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|Moderated by: Ketana, CheshireKat, aeonflux|
|My 2 Cents on Episode 4.22: Trip
Alexander Kier “Lex” Gigeroff
I’m not very good at this kind of thing.
That, in addition to being what she said, is the God’s honest truth. But I want to say a few words anyway, in the vain hope that maybe this time I’ll catch that rare strain of two-headed lightning in a bottle and not make an ass out of myself. Here goes nothin’…
As you’re all aware, this past Christmas the Lexxian community was rocked by the news that co-creator Lex Gigeroff had died, at the too-young age of only 49. No need to dwell on the circumstances, but suffice it to say, they were bittersweet at best. I won’t pretend to know how those closest to him—his friends, family, and colleagues—took it, nor how they’ve coped with the loss during the ensuing month. Some in the fan base almost certainly knew him, to one degree or another, and are far better equipped to wax lyrical about him than I could ever hope to have been. I didn’t know Lex. I could have, and I wish I hadn’t squandered the opportunity when it presented itself.
Some time back he popped into the Lexxverse for a fan interview, and was every bit as personable, engaging, and informative as the rest of the cast and crewmembers who’ve swung by our humble little wing of the asylum. At some point shortly thereafter, one of the moderators (forgive this unworthy one, but I honestly can’t remember if it was Angel or Maya) asked if I would be interested in having her pass my contact information along to Lex, since I’m also something of a writer (…you know, at least on paper). She did just that, and a few days later I exchanged a couple brief emails with him. Little in the way of substance there, apart from telling him my name, thanking him for the goodies he graced us with (early season 2 story notes, and a draft script for Eating Pattern that had a really wicked opening that I wish they could have filmed), and telling him how great the show was. Standard fanboy posterior polishing, in other words. He thanked me, I shot back, asking what he was working on at the moment. One or two more brief exchanges, and that was that. I didn’t pursue any further discourse with him. Maybe because I was caught up in my own crap at the time, or perhaps because pestering and fawning over celebrities has never been my thing. Whatever the case, that was the end of that.
I wish it hadn’t been. I wish I could have that squandered opportunity back. I wish I could have let him know how much his signature creative endeavor meant to me, and how much I feel I owe he and his colleagues for it. Not just for the sheer entertainment they provided, but for what it fostered. His co-creation spoke to my idiosyncratic sensibilities as few things have. When I finally ginned up the courage to speak back in kind, I was shocked to find that there was an outlet for my less-than-conventional voice. That there was a little known community of somewhat-like-minded misfits out there with whom my peculiar vintage of mental runoff apparently struck a chord.
It has since struck a few more chords, with a handful of people who believe in me more strongly than I’ve ever been capable of believing in myself, and are in a position to potentially unleash what I’ve wrought on an unprepared, unsuspecting world, if the stars align. I can’t give the Lexxian community sole credit, but I’m being 100% serious when I say that the feedback and encouragement I’ve received—and continue to receive—from my fellow fans over the years is one of the major reasons why I’ve continued to pursue writing, and why I no longer shy away from injecting my occasionally head-scratching sensibilities into my creative endeavors. To that end, Lex’s own fearlessly unique creative endeavor was my catalyst. I wish I could have told him that. I wish I could have thanked him.
That said, the part of me that’s routinely asked to leave department stores after abrasively accusing the mannequins of having cheated to beat me in a staring contest finds it somewhat fitting that this tribute accompanies a review for an episode that boasts Lex G’s final on-screen contribution. He voices a smart alecky, blood spurting talking food nozzle straight out of a fevered, Freudian night terror. I can honestly think of no better way for the first of the supreme beans to bow out. If I had the means to abdu—er, um, coerce the cast and crew to reassemble and sit down to film a brief, wistful tribute to Lex, I would want the nozzle itself to appear as part of the panel. Its name would be Filbert.
Sorry to take up so much of your time telling you how awesome you already know you are, Lex. I’m sure you’ve been keeping nice and busy since wriggling away from the surly bonds of Earth. Right now I imagine you’re in Gametown, holding court in the winners’ circle after scoring the last-second game winning shot in the…whatever-the-hell-that-game-is-called championship. Probably about time to hit the showers, eh?
We thank you and we miss you, Lex. This rambling, incoherent wordbomb is for you.
So at long, torturous, butt-numbing, cannibalism-considering last, we finally come to it. This is your Lexx on drugs.
Hard to believe it took them THIS long to devote an entire episode to what even the most laudatory, starry-eyed fan-persons would be loath to denounce as a key ingredient in the show’s thoroughly-unfit-for-human-consumption recipe for success. Sure, the beans have dipped their collective Tinactin-resistant toe into the swirling, multi-hued factory runoff end of the water on occasion: from pus-faced post-pubescent punksicles scarfing gongsplangar root, to Kai temperately tearing up the town with two thirds of a trio of tittering tweakers, to Xev giving full lip, tongue, and throat service to one Mr. Barleycorn every time a post-season 3 lull in the action exceeds the dreaded five minute mark (what’s that you say?...Coke-snorting mummy?... Naw, doesn’t sound like anything they ever did on this show, and I can quote every episode from memory in real-time, because even sunlight refuses to be seen with me… Are you sure this isn’t something you concocted after a long, sleepless night of trying to stick a cannonball in one ear and pull it out the other one?... No?... Well, then it was probably that seldom-seen Halloween episode of Full House, that show got pretty raunchy toward the end…yeah, right around the time where they did that arc with Uncle Jesse and the Karate-fighting space hookers…mmhmm…uh-huh…no, see the hookers were from Earth, they merely worked in space…yeah, as managerial consultants for the Soyuz crew’s bootleg toupee operation…I know, ripped from the headlines and everything! Look, I gotta go, they’re giving me that look again…No…No, she hasn’t…Well, it’s Ketana, so you never know…Why, what have you heard?...Check my ceilings for what?!?). But they’ve yet to regale us with a bona fide drug episode, possibly because the standards and practices nofunniks would have come down on them with the full brunt of their pissy, puritanical power; or perhaps because they were too preoccupied with running around in circles, lest the Earth’s rotation overtake them and fling them into the green, bleeding, Iron-Butterfly-album-cover-resembling abyss. We may never know, in part because of the aforementioned loss that rocked the Lexxian community, and in part because Salter Street gave their employees nail gun lobotomies and memory implants as part of their holiday bonus package in lieu of stock or drinking fountain privileges. But none of that matters now, because with the censors phoning it in en route to finding a new show to needlessly screw over and Bonnie Hammer having crammed the persistently dangling, cancellation inducing Sword of Dumbassocles right back where it belongs, the beans have carte blanche to invite the whole jolly lot of us to ride shotgun on their latest dragon chase.
I know what you’re all thinking, and for the most part I’m thoroughly disgusted. That doesn’t mean y’all aren’t right on the money, though. I too, upon hearing the words “Lexx” and “drugs” used in the same totally sincere sentence, immediately expected the finished product to play out like an unmoderated lightspeed creative collision between David Lynch, David Cronenberg, David Crosby, David Milch, David Berkowitz, David Allen Coe, David Icke, David Gerrold, David Sim, and, oh what the hell, me! (Because somebody’s gotta talk to the cops). But why go to the potentially troublesome trouble of trying to catch, collar, and hand-torch corral that cast of characters when the beans have an infinitely more potent weapon sleeping upside down in a hyperbaric nitrous oxide and road tar fumes chamber less than a Molotov cocktail’s throw from the candy machine outside their office?
