- List of Æon Flux episodes
This is a list of all Æon Flux episodes.
Season 1 (1991)
Pilot (September 1991)
Æon breaks into a Breen complex in order to assassinate a powerful member of the Breen Government during a battle between Breen Soldiers and at least five other Monican terror agents. She kills many soldiers in the process, many of which were already dying from a disease spread by a small blue arthropod that causes swelling of veins prior to death. The film switches focus several times to show the point of view of several Breen soldiers and their hallucinatory experiences as they lie dying either from the virus or from Æon's bullets, effectively stating that even 'cannon fodder' are human and also suffer.
Æon makes her way up to the top of the building after killing one other Monican, briefly sighting Trevor Goodchild and his lover, a female Breen soldier, in a fully furnished elevator. When Trevor reaches the top of the building, it is seen that the man Æon came to kill is already dead, possibly of the disease. Trevor's lover watches a wall-sized television playing a programme on the disease. She refuses his advances, noting that he in fact has been bitten by the insect. He shows her an injection mark, signifying that he has taken an anti-virus of his own creation, which apparently involves ingesting a liquid made from the insect-like creature extracted from one of his fingers.
After ducking out of the elevator with Trevor and the female, Æon climbs up the building by taking another route and in the process, steps on a tack before climbing up a ladder. Just as she is about to kill Trevor and the woman, she steps onto her foot with the tack and falls to her death. It is at this point the only intelligible English quasi-dialogue in the Pilot is heard (the single word, "No!" that Æon screams as the tack punctures her foot). The Monicans destroy her body by remote control and burn her apartment, and the audience briefly sees her bed and her camera. Later, Trevor is lauded for the creation of the anti-virus while his lover holds a baby. The press take photographs of them. The statue of the Breen leader Æon had to kill is demolished. Meanwhile Æon finds herself in the afterlife, where her feet are licked for eternity. The episode ends with a young Breen man buying a foot fetish magazine with Æon on the cover, posing on her bed. The bills he uses to pay his purchase have Trevor's portrait on them.
This was a serial in six parts of two to three minutes each, shown on Liquid Television. The DVD and VHS releases combine the parts into one short film.
Season 2 (1992)
1. Gravity (September 22, 1992)
While Æon and Trevor kiss, Trevor uses his tongue to open up Æon's fake tooth and place a rolled up picture inside. We find Trevor is in a train and Æon on an airplane flying alongside the train. The two are kissing through the windows. Æon spies an industrial vehicle driving past at the same moment. A passenger from the train enters the plane and it flies off. Æon then retrieves the picture from her tooth to find it is a photo of the passenger who just entered the plane, and a suitcase. She climbs out the window of the passenger area and moves along the side of the plane to spy on the man, who is reading documents from the same suitcase. Æon must jump mid-air to the back of the plane to get inside, but she misses and falls.
Realising her impending death, Æon points her gun to her head, but before pulling the trigger notices the industrial vehicle from earlier stopping at the edge of a cliff. Men get out and throw ropes over the edge of the cliff to salvage something. They pull at the ropes to bring it to the surface while an intrigued Æon struggles to keep her binoculars at her eyes from the air resistance. She notices a bridge near the point at which she will land, and shoots a rope at it to save herself. At the same time Trevor's train is passing over the bridge and inside he is kissing his Breen lover. While she swings from the rope Æon is distracted by the men salvaging the object which is obscured from view by the cliff, but is glowing brightly. Æon's distraction leads the rope to loop around her neck. A moment before she can clearly see what the object is, the rope tightens and she is killed.
A deleted scene shows the woman Trevor was kissing, while Æon was falling, slamming a door between her pelvic area repeatedly.
2. Mirror (November 3, 1992)
Æon is on an assassination mission and infiltrates her target's home. On her entry she falls over, and notices she is spied on by a security camera. While walking down a hallway she notices a room where the security camera recorder is being kept, and enters. She goes to destroy the tape but at the last minute decides to review the footage. The picture is faulty because of a loose video jack dangling in front of a running air conditioner. Æon goes to fix the connection but in the process spills coffee on herself. While she is in a nearby bathroom cleaning her arm, unnoticed by Æon, footage of another intruder previously entering the building plays on the monitor. Æon accidentally sprays water on herself in the bathroom's shower and spoils her signature hairstyle.
Æon hears gunshots, and evacuates the area to find her target killed, shot twice in the abdomen. She rushes out of the bedroom, but is then also shot by the assassin. While Æon lies on the floor dying, she looks at the figure in the security monitor, but the image is still distorted. Æon shoots a nearby temperature control knob, disabling the air conditioner. With the air conditioning off, the loose video cable stops shaking, and the security camera picture clears up. The moment before her death she sees the face of the other assassin on the monitor – Trevor Goodchild.
Originally aired with the title "Night". The ending is the only instance in the Æon Flux universe where Trevor intentionally kills Æon.
