RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,162
Posts: 5,402,612
Members: 24,751
Currently online: 538
Newest member: kaklina

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: Time’s Orphan
By: Michelle on Aug 30

September-October Trek Conventions And Appearances
By: T'Bonz on Aug 29

Lee Passes
By: T'Bonz on Aug 29

Trek Merchandise Sale
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Star Trek #39 Villain Revealed
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Trek Big Bang Figures
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Star Trek Seekers Cover Art
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Fan Film Axanar Kickstarter Success
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Two New Starship Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

Trek Actor Wins Emmy
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 30 2012, 06:21 AM   #16
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

I'm back with thoughts on episodes 5 through 8. I'll also be addressing shivkala's comments. First, my thoughts on The Parliament of Dreams through And the Sky Full of Stars.

The Parliament of Dreams
I didn't include this episode in my list of S1 'essentials', but, after watching it in its entirety, I realized that I should have, primarily because of two things: 1) the conversation between Delenn and Lennier; and 2) it marks the first appearance of Catherine Sakai.

Even were it not an 'essential', though, the episode would still be worth watching because it gives us some major insight into G'Kar's character as well as into the mindset of the Narn Regime as a whole, since three of the major characters featured in it are of that race. It is also neat to see a bit more of Centauri and Minbari culture, and the 'rebirth'/'marriage' ritual that Delenn leads reminds me very much of a similar scenario from the Firefly episode 'Our Mrs. Reynolds'.

Mind War
Every once in a while, a series will introduce a character who sticks in your consciousness and won't go away, even if they're not a particularly pleasant individual. Alfred Bester - as brought to delicious life by Walter Koenig - is one such character, and is one of the reasons that Mind War is such a fantastic episode. Koenig's performance makes you want to both hate Bester and secretly root for him at the same time, and it's very easy to see why JMS and Co. continually brought him back from time to time. Another reason that Mind War is so fantastic is because of its focus on Talia Winters. Rewatching this episode made me realize that, of the two main telepath characters introduced over the course of the series, she is by far my favorite. It is a bit of a shame that the plot thread introduced in the episode concerning her telekenetic abilities was dropped when Andrea Thompson left the series, but that's life sometimes. The episode's 'B' plot involving Catherine Sakai is also really great, and gives us a lot of insight into G'Kar's character, showing that there's much more to him than meets the eye.

The War Prayer
I said that I'd talk about why I consider this episode to be one of the S1 'essentials', and so I will. On the surface, this episode seems to be a bit of a standalone episode, but when you look at it in the long run, it does a number of things that ultimately prove to be rather crucial not only to the rest of S1, but also to the rest of the series. The first thing it does is establish Home Guard and the growing anti-alien sentiment on Earth (which ties in rather well with the events of the next episode [more on that in a bit]; the second thing it does is establish Londo's more sentimental side, which is something that comes back into play much later on. The episode also allows Vir to really shine for the first time by giving him a chance to stand up to Londo and speak his mind.

And the Sky Full of Stars
I just mentioned that The War Prayer's introduction of the Home Guard and the anti-alien sentiments breaking out on Earth and elsewhere serves as a pretty neat lead-in to this episode, and the reason I say that is because the anti-alien rhetoric spewed by Knight Two while he's interrogating Sinclair is very similar, if not identical, to the rhetoric that Malcom Biggs uses, to the point that the two characters use very similar terminology when talking about how aliens have screwed things up for Earth.

Beyond the similarities in terms of what Malcom Biggs and Knight Two espouse, the episode gives us a tremendous amount of insight into the characters of both Sinclair and Delenn, giving the viewer much of the information concerning Sinclair's actions at the Battle of the Line that is featured in The Gathering, but in a much more succint and concise fashion.

Now, to address shivkala's comments.

shivkala wrote: View Post
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.

Despite my defense of "The Gathering," I will grant you "Midnight on the Firing Line" is a better story.
I actually like and appreciate The Gathering's story, but the execution of that story pales in comparison to what was done in Midnight on the Firing Line. Despite its importance to the overall story of B5, The Gathering is not a very well-produced episode due to things that were ultimately out of anyone's control.

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.
I hadn't thought about the similarities between Soul Hunter and Believers before, but, now that you've pointed things out, I can definitely see the correlation. I also think there's a neat parallel to be drawn between Soul Hunter's storyline and the religious beliefs portions of The Parliament of Dreams.

