Flash Gordon vs. baby killing

Ericjohnson3_flashgordon_240 After quite the break,  Flash Gordon returns and manages to bring a little plot-advancement thunder with him. When we last left our favorite Rift-Trippers, Flash, Baylin, Zarkov and Dale followed Joe to Mongo after he stole a Blaster to get photographic evidence of its existance in hopes to get reinstated at work. While there, Dale got body-jacked by an evil sorceress and Joe lost the Rift Blaster. Oh...and Ming the Mercilessly Dull's new science chick implanted his brain with some tiny but sinister device. Joe is the worst cop ever.

Spoilers below.

As Ming the Opposite of Flavor passes out punishments and judgements upon his downtrodden people, Zarkov, Flash and Baylin return to Mongo to retrieve the Blaster Joe the Moron left behind. Ming the Humdrum sentences a baby with a 1% trace of Deviate in his DNA to death despite no outward signs of malformities as the mother pleads for the tyke's life. Her pleading naturally is to no avail, Ming stating that he must follow "The Code." After the mother is dragged out and the baby taken away, Ming the Mercilessly Lame tells Rankol to kill the parents too, just in case.

Shortly after, Flash and the crew arrive on Mongo and pop up in the middle of Nacent City near the Marketplace. Suddenly, a man carrying a baby comes streaking through being chased by Cobra Troopers, I mean Patriot Soldiers. The Man ducks around the same corner as our protagonists and shoves the baby into Flash's arms, much to his dismay - and to Baylin's as she notes it is marked for death. But too late because homie dude has already taken off again, whistling so the guards follow. They do. And they kill him. When they fan out to find the baby, it starts to cry and leads some troopers right to Flash and Co. Using Zarkov as a distration only worked for so long, but Flash and Baylin knock out the two guards and escape into the closed Tea House thanks to the Owner. After Baylin explains the situation, he says he's going to go get someone who can help and returns...with the genticist who identifies Deviates in the populace. She's actually a Deviate sympathizer and is working on the inside, saving as many people as she can but doing what she must. Not entirely trusting her, Flash says he will escort her and the baby to their settlement while Baylin and Zarkov complete their actual mission.

Their search leads to Rankol's lab. They recover the Rift Blaster but, unfortunatly, they are captured before they can escape and sent to the dungeons. Rankol informs Ming the Blandly Evil that Baylin has been captured, and alludes to Zarkov but doesn't mention him by name, and Ming predictably orders their execution to brighten his day. Meanwhile, Flash and the geneticist arrives at the settlement. Initially greeted with hosility, Flash is a little nervous until Terek, the Deviates leader, tells everyone not to be rude. He greets the geneticist and Flash introduces himself before handing over the baby. After some speechifying. Flash tells Terek that he agrees that the Deviates shouldn't be treated so poorly and offers to help their case by setting up a meeting with Aura. Cut to Aura wrapping up a PSA with 2 kids about protecting children from contaimination. Once finished, she snarls at the boy-child to get off her foot and walks away from them. Enter Flash, disguised as a cook, with a tray of snacky cakes to distract the children and the director. He tells Aura that someone would like to meet with her and, after a while, agrees as she no longer wants to be near the children. Too bad the meeting was really a trap as a few Deviate soliders ambush them in the tunnels, knocking them out with some sort of gas.

Flash, understanbely, is cheesed off about this. Especially when Terek reveals his true plan back at the settlement. He's going to send his demands and if they aren't honored, Aura will die. Seperated, Terek goes to talk to Aura to help her understand the situation and recognizes that she is just as angry at Ming as they are. He appeals to her sense of revenge to convince her to help him, flirting a bit along the way. When Ming the Mundane receives the ransom hologram, he doesn't even finish listening to it, much to Rankol's surprise. He will not negotiate with terrorists and will let Aura die so as not to appear weak.

But Ming is only 99.3% heartless, so he visits Baylin in her cell and says she will be set free and Zarkov will not be killed if she can return Aura to the palace safely. She takes the deal and sneaks her way into the settlement as Flash, tied up in a separate room, bellows to Aura repeatedly to see if she's okay. And she is. She's sharing a meal with Terek...and they're flirting has become mutual and more overt. He tells her his demands - official canton status. There's an old lady in the room with them, pouring drinks and giving Aura the eye. Aura is not at all appreciative of this and asks who she is and why she keeps staring. Her name is Ludi (not to be confused with Ludo, cuddly powerhouse from Labyrinth) and Terek explains that she is a little protective since she was like a mother to him, caring for him when he was cast out. Ludi proceeds to try and get Terek to leave or bring Flash into the room, but both are fine with being alone together.

