It’s always a good idea to drink bottled water when you’re not sure where it came from. Too bad they don’t have that option on Mongo. On this week’s Flash Gordon, Flash races to find a cure, Dale looks for some payback, and we find out another surprise about Ming the Mundane’s family tree.
Team Flash has come to Mongo to find out what exactly happened to Joe to turn him a double agent. While walking through the Marketplace, they discuss giving Terek and the Deviates credit for supplying the lake water from last episode to all the cantons and how the good PR. A man overhears and starts to loudly speak of how the waters were poisoned and people are dying. Flash says Terek would never do that but the man doesn’t believe him and continues to rile up the crowd (Ming the Mild’s repeating holo-message blaming the Deviates doesn’t help matters either). And thus a mob is born. As the mob takes off in one direction, Flash tells Baylin, Dale, and Zarkov to continue on their mission while he goes to warn the Deviates. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Plot A and Plot B.
Mere moments after Flash arrives at the Deviate Settlement and tells Terek about the poisoned water, Turin leader Bulgar (guessing on the spelling) and his son appear and they’re not happy. Picture a tribe of people who growl and roar a lot and look like X-Men baddie Sabretooth, except with bumpier foreheads. Bulgar slashes Terek’s chest with a nasty looking knife and Flash yells that Terek didn’t release the water, that it was him. To remedy the situation, Flash volunteers to find a cure. Suspicious, Bulgar tells Flash to drink some of the bad water to ensure he will return. When Flash asks what would happen if he refused, Bulgar quickly cuts the throat of a nearby Deviate. How rude. So Flash takes more than a big swig and leaves. He visits Vestra of the Omadrian to get a cure and Aura is already there. She’d come for a cure as well, both to save lives and to exonerate her brother (though she neglects to mention that Terek is her brother, as Flash neglects to mention he’s consumed tainted water). Vestra analyzes the water and the bad news is that she can’t make an antidote, only the person who made the poison can. The other bad news is that person is Asmaleen, an Omadrian who left the tribe long ago and has become a mercenary of sorts – potions for pay. And her payments aren’t simple or reasonable. But Flash will go anyway, as he doesn’t wish anymore innocents to die, and Aura eventually convinces him to let her tag along.
When they finally make their way to Asmaleen’s hidden stronghold, the price for her antidote is the fruit that grows in the roots of a man-eating plant that attacked Flash earlier and shredded his jacket. Aura offers other things in exchange but Asmaleen wants that fruit and, noticing the tell-tale darkened veins on his arms, wagers that Flash will be more than happy to get them to cure his own ailment. Aura tells Flash he shouldn’t try because physical exertion only speeds up the process, but Flash will not be detered. He asks how much fruit she needs and Asmaleen points to a basket and small axe, either to use against the plant’s vines or to cut off his own limb if he gets caught. Flash and Aura return to the man-eating plant and Flash strips down to his tank top and boxers, oiling himself up with a salve to prevent the vines from being able to grab him. A little something for the ladies and some of the fellas. It’s a strange plan but it works and he makes it to the roots of the plant, inconvienently located near its toothy, unattractive head. Things are going well as Flash digs into the ground and is able to find a few pieces of fruit while the vines ineffectively grab at him. The only problem is the poison has progressed enough that Flash is starting to go blind and the salve is wearing off. He gets nabbed by a vine and is being drawn towards the plant’s mouth until Aura oils herself up and rescues him, axing the plant in the head and severely maiming if not killing it.
They return to Asmaleen’s cave, Aura assisting Flash as he’s near death, and she gives them the antidote. It’s powerful so all they need are a few grains and it almost instantly cures him. As he recovers, Aura notes that the two rare snakes and their stands are very similar to ones her father had but Asmaleen only comments that her clients value their privacy. But when Aura further states Ming the Mercilessly Dull used the poison to contaminate the water in the resevoir, Asmaleen doesn’t not reacte favorably and grandly states that she is not one to be used before disappearing in a flash of light. On their way out, Flash thanks Aura for saving his life and their realtionship is once again on the make-out track which I’m sure she’s happy about.
