Ether Drift Theorygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread
This is one of the episodes that I haven't seen, but I'm interested that I've never heard anyone talk about it. Is this because there are no mysteries in this episode - that there is nothing requiring clarification or dispute - or is it unpopular because it is not centered around Aeon (not sure about this)?
-- Philip Mills (email@example.com), May 29, 1998
I think that "Ether Drift Theory" is one of the more clearer episodes of Aeon Flux. It is clear about Aeon's intent: to infiltrate the Habitat and rescue Bargeld, a scientist who Trevor is holding captive; it is clear about Aeon's alliances: Lindze, Bargeld's significant other (although she changes her mind subsequently when she sees Aeon and Trevor in an...let's say unusual position; and it is clear about Aeon and Trevor's relationship: having been previously romantically involved, Aeon and Trevor now hate each other (Trevor claims that Aeon can destroy the Habitat). This episode is unique in the look (the characters are much more sleeker and visually developed) and that this is one of the few third-season episodes where Aeon dies at the end (or majorly disabled, as she is paralyzed in the fluid). This is my third favorite episode (with "The Purge" and "Thanataphobia" coming in before).
-- TGoodchild (JoeShmo808@aol.com), May 29, 1998.
This episode was all about irony. Numerous times during the show Aeon's life could have been saved if she had gotten there a few seconds earlier,hadn't dropped her ammo down a vent, didn't knock her drink off the table...ect. Basically it was just a fast paced action adventure story minus the boring parts most action-adventure movies add in. Actually, aeon doesn't die, but ends up suspended in the ocean of paralytic fluid. As she's floating there, she watches a gizmo which turns the fluid to water and the key that turns it on floating towards each other, but the key misses the keyhole by a fraction of an inch. It's a very unsettling episode.
-- frostbite (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 03, 1998.
I've also noticed that "Ether Drift" doesn't get a lot of discussion. But for some reason I'm particularly drawn to it- because it's the first time I was "tuned in". My first taping. I especially enjoy Trevor's voiceover: "A dream can seem to last for hours, and yet I awaken to find I've been sleeping for only a few minutes..." This synced with the scene of the mutants taking their dinner. Very surreal in an odd dissonant way.
Reminicent of Samuel Coleridge's opium induced poetry: http://library.advanced.org/3247/cgi-bin/dispover.cgi?frame=none&poet=coleridge.samuel
Also, a wonderful scene of compassion by Trevor at the end as he comforts the mourning Lindse, and rescues her. Splended.
Hey, Rach, you with us, my man?
-- Robert (email@example.com), June 04, 1998.
Chung says that this episode was all about misunderstanding, between all of the characters at hand. In the end, it destroys relationships and lies, and none of it had to happen, but it did. An interesting thing I noticed here is that Bargeld seems to have a knowledge of Aeon Flux simply by name (I can imagine him reading Foozwak under the covers while Lindsze sleeps). Moments before he dies, we see a very striking shot of his face, in which he slowly utters the name "Aeon Flux" with what seems to be a tint of disgust... this one thing is one of the more intriguing scenes of the episode, to me... Something else- I wonder where Trevor could sanction the space to construct an entire ocean of paralytic fluid? How did Aeon and Lindsze get access to it?
-- Mat Rebholz (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 20, 1998.
I'd like to point out that the word "Bargeld" in German means cash money (as opposed to check or credit). I wonder if Chung knew this and used the word to signify Bargeld's prescence in the Habitat. That is, he was working for Trevor because he needed money but realized what he was doing and invented the gizmo that would dispel the paralytic fluid-- but a little too late. Maybe I'm reaching with this?
-- KAnderson (email@example.com), July 11, 1998.
I think the name Bargeld is significant, but I heard a different translation of the word (back in the days when I was listening to KMFDM) -- 'pocket change'. A small, insignificant amount of money, which basically summarizes Bargeld's position -- he's a grunt, a lowly worker stuck in the middle of an enormous deathtrap. Funny how his ambition is to set all of the prisoners free... This reminds me of a general trend in the show, how little actions that would normally be meaningless set off huge chain reactions (Aeon knocking her drink off the table is a perfect example).
-- Zach (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 24, 1998.
Recently watched this episode, and I found some new things to ponder over...
1.) The symbol of the human eye comes up frequently, not just in this episode but throughout the series. We see it in the title sequence, a giant eye as part of Trevor's anonymous project. Then at the end of the sequence, we see the typical fly-in-Aeon's eyelashes (which Chung says is a symbol of Aeon's domination over death and pestilence). In this episode, I think it occurs twice: when the four-armed woman dies, we see a close-up of her eye, and in the final shot as Aeon drifts in the fluid. What could this symbol mean?
2.) This episode seems to reflect some of the aspects of the episode "Night". Aeon messes up continually (dropping the ammo, the drink, the egg, constantly getting separated from Lindze, etc.). Any thoughts?
3.) When Bargeld is infected with the virus, we see a shot of it coursing through his system somewhat reminiscient of the first season. Any connections?
4.) The symbol of the mechanical flying insect (bee, let's say) shows up twice in the series, this is the second episode in which it appears (the first is in "Isthmus Crypticus"). What does this symbol represent?
5.) Something small and probably insignificant, but do you notice that the feeding creatures that go into a panic (when Aeon is loading her gun) have long curly fingernails on their thumbs? I'm stretching, but is this a fetish referrence? Or just another visual oddity?
6.) When Aeon and Trevor meet up in Bargeld's room, Trevor discusses the merging process. "I need a partner to escape _myself_", he says. This could be taken two ways: he's saying that he also needs a partner to escape; and is he also revealing something intrinsic about himself? Does he need a partner (like Aeon) to escape something deep within him? Guilt or remorse perhaps?
7.) And finally, something probably unimportant, but for some reason Bargeld reminds me of Peter Chung, from the photos I've seen of him and the occasions I've heard him speak...?
-- Mat Rebholz (email@example.com), August 22, 1998.
All of these contributions are interesting...I always thought that even though Aeon is clearly stuck at the end. I always assumed that Trevor got her out. (Although we do not see this.)
-- r. duke (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 04, 2003.
google translator says bargeld is german for cash, not change or cash money. is lindze a german word?
-- nefer frost (email@example.com), August 05, 2003.