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#41 Virgil Vox

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:28 PM

Babylon Squared

I was excited to see that this episode because I was curious as to what happened to Babylon 4. I figured it would be some time before that mystery was solved but here we are at the end of season 1 and we learn what happened to it. Of course this just creates more mysteries.

I just assumed that B4 would have the same design as B5 but it looks different, though it has the same aesthetic. Interesting.

B4 has been trapped in a time distortion ever since it disappeared, and this was more or less deliberate. Zathras, and the figure known as The One need to station fight a terrible war.

Sinclair being The One was a shock. I do wonder if this will be referenced again since the actor left the show. He could come back obviously but considering he left for medical reasons it is possible he won’t return.

It wasn’t said if B4 was going to the past or the future. Considering that the Shadows are active again and a great war is brewing I’d say the station was going to the future. It would be cool to see the two Babylon stations working together. Then again, the station is named B4 (before) so it would be a cute nod to send it to the past. Time will tell.

The prank Sinclair and Garibaldi played on Ivanova at the start of the episode was funny. The chemistry between these three is great. I hope the changing of the guard with Sheridan doesn’t mess that up too much.

This is the first time we have seen the Grey Council. Interesting that they wanted to make Delenn their leader. I understand her reasons for turning it down but it does seem that if a war is coming she would be more effective as the leader of the Minbari rather than an ambassador on B5 that might be an outcast.

I hope Delenn doesn’t lose her position on the Council but it doesn’t seem like the others are swayed by prophecy as she is.

Zathras was interesting. He could have been an annoying character but the actor made it work.

It was nice to see that all the residents of B4 made it off in time. With this show a happy ending isn’t always a given.

This was a pretty good episode that set up a lot of stuff for the future. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Chrysalis

Wow. Just wow. That was a great season finale. So much happened in this one episode that I don’t know where to begin.

This feels like the start of the Shadow War. This wasn’t like last time when they destroyed the Raider ship. Here they had a full scale battle against Narn cruisers and destroyed an entire colony. It is their first major strike since they have woken up. That I know about, anyways.

Then there is the assassination of President Santiago. I do remember that there was an Earth civil war so I guess this plants the seeds that leads to the civil war. I’m guessing Vice President Clark had a hand in it seeing as how he got off Earth Force One right before it exploded.

Oh, Sinclair proposed to Catherine. I love that because I like Catherine and I do think that they make a good couple. Of course it doesn’t matter since Sinclair is leaving the show. I wonder if Catherine sticks around. She doesn’t have a reason to but I would like to see her again.

Of course we get so close to learning the truth about the Battle of the Line and yet Sinclair misses his appointment with Delenn. I know what the truth is but it was still frustrating.

Delenn has entered a cocoon and will emerge as the Delenn I remember the most; human looking with a full head of hair.

We better see what Kosh really looks like. That’s all I have to say.

The handsome yet evil Morden returns and Londo makes a more or less literal deal with the devil. I get that Londo didn’t know exactly what Morden and his associates would do to the Narns in Quadrant 37 but he knew what they did to the raiders. He can’t act all innocent.

I like Londo but I doubt he will distance himself from Morden. Londo wants power and he wants to see the Centauri Republic be a force to be reckoned with again. Morden saved the Republic from losing to the Narns again and he has made Londo look more powerful back on the Centauri home world. I don’t see Londo turning Morden down again just because he was upset with the methods.

At the same time, Londo isn’t a villain. He cares deeply for people even if he can’t always show it. The final scene he is in shows him standing vigil for Garibaldi, one of his only true friends on the station.

G’Kar had it almost right. The destruction of the outpost was done by another powerful race, though it was at the behest of the Centauri.

Damn. I did not see the betrayal of Garibaldi coming, maybe because the officer that did it has only been in a handful of episodes and I’m not even sure if he has a name. Still, it was a surprising moment. I’m guessing the security guard will return next season since Garibaldi isn’t going to die.

Morden travels with Shadows. Did not see that coming. I guess they are the ones who fought Kosh, and not Morden himself like I had assumed. Mind blown.

What I really like about this finale is that it really does change things. It doesn’t just end on a cliffhanger that will be resolved in one episode and not affect anything afterwards. This episode introduces major changes to the series that will impact it far down the line.

Overall I liked the first season. From the little bit of research I’ve done it seems most fans think this is the weakest season but I quite liked it. Yes, it does start off rather slow and not all of the episodes are great but I feel like there are more good episodes than bad.

Points of Departure

Okay, that was pretty good. Sheridan arrives and takes over as the commander of B5 and it feels like he has been there all along. It probably helps that I associate him with that role more than Sinclair.

He is also different than Sinclair. He seems more open and friendly. He doesn’t have the huge chip in his shoulder that Sinclair did. Sheridan gushes about fresh fruit and actual water showers. I do like that they made him and Ivanova former comrades. It gives Sheridan an in on the station and someone to talk to.

