What was the live show in the Purge about before Bambara got there?

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The idea that we have a built in ability which leads us to choose right from wrong being absurd was a point discussed in the past, and makes good sense actually. This ep is built on that premise, but I have watched it many times, and it still confuses me. Here are the points of confusion I have, and if anyone can shed light on them I really would appreciate it: Bambara is implanted with a conscience, and Aeon accepts a mission to retrieve the conscience and implant it into herself in order to deliver it; (a)I'm assuming Aeon wants to remove the conscience because the notion of a violation of another individuals freedom, (even Bambara?) is abhorrent to her. Yes? (b)She is supposed to implant herself, at the last minute she obviously thinks twice, is it because she doesn't want to lose her own freedom? (c)when she is on line to eat the cabbage there are people being shot and brought in to Trevor, people with consciences in them, hey, didn't Trevor arrange for this whole conscience implanting thing? Why is he acting like he isn't aware of it? (d)the most profound question: why didn't Trevor implant Aeon? Did he want her to believe she was implanted to see if it would act on her like a placebo? Did he personally have misgivings about removing Aeon's free will? Does that indicate he loves her for her self? Not wanting to see her behaving according to anything other than her own will? Then why did he capture her? She is held in bondage and he then attempts to 'display' to an audience his 'prize'. Then the show is interrupted. Was the show supposed to be that he implanted the famous interloper, Aeon Flux? However - he didn't, (?) I'm lost on this one, and yet, I love it,as Aeon is drawn beautifully, and also looks the most dynamic in it.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), November 09, 2000


Okay, here are my thoughts:

A. Aeon is after Bambara for other reasons, as the episode intro suggests. Her agreeing to purge him is only a way for her to capture him, or do what she will (note her primary impulse upon purging him was to, presumably, kill him with a scalpel).

"What if I purge Bambara for you?"

"If you purge Bambara of his custodian and deliver it to us, you may do with him as you please."

Aeon has her objectives, and the insurgency has theirs.

B. As I referrenced above, Aeon prefers to complete her own objective before completing those of the insurgency. Thus, she begins to attend to Bambara first.

C. Trevor is only shooting the members of the insurgency. Note that those citizens who aren't members pass through harmlessly to board some sort of vehicle, taking them back to who-knows-where...

D. Do we really know if she was implanted or not? Maybe I haven't been following the discussions closely enough, but I think this is still yet to be determined, or perhaps left as a matter of opinion. I think it would fit well if the entire show was simply a facade, and Trevor was toying with Aeon, taunting and torturing her with the possibility that she was out of control. I think he does admire her staunch independence, either consciously or otherwise.

I think this might be my favorite episode, partly for the theme, and partly for the execution. The visuals are amazing, I agree, and it has an endlessly debatable and deep intellectual side, as well. I think this episode would have made a wonderful full-length feature, had things been different. It just has that sort of wide range to it, and viewing it gives me a sense of something greater going on, far more than the other episodes, for some reason.

-- Matthew Rebholz (matrebholz@yahoo.com), November 10, 2000.

Regarding point D, Eric Canete has already confirmed that Aeon was not implanted. Anyway, it'd be a bigger victory for Trevor if he could manipulate the real Aeon Flux.

-- Paul (gilbreathfamily@worldnet.att.net), November 11, 2000.

What confuses me is Aeon's lever-pull... what was that for? Any ideas?

-- Paul (gilbreathfamily@worldnet.att.net), November 11, 2000.

I believe that the lever was pulled as she believe it would have released the weight, dropping on the Trevor clone.

-- William (stateofflux@yahoo.com), November 14, 2000.

Definitely. It was a way of testing Aeon, perhaps. In a way, it proves that Aeon has not been implanted, that she is willing to kill the man she loves (or in this case, kill the two most annoying people in this episode of her life). Once Aeon pulls the lever, her dominance is maintained, and Trevor's "dirty carbuncle" is exposed for the sham it is.

-- Matthew Rebholz (matrebholz@yahoo.com), November 15, 2000.

the motion of her body in pulling the lever was mirrored by the custodian she encountered when leaving.

-- divinity (dflkga33@sldkjf.com), December 05, 2000.

