEXX crew declaring that they need to get their rocks off. In this case -- as in most cases -- it's Stanley.

Having located the Celes Pleasure Transport where he previously cavorted, Stan wants to make a beeline back there for some action. Xev seems bemused. 790 is his usual hostile self, and Kai is his usual frozen self, oblivious to the goings on.

No sooner has Stan arrived aboard the pleasure transport than he is captured by a gigantic, man-sized condom (nice touch!) and hauled before a court.

Enter the Grand Prosecutor Jihana, a seriously messed up piece of work. Sadistic, bloodthirsty, murderous, all she wants is to kill Stan by her own hand. A rigged trial will help see to that.

Kai's actions in this story are fascinating. He is on the side of Justice -- which means that he would be A-OK if Stanley was found guilty and executed for his alleged crimes. Xev his horrified by this and only wants to see Stan freed. An interesting twist occurs when Kai steps forward in the place of Stan's dismissed defender, Nool. Kai ultimately wins not freedom for Stan, but a quick and merciful death. Great, thanks!

Did I mention I don't like courtroom stories? The pacing of this one was brutally slow, and you could see the ending coming well before the halfway point. In fact, I had to watch this story TWICE because I feel asleep halfway through the first time. Good grief!

Anyway, Jihana foiled, Stan freed, the LEXX crew skedaddles just ahead of Mantrid's drone arms, cue exit theme.

ZZZZZZZZZZZ...


4/10

Abby1964
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I actually liked this one because it was a deep story. The age old question of the balance between crime and punishment. Who knew Lady justice is in reality a 2000 year old (at that point) Brunnen G with a penchant for dressing like Johnny Cash.

Kai has no problem following the letter of the law "If Stanley is guilty". But the letter of the law must be in agreement with the spirit of the law. Justice must not punish, it punish fairly. It was unfair for Stanley not to have representation so Kai steps up to argue Stanley's case.

Maybe the reformed planets maybe are not so reformed after all? Jihanna would have fit right in with the best of His Shadow's sycophants and if This is an example of the Court system they are in actuality no better than the Divine Order. Kai argues mitigating circumstances presenting evidence that Stanley is in fact also a victim. The information was tortured out of him by the sub-nebulan mercanaries (Although I don't why they bothered with torture when they have that neat little mind probe that can pull memories out of your head).

Stanley is found guilty and that brings us back to the letter of the law. Kai successfully argues Stanley's case in the sentencing phase of the trial. This is where we run into the problem of the letter and spirit in disagreement. It is the order to shoot Xev and Kai on sight that reveals that the spirit of the law is being violated and that Jihanna has no intentions of upholding the law.

Kai steps up again and foils Jihanna's plans. The thing with this episode is that It makes you realize that justice and the law are two different things.

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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.

Sorry to continue on in the courtroom drama vein and risk being a complete bore, but I think the case against Stan merits a bit of exploration. (Caveat: I am not a lawyer nor do I even watch them being played on TV much.)

While re-watching this episode, I remembered being puzzled as to whether the girls at the pleasure transport had in fact set up the young Stan to lead the forces of HDS to the Heretic's base and later lose possession of his secret cargo to the mercenaries - or was it all just a big coincidence?

The mind probe replay of the interchange between the young Stan and Lisha seemed quite incriminatory in a circumstantial way, but I don't think it can be seen as definitive. Indeed, perhaps Stan received his freebie sexual favors simply for the reason that was stated: that the pleasure girls supported the Heretics.

If Jihanna had been able to prove her accusations against the girl, she would have used the mind-probe on her and not simply murdered her. Maybe Lisha only asked Stan his rank among the heretics as a means for plumb whether he was telling the truth about his relationship to them.

During the guilt phase of the trial, Kai argued for mercy identifying Stan as a "tainted hero" due to his indispensable role in eliminating the Divine Shadow, so I question just how strongly he believed Stan should die simply for his earlier cowardice and loose talk. Surely Jihanna's claim that Stan had "caused" the destruction of the base and the 100 planets was tenuous at the best.

Later when Kai said that he would have killed Stan if he'd been asked by Stan to dispense justice, perhaps it would in part have been to "balance" - a term which the dead man uses from time to time in the Lexx series - Stan's own attempt at determining the fate of others.

