'Flash Gordon' vs. frosty britches
With just two episodes left, Flash Gordon has really upped its game. The last two episodes should be pretty darn interesting, but first...
After solving last week's problem of tainted water and brain-washing Lennu the Science Chick into broadcasting that it's Ming the Pissy's fault, Ming is in one of his moods again. He complains to Aura about all the unrest in the cantons after Terek stole his water but she says he's just mad because everyone found out his dirty deed. Citing the unrest in the streets and being the sunshiny person he is, he tells Aura that if they do come for him, they'll come for her too. She just walks away because he's being an ass.
Still on Mongo, Team Flash decides what they're next move will be. The need to make sure Ming the Mundane can't get to Earth but they can't destroy the rift generator without causing another ecological disaster. Hope about taking out Ming instead? Flash goes to see the Dolan of the Celetroph (aka the Scorpion Monks) to ask about the prophecy. He says that, while he doesn't want to be their savior, his willing to step up if it means taking Ming the Murderously Dull out. To that end, Flash wants the Dolan to make a proclamation naming Flash the prophetic wunderkind and thus allying the cantons long enough to usurp the thrown. Dolan will, but first he must pass one more test - "The Uniter will begin his campaign by warming the heart and earning the favors of a distant queen." Flash says he doesn't have time for this crap but the Dolan has other plans. Placing his hands on Flash's temples, he knocks him out and Flash awakens in a familiar looking silver thermal suit on the top of a snowy mountain. I totally hate when that happens.
He flags down a woman in a hovercraft named Brinie of the Tritons, a canton that lives under the sea. She informs him that he's in the Frigian wasteland...and calls him "Blondie." When Flash says he's there to save the queen, they make a deal - she'll take him to the Capital if he helps with her harvest. Accompanying her, Flash sees her cut out blocks of ice with a laser and they load a few on her craft. That's when she breaks the bad news. She must continue south while he's going north, but at least he's only a day's travel away from the Capital. Flash is understandably cheesed off. Unfortunately there's no time to really argue about it because three Frigian guards show up and shoot and stun Brinie, alerting them that they are now under arrest for poaching ice.
Back in Nascent City, the rest of Team Flash are worried because they haven't heard from him for far too long. Dale decides to go back to Earth (more on that later) while Zarkov tries to find a way to shut down/destroy the rift generator and Baylin searches for Flash with the aid of the frequency detector they used to track down the lake two episodes ago.
At the palace, Ming the Tense is getting a head rub by a servant girl when suddenly Terek appears. He just wants to talk but wanted to do it while Ming was unprotected. Since he is in the public's favor, Terek offers his support to Ming in exchange for everything he's always wanted. When Ming tells him that the Deviates will still be feared and hated despite having canton status, Terek says that wouldn't be true if he is recognized as who he truly is and takes his place as rightful heir by Ming's side. Yup. Terek spilled the beans and Ming the Killer of Babies is super-uncool with the news. Ming yells that he will never accept Terek and, as the servant girl pulls out two knives and holds them to his newly revealed son's throat, adds that he is never unprotected.
Meanwhile, Flash and Brinie are brought before the temporary ruler of Frigia, Count Malo - he of the frosty facial hair. Malo orders they be stripped of their equipment and left to freeze as punishment for ice poaching. Flash says he wasn't a poacher, he was there to save their queen. Upon hearing this, everyone in the court begins to bow and whisper about him being the one foretold. Malo explains that Queen Fria has been trapped in the Cave of the Ice Worm for many years and none who have attempted a rescue have every returned. He also mentions that whoever succeeds is destined to rule Frigia. Flash isn't big on destiny but he does say he'll try...and that Brinie is with him. Malo rescinds his previous order of doom and gives them back their stuff.
Baylin arrives at the jail cells and offers the very large guard a payment for his trouble, which he refuses because she is a friend of Flash Gordon. He supports him as does other in pretty much every canton. Flash isn't there but Terek is and he wants to help search for him. They go to the Prophecy Room to question the Dolan and find Rankol there, chanting in the Celetroph language. He confirms that he is one of the monks and tells them that Flash is fulfilling the last test of the prophecy and he is forbidden to help or interfere...however, if Baylin and Terek just happen to travel to Frigia...