3. Leisure (November 10, 1992)
Æon enters her living quarters to find someone had disturbed a container of eggs she was keeping in her refrigerator. In a kitchen cupboard, she finds a deformed Trevor (or a clone of Trevor) chained up, licking an egg. Æon leaves her apartment, but before venturing outside the Monican base, she witnesses another agent fall and fail to successfully complete jumping through a row of training grids. Æon steps up to practice jumping through, just as the other female agent walks away, and flawlessly executes the acrobatic and complex jumps through the training grids. Later, she enters an alien spaceship and collects some of the same eggs seen earlier in her apartment. She's agonising while trying to resist breaking one of the eggs. Her desire to play with the embryo is stronger than her good sense to get out of the ship quickly before the parent alien comes. She analyses the broken contents under a portable microscope and finds it to be an aggressive infant form of an alien. It appears the infant alien dies as a result of her probing it.
On her way out Æon is confronted by an adult, four-legged, and extremely tall alien, but holds up one of the eggs and threatens to break it if the alien attacks her. She runs away, and the alien triggers a grid barrier similar to the one at the Monican training base. Æon jumps through it with ease, but its revealed that the alien can use its four legs to navigate the barrier much faster. It swiftly catches up to Æon and kills her from behind.
This episode contains the only English dialogue heard during the first two seasons (excluding the cry of "No" from the pilot), namely the single word, "plop." Given the title of the episode and the image of the mutated Trevor's ecstatic consumption of an egg in the beginning, it's hinted that the alien eggs may be a recreational drug, and the mission to retrieve more eggs could be a personal endeavor.
4. Tide (November 17, 1992)
Æon and a red-suited partner are on an offshore facility. Æon is trying to prevent a plug from being removed by a rope key draped from a hovering helicopter by shooting at it, while her partner holds Trevor Goodchild captive in a nearby elevator. As Æon returns to the elevator Trevor has overpowered the partner, and attempts to leave, pressing all of the elevator's level buttons. Æon stops him and attempts to obtain the numbered key he possesses, but he throws it behind a sink. When retrieving it, Æon accidentally rips off the attached numbered label, so it is unknown on which level the key will be useful.
Æon attempts to use the key in a storage locker on level six, while avoiding gunfire from a Breen soldier and again shooting at the hanging plug key, which has stopped swaying enough for another attempt to pull the plug. Upon returning to the elevator, Æon handcuffs Trevor to a handrail and attempts to retrieve the numbered label, but it is just out of her reach. Æon repeats the leave elevator-shoot at soldiers-try key-shoot plug key-return to elevator cycle for subsequent floors, while her traitorous partner kisses Trevor while Æon is away. By level two, the now-injured Æon realises what's going on, and the partner tries to stop her from killing Trevor, during the struggle she get Æon's empty gun and throws it at her, Æon falls back, strikes her head and is killed (although it is not explicitly indicated in the episode that she is dead, the DVD commentary indicates that she is). The partner takes the key and runs to the level two storage locker. A Breen soldier enters the elevator and shoots Trevor, and on his way out shoots the hanging key to buy him some time to get out of the facility.
The partner opens the storage locker with the key and retrieves a storage barrel that is latched shut, taking it back to the elevator. Inside she finds a giant, ribbed rubber washer (noted to obviously be a double entendre). Unsatisfied with what seems like such a measly prize, she runs out leaving the washer behind and not bothering to check the storage locker on level one. As she reaches the concrete cylinder holding the plug, the helicopter has successfully inserted the key, and starts to pull up and away with the key and the Breen soldier that presumably last shot at the key. We see that the helicopter also has pulled out, with the key, an identical rubber washer, causing presumably seawater to spout out of the newly vacant hole. The facility and gangway to the plug behind her sinks into the ocean, leaving her stranded alone standing on the empty plug.
Peter Chung states on the DVD commentary that he planned this episode like a piece of music. The entire segment is composed of twenty backgrounds shown for two seconds each in the same order and same angle for seven cycles.
5. War (November 24, 1992)
Æon is involved in a large battle between Bregna and Monica. After killing many soldiers, Æon is attacked from behind by a Breen fighter who was previously playing dead. With a gun aimed at her head Æon notices an approaching Monican soldier and tries to buy some time by distracting the soldier by licking her lips suggestively. We see the soldier's eyes twitch in anger, before he kills both Æon and the approaching Monican. He then removes his helmet, revealing a heroic blond soldier (said to be named Vaasch Lockney in the DVD commentary). The blond soldier looks down a large hill, fires at an approaching army of Monican soldiers, almost all of whom are killed. Later the soldier moves towards the entrance of an underground Monican base, off-screen violently engaging the guards. We see a bloody tooth landing directly into an empty glass drink bottle, signifying that violence has taken place nearby, emphasizing the random nature of life (and their downstream consequences). Incidentally, Æon has a fake tooth, as shown in the episode "Gravity".
