Originally posted on 7-7-15 at Lexxperience.com.
I normally grab awesome pix from Angelbacchae's screen captures or her newer site The Pic Bug, but it looks like she's currently transitioning some of her Lexx, so I'm grabbing my own pix again, which are hosted at LexxPix.
Girltown is a conundrum, so I'm going to start immediately with a disclaimer. I'll try to stick to Giggy, but to understand her character this season, we need to look at where she is and why.
Since Girltown is on the planet Fire (basically, hell) and the only thing the inhabitants seem to be trapped there for at first glance is being alt-sexual, most reviewers simply say homosexual, and some especially plead the case that Girltown is the only city on Fire where some of the inhabitants didn't deserve to be in hell. I agree with this first glance.
However, since we really don't know what their previous lives were like (human trafficking, sex slavery, prostitution, blackmail, drug pushing, snitching and spying, keeping their mouths shut instead of diverting the crimes of others, and yes, actual murder by OD or other means to solve a problem- all the fun 'party' stuff that more innocent viewers don't know go on in the underground, plus we must remember that many of them don't remember their past, so pleading innocence on Fire is moot) and completely glosses over bisexuals, transsexuals, asexuals, and the myriad of other orientations out there (pedophiles would be especially tormented on Fire, since it lacks children), I'd rather not lump it into a simple "gays go to hell" debate. For instance, Mantrid's servant is an interesting study I look forward to doing. He seems to be like Bunny, 'innocent', but will do anything for his obsessive love and devotion to the most evil man in the two universes. Anyway, Lexx has been known to be gay-friendly throughout the series, so we can't stop at shallow here.
I think the roots of their being there go deeper than simple sexuality issues, including bondage for slave labor (of which S&M is a necessary duality, a kind of understood partnership), which I'll deal with later when I do a review on the Girltown episode (season 3, episode 11). I'll also immediately point out that group sex is a big thing on Boomtown, and no one questions that on Water (basically, heaven), so let's knock the homosexual thing out of the way right off the bat. And with that, I give to nod to a Lexxplorations reviewer, who spent a considerable amount of time on many Lexx quotes and Lexxellent critical thinking. I think I know what the deal is behind that lengthy puzzle. And having said that, now I'll say I agree that some mistakes are made, as Prince pointed out, and perhaps some of the girls' souls were dragged there by their handlers from a past life, because handlers own their slaves. Some viewers/readers may not be familiar with trafficking vernacular.
Ok, back to Giggy.
Right before we we see Giggerota again, we see a gloved hand adjust a setting by turning a wheel.
Then we pan down to a fire underneath what looks like a really big cauldron. Since we're already on Fire, where everyone is so miserable with the heat, it's odd that we're actually seeing a deliberately controlled fire.
We know this face. And we can tell she likes the fire.
Turns out Giggerota is Queen of Girltown, only we find out in a little bit that she doesn't remember having been Giggerota at all (which raises the question of why she's not in the Tunnels with the rest of the serial murderers, but I'll get there in a minute). Hell apparently isn't hot enough for her, so her throne is a hot tub. Nearly boiling hot, in fact.
The first and biggest question that comes to my own mind is Why a queen? Why her?
At first it seems like she's being coddled, and her voice starts off soft, which is the sort of scene we might have expected on Water for someone who's led a good and decent life, but that changes real quick when she sees Stanley, who's been captured and jailed. Queen thinks Stanley is a girl, a derogatory term which has weirdly lost its original meaning, as the 'girls' of Girltown are lower-classed slave labor that also happen to all be men.
And then we are utterly creeped out when Queen finds out Stanley has never died before...
It doesn't take long to notice Queen oversees every minute detail in a society that segregates itself into girls and boys, a subset of Shes (plural of she) versus the Non-Shes that live outside of Girltown.
Queen sits in judgement at the top of a bedchamber in which Rivet sits holding a gavel attached to a torture device around her arm, supervising the points of order while Queen directs the council speakers.
Queen calls "Quorum!" and then says "Begin!" with a wink, a gesture that carries significance within a certain power group. I'm not sure the Beans were insinuating or intending anything of the sort here, but it makes sense if they did, since it would mean Queen is the one elite power on Fire.
Queen is seen by the council only through the screen.
