Tonight’s Flash Gordon returns to its "Villain of the Week" flavor. Surprisingly, it was a pretty enjoyable episode.
So Joe, suspended from the force for being delusional, is following Flash, Dale and Baylin around trying to get proof of Mongo’s existence. He’s become a big pain in the butt. So much so that he steals a rift blaster from Zarkov and punches his lights out. That move was made a tiny bit less douchey because he took Zarkov’s glasses off first. Now Joe is off to get evidence he so stupidly desires. My only question at this point is whether his death will be swift and painless or not.
At the palace, a new scientist chick is experimenting on a dude strapped down to a table with all sorts of glowing doodads sticking out of his head and chest and connecting to the table. He’s screaming and Scientist Chick (I couldn’t quite catch her name) tells him to be patient. Rankol comes in and asks what’s going on and Ming the Humdrum tells him that he’s tired of waiting for Rankol to perfect this particular experiment. She’s implanting something in his head and the subject needs to be awake for it.
Joe arrives in the woods and makes his way towards Nascent City, taking pictures along the way. When he a appeared, a freaky old lady with long multi-colored dreads sees him and starts talking to the jar she’s carrying, disappointedly saying it’s only a man.
Back at Zarkov’s lab, Flash, Baylin and Dale find him duct taped to the wall. None of them are happy, especially since on top of everything Joe decked Zarkov. Now they have to go after him not only because he’ll probably get killed but if Rankol finds the rift blaster, he’ll know that he can travel to earth anytime he wants and that would be very bad. A small bit of karma is doled out as Joe, who stowed away on someone’s cart to get to the trading market, gets mugged by some random dude. Worst. Cop. Ever.
Flash and company (including Zarkov) arrive in the same place Joe did and Baylin proceeds to track him, the trail going cold where he jumped on the cart. Dale suggests they split up, which Baylin doesn’t agree with but Dale says she can take care of herself and goes off on her own. Baylin and Zarkov go another direction as does Flash. He sees a bridge and find a pretty young lady playing a lyre on a bridge. he asks what she’s doing and she’s says that she’s playing for her sister’s children who are asleep. Flash asks if she’s seen Joe – she hasn’t. He then excuses himself, adding that he doesn’t want to wake the kids…and she replies, "No. You wouldn’t." That’s not creepy at all. And yes, that was sarcasm.
Dale, of course, runs into the freaky old jar lady who asks Dale to help her open the it. Would you trust anyone on Mongo that you’ve never met and has no known affiliation enough to open a container for them? I certainly wouldn’t but Dale does and promptly gets her body snatched by a yellow light. The freaky old jar lady’s name is Renda and she’s been searching a long time for a suitable body for her mistress, who is quite happy with Dale. She asks in a Stargate-possessed kind of voice if she’s prettier than her sister, which Renda says is true by far. They take off walking and Mistress Dale asks if the artifacts have been acquired. Naturally they haven’t but she says that her "legs feel strong" so it shouldn’t be an issue.
Meanwhile, Joe tracks down the mugger at the Tea House and they get in a fight as he attempts to recover his property. They get kicked out of the bar and fight some more until the mugger runs away and Joe gets captured by Ming the Mundane’s Cobra Troopers. Ming the Mercilessly Dull is looking at the photos in Joe’s digital camera as he’s brought in in shackles. Some of those pictures are of Flash and the crew. When Joe vehemently denies any affection towards Flash, Ming the Mild has the Cobra Troopers drag him away to be experimented on.
Flash shows up and Mistress Dale pushes Renda away telling her to take the vessel and wait outside the village. Mistress Dale is happy to see him as Flash is such a strapping young man. She feels him up a bit and they start heading towards the City as Baylin and Zarkov show up, saying that Joe’s trail leads there. They have to sneak through the sewers to get to the trading market. Once they get there, Baylin says she’s going to the Tea House to get information and Mistress Dale (who was the first one to steal clothes to change into) says that they should go do that while she and Flash go run an errand. During this whole conversation, she’s watching Flash change with an interest that usually involves dollar bills. They’ve all noticed that Dale’s been acting strange so when she storms off, Flash follows. She feels him up so more on the way to buy a special knife from a weapon’s broker. When Flash says she should give him the knife, Mistress Dale cuts his hand and licks off the blood, proclaiming herself "truly alive" now that she’s tasted the blood of the innocent. This is when Flash figures out that this is not really Dale. Gee, you think?
Continuing they’re walk, Flash finally gets her to fess up to who she really is. Her name is Helia and she promises that she will free Dale if Flash helps her free her children. He agrees and helps her sneak into the palace to steal something out of Ming the Mild’s relic room. She throws and energy ball at the guard to knock him out which surprises Flash. Once inside the room, she throws another ball at the case carrying what she’s after – it’s another soul-sucking jar. Helia tells Flash that now she can free her children and kill her sister. Once her sister and the music she incessantly plays is dead, she’ll switch bodies. Flash, at this point, puts two and two together and figures out that he may be helping the wrong side. But it’s too late and Helia knocks him out with an energy ball and escapes.
