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|My 2 Cents on Episode 1.3: Eating Pattern
First and foremost, sorry these reviews are taking so long. My work schedule is pretty hellish, and I have to take a summer class in order to bring my grand "finish college in 3 1/2 years, thereby saving a ton of money just to spite the university business office" plan into fruition. If there is an upside to this, I’m happy to report that I now have the entire first season of Lexx on tape. Granted, they aren’t the best quality, and have been edited all to hell by the inhuman, erroneously out of touch troglodytes who pull the strings at Sci-Fi, but still, it’s better than nothing. Now, I can review them at my leisure, zeroing in on plot holes, nitpicking the excellent, though not quite up to seasons 3/4 standard special effects, and freeze framing all of Zev’s scenes in an effort to discern just how cold it was on the set that day. Alrighty, now that I’ve gotten the obligatory shaming of myself out of the way, let’s dive into Eating Pattern.
I mentioned in my Supernova review that the middle two episodes of the "Tales From a Parallel Universe" (I still don’t understand the title change, but considering the fact that the network that originally aired it in the States devotes a large percentage of their time and money to the squinty-eyed pervert demographic, you’ve gotta take what you can get) saga are considered the lesser episodes. In that respect, Eating Pattern truly is the black sheep of the series, as it has absolutely nothing to do with HDS, the prophecy, the Brunnen-G, etc. One could easily skip over this episode and not really feel cheated out of anything; chocking it up as that most hated of TV series concepts: filler.
In reading over this previous paragraph, you may be under the impression that I didn’t really care for this episode. Nothing could be further from the truth! I loved this episode. In fact, I’m gonna go on record and say that of the four original films, this one has the most Lexx-like feel to it. Whereas the other three episodes feel like something else (can’t quite put my finger on it...not that that’s a bad thing), this has the exact look/feel of a season 2/3 episode. It follows the general pattern to a T:
*Crew looking for home/food/a place to get their collective rocks off
*Lexx comes upon a mysterious planet
*Despite Stan’s reservations, Zev wants to explore
*Zev’s curiosity leads to trouble
*Stan meets a woman who doesn’t immediately rip his heart out (metaphorically), which can only mean she will try to rip his head off (literally)
*Kai is separated from the group, but shows up in the nick of time to kick ass
*Everyone not named Stan, Zev, Kai, Lexx, or 790 ends up dead
*Lexx dusts off the aforementioned planet
*Crew pushes on, continuing to search for home/food/a place to get their collective apples polished
As it is a day that ends in "y," 790 is spouting off another series of short Zev-centric love sonnets that would make Allen Ginsburg proud, were it not for the fact the he was a flaming homosexual (my 70+ year old college lit professor’s exact words). I’m pretty certain that throughout the course of the series, Sci-Fi clipped one or two of his poems, and I would appreciate if anybody could back up my suspicion.
Ah, the Lexx galley. Much like the shower, the bathroom, and the overall design of the ship itself, it looks like a homoerotic Hunter S. Thompson hallucination. As was the case with the aforementioned plumbing, I have no idea why HDS, for whom the Lexx was built, would need a galley, as for all we know he never needed to eat. After all, the clerics had already put the kaibosh on his human host body, so its not like he’d be waking up in the middle of the night with an insatiable hankering for a fried egg sandwich. As is the case with...well hell, just about everything, this falls into the celebrated "Bilbo, you dolt..." category. Anyhoo, now that we’ve crossed that bridge, I’ve got to wonder if Stan really expected the Lexx to recreate meatloaf (nice to know that down home cuisine is a constant, in this and any other universe), or if he was just in the grip of some sort of hunger induced madness. Also, even if the Lexx could replicate real, honest to God food, did he realize just what it was he would be eating? After all, the Lexx makes food out of food it has eaten. So, not only would Stan be ingesting the culinary equivalent of second hand smoke, but he would also be eating processed human flesh. Perhaps the Lexx recombinates the food it makes on a molecular level, but I’ve got to imagine that would still stick in the back of Stan’s mind. BTW, I originally assumed that Stan or Zev simply wandered into the "galley" one day and said something to the effect of "Hmmm, I wonder how this discolored goo that’s coming out of this hairy, flesh colored pipe tastes," though I eventually rationalized that Stan probably asked the Lexx if it could make food, to which it likely said something along the lines of "I can make any kind of food you want, Stanley the Flawless, Perfect, Indefatigable Sexual Supernova."
