I think (tenatively) that AEon is really a woman in a coma. She has had many hallucinations that are roughly connected and she finally wakes up in Chronophasia. AEon could really be the projection of this suburbanite's supressed desire to kick ass. She may also have been beaten (or in some other traumatic, violent way) into a coma. It may explain why the AEonfluxiverse is so violent.
AEon's son shows up in the "final" episode, Chronophasia. He's the omniscient, omnipotent type person. You know, dark-haired, blue-eyed child. He represents to "AEon's" psyche something simple and sympathetic for her to comprehend. Chronophasia is so disjointed because the waker (AEon) is almost done sleeping. She is being revived from her coma and her mind cannot reconcile it (perhaps she's been under for awhile). Knowing that it must still wake up, the mind creates a cryptic image of this woman's son.
I first saw this episode when I was 12 and it has stuck with me since. I've watched it many times and think that I now have an idea.
Is it crazy?
-- Zero (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 29, 2003
AnswersI've always thought that the chastity belt was a suspicious look to the hazards of love. The example of Trevor's obsession for her makes you explore why. Mentally one runs a list of what might attract him to her. Sexy body, courageous, intelligent. They have a lot in common being inaccessible emotionally, making her inner self pristine. Trevor would naturally hope to possess the whole person and to be desired equally in return. The chastity belt means distrust, fear of rejection. The fact that everyone has a key is a subconscious fear manifested in the animation. The rejection is played out like a burlesque comedy, with Trevor being the butt of the joke.
-- Barb e (Suesuesbeo...), April 04, 2003.
I've always heard (and liked) these theories about Chronophasia for a long time now, theories about potential sons and such. But having watched this one again recently after a long break, I really just think that Aeon is having a breakdown. The first scenes are "real", but it soon just devolves into an excuse for Aeon to confront her demons. I don't think it matters much whether there is a real virus, or a real supernatural phenomenon; either one would just be a means of letting Aeon (or forcing her to) explore these things. So the baby is yet another person to get mixed up with, another potential piece of "collateral damage" for Aeon to befriend, confuse, and maybe accidentally kill, like all the others. Note that behind Aeon's flashbacks of all of these persons (Rorty, Scaphandra, Sibyl) is a bloated-out-of-proportion baby, sucking its thumb. It's over-representational of this type of person in Aeon's life. Aeon also explores her relationship to Trevor, and her fears of death -- all things that she'd have a good reason to suppress.
And those mystifying final scenes? Aeon is probably going through an identity crisis -- her walls have broken down and she's finally releasing all of that pent-up guilt, or whatever you want to call it. Someone who does what Aeon does is hopelessly dependent on a psychic rigidity so artificial and carefully structured that when it finally does break, we see something chaotic, like the conclusion to Chronophasia. By the final scene, Aeon has had it with this, and retreats into delusion.
That's what I think lately, anyway.
-- Mat Rebholz (matrebhol...), March 31, 2003.
I like your idea a lot Zero, even though I doubt that's what the creators intended. Part of what makes truly original stories so great is that they allow the audience to impose their own interpretations on them. Congrats for thinking up such an original and plausible possibility. ^v^
-- Janxa (email@example.com), April 02, 2003.
Wow, Mat...I really appreciate your response! I think it's an interesting spin on a lot of the episodes. If you'll note, also, Aeon (I'm going to stop using that retarded AE...) has hallucinations that float about the baby that, in the series, have not happened yet. I get the feeling that each episode, while being self-encapsulated, is at completely different times in Aeon Flux's life. And yes, I do know that the entire series is up for speculation. Why is there a message board for Aeon Flux and other series like Buffy (not saying Buffy is like Aeon Flux, just saying it's intelligent television) instead of, say, Friends or Will & Grace? Because the aforementioned series have interesting arcs, complex characters, and ambiguous situations.
The theory (more a hypothesis, I guess) is a way of my mind making sense of the series. I've tried to make sense of it for YEARS. This is the best my mind could do. Yet I recognize the series does not actually have congruity or continuity. I know. It's killing me.
Oh, and does anyone have a good explanation for the little key thing at the end of Utopia or Deuternopia? I have yet to come up with even a remote idea of what it signifies.
-- Zero (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 2003.
Trevor seemed to put so much emphasis on that key... but in the end, he found it was just a commonplace object for opening chastity belts. Aeon probably had something to do with it. Just her usual way of turning his big, fantastic projects into silly little things.
-- Mat Rebholz (matrebhol...), April 04, 2003.
The one thing I thought is well Trevor is well penatratiing Clavius. Thus the chasity belt key is used. I think that Trevor knows what the key is from the start. Does he not? I love the Aeon is in a coma theory, if comas are that cool count me in!
-- Mark (nadar@BigPoppaPump.zzn.com), April 05, 2003.
I hadn't yet noted the burlesque concept of the end of Utopia or Deuteronpia. Everyone's reaction seemed to play out more as the end of a sitcom than the dark world Trevor and Aeon inhabit. Of course, it's also humorous because a society without secrets would need no locks (or chastity belts, I suppose) and everyone, now that there is no solitary access to one thing, has access to everything. Trevor did not necessarily forsee the fact that his own privacy would be breached (or at least to what extent it would be breached) as well as that of all residents of Bregna.