Hirsch, Hirsch, and only Hirsch…
…like you were expecting anybody else!
As usual when he’s flying solo, I don’t think Jeff Hirschfield was aware he was actually writing a television show. In fact, I’m not altogether sure he was ever aware that a show called Lexx even existed. Rather, when it was decided that he would be receiving sole credit for the teleplay, I believe Paul and Lex led him into a small, comfortably padded room, pulled up behind a couple laptops, shot each other the kind of astute, stoic look that those valiant few who’ve shared a baptism by fire will tell you is capable of carrying more weight than all the words in all the lives of all the men who ever walked the Earth, steeled themselves, then said, “So Jeff, tell us about your day,” and proceeded to frantically type his thoughts out verbatim as they spilled forth.
Which is surprising, really, because for all its infinitely wonky possibilities, this wound up being a fairly straightforward, subjectively subdued story, all contraband things considered. Nothing in the way of firsthand experience to speak from, so I can only assume that this must be what those who partake are talking about when they say that the first high doesn’t really do much to you.
So what say we up the dosage!
Remember where we left off? Good, me neither. So we’ll start things off in space, where our old pal “da Lexx,” having finally unyoked itself from Earth’s orbit once and for all, is slingshotting around the moon and appears to be heading back toward the planet. Either the effects crew is getting a nice, early jump on that whole distorted, “up is down, down is up, my fingers can touch anything except my other fingers’ fingers” sensation, or Captain Stan felt that a seventh and final flyby mooning was in order. No reason it can’t be both, I s’pose.
For once we’re spared the hoary, unshaven brunt of it, bringing my return rate on Lexx-related prayers to a whopping 7%. We storm the bridge just as Stan says a listless, almost cordial “bye bye” to the place that’s tried to kill him umbleteen times in the past year. Xev, likewise, bids a snotty, passive aggressive farewell to the place that made her a star in no less than three separate multi-media milieus, showered her with gifts, free disposable clothing, and some really bitchin’ body art, taught her how to drive, turned a blind eye to her trans-continental eleven figure bar tab, facilitated an asterisked liaison with “Kai,” always seemed to have a bubble bath, shower, steam room, hot tub, wading pool, or some creepy old review-scribbling mouth breather’s novelty lawn sprinkler ready and waiting for her, and never once seemed to rain whenever she was around, because really, what’s it done for her lately? And 790? Still banished to what barely qualifies as a corner three feet from the crew’s non-peripheral line of sight, to think very, very hard about what he did and how it made everyone feel.
Clearly, it made them hanker for busywork. Why else would they go to the trouble of lashing him to the wall with sun-dried tunnel snot when it would have been far simpler—and more cathartic—to detach him from his little green cart and frisbee the damn thing into the Bubbling By and By? Granted, there’s no telling what he’s capable of even without it, but why even risk the possibility of having a psychotically unhinged robot head on the loose, particularly when you consider that the cart was instrumental in his last half dozen or so evil schemes (one of which basically amounted to ramming Stan off the bridge). *SIGH*…but perhaps I’m to blame here, for being so culturally closed-minded. For all I know, Canadian law may very well mandate that serial killers reserve the right to be incarcerated with the very ice cream scoops that brought them to the authorities’ attention in the first place.
Stan, Kai…Xev. I love all three of you to a variety of unsettling extents, but you brought this on yourselves: prepare to get dope-slapped. I’d do it myself, but you’re a trio of ten-year-old fictional characters who live inside my laptop (rent free, mind you!), so until I figure out how to cross THAT final frontier without voiding my warranty, you’ll have to take turns cuffing each other. Right after a quick carb load, of course.
I can’t be the only one who’d forgotten that the galley is right there in plain sight of the bridge, which by extension places it in plain sight—or at the very least, right within earshot—of the open-air commode. That this never occurred to the selectively apathetic corpse or the box-raised girl whose automated finishing school curriculum almost certainly glossed over things like shame and dignity makes a revolting sort of sense to me; but to suggest that it’s never once crossed Stan’s mind—let alone weighed heavier on it than a neutronium sombrero every time he rolled out of the sack to rustle up some breakfast—is an Armstrong-grade stretch. Be that as it may, all notions of remodeling and finally bringing that dump up to code are shelved by the sudden, inexplicable appearance of a bulbous, quivering, vaguely pea-shaped orb. As you can well imagine, Stan has no idea what the hell it is.
As usual, it’s Kai to the rescue. With little more than an undeniably familiar flick of his wrist, the trembling, mystery bead goes into convulsions and erupts in a majestic shower of all-encompassing, Stan-stumping white light.
What would a spacefaring superfreakout be without a Lyekka lamp? Yup, at some point Lyekka’s sister Lyekka, unbeknownst to the crew or the Lexx’s developmentally disabled security sensors, managed to sashay right into the galley like she owned the place and deposit some kind of pre-recorded holographic image projector right underneath one of the dietary downspouts, which in hindsight makes me wonder why she didn’t just plant a suitcase nuke or a bushel of dormant carrots.
Because that’s not her way, that’s why! (Planetwide upsurge in Kevlar chap sales notwithstanding). Lyekka always keeps her word, or so Stan insists, despite the fact that Lyekka’s sister Lyekka went to great pains to explain to him that although she looks like Lyekka, she’s not his Lyekka, and that the original human Lyekka did for being a manipulative bitch what Stomp did for garbage. That locked out of mind, a holographic Lyekka lookalyekka that looks like some kind of rejected Janet Jackson album cover formally announces herself and bids our heroes thanks for authorizing the wholesale slaughter of an entire unsuspecting culture. A few tepid “aw shucks, ‘tweren’t nuthin’”s later, she presents them with some modest tokens of her people’s appreciation. To Stan and Xev, a pair of unobtanium dusted cherry tomatoes (Stan’s expectant smile melts so rapidly I swore I thought I heard a slide whistle playing) called jalasaberries, supposedly the tastiest, most exquisite delicacy in the known universe. A loaded statement if ever there was one, this coming from a race of beings who use the carrot probes as a sort of semi-autonomous galactic Zagat guide. Besides, aren’t descriptions like “most exquisite,” “tastiest,” and “not too revolting to look at provided you dim the lights in advance and wear tinted contacts” kind of subjective? There’s being gracious, and then there’s just being careless. If I were in our heroes’ shoes, I’d probably make a bold show of how thankful I was to receive such a nice, thoughtful gift (the standard “grandma sent socks three sizes too small…again” response), and how anxious I was to enjoy it, before nonchalantly flipping it to the dog (“dog” here defined as “ship”).