By the way, Wrench is misspelled on imdb
to Wench. Socket disputing Wrench's amendment doesn't make sense if the name is misspelled, which changes the meaning. Wrench throws a wrench into the proceedings, get it? And all the 'boys' have tool names. Getting the puns are key to understanding why these people and their pettiness are in hell. I mean, on Fire. #facepalm
(Also, I like to think that Lewis would have enjoyed this episode after all the work he put into The Prilgrim's Regress
The whole argument in court boils down to Stanley not being a girl because even though he looks like one, he doesn't behave like nor is dressed like one (like the transgendered slaves), and since it's obvious he's not a boy (like the transgendered council members), he must be a Non-She, which the council finds quite shocking. They have no other word for men. All men outside of Girltown are called Non-Shes and considered very dangerous. Queen wants them to get to the point. Giggerota was always a person of few very to the point words.
The question of whether Stanley might be Prince in disguise comes up, or that his sudden appearance in Girltown might be a plot by Duke to gain a foothold for power. Since Queen has already interrogated Stanley and knows he is a "first timer", she stays patient through the debate over which of three motions should be voted on for the highest punishment, which is death, and then makes her own motion to claim Stanley's body, which is immediately carried and voted yes without question.
I'm about to make some really big observations about the overall power structure on Fire. Prince fans may not like what I'm about to conclude. It's a line of psych-analytical reasoning that I am first to admit could be entirely wrong, but it actually works for so many questions that pop up with fans. I'll be gentle, but it's still going to feel like I'm ripping off a bandaid, ok? Let's think it through.
One can gather from the council discussion that the alt-sexed who wake up in Girltown are all familiar with the way sex is used to create a power structure, and where their places are in that structure. On Water, all sexes are equal and equally enjoyed. The question of innocence and not belonging on Fire might have nothing at all to do with being gay or otherwise alt-sexed, but how one behaves with it toward those who are different from themselves. Intolerance is obviously prevalent throughout Girltown, and even the 'girls' who proclaimed innocence didn't blink at killing a couple of 'boys' instead of simply overpowering and binding them up as slaves themselves (turn about is fair play, right), so they are, in fact, murderers and showed no remorse over doing it. Anyone different from oneself is of no consequence. I believe that is at the root of them winding up on Fire. Sexuality and orientation itself is not the issue. Plus, we must remember that the murdered boys will simply wake up again and go back to their original jobs, so that didn't really solve or change anything.
We could have all kinds of fun tying Giggerota's past rebellion against the stifling Divine Order, which tried to force pair her for its own agenda, to her current overseeing of a gender bent culture that turns sadomasochism into an all new Order. If His Divine Shadow is the male symbol of hell in the Light Universe, Queen is the female symbol on Fire. Neither one has a mate, and each is one of a kind. His Shadow is, in actual essence (Insect Essence), part of a non-human hive mind and actually sexless as far as we know (not counting his host), and Fire seems to be an exclusively human afterlife. (Note that Xev, being part Cluster Lizard, was able to outlive, outmanueuver, and outthink Prince on Fire.) So by default, Queen is a sole monarchy, virtually equivalent to His Shadow being a sole overlord or god of sorts. Queen is what happens when bioviziers strip Giggerota's soul out of her genetically restructured brain and body. The other serial murderers in the Tunnels with the worst of the worst on Fire were, simply put, natural murderers. Giggerota was created to murder, and even His Shadow had to 'put her down' when she got out of hand. She is the Queen of murderers, if you will, created by the second biggest murderer in the Light Universe (His Shadow pales to Mantrid, who, incidentally, wound up in the Tunnels), and she, too, is now sexless and bodiless, just like His Divine Shadow.
When Stanley says he's willing to do anything Queen wants and that he can make her happy, Queen replies, "Queen can never be happy. Life is difficult for Queen. Prince rules this planet. Duke wants to rule it. And will Queen ever get a chance? No. Because Queen is stuck here in this cesspool. And all we can do in Girltown is make balloons." And she goes on about how awful it is doing nothing but holding meetings and making balloons. She feels like she's missing all the action while everyone else on Fire attacks Water or each other while she stagnates. Her personal hell? "There's no body for Queen." Pretty awesome retribution for someone who feasted on other people's bodies. Queen would actually be happy in hell if she weren't stuck in a cauldron.
So, she sees herself as the bottom of the power structure, instead of embracing Girltown as the cornerstone of a power structure. Jealous of Prince and Duke being able to stride around fighting each other and waging war on Water, Queen thinks she simply can't advance until she is free of her cauldron, little realizing that neither Prince nor Duke can win anything without winning Girltown first.
Queen obviously trumps Prince as a baddie, and even being stuck in her cauldron holds a few cards over him. Prince doesn't seem, from our point of view, to mess around that much with Girltown, although we can tell from the council discussion that he has clearly tried in the past. The Prince of Fire, being a persona that one could argue represents the son of perdition, could also be reasonably argued to be next in line for the crown, except that on Fire, there is no succession since this is Death. Prince often talks of escaping Fire, even though he seems to be the most powerful person there, except for Girltown. Why? Is he really trying to get away from his mother? (Metaphorically.) (Slipped a little Freud in there, which I'm sure he'd find amusingly charming. Forgive me, I'm having fun Freuding up Dantean Lexx.)