Ludi quickly visits Flash and asks him for help, telling him that Aura and Terek may be falling for each other and it mustn't be. Flash is dismissive but Ludi insists as there are secrets even Terek doesn't know. Back in the room, Aura and Terek talk more and relate and are about to kiss...when Flash bursts in telling them to stop. Have you guessed why yet? Well, if you guessed it's because they're brother and sister then you guessed right.

Terek calls in the guards and Baylin pops up in the room like magic and helps Flash dispatch of the guards, stunning Terek unconscious as they escape. On the walk back to the palace, Aura is still having trouble accepting the whole sibling thing. Flash explains that Ludi was there when they were born and when, after seeing Terek's deformity, Ming the Oddly Bland Murderer of Babies ordered him purged. Not being able to go through with it, Ludi fled with Terek and raised him.

Returning to the palace, Aura speaks with Ming and apologizes for putting him in such an awkward position. The Mundane One is taken aback by how well she's taking this...until Aura's tone turns a bit as she somewhat sarcasticly says she can't imagine how hard it would be for a parent to live with the thought of sacrificing their own flesh and blood. Ming says he's made both political and personal sacrifices and doesn't expect her to understand. But Aura says she does, that she understands him better than ever before walking out.

She goes to the prison cells and releases Zarkov, giving him back one of the modified Rift Blasters and stating that he'll owe her one. He finds Flash and Baylin around the corner and they leave. Shortly afterward, outside the palace walls, Aura meets up with Terek. She brings her memory stone to prove they are realated and sure enough, it glows. She assures him that she's doing everything she can to help them and has already begun to campaign for the Deviates. No sooner said, a fleet of ships pass by overhead towards the settlement. Terek takes off towards home leaving Aura with one statement, "The only thing that can change Ming is death." As the ships bomb the settlement we're left with what's supposed to be an ominous shot of Ming the Mild.

Other Highlights & Tidbits:

  • Meeting with Rankol and The Science Wench Who's Name I Still Don't Know, Ming's trying to figure out how Flash is able to keep coming to Mongo without Rankol generating the rifts. The Science Wench suggests they activate Joe's implant to find out. The implant has essentially turned Joe into a sleeper agent, carrying out orders without any knowledge of doing so. Science Wench comes to Earth and activates the chip as Dale and Joe are about to kiss. Stating he needs to go for a walk and get some fresh air, Joe ends up meeting up with SW in a park. Initially angry and confused, SW uses the control to up his seratonine levels to make him more pliable. Joe doesn't really give her any useful info so Rankol directs her to search Zarkov's lab for the Imex (which he's deduced they have based on the modified Rift Blaster). That way he can finish his work and SW can gain favor with Ming the Mundane without sabatoging his experiments. Joe helps SW toss the lab and they find the Imex, SW delivering it the Rankol. Which is the opposite of being good.
  • The brother revelation was pretty good. At first I thought that Ludi was going to end up being her mother but that would've been entirely too easy. My sister brought up an interesting point - if this prophecy is all about a son who will overthrow Ming, couldn't this prophecy actually be about Terek? It's all too vague at this point, but it's a very interesting possibility.
  • Speaking of Terek, kudos to Craig Stanghetta for his portrayal. He hasn't been in much before this, but he should get a lot of work after. He brought a fire, a charisma to the character that was much appreciated. A little over the top sometimes? Maybe. But that just means he gets it.   
  • Big-ups to the brief yet entertaining PSA scene. Hilarious. But not as funny as Zarkov acting like a baby to cover for the actual baby crying.
  • So the big question is who gets to off Detective Dunce aka Joe? Flash or Dale is my current thought but, because he's the biggest obstacle to them being together, he'll probably survive. Boo.

Quotes of the Night:

  • "Oh, no...they will. Everyone likes Flash." Zarkov to the geneticist after she said the Deviates wouldn't like Flash
  • "You're a good man, Flash Gordon. You may save every one of us." - Terek after Flash says he can get them a meeting with Aura

Next Week: Ming steals Earth's water, Flash and the crew find out Joe's a sleeper agent, and I'm pretty much hoping they kill him off. Because he's stupid and deserves it.

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