He faces his first big crisis and comes out looking good. He is the one who realizes that the Minbari on the Trigati want an excuse to go down guns blazing, and he doesn’t give them that. Instead he calls in other Minbari to take care of the rogue ship.

I like the story behind the Trigati. They refused to stand down at the Battle of the Line and have been roaming space all these years. Now they want an honorable death, and think they can get it from Sheridan Starkiller.

I had forgotten about Sheridan’s past. Making him the only commander to defeat a Minbari war cruise and live to tell the tale sets him apart from others.
I’ve always like the design of the Minbari war cruisers. This show has some excellent ship designs.

Speaking of, the CGI does seem to be slightly better this year. I could be imagining things of course but everything looks superior to the season 1 CGI. The interior of B5 also seems to be slightly redesigned and there seems to be a few new locations.

Garibaldi is still in his coma. I guess he will awaken from it in the next episode or two. In fact, a lot of plots were left alone in this episode. No G’Kar or Londo. No mention of the Shadows. We do see Delenn in her cocoon but we don’t see her actually leave it.

I absolutely loved the scene where all those yelling dignitaries enter the lift with Ivanova and she threatens them all into silence. That, coupled with her remark about karma, perfectly encapsulates her character.

The male tech is still around. I didn’t recognize him at first since he cut his hair but it’s the same guy. You know, I think he might be in more episodes than some of the actual main cast members. I feel like we barely see Talia.

The secret of the Battle of the Line is finally told but it doesn’t have the weight I feel it should. That could possibly be because it is Lennier telling Sheridan and Ivanova and none of them had a dog in the race, so to speak. If it had been Delenn giving the secret to Sinclair then it would have had more of an impact.
Still, that is one of the big mysteries from season 1 revealed. While I knew the broad strokes I didn’t remember the part about the Minbari belief that each generation is reincarnated in the next.

I admit it was somewhat of a funny gag but am I really expected to believe that there is a point where C&C is shut down with no one on duty? That seems highly unlikely.

There is a new addition to the cast in the form of Starfury pilot Keffer. He’s not in much of the episode but he seems like a good guy.

The second season has started off quite well. I’m excited for this season since I’m sure things are going to start ramping up soon, especially since the season is called “The Coming of Shadows.”
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#42 RJDiogenes

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 07:12 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 10 March 2019 - 07:28 PM, said:

Sinclair being The One was a shock. I do wonder if this will be referenced again since the actor left the show. He could come back obviously but considering he left for medical reasons it is possible he won’t return.  

Well, I will say that this episode gets a big-time follow up.

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Zathras was interesting. He could have been an annoying character but the actor made it work.  

You'll definitely see Zathras again. Or maybe it's Zathras.  It could even be Zathras.

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Wow. Just wow. That was a great season finale. So much happened in this one episode that I don’t know where to begin.  

I've already mentioned the things in the first season that made me decide to follow the show. This was the episode that almost made me give up on it.  The whole dark-clouds-on-the-horizon thing had that taste of Dark'n'Gritty that I was sick to death of even then. And at that point, I knew nothing about the five-year arc. I just thought they were selling out.

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We better see what Kosh really looks like. That’s all I have to say.  

Well, yeah. Pretty soon, too, I think. Sort of.

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Overall I liked the first season. From the little bit of research I’ve done it seems most fans think this is the weakest season but I quite liked it. Yes, it does start off rather slow and not all of the episodes are great but I feel like there are more good episodes than bad.  

I like all the seasons. I don't even really think of it in terms of seasons, just a big story.

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Okay, that was pretty good. Sheridan arrives and takes over as the commander of B5 and it feels like he has been there all along. It probably helps that I associate him with that role more than Sinclair.  

Bruce Boxleitner coming on board did not encourage me after my disappointment with the season finale. It looked like they were replacing an interesting, unusual commander with a pretty boy.  But he won me over really quickly. And he just gets better and better.  There's that moment I mentioned at the exact center of the series....

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The male tech is still around. I didn’t recognize him at first since he cut his hair but it’s the same guy. You know, I think he might be in more episodes than some of the actual main cast members. I feel like we barely see Talia.  

I'm pretty sure he's there for the whole series.

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There is a new addition to the cast in the form of Starfury pilot Keffer. He’s not in much of the episode but he seems like a good guy.
Heh heh.  :lol:
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#43 Virgil Vox

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 06:59 PM

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You'll definitely see Zathras again. Or maybe it's Zathras.  It could even be Zathras.

Well, that clears things up. :think:

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I've already mentioned the things in the first season that made me decide to follow the show. This was the episode that almost made me give up on it.  The whole dark-clouds-on-the-horizon thing had that taste of Dark'n'Gritty that I was sick to death of even then. And at that point, I knew nothing about the five-year arc. I just thought they were selling out.

Interesting. It must have been insane watching the show when it first aired not knowing what was coming. I bet you are happy you stuck with it.

