“Yippee Ki Yay” was heaps of gory, silly fun, with cannibal aliens, a karaoke battle, and daring escapes galore.
This recap of Vagrant Queen Season 1, Episode 2, “Yippee Ki Yay”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
I was pretty mixed on the premiere episode of SyFy’s feather-light sci-fi action-adventure Vagrant Queen, but its second episode, “Yippee Ki Yay”, was where it all clicked for me. As a throwback to a bygone age of low-budget pulp science-fiction misadventures, it’s actually heaps of fun, complete with all the cheap-looking aliens, splashy gore, preening villains and up-tempo needle-drops you’d need to evoke a lost period of unpretentious genre entertainment.
In Vagrant Queen Episode 2, Elida (Adriyan Rae), Isaac (Tim Rozon) and Amae (Alex McGregor) land on the planet Griebos to refuel their ship – a classic mission-of-the-week setup – and find the place a septic junkyard inhabited by cheap-looking gorilla aliens and cannibals; if they’re imprisoned, which of course they are, the only way to escape is to win a karaoke battle against a fellow prisoner which takes place in cages suspended over a pool of lava.
I mean, really – what’s not to like about any of this? It’s a silly adventure full of action, escapes, more imprisonment, singing, and more escapes, and it would probably have sustained the entire episode on its own. But “Yippee Ki Yay” also finds time for a flashback sequence explaining Elida and Isaac’s history and current enmity, which keeps landing them in further trouble, and Lazaro (Paul du Toit) torturing that rabbit thing for information. As ever, the line between what’s supposed to be funny and what’s supposed to be serious is pretty blurred for me; that whole interrogation sequence seemed like a lark, with its silly voices and gory suicides, though I suspect it was intended to be taken a bit more seriously than I took it.
That isn’t to say that not taking Vagrant Queen Episode 2 seriously is a bad thing since I suspect that’s the level on which you’re supposed to enjoy it anyway. “Yippee Ki Yay” is mostly a team-building exercise, letting us get to know the heroes as they get to know each other and learn to work together, and Amae coming into her own felt like a really welcome development given the previous focus on Elida and Isaac. They have their share of the banter too, but it’s Amae who bails them out again and again, especially during the standout karaoke sequence set to Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”.
It’s pretty difficult to imagine what’s next for Vagrant Queen beyond the level of “more of the same”, but I’m quite happy with that. More so-called aliens in cheap rubber suits, more pew-pew laser gunfights, more slow-motion kicking and punching, and more karaoke can only be a good thing, whatever justification they come up with for it.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.