Inside the base, the blond soldier is confronted by a sword-wielding long haired Monican man, but is unconcerned because he has a gun. He fires a single shot, which the Monican soldier (called Romeo Svengali in the DVD commentary) deflects before stabbing him. The Monican soldier then comforts his daughter and sends her to her living quarters after an alarm goes off. Meanwhile another Monican soldier's painting is interrupted by the alarm and he leaves to join the Monican forces. While the swordsman opens a gate to leave the base, grease drips into a pool on the floor. Outside, he kills oncoming khaki-suited soldiers who drop down from an airship. Inside the ship, he kills a few more soldiers, but he is shot in the chest. Then comes a female soldier (named Donna Matrix in the DVD commentary), wielding a powerful machine gun, who enters the Monican base using the painter Monican's body as a doorstop. She then frees her captive lover and they run from gunfire, unknowingly towards the dripping pool of grease.
The theme of random, cascading events and their effect on people is perpetuated throughout the Æon Flux universe. This episode was created to play with the emotions of the viewer, showing the stereotypical way that people view a hero of a Hollywood action film as invincible. It crushes those assumptions and keeps the viewer truly on their toes feeling a sense of shock and loss every time the new "hero" is introduced and then killed.
These episodes were shorts of five minutes each, shown on Liquid Television. For the 2005 DVD release, the shorts were arranged in the following order:
- 1. "War"
- 2. "Gravity"
- 3. "Leisure"
- 4. "Mirror"
- 5. "Tide"
Season 3 (1995)
1. Utopia or Deuteranopia? (August 8, 1995)
Æon searches for Clavius, the deposed ruler of Bregna, who Trevor has held captive.
Trevor says he has decided he must monitor all activity in Bregna to achieve justice, so he sets up a pervasive surveillance system which has the effect of rendering speech unintelligible to the audience. He claims this this program is in the interest of having openness and transparency in government. Ironically, Trevor has a secret himself; he is the one keeping Clavius, the former leader of Bregna, prisoner. Within Clavius's vibrating body Trevor has devised a sort of hidden bedroom in which he wishes to keep Æon. A loyal Breen searching for Clavius, Gildemere, happens upon the secret chamber under Trevor's bedroom where Clavius is being hidden, but he cannot bring himself to violate the portal in Clavius. Trevor's secret seems assured; hiding the chamber thus is the ultimate safeguard against discovery. Trevor arrogantly lets Æon go about her plotting with Gildemere, even after spying on them via video camera. Instead of ambushing her immediately, he decides to wait for the right moment to capture her and charge her with the kidnapping of Clavius. This is in part because her partnership with Gildemere intrigues him enough that he refrains from interfering in order to see what they're up to. Æon meanwhile uses her seduction of Gildemere to torment Trevor as well as to eventually manipulate Gildemere into killing Clavius himself, which he eventually does.
Clavius, it is revealed, was dangerously insane. Trevor had taken power by staging the kidnapping and pinning the blame on terrorists, then using the disappearance to promote fear and anxiety, against which he offers himself as the people's protector. Meanwhile, Æon lures and captures Trevor, forcing him to watch as she cavorts with a Breen officer, making a mockery of his attempt to enforce compliance by suggesting they are under his gaze.
Æon ultimately wished to eliminate Trevor's Clavius problem by forcing a Breen loyalist to take the fall. In the process, she gets rid of the anti-Trevor agent Gildemere, revealing the threat to Trevor himself. It is not only for Trevor's benefit, but indirectly for hers. This allows Æon to eliminate a threat against Trevor, thereby making herself a more powerful enemy. Æon had planned everything to work flawlessly: We see her setting up her escape route at the beginning—placing the bomb in the wall along with dropping the ladder in the manhole. The only aspect for which she wasn't prepared was the hidden love-nest in Clavius's body.
2. Isthmus Crypticus (August 15, 1995)
Trevor becomes obsessed with and imprisons an anthropomorphic bird creature, while Æon tries to rescue the creature's mate. Notable for introducing Una, a friend of Æon's who would later be recast as her sister in the comic book and film.
Aeon meets up with a scientist who tells her that Trevor is keeping two human bird like creatures imprisoned and separated from each other. He wants her to rescue her at any cost. Aeon goes to see her friend Una who is tending to a wounded bird that has a picture of the male human bird attached to it. Aeon gets her to translate documents to what seems to be the location of the creature. When she leaves, Una looks at the picture and is infatuated by it, she starts to have dreams about it. The following morning, Una realizes that she has not started on the translations yet, when Aeon shows up she takes Una with her be her interpreter. As Una is walking Aeon through the steps, she now realizes that the documents reveal the location of the Male human bird's chamber; Una intervenes and tries to stop her from killing him. The scientist shows up to free the female, Aeon blasts a hole through the chamber and both creatures now see each other. As they are about to embrace, a metallic wasp flies out of the scientist shoe and stings the female to death. Una and the male both fly out and Trevor, who is heartbroken about losing the female says to Aeon that she had no right, he tells her to go to hell. Aeon replies that hopefully, he'll take her there one day.
