LEXX: S03E12: The Beach
This wasn’t one of the best episodes, it was basically a re-cap of some of the previous shows. In some ways that could be quite a good thing, but since most of the excerpts were from Season 3, it was a little, erm… boring (I can’t believe I would ever say that about a LEXX episode!). Also, we saw just how flexible Brian Downey can be. In this episode, he played three different Stanley Tweedle’s – all at the same time!
The show opens where the last episode left off – with a terrifying leap towards the ocean. Stan screams as he descends, “Kai, yer godda save me!”
“I’m sorry Stan but I cannot” replied Kai dispassionately.
“Wadda ya mean you can’t?!”
“I do not float”
Xev manages to wrestle back control of the Moth and quickly heads for the water to try and rescue the two doomed geezers. Stan and Kai hit the water at great speed – Kai sinks like a brick and Stan surfaces after a few moments. “I made it! I can’t believe I made it…Kai, Kai?” He calls.
But Kai is sinking. Xev continues to look for them on the surface, but without knowing where they are, she is as lost as they. To make things worse, Stan spots the little Moth in the distance and shouts “Over here!” but Xev doesn’t hear him and flies off in the wrong direction. It’s looking bad for Stanley!
Eventually, Xev is forced to head back to the LEXX empty handed. Which seems strange, you will probably have noticed that whenever the three of them need to find each other, they do so – easily. Despite the fact that the planets of Water and Fire are HUGE, it normally only takes them minutes! In this case however, Xev (even being almost on top of Stanley at one point), is unable to find him.
“I don’t know.” Xev replies.
“I saw LEXX eat some things!” it says sadly, “They were right in front of him and he ate them!” (yeah right metal-head! Don’t forget who suggested the idea to the LEXX in the first place). Xev uses her newly acquired key to ask the LEXX what happened, “Why did you eat the balloons?”
“I was very hungry.” Replies the bimboesque LEXX rather obviously.
“Can you fly now?” Adds Xev.
“I think I can, but not very far.“
Hours later, Kai is still sinking deeper and Stanley is still floating on the surface. Unfortunately he is becoming weaker and the effort of keeping his head above water is too much …… he passes out. His head sinks slowly below the surface.
Stanley drowns. (Oh no!)
Xev resumes the search next day (this time with 790). The robot head explains why they wont find Kai, “He’s a dead assassin! That means he’s been decarbonised! That means he won’t float and I don’t want to THINK about what that means!“
“We have to keep trying, 790!” Xev replies urgently.
However, as if my magic, Stanley has been washed up on a beach (there are not supposed to be any beaches on Water?). He wakes and notices Prince standing beside him. “Hello, Stanley.” He says cheerfully.
“Prince?” Says Stan, only half surprised, “Where are we?”
“We are between Fire and Water.” Prince explains.
“What? How is that possible?”
“You made it possible. We are between Fire and Water, but we are not on either of them. Oh look, here you come.”
As we are all trying to work out exactly what Prince is talking about, another Stanley Tweedle (this time dressed in white) walks along the beech to join them.
Xev and 790 eventually find Stanley, erm.. the dead one, floating face down in the water. Xev manages to pull Stanley into the Moth “Oh Stanley. Poor, poor Stanley…” she says sadly.
Kai meanwhile, is still sinking. For the last few hours there hasn’t been much to look at but now he notices a light below him. It’s very bright, rather like a light at the end of a tunnel.
Xev manages to carry (or drag) Stanley onto the LEXX and into the cryo-chamber room where she tries to revive him using the protein regeneration unit. 790 explains hatefully, that her efforts are a waste of time since Stan is dead. The metal git suggests that her time be spent more productively looking for the dead dude.
As Kai descends towards the brightness, he passes through lots of floating people. I guess they are all in a sort of limbo waiting to be re-constituted on their respective planets. Each are surrounded by a light of their own, it seems to be sustaining them. I think they are alive, in that they have a sort of consciousness, but they are unable to swim around – a bit scary really.
On the beach Prince asks, “Tell me, Stanley. Would you rather be on Fire or Water?”
“Well, I’d rather be on Water, of course,” Stan replies obviously, “Not that I’d ever have to make that choice.”
“Oh don’t worry, you won’t.” Prince gestures to the White Stanley. “He will.“
And herein lies the reason for Stanley’s stole along the beach. Prince explains that Stanley is to be judged. If he is found to be fundamentally good, he will be allowed to be on Water. If he is bad, he will go to Fire. Prince will argue the case for Fire and Stanley is expected to point out his good side in responce. The decision on the future of Stanley’s soul will be made by the Stanley Tweedle dressed in White.
