Saturday, September 28, 2013

Project Runway Season Twelve, Episode Eleven, Girls who da Vinci Code!

We start the episode with Tim Gunn being chased through the Grand Gallery of the Louvre by a murderous albino monk. But that’s not important right now. 

This week, at Parsons
Let me just get out of the way that Dom won the challenge this week. I think she deserved it and I’m very happy for her, but she was clearly not the focus of this episode. 

We cut to world renowned symbologist Professor Kate Pankoke:

Kate: “Symbols are a language that can help us understand the Project Runway challenges. I’ve been given a clue to this week’s challenge by Maria, the founder of Girls who da Vinci Code. She’s going to be my inspiration. First, I have to decode all these numbers. Oh, I figured it out! It’s a Tribonacci sequence, but out of sequence!”

I hate to state the obvious, but it’s not a Tribonacci sequence if it’s out of sequence.

Kate: “whatever . . . Look! I found another clue! ‘O, Draconian devil. Oh, lame saint.’ It’s an anagram for ‘You have a recommended budget of one hundred dollars at Mood.’”

No, it isn’t.

Kate: “Who cares!”

Good point. The designers go to Mood to look for more clues to this week’s challenge.

Helen: “My receipt has ‘the dark con of man’ written on it. In blood. What the hell?”

Kate: “Helen, when you were a child, were you aware of any secret gatherings? Anything ritualistic in nature?”

Helen: “Sure.”

Kate: “Was there ever any talk of something called the Priory of Project Runway?”

Helen: “The Priory of Project Runway is a myth.”

Kate: “No, it’s one of the world’s oldest and most secret societies, with leaders such as Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michael Kors. They’re the guardians of a secret they supposedly refer to as...”

Helen: “The dark con of man!”

Kate: “They are here to protect the source of Project Runway’s power here on earth. ‘The dark con of man’ is actually another anagram. If you rearrange the letters it spells ‘look behind the chiffon.’”

Again, that’s not even close. But the designers look behind the chiffon and they find the new HP ENVY Rove. We are introduced to Rob le Bras-Brown, Vice-President of Something-or-other at Hewlett Packard and leader of Opus Dei:

Rob le Bras-Brown: “The new HP ENVY Rove is a state of the art cryptex. It’s da Vinci’s design. You create your textile pattern on a papyrus scroll, which is then rolled around a thin glass vial of vinegar. If you try to remove the keyboard by force, the vial breaks and destroys the clue to finding the tomb of Mary Magdalene. This is a major improvement over the old HP model, which would simply explode. Plus, it has a little built-in stand.”

The new HP ENVY Rove
Ooh, nice. Maybe there is some truth to the Priory of Project Runway.

Kate: “I hope not. Every Project Runway story ends in bloodshed. It all started over a thousand years ago when the Weinsteins conquered the holy city of New York. This crusade, one of the most massive and sweeping in history was actually orchestrated by a secret brotherhood called the Priory of Project Runway and their military arm, the Magical Elves.”

But I thought the Magical Elves were created to protect New York. 

Kate: “That was a cover to hide their true goal. Supposedly the invasion was to find an artifact lost since the time of Christ. An artifact, it was said, NBC Universal would kill to possess.”

Did they find it, this buried treasure? 

Kate: “Put it this way: One day the Magical Elves simply stopped searching. They quit New York and traveled directly to Rome. Whether they blackmailed NBC Universal or NBC bought their silence, no one knows. But it is a fact they declared these Priory Elves of limitless power. By the 1300s, the Elves had grown too powerful, too threatening. So NBC issued secret orders to be opened simultaneously all across Europe. They had declared the Elves Satan worshipers and said God had charged them with cleansing the earth of these heretics. The plan went off like clockwork. The Elves were all but exterminated. The date was October 13th, 1307. A Friday.”

Friday the 13th!

Kate: “Right. NBC sent troops to claim the Project Runway treasure but they found nothing. The few surviving Elves of the Priory had vanished and the search for their sacred artifact began again.”

What artifact? I've never heard about any of this. 

Kate: “Yes, you have. Almost everyone on earth has. You just know it as the Holy Grail.”

Dun Dun DUNNNN!!!

The designers visit the estate of the famous Project Runway historian Ian McKellen:

Ian McKellen: “The Priory protects the source of the Project Runway’s power on earth: The Holy Grail. 

I don't understand. What power? Some magic dishes? 