Aristocracy is a funny thing. It's stifling for the kids who are anxious for some real action of their own, while the adults sit around minding the store, which pretty much runs itself since everything is already set into place. It was mentioned during the council meeting that Duke was more capable of sending spies to sabotage Girltown than Prince was, and they all seemed aware that banishing Prince by death couldn't stop him showing up in disguise again, so we know they've had experience with both Duke and Prince. We can look at Duke and Prince as rivaling cousins trying to capture Girltown before the other does. Capturing Girltown is the key to changing the ultimate power structure on Fire before the Lexx arrives, and I'll show you why.
Queen's Girltown runs the balloon industry, providing transportation for the entire planet, giving Girltown a pretty sweet spot in the hierarchy of ownership. Girltown houses a smoothly operating slave labor of 'girls' (hence the name Girltown), a voraciously mean army of young leather-clad 'boys', and a judicial system of hardened and utterly unmerciful older 'boys'. Does this tightly controlled power structure remind anyone of the Cluster? By comparison, the other cities on Fire don't seem nearly as resourceful and organized. Since this is so very unlike Giggerota, who was hellbent (get it?) on creating chaos and tearing down Order, I think it's important to ask why such a leap has happened with her character.
I think Queen is the new Shadow, a remnant from the Cluster. Giggerota the cannibal and the Giga Shadow were both insatiable in their lust for eating humans. Also remember, I said in Part One that I think she was unkillable until the Super Nova took her out, and now I think that is why Prince needs the Lexx. Follow me here, let's think about this. Check out this foreshadowing from the Lexx wikia wiki- "Giggerota however is left on a retracting power pillar on Brunnis and wildly screams at the Brunnis Sun and Star demanding a show, resulting in the two merging and going supernova, destroying the planet and incinerating her." Um, Fire and Water, guys? Locked in orbit together like Brunnis Sun and Blue Star...
By the way, Doily didn't kill Queen, he just turned the heat up on her. Probably another pun, but remember we didn't see her die. I think this was very brazen of Doily after that big speech he gave Kai about we're not like that, we're not like the others, we don't belong here, we wouldn't hurt anybody. Doily uses his sexuality as a cover, hiding behind indignant whining about his frailty when he's actually quite capable of stepping up without an eyeblink. I think the word for Doily is 'experienced', not 'innocent'. He understands the S&M power structure quite well and knows how to manipulate it.
Ok, back to why Queen trumps Prince. First please note that Queen owns more water than Prince does, and instead of using it to cool off, she uses it to make things hotter. Prince wants to upset the balance. We think he means by taking over Water, and yes, of course he does, but I think he also means not needing Girltown. The Lexx is his dream come true in that regard, since Lexx obviously trumps balloons and everything else Fire has to offer. I almost get a visual of an impatient prince doing figure 8s with a Lamborghini on the palace lawns. Lexx does figure 8s around Fire and Water. Why am I making a big deal of this? Because we never see Prince either confront or use Queen or her minions in his plans, nor rescue any of the Lexx crew from her for his new plans. If Queen had managed to kill Stanley before Prince did, she would have not only owned his body and soul, but by default would have become captain of the Lexx, which we know Prince would have been wildly against happening. The fact that Prince didn't show up and rescue Stanley, like he did in Tunnels, shows me that he is powerless over Queen.
Those of you who just went into shock, my apologies, but it does explain some weird incongruities. Lexx is the kind of show that doesn't stop and explain things in conference rooms like some other scifi shows do. Lexx expects you to hit the ground running and try to keep up.
So who came first, Queen or Prince? I think, like the Time Prophet, Fire and Water lie outside normal time. I don't think there was a beginning as we would understand it, I don't think time there is linear and relative to our time, and I think they sprung into existence, as the above linked reviewer has postulated, for the Lexx crew, possibly even from Giggerota's death. Another idea is when the Lexx freed Mantrid to destroy the Light Universe, I make a case that the Lexx tipped the balance and broke the cycles of time, which we could now conceivably argue may have created a backlash bubble that trapped all the souls lost when the Light Universe collapsed. But I severely digress.
But how can Queen be the metaphorical mother of Prince, you ask. Simple authority. Queen is unbendable, immovable, the worst of the worst of the worst. Prince cannot win his conquest for ultimate overlord while Queen rules. Once again, worlds must literally blow up to get her out of the way.
Go back to part two.
Go on to part four.