Chasing The Vial
Episode 2 of Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance begins with Deet wandering through the forest. It’s here she comes across a Fizzgog, who initially reacts hostile to her but soon warms to her presence. Meanwhile, out in the distance, Aughra awakens from a long slumber to find the world a changed place.
Rian’s journey continues as he hides from the Skeksis, with Chamberlain concocting a story to spread through the village that Rian was the one who killed Mira. As the rumours begin spreading, Rian grabs Gurjin and takes him aside, demanding to know what’s going on. After dream-fasting together, Gurjin sees the truth of the matter and teams up with Rian, where together they dive deeper into the halls.
Back in the woods, Deet finds herself face to face with a Spitter, forcing her to run through the forest where she’s eventually saved by a strange Podling who comes to her rescue. Unable to understand him, Deet does her best to communicate, eventually coming to an agreement that they’ll travel to Ha’Rar together.
Meanwhile Princess Brea visits Elder Cadia, despite warnings to stay away from the Sifas. She shows the Elder the mysterious symbol and this prompts him to suggest dream-fasting. After spiking her drink to make her forget the entire ordeal, Brea switches the drinks over while he’s distracted and asks again what the symbol means. This time she receives two conflicting messages; the end of everything from the Elder and new beginnings from his apprentice Onica. She asks her to bring the brightest jewel from her Mother to learn more, and bids her farewell for now.
Rian and Gurjin stumble upon The Crystal Of Truth and see for themselves the corruption consuming it. Climbing down into the fiery depths below, they make their way into the laboratory where they find The Scientist has locked up the potion with a lock-snake on the doorway. Chamberlain breaks into the room, stealing the essence while the two Gelfling hide under a table. Just as he’s about to leave, The Scientist returns and sees he’s stolen the vial, resulting in them both fighting over the life force. Seizing their opportunity, Rian and Gurjin grab the vial and run.
Unfortunately they don’t get far as Chamberlain grabs Gurjin and threatens his life. Stabbing him in the leg, Rian bolts out the tower and plunges into the water below, while his fellow guard remains captured. As the Emperor catches wind of the skirmish, Chamberlain spins the story into a slimy betrayal from The Scientist, who is taken away and punished.
Meanwhile, the Gelfling Captain, Rian’s Father, comes to beg for forgiveness from the Skeksis but instead, Chamberlain and the Emperor conspire together to bring both Rian and his Father to the hall, with hidden plans to drain their essence. As Rian’s Father heads out, none the wiser to what’s going on, Aughra heads off to see the Skeksis, who administer the punishment for The Scientist; a deadly beetle plunged into a cage that rips his eye out.
Continuing on from the great work done in the previous episode, Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance continues to impress here. The early fight with the Spitter certainly showcases the skill put into crafting these puppets and it’s a feat that really helps Age Of Resistance excel with its action scenes as well as the slower, dialogue-heavy moments.
Seeing The Chamberlain given a more substantial role, flexing his silver tongue and corrupting his fellow Skeksis, is certainly a welcome sight and gives this iconic Skeksis far more importance in his role than in the original film. Simon Pegg, of course, brings this wonderful character to life in the best possible way and certainly deserves credit for Chamberlain’s memorable performance.
With a dramatic finale, Age Of Resistance looks set to pick up the pace after a few slower episodes, as more of the overarching plot comes to the foreground, setting the scene nicely for the conflict to come.