Moving right along: one thing I think most Lexxians would agree on is that if you don’t have a depraved, Pavlovian accent fetish before getting onboard with the show, you’ll quickly develop one. The slew of peculiar patois is one of the series’ most endearing traits, and while I wouldn’t trade a one of them for even the most refined mid-Atlantic brogue, my pants would be a raging inferno if I said that they didn’t present my Amerocentric ears the with the occasional stumbling block, particularly when it comes to transcribing made-up words. So, with that in mind, Lyekka presents Kai with a rarity of his own, their people’s highest honor, a living “urine tank plant.” (How exactly is that a rarity? Every dorm quad in the northern hemisphere has one of those, whether they realize it or not!) A magnanimous gesture on their part, no doubt, but quite wasted. For starters, Kai doesn’t have any fresh potting soil sitting around, or else he almost certainly would have gotten bored and tried to bury himself again. Moreover, the dead have no need for such a plant…they prefer to simply prop open the door of their truck and casually look both ways. Still, functionally useless or not, Kai’s gift stands head and shoulders above Stan and Xev’s by simple virtue of the fact that he’s not required to place it inside his body to enjoy it. (Which is not to say he still couldn’t…)
Neither, for that matter, are Stan and Xev. But willpower is a fickle mistress and let’s face it, who amongst us hasn’t succumbed to the occasional “I couldn’t help it, it just crawled into my mouth” moment? (It’s what got me banned from the Denver Zoo’s butterfly pavilion until they plow up my children’s children’s children’s remains to build a post-apocalyptic Pottery Barn) Add to that a peer pressure packed “Aw come on, live a little” from Mr. Trust-But-Verify, who should be well aware that superficially innocuous exotic poisons are an assassination cornerstone, and our resident temptation magnets are left with nary a smooth, supple leg to stand on.
Invoking the standard away team principle, Xev stows her berry in her forward compartment (straight answer time, gals: on a scale of 1-10 how well does that actually work?) and insists the captain go first. Down the hatch it goes, oddly synced CHOMP effect and all, whereupon Brian Downey tucks his lips behind his gums and auto-dilates his pupils in an attempt to single-handedly one-up all of those “baby’s first candy/chocolate/lemon/pop-rocks/jalapeño/chewing tobacco/improperly hidden cracker-shaped motel soap/exploding novelty cigar” videos on Youtube. No telling how much of that speed run through the entire known gamut of human emotions is due to the berry itself, or the Resident Evil-caliber additives it’s been stewing in since it was picked, but as someone who remembers to wash his produce off about as often as he remembers to water his plastic plants (which themselves yield a bonny bounty of berries every spring for reasons that continue to thoroughly baffle both the College of Cardinals and my local university’s horticultural department), I’ve long been of a mind that sometimes a few jiggers of CIA-grade hyperpesticide can really enhance the character of my roughage (by which I mean that on at least two separate occasions I’ve eaten luminous, pulsating vegetables that I believe were right on the verge not only of sentience, but the ability to grant wishes). Kindred horse-whipped spirit that he is, Stan does the Bilbosian thing (trying it out…feel free to logjam it into your everyday verbiage) and takes the good with the bad, the up with the down, “there’s a Roman orgy with 21st century hygiene standards and a post-2:00am Cinemax gender ratio in my mouth and everybody’s playing Twister” with “IT BURNS! IT BURNS! OH SWEET MERCIFUL BAPHOMET, IT’S RENDERING MY INSIDES DOWN INTO THEIR RAW SUBATOMIC FORM, IF YOU EVER SO MUCH AS CARED ABOUT ME IN THE SLIGHTEST YOU’LL DOUSE ME IN THERMITE AND KICK ME INTO A VOLCANO JUST TO COOL ME OFF, IT BURNS! ALSO IT TASTES LIKE SCOTCH GUARD.”
While alien mystery fruit undoubtedly has to be easier for a girl with a reptilian digestive tract and a Kryptonian-class immune system to slurp down, Xev temporarily puts her appetite in check and opts to employ the semi-scientific method of waiting around to see if Stan is going to die any time soon (or as she typically refers to it, “any time that ends in –esent”). Alack for her expansion plans, it doesn’t pan out that way, and so, after ordering the last remaining moth breeders to haul her vanity mirror and shoe trailer back out of Stan’s room, she wolfs her jalasaberry down without bothering to chew it and immediately lapses into a weak-kneed, glassy-eyed, all too rare waking version of her customary “I’m riding a motorcycle back and forth over a row of speed bumps in gym shorts and no one else is around” dream. (Menfolken: can’t stress enough what a TERRIBLE idea this is! Totally throws the alignment off…)
So what did our heroes do for the next nine hours that was so mundane it could be safely crushed into an infinitely short quick cut without throwing the slightest crinkle into the plot? For that matter—and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to dwell on it—aside from eating, sleeping, showering, peeking through gooey, membranous shower room keyholes, denying and/or being denied a roll in the fungus encrusted hay, lining up the moth breeders and making them act out the same dozen Monty Python skits over and over, and taking the digestive process to its inexorable conclusion in full view of the panoramic two-way view screen that seemingly anyone possessing the ability to simply exist and happen to be there when the Lexx coasts by is capable of accessing, just what the hell is there to do on that big bug? You know, when episodey things aren’t happening. It’s not like Stan and Xev have that old “cataloguing gaseous anomalies” copout to fall back on, and considering the vast majority of Lexx’s interior is a hollow, acidic, self-directed hellscape, “I need to get away for a while” carries slightly more weight than “Everything on THIS side of the tape line is MINE.” How does one pass the long, tedious swaths of time that come standard with interstellar travel when the closest thing to a fun, challenging hobby at one’s disposal is kicking along the corridors trying to scare up flakes of calcified bugship puke that vaguely resemble naked celebrities? (Stan cleared all that crap out of the protein regenerator closet for a reason.)
I guess you make your own fun. In this case, seeing how many of the laws of physics you can brutally undermine in a single outing. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you (I’m serious, I’ve suppressed the hell right out of those memories), but when it comes to science fiction, unless its inner workings are vitally germane to the plot, I don’t really give a damn what makes things tick. FTL drive, artificial gravity, cold fusion, fireballs in space, cheap, plentiful antimatter, a lady captain, etc. That it exists in the universe in question is good enough for me, provided it obeys that universe’s internal logic. So I guess it would be patently hypocritical of me to harp on the fact that at the utleast (it’s a word), it would take the fastest permissible object in the universe 4.2 years to reach the closest life-sustaining extrasolar planet (assuming a yellow sun is not an absolute prerequisite for human survival). Yep, I’d officially out myself as a content-deficient blowhard scrambling to fill space if I harped on the fact that a nine hour flight time from Earth to whatever the hell our nebular next door neighbor is called can only mean that either:
A) The Lexx is traveling at some fantastimagorical sub-light speed, and that outside their damp, rank little time dilation cocoon, untold eons have passed, thereby rendering the Lyekka issue moot at best; a MUCH, MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM at worst.
B) Even running on the planetary equivalent of a few Ritz crackers, the Lexx is capable of traveling at least 4,088 times faster than the speed of light, which should spell all sorts of fun, exciting doom for everything that has ever existed anywhere (which, admittedly, would have made for one helluva covert finale!)
So I won’t. Such is the miracle of selective indifference (with a generous nod to that sorely neglected MST3K disclaimer that comes second nature to anyone who decided to stick with Lexx past the initial eight minutes of the pilot). Instead, I’m going to repurpose all that pent up inquisitive energy toward pondering just what in tarnation Xev uses to shave her legs with.
Okay, so it turns out the joint one Oort cloud over is a barren, pockmarked celestial crapshack, just like the old biddies at the beauty shop are always saying. Fair enough, our heroes are still just browsing at this point. Cue another superluminal blink-and-you’ll-assume-they’re-in-the-interstellar-equivalent-of-a-U-Stor jump cut and we arrive at the corpse of Criddock 14, similarly plundered by the Lyekkas after a disastrous surprise phone call from their mother sent them scrambling for some non-judgmental comfort calories.
