The crew of the LEXX decide that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so seek out Brizon, the only survivor of His Shadow’s regime capable of taking on Mantrid, and before you can say, “is there really much to choose between the two of them?” Brizon has managed to hijack Kai’s brain, Xev’s liver, and Stan’s penis. By the time the inevitable final confrontation happens, the audience are rooting for Mantrid. Who wins, of course, or there wouldn’t be an end-of-level boss fight next episode, but it’s always fun when the LEXX team are in full bizarre body-horror mode.
Category: I Watch This Stuff So You Don’t Have To
LEXX 2.18: “Brigadoom”
The LEXX encounters a theatre floating in space, and before you can say “Hooray! It’s 1999 and that means there’s a musical episode!”, the crew find themselves participating in an opera about the life of Kai, staged by deathless beings outside of time and space who just want to put on a show. There’s more to it than just a novelty concept and a bit of backstory, though, as we see the crew work through the analogies between the doomed Brunnen-G people and their own situation with Mantrid, and in the end, given the choice of eternal life as part of a theatrical chorus, or certain death fighting to save the universe, they, for once, choose the latter.
LEXX 2.17: “The Net”
Heading for the centre of the universe, the LEXX flies into a giant space web and before you can say “isn’t this identical to the previous episode?” it literally is. At least two-thirds of this story is footage from the previous episode, telling the same story over again but with the single twist that we now know that Stan is in fact under the control of the parasite/spider organism; the original material covers how Xev and Kai find this out and get rid of it. I’m not sure if this is terribly clever and postmodern, or just the team admitting that they really do have more season than story (and at that, it’s arguably a more interesting way of dealing with that problem than DS9’s endless run of two-characters-stranded-somewhere filler episodes) but at least next week is “Brigadoon”, which should be fun.
LEXX 2.16: “The Web”
The crew of the LEXX realise that the Mantrid clones are eating up all the matter in the universe, so they head for its centre in an attempt to escape to the Dark Zone, and before you can say “this is another of those stories where they mash up multiple episodes of Blake’s 7, isn’t it?” the ship has encountered a giant space web, and a sort of fungus/spider hybrid has taken control of the minds of the LEXX and Stan (though apparently its attempt to do the same to Kai broke it). The story is nicely creepy, particularly the bits where the crew gradually come to realise how serious their situation is, and the Mantrid clone plot line is an obvious but not too in-your-face climate change metaphor. I did spend most of the episode wondering what’s happened to Lyekka, though, since no one as much as mentions her and you’d think she’d get involved.
LEXX 2.15: “Woz”.
790 reveals that Xev has an expiration date, being technically a product, and before you can say “is this going to be a satire on free-market capitalism?” it winds up being a parody of The Wizard of Oz instead, as the titular Wozzard sends Stan (the Cowardly Lion) and Kai (the Scarecrow, I guess) off to defeat the Evil Green Lady as the price of his help restoring Xev (spoiler alert: he’s lying, he can’t do it).
There’s some unfortunate fat-shaming as well as implications that feminists are either insincere or deluded, but the parody’s entertainingly on point and the designer of the digital sets is having a field day.
LEXX 2.14: “Patches in the Sky”
Stanley is having nightmares about Gigguratha, so seeks out the Narcolounger, a device which can allow the user to control their dreams, and before you can say “does that sound even remotely like a good idea, given the people involved?” he’s trapped in a nightmare about Gigguratha from which he can’t wake up, and it’s up to Xev and Kai to get him out of it. A pretty good exploration of Stan’s repressed guilt over the things he’s done to survive, and it’s great to see Gigguratha getting to act as a sort of fearsome conscience, though the dream landscapes are actually less surreal than the cyberpunk junkyard-planet on which they find the Narcolounger. The titular “patches”, though, are an indication that the Mantrid drones are literally eating the universe, and a reminder that we’re going to have to get back to that plot within the next five or six episodes.
LEXX 2.13: “Twilight”
Somehow the scheduling got taken off my LEXX posts! Apologies for the hiatus. Resuming:
Stanley collapses from a mystery illness, the rest of the crew send out an SOS, and before you can say “Isn’t that Louis del Grande, well known from such cult favourites as Scanners and Seeing Things?” the SOS has been answered by a dysfunctional family who turn out to be custodians of the planet where all the undead husks of His Divine Shadow hang out. Before long Kai’s gone crazy, the dysfunctional family are trying to take over the LEXX, and Lyekka’s got loose and is eating anything with a brain.
As you can probably already tell, this episode reads like it’s been cobbled together from previous episodes (crew member illness, dysfunctional family with designs on the LEXX, revenants of His Divine Shadow, Kai going crazy, Lyekka as a deus ex machina, or ex plant or something), and is kind of unsatisfying as a result. There’s sex again, but this time it’s lesbian for a change (Lyekka just wants to satisfy your desires, and, well, turns out there’s a reason Louis del Grande’s wife doesn’t like him). The set for the episode also looks suspiciously like the monastery exteriors from “Nook”.
Also: Still a better story than “Twilight.”
LEXX 2.12: “Norb”
The LEXX pick up Norb, the child who escaped the hillbilly clans in episode 2.8, drifting in space, and before you can say “it’s been a while since they touched base with the Mantrid storyline,” he turns out to be an undead Trojan horse for Mantrid’s self-replicating autonomous zombie arms.
This story has some great moments of genuine horror, with the sense of strangeness reinforced by the fact that, 790’s usual protestations of love for Xev aside, this is a completely sex-free episode. On the downside, they again have more episode than plot, and while the effects are again on the upward curve there’s some rather obvious repetition of footage.
LEXX 2.11: “Nook”
The LEXX discovers an all-male monastic society who reproduce by cloning and have never seen a woman in real life, and before you can say “party’s at Xev’s place!” it is. A generally cheerful, life-affirming, sex-positive and even queer-positive story (Stan initially rebuffs the advances of one of the monks, but eventually decides, Chuck Tingle fashion, that love is love), with an interesting philosophical twist (the monks are the guardians of all the knowledge in the universe, but only one of them’s allowed to actually know what it is– and he’s the one who disapproves of all this sexual hedonism). I also liked the implication that Stan is getting over the trauma of his previous same-sex encounters and is at least theoretically capable of forming a positive relationship with a man. The CGI backgrounds are outstanding, but Kai seems to be bizarrely in angry mode, and also strangely insistent that only heterosexual sex can lead to reproduction, which is surprising since at least three of the people he shares a ship with weren’t created through it.
LEXX 2.10: “Wake The Dead”
The crew find a camper-van full of teenagers in suspended animation. There’s a jock, a fat guy, a bully, a party girl and a virgin, and before you can say “wow, all that setup needs to become an American-style slasher-horror movie is a serial killer,” Kai’s woken up and is butchering his way through them in the classic approved horror movie order. It’s really a lot of fun, particularly after watching “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” last week, to see the tropes in reverse, with the story being from the point of view of the murderer/s rather than the victims.
Finally, this episode we get to see what toilets are like on the LEXX, which really doesn’t disappoint.