The White Stanley seems not to care which planet is chosen. He/it is simply interested in making an objective decision about Stan’s future, ie. if he should go to heaven or hell. This sort of approach is great fun, but not unique, we saw it in “Inquisitor” (Red Dwarf) and also, to a small extent, in “Whatever happened to Mr. Garibaldi” (Babylon 5).
“Tell me about yourself.” Prince begins.
“What, everything?” Asks Stanley.
“Well, I’ve always just done what I had to do from day to day…” Continues Stanley. He appreciates the gravity of the situation but is also still a little fearful of Prince and his tricks.
On the LEXX. Xev manages to get a response from the electric stimuli of the Protein Regeneration Unit, but Stanley still isn’t alive. Xev asks, “But we’ve repaired all of the damage on his body! Why isn’t he alive?”
“He is not alive because he is a rotting sack of flesh!” says 790 impatiently. Xev sighs and decides to freezer Stan’s body and go look for Kai. Maybe the dead dude will know what to do.
Kai however, continues to sink.
Stanley tells Prince lots of silly stories about his childhood and past exploits. Prince however always stresses the negative in his comments. For example, “You were willing to abandon your best friend for a bottle of soda water?”
“So, does that mean I have to go to Fire?” Stanley asks the White Stanley.
“No.” says White Stanley.
Stanley looks at the White Stan worriedly, “This is going to be about the 94 Reform Planets, isn’t it?”
“No.” replies White Stanley.
“You did not destroy those planets.” Prince reminds him.
And yet White Stanley adds “But if you had have died rather than give up the amino acid codes, you wouldn’t be here right now, you’d already be on the Planet Water.“
At this point Prince opens a huge screen above their heads and plays back some of Stanley Tweedle’s less heroic experiences. We see a clip from the first Season “I Worship His Shadow” in which Stanley offers the lovely Zev to the security robots. (But this was only a half hearted attempt at evilness, and lets face it, the beautiful Zev was hardly behaving like a lady).
Xev and 790 take a Moth and head back to the Water Planet to look for Kai. They take a large weight and a bag of rope. 790 guides them to the exact place where Kai landed and they throw the rope over the side. I think that they hope to supply a lifeline to a stranded Kai at the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately the rope is not long enough.
Stanley protests. “What about all of the good things I’ve done?” Stanley challenges. “Can you make them appear too?”
“You can.” Prince replies, “If you can think of any.“
Stanley remembers the time where he and Zev destroy the Divine Predecessors in the hope of distracting His Divine Shadow from destroying Kai. It was certainly heroic, but lets face it, Stanley was following Zev’s lead.
Prince has plenty of other experiences that he can show. Among others, he shows the scenes where Stan volunteers Fifi for the ‘drop’ in the “Gondola” episode, Stan’s cavalier attitude for the safety of the prisoners (in the episode “791”) and finally the scene where Stanley agrees to destroy the planet Water provided Prince saves May’s life.
“But I didn’t destroy Water!” Retorts Stanley.
“Stanley, you are not being blamed for the destruction of the 94 reform planets because it was not a thing you wanted to happen, even though it did happen and it was arguably your fault. However, you ‘wanted’ Water to be destroyed!“
That is a very weak argument. Good grief, if I was judged on the number of bad things I wanted to happen to people I’d probably be classed as the devil himself. To make things worse, Stanley didn’t mention any of his heroic experiences. It was, after all, Stanley Tweedle who persuaded Kai and Xev to fight the evil Mantrid (in Brigadoom). He also asked Kai to take HIS life and spare Xev’s in “Wake the Dead.” It seems that the only way Stanley would win this is if he were to actually have died heroically.
And so, despite such a poor argument (and Stanley’s protests), he notices that the White Stanley is now the Black Stanley (?!?) This apparently means that the judgment is over and that Stanley Tweedle is headed for Fire. “I will see you soon, Stanley Tweedle!” Says Prince who then raises his arms and melts away.
Stan is gradually transformed into one of the strange looking suspended figures we saw earlier.
Kai however seems to have passed through the limbo people and he disintegrates before our eyes as he nears the point of light below him. Then we see him wake on a bed in Gametown.
Not unexpectedly, Xev and 790 just so happen to be flying around in a Moth nearby. Kai whistles to get their attention, and a happy Xev and 790 fly over to pick him up.
The show ends there. Not the best I guess, but it was nice to see some of the old characters again (erm.. like Zev).
I guess I’d still have to announce a verdict of 29,549 out of 10.
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This episode review is © 1999-2019 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission
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