Any reason why they can’t simply curl up in the freezers and do the cryo drift thing again? That seemed to work out just fine for them last time, inasmuch as they didn’t end up dead…right away. That’s a Kai question if ever there was one, which is fortunate, since to their near complete lack of shock, he’s decided to freely rouse himself for no particular purpose for the first time since rolling out of the sack the morning before the ForeShadow came a-knockin’. The lifeys bemoan their latest sticky situation, cringing at the mere thought of the gristly fate that befell the 20+ billion Criddock-Fourteenianites (don’t people who get Lyekka-scarfed spend their final waking moments living out some kind of psychedelic wish fulfillment fantasy? ‘Scuse me while I go salt myself) before spontaneously cracking up over the poor bastards’ fates like guidance councilors on a cigarette break.
In our second “for once” in as many minutes, the man with the (typically giant-net-related) plan is taken aback by his comrades’ behavior, flat out telling them that he’s never seen them behave this way before, which isn’t toooooooooooooooo much of a stretch. Sure, he’s seen both of them all sorts of out of it…but never at the same time. A key distinction, which spares him my wrath (we won’t count their joint exposure to the gender-swapping throat spray, by simple virtue of the fact that one of them wasn’t exactly laughing when that happened!) Correctly suspecting that the unwashed alien mystery fruit is having some kind of adverse effect on them (how many psychoactives boast a 9+ hour waiting period? You can’t honestly expect hippies to plan that far in advance), Kai weighs his options. Should he:
A) Toss his friends in cryo until the effects wear off.
B) Tell them to think warm, far-away thoughts, then protein regenerate all the nasties out of them.
C) Tie them up so they don’t hurt themselves or drive him kill-crazy by constantly trying to touch his face.
D) Invite his potentially dying, potentially dangerous friends to join him in an off-key sing-along.
You’re absolutely right! It’s E) “Bilbo you dolt, shut the hell up and let the episode play itself out!”
Yes, what better way to spend what might very well be their last few non-screaming-and-spasming moments alive then by serenading Kai’s urine tank plant, which, like the vessel that bore it, boasts some sort of round, pulsating, vaguely pea shaped knob at its base that no one in his right mind could or should be faulted for failing to notice upon first through fifty-eighth glance. First up we’re treated to a stop-and-go reprise of the Ballad of Stanley Tweedle. Then Xev tags in and hits a sour high note capable of shattering time itself. Mercifully, Kai calls a quick halt to amateur hour and croons the already jelly-kneed lot of us (er, um…I mean YOU) into a varyingly immodest waking stupor, appropriately summarized by the semi-sentient shower of TIG welding sparks that erupt from within the quivering little plant knob. Can’t fault Stan and Xev for trying. The former just couldn’t find his rhythm; the latter was a little too harsh. Leave it to Kai and his never-fail golden pipes to remind us that sometimes, all it takes to make beautiful music is a little precision vibrati...er...vibrato.
Moved near to tears and craving a bag of cool ranch Doritos like no man before him has ever lusted after anything, Stan looks to be on the verge of hip hugging the arctic exterior of a cryopod (things Flick never warned us about), while Kai utters what might be the single most on-point summation of the nature of his relationship with his companions:
“Though I am dead and do not feel as such, I am not without an appreciation of our kinship. There is indeed a strong bond between us.”
It’s (almost) as close as Kai could ever come to expressing genuine affection for his cohorts, and if you’re anything like me (just let the muttonchops dream go), you probably did some sort of spontaneous, arrhythmic touchdown dance the first time you heard Kai utter those words. Unfortunately, his hollow-chested but still heartfelt ode to their kinship sails clean over their heads right around the word “kinship.” By that point Xev is deeply engrossed in watching the pink elephants do their thing, while it has finally dawned on Stan that Kai’s name is Kai. Which is hilarious, man, cause, like, he’s got two eyes. Ya know?
Well, you don’t just make an emotional breakthrough like that and call it a day, now do ya? Break out the sitar and the cheese log, it’s time for a round of cloud watching, courtesy—one would assume—of the colossal, gaping Giga Shadow-induced fissure in the Lexx’s hull that, between merely existing and nothing else, just never could find the time to unleash the hellish, howling vacuum of space on everyone and everything in the ship. Admittedly, Kai’s irrefutable go-to, “That one totally looks like a wave of primordial energy congealed into particulate form, man” is something of a mild buzz-maimer, but you know, that’s, like, his opinion, man. Speaking of which, after four seasons of clinging to her one and only inhibition like duct tape to my license plate, Xev’s of the opinion that the time has come for the three of them to develop a “special” relationship. Yep, it’s really happening folks. Mark your calendars. Xev has finally decided to consider adding Stan to her speed dial on a one strike trial basis.
Say it with me: Awwwwwww
Even Kai gets in on the act, though I’m afraid I’m going to have to metaphorically rap him on the knuckles for his approach (which is my way of saying there’s now a small chip in my computer screen). For starters, socially stunted inorganic mockery of humanity or not, telling a woman that the thought of making love to her “might actually become appealing” under a specific set of circumstances amounts to nothing less than an immediate invitation for her to call up her brothers and a couple of their friends and have them pick your car up and place it perpendicularly across a concrete parking lot divider so the wheels don’t touch the ground. (That’s just how it’s done.) More importantly…um, Kai ol’ buddy…check your playback. Prince never actually promised to bring you back to life. In fact, as my pathetically specific eidetic memory and frozen tundra of a social calendar allow me to recall, you plainly stated that you do not want that. “The dead want to be dead.” Ring a bell? See, this is why you write things down (or in my case, why it’s best to stay your hair-trigger tongue until after you’ve finished the freakin’ episode!)
Strap in for the long haul folks, I’ve only just begun to chastise. Stan’s earned himself an unappealable wag of ol’ Pointy as well. If you’ll excuse me just a second, I need to admonish him in private. Talk amongst yourselves, but take care to limit the conversation to Bilbo and/or combat motorsports-related topics. Very good. Now, then:
What in faded red blazes is wrong with you, man? Mild stomach pains overtopping a willing Xev? Are you as crazy my broomstick horse Princess Petunia used to accuse me of being before I had her FedExed to the glue factory? Come on, SUCK IT UP! I know you know the meaning of that phrase (I’ve read Prince’s autobiography). We’ve all played hurt before. I certainly don’t recall you whining this much when you lost your hand, or when the Sub-N’s were photographing your back teeth! You know, I’d say, “Okay Stan, it’d be one thing if your hair spontaneously caught fire, or if all your skin suddenly decided to slough off and run away,” but damn it man, that’s no excuse either! You’ve shamed us all, Tweedle. Now choke yourself…and no enjoying it!
You may resume listening to me now (by which, of course, I mean PLEASE DON’T GO! THIS IS THE ONLY THING KEEPING ME AFLOAT AT THIS POINT!)
