Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (8)

Episode 8: Prophets Don’t Know Everything

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As the series approaches its climax, a lot is happening.  Aughra opens the episode with a lot of wisdom; I am beginning to realize how wise this old woman is!  She speaks of the benefits of scars: “mind forgets, scars remember!”  Remember that, next time we get upset over a scar!   She also speaks to vanity: “some dress to reveal their body, others to reveal their nature!”  And she speaks of wisdom, “most never see beyond their own rage!”  Nothing beats a good parable … except for a well stated line.  (It’s easier to retell!)  Aughra’s wisdom is profound.  We realize just how critical she is to the world of Thra, and like she says to the Archer, we had better hope she goes “on and on”.   Especially as she references the Seed of Hope that is carried by the heroes of Thra.

To counter Aughra’s wisdom, we have poor Seladon.  Seladon can’t see the truth even as the Skeksis strip her of her robes, her crown, and her dignity and even go so far as to admit they are draining her kind.  She tries to side with them, even accepting that she will give up 7 Gelfling from each clan, but they disregard her.  They have become greedy, gluttonous creatures that have no care in the world for what they are doing.  Unlike the devious Chamberlain who understands they cannot sustain themselves on their current course, they just move full speed ahead with their plan to drain the planet for their own sake.  They are, as I suspected, the 7 Deadly Sins personified, and a suitable allegory for the real world in which we find ourselves.  As the Emperor calls her, Seladon is now “ruler of the dead”, and she is taken away to be drained.  When she sees Brea, one of her sisters in captivity, she actually still blames Brea for all that the Skeksis have done.  As misguided as she is, I could not help but feel for Seladon, for she knows not what she does.  As Aughra said, she cannot see past her own rage.

SkekMal, the hunter, returns in this episode (hence Brea’s captivity) but is mortally wounded.  Again, the Skeksis Emperor orders as much Essence as needed to heal the Hunter.  “Bathe him in Essence…!”  Again, they are single minded and cannot understand the damage they are doing to the world around them; they think only of themselves.

Then we have The Ascendency, the spider-like hive minded race that have taken over Deet’s land.  Deet and Rian are captured by them, but Deet’s baby brother (ah, brothers and sisters!) seems to save them, then helps them forge an alliance between Ascendancy and Gelfling.  Here again, we have allusions to the nature of Thra.  The Ascendency, when attacked, state, “what one feels, all feel.”  This ties in with what is going on between Skeksis and Mystic.  There’s an interconnectedness that would make Dirk Gently blush.  “All signs and portents come together!”

There are so many interesting lines in this episode.  “Who decides who lives and who dies?” which might be important if the Gelfling don’t feel they have the right to make that decision.  The problem is that if they sit back and do nothing, they might not survive what’s to come.   Or there’s the shadow of things to come with “the age of the Gelfling has come to an end!”  Considering this is a Netflix show, we know the good guys have to win, right?  But how does that work with what we know from the movie where the Gelfling are all but wiped out?

And yet, with all that, it was Aughra’s line that confused me considering it’s the title of the previous episode: “It’s time to make my move”, she says.  Why is that here, and not in the previous episode?

Finally, the episode has a tour de force ending.  Rian is planning on going to battle the Skeksis alone, allowing Deet to return to her family.  “You’re not alone anymore,” she says.  This is another theme we’ve seen since the very start of the series, back 2000 years in the future.  Or 38 years in the past.  Whatever!  Deet absorbs the power of the dying Sanctuary Tree and sees the future.  She sees Jen, the hero of the movie, 2000 years in the future.  For this long-time fan, I got chills.  But we also saw Deet looking distinctly unwell.  What this newfound power has to offer Deet we must wait to find out.  And I’m probably going to be watching the last two episodes back to back!  ML

The View from my Rainbow Connection

What a sad beginning seeing all of Stonewood empty.

A quick pick me up when we see Mother Aughra save the threader (mini spitter) who she threw when it tried to steal her mind. She says while healing it, “the minds forgets, scars remember.” As a mother myself, I couldn’t help but think about my two c-sections. It’s so true how our minds forget pain in many circumstances. When I look at my scar from my c-section I remember what my body went through to have my children. I am even more thankful and in awe of the human body.

Back to stupid Seladon.  She actually thinks she will negotiate peace with the Skeksis.

Aughra slips her eye in to Seladon ‘s clothes to “keep an eye on her.” Puns are fun.

