Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (3)

Episode 3: What was Sundered and Undone

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Episode 3 opens with Brea making a new friend who thinks the key to being a princess is having shiny hair.   It’s a welcome bit of fun and it just becomes more frenetic when we find out that podlings love the dirt and it’s her job to clean them!  We are again given a chance to see how all creatures are a part of Thra; another theme that has been prominent since the start of the season.  We’ve seen how nature is an intrinsic part of the planet and we’ve seen the natural resources of the planet being exploited by the Skeksis.  But it’s not long before Brea learns she’s to be working here for longer than she had expected.  “…It’ll be the end of all things.  Or maybe the beginning!”  This is another theme we’ve been seeing during each of the three episodes to date: ends and beginnings.  The circle.  Simba, Lord Vader… many would be delighted by the idea.  What exactly does it mean for the beautiful lands of Thra?

Meanwhile, Deet is chatting with Hup, the Italian podling, who is trying to explain to her why she, like many others, will be treated differently when she goes to the Stonewood clan.  “Just because they’re different?” asks Deet, incredulously.  This is a sentiment that really bothers me.  I grew up loving monsters and creatures from other worlds and it has always bothered me when they are treated badly because they are different, but it’s even worse when people are of the same species and this happens.  I love that it gets addressed here.  But I confess, my sister was picking up on some political leanings before I was when we started this show.  She commented on some specific allegory and it seems I have to agree with her, though I’m late to the game.  There’s too much to be said about the xenophobic nature of the land we live in for us to ignore that part of this story.  Deet is different to the Stonewood clan and they make sure to let her know how they feel.  She is treated with extreme cruelty and even told by others that they thought her kind were dead.  (They also make sure to tell her that she smells badly.  Could that be any more heartless?)

And speaking of political allegory, Rian is the victim of Fake News as everyone knows the Skeksis, our lords who protect of the Crystal of truth, would never lie!  Rian is ostracized by both his clan and even his father.  I’m not sure what’s worse: being cast out by his father who hasn’t had a chance to speak to him privately or being cast out by travelers that he helps mere moments before they realize who he is.  The bottom line is that the fake news aspect of the series now cannot be ignored.  It seems there’s too much of Earth on Thra!

Brea’s sisters offer some welcome positivity though.  As the two sisters argue and disagree, they remind each other that “the bonds of sisterhood can be tested.  But never broken!”  These beings are very much like us.  Their faces, while little more than puppets, express so much!  The artistry behind these puppets is astounding.  (I have every intention of watching the making of feature when I complete the series!)

Aughra makes an appearance with the Skeksis and visits them while bathing for an uncomfortable moment of her cleaning her (still seeing) eye in their bathwater.  They boot her out where she calls them out on the damage they’ve done to the Crystal.  Before her unceremonious departure, Aughra says a wonderful line: “you know nothing and speak or you know and speak nothing”.  This required a moment to think about but it really delighted me.  (I must use it at some point.)  But what a damning accusation: people often speak without knowledge, which is a terrible thing, but what’s worse, is to have the knowledge of something wrong and to say or do nothing.  Both are damning but it has been said that true evil is to see something being done and to do nothing about it.  Thus, we establish that the Skeksis are the embodiment of evil.  (They make too little of an appearance in this episode for me to continue my theory of the 7 deadly sins… I’ll come back to that!)  Anyway, both accusations are accurate of the Skeksis.  (I think it might also be accurate of our “Lords who protect the crystal of truth” here on Earth… )

The story wraps up with Brea bringing her mothers brightest gem to Anika.   “Find the song; change the future!”  Brea has to follow the totem animal of her people; a moth of incredible beauty.  Unsurprisingly, this leads to more beautiful imagery eventually leading Brea to find herself in a strange temple.  The moth lands on a perfectly carved spot on the back of a throne, which cause the base of the throne to open.  Brea looks into the darkness, and descends…

Any further comment must be reserved for the next part, but I guess it’s time to head into darkness!  ML

The view from my rainbow connection

Oh poor Brea. The Order of Lesser Services is basically community service. If you’ve done wrong, cleanse your soul of your misdeed by cleaning (deturging) a Podling. We know this is punishment for those who have done something they shouldnt have. Juni, a Gelfling Brea meets explains she is working there because she dated outside of her clan. Romeo and Juliet anyone? Working here is clearly meant to be humiliating. Those who work here all wear jingle hats. Looking like court jester if you ask me. Remember Brea is here because of her sister Seladon but we hear Seladon explain to their other sister Tavra, that is it because Brea has always been their mother favorite. Seladon is so desperate to impress her mother yet always feels like she falls short. Perhaps my impression that she was like Chamberlain was off. He wants to impress the Emperor for power. Seladon wants to impress her mother, the All Maudra, for love. Tavra is sensible and realizes both her older and younger sisters have strengths and weaknesses.

Deet and Hup are a great pair of friends. Hup knows that not all clans get along while Deet has an innocence that is beautiful. Deet sees all creatures as beautiful. Deet explains that anything hard in life just takes time to adjust, like her eyes to the sun.