...where Flash and Brinie have arrived at the ice caves to begin their search for Queen Fria. It's not really helping that Brinie is constantly saying how they're doomed to die. Flash stops to wipe some frost off a giant block of ice and finds a person in there. Realizing something is off, he calls to Brinie to stop walking but it's too late. She steps on a trigger of some sort and freezing blast of air/water start streaming out of the walls. They try to dodge them but Brinie gets caught by one and is frozen while Flash does his best not to get hit.
Back at the palace, Ming the Denier of Family storms out to the balcony and announces to Aura that he's underestimated her. He states that she knew about Terek and when she plays dumb, this enrages him more. Ming the Overreacter grabs her by the throat and leans Aura backwards over the railing, hissing that he would never accept Terek as his son. Rude much? Letting her up and releasing her, Ming the Choker of Women tells a shocked Aura to say her peace to Terek and to never speak of him again after he is dispatched of. They arrive at the cells and the very large guard tells Ming the Vaguely Menacing that he has no record of Terek being there. Grabbing the electronic logs, Ming looks and verifies that there is no record. Aura smugly asks if he's misplaced something. Somewhat taken aback, Ming the Petulant asks Aura what she's become. She matter-of-factly yet spitefully replies, "What you made me."
Speaking of Terek, he and Baylin arrive at the Frigian mountains and, using the frequency detector, discover they are standing right above Flash. Cutting a circle into the snow, Baylin stomps the hole open and jumps into the cave, firing her laser at all the cold fissures and sealing them. Terek joins them and Flash tells them they have to save Brinie. Baylin says they can still save her but there is little time. Turning up the heat shield on his snowsuit, he tells Baylin and Terek to do the same and they stand against the Brinie ice cube, melting it. She's okay but doesn't really want to stick around. She apologizes but leaves nonetheless. Undeterred, Flash continues into the caves with Baylin and Terek.
They find a giant cave with a big block of ice in the middle of it - it's Queen Fria. They all turns up their temperatures and press against it but, before even so much as a drop is melted, Count Malo and his frosty beard shows up with a few soldiers. He has no desire to lose the throne he's been occupying so Flash, Baylin and Terek must all die. They chain them against the wall using shackles made of ice and turn of the temperature regulators. Even though their struggles will attract the ice worm, he decides to accelerate the process and has a soldier place a beacon of sorts nearby. I also totally hate when that happens.
Meanwhile, Ming summons Rankol and informs him that he's thought up a solution to the water shortage - he'll harvest the pre-Sorrow ice from the Frigians. Count Frosty Beard rule has made the people much more compliant so it shouldn't be an issue.
Flash, Baylin and Terek wriggle and pull at their shackles but it's no use. They hear a sound approaching - it's the ice worm and it's getting closer. Flash pulls the glove off his hand to try and melt the ice around his wrist with body heat...and he does, just enough to pull his left hand out of it's prison, which hurts. He reactivates his personal heater and reaches towards Baylin and then Terek to try and turns their's on but they're a little too far away. As he's reaching over, an unseen figure approaches from behind...and smacks him on the rear. It's Brinie. She decided to come back to help. She frees Baylin first using her ice cutter and she turns off the beacon as Brinie frees the boys.
The only problem is they can't really escape. There are several tunnels out and there's no telling which one the worm is hiding in. After a roar reverberates through the cave and causes some ice to fall on his head, Flash looks up and gets an idea. He places two bones in the middle of the room in an x and tells everyone to get towards the wall as Baylin and Brine hold in one place. The ice worm comes charging in via the tunnel Terek was standing near. Pushing him out of the way, Flash dives the the ground and scrambles towards the wall yelling "Now!" to Baylin. She uses the ice cutter on a giant icicle that falls from the ceiling and impales the worm through the head. Now that that's taken care of, it's time to free Queen Fria.