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.
Londo is by far my favorite Babylon 5 character, and BttP is a big reason why.

BTW, my memory is fuzzy on what exactly it is that BttP introduces and that is followed up on later, so could you give me a refresher? (don't worry about spoilers)

***

I'll be back later with reviews of/thoughts on episodes 9 through 12.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.

"Ze director's cut is ze film you saw in ze theater."

Last edited by DigificWriter; July 30 2012 at 01:38 PM.
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 12:46 PM   #17
Sindatur
Vice Admiral
 
Sindatur's Avatar
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

Mind War is another early episode I really enjoyed, that I've heard alot of dislike for, that I don't understand.

And The Sky Full of Stars is the first episode that showed me this series was really going to be something special with lots of mythological depth and payoff. I enjoyed the Series up to this point, but, this is the one that cemented my ongoing love for it

Born to the Purple introduces Adira, who's return later really sets some things in motion.
__________________
One Day I hope to be the Man my Cat thinks I am

Where are we going? And why are we in this Handbasket?
Sindatur is online now   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 01:36 PM   #18
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

^ Thanks, Sindatur. I feel sheepish, because, despite my love for BttP, I had completely forgotten that Adira makes another appearance, and had to go and refresh my memory concerning that re-appearance.

I'm still watching the next batch of eps (I've got to finish Episode 12), but wanted to make a few brief comments on episodes 9, 10, and 11.

I've always felt like Talia (which is to say extremely confused) when it comes to the 'B' plot of Deathwalker, but just read a fanfic a few days ago that made it make a little more sense.

I'll cover this more once I do my full reviews, but Believers really isn't my cup of tea, although watching it did give me justification for something I'd been mulling with regards to re-assessing the Babylon 5 reboot project I started a while back.

I can't decide whether or not Survivors should be added to my list of S1 'essentials', but it's definitely one of those episodes that demonstrates the series' strengths when it comes to characters.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.

"Ze director's cut is ze film you saw in ze theater."

Last edited by DigificWriter; July 30 2012 at 01:46 PM.
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 03:53 PM   #19
shivkala
Rear Admiral
 
shivkala's Avatar
 
Location: Patrolling Sector 2814
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
The Parliament of Dreams
I didn't include this episode in my list of S1 'essentials', but, after watching it in its entirety, I realized that I should have, primarily because of two things: 1) the conversation between Delenn and Lennier; and 2) it marks the first appearance of Catherine Sakai.
This is most definitely an essential episode and a damned good one ("Midnight on the Firing Line" is a solid episode, but "The Parliament of Dreams" might be the first great Babylon 5 episode).

Even were it not an 'essential', though, the episode would still be worth watching because it gives us some major insight into G'Kar's character as well as into the mindset of the Narn Regime as a whole, since three of the major characters featured in it are of that race.
This insight, I think, allows us to see the motivation that lead to G'Kar becoming Londo's bodyguard in Season 5.

Mind War
Every once in a while, a series will introduce a character who sticks in your consciousness and won't go away, even if they're not a particularly pleasant individual. Alfred Bester - as brought to delicious life by Walter Koenig - is one such character, and is one of the reasons that Mind War is such a fantastic episode. Koenig's performance makes you want to both hate Bester and secretly root for him at the same time, and it's very easy to see why JMS and Co. continually brought him back from time to time.
Bester really symbolizes a major theme of Babylon 5, which is how doing what you think is right can end up being very costly. Bester really fits as a great villain because he never views himself as such. He truly thinks everything he does is for some greater good and can justify any heinous act he does.

Another reason that Mind War is so fantastic is because of its focus on Talia Winters. Rewatching this episode made me realize that, of the two main telepath characters introduced over the course of the series, she is by far my favorite. It is a bit of a shame that the plot thread introduced in the episode concerning her telekenetic abilities was dropped when Andrea Thompson left the series, but that's life sometimes.
Interesting, because overall, (even considering her choice in early Season 5 to support Byron), I prefer Lyta.

