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Old July 30 2012, 12:30 AM   #14
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Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
Midnight on the Firing Line
Every other time I've attempted to rewatch the series (mainly through online sources), I've started with the original pilot, The Gathering, but I've come to the realization/conclusion that it really isn't needed, at least not so far as S1 and its story arc are concerned.
I don't mind "The Gathering." Honestly, if you're arguing for "Soul Hunter" because of the things it introduces, then "The Gathering" is important for some of its exposition (which, yes, is repeated later, but so is some of what is revealed in "Soul Hunter.").

A major revelation is the rise and fall of the Centauri Empire in "The Gathering." Londo's speech to Garibaldi rather nicely and succinctly sums up the heights the Centauri Empire had reached and the depths it has sunk into.

Londo Mollari wrote:
There was a time when this whole quadrant belonged to us! What are we now? Twelve worlds and a thousand monuments to past glories, living off memories and stories…selling trinkets! My god, man, we've become a tourist attraction! "See the great Centauri Republic, open nine to five…Earth time!"
It also begins the mystery of Kosh and we meet Lyta and see her interact with Kosh.

In fact, I'd make the argument that Midnight on the Firing Line is actually a much better way to have introduced the series and its world to audiences than The Gathering, not just in terms of its plot - which, while fairly simple in comparison to the plot of The Gathering - is also paced much better than The Gathering.

I'd also argue that MotFL handles several of the series' main characters a whole lot better than The Gathering does.
Despite my defense of "The Gathering," I will grant you "Midnight on the Firing Line" is a better story.

Soul Hunter
In doing a search to see if there was an existing Babylon 5 discussion thread I could resurrect rather than starting one of my own, I came across a link to a spoiler-free, wikipedia-style listing of those Babylon 5 episodes - by season - which are the most 'essential', as well as an accompanying article discussing things in all of their spoiler-filled detail. While I agree with many, if not all, of the episodes talked about in the article, there is one episode that was excluded from the S1 'essentials' list that I think ought to have been there, and that episode is Soul Hunter.
I also think it presents a controversial issue to deal with faith much better than "Believers" did, later in the season. At their heart, both are about the soul and how different cultures view it.

Born to the Purple
Born to the Purple is hands-down my favorite individual episode of Season 1, and one of my favorite episodes of B5 as a whole. Although it isn't what I would consider to be one of the 'essential' episodes of S1, it's nevertheless a 'damn good tale' that gives us a much deeper look into the life of Londo Mollari than either the original pilot - The Gathering - or Midnight on the Firing Line did.
It is a very good episode. It really highlights Londo as a character and, of course, presents a very important plot point which will be brought up in a major way in a few seasons.
"When I reach for the edge of the universe, I do it knowing that along some paths of cosmic discovery, there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves." --Neil deGrasse Tyson
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