The transmission from Klaagya: you can’t fault these guys for trying, although when it’s all said and done, this little promotional ad is about as enticing as a plug for a water park smack dab in the middle of Three Mile Island. Bog, who I initially didn’t even recognize as the Bog who is reintroduced later, looks like a strung out version of Beetlejuice. Why the Klaagyans didn’t simply omit the part in which Bog’s satellite worm comes up for air is beyond me, but given the mental realm in which most of them dwell, I find it amazing that they remembered to periodically inhale and exhale.
A freeze-dried Kai...that’s definitely a new one. I would have thought that you couldn’t freeze dry him (same as you can’t incinerate him, as has been proven more times than I can count), but then I remembered that this is Lexx, Kai is essentially a piece of homicidal beef jerky, and ultimately found myself smiling and nodding. By the way, as much as I hate to keep analyzing Brian Downey’s crotch, these jokes and analogies are just too easy: the whole freeze drying phenomenon got me to thinking (something I’ve been advised by peers, teachers, employers, school councilors, and total strangers not to do), is it possible in the latter seasons when Stan is unable to...um...rise to the occasion, that his nether regions fell victim to the same freeze drying process that turned Kai into the world’s third largest bomb pop? Ponder this scenario the next time you find yourself on a cross-country drive without air conditioning or a radio.
I love the fact that Lexx just decides to wander off on it’s own. Sure, it’s a tad convenient that it happens to land on Klaagya, but then again, if they didn’t stumble across the planet some how, then Lexxians the world over would still be wondering just why the hell the transmission scene is included (granted, there are a lot of "what the hell" moments in Lexx about which I will continue to scratch my head until I ultimately nick an artery). I’ve also got to comment on the special effects. The Lexx’s landing scene looks awesome, with the gaping maw inhaling tons of garbage as a nice parting shot. Klaagya itself was a visual tour de force; a nice combination of sets, CGI, and matte paintings gives it that oh so Lexx-like look. Truly bizarre.
The scene in which Kai’s Earthly (er...um...Brunnisly?...Clusterly?...Lig...aw the hell with it, you know what I mean) remains are interred is touching. Even though everyone, even the people watching the show for the first time, knew that he would come back, it was a nice tease.
I loved the shot of the Klaagyan city. Though there were a few obvious model shots (not a complaint mind you), it immediately made me think of the cities on Fire, which makes perfect sense to me, as this outing felt more like a season 3 ep than anything else.
You know, as I have stressed almost to death on this board, if Zev would occasionally listen to Stan, then the Lexx crew would be spared a great deal of trouble (to say nothing of near death experiences, and liaisons with the kinds of people that only Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs would find appealing). True to form she ignores him, wanders off, and is immediately attacked and felt up by what appears to be a swarm of lightning bugs. Also true to form, Stan either has a crisis of conscience, or is blinded by his delusion that perhaps some day Zev will decide to use him as a carnal chew toy. Whatever his motivation may be, he goes after Zev, goes the wrong way, and meets...a one legged man carrying an amputated leg. Thankfully for Stan, this guy is apparently a graduate of the Stormtrooper School of Attacking the Principle Characters, as he misses by a country mile. It is immediately hereafter that we meet Wist, who appears to be attracted to Stan...which can only lead to disaster. This assumption is confirmed when she attempts to put the moves on him and impregnates him in the process. To me, this scene resembled what I always thought it would be like to tongue kiss Giggerotta...or Gene Simmons (not that I’d want to do either).
BTW, I should probably mention now that I loved Stan’s transformation in this episode. I could tell just by watching that Brian Downey was having the time of his life pretending to be a bubbly, brainwashed moron (you know...as opposed to the paragon of intellectualism that Stan usually is...). He comes across as deliciously evil and side-splittingly funny. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Brian Downey would make an absolutely badass villain.
