Episode 9: The Crystal Calls
Episode 9 is a little weird. Remembering that this story takes place a full 2000 years before the movie, you can’t kill off a character that is going to be in the movie. So when they kill off Aughra, I was left confused. Did I misunderstand the timing of this series? Is this supposed to be a different Aughra? To compound matters, Chamberlain kills Tavra, which further blows my mind! I was mortified by the events in this episode and it is very hard to reconcile the events I witnessed here.
Before we get to that, Rian discovers that the glaive he seeks has been with Deet’s grandmother the whole time. Always lucky but perhaps a little too fortuitous. Unless we consider that the tree spoke to Deet, possibly because she was related to the keeper of the glaive. Interestingly, like so much else in this series up until now, the glaive is a blade in two parts; two halves that make the whole. This motif is visible throughout the series. The point is illustrated when the Archer speculates about what will happen when the Crystal is healed: “will we be joined again, or torn further asunder?” I was amazed when watching the movie version of The Dark Crystal recently that its themes were so mature. The themes are not those a child would fully grasp. This series, while adorable, is not meant for kids.
That said, there’s a lot to be said about family and sisterhood especially. (Since I’m taking this journey with my sister, I’ll say the bond is not reserved for girls only.) When the sisters come together again, they are united. “We are never alone; even death cannot break the bonds of sisterhood.” Seladon apologized for her mistakes and the forgiveness is palpable. What makes that sentence so strange to me is that I keep forgetting I’m watching puppets; I bought into them fully. Brea is even bruised, as if she were a real person! But when you lose yourself in the story, that is proof of some seriously good storytelling.
I also knew the hunter was not dead because it was just too obvious, but considering what they did to Aughra, it was hard to know for sure. When they started to string up and decorate the dead character (again, something probably not viewed as kid-friendly behavior), I was fairly certain he’d be back.
Then we get the scene of blue fire burning through the skies. Rian uses it to communicate and even after being intimidated by The Emperor, the call to arms goes out and the Gelfling unite. “Not as many, but as one!” Oh, would you look at that! The motif again. I’m drawn inexorably back to the line from Babylon 5, “we are one!” Thank you, G’Kar.
There are many little touches that mean a lot to me. I love watching Aughra come to the rescue of the sisters, even though she is sacrificing herself for them. There’s a magic in that degree of selflessness (even for puppets). The whole idea that they are not worthy is shot down by Aughra’s “yes you are!” I get so overjoyed by these little things. But then, I also love that this episode gives us a view from the Arathim’s eyes. So it’s not only the sappy stuff that makes me happy!
Well, we’ve come to the penultimate episode. The rebellion is about to begin. Will it be quashed? Will the Gelfling succeed? Or will this lead to the extermination of the Gelfling and bring us to the 2000 year lead-in to the movie? Tune in next week to find out! ML
The View from my Rainbow Connection
My favorite Gelfling, Deet, wakes up. She is fine but changed as Maudra Algot says. How funny that half of the dual Glaive was in Maudra’s Algot’s possession all along as a walking stick.
Back at the Castle of the Crystal, Mother Aughra comes just in time to save Seladon and Brea from being drained of their essence and tells the Skeksis only her essence can save The Hunter, but it must be given willingly.
A trade is made by Mother Aughra, that she will sacrifice herself to save the Gelfling in captivity. Reminds me of what my faith as taught me about Jesus dying for us. Wait, I just realized the sisters, there’s 3 of them. Like the holy trinity. Mother Aughra’s sacrifice has reunited the 3 sisters. Tavra, having been attached to the Threader for so long has now sort of mind melded with it. They are of one mind and due to this, she is able to summon the rest of the spitters to help stop the General. She stabs him but that creep Chamberlain sneaks up and stabs her before she can kill the General. He gives essence that he had stolen to save The General. This can’t be good.
Seladon finally realizes how wrong she was just in time to watch Tavra die. Before she does, she tells Brea and Seladon that even death cannot break the bonds of sisterhood. I’m not crying – you are.
Since Chambelain is a snake, his “kind deed” of saving the General has now put him in good graces. Chamberlain suggests reanimating dead arathim to become soulless killing machines. He is a real jerk.
Then the wacko skeksis pull a “weekend at Bernie’s” and prop skekMal (the hunter) up like a puppet to serve beside them.
Back in Stonewood, where the other half of the Glaive was hidden by Ordon, Rians father (RIP), Rian climbs the crucible to find the other half of dual glaive. The swords start to “sing” when it is made whole by Rian and Deet. (Who btw got there by riding a landstrider). Here comes a cool part: every fire turns blue and lights up the sky. The gelfling are uniting against skeksis. They all can hear Rian through the fire. This is a new, great model telephone if you ask me!
Rian’s speaks from his heart to all Gelfling everywhere. The truth is now known to all. We will make a stand as one!
Oh no! The hunter may be alive. I saw his finger twitch… DG