The episode's 'B' plot involving Catherine Sakai is also really great, and gives us a lot of insight into G'Kar's character, showing that there's much more to him than meets the eye.
I love the "B" plot so much. After episodes showing G'Kar to be violent, greedy (especially the scene between him and Delenn in "The Gathering"), and swarmy, we get our first glimpse of a more spiritual and cooperative G'Kar. What he does in this episode may be the first real action we see that doesn't appear to be a part of a grander plan to further his cause. It also sets him up as more aware of what's going on in the greater universe than pretty much anyone else (though we later find out that Kosh and Delenn know more, they were just hiding what they knew).

I can't quite see the Centauri coming to Catherine's aid, for some reason. And I can see both Kosh and Delenn letting Catherine die to continue hiding their true knowledge. Kosh couldn't act to save her because of the message it would send to the Walkers of Sigma-957 of a Vorlon getting involved in the plight of a single human. Delenn, also would not want to reveal her hand, either.


The War Prayer
I said that I'd talk about why I consider this episode to be one of the S1 'essentials', and so I will. On the surface, this episode seems to be a bit of a standalone episode, but when you look at it in the long run, it does a number of things that ultimately prove to be rather crucial not only to the rest of S1, but also to the rest of the series. The first thing it does is establish Home Guard and the growing anti-alien sentiment on Earth (which ties in rather well with the events of the next episode [more on that in a bit]; the second thing it does is establish Londo's more sentimental side, which is something that comes back into play much later on. The episode also allows Vir to really shine for the first time by giving him a chance to stand up to Londo and speak his mind.
I think it also sets up Londo. "My shoes are too tight, and I have forgotten how to dance" really sums him up, nicely, though the events in "Born to the Purple," show that every once in a while, his shoes loosen and he remembers a few steps.


I hadn't thought about the similarities between Soul Hunter and Believers before, but, now that you've pointed things out, I can definitely see the correlation. I also think there's a neat parallel to be drawn between Soul Hunter's storyline and the religious beliefs portions of The Parliament of Dreams.
These episodes really sum up nicely the Minbari beliefs and lead into the reveal in the beginning of season 2 about how Minbari souls seem to diminish each generation and how the lost souls may be going to the humans.

BTW, my memory is fuzzy on what exactly it is that BttP introduces and that is followed up on later, so could you give me a refresher? (don't worry about spoilers)
That Adira plans to come back, which leads to Morden poisoning her, which leads to Mollari going back to Morden after breaking things off in the beginning of season 3. This leads to Lord Refa's death in a plot where we see Londo and G'Kar working together, which, of course leads to G'Kar becoming his bodyguard in season 5. It also leads to the revelation that it was Morden and not Refa who killed Adira, which leads to Londo's decision to kill Morden (allowing Vir's wish to be fulfilled). That, of course, leads, in part, to Centauri Prime being spared destruction at the hands of the Vorlons, but also seals its fate as the Drakh come to exact revenge.
__________________
"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
shivkala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 04:07 PM   #20
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

I can't remember which one exactly, but one of the B5 movies has a framing device where an aged Londo tells a story to two children, and his behaviour very much dovetails with and correlates to his behavior in TWP.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.

"Ze director's cut is ze film you saw in ze theater."
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 04:11 PM   #21
Forbin
Admiral
 
Forbin's Avatar
 
Location: I said out, dammit!
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
I can't remember which one exactly, but one of the B5 movies has a framing device where an aged Londo tells a story to two children, and his behaviour very much dovetails with and correlates to his behavior in TWP.
^In The Beginning.
Forbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 04:23 PM   #22
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

Yeah, that's it. Thanks.

Incidentally, Peter Jurasik once commented that he didn't think he'd done Londo's speech about his shoes being too tight the justice it deserved, but I really disagree. I think he knocked it out of the park.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.

"Ze director's cut is ze film you saw in ze theater."
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 08:54 PM   #23
Jeff O'Connor
Commodore
 
Jeff O'Connor's Avatar
 
Location: Tampa, FL
Send a message via AIM to Jeff O'Connor Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to Jeff O'Connor
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

I'm not so hot on "The War Prayer" overall. I think it's one of the series' weaker episodes, despite its importance. I'm not going to pretend that it's because of anything which can be construed as remotely objective, though. I'm just not a big fan of one-off romance plots in general, and I feel like the way that concept is handled here isn't much better than the worst dregs of TNG's romance-of-the-week efforts.
__________________
Star Trek
1966-
Jeff O'Connor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 11:01 PM   #24
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

^ I don't get why you'd feel that way, because TWP isn't about the romance. It's about prejudice, and is one of the few episodes of the series without a 'B' plot.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.