Back at the Tea House, Baylin and Zarkov walk in. Because it would be bad for her to be seen with him, she makes Zarkov wait at the bar and instructs him not to drink anything or talk to anyone. While she finds out about Joe and buys weapons, Zarkov is bought a bluish-green drink by a woman at the other side of the bar. He doesn’t want to drink it but the bartender says it’d be rude not to. So he does…and immediately gets messed up from it. He looks over at the flirty girl and waves, she smiles in return revealing teeth the color of mossy tree bark. Now we know why she gets dudes high. When Baylin comes to collect him, she discovers what he’s drank and is exasperated, dragging him outside.
Meeting up with Flash, they both tell each other what’s been going on. Baylin goes off to rescue Joe as Flash and Kite-High Zarkov goes to help Dale.
Joe is tied down to the table and he tells Scientist Chick that he won’t say anything despite being tortured. Shortly thereafter, Baylin comes crashing through the window, landing in her best Lara Croft: Tomb Raider pose. As a moment of digression, if they do another Tomb Raider move and Angelina Jolie doesn’t want to do it, they could totally use Karen Cliche…provided she can do an English accent. Anyway, she rescues Joe, knocks Scientist Chick out and leaves her tied to the table. When Rankol glides into the room and finds her strapped down, he ignores her request for help seeing as she likes to work alone.
Back at the bridge, Helia approaches and hands Renda the second jar to hold while she and her sister do battle. They hurl energy balls at each other while ducking, dodging and blocking them with their respective magical objects (lyre and knife). Zarkov and Flash arrive and Flash directs Zarkov to get Dale’s jar back from Renda as he tries to stop the fight. He gets hit by a energy ball while Zarkov and Renda wrestle each other a bit and end up exchanging blows. This was truly the highlight of the night. Zarkov finally gets the jar away from her but it’s the wrong one and Renda throws Dale’s jar into the middle of the bog. Flash starts wading through the waist-deep gunk to rescue it. During all this, the sister has stopped playing her music and now Helia’s children are stirring…and they happen to be emerging from the bog. Flash gets dragged under and the lyre is knocked out of the sister’s hand. Zarkov saves the day by picking up the lyre and strumming it, calming the children and distracting Helia long enough for her sister to knock her out with an energy ball.
She tells Flash that the only way to save Dale is to plunge a dagger into her heart. He can’t do it and Helia ends up regaining consciousness. She grabs the knife and begins to make her way to her sister. Flash tries to stop her which trips her up and Helia ends up stabbing herself in the heart. I totally hate it when that happens. The sister captures Helia’s soul in the empty jar and throws it into the middle of the bog, where it sinks. She then concentrates and heals Dale, taking the other jar and returning her spirit to her body. Dale wakes up not knowing what’s going on but every one is happy.
Everyone meets back at the rift site and Joe apologizes for his douchey behavior, finally agreeing with everyone that Mongo should stay a secret. Everything worked out all right for everyone, even Ming the Mild who implanted a chip in Joe’s brain without anyone knowing it.
Other Highlights & Tidbits:
- I’m unclear on what happened to the other rift blaster. Did the Cobra Troopers get it? Did Joe not pick it up from the table before getting in the fight with the mugger? I guess we’ll find out next week.
- Speaking of Joe, the chances of him living through the finale improbably got lower than they already were. I wasn’t aware you could have a -10% chance at anything.
- The Scientist Chick clearly has ulterior motives. Hopefully she’ll be responsible for the disfiguring accident that will lead to Ming the Mundane being recast.
- I’d be remiss if I didn’t compliment the core cast of heroes for their excellent acting jobs tonight. While taking a long time to realize Dale wasn’t Dale, Eric Johnson managed to play it so I only got frustrated at Flash not picking up at the obvious about 3 minutes before he figured it out. But the real kudos go to Gina Holden for playing the amorous evil sorceress appropriately big and Jody Racicot for playing stoned in an amusing yet not irritating manner.
Quotes of the Night:
They were almost all from Balyin…
- "We share that hope together." – Baylin after Zarkov says he hopes his pants stay up
- "Smell me again and I will break you." – Baylin to Zarkov after he gets high
- "Interesting. I have not known her to have balls before." – Baylin after seeing Mistress Dale/Helia throw and energy ball at Zarkov
Exchange of the Night:
Flash – "She got body-jacked by a sexually frustrated sorceress."
Zarkov – "Oh, I hate it when that happens."