Probably one of the strongest lines in science fiction television. Raw power and an absolute willingness to use it. We’ve seen some of the flirty or feminine Delenn lately, so we might have forgotten she was a member of the Grey Council – and the chosen of Dukat – for a reason.
But that’s just one of many “wham” points for this episode. All the tension we’ve been seeing build with the Earth Alliance explodes today. Clark forces the hand of Sheridan with a result I don’t think he expects. Hard decisions are made, but are they really that hard when you don’t have anything else to lose?
The moralities of command. Free press. Just war. The price of even a just war. All this and more are the focus of this episode of Babylon 5. Raul, Jim, and JP have a fascinating and extended conversation about this and more on this fan favorite episode that also won the 1997 Hugo award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
Raul and Jim are quite wrong in this episode. JP Harvey is NOT a guest. As of this episode he joins the podcast are our third host of the show and we are all much better for it.
Joining JP in our exalted guest list is the appearance of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. With those two, can it get any better? Well, yes it can. We also get the ever popular Marshall Teague back as Ta’Lon. OH! And Maggie is back!
A cast like this can only mean that we are in for a very special episode. This is the second part of the mid-season trilogy that changes the course of the show. After the events of last week, we find President Clark forced to make his move to consolidate power. That means bad things for Babylon 5 as the Nightwatch infiltration reaches a climax. Zach will have to find his way out from that spot between a rock and a hard place.
Londo is also having something of an existential crisis, so he pull in a bit of existential help. The outcome isn’t quite … well … it’s not what he hopes, but it is what he fears. He gets several puzzles added to his confusion with his answers. Of course. Vir also gets a few surprises along the way.
G’Kar explains his epiphany and why he is no longer what we saw in the beginning of the show. He also has a solution for a lot of the crew’s problems.
President Clark is a creep. No doubt about it. We see it in a couple ways in this episode. First we have his nameless representative from Nightwatch nudging into station security and putting pressure on Zack. Bet that armband is beginning to feel a lot tighter and noose-like. Then we have him – and Psi Corp, apparently – trying to put the double cross on the Shadows. One wonders how much of that is evil and how much is just plain stupidity. (Hint: we actually find out somewhat at the end of season 4, so stay tuned.)
It turns out that this isn’t the first time that the Shadows have been involved in Earth. With a Shadow vessel found earlier on Mars and now on Ganymede, it seems it’s up to Sheridan to save Earth from itself. Do you think anyone is going to notice he’s gone? Do you think anyone is going to be able to add 2+2 and get 4?
This episode starts of a mini-trilogy in the midst of the season that creates a major shift in the direction of the show. Join Jim and Raul as we discuss these and many other questions on this next exciting episode of the Babylon Project Podcast.
Sorry to be a day late. I was in bed with a fever the last couple days. That is also as much boom as we get out of this episode. Just because there isn’t any boom doesn’t mean this isn’t a quite interesting episode.
Whenever we have a Marcus/Franklin paired episode, you can count on it being extremely engaging and always interesting. Not only do the two characters different perspectives simply beg for their pairing, there is an outstanding chemistry between the two actors. There will be several more of these pairings in future episodes.
Fortunately, I was not nearly as ill as Duncan is. A sinus infection, I doubt, would qualify me as a candidate to have a giant centipede plugged into my spine. Between this and the Londo’s problems in Sic Transit Vir, one worries that B5 has an issue with insects. No offense meant to the Gaim.
The madness continues. Like Jim and Raul have said, Season 2 just never stops. This week, Vir makes a return from his new ambassadorial post on Minbar. He appears to be going native just a bit. Hardly a surprise, of course, but you cannot help but wonder if that isn’t going to get him in trouble somewhere down the line.
Oh, and did I mention our favorite “villain” is back? Bester makes a return to Babylon 5 except that this time he is the Good Guy. Or is he? Well, he is chasing down a black market drug operation that is peddling something called Dust. This drug gives anyone with the recessive gene for telepathy that ability for a short time. It allows what is effectively a telepathic rape of another. It’s also highly addictive and extremely dangerous. So he has to be on our “side” this time, right?
I do have to give Bester credit for being right about one thing; he and Garibaldi do make a good team.
If this episode gives you a feeling that things are starting to ramp up, you wouldn’t be wrong.
We get several bits from the past becoming important now. Remember Draal? Remember the trouble Katherine Sakai got into at Sigma 957? Remember this little problem with the Shadows in the midst of all this Earth Alliance intrigue? Actually, let’s include the Earth Alliance intrigue, too.
Did you know those were related?
The audience isn’t the only one to notice something is up. Zack is noticing. G’kar is noticing. It seems with the sending of a Political Officer, that President Clark is noticing. And they all seem to want some answers.
This is absolutely a “Wham!” episode. There’s a lot happening. The arc is advanced in a big way. Little threads from the past – some planted back in S1 – are pulled together into the main story.
Another one of JMS’ deeply philosophical episodes.
Directed by Adam Nimoy, a fan favorite, and guest starring both Louis Turenne (Brother Theo) and the absolutely brilliant Brad Dourif (Brother Edward) we have one of the most intense examinations of forgiveness, redemption, and consequences that you will ever see on television.
Aside from the obvious theological implications, which JMS handles with profound respect, these themes are going to play a crucial role throughout the remainder of the series for all of the key characters.
In keeping with the tone of the show, Jim and Raul have a spirited but always thoughtful discussion that does not shy away from the hard questions.
JMS describes this episode as a day where everything that can go wrong does go wrong. That’s a pretty good description. Vir’s having a bad day; Londo gets him a promotion. G’Kar isn’t doing much better; his replacement has arrived. And Sheridan? His day is so bad dealing with the guilds that the station getting blown up seems to be an option for improvement. Delenn seems to be the only one where things are going good. She’s getting a new ambassador to Minbar from the Centauri. Yep, that actually is a good thing. At least for her.
I know what those days are like. Bet you do, too.
This episode is also Straczynski’s tribute to Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series. Great classic SciFi I’d encourage everyone to read. At least give the original set of short stories a try.
This is one of the very few episodes that does not actually advance the main arc this year. That is, there is little to do at all with the Shadow War. That said, we do see a peek inside several of the characters; especially Sheridan, Londo, and G’kar.
Sheridan might be command rank, but he’s not above rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty. His “I’ll fix it myself” attitude can almost be messianic at times. Hmmm… Foreshadowing? In the case of Londo and G’kar, it’s more of a looking back rather than a looking ahead. Both characters are about to undergo some big changes and having them trapped together gives us a very clear picture of where they are now and where they were in the past. This is especially true with G’kar.
And? And, we get some Narn singing. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Jim threatened Raul with great bodily harm if he tried to turn it into a sing-along.
The Babylon Project Podcast is back with the start of Season 3 of Babylon 5! Many argue that Season 3 is the best season of the series. Raul describes the season as a roller coaster and it certainly is that. Matters of Honor starts off that roller coaster with the big first drop.
Our characters get a first hand look at what they will be coming up against in the Shadow war and just how unprepared they appear to be. The station is still being repaired from the ending of Season 2. Londo and Morden are busy carving up the galaxy into “yours” and “mine.” The Earth Alliance is starting to snoop around. Sheridan has to duck off on a probably hopeless – and extremely unauthorized – rescue mission. All in the first few minutes of the show.
We also get two new characters introduced. The Ranger, Marcus Cole, makes his first appearance in this episode. He quickly becomes a fan favorite from his first moments on screen. The other character is actually a ship; the White Star. Since it has organic technology, one could argue that it is, to a degree, alive; so it counts as a character. That’s Raul’s story, and he’s sticking to it.