Snick. This guy seems like a composite of every elderly, dimwitted, servile pervert I’ve ever met (umm...don’t go reading into that). I would almost go so far as to say he is likable, but during the barter scene he insisted on talking in third person (one of my irrational pet peeves), so from that moment on I wanted him dead, post haste.
And now comes the fun part! The friendly, slightly hygienically challenged/mentally hopeless Klaagyan locals assemble to make merry, all whilst engaging in what I can only describe as the sadomasochistic version of Wheel of Fourtune. But first, we are introduced (or rather...reintroduced) to Bog. Rutgar Hauer must have been ad-libbing some of Bog’s mannerisms, because there is no way you could possibly script some of the stuff he does. Shouldn’t have been much of a stretch for him; after all, this is friggin’ Roy Batty we’re talking about here!
Anyhoo, after being serenaded by his mung-brained minstrels, whose "Bog is the King" song, while stale and repetitive, still trumps 95% of the artificially engineered spunk that passes as pop music these days, and removing his "please don’t arrest me for impersonating a moose" crown, Bog kick starts the festivities.
BTW, isn’t Kukoroo the coolest name?! You know, if I’d seen this episode before I joined the Lexx board, that may well have been my handle. I realize none of you care (I don’t even care), but Stream of Consciousness is my middle name (not really).
It just wouldn’t be Lexx (the first season anyway) without dismemberment and mutilation. So, right on cue, Kukoroo sacrifices his arm for the greater good. Personally, I’d have pumped everyone within earshot with requests for best 2 out of 3, but Kukoroo is apparently a more gracious loser than me. (Which is to say nothing of the fact that he is also a compulsive gambler...rather than, oh, I don’t know, SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER after having his arm lopped off in a gruesome, yet highly efficient manner, he jumps right back in the fray). These guys are addicts on a level that would make Danny Bonaduce’s drooping, bloodshot eyes beam with pride.
Though I can’t remember them word for word, the exchanges between Stan and Bog are priceless. Thank God for the marvels of VCR technology. Speaking of Stan, after his plan to unearth (or, um...unKlaagya?) Kai goes south, he takes Wist to the Lexx where they stock up on diving predecessors in order to cook up a new batch of mind altering Koolaid. This scenario has left me with two questions burning away at the 6 or percent of my brain that I actually use...
1) Between the beginning of IWHS and the end of Giga, just how many divine predecessors are dusted off? I honestly think that would be interesting to know.
2) Was I the only one who shouted the following at the TV: "Wist, for the love of all things sacred in this universe, and any other parallel forms of existence, search the Lexx, find the Golleen clan, and SLAUGHTER THOSE ____________ (insert your favorite expletive here).
Well, things are quickly becoming hopeless, so naturally it’s time for Kai to make his grand entrance. His brief conversation with the satellite worm (half piranha, half leech?) seemed a little out of character to me (in the later seasons, I don’t think Kai would have bothered to say anything...he essentially didn’t speak unless spoken to), but that’s all part of the novelty.
After viewing Wist’s Greatest Hits (remarkable that a parallel universe, some 60 or so centuries past, was privy to the same VCR technology I just lauded), Kai comes face to face with the mindwarped minx, during which we are subjected to what I believe is the first "the dead do not" comment (which I didn’t think they re-introduced until season 3). Thankfully for Kai, while there are plenty of things the dead do not do, they apparently can see malarkey from a mile away, leading him to dust off Wist with extreme indifference (the dead do not terminate with extreme prejudice). It was really the best thing for her, as Wist apparently suffers from the second worst case of tapeworms I’ve ever seen (I’ve seen worse in a biology textbook).
After teasing Zev’s death for the ump-teenth time, she is spared the full horror of the Klaagyan EZ Bake by Bog (and thank God for that...having one’s remains interred with Snick is equivalent to sharing a towel with Andrew WK after a few days at Mardi Gras. Her attempts to seduce him are utterly futile, but given the unique nature of the situation, that is understandable. Despite the fact that I’d saw off three fingers to have a shot at Zev (after which I would naturally have them reattached...I’m not crazy or anything), if I had a bloodthirsty fluke living off my gray matter, base thoughts would be temporarily relegated to the realm of lesser importance. Granted, I wouldn’t have offered up "I like riding ponies" as my final answer, but then again, I don’t have a bloodthirsty fluke living off my gray matter, so I can in no way speak from experience.
