Aeon Flux: Long Episodes: The Purge
“Aeon is on the trail of the ill-mannered criminal brute, Bambara…..“
This is another nutty episode. I think it tries to be a little more humorous with the storyline, but every time something funny happens, it seems to be tempered with a sharp and nasty irony. This bittersweet episode does have a terrific storyline however and, whatever you feel about the ‘funny’ bits. It’ll still get yer mind reeling.
The show opens with a gaping hole in the wall, on a toilet, in a train (with me so far?). A laughing fat boy called Bambara is just closing the door behind him and some poor bloke is stranded in a cubicle without any toilet paper. Don’t you just hate it when that happens!? Aeon Flux fires a shot at Bambara from the hole in the wall and follows fat boy stopping only to pass the role of toilet paper to the stranded geezer in the cubicle. This was very nice of Aeon I think. For a woman with no conscience, she demonstrated a mild compassion for the poor bloke.
Aeon is chasing the big, fat, ugly Bambara. I don’t quite know why, but you can guess it’s not because she wants to give him a big kiss. I the next compartment, we see a child swinging on a sort of trapeze. He is trying to grab a piggy bank that is perched on the doorframe of the wall of the next compartment. If he falls, he will fall directly onto the railway track as this carriage doesn’t have any floor.
Bambara walks in, grabs the kiddie, ties him up with the trapeze and somehow manages to get to the other side. Aeon walks in just as he closes the door. She jumps over and retrieves the piggy bank. It contains a coin that she uses to open the door. (This sounds like one of those cheep computer games doesn’t it?)
In the next compartment the huge and ugly Bambara discovers a cute little doggy tied to a rather frail looking bloke with one of his legs missing. “Piss off cripple” says Bambara (as you do!). But the frail crippled geezer, has a sense of humour all his own, he replies, “Piss off yourself, before my doggy gives you a terminal shafting!” Bambara, not surprisingly, is not convinced of the frail cripples’ conviction and throws his doggy out of the window. He then opens a compartment and steels a limpet mine and a knife. This is one helluva train!
He leaves through the next door and releases an electrified door guard. Aeon Flux follows after shoring up the door guard by taking the frail cripple geezers crutches!. The poor cripple is therefore not able to help his poor doggy that is running for its life, still attached to its lead, outside the train.
Further along the train, we see Trevor Goodchild using a screwdriver to adjust the head of a small doll like gizmo. Bambara attaches the limpet mine to the door of the last compartment as the train stops. Then he runs off hotly pursued by Aeon.
She calls, “Bambara!” as she chases him. “Piss off!” replied the big fat ugly bloke. He reaches a crane on what looks like a building site and drops a large object on some poor unsuspecting bloke in a caravan beneath. He runs off.
Trevor meanwhile has left the train and is waiting for Bambara. He shoots him with three tranquilliser darts and Bambara collapses. Bambara falls to the ground unconscious. Trevor then lifts his shirt (!) and unravels his belly button! Bambara has a belly button that looks like the tied end of a balloon.
Trevor commands one of the accompanying guards to ‘hand me the custodian’. He places this large wiry looking gadget into the hole in Bambara’s tummy. “I am the source of your salvation, providing conscience for those who have none.” WADDA BIG BELLY!
As soon as the custodian is ‘in’, Trevor leaves and the big, fat, ugly, murdering thug Bambara wakes. A little boy with one arm and a collection of balloons wanders by. Bambara approaches and introduces himself in a pronounced cockney accent, “Hi, my name is Bambara. I’m a 36 year old Virgo and a former killer, who’s hobbies include performing recreational autopsies, defecating and drinking rum” (hey, maybe he isn’t such a bad bloke after all!). “I would very much like to help you.” The little boy and Bambara wonder off together.
This strange scene is watched by a surprised Aeon who also notices a stunningly attractive red-haired girl taking pictures.
Aeon Flux follows Bambara and the little boy to a Hospital. She notices, as they leave, that Bambara has donated his left arm to the little boy!! This is weird! Bambara’s left arm is almost as big as the little boy! “I’ll never forget you. I …. I … love you.” Says Bambara, “Your what it’s all about.” The little boy walks off and waves his HUGE left arm at Bambara. I think the boy is grateful – god knows why!