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Bruce Boxleitner coming on board did not encourage me after my disappointment with the season finale. It looked like they were replacing an interesting, unusual commander with a pretty boy.  But he won me over really quickly. And he just gets better and better.  There's that moment I mentioned at the exact center of the series....

Hopefully I will recognize the moment when it happens.

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I'm pretty sure he's there for the whole series.

That's cool. I like it when side characters take on more prominence. Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this a lot.

Revelations

This episode deals with a lot of the other loose ends from the season 1 finale. G’Kar’s quest to find out what ancient enemy attacked the Narn outpost ends in disaster as the Shadows kill all the Narn G’Kar took with him.

Londo’s speech at the beginning of the episode was so good. I loved his comment about how Delenn decided to turn herself into a butterfly.

The alien healing device makes a return appearance. I like how the show hasn’t forgotten about it. It showed that Garibaldi’s condition was truly terrible if Franklin wanted to use that device.

The turncoat security officer gets named here: Jack. His plot line reveals more about the conspiracy to kill Santiago. His little wave shows that he is in with Psi Corps, and President Clark does what he can to get rid of all the evidence by having it transferred off of B5.

The handsome yet evil Morden returns, saying that he and his associates will continue to help Londo. All they ask for in return is any information about the Outer Rim.

This leads to another bloody tragedy that can be laid at Londo’s feet. When he learns that the Narns are sending a ship to investigate Z’ha’dum he tells Morden.
This lets the Shadows prepare for the ship’s arrival and they destroy it when it clears the jump point.

I know Londo didn’t know for sure what would happen but surely by now he knows that dealing with Morden always ends in blood.

Delenn gets out of the cocoon and at first she reminded me of the main priestess from the Doctor Who episode “The Fires of Pompeii.” Eventually though she reveals her new human looking form.

Talia actually has something to do this episode. That shocks me.

We see Anna for the first time, though it is a different actress than I remembered. I liked the back story they set up, with Sheridan feeling guilt at pushing Anna to go on the expedition by cancelling their plans. Instead she was going to go anyways and was planning on cancelling on him. If only they had gone on the honeymoon.

This was a good episode that resolved some plots while setting up a lot of others.

Soul Mates

This feels like Babylon 5’s first attempt to do a more comedic episode and I think it largely succeeds. I loved Londo’s wives and their bickering. They were a highlight of the episode for me.

I was rooting for Timov the entire time. I absolutely loved her. She was the most honest out of Londo’s wives. She didn’t poison him like Mariel and she did save his life, though she swore Franklin to silence about that fact.

That made the ending of the episode a good one for me since Londo did keep Timov and dismissed the other two. I hope we see Timov again.

I’m guessing divorcing wives is a hard thing to do since Londo had to obtain special permission from the emperor to get rid of two of them.

I was pretty shocked when the artifact, well, shocked Londo. That was a twist I didn’t see coming.

Delenn’s frustration with her hair was pretty comical. I do find it hard to believe that she wouldn’t have done some research on how to properly care for hair but it led to some funny scenes and some nice bonding between her and Ivanova. They don’t get to interact all that much so it was nice to see.

I am all for an episode that focuses on Talia so I was happy to see her get the spotlight here. It also introduces some new nasty facts about the Psi-Corps. They force psychics to breed to hopefully produce more powerful telepaths.

The surprise twist about Stoner wasn’t all that surprising. I guessed what it was a second after they introduced him and he used his power on that random person.
Garibaldi might just have a chance with Talia after everything he did for her in this episode.

Good for Talia standing up to Stoner and saying she wasn’t going with him even if he did have a cure.

I guess Minbari women don’t deal with menstrual cramps. Delenn’s in for a fun ride.

This was a nice, comedic episode that helped to lighten some of the darkness and tension of what has come before and what is probably about to arrive.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#44 Christopher

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 09:08 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 20 March 2019 - 06:59 PM, said:

We see Anna for the first time, though it is a different actress than I remembered.

Yeah, when she was just a face in a recording, they cast Beth Toussaint, but later on when she was brought in for a bigger role, Toussaint wasn't available, so they cast Boxleitner's real wife Melissa Gilbert.

Edited by Christopher, 20 March 2019 - 09:08 PM.

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#45 RJDiogenes

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 05:24 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 20 March 2019 - 06:59 PM, said:

Well, that clears things up. :think:
:lol:

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Interesting. It must have been insane watching the show when it first aired not knowing what was coming. I bet you are happy you stuck with it.  
Indeed.  It went from "This looks like decent 50s-style Space Opera" to "Aw, man, they're gonna screw it up" to "Holy crap, is it time for the next episode yet?"

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Hopefully I will recognize the moment when it happens.  
I'll be interested to see if you do.  It might be something that is only obvious in retrospect.

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The turncoat security officer gets named here: Jack. His plot line reveals more about the conspiracy to kill Santiago. His little wave shows that he is in with Psi Corps, and President Clark does what he can to get rid of all the evidence by having it transferred off of B5.  

