Sofia Secundus. Princess Sarandonia, whose hat has grown to Medusa-like proportions of wiry weirdness, complains to Tyeksposition that even with a stone-burner, the idiot Fremen still couldn't manage to kill Paul. Tyek does what he does best at this point, and reminds us all that Scytale/Lichna and Duncan are still in place, waiting to strike. Commercial.
There's something that just seems so very right about Shannen Doherty hosting a show called Scare Tactics. And if anyone is actually planning to watch that The Riverworld movie on Sci-Fi next week, please go check out the Six Feet Under show page. You'll get a kick out if it, and I'm kind of disappointed that so far Sobell has been the only person on the planet with enough geek chic to get the joke. That is why we love her, though.
Hey! It's Caladan! Which is distinguished from Sofia Secundus solely by the CGI waterfall that appears behind the CGI palace which rests on the CGI cliffs. Sofia doesn't have a waterfall. That's how you know that they're evil. Incidentally, those squeals of delight you just heard came from fanboys all across America getting over the lack of naked Alia to rejoice at the presence of Alice Krige, who has taken over the role of Lady Jessica. She's not as cool as our own Lady Jessica, but she's damn sure better than Saskia Reeves ever was. Gurney Halleck comes to report to her about Paul's injuries, and they walk along an indoor pool as they discuss the events on Arrakis. She wants to head there immediately, but Gurney isn't sure that's the best idea. "It was only a matter of time before this happened," she says. "Resistance is futile. We must go at once." Gurney finally convinces her that Paul would have sent a message if he needed her presence, and then they vanish until tomorrow's installment.
Back on Arrakis, Paul is tormented by his visions. He sees, among other things, Chani, Leto, Jacurutu, and a Preacher-related spoiler that I won't reveal just yet. He's jerked out of it by Duncan, who wonders what troubles his master so. Paul casually reveals that he knows Duncan has been sent to kill him (even though Duncan himself doesn't actually know this yet), and then wanders away like he just put in an order for a grande mocha latte. Um, okay. Stilgar enters to announce that the former emperor Shadam IV has just died, which, if I remember correctly, isn't in the book.
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The next day, Chani returns from the desert via thopter. She races inside to see her husband, and finds Irulan there standing at his bedside. Without them exchanging a single word, Irulan bows sadly and excuses herself from the room. That was a nice moment. Tender, weepy music plays as Chani kisses Paul's damaged eyes, and then he confesses that he knew exactly what was going to happen, and yet had to go through with it anyway for the benefit of their son. Chani is shocked that he already knew she was pregnant, and the one problem I've always had with the novels is that she never once pipes up to mention that they're having twins and not just a son. She obviously knows, because she admits that later, but for plot purposes she just seems to forget to mention it every time she sees her husband. They embrace, and Paul announces that they will return to the desert, so that the child might be born in sietch. "I suddenly feel like we have so little time," she whispers. "We have eternity," he answers, kissing her neck. "You have eternity," she replies. "I have only now." Aww. But for me, any moment with Barbora can be an eternity. Rewind. Rewatch. Rewind. Rewatch.
Elsewhere, Alia is interrogating Bijaz The Mysterious Dwarf on what appears to be a futuristic bumper-pool table. In a nice bit of subtle cleverness, the balls are printed with the logos of the various houses of the Landsraad. You'd need a good pause button to catch it, but I'm pretty sure Bijaz managed to bank the Harkonnen ball into a side pocket. Heh. This scene also has some fun dialogue, with Bijaz speaking in his trademark rhymes. "Would I were Bijou, and not Bijaz," he says. "A jewel is prettier than a horse's ass." "You are a mockery then?" asks Alia, in what is shaping up as a potential shout-out. "A trick of nature meant to confuse and annoy?" Oh, yeah. That's a shout-out. She demands that he turn over the names of the traitors, but Bijaz continues to dance around the subject. He points out Duncan, who is standing in the corner, and then sings a little ditty which seems to have an odd affect on the ghola. Finally he agrees to divulge the names, and we immediately cut to Duncan and Alia in a hallway, claiming that they can't believe a word the dwarf says. They chat about the differences between science and prophecy, and for a couple that's going to be married in about fifteen minutes, they don't really seem to like each other very much. Alia tricks him into remembering the name of Thufir Hawat (Aww. I miss Thufir), and she's excited that he's beginning to remember his past, even though no ghola has ever done so before. She gives the backstory on her whole "pre-born" deal (she was awakened in her mother's womb, and granted all the memories and experiences of her ancestors, all the way back to beginnings of time. That'll be important in the next recap), and then insists that she can handle the pressure of having all those different people inside of her. Meanwhile, Foreshadowing stands behind her, sharpening a crysknife and picking bits of spice out his teeth. Uh oh.
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