Monthly Archives: May 2009

Spyro: Part 3

After fighting her way through four elemental-themed dungeons, Frodo meets Iran McKellen in person and discovers that he’s… Another dragon. And now that he’s with Frodo in person, you get… Another block of backstory!
Apparently, the previous purple dragon was… Evil. And Spyro’s girlfriend will be unable to resist his evil. And soon there will be an evil eclipse of… Evil! And then the well of souls will do something and some stuff will happen and boy will it be… EVIL!
Ian McKellen’s plan is for Frodo to just hang with him in the temple until the Armageddon has passed. Frodo, of course, readily agrees and the game ends…
Well, no, Frodo says he can’t leave the other dragons to die, so he insists on going back, and Sir Ian caves instantly. They make an exciting escape from the temple, which is told in the form of a cutscene, and Frodo and Fry instantly arrive at Skeletor’s castle on Mt. Doom.
At the top of the castle, Frodo meets the monkey king in a cutscene so important that it’s on film instead of tape. He makes Frodo fight his girlfriend, but she turns out to still be good, and they pull off a gambit they’ve tried before to disarm the monkey king. It doesn’t work, though, and she gets incapacitated, leaving Frodo alone for the big fight.
After the first phase of the battle, Spyro and the Monkey King fall into a lower arena, where Frodo is hit by a purple light that turns him into a scary-yet-dopey black form that can shoot purple energy blasts.

  • Leah: No! He did not just do that!
  • Ross: You died again?
  • Leah: Yeah.
  • Ross: That’s gay*.
  • Leah: The monkey king guy is surrounded by legions of men.

After losing to Gaul the Monkey Queen a few thousand times, Leah cottons on to the fact that with time stopped, his first form takes a few extra hits each time he’s safe to approach, and this makes his first form not “easier” but perhaps less tedious.


At this point, Leah gets fed up, and it takes about three weeks for me to persuade her to play again.
After an arduous fight (Seriously, Leah can swear like a sailor when she’s riled up), The Pirate Queen orders Frodo to finish him — if he doesn’t, he just recharges and you have to play this segment again. Using Frodo’s Purple-mode finisher, he vaporizes Gaul, and then has to be talked down from destroying the world in a Purple Rage. Unfortunately, the mountain they’re in explodes in a ball of green snot, trapping Spyro, Cynder, and Fry . Recalling the words of Sir Ian — Who I have just learned is actually Gary Oldman — Spyro decides to Wait It Out by using his dragon powers to freeze himself and his friends in a block of ice, to keep them safe inside this volcano until the next game.
Inside… This… Volcano…
Anyway, that’s where the game ends, which Leah found mightily disappointing. I’m inclined to agree, except that it does redeem itself right after the end credits finish, when Samuel L. Jackson shows up to talk to Spyro about The Avenger Initiative.
Spyro’s adventures will continue in: The Legend of Spyro 3: The Quest For Peace…


* A Mind Occasionally Voyaging does not approve of the use of the pejorative “gay” to insult other people by suggesting them to be homosexual, nor do we condemn homosexuality, homosexual behavior, or even, say, college girls getting drunk and making out with other chyx (That is to say, we give Katy Perry a 50% approval rating). You should not call other people gay as an insult. Calling other people gay should only be done as a compliment, as in “Man, Tom, your fashion sense is impeccable, despite your love of intercourse with women, you have the fashion sex of a gay man.”
We do, however, see no issue with assigning human traits to inanimate objects or video game characters, particularly if there is a cheap joke to be made of it. In that spirit, the author apologizes for calling Gaul the Monkey King gay. He meant to say “Gaul the Monkey King is totally homosexual.”

Random Thoughts

The author would like to apologize for the fact that this article was not posted a month ago when he wrote it. I don’t actually want to care all that much about gay marriage, but the whole idea that it is 2009 and a big percentage of the population zealously wants to class an entire segment of the population as subhuman and undeserving of the same rights as the rest of us creeps me the hell out. I’m getting married in a few months, and it really bugs me that there’s a huge movement that wants to cheapen *my* marriage by turning into an instrument with which to spread hate and oppression.