B5 Trivia:  In the original outline, the traitor was going to turn out to be Laurel Takashima, Sinclair's original first officer.
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#46 Christopher

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 05:47 PM

I was disappointed that they dropped Takashima, since I really liked Tamlyn Tomita.
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#47 Virgil Vox

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 12:25 PM

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Indeed.  It went from "This looks like decent 50s-style Space Opera" to "Aw, man, they're gonna screw it up" to "Holy crap, is it time for the next episode yet?"

I'm basically the same way. When I first started watching it was hard to get through the first few episodes but now I'm binge watching at a fast pace.

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B5 Trivia:  In the original outline, the traitor was going to turn out to be Laurel Takashima, Sinclair's original first officer.

That would have made for a much bigger impact and would have been a great "Did that really just happen" moment.

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I was disappointed that they dropped Takashima, since I really liked Tamlyn Tomita.

I liked the actress in the role. I thought she was a good character. Granted, I'm happy to have Ivanova but it would have been interesting to see how the show would have played out with Laurel.

I have a question about the movies. I found a timeline that says Thirdspace should be viewed after season 4 episode 8. It has In The Beginning between seasons 4 and 5. River of Souls and Legend of the Rangers after season 5 episode 21. A Call to Arms is after season 5 which I knew because it leads into Crusade. Does this sound like a good order?

Keep in mind that I am going to wait to watch Sleeping In Light until I've watched all of B5, the movies, and Crusade since SIL is supposed to be the definite end to the franchise.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#48 RJDiogenes

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 04:30 PM

^^  That's a decent plan. I guess the best way to watch the movies is in the order and position they were broadcast relative to the series, but I don't know. You could probably wait until you're done with everything (except "Sleeping in Light"). The movies have no impact on the main story, which is why I wasn't too impressed with them when they first aired.  I think if I watched them now, I'd like them more.
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#49 Virgil Vox

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:10 AM

The Coming of Shadows

Well, that was a major and majorly impressive episode. I’m not even sure where to start since so much happened.

Sinclair returns! Kind of. He has one of his Rangers go to the station and deliver a video to Garibaldi. We learn that Sinclair has been building up the Rangers into an army to fight the coming darkness. Pretty cool.

I should have seen it coming but the war between the Centauri and Narn was still a shock, mainly because of the circumstances.  Before Londo could have at least some plausible deniability about the actions taken by Morden and his associates. Here, however, he sanctions the destruction of an entire Narn colony to strengthen his political position. He has crossed the line, and started a war that can’t end well for anyone.

The attack by the Shadows was impressive. Just three Shadow ships destroyed the Narn colony and all the warships protecting it.

My guess is Earth will stay out of the war, or may even side with the Centauri since Clark is now in power. Sheridan will do what he can to help, like forcing Londo to release the Narn survivors, but he won’t be able to do much.

I wanted G’Kar to reach Londo’s room and beat him up. I think he deserves that, after having peace snatched away from him.

It’s funny. The series started with the Narn on the rise and acting as the villains and the Centauri as a declining power with Londo being a buffoon, really. Now the Centauri, aligned with the Shadows, have launched a major war and have become the villains while the Narn are now the sympathetic victims.

It is tragic that the Emperor wanted to make things right with Narn and find a way to bring peace only to have Refa and Londo corrupt his intentions at the end.
If I’m dying I’d rather not have a Vorlon hovering over me telling me that it will end in fire.

“It’s a minor technicality!” Never change, G’Kar.

It feels like the Shadow War has really shifted into high gear now since they have helped start a war between the Centauri and Narn. Things can only get worse.

We finally see Londo’s prophetic dream. He does become emperor and seems to live a long life, at least until an eye patch wearing G’Kar strangles the life out of him. It also seems like Shadow ships will be flying in the skies of Centauri Prime eventually. All in all, a pretty disturbing vision of what’s to come.

GROPOS

This episode feels like JMS shoving the whole “war is bad” message down viewers’ throats. He spends the entire episode getting us somewhat attached to the ground pounders only to show them all dead in the battle at the end.

The male tech makes another appearance and has a fun little exchange with Ivaonva about how there is no night in space and time is a meaningless concept. It reminds me of the scene when Ivanona says it is hard for her to get up when it is dark and saying that it is always dark in space.

I did think it was odd to follow up the episode where the Narn/Centauri war starts with an episode focusing on a skirmish involving Earth but it shows how the Shadow machinations are affecting the entire galaxy.

You know, I had forgotten about Keffer. I know that this show has a tendency to go several episodes without using characters but Keffer appears to be almost a non-entity. I liked seeing him get something to do here but we barely know anything about him.

Poor Ivanova. All she wants is some peace and quiet. Instead she has to handle 25,000 military men and women needing places to sleep on B5.

Ooh, B5 is getting upgraded weaponry. Let’s hope we get to see it used eventually.

