We had a short breather last episode, if you can call Neroon pounding Marcus to a bloody pulp either short or a breather. Last episode was setup. This episode is just as much setup, but also a huge payoff (with another type of setup of its own!).
Sheridan is assembling his fleet to take on the Shadows. Telepaths are being distributed across the ships to give them the best fighting chance. On top of the war preparations, Brother Theo has some friends over from Earth who are more than meets the eye. The stress is clearly getting to John and some of the people around him take some steps to address the issue.
In the meantime, Londo has some stress of his own. It seems the emperor has had enough with the feud between Londo and Refa. A Minister has arrived to determine which House to support and put the feud to rest. Londo is not particularly worried, though, and assures the Minister that the issue will be resolved shortly to everyone’s satisfaction. Ok, well not everyone.
The two stories intersect in one of the most macabre and chilling scenes of the series. The elegance of it is probably one of the most disturbing parts.
And as far as some of us are concerned, that is a good thing. This show is considered by many to be one of, if not the, weakest shows of the series.
Now, as far as the “A” story goes, it’s sort of hard to argue that point. The Zarg is rather lame for one of the most dangerous predators in the sector. Raul also gets rather bent about the firing of bullets from a steam pipe. It’s simply not how bullets or firearms work.
On the other hand, the “B” story is outstanding! Delenn is getting a promotion thanks to recent events. Our farvorite cranky Minbari from the Warrior Caste has some issue with that. And our favorite ranger has a conversation about it. Hilarity – as well as several sound thumps – ensue.
The “B” story saves the day and makes the episode quite fun to watch in spite of the Zarg and soggy bullets.
Ok, so let’s get the title related part out of the way…
Dr. Franklin. Pretty girl. Walkabout. Yeah. ‘Nuff said.
If that curt summary makes you think there may be some salt involved, then you’d be right.
Now on to the main story!
Before our little escapade in time, we had to important milestones in our story. First, we found a weakness with the Shadow ships in the form of telepaths. Second, we got commitment from the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to help in the coming war.
This episode has some tests for both those theories. Hopefully, it works out because whether we want it to or not, it is clear that if they don’t find the trouble first, then the trouble is going to go out of its way to find them.
And folks, don’t take our ragging on Dr. Franklin too seriously. It’s become sort of an obligation where he and the ladies are concerned.
(Had a small issue with the original file – reposting)
Today we talk about the second part of the War Without End saga.
This episode, in particular, does a brilliant job of interleaving parts of the season 1 episode Babylon Squared into the actual story of this episode. Not surprising, because in so many ways this is really the 3rd part of a three part story who’s first episodes was in season 1.
Or as Kosh would say, “The circle is now complete.”
Of course there is a problem in that when a circle reaches its end, it is really at its beginning. So yes, we do get closure. At least in Sinclair’s story. But in closing that story a universe of new questions demanding closure is created.
This is an episode that stands out most for returnings.
We have everyone’s favorite fuzzy alien returning: Zathras.
We have Commander Sinclair returning as the leader of the Rangers.
We have the most mysterious location in the series returning: Babylon 4.
Something that was set in motion in season 1 is about to come full circle here near the end of season 3. This episode is so big it’s going to take two parts to get all the elements of closure needed.
Time travel stories in science fiction series are very rarely done well. It’s not a lack of talent, they are just simply hard to do right and keep the whole cause and effect issues straight. JMS does a great job here. Be warned, with Raul on the cast, it’s going to be hard to avoid some of the philosophy of time questions. A Theory vs. B Theory of time does come up, so we understand if you need to medicate after this one.
Alliances of mutual survival can be fickle things. Especially when they are being driven by politics rather than the military that are having to actually do the fighting. Sheridan is learning that lesson the hard way as he tries to forge his alliance to fight the Shadows. He turns to Kosh for help and is will to pay the personal price for it. If you know what is meant by, “The Hero’s Journey,” this is that episode.