3. Thanatophobia (August 22, 1995)
The title is the medical term for the fear of death. At the beginning of the episode the timbre of clapping with a maintained tempo is heard as two children throw fists near each other's faces. The view then shifts to the source of the sound, a third child happily clapping. Æon Flux is executing a bombing of a factory. The scene then shifts to Trevor. Trevor is being pestered to upgrade the border-control system between Bregna and Monica. Trevor reluctantly agrees, but still believes that the power of ideas is more important than power over the body. In his opinion, people should stay in Bregna because they want to, not because they are afraid of crossing the border. Two lovers try to escape to Monica. During the border crossing, the woman is shot, destroying one of the vertebrae in her spine.
She survives, but is forced to stay in Bregna and work in the factory regularly bombed by Æon Flux, making "medical parts". Meanwhile her boyfriend, under the guise of trying to get her across to Monica, meets with Æon who lives across from them, and whom he's watched as a voyeur for some time. At this time Trevor Goodchild begins to show marked interest in the young woman, posing as a doctor to inspect her spinal gap. Using various tools inserted into the hole in her back, he manipulates her nerve endings, leading her to orgasm. Æon, seeing this from across the street, becomes jealous and pleasures the boyfriend in return, indulging in his fetish for femdom and bondage. In spite of her relationship with Trevor and her suspicions about her lover's infidelity, the woman still wants to cross the border to Monica, and meets with her lover at a hole in the border wall daily. She lets Trevor know of this, and he reacts violently, having enjoyed the relationship thus far, and calling her the "best I've ever had". Æon, tired of their sick game, confronts Trevor and later offers to help the woman cross the border. The woman smells a trap and refuses, later telling Trevor how Æon crosses the border.
Trevor reveals that he already knew and he's letting Æon bomb the factory because he wants it shut down. He wanted his new lover to tell him, thereby proving that she wants to stay in Bregna by her own free will. Æon, frustrated by being rejected, delivers the boyfriend back over the border unconscious. The woman, now sure of her lover's betrayal spurns him when he tries to renew their relationship, and attempts another border crossing. Due to her newfound flexibility with a missing vertebra, she avoids the guns, but the guns have already been supplemented by the new border-guard. She is trapped by tiny wires at the entrance to Monica. In a moment of sick revelation, machines come out of the wall, anesthetise her legs, and then with saw blades, cut them off and sew up the stumps. In her horror she sees that the machines were built with the same parts she constructed at the factory (explaining why Trevor let Æon bomb the factory, since he was against the system in the first place). She lies motionless on the ground, stuck in Bregna forever, a cripple. At the end of the episode another sound can be heard, but it turns out to be the sound of fists making contact as the two children actually hit each other in a brutal manner. The sound of clapping cannot be heard at all, but as the view shifts to the third child again, his arms are shown to have been amputated, implying he had made a similar attempt to crossing the border, and failed.
4. A Last Time for Everything (August 29, 1995)
Trevor develops a method for creating human duplicates. It is implied that he had been working on this process for sometime, as his lab is full of multiple copies of a Breen soldier, which are undergoing various tests. When the original soldier returns and demands ownership rights to his clones, Trevor summons two of the clones to dispose of the original. Meanwhile Æon and the finger-toed Scaphandra cross the border with plans to raid the lab. However, Scaphandra leaps into a car as opposed to following the plan. Æon follows discretely, watching as Trevor takes a sample of Scaphandra's DNA. Through the conversation, Æon realizes that Scaphandra was a double agent. Æon confronts Trevor and frees Scaphandra. She allows Trevor to think he has secretly sampled her as well. Æon leaves and Trevor uses his machine to create a perfect duplicate, right down to her devious personality. After Trevor copies Æon, the real Æon conspires with her doppelganger and switches places with her, the plan being to distract Trevor while the clone destroys the lab, and to manipulate his emotions. Though Trevor initially spurns Æon's overzealous advances, he eventually becomes deeply attached to what he thinks is her clone. At one point, Scaphandra sneaks in to kill Trevor, revealing her to be a triple agent. Æon sends a message to her clone to kill Scaphandra, deciding that she can't be trusted.
Meanwhile, Æon finds herself actually attracted to Trevor, and her loyalty to Monica is challenged. Her clone crosses the border again and allows Scaphandra to be gunned down by the border defenses, which Trevor witnesses. Æon meets with her clone, only to be insulted and called weak because of her shifting emotions. The clone Æon begins a border crossing which forces the real Æon to follow her. Trevor sees this and realizes the real Æon, the one he now loves, will most likely be killed. He frantically orders the guns to be shut down, but it is in vain. The clone Æon escapes back to Monica, and the real Æon allows herself to be killed. Seconds after her death, Trevor is informed that the guns have now been shut down. The episode ends with Trevor falling to his knees with tears streaming down his face in one of his very few moments of genuine emotion.