  • During some bitching about the President, the conservative “expert” on The Situation Room today said that he was very disappointed in President Obama’s “stimulus pakistan”. At least, that’s what the closed captions said. Methinks the captioner needs a fresh pot of coffee.
  • After a week of teabagging, the moral right went on to produce an advertisement through an organization called “NOM” denouncing gay marriage and claiming that they wanted to form a “rainbow coalition” to protect their “freedoms”. NOM’s other big project is called “2M4M”. “Teabagging”. “NOM”, “Rainbow coalition”, “2M4M”. Has the right just decided to stop trying and write The Daily Show‘s material for them?
  • One of the fine folks who comments on Slacktivist hit the nail on the head about how gay marriage hurts the “freedoms” of heterosexuals: If you’re a homophobe, and homosexuality stops being socially stigmatized, suddenly you are no longer “normal” — you’re the weirdo who’s got an irrational beef with gay people. You’re the slightly shameful elderly relative no one likes to be seen with in public because she might forget that it’s no longer 1950 and she isn’t allowed to make a darker-skinned person give up their seat for her. The “threat” to their way of life is that their bigotry will suddenly make them what they most fear to be: atypical.
  • And speaking of that NOM commercial, in it a doctor actress playing a doctor claims that if gay people can marry, she’ll be forced to choose between her profession and her religion, because the state will force her to (vague). Leaving aside for the moment that I can’t even imagine how her religious freedom could conflict with her duties as a doctor in regards to gay marriage (I mean, there is exactly one big obvious thing that a doctor’s religious conviction might stand in the way of them doing that comes up on a regular basis, and I suspect that married homosexuals have a remarkably low demand for abortions and contraceptives), I just want to point out: if your religious convictions are so strong as to prevent you from doing your job, perhaps you should have considered a profession which you do not enter by swearing an oath to Apollo!

The Tribe: Season 3 finale…

Leah and I resume watching after a few days off to see Ned climbing into bed with Alice and being all sweet. Leah concludes that Ned was only an ass because he’d never gotten laid. Leah has forgotten that Ned kidnapped Trudy and Amber.
The next day, Alice finds the note, and Bray reads it aloud: “Forget about ever seeing them again”. Ned freaks out and doesn’t believe him, then suspiciously runs off.
Seline, who has no right to be snooty, gives Ellie grief about hooking up with Luke. Jack has run away.
Bray and Pride get in a fight, then Bray has a breakdown. Ned would feel guilty if he were capable of guilt.
Bray runs away and gets roughed up by street punks. Ebony extorts Ned. The Guardian scares Ron Weasley a little more, still no one believes him.
KC interrupts Bray’s bender looking for a buyer for the Guardian’s ring. He trades it for a horse, though even he isn’t sure why. Bray wanders around in a stupor until he happens upon the Mozzies, which is surprising since for people bearing a dangerous grudge, they sure took their own sweet time.
Alice starts to become suspicious of Ned when he starts treating her decently. KC gives May a horse, because he’s still sweet on her and not very bright.
A party of wandering Klingons find Bray. May tries to draft Pride into a leadership role, which finally makes Seline grow a pair and bitch out everyone.
Pride and Lex go to look for Bray in a rough part of town, but are saved by bad foley. Lex questions Edward Scissorhands’s motives, but as Pride speaks only in fortune cookie, not much progress is made.
Ebony confronts Moz, and draws a metaphor about mosquitoes: “Always like a mosquito to think it’s found something only to find out it’s bitten off more than it can chew.” So, Ebony’s skills: ass-kicking; lying; cheating; psychological manipulation: check. Metaphor: well, no one’s perfect. She goes on to propose a complex alliance.
As part of her ridiculously circuitous plan, Ebony goes back to the Mallrats and proposes Lex declare himself Sheriff. Lex asks Pride to be his deputy.
Bray wakes up and reflexively macks on Moon, Hot Chyk of the Horse-Training Tribe. They sold KC the defective horse (Who. by the way, Seline is going to ride to prove Pride wrong), but they seem to be mostly okay. I’m guessing they’d gotten the horse in a trade themselves.
Ellie tries to get Luke a job with Ebony’s new order. Ebony points out that Luke isn’t liked or trusted.

  • Ellie: That never stopped you
  • Leah: That’s true.
  • Ebony: That’s true.