"Ze director's cut is ze film you saw in ze theater."
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 11:37 PM   #25
kirk55555
Fleet Captain
 
kirk55555's Avatar
 
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

Mage wrote: View Post
Elemental wrote: View Post
I couldn't imagine introducing a person to the series anywhere else.
I saw the series three times, before I got the change to see the pilot, since WB goofballs thought including it in the entire DVD boxset was not nessecary.

My girlfriend saw the entire series without watching the Gathering. A few months after, we finally got a change to watch it, and really, as fun as it was..... it was pretty bad. The storypoints are picked up in the series so well, that's it's really not nessecary to view it first.
I'm glad the consensus seems to be that The Gathering isn't essential. I just ordered B5 season 1. I watched the first episode online before deciding on it, and to me it seemed like a good introduction.
kirk55555 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30 2012, 11:40 PM   #26
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

"The Gathering" aired a year before the first season, so "Midnight on the Firing Line" is understandably filled with all the necessary exposition to get audiences up to speed. There are a few other important details, but the series will fill you in on them as it goes along.
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 31 2012, 12:28 AM   #27
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Mage wrote: View Post
Elemental wrote: View Post
I couldn't imagine introducing a person to the series anywhere else.
I saw the series three times, before I got the change to see the pilot, since WB goofballs thought including it in the entire DVD boxset was not nessecary.

My girlfriend saw the entire series without watching the Gathering. A few months after, we finally got a change to watch it, and really, as fun as it was..... it was pretty bad. The storypoints are picked up in the series so well, that's it's really not nessecary to view it first.
I'm glad the consensus seems to be that The Gathering isn't essential. I just ordered B5 season 1. I watched the first episode online before deciding on it, and to me it seemed like a good introduction.
The Gathering isn't essential as the start of Season 1, but should probably be watched simply for the sake of completeness.

I'm back with thoughts on episodes 9 through 12, but before I get into the meat of things, I wanted to make an observation: as I've been watching the season, I've come to the conclusion that there are only about 4 or 5 (depending on if you think TKO - despite its being widely panned - is essential or not) episodes in S1 which qualify as 'filler'. This is a much bigger list than the one I mentioned before I started talking about my own 'essentials' list, but that's how I feel.

Now, on to the episode reviews.

Deathwalker
As I mentioned above, I've come to the realization that there are way more 'essential' episodes in S1 than I had previously thought, with Deathwalker being one of those that I hadn't previously considered as being an essential part of the season's storyline.

I also mentioned this earlier, but I've always felt a bit like Talia does in this episode when it comes to understanding the 'B' plot involving her, Kosh, and Abbut. JMS has said that he ended up letting the episode's writer, Larry DeTillo, script that plot despite not liking it very much, but that he probably wouldn't have returned to it to give it some resolution even if Andrea Thompson hadn't left the series. Despite its confusing nature, though, I do think the plot would've been worth revisiting, especially after having, as I mentioned, recently read a fanfic that did a pretty good job of revisiting it.

Believers
I mentioned this earlier, but Believers really isn't my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong; I completely 'get' what the episode was trying to say, and even like many of the themes it presents. However, I have a very hard time getting past the stupidity and criminality of the actions that Shon's parents take, which, for me, really offsets what the episode was trying to communicate.

The 'B' plot involving Ivanova is really the first 'b' plot of the season to feel somewhat extraneous in comparison to the 'a' plot, but it does give us some new insight into her character and gives us a chance to see her doing something other than just pacing back and forth in C & C, and, as I noted previously, inspired me to commit to something that I'd been mulling in regards to re-assessing and reconfiguring the Babylon 5 reboot project I started a while back and Ivanova's involvment in it.

Survivors
I mentioned earlier that I couldn't quite decide if Survivors belonged on my 'essentials' list, but I've' since lost any uncertainty I had and have definititively added it to said list, primarily because of the character information it gives us about Garibaldi, but also because of how it ties into the Home Guard/anti-alien sentiment and prejudice story angle introduced in The War Prayer and followed up on in And the Sky Full of Stars.