Chamberlain convinces the Gruenaks to replace The General’s essence with water and milk in return for their freedom. How about that? The scene went from Seladon to Chamberlain. They are mirrors of each other with their dark hearts.

We’re back at the circle of the Sun’s. Rian must retrieve the Glaive before saving Brea while Hup and The Archer stay behind to heal. Deet and Rian go to The Breath of Thra which is a tunnel where the air from Thra all runs together. Air surging like blood through veins throughout Thra. I almost cried here, thinking of how true this is on Earth. All being, no matter race or religion are touched by the same air. Those who have moved far from us, people we wish we could see, are all touching because the air around us touches our bodies. We are all one.

Back at the castle of the Crystal we see the Stonewood paladins Threaders release mind control right before they are drained of essence. Even the “loyal paladin” jerk.

Deet and Rian are soaring back to her homeland through tunnels on the Breath of Thra. (I’m signing “a whole new world” from Aladdin) Oh nuts! Spitters and threaders have taken over Deets land.

Remember Chamberlain’s idea of switching The General’s vial of essence? Well the other Skeksis are all bragging about the benefits of their drink besides General. He knows something is up but just not what yet.

This is the part we have all been waiting for. The new All Maudra Seladon pleads for mercy of Stonewood and the Skeksis say no. She asks for the other clans to receive mercy but is told no and laughed at. Skeksis reveal that they do drain gelfling now. She, like a moron, offers 7 Gelfling of each clan which is also turned down. Finally she tries to negotiate safety to just her sisters…they steal her crown and laugh at her as “ruler of the dead”. You’d think now she would be enlightened to her mistakes. Right?

Back to my girl Deet. Deets family home is destroyed and her family missing. Bobb’n, her little brother under mind control of the threaders, alerts the others by making a call of sorts. As the Spitters close in to kill Deet and Rian, a Nurlock unwittingly saves them by making lunch of the Spitter. Phew. That was close. Oh wait. No luck- Rian is bitten while escaping through tunnels and almost forced Deet to be bitten until cute little Bobb’n saves them by calling the threaders off.

Oh great. Back at the castle of the Crystal the hunter returns with Brea. Scientist checks on The Hunter who is injured and dying. The other Skeksis start to assume gelfling did this and becomes a bit afraid. The Emperor wants to give all essence to save The Hunter because he wants to feel as though the Skeksis are above death. Behind them in another room, we see Seladon in one cage and Brea in the other. Seladon still cannot see how wrong she is. She was willing to try to save many by sacrificing a few. Who made her God?? As a real kick in the gut we see Tavra is alive still but being mind controlled and doesn’t even recognize her own sisters.

Mother Aughra’s eye watches, like I imagine God/the universe/Mother Earth is always watching us to protect us. We too make our own decisions but need to always hear what our world is telling us.

Thank the good Lord that Deet is such a pure sole because of her mercy and Ariana’s courage while saving little brother Bonn’s from the nurlocks earlier is now a favor being returned. The Arathim explain they once lived in Groton caves and were promised the caves back if they fought against Gelfling.  Rian realizes the Skeksis tricked the Arathim since they are being killed by nurlocks and the darkening within these very caves. He explains this and the Arathim probe smarter than Seladon and join forces with Rian and Deet. I am sure my brother loved the nod to Doctor Who’s Daleks when the Arathim said “Exterminated” almost in the same tone as “exterminate.”

Arathim and gelfling will fight together now that the Ascendancy heard the truth.

Ironic that when this story began, it was Rian hunting a Spitter, yet now they are allies.

Wait- Deet has two fathers? Look at how hip and relevant this show is.

Ok so we are back to our Mini threader pal who tells Mother Aughra that the creatures are all in alliance with gelfling. (What one Spitter/Threader feels, all feel so I guess what one knows, all know.)

Back at the sanctuary tree, our two heroes discuss their next move. Rian must go alone to find the Glaive. Deet almost says she loves Rian before all hell breaks loose and the beautiful sanctuary tree is attacked and eaten from below by the Nurlocks. Before seeming to die, the Sanctuary tree tells Deet she must move the darkening. The sanctuary tree becomes one with the Deet to give its power over to her whether that be a blessing or curse. Deet drains the darkening from an infected Nurloc that tries to eat her and Rian by absorbing it’s darkening. If anything happens to Deet, I’m gonna lose my mind.

We end with Rian carrying Deet after she passes out and him telling her “don’t let go” which he means literally but I know in my heart he means in all ways. They love each other. I knew it from the beginning.

I am so smart.  DG

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