In what was one of the great lines in the whole series, Kai responds to Jihanna's unintentional softball rebuke of his rhetoric with the retort: "I am well qualified to speak for the dead."

BU

Last edited on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 07:32 pm by Be_You_

Abby1964
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Considering the reformed worlds were well aware of the divine Order and the order's weapons, that line makes you wonder just how Jihanna and the rest of the court didn't already know that Kai was "well qualified to speak for the dead."
 It's obvious from Zev and Stanley's first reaction to Kai that they know he is a Divine Assassin.  Then Twilight confirms that Divine Assassins are easily identified.


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Last edited on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 09:16 pm by Be_You_

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That's a valid observation Abby, but on the other hand I think that omission might be explainable simply due to the limitations of telling a story in 45 minutes: it wouldn't have added anything to the tale to delve into the court's reaction to meeting up with a (recovering) divine assassin.

I think that despite the supreme confidence Jihanna exhibited in herself, she can be seen as a little bit simple-minded - especially in context with her malignant obsessions. Her foolish rhetoric can simply follow from that. Supreme confidence - and overly high professional attainment - among highly motivated dimwits is not, after all, an unknown phenomenon.

Abby1964
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Or perhaps (Another thought that popped into my head) is that they do know what Kai is and Stanley being in his company was a strike against Stan.  Once a tool of the divine order, always a tool of the Divine Order.

One final observation, it was a kangaroo court and perhaps the point of the guilty verdict was propaganda.  There was another goal of here.  The conviction and execution of a known 'Traitor' would have made Jihanna look good politically.  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'.

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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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"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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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

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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.

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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

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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 03:00 am by Abby1964

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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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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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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.

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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 05:55 pm by Abby1964

Be_You_
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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 11:09 pm by Be_You_

Czehoski
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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

Czehoski
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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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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 01:14 am by Be_You_

Czehoski
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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.

Angel
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Mana: 
Czehoski wrote: 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.

That's so funny you mention the 'phantom of the paradise'. Our very own MayaXXX had an extra's role in that movie, I have a copy of it myself.

Czehoski
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Wow!  I love that film.  Still have the soundtrack kicking around somewhere. 

Czehoski
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2.10 - Wake the Dead


Maybe it's my advanced age (a creaky 37), but I really can't stand teenagers anymore.

Bit harsh? I can't express any other reason why I so thoroughly enjoyed watching Kai's killing spree in this teen-slasher of an episode.

The LEXX comes across a transport vessel drifting in space, with five cryofrozen teens aboard. It turns out they have been in stasis for 287 years. Xev restores and invites them to come aboard the LEXX.

PARRRR-TAYYYY!!!!! The boisterous teens inundate the ship with noise, rowdiness and hormonal teen drama. Stan's exasperated facial expressions mirrored my own! Xev is bemused by them all, enjoying some new company for a change.

Fascinated by the frozen assassin, and despite being warned off by Stan, one of the teens (Enox?) starts meddling with Kai's programming. Having been "told" by Enox to make like an assassin and kill everyone on the ship, Kai emerges from his cryopod a leering, green-eyed maniac.

Cue rampage. One by one, Kai kills off the teens. He crams one into the LEXX toilet (that toilet tongue is a whole other kind of horror unto itself). He drowns another in a bowl of food gunk. Another has her neck snapped. Our assassin is so efficient we sometimes don't even see him at work, only the resulting bodies discovered by the others.

With his wild hair and psychotic theatrics, Kai reminded me of Ogre from Skinny Puppy -- a loveable kind of monster... just don't get too close.

And as with most teen slasher films, this one ends abruptly and with the weakest of resolutions: Kai simply runs out of protoblood before he can take an axe to Stan and Xev. While neutralized, our friends hastily bundle him back to the cryochamber to be reprogrammed and restored.

But you never know what's going to happen in that split second when Kai's eyes open. That is one of my favourite recurring moments in the show.

Cheap ending? Yes, but did it fit the story? Yes. There wasn't a whole helluva lot else to this one other than:

LEXX ---> Teens ---> Kai ---> Killing Rampage ---> Quickie ending.

Did I love it? Hell yes!

9/10


And you kids better stay off my lawn!

Abby1964
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I'm a B horror movie fanatic and this is one of my favorite Episodes. It's like the writers sat down with a list of B movie cliches and said lets see how many of these we can fit in a 45 minute time span. The same idea as behind the Scary Movie franchise but done much better with less filler.