By Any Means Necessary
This episode really reminded me very much of the nuBSG episode 'Dirty Hands' due to its similar story material, but it also reminded me of that episode because it's a much 'grittier' episode than any of those that precede it in both tone and in terms of the way it was shot.

I wasn't quite sure whether or not the episode was an essential one or not until Londo made it clear that he was deliberately screwing with G'Kar as a way of getting subtle revenge for what happened in Midnight on the Firing Line. It is that little bit of motivational candor that pushes the episode onto the 'essentials' list when it otherwise would've been 'filler'(albeit excellent 'filler').

***

There shouldn't be as big an interlude with regards to my comments on the remaining episodes, since I think I'm going to try and cram them all into a couple of 'super posts', which will probably come tommorow morning or afternoon (depending on how long it takes me to watch the eps).
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.

"Ze director's cut is ze film you saw in ze theater."
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 31 2012, 01:40 AM   #28
Sakrysta
Vice Admiral
 
Sakrysta's Avatar
 
Location: Sakrysta
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

DigificWriter wrote:
I also mentioned this earlier, but I've always felt a bit like Talia does in this episode when it comes to understanding the 'B' plot involving her, Kosh, and Abbut. JMS has said that he ended up letting the episode's writer, Larry DeTillo, script that plot despite not liking it very much, but that he probably wouldn't have returned to it to give it some resolution even if Andrea Thompson hadn't left the series. Despite its confusing nature, though, I do think the plot would've been worth revisiting, especially after having, as I mentioned, recently read a fanfic that did a pretty good job of revisiting it.
I'm in the middle of a rewatch myself, though I'm way ahead of you in Season 4. I remember deciding while watching this scene that Kosh knew about the sleeper personality in Talia, or at least suspected, and was using Abbut to confirm and/or glean info.

I honestly never liked Talia much. I didn't think she was that great of an actress, and her voice got on my nerves.
__________________
This is our small proof, not only that things can be done differently in this business, but that the greatest expression of rebellion is joy.
- Joss Whedon, in his Emmy acceptance speech for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Sakrysta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 31 2012, 02:28 AM   #29
Jeff O'Connor
Commodore
 
Jeff O'Connor's Avatar
 
Location: Tampa, FL
Send a message via AIM to Jeff O'Connor Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to Jeff O'Connor
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
^ I don't get why you'd feel that way, because TWP isn't about the romance. It's about prejudice, and is one of the few episodes of the series without a 'B' plot.
It's the dialogue in the scenes with the lovers. It's very nauseating to me. Very wooden and predictable. In a series which routinely surprises me with where some of its later-season lines wind up going, the scenes with the lovers are just a big pet peeve of mine in that I probably could have won money betting on where every syllable was headed.

Regardless of the episode's plot itself, it had romance in it, and the romance was handled weakly enough that it's a dud to me. Like I said, this is very much a "me" thing, and I wouldn't expect anyone without very similar viewing interests to review the episode as I have. For most, it's OK, because that's not what it's about, anyway, and it handles the issue of prejudice well. For me, nope. Sorry, just not gonna fly. Tidy up that dialogue.
__________________
Star Trek
1966-
Jeff O'Connor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 1 2012, 05:53 AM   #30
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Re-watching Babylon 5 (* SPOILERS *)

I'm back with thoughts on episodes 13 through 17. I'm not feeling well right now, though, so this post may be more scattered than the others.

Signs and Portents
I watched this episode with the accompanying available commentary from JMS, and, while he doesn't offer too many insights into the episode itself, he does mention something that I hadn't considered with regards to Morden's recurring question to each of the ambassadors; the question itself gives as much insight into each of the characters as their answers to it do, and it's fairly significant that, of each of the characters, Londo is the one who answers it satisfactorily enough to gain the favor of Morden's benefactors. Londo's actions in this episode, both in answering Morden's question as well as in what he does in terms of helping to acquire the Eye, really dovetail incredibly well with the way he's portrayed in episodes like BttP and TWP, although his actions here are driven more overtly by ambition than his actions in either of those other two episodes.