At the Frigian Capitol, Count McFrosty Hair announces that Ming's Cobra Troopers will be harvesting ice from them. Before he can explain any further, Queen Fria walks in with Flash, Baylin, Terek, Brinie and several guards in tow. Fria sentences him to 20 years encased in ice as a punishment for his power-grabbing. Taking her place on the thrown, she thanks Flash for rescuing her and declares there will be a celebration, complete with a bonding ceremony so he can rule by her side. He politely declines the offer, saying that everyone else helped too, even Brinie who was gong to be executed for poaching ice. Fria tells her that she will trade with the Tritons again and to take as much ice as she needs. Brinie thanks her and announces her true identity - she is Brinica, daughter of the Triton King. Which, Flash verifies, makes her a queen. Both she and Fria declare their canton's allegiance to Flash in his stand against Ming the Occasionally Disconcerting. He's confused now because he's melted two queens and asks what that could mean. Baylin and Flash look at each other and then they both look at Terek...
Striding into the prophecy room, they find Rankol and the Dolan there. There are pleased to see Flash alive and it indicates his success. When he says they saved two queens, Rankol and Dolan are surprised but the Dolan says they will announce him as the Prophesied One. Flash stops them and says they have the wrong guy. Confused, Rankol repeats some of the prophecy - that the warrior-child/water-bearer reborn will overtake the throne. Baylin then explains that the person is someone who was supposed to have died as an infant, but found himself in another life - "reborn" as it were. The Dolan and Rankol are still confused until Terek announces that he is that infant, who is also Ming's son.
Later at Ming's palace, Rankol announces the arrival of the Frigian delegation. Ming the Smug pours a glass of water and takes a sip as they walk in. He almost does a spit take when he sees Queen Fria. When he says he hopes to continue the working relationship he enjoyed with Count Malo, Fria pretty much slaps that idea down by explaining that her new adviser told her Ming was not to be trusted. He asks who this "misguided" person is and, when Fria says it's Flash Gordon, he looks like he just got kicked in the nuts. Fria tells Ming the Blindsided that she is going to freely trade with all the other cantons, except for him of course, and that he can suck it. After she leaves, Ming tells Rankol to ready his Cobra Troopers for war.
Other Highlights & Tidbits:
- Back on Earth, Dale was trying to figure out whether or not she was going to tell the world about Mongo and everything that's been going on. She tells her editor/friend who had been doing some investigating on her own and found out that all the stories lead to her and Flash. Dale talks to Flash's mom and tells her what's been going on. Mom warns Dale that essentially the Government dudes who visited her when Papa Gordon first disappeared will do just about anything to keep things under wraps. Dale films the piece but is still deciding what to do. Look, I know she's still feeling the guilt about Joe's death but I'm not a big fan of this line of reasoning. It seems a little out of character for her but, eh. Maybe Joe's stupidity was contagious.
- While everything else was going on, Zarkov managed to sneak into Rankol's labs yet again, only this time all by himself. Seriously, they have the worst security ever. A dude dressed up like a giant chicken carrying a machete in one hand and an Uzi in the other could probably get by their checkpoints. But I digress. While Zarkov is poking around, he finds the mind-tap device from way around episode 6 or so hooked up to a console. Activating it, a little hologram of Dr. Hiller (the chick scientist and last victim of the brain sucker) pops up. He asks if she knows how to destroy the rift generator. No luck but she does say that Dr. Gordon would know. Zarkov asks if he's still alive, if he's in there with her, but Dr. Hiller disappears without answering...and without saying "Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."
- I liked Brinie as a character. She was a little text-book snarky, but the actress pulled it off very well.
- So it's finally been decided that Terek is the Prophecy Boy. I say "decided" and not "revealed" because I still feel like there's more to it than that. They did save two queens, after all. Maybe the prophecy is really about two separate people...
- For the shaky start it had, this show has gotten really enjoyable - except for Ming the Mundane, of course. All the actors are doing great with their parts and the story-lines have really come together. With two more episodes, there's still chance for that Ming-disfiguring accident I've been hoping for all season.
What did you all think? Has the show grown on you? Do you think it's improved? Did I miss your favorite part or line? Who would you like to play Ming next season? Oh...I'm sorry. Is that a premature question to ask?