Kai is definitely having fun, even at his own expense "Maggot retirement home. Ha ha." I agree the ending was cheap, but what B horror movie have you watched that didn't have a cheap, cheesy ending? (Personally I thought running out of protoblood was a step up from 1)freezing the blob with fire extinguishers or 2)torturing Martians to death with Slim Whitman's Greatest Hits!)

Czehoski
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I really liked Kai's final big speech, the "I have killed mothers with their babies" one, only this time it was totally OTT psycho. "...AND THE FUN NEVER STOPS!!!"

That clip was always included in LEXX TV promos up here. :D

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2.11 - Nook


A very different story, this one. Right from the get-go, in fact. Instead of the usual bored, desperate and sex-starved opening scene on the LEXX, we instead see the big bug as it appears over a field being cultivated by what appear to be monks.

Who what? Where when? Xev scoffs in the face of such questions and coerces Stanley to head down for a visit, even throwing some sex into the bargain. Wahey!

But all is not as it seems on the planet. Well, when I say planet I mean island. Well, when I say island I mean the only little speck of earth on an ocean planet.

Okay, so they are monks, and okay, they live a cloistered existence in a males-only order of brothers. Nothing too extreme here, until it becomes obvious that not only have these brothers never seen a woman before, but they don't even know what a woman is. And Xev's presence is starting to heat things up among the brethren.

Their leader, Randor, seems to know the story, or at least part of it. He suppresses knowledge from spreading to the other brothers (who it turns out are not brothers from other mothers, but clones who are grown).

It was a very odd society, this order of forced ignorance. Obviously Randor knew more than the others, but the fact that no one seemed all that curious to figure out what the books of knowledge contained, it was disappointing not to see that rebellious counterpoint to Randor's stern rule. It took our band of outsiders to tip the apple cart.

What I found most unsettling about this story was the message that the introduction of a woman into this society not only caused unrest and conflict, but meant that the order had to be eliminated and the planet destroyed. Whoa! Extreme overreaction!

I think Randor may have been too comfortable in his domination. Questions started to be asked, and the slightest sign of revolt send him over the edge. Actually, this was all very Jamestown, now that I think of it. :shock:

Haven't even gotten to Stan's flirtation with gayness. This was a nice sidebar, even tho poor Brother Trager got killed off before he and Stan could get it on. Damme! :(

So yeah, not a lot of punch-the-air-and-cheer moments in this story. Bit depressing. Kept to the familiar theme of no one getting what they want... although Xev finally got laid. But even that was so underplayed it took all the momentousness out of something she's been trying to achieve during the entire series to this point.

Man, what a downer, this story.


6/10

Be_You_
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Mana: 
Wow Czeh. Your reviews are coming fast and furious now and are quite worthy of reading. I strain to keep up with my own reflections:

"Gibble" - whose name seems like a combination of "Gobble" and "Nibble" is indeed the type of stereotype to which you referred to previously. The other kids let him hang around because of his rich parents who own a camper which looks surprisingly like a 1960's VW Microbus and his general worthiness to conceal a dozen hits of "gongsplatter" from the camp counselors. (Incidentally does anyone know if that ever made it into the underground lexicon as a synonym for LSD? Seems apt.)

Anyhow, a few things about this episode didn't percolate through my porous brain until after the first... or second... viewing. One, Enox - for all of his overt characteristics as the "enfant terrible" of the group - was unfairly blamed by the outwardly more "normal" Tad and Kenana as being the cause of the campers' long sleep. It was Tad who evidently didn't press the right button while reassuring the others that all was okay. Two - as someone else pointed out recently in another thread - this is the episode where Patricia Zentilli (later "Bunny") made her Lexx debut - and we get to see her bare derrier like totally naked in the shower! "Like totally testosterone blammo action man!"

Stan tries to fob himself off as the parental figure and almost has it sorted - patronizingly telling the kids to gather 'round and drop their things anywhere - but soon loses in telling the kids in the cryochamber not to touch anything: "Now I'm only going to say this once... I repeat"

Some other notable quotes:

Enox to Stan.
Why don't you *mellow* *down*, dad.

Laleen
Love leaks puke juice

As for Nook, jeeze that was heavy. Stan, we find, is not as he would like to claim "all man" and "100% straight"... and neither certainly is our show. Good for us. Seems like some of the most "100% straight" people in the world are the biggest liars and hypocrites among us anyway.

