Alexander the Great “Pilot” (part 6 of 7)
Back from commercial, Alexander is leading his men on that long, arduous trek through Utah. We know it’s arduous because we get a clip of a random soldier collapsing. Cletus comes along to pick him up and see if he’s okay. Aw, that was sweet. I’m glad to see Alexander kicking his ass in front of everyone didn’t turn Cletus bitter.
And now, Alexander and Cleander attempt to push a giant wheeled vehicle upright, which later scenes will show is actually a catapult. And you can never go wrong with catapults.
I guess this is illustrating how Alexander is a real “hands on” type of leader. Willing to get down there in the trenches with his men and all that. Well, I’m on board. Alexander for President in 2008! I mean, we’ve already got a guy dead set on conquering most of the Middle East, so really, how much worse would he be?
At some random point in the journey, Karonos rides up to Attalos, and the two bitch and moan about how they can’t keep fighting these battles. It seems Attalos is also part of the plot against Alexander, and the two men have a secret agreement already set up with Darry-us, in which they’ll be allowed to safely retreat. We return to Extreme Close-Up City as they say they’ll have to somehow get to Alexander and kill him, despite all the “loyalty” surrounding him.
That night, there’s more Shatner beefcake as Alexander sits shirtless by a campfire, while Ada attempts to dress his wounds with wet rags. I guess lifting catapults is pretty brutal business.
Their tender, flute-scored moment is interrupted when Mr. Impeccable Timing himself, Antigonus rides up. He reports that Attalos’ men can’t keep up. Alexander wants to personally go tell Attalos to pick up the pace, but Antigonus grabs him by the arm to stop him. Alexander kind of groans, because that’s the arm wrapped in wet rags.
But Alexander insists he’s not crippled, and is ready to do battle against Memnon. Antigonus says the men need rest, but Alexander reveals that they’ll be facing off against Memnon at dawn.
While Antigonus stares slack-jawed, Alexander goes to Ada, and they have one final tender moment with heavy flutes as he sends her “to the rear”, because it’s not safe for a woman up here with the men. Ada bats her big false eyelashes and says lots of stuff, none of it the least bit interesting.
Once she’s gone and taken her damn flutes with her, Antigonus confronts Alexander. He says the men are too tired to fight, and they’ll suffer heavy casualties. Alexander says if they don’t attack tomorrow, they’ll lose the tactical advantage they gained from this forced march. Antigonus continues to nag Alexander about all that heavy casualties stuff, until Alexander finally shouts, “What are you, my father?”
Antigonus cries, “No!” and actually takes a step back. Hmm. That was a tell, I think. Awww, yeah! Antigonus totally hooked up with Olympias back in the day. You heard it here first!
Antigonus pledges his loyalty to Alexander, but refuses to allow his men to be slaughtered. Alexander says they’ll attack with or without Antigonus. As the older man walks away, Alexander yells, “If you won’t share the responsibility in the front, go to the rear!” And if you won’t liquor in the front, poker in the rear!
Antigonus looks super-burned at hearing this, since Alexander’s basically saying he’s about as useful as Ada. So he had better start brushing up on his belly dancing skills ASAP. Antigonus remains silent, and walks off.
And now it’s time to visit with three random Greek soldiers who we never learn the names of, nor shall we see again. They’re all sitting on a hillside, and one mentions he heard rumors that Antigonus doesn’t think they should attack.
Another soldier assures him that Alexander knows what he’s doing, and tells the other two to get some sleep. And… who are these guys, anyway? The ancient Greek version of the three drifters from Red Zone Cuba? Is Cherokee Jack going to fly them to Persia? Is Memnon hanging out in a community college annex building, wearing a fake beard and smoking a cigar?
The one cynical member of the group mentions that he saw a shooting star, which is a bad sign. He says, “A star falls, a soldier dies.” I always thought that meant a soldier gets his wings. I must be thinking of something else.
And so ends the tale of the Three Random Soldiers. Fascinating stuff that was, really. And then it’s on to the next day, where Attalos and Antigonus are supervising the supply train, a convoy of covered wagons. Attalos says he heard about the argument Antigonus had last night with Alexander, and he supports Antigonus all the way.
Attalos says there are many others who feel the same way about this attack. He says these people, who shall remain unnamed for at least the next thirty seconds, would be willing to take action if they knew Antigonus was on their side. Attalos asks him to join up with their anti-Alexander club, and Antigonus immediately agrees, all too eager to learn the secret handshake and get that awesome decoder ring.
The two men ride off to meet up with anti-Alexander mastermind Karonos. Karonos is a little annoyed that Attalos told somebody else the location of the clubhouse without telling him first. I mean, really, Attalos. Why don’t you just let Vicki Vale into the Batcave while you’re at it?
But Karonos still acts pleased to Antigonus’ face, saying how grateful he is that the older man has joined up with them. But Antigonus, not giving off any hints or anything, stays completely aloof during their conversation. He asks about the specifics of their plan.
