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Old August 3 2012, 08:36 AM   #35
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Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

I said I was only going to review episodes 3 through 6 in this post, but decided that, in order to keep some symmetry, I'd review all 4 episodes contained on Disk 2 of the S2 DVD set instead of just two of them, which means that I'm reviewing episodes 3 through 8 rather than 3 through 6. Because I'm still feeling somewhat under the weather, the following observations and thoughts might be a bit scattered, for which I apologize.

The Geometry of Shadows
The most significant things about The Geometry of Shadows are the introduction of Lord Refa and Susan Ivanova's promotion to commander. Otherwise, the episode is fairly standalone, marking a change from the third episode of S1, Born to the Purple, which was not only essential to the overall story arc of the season, but to the series as well. The episode does introduce the techno-mages, but not enough is done with them to really make that part of the episode truly have significance.

A Distant Star
Revelations marked the first real opportunity for us to be given a glimpse inside John Sheridan's character, and A Distant Star takes what we learned about him in that episode and further expands upon it by introducing the character of Captain Maynard, an old friend of Sheridan's who is both similar to and different from him. Beyond that, though, the episode has a great deal of significance because it again shows us that the Shadows are out there again, and that they're not just lurking near their home planet but are out and about in the larger realm of space as well.

The Long Dark
The Long Dark is really only the fourth episode to build on the overall theme and arc of Season 2, but it does so at a fairly leisurly pace in comparison to the way that S1's arc was paced. That actually makes the episode work fairly well because it gives us some clues about what's coming but still allows for viewers to jump in and be intrigued enough to continue without wondering what, if anything, they've missed.

Spider in the Web
I really liked this episode because it has a lot of layers to it. On the surface, it seems fairly standalone, but takes on greater significance when you look at it in terms of what it tells us about Talia and how it advances her character, particularly in light of what ends up happening to her later on in the season. This episode is also a fairly strong one for Sheridan in that it tells us some new information about him that helps explain why he's as quick to embrace the assertion that someone had conspired to kill President Santiago in Revelations. The information we learn about him here also plays rather nicely in terms of his actions in A Race through Dark Places.

Soul Mates
Soul Mates is, to my mind, the second 'standalone' episode of S2, but although it doesn't have a whole lot of significance in terms of the overall arc of S2 and of the series as a whole, it does have a fair amount of significance in terms of Londo Mollari's character, giving us a bunch of insight into him and advancing the storyline of his ascension to power without really having a whole lot to do with said ascension. The episode is also great in terms of giving us some pivotal character moments for G'Kar, although not enough is done with regards to him and any possible involvement he may or may not have had in what happens to Londo, which is somewhat of a pity.

A Race through Dark Places
I must confess that, for some reason, I didn't see Franklin being entangled with the telepath underground railroad coming, even though, in hindsight, the signs are there if you know where to look for them. His being involved, though, is a refreshing change of pace from what you'd expect, and also provides a glimpse into his character that is fresh and interesting. His decision to bring Sheridan in on things shows that he's placed an incredible amount of trust in his new CO. The episode is also great because it furthers Talia's story arc and also marks the true start of the relationship between her and Susan.


Thus far, I'd say that S2's list of 'essentials' looks like this:
Points of Departure
A Distant Star
The Long Dark
Spider in the Web
A Race through Dark Places

I'll keep updating this 'essentials' list as I go, and will be back with thoughts on episodes 9 through 12.
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.
"There is no 'supposed to be.' It's an adaptation, a word that literally means change. Why bother making a new version if it doesn't offer a fresh approach?" - Christopher L. Bennett
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