Episode 10: A Single Piece was Lost
The final episode of The Dark Crystal surprised me in a way I did not expect. Ok, like Roger, I admit to enjoying some soppy romantic moments myself; I’m a sap, sure, but I’m not overly demonstrative over shows. I don’t shout at the screen typically, and I never jump out of my seat with my hands over my mouth. Oh, wait… yes, I did once. Game of Thrones, Oberon Vs. The Mountain. Need I say more? That happened; I was standing, gasping for breath. I imagine if life really does flash before my eyes when my time comes to head to the pearly gates, I’ll see my eyes popped out like a cartoon character. But that was the only time I ever remember jumping out of my seat when watching TV. Until this episode. And what stuns me more than the act is that, gussy it up however you like, I jumped up over puppets. Yeah, we come to see them as people in their own right, but they are puppets. Am I making myself clear here? PUPPETS! And, having had lunch with some friends today, the day I write this in October, I realize these puppets live in the uncanny valley for a lot of people. Yet for me, they were real, and I enjoy spending time in the uncanny valley anyway. And Deet made me leap out of my seat.
It’s an action packed episode and hard to talk about without spoilers, so look… watch the show and come back, or expect to be spoiled!
Let me first mention that I found the motivation for the Skeksis a bit sad. They say that “all that waits behind us” is suffering, guilt and torment. It’s why they want to hold onto life at all costs. That’s a very sad and scary reason to hold on; but what are they really remembering? I’ve also commented on the fact that this show might not be for kids and SkekTek (Mark Hamill) beats that point home… or rather, beats his helpers to death brutally while casting dark blood across some of the pets he has in his menagerie. Now, it’s done through shadow and the camera lingers on the caged pet, but it’s still disturbing. It’s definitely meant for the adult audience. And that’s where the crystal shard comes in. When the glaive is broken, we see it but I won’t deny, I didn’t put two and two together. When Rian stabbed the General, it filled up with his essence, but it didn’t dawn on me that it was the shard that eventually will have to find its way home. When I realized it, it was another head-smack moment. Man, this show has been delightful on so many levels. Exciting, emotional, unexpected…
So, let’s talk about those emotional moments. I utterly love how hopeful Deet is. It’s no wonder she’s my favorite character. She’s a bit like the Doctor in that regard. I think it’s sweet that Rian is trying to make plans with her for the future even though it seems to make her nervous. Considering all of this story takes place in the shadow of Mira’s death, I don’t know how natural that planning is, but it could be the anxiety of going into battle and planning for a future one is not sure will come. Equally, Deet’s trepidation could be youthful uncertainty, or more likely, awareness of the fact that she’s become infected by the Darkening and she’s afraid of Rian’s touch. Might he detect it, or might she infect him?
Then there’s Seladon and Farah. Redemption is a wonderful thing. Ultimately, it’s what made Star Wars so incredible, when Darth Vader is redeemed for a lifetime of bad choices by saving his son. (Sorry, too soon?) There’s a beauty that comes from forgiveness and it should draw a tear from the eye when Farah forgives Seladon even though her actions caused a great deal of the harm that came to their land. Seladon is equally repentant, but it’s Farah’s comment, that “your mother would be proud” that kicks the viewer in the gut. It’s marvelous. Farah’s mourning Fizzgig is just the last straw before the second eye tears up too!
As for the action, I had suspected SkekMal was still alive but when he comes back, he’s downright scary! “Does nothing stay dead anymore!” When the Archer realizes what is happening, he makes a noble sacrifice and throws himself from a tower. SkekMal, on the verge of killing Rian, sees through the eyes of his alternate self and dies for good… and Aughra reemerges! By this point, I was a wreck. Anxiety, coupled with excitement, and even an air-punch moment! All the hugs Aughra gets just made me smile!
But the scene that had me leaping from my seat was when Deet screamed and used her power to beat the Skeksis. Their deadliest weapon and Deet absorbed it. I think some of the Darkening crept into me, because I was on my feet before I knew what happened! But she does it. She saves the day; “the day the many become one.” And all of the clans of Gelfling drive the Skeksis back to their castle. That sounds like hope to me too! But then we see Rian looking for Deet and she’s wandering the woods, eyes cast in purple haze, and she twists the woods into a maddening spiral to prevent Rian from following her… it’s heart wrenching. I was devasted. So when the episode ended with several minutes to go, I was hoping for another glimpse at Deet, maybe finding something that would save her. But no, instead we get a teaser… the birth of the Garthim! Those creatures the fans will know from the 1982 movie are born at the end of this episode. I guess the best thing to do now is to go into the future, some 2000 years. Time to watch the movie… but that came out nearly 40 years ago. Oh, well… End. Begin. All the same… ML
The View from my Rainbow Connection
Hope is our theme!
So in “essence” here’s a run down.
Rian asks Deet on a date. She seems off put but it’s because she has the darkening in her. She is trying to protect him.
The Emperor gathers darkening into his staff. Chamberlain is a s**t to the Gruenaks. They are totally going to rebel eventually. Right?!
Rian, Brea, and Deet are reunited. Maudra Fara apologizes to Rian for not believing him in his time of need. He graciously accepts. They plan their attack while the Skeksis just roar like morons around the Crystal. I imagine the crystal has a mind and soul of its own and if it does it must not like the Skeksis much either.
SkekTek gets a mouth full of spider snot while trying to reanimate the Spitter. Then he sits in the throne like a drunk jerk.
Wait: what’s this? Neither The Hunter or The Archer are dead. Mother Aughra binds them to Thra through some mystical force.
Chamberlain sets up The General to fight Rian one on one rather than have The Emperor do it. Talk about a kiss ass. The General is stabbed by Rian and cast out (Rian spares his life) by his own. Oh and when Rian used the dual glaive on him it seemingly drained The General of essence.
The Gelfling have bombs and attack Skeksis like warriors. Maudra Fara is hit protecting Seladon (remember she is the new All-Maudra) and dies telling Seladon how proud her mother would have been of her. The only thing making this scene less sad is that The scroll keeper Skeksis was bitten by a fizzgig right in his ugly nose.
Back at the Castle of the Crystal the Gruenaks attack The Scientist but fail and are both killed. This can’t be good.
Chamberlain follows The Hunter in the woods and kills him for “taking his seat” all that time ago when the a Emperor allowed the General to sit by his side rather than Chamberlain. Yowzers. That’s one petty dude.
The Archer wakes. Just as The Hunter did. He knows Mother Aughra was right. The hunt must end. The Archer sacrifices himself to ultimately kill his dark half. Mother Aughra returns in their place.
All Gelfling comes and surround Skeksis. Skeksis must retreat! But wait! The Emperor uses the darkening he absorbed in his staff to hurt them. Deet, being the amazing gal she is, absorbs the darkening from the ground beneath her and uses it against them. The Collector is zapped and explodes. It’s awesome. The rest of the Skeksis retreat.
Rian rushes after Deet while everyone hugs. Even the Spitters.
Brea finds the lost shard of The Crystal of Truth in the dual glaive which was thrown to the ground during battle.
Now we hear Mother Aughra speak. It’s touching and beautiful. “The fallen are not truly gone. They have joined the son of Thra once more.”
Hup is back at The Circle of the Three Suns morning The Archer’s passing and come into possession of Lore’s “heart.” The many Gelfling become one. Such a nice ending.
Oh crap- The Scientist conjoined the dead Gruenaks and dead Arathim Spitter.
There better be a season 2… DG