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Recap / The Dark Crystal Age Of Resistance S1E2: "Nothing Is Simple Anymore"

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As Aughra awakens upon sensing a calamity on Thra, Deet experiences the surface before gaining a traveling companion in the Podling Hup, who fancies himself a paladin who will protect her, as they journey to Ha'rar. There, Brea visits Elder Cadia of the Sifa Clan for help deciphering the symbol's meaning. Cadia instead attempts to wipe out Brea's memory by having her drink powdered nulroot... only for her to switch the drinks at the last second, rendering him amnesiac instead. Cadia's apprentice Onica offers her services if Brea brings her the All-Maudra’s brightest jewel by tomorrow night. Back in the castle, labeled a murderer, Rian uses dreamfasting to reveal Mira's death to their friend Gurjin. The two then resolve to steal the vial of Mira's essence as additional proof of the Skeksis' misdeeds. The two manage to acquire it when skekTek catches skekSil stealing it, but the two Skeksis capture Gurjin while Rian escapes with the vial. skekTek reports this to skekSo before skekSil spins the story so that the scientist is blamed for Rian's escape instead. The Crystal Guard are sent after Rian, and skekTek is subjected to an eye-gouging peeper beetle as punishment.

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Tropes featured in this episode include:

  • Big Damn Heroes: We get introduced to Hup the Podling as he (comically) tries to save Deet from an Arathim attacking her. It first seems like an Epic Fail as he ends up All Webbed Up, but he and Deet manage to turn this to their advantage and cause the Arathim to flee.
  • Blatant Lies: Chamberlain tries to deny that he took the vial from the Scientists lab, and blames it on Rian. The Scientist claims he would believe it, if not for the fact that there are still bits of the locksnake he left to guard the vial between the Chamberlain's teeth.
  • Cassandra Truth: The Scientist tries to explain that it was the Chamberlain who stole the vial of essence from the cabinet which allowed Rien to grab it and escape, but the Chamberlain twists his words back on him so well that the other Skeksis don't believe him.
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  • Consummate Liar: The Chamberlain proves to be an exceptional liar, able to twist any situation and frame his words just right to come out his own way.
  • Eye Scream: Peeper beetles love eating eyes, and one of them is unleashed on skekTek as punishment for letting Rian flee. This explains skekTek's mechanical eye afterwards.
  • Dramatic Irony: Aughra is suddenly awakened from her astral projections because she can sense that Thra is in great peril. She considers going to the Mystics but decides she has no time for riddles, and decides to go to the Skeksis instead since she left them to guard the Crystal in her absence and they'll know what's harming Thra. Little does she know...
  • Fish out of Water: Deet is pretty out of her element on the surface. She finds the three suns blinding, confuses moons for stars, and isn't aware that there are dangerous animals (like spitters) that will try to eat her.
  • Frame-Up: The Chamberlain does this twice over.
    • The Chamberlain suggests the Skeksis accuse Rian of murdering Mira, both to explain why they want him captured and to cover up for Mira's murder.
    • When the Scientist tries to explain that it is the Chamberlain's fault that Rian escaped with the vial of Mira essence (since the Chamberlain stole it out the vault to begin with), the Chamberlain uses half-truths to pin the blame on the Scientist.
  • From a Certain Point of View: Part of what makes the Chamberlain such a scarily efficient Consummate Liar: He tells the story in such a way that even his accuser has to admit it's mostly true, which gives credence to his lie, but with only one little innocuous detail left out that seems trivial to the listener, but changes the entire context of the story.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Deet, which is why she's so shocked when a spitter tries to eat her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Cadia tries using an amnesia-inducing drug on Brea in the drinks he serves. She switches cups and he drinks the wrong one.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: What Cadia's drug causes. It backfires on him when he tries using it on Brea, as she performs a switcheroo.
  • Mistaken Identity: When waking up, Aughra first thinks the old podling caretaker is the same podling that worked for her as a child when she went to sleep. However, as she soon learns, that podling is long gone and this one is in fact his grandson.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The chamberlain gets rid of the locksnake that was keeping Rian from getting his hands on the vial of essence, and not much later, during his fight with the scientist, drops the vial to the floor, giving Rian a perfect opportunity to snatch it and run off with it.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Two characters fit the bill.
    • Aughra doesn't endear herself to her Podling caretaker by using him as a crutch to stand up.
    • Seer Cadia's assistant Onica doesn't seem to agree with his attempt to make Brea forget the symbol she saw, readily knocks him out when he tries to manhandle Brea, isn't particularly upset when his memory is completely erased, and offers to help Brea find the answers she seeks.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Brea pulls off the chalice switcheroo by pretending to drop her bag of payment, making Cadia and Onica think she's a careless and clumsy little girl as they bend down to pick up the scattered coins, allowing her to switch the goblets unnoticed.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Not lethal poison, but Elder Cadia attempts to give Brea a memory-wiping beverage to drink. This backfires spectacularly when Brea switches the glasses and he drinks it instead.
  • You Have Failed Me: Skeksis avoid killing each other, but punishing failures is still in the range of what that they can do to each other. skekTek gets the peeper beetle treatment for letting Rian flee. Simply put, an eye-devouring insect is unleashed on his face. Although it was actually skekSil's fault, he managed to place the blame on skekTek.

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