I think this story is another which exemplifies the "power corrupts" maxim of Lord Acton. Brother Landor gets his knickers in a twist because of his loss of control over events and his only means for reestablishing control is activating a doomsday device. As you say, most depressing, but at least Xev gets laid. (Actually the fellas "ran a train" on her didn't they? And of course she thoroughly enjoyed it in typical Cluster-lizard/Divine sex slave fashion.)

BU


Last edited on Wed Aug 24th, 2011 04:13 am by Be_You_

Abby1964
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Jim Jones, David Koresh, Randor-All very good examples of what happens when the prophet forgets that he is a prophet and begins to think that he is God.

I'm sure that there were those that thought beyond the brainwashing. Maybe that was why Randor destroyed everything. The stereotypical megalomaniac attitude of "I'll kill you all and destroy everything before I let anyone prove me wrong." A very dark episode but very realistic in presenting life in a 'cult'.

Be_You_
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Just as the boyish scribe who took a fancy to Stan admitted learning to read even though it was forbidden, Randor was bold-facedly lying when he claimed to eschew "unneccessary knowledge." And Randors circle of elders did notice how strangely he was acting and called him on it. If it hadn't been for the the timing of the night of no rules, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

I'd be willing to doubt almost any prophet in this world as it seems most of them are power hungry hucksters. Perhaps a true prophet does not even recognize themselves as such.

Abby1964
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Be_You_ wrote: Just as the boyish scribe who took a fancy to Stan admitted learning to read even though it was forbidden, Randor was bold-facedly lying when he claimed to eschew "unneccessary knowledge." And Randors circle of elders did notice how strangely he was acting and called him on it. If it hadn't been for the the timing of the night of no rules, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

I'd be willing to doubt almost any prophet in this world as it seems most of them are power hungry hucksters. Perhaps a true prophet does not even recognize themselves as such.
Yes it would have been; no Kool-Aid (mead) first, just a big boom!

The young Brother admitting to teaching himself to read was probably not the only one.  And having the elders questioning things makes me believe the crew simply showed up at 'the end of the end'.  Randor was already 'plotting' when they arrived.

The murder of the young brother was not sloppy, it was as if it was something that was considered and Randor simply needed a way which Kai unknowingly provided.  Randor showed way too much interest in Kai's weapon and Kai himself to have not been thinking how to use both to his advantage.

When manipulation and intimidation did not remove what Randor felt was a threat to his approved way of life, Randor simply destroyed himself and everything else.

Be_You_
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Abby1964 wrote: Be_You_ wrote: Just as the boyish scribe who took a fancy to Stan admitted learning to read even though it was forbidden, Randor was bold-facedly lying when he claimed to eschew "unneccessary knowledge." And Randors circle of elders did notice how strangely he was acting and called him on it. If it hadn't been for the the timing of the night of no rules, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

I'd be willing to doubt almost any prophet in this world as it seems most of them are power hungry hucksters. Perhaps a true prophet does not even recognize themselves as such.
Yes it would have been; no Kool-Aid (mead) first, just a big boom!

The young Brother admitting to teaching himself to read was probably not the only one.  And having the elders questioning things makes me believe the crew simply showed up at 'the end of the end'.  Randor was already 'plotting' when they arrived.

The murder of the young brother was not sloppy, it was as if it was something that was considered and Randor simply needed a way which Kai unknowingly provided.  Randor showed way too much interest in Kai's weapon and Kai himself to have not been thinking how to use both to his advantage.

When manipulation and intimidation did not remove what Randor felt was a threat to his approved way of life, Randor simply destroyed himself and everything else.

Interesting theory Abby, but I'm not convinced. The seeds for the ultimate outcome may have been laid, and to be sure such cults often end in fireworks rather than slow dissolution, but I'm of the opinion that the society would have remained quite stable without the visit of the lovely Xev Bellringer. I see this is a paraphrase of the Garden of Eden story. The woman teaches the men about sex and then they fight among themselves for the first time.

One more observation about this episode: it's the last of season two - and perhaps of the whole series - where there isn't a constant menacing force of some sort or other constantly felt lurking in the background. Next episode is Norb and Mantrid makes his plan clear. Thereafter it's almost all Mantrid, Prince, or Killer Carrots with nary a moment to chill out in peace.