Well I first must say that the custodian, makes a motion not similar to the lever pull, but to the head hostess. When she points at Aeon, "whats 17X9?". The other point I bring is that she tries to kill Bambara first because she knows she won't be able to will the custodian. This whole episode is based on a simple idea. The custodian represnt law. The laws we have written down that "define" our morality, these words, force you to care about some things. For instance, seatbelts. Why are people fined if they don;t wear seatbelts? They stand to hurt no others, than themselves. If you do something only because it is law abiding, that the loss of substance and the grasping at the shadows.

-- Nadar (nadar@BigPoppPump.zzn.com), December 09, 2000.

I have to disagree with that, the animation of the Custodian is obviously a direct transfer from Aeon's motion with the lever. However, I do agree with you on the idea that the Custodians represent the artificial sense of morality that law, language and other such human-created structures enforce upon us.

Speaking of the old woman (Principal Lorna, I believe), she seems like the type that used to be (or still is) in Aeon's line of work. Aeon says "far out" upon seeing the photo of her with her autograph; perhaps this could indicate that she's a recognizable figure in the world of subversive dominatrices? The grandmother of the industry, so to speak?

Also, what does it mean when Lorna asks Aeon "What's thirteen times nine?" I've heard (in an earlier post, I think) that the answer, 117, means "in" in pager code, or something like that. Any other ideas? I always just assumed it was a small test for Aeon, a quick judge of ability, but perhaps it's something else?

-- Matthew Rebholz (matrebholz@yahoo.com), December 09, 2000.

Also, Nadar, that's another good point about Aeon wanting to kill Bambara first. She probably has some idea that the Custodian will affect her ability to get the job done in this case, so she's decided to take some liberty with the plan for her own benefit.

Something else just came to me: isn't the image of a Custodian entering its host rather interesting, in that it forces itself upon its hosts? Watching the episode again today, I realized this is probably a fitting metaphor (placed intentionally or otherwise) for having an idea shoved down one's throat, like the idea of ultimate, universal morality, when one doesn't want it. Also, the Custodian is in the shape of man; like the systems humanity creates to make sense of the world (language, philosophy, metaphysics, a conscience, etc.), the Custodian is only a slim shadow of the reality it represents, a stick figure as opposed to the real thing. I don't know if I'm conveying this idea very well, but hopefully you know what I mean.

And, to pose another question, what is up with the beverage Trevor sips from a straw onstage? Is it relevant, or just weird?

-- Matthew Rebholz (matrebholz@yahoo.com), December 09, 2000.

Good points I though that 17X9 was just a quick test, that Aeon of course passed easily. The taking in of waster to me seems somewhat geared towards, creating imagery that is subliminal. Trevor talks about fire, and cools his own inner fire with the liquid. On a side note this is one of the episode where Trevor becomes as dictaror like as can possibly be, it has been said about Castro that he love his people and in a way treats them like his children. Well not so sutble,"It was for my children, Judy, Bambara that I created the custodian.". Absolutly my thoughs with the custodian being forced upon people, I did not choose what country I was born in, I did not choose the laws, and taxes that govern my life, I am already implanted. I just don't see the lever pull, and the custodian, they don't look all that similar to me. Everyone else does though, and I though abou it and can't find why, if she isn't implanted, why would it be the same. Whoa, unless its that Aeon herself is very ridgid, in her thinking, and perhaps we see that she grasps at her own shadows, without the substance. Like as though her talk of freedom is just going through the motions. This just came to me so please forgive if it doesn't make sense. Maybe this isn't such a good idea, but I won't delete it. Your custodian theory is quite good however. I remember that I found the way the custodian looked at first to be quite, well upsetting. Its like peversion of the human form. It might be a stick figure as a metaphor. Like a child would see the world in black a and white, and draw stick figures. Its supposed to be look simple, because its over simplifed. I think thats what your getting at right?

-- Nadar (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), December 10, 2000.

Its the sequence, Trevor drinks the talks about the will to evil, like an iron in a forgethere is only one way to shape it, with a conscience. Thats the fire for the forge.

I beleive that it shows that Trevor is putting ou his conscience, as so many people do when it works to advantage. Also this taken along the same lines could mean, that Trevor thinks that he needs no conscience, as he understands why he and other people are evil. He display a contempt for regular people in this sequence as well, he understands the will and others don't, so of course his idea of right and wrong must supersede theirs.

-- Nadar (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), December 10, 2000.

13x9=117 - 117 is an espionage code for 'in' (with the 1 and 7 forming the n)- a word to represent a shared knowledge - deeming this person trustworthy (ie Aeon)

-- William (stateofflux@yahoo.com), December 10, 2000.