Ian McKellen: “Did you think the Holy Grail was a cup? Project Runway did not arrive by facsimile from heaven. The show as we know it was finally presided over by two men: the emperors Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The Weinsteins were New York's supreme holy men. From time immemorial their followers had worshiped a balance between nature's male deities and the goddess, or sacred feminine. But a growing religious turmoil was gripping New York. Three centuries earlier a young network named Lifetime had come along preaching Golden Girls marathons and horrible made-for-television movies. This network’s followers had grown exponentially and had started a religious war against Bravo. Or did NBC Universal commence war against the Weinsteins? We can't be sure who began the atrocities in that period. We can at least agree that the conflict grew to such proportions that it threatened to tear Project Runway apart. So the Weinsteins may have been lifelong pagans but they were also pragmatists. And in 325 Anno Domini they decided to unify Project Runway under a single network, Lifetime. Lifetime was on the rise. They didn't want their empire torn to pieces. And to strengthen this new Lifetime tradition the Weinsteins held a famous ecumenical gathering known as the Council of Nicaea. And at this council the many sects of Project Runway debated and voted on--well--everything, from the acceptance and rejection of specific challenge rules to the model selection to the administering of the judging, and of course the immortality of Heidi Klum.”

I don't follow. 

Ian McKellen: “Well, until that moment in history Heidi was viewed by many of her followers as a mighty prophet, as a great and powerful woman, but a woman nevertheless. A mortal woman. 

Not a Godess? 

Ian McKellen: “No. For many Project Runway fans, Heidi was mortal one day and divine the next.”

But who is human and who is divine? And how many have been eliminated over this question? 

Ian McKellen: “As long as there has been a one true Project Runway, there have been eliminations in its name. Now, let me show you the Holy Grail. I trust you recognize the Project Runway judges: 

Leonardo da Vinci, The Judgement of Project Runway
Of course. It’s the famous fresco by Leonardo da Vinci representing Heidi, Zac, Nina, and guest judges.”

Ian McKellen: “That’s right. And as you can see, Zac and Heidi are leaning away from each other, creating a “V” in the negative space. The “V” represents the sacred feminine and it proves that Heidi and Zac are actually married.”

But that would be the most shocking revelation in Project Runway history!

Ian McKellen: “Exactly! If it were revealed, it would devastate the very foundations of cable television. That’s why there are powerful forces trying to eliminate the evidence. Yes, we are in the middle of a war. On the one side is NBC Universal and on the other side is the Weinstein Company.”

The next day, back at Parsons, the designers get their papyrus scrolls and start deciphering the clues:

In London lies a knight a Pope interred
His labor's fruit a Holy wrath incurred
You seek the orb that ought be on his tomb
It speaks of Rosy flesh and seeded womb

So we’re looking for a knight whose funeral was presided over by a pope? Who could that be?

Some Guy on a Bus: “Here's your problem, mate. It's your basic linguistic coincidence. See ... keywords keep coming up with the writings of some bloke named Alexander Pope.”

OH! It’s not “a Pope”! It’s “A. Pope”! It’s a reference to the 18th-century poet and fashion designer Alexander Pope!

Alexander Pope
Alexander: “Yes, and I was inspired by my name to create a costume based on the tunics worn by the religious order of the Knights of the Magical Elves.”

Alexander's look
Alexander is eliminated. Sorry, Alexander.

Kate and Helen find one more clue:

The Holy Grail 'neath ancient Roslin waits 
The blade and chalice guarding o'er her gates 
Adorned in masters' loving art, she lies 
She rests at last beneath the starry skies

Kate: “the ‘art’ and ‘the blade’ clearly refer to your tattoos, Helen! We need to go to the chapel of St. Roslyn in Newark, New Jersey.”

So they go to Newark and make a shocking discovery:

Kate: “Your name was never Castillo. It’s Saint-Clair, one of the oldest families in Newark, descended from the Merovingian kings who ruled greater New Jersey for over three hundred years. I was wrong, Helen. You aren’t meant to guard the secret of the Holy Grail. You are the secret. You are the heir, the end of the bloodline. You are the last living descendant of Zac and Heidi. That’s why the judges love everything you send down the runway. That’s why you’ll be the winner this season. It's your destiny.”

Helen attempts to walk on water
Kate is also eliminated. She was just getting too close to the truth and the Project Runway producers had to get rid of her.

Later that night, as he is shaving, Tim Gunn figures out where the Holy Grail is hidden. Roslin is the Old English spelling of Rose Line. And if you translate ‘Rose Line’ into Pig Latin and then into Ancient Sumerian and then back into English it becomes ‘Runway’! The Holy Grail is buried under the runway in the Project Runway Studio at Parsons! It all makes complete sense now!

Well, duh!

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