5. The Demiurge (September 5, 1995)
Monican agents have captured a being called the Demiurge and are preparing to launch it into space. Trevor desires the Demiurge because he believes it will restore peace to Bregna. It has the ability to generate beautiful and peaceful images which entrance those who view them. In order to capture the Demiurge, Trevor has his Breen forces attack the launch site, and during the battle, all of the troops on both sides die except for Trevor, Æon, and two Monican lovers: Nader and Celia. In the aftermath, Æon and Trevor tangle in the launch pit. As they make out, Trevor notices Nader at the launch controls and shoots him. At this moment, the Demiurge opens the rocket capsule and shines forth with a blue light, which has a hypnotic effect on all who observe it, although Æon seems to be able to shake the hypnosis off. The Demiurge uses its power to restore Nader to life. While Trevor is distracted, Æon launches the rocket and the Demiurge is gone. Trevor absconds with Nader's glowing form.
Back in Monica, Æon and Celia meet in a mortuary, and encounter another incarnation of the Demiurge in the form of a glowing bird, which Æon captures in a box. At home, Celia tries to destroy another incarnation, this time in the form of a small catlike being with a third eye, but is moved by sympathy to the crying creature and leaves it alone. Not long after, Æon, pursued by Celia, observes Trevor and Nader from a structurally unsound safe house. As a result of her lightning reflexes, she accidentally kills Celia.
Æon infiltrates the medical lab where Trevor is holding Nader who is on the verge of giving birth to a new Demiurge. As the baby emerges, Æon and Trevor fight over whether to save it or kill it. Æon believes that the Demiurge is evil, while Trevor believes it is their salvation. Before they can resolve the conflict, the Baby causes in them a drug-like feeling of bliss, but when it abruptly leaves, they have sudden symptoms of withdrawal. They bicker over morality, and Æon laughs as a glass breaks, which Trevor claims reveals that she subconsciously believes that the Demiurge is good.
Meanwhile, Breen everywhere are seeing visions of the Demiurge which cause feelings of bliss or remorse. Æon and Trevor finally encounter the fully grown Demiurge in the safe house; it collapses; the Demiurge restores Celia to life, and Trevor saves Æon's life. But Trevor and Æon continue to disagree, while Nader and Celia resolve their conflict over the catlike being, and restore their love.
6. Reraizure (September 12, 1995)
After a Monican agent is captured, Æon, disguised as a Breen soldier, infiltrates the prison where he's being kept.
While trying to escape from a Breen prison after securing some sensitive photographs, Æon happens upon upon a young woman also sneaking out. She mistakes Æon for an enemy soldier and attacks her resulting in Æon killing her by accident. When the woman's partner drives up out front of the building, Æon sees that he's waiting for someone and defends him from an onslaught of guard. Æon then gets inside his car on a whim. The man inside was Muriel's, the woman Æon killed in self-defense, boyfriend Rordy. He is stricken by his lover's death. When Æon tries to comfort him, they end up sleeping together.
The next morning he tells Æon of his life's work. Years ago he and Muriel took a drug called Bliss together. The terrible side effect was that they lost their memories. Not knowing who they were or why they knew each other, they formed a bond. The drug Bliss is only created by a small turtle-like creature called a Narghile. In a pouch on its back it forms, pearl-like, the pellet which can be easily consumed. Since the Narghile cannot be killed for some reason, Rordy planned with his ex-lover to collect them all and blast them into the sun on a rocket platform, forcing their extinction in revenge. They were getting down to collecting the last few, but it seems their dream was crushed by fate. Æon, who is touched by the story, and has fallen more than just a little for Rordy, promises to help him finish his mission. With a Narghile in tow, she climbs a sheer cable up to the rocket platform, suspended miles up in the air. Expecting to find thousands of jars filled with the Narghiles on the platform, she merely finds a few empty jars, and oddly enough, Trevor Goodchild.
Seeing as they are both wearing bulky protective air suits, Trevor initially doesn't recognize Æon, thinking her to be the now dead Muriel. He connects the tube from his air suit to hers and by having the air forced back and forth through the tubes they engage in a bizarre form of non-contact sex, forcing Æon to orgasm. During this strange exchange, Trevor confesses to his newest plot: He and the Muriel were lovers and they both led Rordy on his wild goose chase quest so that Trevor could gain control of the Narghiles. The woman gave Trevor all of them, in a fantastic act of betrayal. Æon reveals herself by attacking Trevor, but Trevor escapes. When she tells Rordy (who's never actually seen the platform for himself), he reacts violently, unable to believe this. While Æon goes after Trevor, Rordy climbs to the platform and finds the proof of his girlfriend's betrayal. Shattered, he blasts the platform away and awaits Æon back at his home. She arrives finding him in a bathtub, memories completely erased by another Bliss pill he took, perhaps as sort of mental suicide. As he tries to figure out who she is, she flees the house, leaving one of the few men she may have ever loved.