Thanks, William, interesting...

Going back to Nadar's words, I agree, and I think Trevor is certainly not a host himself. Only someone secure in their own conscience could enforce it upon another.

-- Matthew Rebholz (matrebholz@yahoo.com), December 13, 2000.

I'm not ashamed to say the ending of this one mystifies me. I agree with the claim that Aeon asserted her "autonomy of will" and Trevor's false conscience is proved to be a sham. (note that this is a reconstruction of another lever-pull earlier in the episode) But why is the custodian in the tank repeating the lever motion? Does it just mean that she hasn't been implanted? Why does it freak her out so much?

-- Frosty the Snow Chick (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), December 13, 2000.

I you can in some way discern just what I was trying to say above I give my own theory. If you can't don't be alarmed I have recently been given a conscience and would very much like to help you decipher it. I will say this Aeon "killing" Tervor at the end of that episode, is her least noble moments in all 10 of the 3rd season eps. I will kill you just to prove I can. She is very much turned into a child by Trevors actions.

-- nadar (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), December 13, 2000.

Nadar's got a point. I don't see the lever-pull as Aeon asserting herself, she may think she is, but in fact it shows how much she was being manipulated by Trevor. He anticipated her every move. The custodian in the tank is, to me, just his way of telling her that, as chaotic as her actions seemed (the toilet paper, the dog), to Trevor she is an open book.

-- Paul (gilbreathfamily@worldnet.att.net), December 14, 2000.

Good point, Paul, I agree. Also, something else I've realized is that the custodian's imitation of her lever pull could be representative of the fact that the individual who enforces an artificial system (such as a common morality) upon a group of people can intend it for anything, not just a commonly assumed sense of good. The image of the custodian committing a potentially harmful act proves that human nature is not simply striving for good, but goes where the influential people (in this case, Trevor) take it.

-- Matthew Rebholz (matrebholz@yahoo.com), December 14, 2000.

The problem is the concept of goodness itself is debated. What is good? Trevor's 'good' is different than Aeon's 'good'. Aeon fears the loss of her individual will, Trevor believed he knew what was good and sought to superimpose his 'will' on society. Trevor never would have suffered the loss of his own will, only the magnification of it as all society would've taken on his personal morals. Yet it seems without implanting Aeon, Trevor stepped back to see what her personal decision would be, will she kill me if I...when we force others to behave as we believe they should, we also force them to hide from us their real thoughts. The price 'Trevor' would have to pay if he implanted Aeon.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), December 15, 2000.

To answer the rumination: maybe Trevor 'set' the conscience outside to imitate her previous behavior, showing he already guessed the outcome. A mocking proof to her that she really did need his 'conscience' after all, as she has seen the folly of her own 'conscience' repeated in the lever pull.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), December 15, 2000.

That's what I said... but I don't think it was meant to show Aeon her folly. My original point was, Trevor wanted to mess with her head, which would've been impossible, had she already been implanted. The custodian Aeon sees could've been meant for her all along, before he changed his mind about using it.

-- Paul (gilbreathfamily@worldnet.att.net), December 16, 2000.

Which contradicts what I said earlier, but it is a definite possibility.

-- Paul (gilbreathfamily@worldnet.att.net), December 16, 2000.

It seems to me that this episode, shows just how arbitary morals seem to be. Aeon has her free will, and its easy to manipulate that. The custodians work with ice pops as well as programming. Trevors version of conscience, does a little dance and then falls dead. It seem to show that to have a ridgid value system is to make you into some form of superficial, something.

It would seem that perhaps we might want to look at Bambara being implanted, he is completely out of control, unpredictable. Aeon although somewhat unpredictable has a beleif system that makes her easy to control.

So in this episode all the characters are playing games, the hostesses, Aeon, even Trevor. Bambara is one who is truely living life, prehaps in the only real and lasting way, "what I want, when I want."

-- Nadar (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), December 16, 2000.

This post brought up some personal issues, I always thought I was a pretty self motivated as far as morality goes but how do I know what I would feel if I were in a different society. Like I think of this pedophilia is very disturbing, wrong, and evil. In Rome they had an act called pedicide(sp) that was an accepted practice. This is very disturbing that a society could have sex act between a man and a child as a part of life. I'm fairly open when it comes to sex but this and things like it are horrible to me. Would I have gelt the same if I had lived in Rome? I really am questioning my right and wrong.(my apology for the sickening example but I had to use something that disturbed me.)