At the same time, I do believe what both Sheridan and Delenn say: there needs to be a place dedicated to peace. B5 is the best hope in that regard.

I like that Delenn’s transformation is still causing problems with some people. It makes sense that some of the grunts wouldn’t like a Minbari taking on human characteristics anymore than the Minbari do.

Dodger was probably the ground pounder I became the most attached to. I was hoping she would survive and become a recurring character. It was nice to see Garibaldi get some happy moments.

I liked the interactions between Franklin and his father, the general. Yes, we have seen this type of parent/child relationship before but it works well here. Franklin and Richard clearly love each other but have vastly different world views. Franklin sees life as life, whereas the general is a human first, aliens never type of person. It helps give the episode a dramatic core that we can latch on to. It also creates ripples for other characters. Ivanova talks about her father and Sheridan discusses whether he is a murderer for how he destroyed the Black Star.

This wasn’t the episode I was expecting but it was a pretty good one.

All Alone in the Night

This was a weird episode with a pretty major plot concerning Delenn coupled with a random alien abduction plot involving Sheridan.

The Delenn stuff was great. Her decision to undergo the chrysalis has had major consequences which we see here. I expected the Grey Council to expel her. That seemed like a foregone conclusion.

What I didn’t expect is for them to replace her with a member of the military caste, this upsetting the balance of the Council. This seems to be a troubling trend. Earth is now under a totalitarian government even if most people don’t realize it yet. Centauri is now ruled by a faction that is promoting an expansionist agenda. The Minbari, who seemed the more even keeled of the races, is now heading towards a more militaristic footing.

In one episode Starfury pilot Ramirez had more character than Keffer has had in the several episode we have seen him. I’d rather Keffer had been the one to die and Ramirez remain.

Lennier is definitely a loyal aide to Delenn. He goes with her to the Council even though it could mean political trouble for himself.

I found myself liking Sheridan’s plot more than I thought I would. It is a random stand-alone plot in a season that is increasingly headed towards serialization but I felt it worked. Ramirez was a good one and done character. The Narn Sheridan helps was likeable.

That was a random dream Sheridan had, or should I say that Kosh probably sent to him. I’m guessing it will have some ramifications down the line.

So the Stribes are supposed to be the typical gray aliens that abduct people? Okay.

The Clark conspiracy takes a major leap forward. Sheridan was apparently spying on his command staff to make sure that none of them were Clark sympathizers.
Of course Psi-Corps is at the head of the conspiracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bester was in the thick of things.

It is ironic that the actor playing General Hague here is the same one who played Leyton on DS9. Both are trying to overthrow a government but Hague has a legitimate region since Clark staged a coup and killed his predecessor whereas Leyton definitely overstepped his bounds.

Sheridan brings Ivanova, Franklin, and Garibaldi into the conspiracy. Not that surprising.

Acts of Sacrifice

After being on the back burner for two episodes, the Narn/Centauri war takes a front seat again. The Centauri are committing atrocities and G’Kar wants aid from Earth and Minbar.

I love that G’Kar’s actions in the first season are screwing him over now. Delenn has a great point about how the Narn have not been shy in letting everyone know they want revenge against the Centauri. There is nothing to say that if the Minbari get involved now to end the war that it won’t start up again in a few years, this time instigated by the Narn.

Londo is the walking definition of “be careful what you wish for.” He wanted respect and power and the return of the Centauri Republic and he has gotten that. It has made him miserable. His friendship with Garibaldi is more or less over and his carefree days of gambling in the casinos are over. He is a darker character, and he is even dressing the part.

There is still a glimmer of the old Londo in there. He could have pressed the issue of the Narn killing the Centauri and exacted his pound of flesh but instead he quietly makes it go away.

I wish that G’Kar’s conflict with the Narn on the station could have been solved without the cliché of an alien combat ritual.

Na’Toth returns but I don’t like this new actress. I wish they had kept the original actress around. She was much better in the role.

The Lumatti sub-plot was interesting. Paul Williams as Taq is what made this really work. He put a lot into the role and it works.

I love the social commentary on Downbelow. The Lumatti believe that the horrific conditions that the Lurkers live in are intentional, a way to separate the inferior members of humanity from the cream of the crop, so to speak. Maybe this will get the command staff to do something to help those people.

It culminates in one of the funniest and cringiest moments in B5 when Ivanova fakes a sex ritual to get out of having sex with the ambassador. I can’t even describe it. It needs to be seen to be believed.

In the end G’Kar doesn’t get the military aid he wants but Sheridan and Delenn do come up with a way to get him humanitarian aid. It might not be much but it is a start. Still, it was hard to watch G’Kar break down at the end.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#50 Christopher

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 10:21 AM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 15 April 2019 - 07:10 AM, said:

It’s funny. The series started with the Narn on the rise and acting as the villains and the Centauri as a declining power with Londo being a buffoon, really. Now the Centauri, aligned with the Shadows, have launched a major war and have become the villains while the Narn are now the sympathetic victims.