Glad this is playing out so well! I read all the old posts and they were all from '98 so I feared that I would get no responses. Thanks for entertaining my thoughts. Perhaps we can do some more?
-- Zero (email@example.com), April 05, 2003.
chronophasia is explained when trevor gives his little "charity work with mental patients" speech.the concept is straight out of "the origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind."it was a landmark philosphical book that received very little attention because it invalidated the idea of god.basically,everyone before 4000 b.c. was schizophrenic,and believed the voice in their head was god.through ordering these many gods into heirarchies,a class system and eventual society came into being.when written language became widespread,the assyrians realized that when they read words,it produced the same effect as if god was talking to them(an auditory hallucination,a volice reading those same words in your head).they followed this to its logical conclusion,realizing that the gods were just voices in their heads.modern man is so used to the idea that he refers to those same voices as "thoughts",leading the author to conclude that the ancients didn't even have a consciousness as we know it.the new meme spread at varying rates;Iliad was pre- breakdown:all the soldiers are seen as pawns,and no one reflects on their fate;Odyssey was post:one man defies the gods.it's even been blamed on the mass exodus of the mayans,which brings me to what in the hell it has to do with chronophasia. trevor hears about the nature of the experiments,and assumes they are trying find a cure for the breakdown,to "bring the pieces back together,rediscover communication":)trevor would love to have bregnans covinced that he was their god,was speaking inside their skulls.who would challenge god?but the antidote to the cure was there somewhere and that could jeopardize his plans.aeon gets to it first,but trevor either assumes it's been destroyed or loses interest,and he takes his helmet off and declares there's no virus to begin the next bicameral age...so he thinks.it turns out the research was to find if there were any other mental illnesses preventing the human mind from reaching full consciouness,and developing a cure for it.well,they found one.time.for what is time but a measure of entropy's effect on our environment,based on gravity's rotation cycles?it isn't a fourth dimension;it's merely another way to perceive things.thus when aeon finds trevor and his men,he says"time is in our minds"the boy is the end result of the experiment,a human who cannot recognize the passage of time(past,present and future all NOW)"my time is not your time"he says.through accident or experimentation on the boy's part,the rate of decay on the city was speeded up("these bodies look mummified.""impossible.this was a working facility two weeks ago.")the boy seeks to pass on his genes with the help of aeon,but he is like another species,and the resulting baby is monstrous.(trevor states this early on."cute baby.yours?")the goo aeon keeps waking up in is afterbirth,and after a few turns round the probability matrix,aeon realizes all the people,not that she could have been,but that she IS,since if time doesn't exist then all possibilities must coexist(an infinite amalgamation of all possible factors and outcomes,out of which human consciousness can only recognize so much.what we choose to recognize,i.e. what fits in with our understanding of the universe,is what makes up our reality)whenever aeon realizes all that,she rejects it,we come to the trademark scream,and she begins back at the point whereupon she begins to understand.at the end she accepts it,breaks the antidote,makes love to the boy,and chooses a good probability for all involved...ergo,the soccer mom.i would love to see a response telling me if any of this massive pile of babble is correct.thanx to the diehards who read this far.
-- alex walsh (doesn't work,firstname.lastname@example.org), May 02, 2003.
i felt i had explain a glaring contradiction in my explanation.namely,why would aeon even be there in the first place,or see the baby before the baby was even conceived?i believe that time was working backwards in regards to the baby,maybe because of her hybrid ancestry,or some action on the boy's part.anyway,aeon did go there to save her,in the sense that she wouldn't exist if it wasn't for aeon.the boy impregnated aeon,but because of what he was,she gave birth into the past.aeon was forced to repeat(by the boy,or maybe just physics)the period of gestation until she produced an outcome that resulted in her coming there in the first place.really backwards,but mostly logical.it just barely avoids creating an infinite loop(i.e. killing your own father)since this is something of a time travel tale.i just love how this episode dispels the notion of time,yet reinforces the idea of causality.on another note,are there any discussions on "the purge"?i'm afraid i don't get that one at all. and what is the synopsis on "demiurge",because i've never seen it,but the title itself makes it seem very interesting.
they are not making love at the end, that is a classical pose of mother and child, oft depicted in the nude. she has some sort of Mom fantasy at the end. Perhaps Aeon is the mega-baby, not growing up, just bigger and with teeth? the catharsis w faces is all of her misdeeds, all of her guilt coming up on her at once. the child is probably Aeon's, by who? Mind-child of herself? Trevor in the woodpile? She and the boy do not mate. lots to think about.
-- Nichevo (email@example.com), June 11, 2003.
