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Children of Dune: Part Two

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Aaron: B- | Grade It Now!
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There is no "eye" in "soulmate"
Damn. If you ever needed proof that the Sci-Fi network has dramatically increased the budget for this installment, here it is. Jessica has returned to her garden sanctuary in the palace, and in this version it's an immense, lushly green paradise. In the first one, it was an empty room with six potted plants. If you check out the chat transcripts on Sci-Fi's official site, Rick Austin (who is a VP at the network) describes the ratings for the original as "crazy off-the-hook," so one can only assume they were more than happy to spend the money. Rick also refers to William Hurt as "Duke Sleepo" at one point, so I'm guessing he might be a secret fan. Hi, Rick! And actually, I highly recommend checking out the official site, if only to watch the video interview with Susan Sarandon where she struggles (and ultimately fails) to find a politically acceptable answer to a question about the portrayal of Islamic fundamentalism in the books. Now that's comedy gold. Princess Irulan wanders into the garden, where she confronts Jessica about the fate of the twins. They actually bond for a moment first, with Jessica saying, "Isn't it ironic? We're both Bene Gesserits who deserted the sisterhood for the same reason: love. Love of men who are now dead." Um, okay. I don't know if that's so much ironic as it is utterly coincidental, but whatever. Irulan replies that even though Paul never loved her as a true wife, she has consoled herself by being a teacher and protector to his children. "Nothing will harm them as long as I can prevent it," she adds. "Do you understand?" Jessica raises an eyebrow, as if to indicate that she could squash Irulan like a bug anytime she wants, but then simply smiles as the Princess turns to leave. From there Jessica goes to visit Leto, who is eating lunch in his chambers. I'll just say up front that this scene is excellent, and filled with all sorts of nice little character moments that take less than a second onscreen but would require entire paragraphs to recap properly. Leto starts the conversation by wondering if he shouldn't maybe take a few years off to "find himself" before taking over the role emperor. Jessica assess this idea for a moment, and then reports that Leto reminds her of his father. Need more proof of the incestuous undertones to tonight's installment? Check out Leto's reply: "And my grandfather as well? My namesake? Such an admission would be complicated, wouldn't it? We may have to enter a realm of intimacies that would make us both uncomfortable." Eww. This is his GRANDMOTHER, people. That's, like, oedipal squared. Although to be fair, it was much worse in the books, where Leto and Ghanima would often allow themselves to be possessed by their parents in order to help solve problems. There's icky, and then there's ICKY, and that is definitely ICKY. Jessica tries to use The Voice on him at this point, but Leto just laughs it off. She's utterly shocked by this, and actually has to get up and cross the room to think about it. Leto jumps out of his chair himself, and starts going on about the Golden Path. Should he do it? Should he not? "I have a difficult decision to make," he says. "Do I accept the Atreides mystique? Dress myself in our myths?" Um, shouldn't that be "undress myself"? Since when do the Atreides wear shirts? Or maybe that's the myth he's talking about. "I don't understand," answers Jessica. "Because you do not understand time," explains Leto, before using The Voice himself. Jessica falls completely under its spell, and is powerless to do anything but sit and stare. Nice.

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Mondo Extra
Children of Dune: Part Two

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
There is no "eye" in "soulmate"

From there Jessica goes to visit Leto, who is eating lunch in his chambers. I'll just say up front that this scene is excellent, and filled with all sorts of nice little character moments that take less than a second onscreen but would require entire paragraphs to recap properly. Leto starts the conversation by wondering if he shouldn't maybe take a few years off to "find himself" before taking over the role emperor. Jessica assess this idea for a moment, and then reports that Leto reminds her of his father. Need more proof of the incestuous undertones to tonight's installment? Check out Leto's reply: "And my grandfather as well? My namesake? Such an admission would be complicated, wouldn't it? We may have to enter a realm of intimacies that would make us both uncomfortable." Eww. This is his GRANDMOTHER, people. That's, like, oedipal squared. Although to be fair, it was much worse in the books, where Leto and Ghanima would often allow themselves to be possessed by their parents in order to help solve problems. There's icky, and then there's ICKY, and that is definitely ICKY. Jessica tries to use The Voice on him at this point, but Leto just laughs it off. She's utterly shocked by this, and actually has to get up and cross the room to think about it. Leto jumps out of his chair himself, and starts going on about the Golden Path. Should he do it? Should he not? "I have a difficult decision to make," he says. "Do I accept the Atreides mystique? Dress myself in our myths?" Um, shouldn't that be "undress myself"? Since when do the Atreides wear shirts? Or maybe that's the myth he's talking about. "I don't understand," answers Jessica. "Because you do not understand time," explains Leto, before using The Voice himself. Jessica falls completely under its spell, and is powerless to do anything but sit and stare. Nice.

Cut to later, where Leto and Ghanima are playing Future Chess. Future Chess appears to be exactly like Normal Chess, only with twice as many pieces on a board that's still the exact same size. It also seems to involve a lot of laughing and inappropriate touching amongst siblings. But then, what doesn't these days? Alia joins them for a family conference, and warns them that they must all work together to avoid all the dangers they face. She also begs them to "engage in the spice trance," which would allow them to see the future much more clearly than she can, but would also put them at grave risk of possession or abomination. As a demonstration of just how special the children of Muad'dib really are, we see that they're able to simultaneously carry on a conversation while never letting their attention waver from the Future Chess board. Ah yes, but can they walk and chew gum at the same time? That, my friends, is the true test of a Kwisatz Haderach. Alia finally grows frustrated with their lack of sympathy for her plight, and she sweeps the chess pieces onto the floor. She also endures more mental flashes of sound and color, and finally departs after taunting them with the possibility that they will one day end up just like her. Incidentally, since when do Imperial Regents shop at The Gap?

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