That was pretty much JMS's deliberate goal -- to take all the characters on journeys that would surprise viewers by changing them into something very different than how they'd begun. So the apparent villains became sympathetic and the apparent comic-relief buffoons became dark, tragic figures.



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Never change, G’Kar.

A very ironic sentence, in light of what I just said and what I know about the rest of the series. ;)




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GROPOS

This episode feels like JMS shoving the whole “war is bad” message down viewers’ throats.


Not JMS -- this episode was written by story editor Lawrence G. DiTillio. It wasn't until season 3 that JMS became the sole writer.



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So the Stribes are supposed to be the typical gray aliens that abduct people? Okay.

Named as a nod to Whitley Streiber, whose allegedly "nonfiction" book Communion helped popularize the "gray alien" mythology. (Descriptions of alleged UFO aliens have historically tended to reflect mass-media images of aliens, with the "Gray" image being one of many, derived from a common speculative image of future human evolution that had cropped up periodically ever since H.G. Wells. But eventually mass media works like Close Encounters and Communion and The X-Files started picking up on UFO lore and creating a feedback loop, so we ended up with the "Gray" becoming the default image.)
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#51 RJDiogenes

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 05:47 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 15 April 2019 - 07:10 AM, said:

It’s funny. The series started with the Narn on the rise and acting as the villains and the Centauri as a declining power with Londo being a buffoon, really. Now the Centauri, aligned with the Shadows, have launched a major war and have become the villains while the Narn are now the sympathetic victims.  

Oh, yeah, there are lots of upheavals and reversals throughout the series.

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So the Stribes are supposed to be the typical gray aliens that abduct people? Okay.  

Was this the one where somebody was taking them to court?

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It culminates in one of the funniest and cringiest moments in B5 when Ivanova fakes a sex ritual to get out of having sex with the ambassador. I can’t even describe it. It needs to be seen to be believed.  
That was great.   :lol:
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#52 Cybersnark

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 09:48 AM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 15 April 2019 - 07:10 AM, said:

It is ironic that the actor playing General Hague here is the same one who played Leyton on DS9.
There's an outtake from a subsequent episode that pokes fun at that:

"Where's General Hague?"
"General Hague is. . . Doing Deep Space Nine this week. His agent double-booked him. There was nothing we could do."
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#53 Doppleganger

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 02:33 AM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 15 April 2019 - 07:10 AM, said:

It culminates in one of the funniest and cringiest moments in B5 when Ivanova fakes a sex ritual to get out of having sex with the ambassador. I can’t even describe it. It needs to be seen to be believed.


Is it bad this is the scene I remember first when recalling B5.
I so need to pick up the DVD's for the commentaries and extras.

Edited by Doppleganger, 22 April 2019 - 02:35 AM.

“Is that not blasphemy? Defying the will of the Covenant?’

‘No,’ said the captain. ‘It was a tactical retreat in the face of overwhelming boredom.”
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#54 Virgil Vox

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 03:56 PM

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Not JMS -- this episode was written by story editor Lawrence G. DiTillio. It wasn't until season 3 that JMS became the sole writer.

Yes, I realize that but he is still the show creator, executive producer, head writer, etc. so I think it is safe to assume the message in the episode was approved by him.

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Was this the one where somebody was taking them to court?

No. They abducted Sheridan along with a Narn. They are eventually rescued by Earthforce with help from Delenn.

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That was great.   :lol:

Yes it was.
There's an outtake from a subsequent episode that pokes fun at that:


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"Where's General Hague?"
"General Hague is. . . Doing Deep Space Nine this week. His agent double-booked him. There was nothing we could do."

That is funny.

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Is it bad this is the scene I remember first when recalling B5.

I so need to pick up the DVD's for the commentaries and extras.

Amazon has a box set with all five seasons, Crusade, and all but two of the movies for about $100. I decided to buy it when my pay check was bigger than anticipated. I'm not watching the extras or listening to the commentaries though for fear of spoilers.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
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#55 RJDiogenes

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 06:16 PM

^^  That's a really good deal.  What movies are missing?

View PostVirgil Vox, on 22 April 2019 - 03:56 PM, said:

No. They abducted Sheridan along with a Narn. They are eventually rescued by Earthforce with help from Delenn.  
I looked it up and it was actually back in season one, so you've already seen it:


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#56 Virgil Vox

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 05:59 PM

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^^  That's a really good deal.  What movies are missing?

Legend of the Rangers and The Lost Tales. I did get Legend on Amazon but the price has shot up to around $50 now, which is ridiculous. I haven't looked for The Lost Tales yet.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#57 RJDiogenes

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 05:15 PM

Legend of the Rangers is not great, but I got it for completeness' sake.  Lost Tales is also not great, but it was a great idea and I wish they had done more.  I love the concept of short-story collections based on TV shows or movies.
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#58 Virgil Vox

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 09:57 AM

I rushed through season 2 so only did a few more reviews. I am going to try and be better with season 3 but no promises.