7. Chronophasia (September 19, 1995)
The episode opens abruptly with Æon awakening with a scream in the background, only to have the screen fade to black. While scoping out a vantage point in the jungle, Æon intercepts a transmission from Trevor Goodchild who is apparently also in the region looking for an abandoned lab. Pulling a photo of a newborn out, Æon muses where the child might be before accidentally knocking over her surveillance equipment off a branch. This blunder is caught by a cam on Trevor's spider-like mobile command unit and they immediately begin pursuit. Æon flees into a field, backing up against a wall until she slips through a hole in the ground to an underground grotto. She awakens to find a young boy looking after her; she follows him looking for answers into her current predicament and encounters what seem to be several dead researchers from a prior expedition. The boy reveals the network of interconnected laboratories in the cave which Æon recognizes as "Coloden," the place she and Trevor were searching for.
After changing into dry clothes the boy provides, Æon enters an inner lab to find it completely trashed. When she asks if everyone is dead, the boy cryptically replies, "they're unborn" and that he's been there "forever." Finding a host of test tubes destroyed, Æon flatly announces her work is already done and whips out the baby's photo again. The boy laughs upon seeing it, claiming that "this one remembers its function, which all the rest have forgotten." Trevor meanwhile launches an expedition into Coloden's tunnel network only to find more mummified bodies, a puzzling discovery since he claims the facility was operating as little as three weeks prior. He sees the same vials from the inner lab Æon checked, but he notices that out of a holder for five vials, only four crushed vitals have been located. He decides to search the entire facility to see if Æon has the last one. The boy leads Æon to the lair of a horribly obese humanoid monster with an infant's head. The creature roars and Æon blacks out.
Æon awakens just as she did at the beginning of the episode, in a round chamber with many doorways, upon a stone block with strange puddles of gray fluid upon it. Upon exploring one of the corridors, Æon finds a collapsed agent of Trevor's in a bio-hazard suit, and ends up being caught by two more of his agents. Trevor, while feeding Æon in his outdoor base camp, informs her that she's been "infected" with a virus that causes psychosis and eventually permanent insanity. In a moment of irony Æon wishes aloud that she was dead only to have Trevor quip that the virus has never been proven to be fatal, and that it may even extend life in some instances. Trevor reveals the virus was being developed in Coloden, and some research suggested that the virus once existed in every human brain. It was even theorized that it was an important part of the brain by making everyone feel connected. An immunity was developed over time, and ever since that point humanity has been "lacking" this vial component. Trevor says he wants to remove the immunity to unite the human race in happiness.
Æon scoffs at Trevor's plan to reverse humanity's immunity to the virus and shows the baby's photo to Trevor, claiming that she just wants to get this test subject out of the lab. Trevor sets out on another expedition into the caves while Æon escapes the camp and finds the boy again in the lab. She implores him to take her to Trevor's search party to save them from the creature. Finding the entire party collapsed in the creature's room, Æon rushes up to Trevor, who weakly says that "time is in [their] heads" and hands over the unbroken, final vital. The creature awakens and roars and once again Æon blacks out and awakens on the same stone block.
This time Æon finds a collapsed agent in a hallway just as before, but ambushes the guards and avoids being caught. With a gun in hand, she follows the tunnels until she meets the boy again. He is holding the unbroken vital and hands it over only after Æon threatens him. She ties him to a ladder in the lab to "cut down on the variables" of everything happening around her. She finds the creature slumbering in its chamber and runs into Trevor. He appears chipper and well, but Æon quickly discovers he's been exposed to the virus after he begins babbling that the two of them have been there for all eternity. They lock arms and Trevor's face melts away to a grinning skull; Æon blacks out, awakening on the same block as before.
This time the creature has lumbered into Æon's "awakening chamber" and as it silently sucks its thumb, a host of flashbacks play in Æon's mind from other characters in prior episodes. A splotch of brownish liquid floods the screen and Æon awakes to find Trevor offering her a glass of wine in celebration of her recovery. He claims she would give him what he most desires in exchange for the cure. Clueless, Æon guesses he is talking about the vial, but Trevor claims that it is her he desires. She screams and more brownish liquid floods across the screen.
Back in the chamber the creature is slumbering, and the boy is staring at Æon across its corpulent body. The boy confesses he existed before the scientists came, before the infant test subject was created. Æon figures he killed all the researchers and asks what her fate is - the boy replies that he has been waiting for her, that he has always wanted her. The two have a bizarre argument where Æon offers herself only to be rejected, hinting that they are in different time streams. The boy then promises to teach her the secret of time.