Lex shows up in his new Sheriff Duds, which make him look like a cross between Marshall Dillon, Mad Max, and Boy George (Seriously, does everyone really need facial makings?).
The Guy Who Looks Like Pride But Isn’t, Leader of the Horse Trainers, finally recognizes Bray as a Mallrat, and mention that they’ve met a mallrat before, a sort of big dumb guy whose name they didn’t catch — Bray, despite his concussion, rexognizes this as a pretty accurate description of Ryan.
Ebony catches The Guardian terrorizing Ron Weasley, but doesn’t do anything about it, because her plan is just that complicated
Bray returns to the Mall, having left a Dear John note for Moon that The Guy Who Looks Like Pride But Isn’t destroyed. Once he tells Seline that he’s got news about Ryan, she rides off on the freshly tamed horse.

Sidebar:
The end theme from The Tribe, Abe Messiah, was written by John Williams and Matt Prime. John Williams, as you probably know, wrote “Every Song In Every Movie You Have Ever Seen”. Matt Prime, of course, is the lesser-known younger brother of Optimus Prime.

Luke, showing his industrious can-do spirit, has minted money. Lex tries to use this new money to hire a posse (Dagnabit, Deputy, I told you to round me up a little posse!), but they won’t buy it. Also, behind Lex are posters of others who are vying for the job of Sheriff, including Moz, and, so far as I can tell, The Predator.
Of course, the whole “Money” thing doesn’t work because money is only worth anything so long as everyone agrees that it’s worth something. And, being children, they lack the sophistication and education to fall for that sort of shit.
After Moz’s next little outburst, Ebony proposes a free election and nominates Bray for president of the city, on the premise that while the tribes may not like the idea of the Mallrats leading them, they probably like it better than any of the other candidates.
Ned has had enough of Ebony’s failure to give him unbounded wealth and riches and threatens to tell the tribe what he’s up to. Edward Scissorhands beds May.
Ebony bitches out Ellie for not wanting to use her newspaper as a pro-Bray propaganda machine, but she’s dedicated to being impartial and giving both sides and not pointing out that Moz is a petty little tinpot dictator and bully. She interprets “give both sides” as “treat the truth told by one side as being on an equal footing with the lies told by the other side,” so basically, she’s the US media from 2001-2008.
Also, for some reason, the Mozbians all decide to be Lex’s deputies. Lex does not support a trap. I’m not saying it’s a trap, but my god that’s an obvious trap.
It’s hard for Ellie to convince Moz to give an interview, because Ellie’s willingness to betray her friends is hard to believe. Then Moz decides to rough up Ellie for no clear reason. Ellie is sure to still write a Fair and Balanced article which wins Moz the election. Fortunately, Lex shows up looking for his posse. (Always say these lines aloud. It’s funnier that way).
Ebony tells the Guardian that Ned plans to bust him out to trade him to the kidnappers for Amber and Trudy. As usual, because Ebony is lying, the Guardian believes her.
She orders Ned to take the Guardian to Moz. I think her plan is for the Guardian to kill Moz for her. Or possibly Ned, though I have a hard time seeing what advantage Ebony sees in killing Ned. Well, other than being rid of Ned. Oh. Actually, that is perfectly adequate reason to launch a scheme this complex.
With the Guardian missing, Bray can’t possibly win the election, so Luke suggests Ebony instead, but Ebony doesn’t want it and has to be convinced. Then she has an epileptic fit the third time they offer her the crown. Well, seriously, how does ANYONE not get it at this point?
The Guardian hits Ned with a crowbar, prompting the question: Why did Ned leave a crowbar in the coffin with the Guardian? And, really, this was Ebony’s plan? Really? Wile E. Coyote came up with simpler plans than this.
Stopping only to change his clothes and redo his makeup, the Guardian goes to spring Trudy and Amber.
The Mozbians find Ned’s body and are polite enough to return it to the Mallrats. Lex launches the most ineffectual investigation ever. The thing is, he doesn’t have a pair of sunglasses to dramatically put on.
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
The Guardian unlocks Amber and Trudy’s cell, and is all threatening to them, because though he’s not really catatonic, he’s really nuts, and believes that he needs to kill Trudy to get back in Zoot’s good graces.
Ebony busts in just in time to save them, because Amber and Trudy’s death isn’t really part of the plan. The Guardian body-slams her and runs away.
The democratic election goes for Ebony, despite heavy cheating on both sides and a surprising number of votes for Pat Buchannan.
Out in the wilderness, Jack tries to learn how to fish, and stops some people from roughing up a young girl who turns out to be Chloe. Amber has a nightmare about the Guardian.
Lex catches KC giving paid Guardian tours, and shakes down both KC and his customers for their comically large currency.
For Ebony’s second act as leader, she raids the treasury. (Her first act was to move back into the hotel). She’s working some sort of double-deal with Moz, and keeping Bray distracted.
Tyson gets attacked by the Guardian, but she manages to talk her way out of it by coming back with a posse Brady. Ebony agrees to send a posse to capture him, but independently contracts the Mozzies to assassinate the Guardian ahead of time.
When Chloe comes back, KC falls for her, and May gets all creepy and jealous toward Amber, Chloe, Trudy, maybe even Brady.
Amber shames Pride into going after May. Ebony fucks with Luke’s carefully controlled economy, ordering that Luke increase his cash production, and Luke notices that he’s basically just repeating the same old pattern as with The Chosen.
The Ambush of the Guardian nearly fails, with Ebony’s hired assassin being no more useful than the others.
Luke leaves, Jack stays, The Guardian reveals Ebony’s evil scheme to seize control, but no one believes him quite enough. Ebony sends a distraught Ellie off to visit her sister and tell her that The Guardian confessed to offing her boyfriend. Ellie delivers the message, because for a journalist, she is pretty thick, and it doesn’t occur to her that Ebony just wants Alice to go off in a homicidal rage.
Alice goes to kill the Guardian. Luke talks her down. Then The Guardian uses his super human strength to rough up Luke.
When they find Alice, she claims to have killed the Guardian. Ebony pardons Alice, banishes Bray and Amber, and celebrates her new-found absolute power. The Guardian, however, is sneaking off with Luke, telling him about his vision. When they reach the docks, The Guardian sets Luke free, because there’s a Chosen waiting to take him away. He offers to take Luke with him, restored to his rightful place as a Chosen.
Amber goes into labor outside the city, despite the fact that she’s only been pregnant for about a week.
Ebony toasts her power. There’s only really one thing that could stop her now.
A C4 cargo plane flying over the city.
Piloted by the Cybermen.
Paratroopers descend on the city and announce into their metal facemask microphones that “The invasion taskforce has landed.”