And Now For A Word

That was a doozy of an episode. The news report style worked better than I thought and wasn’t annoying lke I originally believed it would be.

The Narn-Centuari War is front and center as a Narn vessel destroys a Centauri ship by Babylon 5. This leads to a tense stand-off and two space battles taking place around the station. We also learn that the war is going badly for the Narns, which isn’t too surprising. I’m sure the Shadows are lending a hand every now and then.

Ooh, cute male tech gets a name. He is Lt. David Corwin. He also gets a hilarious scene as he is interviewed in C&C with Ivanova standing in the background keeping an eye on him. I laughed so hard when he paused, looked down, and then said how it was a calm environment where no one ever raised their voice.

Speaking of, I am surprised Ivanova kept her cool when the reporter mispronounced her name and kept getting in her face.

I was also surprised at how easily Delenn fell apart during the interview. Out of all the characters I figured she would be the one to keep her cool with Cynthia. Instead she breaks down in tears. I guess it is understandable considering everything that has happened to her recently.

Well, that was a depressing story told by Franklin.

The stand-off between the Centauri and Narn was really good. They did start a shooting war right outside of Babylon 5. I honestly wasn’t sure how the blockade would end. This series has always done the unexpected so I knew anything could have happened. A Narn cruiser showing up and destroying the Centauri cruiser only to be destroyed themselves was not how I saw that conflict ending.

G’Kar’s back story of how he got involved in the resistance was heart breaking.

I did like the dueling versions of what happened when the Centauri occupied Narn. While G’Kar has exaggerated things in the past I tend to believe his version of events over Londo’s version.

The Psi-Corps commercial was freaky. Pure propaganda and very creepy. The Psi-Corps are everywhere.

The Fall of Night

Lots to talk about in this episode. Kosh finally reveals himself and it wasn’t what I expected. He is a being of light that resembles an important religious figure depending on what race is viewing him. Everyone sees something different, yet similar. It was a momentous scene and, despite the obvious limitations of 90s CGI I felt like the scene worked. Yes, it would look more impressive if done today but the plot and character significance came through.

Interesting point about the Vorlons manipulating species to see them as angelic beings. They have been playing the long game apparently.

The Centauri are expanding their war, which is what the Shadows were hoping for and why they picked them. I’m not completely surprised but it was still something of a shock.

What was more of a shock was that Earth signed a treaty with the Centauri. I didn’t expect Earth to go in guns blazing but a treaty wasn’t something I thought would happen either.

They really made Lantz into a Neville Chamberlain figure, didn’t they? “Peace in our time” and all that. I did appreciate that they took the time to flesh him out and explain why he wanted peace. He isn’t just a puppet of President Clark.

The same can’t be said of Welles, the Night Watch representative. The guy is a snake through and through. I applauded when Ivanova refused to spy on those around her just to get ahead. I wish the same could be said of Zack, but he fell in line and reported on the merchant who was complaining about the government. With that, a small piece of democracy died. I really want to see these Night Watch guys get what is coming to them but I’m also interested to see what else they do.

Once again the station gets in trouble with the Centauri, though with a far different outcome than last time. Here the Centauri open fire on the station and the station retaliates. They finally get to use the upgrades given the back on GROPOS. I was proud that Sheridan stood his ground. He promised the Narn cruiser sanctuary and he gave it to them, political consequences be damned.

Well, that ends the short tenure of Lt. Keffer. He could have been an interesting character but the show never did anything with him. At least his death sets up a major plot revelation as the footage of the Shadow ship he recorded ends up on ISN. What this means for the time table for the Shadow war is anyone’s guess. Delenn said they would be okay as long as the Shadows believed the younger races weren’t aware of them yet.

The show acknowledged that the entire reason for B5’s existence has failed.  Babylon 5 was created in the hopes of ending war and yet this season alone has seen a war between the Narn and Centauri and ends with the Centauri going to war against several other worlds. It is a gutsy move to say that your main heroes have failed, but it is tinged with hope since Ivanova says B5 has become the best hope for victory.

I have to say that season 2 is an improvement on season 1. It flows together a bit better and has higher stakes, though that is only because season 1 laid the foundation.

I was sad to see Talia go, especially since it was suggested she and Ivanova were in a relationship together. What made it worse is the fact that Talia as we know her is gone, replaced by an evil Psi Corps personality.

The Narn/Centauri war was a surprise, as was its ending. The Centauri are not only victorious but they bomb the Narn home world back to the stone age. The fact that Centauri Prime is going to continue its expansionist war can only lead to bad things.

The Shadows know what they are doing. They are slowly manipulating events  behind the scenes making the universe ripe for conquest or death or whatever it is they want. All they have had to do is wipe out a few Narn forces to give the Centauri an edge and then sit back as the galaxy goes to hell.

Sheridan confronting Morden was great, and I was glad they didn’t wait to give us the confrontation between the two men.