-- NAdar (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), December 16, 2000.

After reading this board, I watched The Purge on the 'big' set in my living room, such a rarity to use this set that it was like going to the theatre for me, (I had the house to myself that day), and what a thrill!!!I finally understood the last scene, sorta, thanks to this forum, and was it heavy. It was a masterpiece ending. As chilling as the stocking scene in Thanatophobia.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo@aol.com), December 18, 2000.

Barb E. what did you finally take away from this discussion and a well Paul, Matt, Frosty, what did you get out of this? This was a great topic, and I wish I had more insight, but the well is dry.

I took away lots I learned more about this episode and came up with more new ideas than I have in years. I get that things at the end(on my own terms) which mystified me before. I also think that the espionge ideas brought up are true.

When Aeon wakes up right before she passes out again what does trevor say" I am an utter genius, therfore...?" I can't make it out, I taped these off Tv, so the sound isn't great. I'm sure this is very significant.("can I borrow the fabric")

-- I choose you NAdarchu (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), December 19, 2000.

I'm not completely sure, but my two guesses are:

Aeon - "You're dreaming of me..."
Trevor - "I am a man of dreams, therefore I can afford to dream of you."

Or is it:

Aeon - "You're drooling on me..."
Trevor - "I am a man of dreams, therefore I can afford to drool on you."

Either makes sense to me. As for the relevance, it seems to describe Trevor's mindset; he lives for ideas, dreams.
I agree, this has been a very fruitful discussion, and I've looked at this episode in a much more lucid way ever since.

-- Matthew Rebholz (matrebholz@yahoo.com), December 19, 2000.

I can't beleive that I got I'm an utter genius out of your drooling(dreaming) on(of) me. My sound quality must be worse than I thought.

-- nadar (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), December 19, 2000.

It's "i am a genius, therefore i can afford to drool".

-- Paul (gilbreathfamily@worldnet.att.net), December 20, 2000.

I had yet another good thought, these 2 final scenes are put together like Alice in Wonderland, it very sureal perhaps thats as much for our benifit as it is for storyline. I wonder if its not supposed to induce us into letting our critical, thinking go. So in the mind of the veiwer it becomes easier to accept the vague metaphors that this scene is laced with. Maybe the whole bit after Aeon falls asleep is a dream. This could be a look into Aeons fears of losing control of herself. It would stand to reason, she's dreaming in Trevors custody so a real fear she would be having will I be implanted. Then as she realizes in the dream is having this much fear of losing something is to be easily controlled anyway.

-- Nadar (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), December 20, 2000.

Why do the hosts and hostesses of the Custodians have a penchant for singing jumprope rhymes and Mother Goose? I recently found the entire "hinx, minx" rhyme under a web search, apparently it's an established nursery rhyme. I think this represents the idea of the conscience as a childish concept, while a personal exploration of morality is something considered more "adult", more grown-up. There's some sort of theme going on in this episode, concerning children and childishness. Note that Bambara gives the young boy his arm - there's an exchange of some kind taking place. What could that mean? And then there are Trevor's twin girls...

-- Mat Rebholz (matrebholz@earthlink.net), May 21, 2001.

Morality is always based on children, especially the gov't morality. "Think of your childrens future." Its one of those things thats at once cliche and also meaning full. Childish behaviour is considered innocent, even though it really doesn't have anything to do with lack of guilt. Its more of a unawareness. Like laughing stupidly as your lifted by pulleys to the rafters, or giving your useful arm to someone. Perhaps it says that only through forced unawarness(repression)of our feelings can we become proper citizens. Thats what societal pressure is for, thats modern liberals very much don't want to hear the oppositions point even to be heard. Almost as though they will be, in a larger sence custodians for everybody.

BTW when I say modern liberals I'm talking of college age kids, and I'm thinking of sevral recent events I heard about. I wish I could be less general but, thats the way I heard it described.

-- Mark (hammerofthehorse@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), May 24, 2001.

Hows this for Trevors girls, they do bad things, the kind of things Trevor could never do in front of the audience. Like pulling all those levers that are meant to hurt/frighten Aeon trevor would have been booed off the stage. Leaders use children! Well no not just leaders lobbiests, their own parents, con artists they will get you what you want if your not afraid to use them.

-- Mark (hammeroftehhorse@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), May 31, 2001.

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