And finally, to further demonstrate that ol’ Bilbo is an equal opportunity institution, I’ve a mind to mete out some discipline to Xev as well. Preferably the type that requires her to dress up as a maid and give her wrists and hands as vigorous a workout as they have ever known! (Seriously, my ceiling corners are dusty as hell, and according to her bio, in the right set of heels Xenia would be significantly taller than me.) Why, you ask? For lying to us, of course! To suggest that a woman of sound mind and even partially mobile body would hesitate for a second to follow a disembodied Nigel Bennett siren song. It just doesn’t work that way in real life, and Xev, Xenia, the producers, and the good people at Timex (who cancelled plans to mass produce their talking Nigel Bennett alarm clock after a risk analysis team deduced that it would quickly become the world’s third leading cause of divorce) should know better! Go to my room, all of you! Except you Jeff. Seriously, dude, I’ve got a restraining order and a Rottweiler…
Enter Prince (…not touching that one), wearing what appears to be Ebenezer Scrooge’s hand-me-down nightshirt. He seems to be making progress in terms of the whole “not being indefinitely confined to a relatively small inert appliance” thing (thanks a helluva lot for that, Kai!), and attempts to convince Xev that he comes bearing gifts. Ordinarily, this would be Xev’s cue to cup her hands around her mouth and holler “Oh Staaaaan-ley! Guess who needs the jackboot calluses on the ends of his toes precision nibbled off again?” and while that may still be in the cards (as we’ve got at least one more time skip that the characters seem suicidally unwilling to talk about coming up), the gift in question is actually for her.
That’s right, her very own pleather-bound copy of Keep It Warm For Me: A Guide to Building and Maintaining a Lasting, Meaningful and Passionate Interstellar Long-Distance Relationship.
My bad, that present’s for Stan too.
Xev—to the pouting, foot-stamping, Facebook-unfriending chagrin of the rest of the girls on the block—is the proud recipient of her very own limited edition, anatomically A-okay living Kai, just as Prince never so much as even hinted at promising he would deliver. I don’t believe the collective human lexicon contains the appropriate words to adequately categorize the astonished look that dances across the lil’ lizard’s mystified mug, which probably has as much to do with the fact that Kai’s clothes suddenly changed color for no reason as the whole beating heart thing. But enough about that, a beating heart means his blood—whoever he bummed it from offscreen—is a-flowin’, which means it’s capable of being redirected, which means Xev is now fully capable of quenching the lanky, raven-coiffed hell right out of her all time burningest desire, which means…which means…WHICH MEANS…
It’s time to go talk to Stan…apparently.
*SUPERSIGH* Ya know, far be it from me to speak ill of the dead (not you Lex, you’re aces in my book ‘til kingdom come…I’m talking about Hirschfield, who to this day I’m convinced is a zombie), but I’m beginning to suspect that writing nuanced, realistic female characters may not be the beans’ strong suit.
The conversation goes about how you would expect…if you’re one of the handful who were expecting anything short of “Stan, we broke my bed, we need to borrow yours. Be a doll and leave some Gatorades by the door. See ya in a week!” Kai comes across as kind of awkward and insecure at first, which makes perfect sense when you consider the fact that this is essentially the first time he has ever spoken to his friends, as opposed to at them. I dare say we can all relate, on some level, because we’ve all been the new fish at some point in our lives.
Perhaps because his stomach is still legitimately killing him, or perhaps because he fears he’s about two seconds away from being asked to hold a camera AND man the whipped cream squeegee, Stan excuses himself, though not before promising that “WE’LL pick up on the whoopee later.” (So that’s it, huh folks? I guess that just leaves me and Tom Selleck as the only things standing between Mike McManus and a 100% conversion rate. Honestly now, the dude’s already shattered the record from what I can tell…this is just grandstanding!) Gee, who’d have ever thought there’d be nine layers of regurgitative hell to pay for putting something from the carrot probe people in your mouth?
So begins the wildly successful Chunderin’ ‘Round da Lexx tour, with stopovers in every major nook and cranny. En route to an epic three-night gig in the general vicinity of 790, Stan’s hackles perk up upon overhearing a snippet of coffee-free coffee talk between Xev and Kai, wherein the latter implies that he doesn’t plan on sharing certain things with him (which, if anything, should be a load off Stan’s mind, as there’s bound to come a point where the newly revived Kai’s string of “Guess what I can do now?” proclamations smashes right through the Need To Know threshold). Acting as natural as one might expect any moderately paranoid epsilon-male doing a prolonged, involuntary light-years-off-Broadway Linda Blair tribute act to behave, Stan pokes his head in and initiates a little chitchat. Having had a little time to warm up to his new situation, Kai has progressed to acting “aggressively nice.” (You know, like when a relative brings their short-term significant other to a family function without bothering to preemptively spell out the “shut the hell up, offer to help with the dishes but wait until we’ve actually taken them out of the cupboard and eaten off them first, and whatever you do, don’t try to break the ice with Bilbo by calling him ‘cuz’ and fishing for a fistbump” parameters.) He dismisses Stan’s concerns with just about every friendly gesture short of “You look good! Have you lost weight?” before delightedly assuring him that their lives have changed for the better, and that from here on out things are going to be different (…no more last second, devil-may-care rescues or ducking behind the decarbonized bullet catcher when things get a little too Peckinpahsy. And it goes without saying that a restructured bathroom batting order is obviously in the cards.)
VERY different. Just ask Prince! (I’m not sure if that silk coverall is too loose, or needs to be a lot looser. Either way, it’s the very definition of “wrong.”) Once again emerging from thin-for-its-age air, he warns of the potential pitfalls of the new status quo aboard the Lexx, subtly implying that since Xev and Kai are almost certainly destined to become a sweaty, acrobatic item, it might finally be time for the Stunner to reel his head in from the clouds and settle. Stan—likely more concerned with whether or not his recent record breaking power-puke distance was technically wind assisted on account of the Lexx’s forward momentum—is little moved by Izzy’s ominous “what ifs”…until he broaches the delicate, oh-so-clench-inducing subject of transferring the key. Per the timely payout of Kai’s prize, Stan has just become even more vestigial than ever in Xev’s eyes, while Xev herself has moved up a notch and assumed the mantle of deadliest, and therefore most powerful, crewmember. Why go to all the trouble of keeping tabs on an interim captain and a perpetually exhausted kept man when you can trim the baggy red fat and consolidate? No doubt in Izzy’s mind at all, Xev’s eyeing a promotion (been down that one-way road before. If I were Stan I’d institute an across-the-boards cup-check policy, post haste!)
Seed of doubt planted, watered, and thoroughly over-fertilized, Prince vamooskis just in time for Stan to overhear Xev and Kai engaging in that most time honored of all-ages traditions: ragging on their friend behind his back. I do it (…but not about y’all), you do it (I’m telling!), we all do it (seriously, there’s a ten spot in it if y’all say things like “Oh, him? Nah, that’s just Bilbo, he’s cool” at least once a week in public). What generally doesn’t follow is a high volume heavy petting session (not that that’s dissuaded me from applying for certain jobs, it’s just that…aw hell…did I say ten? Cause I totally meant twelve!). Clearly hoping to barge in on them in the act so that he might finally have a pretext to use the “Yo-way-yowza!” joke he’s been sitting on for the past four thousand years and change, Stan R.A’s his way into Xev’s bedchamber, only to find her out like a cheap halogen log. Either Kai just set a land speed record in the sack, or Stan’s ears are pulling a fast one on him.
Or perhaps he can hear into the future.