All of the characters changed this year but I’d have to say that Londo and G’Kar changed the most. Their positions have more or less been swapped with Londo now being the ambassador for a major power looking to settle scores while G’Kar is the more sympathetic figure of a once proud people laid low.

Season 3

Matters of Honor

They introduced the White Star, which made me very happy. That is a random sentence to start this review but I always loved the look of the White Star and was waiting for it to be introduced on the series. I didn’t realize it was this soon.

I like how the series has gradually expanded its scope and setting. The first season took place primarily on the station or in the space surrounding it. Next we saw Mars and Centauri Prime and the Narn home world. Here we go to a colony and to Earth.

Marcus Cole is introduced and I had forgotten about him for the most part. He is more serious here than I remember but my memory could be playing tricks on me. I do like that we have a more permanent face to go with the Rangers.

Another aspect of the episode I liked is that our heroes are finally on the offensive. They have been reacting and playing defense for a long time now and here they get to be proactive. They use the White Star to destroy the Centauri blockade and Sheridan creates a war council to bring everyone up to speed and coordinate their activities.

They also have some hope. For the first time we see a Shadow ship get destroyed. Granted it only happens with the use of a dangerous maneuver that could have killed the good guys but a victory is still a victory.

For some reason I thought Ivanova was already looped in on the Shadow War stuff. Guess I was wrong. I thought the same about Londo knowing what the Shadow ships looked like.

Did Londo really think he could break it off with Morden that easily? Did he not think that Morden and his associates would approach other Centauri, like Lord Refa?

This is Londo walking that line between villain and not quite a villain. He does try to end things with Morden, but he still wants to see a return of the good old days for the Centauri Republic. He has no qualms about dividing the galaxy up between the Centauri and the Shadows.

Okay, the handsome but evil Morden is working with Earthdome? That was a shock. The Shadows aren’t taking any chances, are they? I don’t want to blame the Shadows for the Earth government taking a fascist turn but I’m sure they helped, just like they helped the Centauri launch an expansionist war against the galaxy.
I liked that we saw the tram track getting repaired from the bombing. Nice little nod that things that happened at the end of the last season still affect this one.

I love Kosh. He is so infuriating but so funny. His exchange with Sheridan was priceless.

Zack gets promoted to a series regular. Good for him.

The new opening credits sequence is really good. The music matches the darker tone of this season and the opening narration is really good. I like that Babylon 5 has switched from being the last best hope for peace to being the last best hope for victory.

I didn’t trust Endawi at first but he seemed to be on the up and up. He had no ulterior motives besides trying to figure out what the ship was in the footage. He didn’t have a hand in his superiors using it to further their fascist agenda.

This was a good start to the third season. The set-up is more or less done and now all hell is about to break loose.

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Legend of the Rangers is not great, but I got it for completeness' sake.  Lost Tales is also not great, but it was a great idea and I wish they had done more.  I love the concept of short-story collections based on TV shows or movies.

Unless I can find Lost Tales for cheap I doubt I will get it soon. I'll watch everything else though.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#59 FarscapeOne

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 03:44 PM

Regarding Keffer...

JMS was basically told by executives to create a hotshot pilot as a regular, and he did it, but he never liked that kind of character, which is why we got so little of bim during the season.

#60 RJDiogenes

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 04:46 PM

^^  And why he died a horrible death.  :D

View PostVirgil Vox, on 12 May 2019 - 09:57 AM, said:

That was a doozy of an episode. The news report style worked better than I thought and wasn’t annoying lke I originally believed it would be.  
There are more news report-based episodes to come later in the show.  Well, at least one, anyway.

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Lots to talk about in this episode. Kosh finally reveals himself and it wasn’t what I expected. He is a being of light that resembles an important religious figure depending on what race is viewing him. Everyone sees something different, yet similar.  
One of the great moments of the series.

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Interesting point about the Vorlons manipulating species to see them as angelic beings. They have been playing the long game apparently.  
Oh, yes.  Very long.

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They really made Lantz into a Neville Chamberlain figure, didn’t they? “Peace in our time” and all that.  
There are a few historical parallels in the show.  Clarke's swearing-in ceremony echoing LBJ and the Chamberlain quote are a couple of them.

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Well, that ends the short tenure of Lt. Keffer.  
Yeah, he came to a quick and gory end.  :D

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I like how the series has gradually expanded its scope and setting. The first season took place primarily on the station or in the space surrounding it. Next we saw Mars and Centauri Prime and the Narn home world. Here we go to a colony and to Earth.  
As the seasons progress, the show becomes hardly recognizable in some respects.

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Marcus Cole is introduced and I had forgotten about him for the most part. He is more serious here than I remember but my memory could be playing tricks on me.  
Ah, good old Marcus.

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Another aspect of the episode I liked is that our heroes are finally on the offensive.  
Oh, yeah.  :D

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Zack gets promoted to a series regular. Good for him.  
Zack is a pretty important character going forward.
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