High above Arrakis, Jessica stands in a glass tube suspended deep inside the bowels of an open-ended heighliner. It's a pretty neat composition, and seems almost Kubrickian in its sparse, sci-fi elegance. Gurney joins her there, and she laments the bizarreness of seeing clouds and moisture in Arrakis's atmosphere. "The planet's biological and technological uniqueness has adapted to serve us," she sighs. Gurney, however, has more prosaic concerns, namely that plots against the imperial family, Jessica included, have been multiplying on the planet's surface. This guy is such a poor man's Sean Connery, by the way, that I totally keep expecting Oddjob to show up and start flinging hats at any moment. What? It wouldn't be any weirder than the booby-trapped bathrobes, would it? And can you imagine how delicious it would have been to have Patrick Stewart reprising the role here? Especially with the Borg Queen at this side? Now that would have rocked.
Sofia Secundus. Except we're not supposed to know that yet. Two young children, ostensibly Leto and Ghanima, are fleeing through a sietch-like stone cavern, chased by some as yet unknown evil. The sitar twanging on the soundtrack reaches a crescendo as they dramatically turn to face their pursuers, revealing that they are not, in fact, the royal twins we were expecting. Just as this happens, two CGI sabre-tooth tigers leap out of a cavern, and are soon treating themselves to a tasty midnight snack of teenager tartar. A minder watches this all from high upon a nearby ledge, using a computerized remote-control module to command the tigers to attack. On an even higher ledge, Sarandonia and Tyeksposition watch the minder, and gloat about how this will be the perfect method to destroy the Atreides. Um, okay. It seems a little excessively complicated to me, especially when you consider that Leto and Ghanima get beaten up and captured by any number of different people who could have killed them in a heartbeat over the next three hours, but whatever. It does at least give Sarandonia the chance to mug for the cameras and pause a lot. Commercial.
Sofia Secundus, and this time we are supposed to know. A fully-grown Farad'n sits on a castle balcony, watching last night's kidnapped worm rage and roar in a giant sand-filled cage. Tyeksposition drops by to fill him in on recent events, and the only thing worth recapping here is the fact that Farad'n keeps forgetting his lines. Really. No, really. He has to pause in the middle of three different sentences to remember what comes next. Or maybe he inherited that trait from Mommy. At least the Corrinos know how to keep their clothes on.