Trevor is alive, working in the inner lab going over notes. After reviewing a file he doubts the existence of a fifth vial, and angrily claims that there was no virus and that the entire Coloden project was a scam. Æon, looking ill, is captured by one of Trevor's guards. Although she thinks she has been exposed to the virus, Trevor believes she has only caught the flu.
While traveling in Trevor's mobile unit, Æon, Trevor, and his guard are caught in an explosion causing Æon to scream and black out again. This time, she has the vital on the stone next to her, but the boy is caught in a net far above her and starts narrating about the nature of existence. Æon denies his words as a plethora of costumes cloak her body in split-second intervals, as if she is traveling through time herself. She continues screaming "no" until it ceases and she wanders down a tunnel. The boy calmly says "this I bequeath to you" as Æon throws the vial against the wall. She screams again and is frozen in place with the boy as if they have become statues of glass.
The scene cuts to Æon driving a car in beautiful weather with the boy, now dressed in contemporary clothing. The boy hops out of the car and runs over to a baseball game while Æon, also dressed contemporarily, slowly follows him towards the field.
According to episode writer Peter Gaffney in the commentary track of the DVD, this episode draws upon The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. He also made use of parts of the Diamond Sutra.
8. Ether Drift Theory (September 26, 1995)
Trevor creates The Habitat, a place where experimental life forms are kept. Æon and her friend infiltrate it.
The Habitat is a cube floating in an ocean of red paralytic fluid. As Æon and her friend Lindze head toward it in a submarine, they witness numerous bodies floating. They dock at the Habitat and sneak in. While sneaking through a vent, Æon's ammunition pouch gets caught and all of her ammunition falls out. As the rounds fall, one of them lands on the body of a small lizard, causing an egg to fall out of it. Æon and Lindze avoid a laser trap and split up. Lindze will find Bargeld, while Æon reprograms the patrol robots.
Meanwhile, Lindze's lover Bargeld develops a method of curing the paralytic fluid which he plans on using before he dies from an unspecified disease. Lindze finds him and kisses him despite his protests, unknowingly infecting herself with the same disease. Lindze and Bargeld hurry out, Bargeld takes his device but forgets the key that activates it. Outside, another submarine destroys Æon's sub and docks, revealing that it contain Trevor and a four armed female mutant. He tells her to find Æon, which she agrees to before she is beset by metal hungry insects. She is apparently killed and Trevor moves on without another word. Æon meanwhile notices a bag filled with purple cylindrical objects which are roughly the same dimensions as her gun. She tests this by inserting several into the breech of her sidearm. She throws one that doesn't fit behind her and witness vaguely humanoid creatures that eat them. She throws more and more pellets to them, causing them to go into a frenzy. One of the patrol robots displaces the control system that Æon jury-rigged and an alarm is sounded.
Four of them combine into a machine which Bargeld refers to as "The Eradicator." Bargeld and Lindze inadvertently walk past Æon twice while trying to escape from it. Æon hears Lindze's screams and tries to find them, only to find herself lost in the maze of the Habitat. Bargeld and Lindze escape into a maintenance hatch. Æon encounters the Eradicator and fires at it with the pellets she had loaded before. However, they merely splat uselessly against it. While trying to escape from the Eradicator, she encounters Trevor in Bargeld's lab. They spar briefly and then grab sea creature-looking tools, but Trevor admits that he doesn't know how they work. Trevor then suggests that he and Æon escape together, abandoning his previous position of the Habitat as the perfect society. Æon is attacked by the insects, and she passes out. Trevor relieves her of her metallic suit, which Bargeld and Lindze witness. Lindze takes this as proof that Æon is a traitor. Æon tosses the key at Trevor, inviting a swarm of insects. She leaves the room and chases after Bargeld and Lindze, finding herself in a cafeteria. She steals some food and spills a drink onto the floor, which combines with the yolk of the egg which fallen through the vent earlier. This combination creates a corrosive green liquid which burns through walls and floors, and causes panic in the other beings in the dining room. Bargeld and Lindze encounter Æon, and while Lindze holds her at gun point Bargeld attempts to neutralize the fluid, discovering the key is missing.
Æon remembers it and runs back to find it. Meanwhile, the green fluid begins eating through the entire station, letting in the paralytic fluid from outside and causing the station to fall apart. Trevor saves Bargeld and Lindze, and offers them a chance to escape. They agree to do so, but Bargeld succumbs to his illness. Trevor and Lindze escape in the sub, just seconds before Æon enters the room. The whole station falls apart and Æon tries to grab the neutralizer, but the walls give way before she can. The episodes end with Æon floating in the fluid.
This is notable in the fact that it is one of the few episodes in which Æon loses out completely.
9. The Purge (October 3, 1995)
Æon teams up with an all-woman insurgency and tries to stop Trevor's plan to give everyone an artificial conscience.