Aeon looks on, she also notices the drop dead gorgeous redhead still taking pictures of Bambara. She follows her and confronts her. “Why are you following Bambara.” The redhead replies in the loveliest voice I’ve ever heard (and an English accent), “We wish to purge him of his conscience.” Aeon doesn’t understand and the lovely redhead takes her to a sort of erm… ‘purge central’
There, some decrepit old woman, with the body of a twenty five-year-old, undoes the belly button of a scantily clad woman on the operating table and takes out the custodian. She then substitutes it for another which has a new, modified part before the custodian places itself in the body of the women on the table. The lovely redhead (called Judy) says, “behold, the purging.“
Aeon and the crowd (all women) look on. The old dear suddenly asks Aeon, “What is 13 x 9?“. Aeon answers immediately “117“.
The old woman is impressed with the answer and gives Aeon a signed photograph of herself (as you do?) Aeon whispers, “Far out.” Though I have no idea why. Possibly it’s because Aeon Flux is rather intrigued by this over-show of girl power. The old dear continues, “Our agenda is all about counter insurgence….. an insurrection of false conscience…. We want only to purge Bambara of the conscience Trevor Goodchild has planted within him… we will repurpose it (the custodian). “
A male cake trolley then brings tasty morsels for the woman, “If you purge Bambara for us, you may do with him what you please.” She then tells Aeon that she must implant it in herself. Aeon Flux agrees.
The switch is due to take place (along with other such activities), at a Breen Blood Bank. A rather complicated procedure is acted out where a custodian donor is attacked by one of the women agents in a recovery room. The custodian is transferred from the owner to the agent’s belly button. Each agent wears a very fetching red costume.
Trevor is aware of the activities and has a markswoman strategically placed above the Blood Bank. Each agent that successfully completes the switch is shot with a tranquilliser dart and retrieved secretly by two Breen soldiers. He knows that Aeon is at the Blood Bank. We see the lovely Judy accomplish her mission only to be picked off by the sniper and captured by Trevor’s soldiers.
Aeon Flux disables Bambara and takes out his custodian. Unfortunately Bambara revives early and escapes. Aeon is fighting with the custodian. She decides not to have the custodian in her body, maybe she wonders if this another one of Trevor’s tricks. The sniper shoots Aeon with a tranquilliser.
Aeon Flux awakes on the stage of a theatre. She is lying in a chair in the centre of a stage. The following show is just wonderful, it has all the right elements, thrills , spills, sex violence and even humour!
Trevor asks if Aeon she is feeling ok as two young girls bound onto the stage. The girls run over to Trevor and embrace him warmly. They then take up their position before the curtain opens. Trevor kisses Aeon and says, “Well, are we ready?” The curtain opens and we see a large crowd assembled.
Trevor welcomes his guests and Aeon rises from the bed and wonders towards
Trevor. one of the sweet little girls pulls a lever and a large pair of guns appear. They target Aeon. “Nothing like a little judicious levity, I always say?” Says the sweet little girl as a gun targets itself on Aeon. Both the girls have English accents too – but not fat bellies.
Aeon asks, “What is this, what’s going on?”
Trevor replies, “Ask yourself the question, can you give yourself your own evil and your own good?”
“Don’t make the mistake of fencing with me, I know what I am and what I’m still capable of?” (you tell ‘im darlin’)
“Yes, you have a very black mind indeed. But now I have you in my custody, I may do with you as I please.”
“I thought you already had.” Replied Aeon Flux slightly irritated.
“I have, I had, I will, I did, don’t I? Isn’t that right hostess Judy?” Says Trevor calmly but confidently.
Suddenly a lever is pulled and the drop dead gorgeous Judy walks happily onto the stage. “that’s right Trevor, and this is what happened,” says Judy.
“Tell us Judy, what you did before you were implanted.“
Trevor holds Aeon tightly as the lovely Judy replies, “Well, I was involved in industrial espionage, domination, humiliation, white slavery and false advertising.” False Advertising!! Wadda villain! The lovely criminal continues, “But now I have my custodian I feel good, I feel VERY good.“
“And what is it that you do now?” asks Trevor confidently.