Karonos plans to kill Alexander during the battle with a Persian dagger, to make it look like he died at the hands of the enemy. He says this will be “an honorable death” and Alexander will be buried as a hero, and then they’ll be free to negotiate with Darry-us.
“Thus we protect Greece from her enemies,” Antigonus says, getting all high and mighty. “But who protects her from her friends?!?!” Even though he’s taken no real aggressive action, this immediately tips Karonos off that Antigonus isn’t really onboard the Kill Alexander bandwagon. He yells at Attalos to kill Antigonus.
Instead, Antigonus rears his horse up to knock Attalos to the ground, but this unfortunately causes Antigonus himself to fall as well. Karonos jumps on him and they struggle in the dirt. They both have daggers, and they do the thing where their trembling daggers go ever so slowly back and forth, and it goes on and on for such an agonizingly long time that you think maybe Jesus is going to be born at any minute and he’ll show up and be all like, “What, you guys are still at it?”
At first, Antigonus is on the ropes. Then they roll over and now it’s Karonos fighting for his life. Then they turn over again! Oh, for the love of god, someone die, already. Well, I guess somebody heard me, because Karonos stabs Antigonus, who makes a face like he’s in serious need of Alka Seltzer.
Karonos jumps on his horse and rides away, and Attalos quickly follows. Oh, yeah, Attalos. I remember him. That’s the guy who was being incredibly useful a minute ago, and standing around doing nothing while his pal Karonos was on the ground fighting for his life.
But Antigonus is not quite dead yet. He rolls onto his side and begins writing letters in the sand with his finger. He starts off with a “K”.
Back from commercial, we’re at Memnon’s camp. That same flunky shows up and reports that he’s spotted Alexander’s men. Memnon, currently wearing his mom’s pajamas, is in disbelief, because they couldn’t possibly have traveled one week’s march in just three days. Persian Flunky assures him that they did, so Memnon angrily shoves him aside.
By the way, it seems like we’re missing the scene where Memnon learns that Alexander is still alive, despite Flunky’s earlier assurances that Alexander was dead and that there was “no escape”. But then again, based on the rest of the episode, I’m pretty sure I can imagine exactly how that scene would have played out. Verbatim.
Memnon tells his officers that the Greeks found a secret passage through the mountains, which was “clever”. But all the “boy-king” has done is simply saved Memnon’s army “a dusty march!” See? Memnon’s the type who sees the Bag-O-Wine as half full.
Memnon then screams at his men to stop standing around and prepare for battle, and they all scatter like the Three Stooges. Oh man. That bumbling Persian army cracks me up every time!
Meanwhile, Alexander is also preparing for battle. Aristander, our favorite prisoner-beating general, rides up on his horse, all smiles because he knows he’s about to get to kick a lot more ass. Alexander says he’s ready to set the battle positions.
Cut to Memnon addressing his men, gloating because Alexander’s men are tired, and “we are fresh!” Minty fresh! “Stronger! And twice their size! Our cavalry will run through them like weeds on the first charge!” He barks out battle plans, and reminds them he wants Alexander’s head personally delivered to him. Because with the kind of advanced hairpiece technology happening on Shatner’s head, Persia could rule the world!
Meanwhile, Alexander is on his horse, positioned on a rock outcropping. He goes over the battle plans, telling his generals that the hills will prevent the Persian army from surrounding them, which is pretty similar to the tactic the real Alexander used in the Battle of the Granicus. He gives Aristander his orders, and the guy is still preparing for a Colgate ad as he rides off to lead his men.
Alexander gives Karonos his orders, and Karonos just sits there, staring at him. Alexander says, “Questions?” and Karonos just rides off with a smirk. Geez. Why not just write ET TU BRUTE on your forehead and be done with it?
Alexander tells Tauron to get his “machinery” ready. And I do believe he means the catapults. Yeah! Admit it, you got a little bit excited when you heard that, too. I mean, who doesn’t love catapults?
He instructs Tauron to be prepared to drop boulders on Memnon’s men. He then has Cletus put his bowmen up on the cliffs, and to Cleander and Attalos he assigns the center. And while most of the generals respond with a hearty “yes, my lord!” or words to that effect, Cleander simply nods. Can’t have Adam West getting another line, now can we?
And those… were the entirety of the battle plans. Wow! Alexander really was a genius with all this strategizing stuff, wasn’t he? I mean, whoever thought of using giant boulders as weapons before?
Everyone has their marching orders (literally) and Alexander says a prayer and looks to the sky. We see all of his soldiers on the move, and here’s hoping the Persian army has less than forty men, or else Alexander is royally screwed. (But not in the way Ada is getting royally screwed every night, ha ha, I’m so funny.)
Cut to Attalos and Karonos conspiring. Karonos says their plan has failed. Er, what? “I loved him too much!” And then he adds, “Still, he must die before he destroys us all.” Okay. I’m feeling like I missed another scene in here. Like maybe the one where Karonos tried to kill Alexander and failed. Or maybe Karonos thought he could kill Alexander just by smirking at him. You know, it doesn’t really matter. It’s time for battle!