No sooner does Stan depart than Kai saunters in like a steroid-and-airbrush-free Harlequin cover model (Mike, call me if you ever want some advice on firming those pecs up and…DAMMIT, now I’m doing it!) I’m sure a round of “here here!”s capable of drowning out an Aerosmith concert will follow when I say that I really wish we could have watched the erstwhile dead guy defrock onscreen…if only because I’m curious to know just how the hell that tunic actually comes off! But there’ll be plenty of time for ulterior-motive-free wardrobe speculation later. Right now, we’ve a much anticipated moment to bask in. A moment that represents the actualization of a dream. A moment of joy. A moment of climax(es). A moment that saw some 36% of all Lexx fan fiction writers shedding a single tear, nodding approvingly at their TV screens, and blissfully mouthing the words “my work here is done.” (Meanwhile, 63% were on their knees, red-faced, dead-eyed, strangling their television sets and screaming, “No, no, a frillion times NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This is all wrong! Where are the clothespins? And the chocolate sauce? And the miniature, thought-activated velveteen belt sander?!”)
A moment that will have to wait. Seems Kai’s transformation left him exhausted (gotta remember that one), and he needs a little time alone to refuel, recalibrate, and recuperate before deftly crashing his stinger into the control pod. Quite the snag, being cold-shouldered by the sole and only object of your roiling, volcanic desires. For once the swampy, ill-fitting boot is on the other foot, and Xev gets a bitter taste of the crushing rejection to which she has repeatedly subjected Stan…which no doubt steels her resolve to be even meaner to him in the future! Particularly after her involuntary neckin’ session with Prince. Not only did it snuff out her legendary “horizontal Macarena” dream in its infancy and fill her head with all sorts of vague, platitudinous paranoia, but thanks to Izzy’s wandering lips and multi-season aversion to bathing (sorry gals), she now smells like every disheveled, sexually frustrated starship captain he’s ever been with (I’m looking at you, officious stick-in-the-mud who temporarily replaced Picard in that one episode…you know who you are! Also, the Destination Moon guy). Fortunately, as my old gym teacher preached until that fateful day when they hauled him off in handcuffs and leg irons (he’d been jaywalking for years), there’s no problem so great that it can’t be solved with a long, hot shower! (He seemed to get all the filthy kids in his class.)
So off we go for some quality splash time, to marvel at the fact that Xev never really seems to get her hair wet when she showers, and to ponder where all that water goes when it hits the floor and just what in the holy Jehoshaphat the drain could possibly look like. They’re still without an onboard loofah (gallingly foreshadowing yet another return trip to Earth), so despite her best efforts, she manages to miss a 12x16 pixel-sized spot on the right side of the small of her back, but so what shut up leave us alone I worship you Xenia look I’m learning German just for you eins zwei drei donde es Maria—
*VOLUNTARY SELF-INFLICTED HEADSLAP, FOLLOWED BY THE SLOW REALIZATION THAT HE’S LOST ROUGHLY THREE MINUTES OF TIME AND ACCRUED A DROOL STAIN ON HIS SHIRT THAT BEARS MORE THAN A PASSING RESEMBLANCE TO THE GADSDEN PURCHASE*
At once, she’s spooked by some offscreen tittering. She does an about face, and per the age old “waist-up implied nudity” trope, her hands go exactly where you’d expect them to. While this was undoubtedly done to placate the standards and practices jackals (who routinely drive solo in the carpool lane, and whose lavish, taxpayer funded corporate lunches chiefly consist of fried Care Bear and martinis made from lightly chilled orphans’ tears…just sayin’, is all), it makes little real-world sense, upon further freeze-framed review, especially when you consider:
*As Maslow’s Hierarchy of Nudity Taboos goes, what she’s scrambling to keep under wraps isn’t exactly at the top of the pyramid. (We’ll chalk that up to differing B3Kican mores, or a strategically placed soap stalactite.)
*Would she really have any reason to cover up, seeing as the only people she risks being seen by are the guy she’s itching to jump, or the guy she periodically delights in mercilessly teasing until he’s itching to jump off the bridge? (We’ll chalk that up to my lingering suspicion that she can see me just as easily as I can see her, and therefore, among too painfully many other things, knows that I’m lying through my less-than-perfect teeth when I tell people I ride a Moon Shark to work every morning.)
*It’s not the most practical fighting stance. (Unless you like to open with a headbutt, or you’re stashing a Derringer in your hair, Die Hard style.)
Because she’s capable of reading my mind, she throws on one of the stolen hotel towels from the previous episode (thereby justifying its existence AND preemptively killing the C-grade psychological horror flick/stoner comedy mood...wow, two strikes in a single whiff. I’m gonna need a grapple gun and a jet pack to climb out of this hole I’ve dug for myself!) and tiptoes through the tunnels. She hears—or thinks she hears—Stan and Kai chattering about keeping her off balance (well yeah, how else are they gonna get her to arch her back forty to fifty times a day unless she constantly feels like she’s going to fall over?), but upon rounding the corner for her big “GOTCHA!” moment, Kai is nowhere to be found and Stan is only part of the way through his stomach churning ode to a slushie machine. Less than convinced by his thoroughly realistic dry heaves and recurrent stomach acid bass solo, Xev throws down the gauntlet. “Yoorr tawkin’ abowt meeh!” she insists, seamlessly fluctuating between German, New York, West Virginian, and east Texan accents in a single accusatory breath.
They hash it out for a while, running down the last few minutes’ shady doings before jointly arriving at the cogent, even-headed conclusion that Prince has been trying to stir up trouble by pitting them against each other. No surprise there, it’s what he does. So long as they stay sharp, avoid distraction, and above all, stick together, he shouldn’t be able to get the drop on them like that again.
Naturally, they split right up. Xev still has a recently reincarnated mountain to climb, while Stan presumably toddles off to go find a nice, inviting piece of wall to repeatedly drive his fist into until the hurting stops. To Xev’s delight, Kai is up…inasmuch as he’s awake, anyway. That’s all he is, though, as he seems alive-set on going the Root route, to Xev’s exponentially mounting frustration (garish attire, perfect hair, a soft spot for musical theater…I don’t know how to break this to ya, darlin’, but did you ever consider that maybe—just maybe—you’re trying to fix something that ain’t exactly broken?). Frustration that quickly turns to indignation when Kai lets slip that he was, in fact, talking to Stan, which can only mean that Stan lied right to her face (for as the selfsame fibber will ferociously insist until his dying day, it’s not like Prince is capable of assuming the crewmembers’ forms or anything.)
Batten down your aural receptors, folks at home, it’s time for an epic, crabby hausfrau-esque talking to! By…um…by which I mean, a Cluster Lizard pinball flyby that apparently says “I’m watching you.” (Look, I don’t know how a microwave works, let alone a grudged-up female psyche, so I’m not even going to try to pretend I know what she’s actually saying…you know, aside from “pay attention to me!”). Meanwhile, Stan heads to the bridge to say a few things to nothing whatsoever…or so 790 sees. Feel free to dope-slap yourself and/or purchase one of the many affordable supernova insurance packages I just now became authorized to sell if you were the least bit surprised to see him fall right in line and play along with the madness that is now quite obviously plaguing our heroes.
