StoryLexx's third year had a predetermined 13 episode run, and in a new direction there's also a predetermined continual storyline. This is teasingly set-up by "Fire and Water"--the names of a binary planet system. The Lexx is stuck in orbit around 4,000 years after the "End of the Universe." We're introduced to the mysterious Prince (Nigel Bennet) who rules the planet Fire, 790 experiences a shift of devotion, and Xev gets a new hairdo. All threads are expanded by "May" (Anna Kathrin Bleuler) who's found on planet Water. All too suddenly, Xev's in love with Prince and Stanley with May. The crew are torn every which way. Even more so when a fleet of new Moths land Kai in "Gametown", where the show's most gratuitous nudity yet reassures fans that this third year will be as dangerous and dirty as it's always been.
Ralph (Withnail & I) Brown's character Duke suddenly comes to the fore in "Boomtown." These towns teach us more and more about the lifestyles on the two planets, and since this one is essentially a nonstop orgy Stan decides Water is the planet for him! (If the nudity seemed gratuitous in "Gametown", that's nothing in comparison.) Ending on a shock appearance by Kai (no spoilers here), a balloon chase leads straight into "Gondola." Lost among the schizophrenic denizens of "K-Town," Stan and Xev are eventually found by the dead assassin whose biomechanical systems are malfunctioning. It takes a shock reappearance of season 2's Universe-destroying Mantrid to make sense of his groin-located repair mechanism. Subsequently split up, Kai suffers the red tape of petty bureaucracy in Hog Town while Stan and Xev descend 39,000 steps to the planet's "Tunnels." Stan bumps into show writer Lex Gigeroff cameoing as insane surgeon Doctor Rainbow, and escape is determined by another death and resurrection from the enigmatic Prince.
Stan has been endlessly teased by Xev. They got it together (in a manner of speaking) in "Love Grows," but here at last they experience the "ultimate in sexual satisfaction." Don't they? "The Key" metaphorically stands for a number of things in this ship-bound episode, which furthers the season's mystery considerably. And as if the sexual tension wasn't high enough already, the lifestyle offered Stan on the Water planet's "Garden" is all too tempting. The biggest lure is the return of beautiful plant gal Lyekka. Following straight on from that cliffhanger ending, "Battle" becomes a game of strategic cat and mouse aboard squadrons of hot air balloons. This season's budget helps return the look of the show to its stunning beginnings, and in this episode there are some of the best-conceived effects shots from the entire run. By now it's obvious that each community on the planet Fire is a thinly veiled satire on an aspect of modern society. A splendidly theatrical cameo from Ellen Dubin as Queen allows the viewer to question feminism, bureaucracy, and why the hell Giggerota has been reincarnated to taunt poor Stan.
At last all questions are answered in what might as well be a two-part finale. "The Beach" would for any other series be considered the clips show: on an idyllic yet purgatorial stretch of sand, Stan is forced to account for his life by viewing events of the past. Judged by his harshest critic--himself--he then suffers all that Prince has promised and more as the true meaning of "Heaven and Hell" is revealed. Creator Paul Donovan clearly maintained a strong hand in every aspect of this season, but in directing his own work with these last two episodes we witness a genuinely rare example of personal vision. The narrative has been consistently surprising, but the twist left for last is literally breathtaking. TV sci-fi has never been so sexy and intelligent at the same time. --Paul Tonks
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