“I write nursery rhymes, would you like to hear one?” asks Judy.
“I would be delighted!“
The despicable yet beautiful Judy then recites one of her wacky kiddie verses.
Inks, minx the old witch winks, the fat begins to fry,
Nobody home but jumping Joan (hey, I know her!)
father, mother and I,
Stick, stock, stone dead. The blind man can’t see,
Every knave will have a slave, you or I must be he!
Judy exits the stage and gives an appreciative giggle as the crowd applauds. Aeon walks over to Trevor. “It wouldn’t take much for me to kill you right now.” She puts her hands round his throat.
“So what’s stopping you? Why don’t you kill me right now!” This is not the wimpy Trevor we all know and love!! Aeon falters, sighs and lets go. “Just as I thought, do you feel the hesitation, the doubt. You’re asking yourself, is it your conscience or my custodian.“
Aeon looks dejected and replies without conviction, “Just because I don’t feel like doing something doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of doing it.“
More Aeon and Trevor banter follows (you should get the video) then, just as Aeon is about to leave, a thunderous noise introduces the thug Bambara who bursts onto stage after making a big hole in the outside wall. “Wocha gov’nor, remember me?“
Trevor, rather resigns himself to the approaching confrontation. He dismisses the girls and focuses Bambara’s anger away from Aeon and onto himself. The crowd jeer and Bambara tells them to “Piss off“. Then, just as he is about to shoot Trevor. He notices that Mr Goodchild is having convulsions. Suddenly Trevor’s head rolls back and his neck opens revealing the stalk like figure of a custodian. The custodian climbs out of the shell that pretended to be Trevor and sits next to him. As if to make things worse, the top of the custodian opens up and a little doll like figure jumps out and does a little dance before keeling over!
A shocked audience (and a mortified Bambara) look on in horror. Aeon simply cocks an eyebrow, she isn’t quite as surprised at her boyfriends deceptions as everyone else.
“Your nothing but a dirty carbuncle festering in the corner” screams Bambara rather insufficiently (that’s not quite the phrase I would have used, would you?). The audience pulls a lever next to their chairs, and Bambara falls into a pit. (Whew! It’s getting a bit hard to follow!)
The little dancing figure (I think it represents Trevor’s brain) is a character in itself. It has a sort of geek head, a tiny pair of drawn on spectacles and is wearing nothing but a nappy! Anyway, it abruptly stops dancing and erm… expires. The spotlight is turned off and it seems as though the show is over.
Aeon Flux Hmmm’s and walks off. She enters a corridor and notices a room with a large tank of fluid. The tank is made of glass and we are able to see the skeletal figure of a custodian moving inside. It seems to be trying to break the glass with large elegant movements of its arms. Aeon walks over to it. The figure continues trying to break out.
The show ends with Aeons eyes firmly fixed on the skeletal figure. She either recognises part of herself in it or more likely, realises that this is the custodian meant for her.
Every time you think that the Aeon Flux show has gone over the top, we see another mind crippling episode.
This was pretty hoopy, wadda you think?
JuntMonkey tells us, “Actually, the custodian in the cage at the end is doing the exact same motion that Aeon did to pull the lever… Aeon thought that pulling the lever was her own act of defiance and that it meant for sure that she wasn’t implanted. But just the opposite is true.“
Zarfass also emailed: “The guardian in the glass tank is not trying to break the glass, but repeatedly doing the move that (I think it was trevor) makes on stage – the switching of the big lever. I think this is some obscure reference whether he is not only being made ‘better’ by having a guardian, but whether the guardians are actually not benign but have more sinister aims of their own and are more in control than Trevor would like.”
This is one of the most popular episodes in Aeon Flux fandom, perhaps because it is a little easier to ‘get’. Or maybe it’s simply because it’s more visually appealing. Either way, I’d rate this a colossal 38,491 out of 10! What did you think?
The “The Purge” episode review is © 1999, 2000 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission
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