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Aeon Flux season 3 episode 8 Ether Drift Theory

29 Nov

Trevor has created a cubic building, which he called the “Habitat”, that floats in an ocean of paralytic fluid. There live many of his experimental creations like humanoid lizards or even a four armed female mutant. Aeon and a partner enter the cube, heading through the dangerous liquid in a submarine. The partner, Lindze, sneaks into the building to find her lover, Bargel, while Aeon is supposed to divert the robot guards. Bargel, who is a scientist, seems to have been infected by some kind of virus. In parallel of his researches for Trevor, he has worked on a method to cure the paralytic fluid that keeps people from coming and going freely.

This was, in my opinion, the most boring episode of all the show. It is as if all that makes Aeon Flux the show it is is in the episode but that things don’t work as well as in the shorts for instance. During the whole episode almost nothing happens. Aeon and the two other characters spend their time running in the Habitat’s corridors, trying to escape from either Trevor or the guards. There is a concept in the episode though: the Ether drift theory. Aeon, at the beginning when she enters the cube, accidentally drops her ammunition. One of them lands on a small lizard, making an egg falls out of it in a vent. Later in the episode, the egg eventually splashes on the ground of a cafeteria where Aeon has spilled some drink at the same place. The mixture of the two creates a green liquid that seems to have the same effect as acid, and begins to destroy the whole station. Trevor and Lindze succeed to escape with the submarine while Bargel has just succumbed to his disease. Aeon misses them for a few seconds and is eventually surrounded by the green acid. The whole cube collapses and Aeon ends up paralyzed in the fluid that was outside.

The end reminds me the spirit of the first and second season shorts. However, the difference between those shorts and this episode is the length and the comedy of the situation. In most of the shorts Aeon dies because of her incompetence. In five minutes or so she is able to ruin her mission because she has looked at herself for instance in a mirror instead of concentrating on the target, or just because she has stepped on a nail, and this is it, end of the story. What works in this scheme is the instantaneousness of the situation. In Ether drift Theory, though Aeon’s clumsiness is the cause of her death at the end, between the moment she drops her ammunition and the moment she spills her drink on the floor too much time passes. The relationship between cause and effect is not clear enough for it be either funny or dramatic.