  • Leah: I call shennanigans

In the event of zombie attack, head to a Sharper Image store

I just saw a commercial for a new super-powered juicer/salsa-maker/food processor thingie. I wish I had a picture to show you because I haven’t posted a new IT in months.
The reason I bring this up is that during the commercial they show a CGI sequence of some piece of fruit being rendered into juice by this device, just like in CSI, when the criminalists theorize how some piece of evidence relates to the crime.
I use this analogy because in this CGI dramatization, the millions of tiny rotating blades of the sarlaak juicer basically cause the small CGI peach (or maybe it was a nectarine. It’s hard to tell in CGI) to liquefy instantly, exploding in a shower of peachy (or nectariney) gore. And the first thing I thought was “My god, can you imagine what that would do to a man’s hand if he got caught in one?”
And then my mind concocted all sorts of wild scenarios whereby the mafia might grab you for defaulting on your shady debts and, say, make you stick your hand or face or penis into a Sharper Image Juicer.
I think maybe I watch too many crime dramas.
Also, the preppy tween boy and girl that mom hands glasses of their pureed father ocra juice to at the end are absolutely adorable.

The Tribe: 3×31-3×40

Episode 31 opens with the Guardian reveling to the noise of chaos outside as his movement collapses into in-fighting and violence. Across town, Amber angsts over the thought of bringing a child into this crapsack world.
Luke agonizes over his past evil, Bray agonizes over the fact that Amber’s seriously considering an abortion, and The Guardian goes full-on-crazy and has a conversation with his paperweight (Probably he’s actually talking to Zoot’s picture on the opposite wall, but the paperweight is in the frame and Zoot’s picture isn’t.), which Leah thinks is a marriage to Tyson, but The Guardian is so crazy by now that it’s hard to make much sense of it.
Ned The Leprechaun and Alice try to tunnel their way out of the mall, and Ned nearly confesses to wanting to jump Alice’s bones.
So Yeah…
Ebony tries to seduce Edward Scissorhands, pointing out how alike they are. He sagely notices that they are in fact not even a little alike.
The next time the Guardian sees Zoot, we’re allowed to see him too. Zoot thanks The Guardian for his hard work, but he will not be requiring his services in this world, and would he please off himself and the rest of the Chosen. The Guardian goes all mua-ha-ha evil and decides to leave this world in a giant world-destroying shindig.
Selene, the poster-child for codependence, laments that Zoot has so often punished her, and refuses Luke’s offer to help her escape. When she finds that Luke isn’t willing to die for Zoot, she immediately loses faith in Zoot, and throws herself at Luke. When Luke shuns her, she either recovers or goes off to do something suicidal. Not sure which yet.
Alice and Ned break through a wall in the sewers, uncovering an open space with a chain link fence beyond it, where it is night time. Strange, mall architecture in New Zealand. Ned tries to escape through the hole, which works as well as it did for Winnie-the-Pooh when he ate all of Rabbit’s honeyhunny.
The Guardian unveils his plan: he’s gonna blow up the mall with himself and the Mallrats inside. He’d let them go free, he says, except that Zoot told him not to.
Which goes to show just how crazy The Guardian is: He actually did have a crazy vision of Zoot. And now. on Zoot’s orders, he’s going to off himself. But in his vision, Zoot didn’t tell him to kill the others. He’s lying about his crazy vision.
The countdown is set at 30 minutes, so we probably only have two or three hours before it goes off.
Alice and Ned decide to be all heroic and hold off the guards so the kids can escape through the tunnel. This fails utterly, and only KC escapes. Luke emerges from hiding and challenges the Guardian for being crazy. He gives an impassioned speech about spreading the word of Zoot and how it’s madness to follow the Guarian, and how everyone should follow the path of Zoot on their own.
The Guardian makes the fairly accurate retort that the reasonable religion that Luke proposes is a pre-virus religion. His argument boils down to “Sure I’m crazy, but our religion is kinda predicated on crazy, which makes me a good fit.”
However, Amber and Trudy show up and try to convince him that he’ll be forgotten in a week if he blows himself up. Tyson is still convinced she can talk sense into him, but, well, she is wrong.
With mere minutes to diffuse the bomb, it seems all hope is lost, because no one is willing to run away. And then, the one person who might be able to talk the Guardian down shows up: Zoot.
(Well, actually it’s Bray wearing his brother’s clothesZoot Suit, but I think they somehow expected that we wouldn’t work this out, as it’s a big cliffhanger)
Incidentally, that was KC’s idea. Now, this is a clever bit of actually setting something up ahead of time, because earlier in the season, KC was running a scam selling Zoot memorabilia.
Tyson asks the crying Guardian for the code to disarm the bomb.