A perfect 3 for 3...Kai is dismembered yet again. BTW, and I am being 100% honest here, I have no idea whether Kai’s utterly tripped out "recipe" that he suggests to Bog meant that Kai was going crazy, or that he was just trying to screw with their heads (and that’s saying something considering what we’ve got to work with here). I think I’ll go with the latter, because it certainly got the job done.
Kai’s beheading of Wist version 3.0...awesome. Once again, as soon as I lure myself into believing that I could take Kai in a fight, he proves what a badass he really is.
And now comes the draining scene. I cannot put this into words, and can only assume that Jeff Hirschfeld (this is his kind of stuff) wrote this bit after sucking down a margarita made entirely from old freon that he shaved off his air conditioner. Kai’s reaction to the draining process is priceless, as even he looks as though he’s thinking, "what in the scarlet hell is this?"
I must say that I liked Kai’s confrontation with the Queen. Its voice was eerie, and the scenario definitely played out in a manner I hadn’t even considered. In what can only be called a Lyekka vs. Japan teaser, both Zev and Wist are given the Power Rangers treatment by the queen. Kai, who apparently cares nothing for the fact that he could easily see up the giant Zev’s dress (lowbrow yes, but it would be even more condescending not to tell this joke), is quick to massage her frontal lobe with his brace.
The climax, in which the giant Wist attaches itself to the Lexx, is awesome. The CGI shots of the tentacles chasing Zev around the Lexx look great, and brought to mind such forthcoming episodes as the Net or Norb. BTW, the undertones of the long, ropey tentacle snaking through some of Lexx’s rather Freudian passages was not lost on me. Then again, we have long since established how my mind works (when it works at all) so that should come as no surprise.
Though it couldn’t have come any sooner for me, I have to comment on the destruction of Klaagya. Stan never actually told Lexx to blow it up, as he was too busy acting like David Crosby on...well, any day. I can only assume that it was doing this in self defense, in a vain effort to shake the giant Wist. Either that, or it’s that much of a crack shot, and knew that one of the fragged Klaagya chunks would put the kaibosh on his tormentor. As is always the case, I’m open to either suggestion.
After retrieving Kai (in addition to dismemberment, he sure gets sucked into space a lot), and exhuming Stan’s worm, thereby scaring the hell out of him, the episode closes in typical lighthearted Lexx fashion...with Stan sucking down copious amounts of Lexx’s seepage, and getting a facefull of pink stuff (thank GOD it was pink) from the Boy George Commemorative Nozzle. All’s well that ends well.
Well, 3 down, one to go. As I said, this wasn’t the best of the TFAPU series, but it was damn good (at least equal to, if not better than Nova), and definitely the most Lexx-like episode of the series. It felt like a season 2/3 composite, and left a satisfied, albeit bewildered smile on my face. Rutgar Hauer showed us a side of himself that we’ve never seen. He’s definitely an underutilized talent who’s had the misfortune of being in some real crap in the last decade. Still, I can’t imagine anyone else playing Bog.
Think I’ll hit the sack now. Like I said before, sorry these reviews are taking so long. You can blame it on whatever damn fool came up with the concept of working for one’s money. Till next time...
Last edited on Sat Nov 4th, 2006 12:13 am by Bilbo67
|Again your review is so remarkable I can't do anything except say that once again I'm staggered..
|from the Boy George Commemorative Nozzle. All’s well that ends well.
oh Bilbo the Lexxian world caught a pearl when you came into the scene! You rock boy you rock! Your astute obserations are spot on..
|I have to tell ya, Bilbo, that Eating Pattern is my least fave of the movies, but after reading your review again, it makes me want to pop it in and watch it right now, and I would, except I have to get ready for work, dangit!
|Again, really well written. Thanks!
|Bilbo: your hunch is correct, this episode has Kai's first 'the dead do not...' comment. I'm not yet sure whether these quips were introduced as a running joke in season three only; I'm working my way there, wikiquote-wise. But be assured that I will include all of them.