Cinescape review of Look At The Princess 1: A Kiss Is But A Kiss

***SPOILER WARNING***

If you missed this episode, plead, grovel, or pledge your firstborn to get a tape from someone before next Friday's installment airs. There was simply too much good stuff to miss before heading into the second part of this three-part story involving love and rejection, palace intrigue, the return of Scorpius, and meeting Moya's Builders.

I don't want to go into too much detail because this is one you really have to see for yourself, and there is no way I can do it justice in a brief review. This episode really shines on all fronts: the character development is stellar (if sometimes infuriating) across the board, the cinematography is gorgeous, and everything clips along at a comfortable pace.

Like all good "part one" episodes, A Kiss Is But A Kiss is an elaborate setup, in which all the events get set in motion. What's great about this is that we aren't subjected to a lot of boring exposition. There's plenty of action, humor, and even some tenderness along the way. Using the palace intrigue as a backdrop, we learn more about the politics of the Uncharted Territories than we have previously been exposed to, and we get our first look at a full-blood Scarran. We also are treated to (or tortured with, depending on your perspective) a horrifying cliff-hanger ending.

Of particular note are the performances of Claudia Black and Ben Browder, with excellent supporting scenes from Anthony Simcoe and Gigi Edgley. Virginia Hey has some terrific scenes interacting with Pilot, whose facial expressions seem more subtle and nuanced with each new episode. Even Rygel has a chance to strut his stuff. The guest stars do fall into the "good guy, bad guy" categories a bit too easily, but that comes with this territory and I for one had no problem with it. The fairy tale nature of the story -- star-crossed love, and an empire hanging in the balance -- calls for just such a cast of characters. Writer David Kemper has given us a terrific launching pad, not just for the rest of this story, but for the remainder of the season, and I for one am having trouble exercising my patience until the next episode airs.

--Joan O'Connell Hedman

 
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