  • Ross: Six.
  • The Guardian: Six

The full code is 666, obviously, but The Guardian says “660”. Fortunately, no one falls for that. In the aftermath, Ellie tries to smuggle Luke out of town, but he wants to stay and stand trial instead. Bray gives a rousing speech, Lex and his wife make ammends, and Ron Weasley picks up Bray’s discarded Zoot Hat and stares at it creepily transfixed.
Later, Bray has flashbacks to Zoot’s funeral, and has some crazy time over the loss of his brother. He and Amber canoodle until Ebony of all people interrupts because she wants someone assigned to guard the Guardian so that he doesn’t get assassinated before his trial. She doesn’t want him dying in a suboptimally painful and humiliating way.
Tyson goes to the Guardian, because even though she’s made up with Lex, she’s still obsessed with the idea of “fixing” him. Lex shows up, and Ebony has to cold cock him to stop him killing the Guardian.
Alice and Ned sneak off to bonk. Seline sneaks off to jump off the roof. Trudy and Bray fail to talk her down, but Tally brings Brady up to the roof, and Seline decides, I dunno, that she won’t commit suicide in front of a baby.
The next morning, Alice wakes with a deep sense of regret, and some girls wearing fetish gear and bug-eye masks besiege the mall shouting “BRING HIM OUT!”
Amber has to give a speech about the importance of Justice and Not Just Lynching The Guardian, butI think the wind or her makeup is hurting her eyes, because she’s squinting like French Stewart the whole time.
Lex tars and feathers May, and Luke turns himself in, then privately intimates that it’s important he be convicted and executed, as it’s the only way to keep the city from turning on them.
At his trial, Luke confesses, which is good enough for everyone involved except Ellie. Amber finds him guilty and sentences him to freedom (consumed by his own guilt, of course), which pisses off everyone, including Luke, who was sort of hoping to commit suicide-by-angry-mob.
Ellie hugs Luke in relief, which is, of course, when Jack finally makes it back to the mall.
Edward Scissorhands packs up to return to his tribe, who have been called the “Ecos” for some time now, because the writers forgot that they were originally introduced as the “Gaians”
Luke tries giving himself up again, this time to the fetishistsMosquitoes, but Ebony saves him, because she’s convinced he’s just acting repentant, and, um… Well, okay, she does it just to be contrary.
The Mallrats hold a rededication ceremony, but Amber is busy whoring herself up when she’s attacked by someone in a trenchcoat.
Bray waits until the kidnapper has made off with Amber and Trudy — until this single attacker who is obviously also a child manages to slip out unnoticed with two women — when he decides he’s waited exactly long enough and goes to not find them. Everyone goes off searching, but most of them end up making out instead.
Lex catches KC leading the Weasleys in hiding some food, and he yells at him for being an incorrigible scam artist, and today Lex has decided not to be antisocial. “When will you learn to think about others?” Lex demands. Leah answers, “When he grows up and becomes a power ranger.”
Eventually Ned finds a ransom note, saying that Trudy and Amber will be released only if they hand over the guardian. Unfortunately, it’s unsigned, so they have no idea to whom they ought to hand him, but the fetishistsMosquitoes are the only other tribe they’ve bothered naming, so they’ll probably assume it’s them.
Which they do, but it’s not them. They find a second note giving a meeting place, and requesting “No Trix”, which either means that the kidnappers are illiterate or it’s a clue that they’re adults (Trix are for kids).
Bray totally decides to sell the Guardian up the river, but he’s conflicted because he knows Amber is going to dump him for abandoning their principles.
Ellie has an awkward date with Jack, then rushes off to profess her love for Luke.
Alice beds Ned again, and discovers that Ned has been chewing the same piece of gum since before the fall of civilization. Sigh. Gum does not work that way. (Seriously. Alice points out that it must have lost its flavor. Screw its flavor, the latex should have broken down by now).
Bray’s conscience wins, and he decides to try to pull a fast one on the kidnappers. Jack laments his breakup.
Ron Weasley steals The Guardian’s ring, but as he does, The Guardian seizes him and threatens him. Fortunately, no one believes him that the guardian isn’t quite as crazy as he seems. The kidnapper fails to show, which is because it turns out that it’s Ned.
Yes, Ned. Alice’s Boyfriend Ned. Ned the Only Person Who Was Alone When it Happened. Ned The Guy Who Wears a trenchcoat. Ned who freaked out when Bray announced his plan to not hand the Guardian over. Ned the guy who’s illiterate. Ned who hates that rabbit with the breakfast cereal. Ned who — well huh. I guess it’s actually entirely obvious when you put it that way…