My response to the utterly moronic suggestion that some "Origins of Brainy Binoculars" book had anything to do with ideas in "Chronophasia" is recorded in the "one, no two questions..." thread. Beyond that, there are some really interesting ideas here -- most related to but really much more interesting than what I had in mind when I was working on the episode. However, I would have to say that any idea that "Chronophasia" contains an essential key to the series as a whole would be, if not mistaken, at least way beyond the scope of what I (or, to the best of my knowledge, Peter or anyone else involved) ever intended. As Peter has said, "Chronophasia" is the episode which is probably the least representative of his vision for the show. I don't think it's a massive deviation from the spirit and thematic concerns of the rest of the series, but it couldn't be further from being the key or climactic episode. By the way, I don't mean to imply that "Chronophasia" -- even at the script stage -- was written entirely by me. The collaborative process involved in writing AEON was absolutely unique in my experience. The writing of each episode involved a different approach to the work and an (at least slightly) different group of people. Peter provided key ideas and the overarching vision; Japhet and I provided the voice of reason and structural integrity (to the extent there is any); Eric, Mark et al provided brilliantly deranged characters, weird situations and inspired dialogue... and so on. (The writing credits on the individual episodes generally have some vague basis in reality, but-- as with most TV shows -- they rarely include all the contributors.)
Incidentally, one element that's definitely NOT mine in "Chronophasia" is the scene at the end where Aeon and the boy are shown as apparently mother and son in contemporary suburban America. I don't know where it came from (it was probably either Peter's idea or the director's, added when the final script was being story- boarded) or what it means. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't undercut anything in the rest of the episode, but I have no idea what it really signifies. Maybe it's that Aeon is capable of imagining (some part of her may even wish for) such an ordinary existence. Or maybe it's supposed to be a brief, shocking glimpse of a reality that's even weirder and more horrific than any which Aeon has lived and/or dreamed previously.
-- Peter Gaffney (trypsy...), July 15, 2003.
I fell in love with this episode when I saw it when I was 14 or 15. I think that the meaning of the episode is that the boy is what the scientists were trying to clone/copy and the baby was the result of what they wanted, however it obviously wasn't able to handle the "ability". When Aeon finds the boy, he likes her, gives her the ability.
The "ability", I believe, is to transcend time, to watch time like a slide show, this may possibly explain why Aeon keeps waking up and reliving different situations, yet the baby and the boy stay the same becuase they have exited the linear mode and stand outside.
I think that the ending is a combonation of Aeon's and the boy's dream, something they both deeply desired to have and when they both transcend time, they go to a reality that they both have created together, the boy wanted a mother and Aeon possibly desired a family, a normal life outside of the life she knows.
Overall, I think Chronophasia is the most interesting and human episode, dreams are fulfilled and in the end, both characters go to a place of happiness of their own creation.
-- A. Xavier (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 19, 2004.
It drives me crazy that I still don't understand what they were thinking when they made this episode. By the way, the stuff that the boy says "composite things are like dreams... they are thus to be regarded", that's right out of the Diamond Sutra (Mahayana Buddhism), plus a bunch of other stuff that they added about brain tumors and ice cream sundaes. Anyway, hasn't Peter Chung ever explained this episode to anyone in the media? That's just cruel if he hasn't. Basically, the boy is outside of time, while other people perceive time as being linear, he sees that there are a possibly infinite amount of what you could call parallel universes (??) strung together in a chaotic way. Things happen one way in one timeline and another way in another. Probably it goes on forever. When the boy says that he was there before the experiment started, is he telling the truth or not? I cannot answer that question. It would semi-make sense either way, I guess. If he was there before the experiment, he killed the people who were working on it, using his power over time. God knows what the deal is with the baby, why it's so powerful. It seems like he was waiting through all the different possible ways that things could happen, until, eventually the timeline comes where Aeon falls down into the cave, and specifically the timeline where she gives in to him. Notice how improbable all of it is, Aeon dropping that box at exactly the right time, falling into that weird hole... I think that the events in the episode could have happened millions of times before the boy got the outcome he wanted. But he is not impatient... The extent to which the virus is for real, or just a red herring, I don't know. I guess I agree with the people above who said that in some timelines/realities the virus is for real (specifically the final one)and in others it's BS. But really it's totally unexplained either way. How do they go from being snow statues to being middle class folks in an obviously non-Bregnan suburb? Is it some kind of delusionary fantasy? A reality which the boy gains the power to create? Are the other people at the ball game, etc. real, or did the boy create them to? Is it some kind of alternate world that exists on some other plane or something? How were they actually reborn into this other world? Was Aeon born as like a middle-class baby, grow up, get married, have a son, and then the son is the rebirth of the boy? Or does the reality just congeal around them somehow? Does Trevor eventually find those snow statues, or is all time in that dimension frozen along with them? Arrgh! This episode drives me crazy. But I love it. I've probably watched it more times than any single TV show.
-- James Green-Armytage (jarmyt...), June 15, 2004.
― Barb e (Barb e), Saturday, 8 April 2006 03:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink
03-19-08 - 01:34
A great story. fucking the entire team, what a way to go.
-- jergins, Thursday, March 20, 2008 12:19 AM (2 weeks ago) Bookmark Link
― max, Saturday, 5 April 2008 05:33 (ten years ago) Permalink