Czehoski
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Be_You_ wrote:


One more observation about this episode: it's the last of season two - and perhaps of the whole series - where there isn't a constant menacing force of some sort or other constantly felt lurking in the background. Next episode is Norb and Mantrid makes his plan clear. Thereafter it's almost all Mantrid, Prince, or Killer Carrots with nary a moment to chill out in peace.


Yes, "Nook" could rightly be considered the midway point of Season Two. Up to now, we've had a collection of stand-alone stories that anyone could easily dip into, without having to have seen Episode 2.1 Mantrid.

But that fantastic krautrock bugazoid is about to re-assert himself in the storyline, bigtime...

Czehoski
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2.12 - Norb

In my mind, Mantrid is the forgotten fifth member of Kraftwerk... ignored, unacknowledged, isolated and left to brood and plot his terrible revenge...

...or something like that.

Anyway, the last we saw of Mantrid was at the close of Episode 2.1, and his floating outer casing was destroyed by Kai as our heroes fled his lair. Mantrid survived, merging his human components with those of insect and machine. Defeated, but not destroyed. Become something altogether new, in fact, but we weren't made to realize it at the time.

Mantrid's drone arms have been his avatar throughout the first half of Season Two, an ominous reminder that the business with him may not be finished. They have been a recurring presence, appearing at the end of several stories, overrunning and destroying entire planets. What hasn't been entirely clear to this point is that the drone arms have been using the materials of these planets to build more drone arms, growing themselves in number with each destroyed planet.

But the arms are clever too. At the start of this episode, we see them encounter little Norb flying through space in his father's ship. Sadly, Norb is no match for this menace. By the time the LEXX finds him floating in space, having ejected from his ship, Norb is not the Norb we used to know. The LEXX brings Norb aboard and the crew gather round. the kid is acting weird, wants to be alone. Turns out, he's been more or less hollowed out and his shell used to convey some Mantrid drones onto the LEXX. Norb attacks 790, incapacitating the robot head, while releasing a drone arm to wreak havoc and start building more arms.

This episode most resembles a horror movie, a classic "base under seige" story, as the menace infiltrates and spreads throughout familiar surroundings and our heroes are threatened with death. The drone arms are devouring multiple sections of the LEXX. By the time the LEXX can convey to the crew that he is feeling unwell, the arms have multiplied by the dozens, if not hundreds. They are literally tearing the ship apart from within.

Unlike previous episodes, this one was genuinely unsettling to watch, as the LEXX crew are forced to abandon ship and flee in a moth, and the LEXX itself is rendered almost incomprehensible from weakness. The writers did a great job here of presenting a believeable menace that might bring about our friends' untimely demise.

This episode really flew by, which is always a good sign. There was very little humour and innuendo here, as Stan, Xev and Kai were taken to the brink. Forced to return to the LEXX in order to give the command that might destroy all of the drone arms, Stan showed some real balls for a change. He managed to give LEXX the right command to eradicate the drone arms (aided by Kai, who performed a drone-killing manoeuvre we haven't seen before).

But just as it seems the drone arm infestation has been beaten, Mantrid himself makes an appearance on the LEXX view screen. Dripping with hate, he reveals that his purpose is to destroy all humanity, this little assault having been a mere game. The dialogue, the acting, the CGI, it all comes together to create an über-menace like no other. Holy shit, he is creepy as hell here.

And just like that, he vanishes.

Shit just got real.

A bleak ending to a traumatic episode.

8/10

Last edited on Sun Aug 28th, 2011 10:22 pm by Czehoski

Be_You_
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Mana: 
... and 790 dies too. Now all the crew of the Lexx have been dead at least once. It seems they all get to die a couple times in this show.

 

BU

Czehoski
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Good point.  For all its identity as a "racy" or "zany" Sci Fi show, LEXX has almost always presented stories about death, or stories that question the definition of "being alive."

Dieter Laser is still creeping me out, as I type this.  :(

Be_You_
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Mana: 
... I call to mind his wide-eyed and pensive look as he masticates an insect in K-town. (Some irony there, as I'm sure others have previously noted.)

You definitely wouldn't want to see him appointed commandant of your concentration camp.

Last edited on Wed Aug 31st, 2011 04:16 pm by Be_You_



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