The Tribe: 3×21-3×30

Ryan’s attack has given the Guardian a haircut, and, I believe, redecorated his office. Sideshow Luke Perry talks the Guardian out of killing Ryan, playing on the Guardian’s insecurity — can’t have a guy like Ryan go to meet the great and glorious Zoot before he does.
Seline breaks down and for the first time demonstrates that she actually gives a damn about him. Tyson decides that it’s time for action, not for warm thoughts. So she… writes a letter.
Sideshow Luke Perry tells Seline that he’s managed to smuggle Ryan off to safety, but she’s not to tell anyone, and he claims that he’s done this behind the Guardian’s back. Unfortunately, Ellie sees him comforting Seline and decides that Luke’s in love with her.
Edward Scissorhands is sold into slavery by the redheaded Leprechaun, but, to his shock, despite the fact that Edward Scissorhands has spent the past ten episodes warning him of this, the Chosen decide that a fair trade would be “We’ll take Pride and also the three of you as slaves.”
May smuggles an important map to the resistance, but it’s in code, which stymies our heroes until they realize that “FD” means “Fuel Dump”. And “GS” means “Gas Station”. And “Refueling Depot”. Basically, The Chosen have as many words for “Place To Get Gasoline” as the Eskimos do for Snow.
Sideshow Luke Perry finally delivers Tyson’s note to the Guardian, which just says “Do you like me? Check One: [] Yes [] No.” The Guardian checks “Yes”, and May makes googly eyes at Edward Scissorhands.
Bray, Ebony, and Lex work together to blow up the fuel depot, and in the first really just utterly moronic thing she’s ever done, Ebony lights the fuse to blow it up before Bray even makes a token attempt to exit the depot. This would be brilliant and Machiavellian, except that it’s entirely clear that she’s just, I dunno, not paying attention.
Bray escapes, of course, and they decide to booze it up in celebration, forgetting that Lex is like two days from getting his six week chip.
Sideshow Luke Perry and the Guardian are starting to do some role-reversal, as the Guardian is by this point sufficiently crazy that he doesn’t think the destruction of the fuel depot should prompt, say, going and hunting down the rebels, but rather, say, reflecting on Zoot’s deeper purpose and marveling at the wonderous miracle of Big Honking Explosions. He summons KC to interpret it, in the hopes that it’s a sign from Zoot that it’s okay for him to sleep with Tyson.
May reports Edward Scissorhands’s fate, and also that she is totally warm for his pasty form. Bray thinks that’s awesome, since it means that Pride isn’t off sexing up Amber.
“Are you there, Zoot? It’s me, Seline,” she asks, actually praying to Zoot to bring her husband back. Meanwhile, Tyson gets to seducing the Guardian, but this is cut short when the Guardian has a revelation, and names her the new Supreme Mother.
KC proposes himself as Sugar Daddy to Telly, the Leprechaun’s kid sister, which suggests to me that this term does not mean the same thing in New Zealand as it does here.
Bray, Ebony and Lex take in a Punch and Judy show about their exploits. Afterward, they rough up the puppeteers and put on their own show, which is not nearly as well written, but gets the point across.
The rebels hear about the impending coronation, and Lex pushes them to use this as a change to execute the Guardian and also whoever the new supreme mother is, who he is so sure is a self-seeking opportunist who has betrayed them, that he’s not even going to wait and find out who it is. So Bray is elected to go all Book Depository, since he knows how to use a crossbow.
KC and the redheads make commemorative T-Shirts for the coronation.
Alice bitches Seline out, she runs up a flight of steps, then falls down, and miscarries.
Lex, predictably, decides that his wife has betrayed him and is really on the side of the Guardian. Bray, unexpectedly, thinks that maybe Tyson is just playing the Guardian. Lex claims that he’ll kill the Guardian if he lays a hand on his wife, which is not much of a threat when you consider that the whole plan was for them to kill the Guardian regardless.