Back at the Deviate Settlement, Bulgar’s son is at death’s door. Bulgar does not react well to this and is just about to kill Terek (Vestra stalls him – I’ll get into that shortly) when Flash and Aura arrive with the antidote. They give some to his son and Flash gives Vestra the rest of the antidote to distribute. And yet another canton of Mongo views Flash as an ally and friend.
Dale, Baylin and Zarkov go to the tea house and meet an informent who let’s them know that Lenu, aka Science Chick, is the one who turned freshly dead Joe into a sleeper agent. They plant a rumor that a madman is raving about Earth in the tea house and sucessfully lure Lenu there, as she doens’t know that Joe has ceased to be. Knocking her out with some wacky smoke from a hoka type inhalent system, they carry Lenu into some tunnels where no one can hear her screams. Baylin and Dale tie her up while Zarkov looks for this particular plant, but he brings back the wrong one. Dale is waving Baylin’s knife around close to Lenu’s head so Baylin decides she should come with her to find the correct barbed plant, leaving Zarkov to guard Lenu. She comes to and, instead of zapping her back to the land of unconcsiousness, Zarkov asks her if Dr. Gordon is still alive since he doesn’t see how Rankol could’ve figured out how to modifiy the rift generator without him. Lenu says that he is still alive and she will lead Zarkov to him if she is released. He agrees and begins to untie her, spouting a theory as to how rifts work. When she says it’s just as Dr. G explained it, Zarkov calls her out. He was just making that stuff up and was only pretending to loosen the ropes. So suck on that, Science Chick.
Baylin and Dale return and it’s time to start the grand experiment – what Zarkov refers to as "evil acupuncture." Baylin puts the needles from this one plant in various places around Lenu’s face and neck, a method that induces relaxation, honesty and hallucinations. Appearing as Ming the Mundane, Baylin questions her and they find out how she stuffed the chip into Joe’s brain and he helped steal the Imex. Dale then steps in and asks if Lenu had ordered Joe to pretend to be in love with her, the answer to which is no. Baylin then asks if she should kill Lenu or leave her in a hallucingenic state. Less bloodthirsty after hearing Joe wasn’t faking their relationship for the past few weeks, Dale has a better idea. Cut to Flash reuniting with the trio in the marketplace and a holo-message appearing to all the cantons. It’s Lenu and she announces that Ming the Murderously Bland was the one who poisoned the water and framed the Deviates for it. Back at the palace, Ming the Petulent is not very happy and orders Lenu to be questioned and "dealt with" before vowing to Aura to hunt down and eliminate all conspires in his midst and dealing with them, no matter who they are.
Other Highlights and Tidbits:
- As all this is going on, Vestra keeps refering to Aura as the future heir and such, commending her on her understanding and compassion. When Aura explains why she favors the Deviates and describes what Terek looks like, Vestra gets an odd look on her face and agrees to go look after him while Flash and Aura search for a cure. When she gets to the Deviate Settlement, she first tends to Bulgar’s son and then to Terek. It’s now that we discover that…Vestra is his mother. That’s right. She used to be shacked up with The Bland One. She didn’t know that Terek had survived after Ming ordered him to be purged. Happy, Terek wishes to let Aura know but he can’t because Ming the Jerkface made her take a blood oath – but not a normal one. If Vestra ever told Aura, Aura would die. Which is pretty messed up. But this explains why Vestra is always helping her and giving her advice.
- I really, really like Terek. I said it a little while ago but I really must commend Craig Stanghetta on his portrayal. He tilts his head in a way that his "deviation" is always being shown, a great choice considering the character that he’s portraying.
- The "Terek as Prophecy Guy" theory is still pretty strong but I get the feeling that there are two different prophecies at work here. One about Flash as being the savior or catalyst to change and one about Terek being the eventual new ruler. Or maybe not. We’ll see.
Quote of the Week:
"Look at you…you’re all…feminine and stuff." – Flash trying to explain to Aura why she can’t come with him to find Asmaleen