The episode starts with Æon chasing a large, mean-spirited man called Bambara. Despite her skill, she remains unable to catch up with him, generally entering a train car just in time to see him close the door and laugh, or shout his catch phrase "piss off!" in a British accent not usual for the show. The last thing Bambara does before leaving is to stick an explosive device to a door where a man sits tinkering with a small toy. From behind the man resembles Trevor Goodchild. Bambara escapes the train and Æon chases him through a construction site, where he kills a worker to escape. He runs into Trevor who is in the midst of one of his usual philosophical musings. In a moment of self parody, Bambara interrupts Trevor mid-sentence, shouting "Piss off, ponce!" Bambara is disabled, and Trevor decides to implant him with a spindly robot called the Custodian by way of his navel.
Bambara awakens and strikes up a friendship with an orphan boy immediately. Trevor describes the Custodian as an artificial conscience, which he hopes to implant in all citizens. Æon has witnessed all this and encounters another agent. She follows this agent to their headquarters, where she witnesses the removal of a custodian. She joins their group, who seek to remove all of the custodians. She agrees to bring them Bambara's Custodian in exchange for the right to bring him in. The members of the insurgency meet each other at a food distribution center, coordinated by the leader from a car parked under a bridge. Trevor seems to have complete knowledge of the group, as he ambushes and captures each of the members as they leave the food center. Eventually, Æon gets into a fight with Bambara, knocking him out temporarily and removing his Custodian. Bambara manages to escape while she struggles with the Custodian. Meanwhile, the bomb Bambara planted earlier goes off, and the train jumps off the track, and destroys the car the insurgency's leader was sitting in. Æon is knocked out and captured by Trevor. Æon awakens, fearing she may have been implanted with a Custodian, which Trevor ambiguously hints at. Æon finds herself on the set of a bizarre gameshow, hosted by Trevor and two identical little girls. The point of the show seems to be to convince Æon that she has a conscience of her own.
Bambara makes his way onto the show and confronts Trevor, who seems to completely shut down. Finally, Trevor sits down on the ground, and goes completely blank, which enrages Bambara. At this point, Æon pulls a lever which is supposed to let a heavy object fall down, but instead Trevor starts to spasm and his head falls back on a hinge, with a custodian crawling out. The custodian's head opens and the little toy that the man on the train had jumps out and starts dancing on the ground. At this point, the gameshow audience pulls their levers which drops Bambara into a pit. She watches until the little toy stops and falls down. She thinks her act proves that she has no conscience, but encounters a custodian who is replicating her act.
10. End Sinister (October 10, 1995)
The arrival of an alien spacecraft begins a battle of wills between Æon and Trevor that lasts for centuries.
Trevor has created a satellite that will shoot a ray, which will possibly destroy half of the human race. Meanwhile, Aeon tries to Stop Trevor from going forward with his plan, she manages to take the control from him and hide it in the woods. She then finds a space pod, which contains an alien creature. The alien has no mouth and no genetalia. A group of thugs who are after Aeon find the alien. Aeon discovers that alien has a precognative feature that saves her from almost being blown up.
Trevor examines the alien and is fascinated by its appearance; The alien can remove its eye and replace it with a human one they eye they have gives them the precognative feeling. Trevor makes plans to travel to the alien's world and discover what he can. Aeon realizes that their goal is to invade Bregna, she decides to carry out Trevor's recent plan and shoot the ray. Aeon knocks the alien out and puts her back in the pod, but the alien attacks her knocking her unconscious and placing her in the pod instead, as she gets out, Trevor has just left, realizing that he might be back, she goes into hypersleep for a long period of time.
When she wakes up, Bregna has now been recolonized and the aliens now inhabit it. Aeon sees Trevor who now has one of the aliens eyes. Aeon who still wants to stop them carries out Trevor's plan, Trevor who can read her thoughts tries to stop her but he is too late. Aeon fires the laser and most of the aliens start dying as a result. Trevor explains that they are not aliens, they are acutally the next evolution in human beings. They all have no choice but to leave. Aeon knocks trevor out and both of them are placed in the pod.
The title makes reference to a bend sinister, though it may also make reference to the novel of the same name.
These were thirty minute episodes, minus commercials. The above list reflects the original broadcast order of the episodes, however, the 2005 DVD release is arranged in a different order separated by director.
Episodes directed by Peter Chung (Disc 1):
- 1. Utopia or Deuteranopia?
- 2. Thanatophobia
- 3. A Last Time for Everything
- 4. Ether Drift Theory
- 5. The Purge
Episodes directed by Howard Baker (Disc 2):
- 6. The Demiurge
- 7. Isthmus Crypticus
- 8. Reraizure
- 9. Chronophasia
- 10. End Sinister
According to the 2005 DVD release, "The Demiurge" was originally intended to be the first episode, but MTV felt that, although promising, it was too radical an introduction to the world of Æon Flux. The episode was therefore moved to later in the production order, and "Utopia or Deuteranopia" was written to replace it. In addition to beginning with the original broadcast episode, the 2005 DVD also retains the order of the original finale episode "End Sinister".
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