How do you solve a problem like malevolent psychotropic hallucinations? Umm…I dunno, sleep it off? Yeah, probably not how I would deal with it either, but then again, I would have opted to cast my lot with the interdimensional Brigadoom players in hopes that I might persuade them to do a production of Cats wherein the entire cast is brutally mauled to pieces by a gang of cigar chomping, bowler hat sporting bulldogs three minutes into the opening number (except for Bill Bailey, whose name will be changed to Bill Boley, or “Bil-bo” for short. Also, he’s no longer a cat, he’s a retired Super Bowl winning long snapper who fights crime alongside his wisecracking, purple-haired sock puppet sidekick Amadopolus “Ammo” O’Fee by day and tends to a small, not-for-profit balloon animal farm by night while occasionally supplementing his income by taking odd jobs like contact lens model, Secretary of the Interior, and coat rack’s apprentice), so I’m not really in any position to go lecturing the characters about what I would do here (here’s a hint: it would probably involve getting bested in a shouting match by my toes…cheating bastards). For all I know, sleeping it off might indeed be the best course of action. Provided, of course, you cotton ball your ears sufficient to drown out your noisy, inconsiderate, potentially homicidal flatmate.
What’s that you say? Cotton’s in short supply on the keister end of space? No problem, just substitute murder. Note that I said murder, as opposed to threats of murder, because—as anyone reading this who’s ever had children, pets, lawn gnomes, freshmen lab partners, a bald spot, a slow-to-close work browser stuck on a potentially fireable mislabeled email attachment, an insubordinate digital bathroom scale, a birthday/anniversary-numbered lottery ticket, or a malfunctioning vending machine will tell you—promises cease to mean much if you routinely fail to follow through on them (“…next review should be along in no time!”). So by all means, threaten to string Stan up like a meat filled piñata and introduce his insides to the outside. Nothing he hasn’t heard from Xev before, but has she ever backed it up? Well, yes, if you count that Stan lookalike whom she had every reason to believe was the genuine article when she Pratered him off the bridge. Thankfully for the Lexx—which developed a severe food allergy the last time it involuntarily scarfed a hunk of uncooked ersatz Tweedlemeat—Xev’s got better, taller, tauter things to do.
Says her, anyway. Unfortunately, she’ll have to sit on her hands (or, you know, a high powered floor buffer) for a bit longer before they can finally break out the drop cloths and gleefully spackle up Stan’s already immeasurably slim egress from the let’s-just-be-friends zone. Kai’s still tired. Or his head hurts. Or he’d rather just cuddle up on the couch, blather on about his day, and subtly maneuver his increasingly frustrated significant other into the “Did you think that swarthy Latin waiter who seemed appalled at the prospect of my water glass being even the tiniest bit less than topped off was prettier than me?” trick bag (see, see, two can play at that game!)
About ten seconds—and for all we know, forty galaxy clusters—later, Stan is unceremoniously jarred awake (don’tcha just hate that raging waterfall dream?) and notices a cannibalistic hickey on his arm. Anxious as all get out to flaunt his latest trophy in front of his whole posse down at the lodge, he hops right out of the sack and makes it about as far as Xev’s bedchamber before remembering that he doesn’t have a posse and probably doesn’t even know what a lodge is. Quickly deducing that she must have been the carnivorous culprit (Kai’s got a slightly more pronounced overbite, and Prince always wore a mouth guard), he decides to give her the ol’ what-for.
BEEEEEEP… We’re sorry, Xev’s not in at the moment. Please direct all your comments, complaints, and potentially actionable compliments toward this clunky, piecemeal vixenbot that will haunt your dreams and pierce your every waking thought for the rest of your thoroughly abbreviated life.
I honestly wonder what became of RoboXev after production wrapped. Do you think they let Xenia keep her? Do you think she may have landed a cushy gig behind a display case in the Museum of Canadian Broadcasting? (which I assume both exists and overcharges) Do you think Jeff Hirschfield propped her up in his kitchen, and that after a long, hard day of staring at the sun and challenging parking meters on their religious beliefs, he greets her with a kiss on the cheek and a sing-songy “Hi honey, I’m hooooooome?” What’s more, do you think she’ll ever wind up on the auction block?
One ha’penny pun later, Kai speculates that her reawakened lizard libido must have thrown her mind out of whack, and promises to stick by Stan’s side until things cool down, whereupon he promptly disappears. Very strange to say the least. Unexplained nozzle cake, on the other hand? Compliments to ze chef…or in this case, a talking food pipe that sounds like Beelzebub by way of Barry White. Yep, after years of waiting tables and understudying John Malkovich, Filbert finally gets his big break on the small screen: a walk-on role that chiefly consists of involuntarily twitching in Stan’s general direction from time to time and drizzling a clear, viscous, glucose-based goo all over the floor. He nails it! Their conversation reaches a crescendo when Filbert throws Stan’s smug, condescending logic right back in his face, accusing him of being a nozzle, thereby obliquely inviting all open minded Lexxians to ponder the possibility that perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, we are all naught but fleshy phallic nutrient shooters dangling from the inner hull of some big, dumb laser-eyed bug. Think about it. Also, he spews blood everywhere, which was more of a network demand than a pertinent story element, seeing as this episode originally aired right in the middle of National Kidney Stone Awareness Month.
Elsewhere/when. Xev bumps back into Kai, who’s reeling from a shoulder wound after Stan apparently chose now of all times to cash in that free shot he’s owed him ever since the opening minutes of Terminal. He instructs her to find some weapons, and when she asks where to start looking, the man with two millennia worth of improvised ordnance knowhow snaps back at her with a snippy, “Gah…I don’t know, find some!” Little doubt that that’s anything other than sixty-two episodes worth of involuntarily suppressed “Kai, help me with this, Kai save me from that, Kai, Kai, Kai, Kai, Kai, Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!” agitation spilling over the edge.
Well whaddaya know, Tom Gallant gets to get paid again! Always a treat to hear from the Lexx in an altered state of mind, because no matter how off-the-wall his dialogue becomes, he always delivers it in the same airy, matter-of-fact way (which is why I look ever forward to becoming senile!). He hands…er, um…walls?…Stan an axe that looks like it’s made of old clock tower parts just as Xev—who found a pike Paul only knows where—rounds the corner for their big faceoff, which is made all the bigger when Stan is suddenly and unaccountably Southparkified! I’m sure the enlarged cranium was a compromise.
Not so fast, bloodhounds! BobbleStan’s not quite ready for things to get all choppy just yet, so he pulls a Kai and vanishes around the corner. Seconds later, the reproportioned red revenger discovers someone else pulling a Kai. Xev, to be exact. In the shower, to be exacter. In a legend-worthy embrace that undoubtedly graces untold bedroom walls and computer monitor wallpapers to this very day (following a little personalized precision Photoshopping of the non-Michael McManus party, I’m sure). They taunt him with a pair of waist length Gene Simmons tongue flicks, at which the stymied stunner can only stare and stammer (meanwhile, Travelocity execs are roused from their beds and summoned to an emergency board meeting to try and account for the anomalous spike in one way tickets to Ontario.)
Immediately thereafter, we rejoin Xev in another corridor. A predator through and through, her never fail senses are tipped off by a soft, indistinct moan. She traces the soon-to-be-dead giveaway to its source, and with that, we finally come to it. The moment of…something. The grand unveiling of the beast with two pairs of feet. Say it with me now, Voltron fans: “And I’ll form the head!”