TKO
I had a hard time deciding if TKO deserved to be considered an 'essential' episode or not, but watching it did make me realize that I can't really figure out why it seems to get the flack that it does. It reminded me very much of the nuBSG episode Unfinished Business, although it's less ambitious in its conceptual intent than that episode. I did like the way it focused on Ivanova finall letting herself forgive her father and grieve for him, which felt to me very much like a reflection of Unfinished Business' subplot involving Kara and Lee.

Grail
Grail isn't an 'essential' episode for the season, but it nevertheless contributes in some fairly substantial ways to the overall story arc of the season, particularly in terms of the way that it portrays Delenn's character; the insight she offers in terms of Aldous Gajic's quest and beliefs could be equally applied to Sinclair, and fit rather well in terms of what happens in Babylon Squared as it concerns him (Sinclair). The episode's 'B' plot involving the Nakaleen Feeder is something that hadn't really made a whole lot of sense to me previously, but that became a lot clearer this time around, especially with regards to how it fed (no pun intended) into the insight we get into Kosh's character (I love the fact that he's glad the mystery surrounding him makes people nervous).

Eyes
It is fairly inevitable that, in any ongoing series, there will be at least one episode that serves as a veritable 'clip show', and Eyes more than fits the bill as being such for S1. The interesting thing about the episode, though, is that it doesn't function like a typical 'clip show' in that there aren't any actual physical 'clips' used to recap what's happened thus far; it's all done through the dialogue and the interactions between various characters, which makes it fairly unique in terms of its function as a 'clip show'. The insight it offers into the Psi Corps and Susan Ivanova's character also makes it an extremely good episode, as well as a very neat counterpart, thematically, to Legacies.

Legacies
As I've previously mentioned, I absolutely love Talia Winters' character, and, after her being absent from the show since Deathwalker, it was great to see her return, and return in a very prominent role. Her interactions with both Ivanova and Alisa are great, and there's even a point in the episode where said interactions start to hint at the eventual romantic relationship that develops between her and Ivanova. Alisa's storyline also dovetails extremely nicely with the plot involving Delenn, Neroon, and the 'honor guard' ceremony for Bramner, not only because of how the two plots eventually intertwine, but also because they both reflect a similar theme. Delenn's actions in the episode also dovetail rather neatly with what happens a few episodes down the line in Chrysalis (more on that later).

A Voice in the Wilderness, Parts 1 and 2
In the interest of saving time, I'm combining these two episodes into a single whole and will be commenting on them as such.

AVitW is, I believe, the first multi-part episode of Season 1 (if you don't count The Gathering), and, as such, it has a lot to do in terms of justifying the decision to split it in half. Thankfully, it more than adequately does so, and, in the process, manages to give us a LOT of insight into the characters of Sinclair, Delenn, and Londo. There's a lot of parallels that one can draw between what Londo says in TWP and the actions he takes here, with said actions being an example of him 'loosening his shoes and remembering how to dance'. Delenn's comments about owing Londo a favor are also enigmatic enough to be intriguing, but also hint somewhat at the actions she'll take in Chrysalis (and the actions she takes in Babylon Squared).

Babylon Squared
I have to start out these comments by admitting that the events of this episode play out completely differently than how I remembered them and how I had been planning on retelling them in my reboot fanfiction project. Having said that, the episode is extremely well-written and paced, with just enough mystery and humor scattered throughout to keep you guessing as to what's going to happen next. The reveal of an older Sinclair being 'The One' doesn't quite have as much narrative OOMPH as it might've had it not come completely out of nowhere and been foreshadowed a bit (albeit subtly), but it nonetheless works and makes for a nice counterpoint to the final scene of the younger Sinclair and Garibaldi in the shuttle heading back to B5.

***

I'll be back with reviews of/thoughts on episodes 21 and 22, but, in the meantime, I'd like to leave off by asking a question about something that I started thinking about after viewing Eyes and Legacies. In Eyes, there's a point at which Harriman Grey probes Susan's mind and makes mention of Talia Winters, but, within the context of the story of Eyes itself, said mention seems a bit out of place. However, it ceases to be out of place if you consider the possibility of swapping the 'chronological' order of Eyes and Legacies, with Legacies coming first and Eyes second. Does anyone know if these two particular episodes were meant to be swapped in terms of their chronology?
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.

"Ze director's cut is ze film you saw in ze theater."
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
babylon 5, discussion, rewatch

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.