Ebony finally tries to comfort Lex by pointing out that he wouldn’t exactly be the poster child for monogamy, though Lex think’s that’s different, because he is a man. That’s the douchebag we’ve come to love.
May sets up a meeting between Lex and Tyson so that she can explain herself and Lex can get his end away.
Seline goes into an entirely reasonable depression over the miscarriage, and she swears Luke to secrecy about it. Because no one will notice when she never gets any more pregnant.
Tyson has a vision of Lex shooting The Guardian, which is fair, because Lex plans to shoot the Guardian. Meanwhile, the Guardian offers one of the Mallrats amnesty, and they choose Ned the Tall Leprechaun, since they want to be rid of him (KC’s got a good scam going and doesn’t like his chances on the outside; Ellie is no good in a fight, and Alice won’t leave anyone alone with Ned), but they have to trick him into thinking they’re not trying to get rid of him, so KC arrainges the most obviously rigged craps game ever. The Weasley Twins work it out, but since they don’t like their big brother all that much, they’re willing to extort KC for their silence.
Ebony and Bray fail to find Lex, mostly because he’s staked out a place near the coronation, while they’re searching everywhere else in the city.
Ned is immediately arrested for drunkenness and rabble-rousing, and ends up back at the mall.
At the coronation, the foley is off, causing the metal-on-metal sound of the Chosen’s scythes to be way out of step with their movements. Bray finds Lex, but Ebony turns on him, refusing to let Bray stop the assassination. He’s shocked, shocked to find that Ebony lied to him. Because Bray has no long-term memory.
Ebony is shocked, shocked, when Bray kicks her ass, and then rushes off to stop Lex. However, showing that can-do effectiveness he’s known for, instead of stopping Lex, Bray just spoils his aim, so that Lex shoots Tyson instead.
Later, The Guardian fires Luke, and he immediately changes into a garish neon-colored outfit, changes his hair, and changes his face painting. He also swears to stop the Guardian, but just the Guardian personally, as he still believes in The Chosen. Pride and May kidnap Brady, tell Lex that Tyson is okay, and then Amber shows up with a deprogrammed Trudy.
As Bray asserts, “This is great; it looks like it’s the beginning of the end!”
Uh… I bet that’s more upbeat in New Zealand.
May, Lex and Ebony won’t forgive Trudy, and she looks very upset that the three most morally bankrupt characters in the show are passing judgment on her.
Without Brady, the Chosen start to come off the rails, and Bray holds a meeting of tribal leaders, who are too scared to join the rebellion.
Meanwhile, at the trial of everyone the Guardian could get his hands on, Tyson convinces the Guardian that the abduction was Ordained By The Mighty Zoot, and so he releases them as instruments of Zoot, except for Luke, who confessed to save the others. Fortunately, as the Chosen desert their posts, they take him with them.
Trudy gives an impassioned speech to the tribal leaders, and Ebony for some reason tries to argue her down, but she manages to rally the troops all the same.
Amber tells Bray, because no one in this show is clever enough to work it out on their own, that she’s pregnant, and Bray immediately pisses her off by asking if it’s Edward Scissorhands’s.
As the Praetorian Guard looks for Luke, he confeses his love to Ellie and she implies hers for him.
Amber rejects the idea of actually just telling Bray that, yes, she loves him and needs him and trusts him and is not doing Pride, because as she’s having his baby, telling him how she really feels is out of the question. Even Trudy thinks that doesn’t make sense.
The Guardian is left with nothing now but his Extra Special Guard, who wear hockey helmets and have extra serrated scythes.
The Guardian has a crying fit over his lack of Guidance from Zoot, so he is naturally pleased when, in an unexpected cliffhanger, Zoot actually does appear to him….