Last edited on Sun Feb 5th, 2012 04:25 am by Bilbo67
|(...continued from above)
All righty, enough of that cockamamie claptrap. I got my licks in, said a mouthful, but I shan’t go rubbing it in your faces. Not because I consider it a particularly sensitive issue (hell, with the right mindset and strategically applied Eastern ointments, this could potentially last all day), or because I’m some kind of narrow-minded prude (six years as a wrestler, so just try and imagine some of the unintentional excursions my ugly mug was forced to undertake…all in the name of scoring. I tell ya, if my face could talk, the tales it would tell…), but because frankly, seeing Stan and Kai locked in that sweet semiprime embrace caused me to blow a euphemism fuse (it still respects me for my mind, though). Instead, I’ll merely pass along this little-known nugget of Canadian TV folklore: replay this scene a few times with the treble at full bore and your ear tilted toward the speaker. You hear it? That faint sort of whistling noise? The sound editors did everything they could to drown it out, but what you’re hearing are the trace remnants of an off-camera Jeffrey Hirschfield clutching Mike McManus’ contract, dancing shirtless and smeared with blueberries from the catering department’s muffin tray around a colossal indoor bonfire and screaming “I OWN YOUR ASS BUDDY! DWA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” (Brian, on the other hand, required no such legalistic cajoling. Merely the pre-production assurance that this week’s episode would afford him a excuse to wear his “IF YOU LIVED HERE, YOU’D BE HOME BY NOW” boxers.)
I think I speak for the whole flippin’ lot of us when I presume that this scene fostered numerous bloopers and outtakes (also known, I’m sure you’re all too aware, as a gag reel).
By now we’re locked into what I’ve decided to arbitrarily dub a “kitchen sink climax” (best left to the professionals, donchaknow). Nothing that happens from here on out has to make a lick of what used to tenuously pass for sense on this show. All that’s required is that it be awesome. And what could be more awesome than a red-eyed Xev doing a death metal monologue? More awesome even than Prince dropping back by? Why Vlad, of course! Slow dancing with a love-drunk Kai and tossing around French ballet terms that—for reasons that should be crystal clear at this point—she couldn’t possibly know. The beans could have chosen just about any character from their back catalogue for this scene. I certainly have my shortlist of old-timers who I’d love to have seen brought back for one last go-around, as do the rest of ya (I should think Mantrid hovers at or near the top of most of those lists, along with the Dark Lady, Gubby Mok, Wist, and just for grinsies, why not that clown faced, bone stripping flesh vacuum from Giga Shadow), but I can’t argue with Vlad. Minna gives it her all in the thirty-odd seconds she’s allotted, and for my (hand drawn) money, totally makes up for the somewhat inglorious end her character was handed.
Speaking of which, since when has getting shot in or around the shoulder area ever killed anybody? Particularly in fiction? Why, by my reckoning, Kai should be effortlessly clinging to a helicopter’s landing skid in the very next scene. Or in this case, occupying two places at once (why not, since we’re already running laps around light), pouring homicidal sour nothings into the ears of both of his delirious darlings. Correctly assuming that Xev has conveniently forgotten about her ability to barrel roll right past the sound barrier, Stan makes a break for it, culminating in a clumsy climax in the cryochamber.
Two questions: how could Lyekka have possibly known that Kai would place his circuit-shredding urine tank plant right on the cryopod controls? Suppose he had left it in the galley, or on the bridge? (where it might have found a way to infest and manipulate 790, which could have made for a cool little swerve) Hell, suppose Stan had piped up and said, “Ya know, Kai ol’ pal, I think that little miniature cactus in our bathroom could use a friend?” I’m not saying it’s a plot hole, or that the beans dropped the ball by wrecking up the cryochamber. On the contrary, this latest spot of bother adds a welcome dose of tension to what is already a taut, albeit slow burning, final story arc. I’m just saying that it seems like the Lyekkas’ evil scheme required one helluva leap of faith on their part, particularly when you remember that they could have just as easily stormed the bridge with a bunch of stamen-shaped trench brooms. (That was all one question.)
Also, where the heck did Stan get a cheap, convenience store pocketknife? I applaud the guy for sticking to his murderous principles even after the real Kai popped out of cryo and said “Dude, chillax,” but something about seeing him whip out and slowly unfold that dinky little Gerber kinda took me out of the moment. Strange, considering this is the very same Brian Downey whom I’ve long maintained would look right at home playing a deranged, murderous psychopath. What can I say, I guess I must have always pictured him as more the head-smashing type. (Brian, if you’re reading this, then you should know that that’s the highest compliment I’m capable of paying someone. Seriously, ask anybody who knows me.)
So Lyekka lied, the cryopod’s fried, Kai’s gonna die (you know…the rest of the way), and our heroes learned a valuable lesson about just saying “no,” which will remain foremost in their minds from now until the next time some strange, bile leaking man in a dusty old van offers one of them a ride, or persuades them to trade their ribs for a handful of magic beans. They’re headed back to Earth, but at least this time around they’ve got a good, solid reason: they could both, like, totally go for some Oreos right now!
If I remember correctly, waaaaaaaaay back in the bboard days when I posted my inarticulate reactions to the last couple season 4 episodes, all I wrote in summation of this one was “Trip kicked ass!” I stand by that assessment and then some. This is easily one of the top five season 4 offerings. I’d even go so far as to rank it third on my personal hierarchy, behind only The Game and Vlad, although anything below those two is subject to some flux. Whichever the case, I loved everything about it, from its all-too-welcome moments of heartfelt levity, to the exponentially mounting insanity, to the cliffhanger climax, which for once, felt like a natural, logical story beat as opposed to a wafer-thin excuse to keep the characters on Earth. Special kudos to Marty Simon as well. The music throughout this episode was nothing short of spectacular, particularly that sweet little recurrent “live Kai” leitmotif. Is ten years too long a layover to ask Salter/Alliance/the old guy at the carwash with the waxed moustache whom I dimly suspect of being a genie to crank out a season 4 installment of the soundtrack? Cause I’d pay real, paper, non Glorious Republic of Western Bilbonia dollars for that!
In short, it was everything a “back on the Lexx” episode should be, and as Hirschfield’s penultimate solo outing, it’s one of his very best, if not the best.
I bet Lex would agree.
|A lovely tribute to Lex, Bilbo, and an episode I'm sure the beans were proud of after their fog induced state cleared. So are you still using shower scene Xev (with Kai cut out of course) as your computer's wallpaper?
I absolutely loved this episode and it was one of the best that season 4 had to offer, right up there with 'The Game' and 'Yo Way Yo'.
|What Angel said, Bilbo.
So you're shorter than Xenia and me, then? All men are about the same height lying down......to begin with.
|For some reason this episode always reminds me of Andy Warhol. His movies always seem like sex and violence filmed while on a bad acid trip.
Last edited on Mon Feb 6th, 2012 11:42 pm by Abby1964
What Angel said, Bilbo.
Amateur torture rack enthusiast, eh?
For some reason this episode always reminds me of Andy Warhol.
Say no more!
Last edited on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 04:32 am by Bilbo67
|LOL! Looks like Andy Kai-hol.
Who you calling amateur, Shortstuff? That's gonna cost you in pain and suffering...and pleasure.
LOL! Looks like Andy Kai-hol.
You DO NOT want to see Giger's interpretation...
Who you calling amateur, Shortstuff? That's gonna cost you in pain and suffering...and pleasure.
...what am I taste testing this time?