Rian being a faithful boyfriend, carrying around Mira’s essence after fighting off Skeksis with the help of his best friend stops after escaping the castle to help Gelfling who are stuck traveling. They realize who he is and almost turn on him. This is where a touching scene occurs. Rian knowing the old life he had is over, and knowing more now than he ever did before- buries his past and his old beliefs. Quite literally in fact, as we see him bury his old uniform. He buries his past of serving the Skeksis.

Later, on Brea’s escape attempt from The Order of Lesser Services- Tavra finds her sister while on her own hunt for the “murderer” Rian. She has no way of knowing the truth yet-so don’t get mad at her. It is here Brea draws the symbol she saw in her vision for Tavra. Tavra knows her sister is on a mission and explains to her that while Seladon and Brea seem to be enemies at the moment, the bonds of sisterhood can be tested but never broken. Just a little fyi- same goes for the bond of a sister and brother. (just sayin’)

OH FUN! A pub! Deet and Hup stumble upon a Stonewood clan bar of sorts. Like we have seen in our own dark history, the Stonewood clan appear racist and won’t even serve Deet who is not “of their kind” or Hup. We hear them say, “don’t let her in” and “Grotan are not welcome.” Gross. Who could be so single minded? My little pal Hup takes a drink anyway and gets drunk way too fast and then tries to defend Deet’s honor. I can think of a few old boyfriends like that.

Great….Chamberlain is back at his old tricks trying to get Girgin to spill the beans as to where his best friend Rian is. Chamberlain lies and says he is a “friend” to all Gelfling. Lyin’ sack of….

Poor Seladon is overlooked yet again by her mother when her mother seems regretful that her two other daughters are gone at the moment and Seladon sadly says, “but I’m here.” Then almost ironically reminds her mother that she is to act as All Maudra first and as a mother second. I am so confused by this girl. Make up your mind!

I don’t know if these creatures will be relavant later but we meet Gruenaks, the mechanically minded and strong beings that sadly have their mouths sewn shut by that s**tbird Chamberlain. They are “given” to Skektek as gifts by Chamberlain after the awful “peeper” incident which was Chamberlain’s suggestion. Chamberlain plays both sides as usual.

Maudra Fara, the head of the Stonewood Clan won’t see Deet when she arrives to talk because she is of a diffrerent Clan. Even Rian is almost ambushed by his father when he goes to speak to Maudra Fara. No one will Dreamfast with him because they all still believe the Skeksis that if they do they will also be infected by Rian’s madness.

I am beginning to realize that even the Gelfling who I tend to think of as the “good guys” have some bad habits. They keep lightening bugs as captives in little sacks to use as their own sort of “light bulb.” Again a reference of how so many of us abuse the creatures of Earth for our own gain.

Remember when we left episode 2 with Mother Aughra on her way to kick some Skeksis ass. She gets to the castle and sees them living lavishly, yet looking decrepit. She tells them she is unwell because Thra is unwell. They are less than kind when she asks to see the Crystal. She sees their evil and wisely asks them if they know what is going on with the crystal and do not speak or speak and know nothing. She knows the Crystal of Truth will not lie to her. She uses old myths about herself to trick the guards who were ordered to remove her from the castle and find the crystal. She sees how sick it is and vows to heal it. The Crystal reveals here what truly happened to Mira and explains that normally when a being dies it returns to Thra. In the case of a being losing its essence, it cannot return to Thra. If Mother Augrah finds the song of Thra she can change the future.

Deet is alone in the forest because Hup, after defending her honor was thrown in “jail.” Deet meets several plants peaking out of trees and feeds one (because she is just that kind of girl) before realizing they are all one- connected. Funny how the connection lesson is true of even plants. Here is when Rian and Deet first meet in the forest. Was I the only one feeling that this may turn into something? Mira’s essence is seen behind Deet and Rian while they talk- I felt almost guiding them together like a guardian angel.

Remember the memory eraser Brea used on Elder Cadir? Well he is just as dumb as can be walking around only really able to say hello over and over. Good job by Onica giving herself a long overdue promotion and teaching Brea that the “brightest jewel” from her mother’s chamber wasn’t asked for as payment but rather as the answer to Brea’s questions. That lighted bauble holds the imperial moth inside. That little being is actally the totem animal of Brea’s clan. Onica sings to it and it opens for Brea to ask for its guidance. The moth takes flight for Brea to follow (remember she has wings) and she follows it all the way to a tree which opens and reveals a cave. Guess where the tree is located! Looks like Brea’s mothers chamber to me.

Let’s see where Episode 4 takes us….  DG

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1 Response to Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (3)

  1. Ragaius says:

    Nice write-up guys! Xenophobia or even just looking down on others who look different is such a universal presence in the real world that I would probably find it unbelievable if a fantasy race did NOT display some of those characteristics. When I’ve seen it done it is usually some higher-level angelic type race of beings who are accepting of all. And lets face it, angels tend to be less interesting than those of down here with feet of clay (IMO).

    I liked the introduction of Hup as the Podling sidekick and hope that he will eventually be taken seriously as a Paladin. Which would involve getting a real sword instead of that silly spoon! Don’t mean to sound bloodthirsty, but this is a deadly war. Keeping Hup cute and cuddly is a disservice to the story.

    I found the subplot of Mira’s essence to be a bit unsatisfying but as that resolves later on I won’t say anything further. It’s a great series and the overall story is really excellent fantasy.

    Like

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