To Boldly Go…

Star Trek
2009
Directed by JJ Abrams
Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Bruce Greenwood, Eric Bana
And Karl Urban as Doctor Leonard McCoy
This movie is very good. It is very very good. Infact, this movie is not simply a very good Star Trek movie, it is a very good movie.
The first great thing about this movie was the four teenagers sitting behind us. In the half hour before the film started, they talked at length about which films they think were most popular for having sex in the theater (Rocky Horror Picture Show), and how she didn’t mind who he told about them having sex with each other, but he did mind who she told`. Also, apparently Lisa Hanover (not her real name) is such a giant slut that she agreed to have sex with Billy Gweebinski (not his real name) for fifteen dollars even though he’s totally filthy and a loser. Also, Ms. Hanover got in trouble at school for letting two guys suck on her breasts after a basketball game. Also, both the girls liked Cloverfield, and one of the guys always lost at Gay Chicken, which I gather is when two guys go in to make out, and the first one to bail out loses. The last one to bail out, of course, is branded gay.
The cast is pretty much excellent. I don’t think anyone ever questioned that Quinto would be awesome as Spock. As McCoy, Urban looks the part and sounds the part, but I will concede that for much of the film, he seems to be, well, “McCoying it up”. More like someone doing a McCoy impression instead of actually playing McCoy. I’d expected not to like Chris Pine as Kirk, but he really does pull it off. I’d been suffering from visions of a “Totally Awesome” Kirk tryng to be all hip and streetwise. Thankfully, it was not to be. The only thing I really missed — and this is really the script’s fault and not Pine’s — is that we never get to hear him give one of those classic Kirk Speeches, with Kirk telling… us… that… the indomitable human spirit… yearns to be… FREE! or something.
I was going to say that Zoe Saldana varied the most radically from her predecessor as Nyota (Yes, it’s canon now) Uhura, but then I realized that Uhura never really had any sort of characterization worth speaking of before. So yeah. she differs a lot in that. Anton Yelchin is basically a non-character as Chekov. John Cho’s is competent as Sulu, but nothing to write home about. The biggest disappointment in the cast, for me. is Simon Pegg. I know most people liked him, but I think they’re confusing liking Simon Pegg as a comic actor and liking Simon Pegg as Scotty. Pegg’s Scotty — I will not mince words about this — is The Comic Relief Character. He’s a joke. Scotty should not be a joke.
But for my money, the real surprising role, was the one I didn’t really go in with any preconceptions about: Bruce Greenwood as Captain Pike. He’s basically Dad for the Enterprise crew, and he really ties the film together.
Watching Star Trek get the Crisis on Infinite Earths treatment is something which has sort of affected me at a weird emotional level. Even though Trek doesn’t speak to me the way it used to, it’s something sort of foundational to my brand of geekery. One of those things which was supposed to always be there. It’s the sci fi geek’s equivalent of mom remarrying.
Anyway, it’s visually stunning, it’s got a coherent plot, it respects its roots, and it makes Star Trek all shiny and new.
And to say more, would be spoilers…

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