Returning to her chamber, Alia collapses onto her bed as the voices she hears begin to eat away at the last vestiges of her sanity. She writhes around on the mattress like an extra in a bad Billy Idol video until one of the voices becomes dominant and forces the others into silence. And then we slowly pan up to the ceiling to reveal a red-tinged, spectral apparition of the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, cackling with glee and announcing, "So Alia, you've finally met a spiritual gom jabbar." Woo hoo! The Baron is back, baby! And I don't mean maybe. Commercial.
When we come back, Jessica is getting a briefing from Gurney and Stilgar on that assassination attempt from when she first arrived. It seems the prisoners they captured all spoke the word "Jacurutu," and then died immediately of post-hypnotic shock. Stilgar then finally tells the story of Jacurutu, which was a sietch inhabited by a tribe of water stealers. This, of course, is the most heinous crime a Fremen can commit, so all of the other tribes banded together to destroy them. Since then, Jacurutu has been a myth, a forbidden place that no Fremen has seen for centuries. But still, legends persist that some of the water-stealers survived, and now are known as "The Cast Out." "The possibility makes my blood run cold," adds Stilgar. Jessica orders Gurney to meet with his smuggler allies in the deep desert to see if they know anything. "And you might want to take your son Indy along," she continues. "He could prove to be useful."
Still in her chamber, Alia lolls about on the floor, lamenting her "pre-born" status and wearing a highly metaphorical tiara of silver thorns. The Baron hovers above her, still shrouded by red smoke. He slowly attempts to seduce her to the dark side, and even though I didn't much care for Ian McNeice in the original, he's actually pretty darn good here. He offers to banish all the other voices from her head, in exchange for just "a few moments with [her] senses. Just a taste." It doesn't take long for her to agree. "No one will stand in the way of our powers," they say in unison, as she pulls him into an embrace. "From this moment on the future is ours." And yet these books still aren't as good as Tolkien's Two Towers. And with that, my friends, I'll be hitting the showers.
Later that night, Stilgar finds Leto sitting on an open rock in the middle of the desert. He wants to know why the youngster would risk a sand crossing in the middle of the night without any guards, but Leto just wants to whine about the environment some more. The way this miniseries would have you believe, The Golden Path is all about preventing drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Preserve or some such, rather than saving humanity from its own violent tendencies. After expounding at length on how repulsive he finds the butterflies which are suddenly everywhere, Leto admits that he's even more troubled by recent events around the palace. "Now that Colin is out of his coma," he says, "Amy barely even speaks to me anymore. And now even that cute Laynie girl is gone. What's a boy to do?" "Call AB Chao?" suggests Stilgar. "Ahh, if only it were that easy," replies Leto. Then he warns Stilgar not to trust Alia, and also makes him promise to protect Ghanima if anything should happen to him. "Now if you'll excuse me," he sighs, "I've got to go help Delia with her homework."