While this is going on, Londo is taking a journey of his own. A much darker journey that will lead him to embrace the darkness that continues to pursue him. While Sheridan’s journey is that of a hero, Londo’s is one of tragedy. This interlude for him marks the shift towards that tragedy.
Examinations is the best way to describe Franklin’s interlude in this episode. His stim problem that has been growing through the series finally catches up with him. He responds, of course, in typical “Franklin” fashion. Raul isn’t as sympathetic to him as some think he should be, and promises to be coming back to his thoughts there soon.
Over all, this is an incredibly arc-dense episode, so sit back, clear your head, and enjoy.
It seems that he has some common ground with the Babylon 5 command staff where President Clark and the Shadows are concerned. Sort of an, “Enemy of my enemy is my friend,” type of relationship here. Make no mistake, though, his first loyalty is to his fellow telepaths.
It’s a good thing he’s concerned, too. It seems that the Shadows are somehow weaponizing telepaths. One of the telepaths turns out to be someone Bester knows quite well. In fact, we see a somewhat softer side to him. Just don’t let that make you overly sympathetic. He’ll be back to his normal self soon enough. At least, the Babylon 5 team have gotten another ally out of this mission.
G’Kar is also brought into the fold. Delenn takes the unpleasant task of telling him the story. The whole story. It’s a painful and moving moment that shows us just how far the G’Kar character has evolved. Both stories are brought together with a surprise at the end that explains Narn history and provides hope for the future.
No shrubberies. No coconuts. And certainly, no watery tarts.
But this is still one heck of a King Arthur story. And a satisfying thump they made!
What do you expect, though, when you combine the talents of Mira Furlan, Andreas Katsulas, and Jason Carter with the amazing Michael York. You cannot have that many top notch stage actors on a script without something amazing happening.
Michael sells it so well, you not only wonder if his character really is King Arthur, but you actually hope he is. That isn’t so far fetched, considering the extent to which the Vorlons have tampered with human history. The chemistry he has with Andreas/G’Kar is great. We see a hopeful side of Marcus that is particularly moving. We also have one of the most powerful moment in the series with Michael and Mira. Not a word was spoken. When you have actors that good, you don’t need words.
Hmm… Well, yes. Thus passes the man. Or the Centauri.
How do I put it. Yeah. That’s it. Vir gets the girl. And what a girl she is. She does make bald look good.
Raul can’t look at this episode without thinking “Flounder.” This really is one of the funniest episodes of the series. JMS, however, being who he is makes a hard shift and suddenly gets much darker than expected. We also get a solid lesson in how no good deed goes unpunished. Ok, we also get a bit of a lesson in bad deeds going not only unpunished, but elevated.
Oh, and as long as we’re talking Twain, let’s not forget Lincoln. Or should I say “Lincolni?”
While we are in school, we will also get a bit of a home-ec lesson. First rule: leave the Minbari cooking to the Minbari. Second rule: you can choke anything down with enough salt.
So , sit back, relax, put out some little blossoms in the night, and prepare to enjoy Jim, Raul, and JP on this next episode of the Babylon Project Podcast.You can find us at http://www.BabylonProjectPodcast.wordpress.com, on Facebook at The Babylon Project Podcast or on iTunes.
You can email us at TheBabylonProjectPodcast@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
Just remember… No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow!
You think after the last three episodes President Clark might be a bit honked off at Sheridan & Co.? Nightwatch can’t be all that happy, either. I guess some people have no sense of humor. Go figure.
After all the crisis, Delenn decides to take matters into her own hands by having the rebirth ceremony. Yeah, we saw part of that in Season 1, as well. Though this time, there aren’t any possible weddings happening. Yet. Unfortunately, Nightwatch decides to express their displeasure with Sheridan by going after Delenn. I suppose, those three Minbari warships hovering in the background might have something to do with that.
Anyway, it does seem that Sheridan has had enough. He makes that rather clear in the end. We also have a few secrets revealed. Some of them will have an impact on the future of the story. Overall, this episode slows down the pace a bit after the roller-coaster we’ve been on. Pay particular attention to G’Kar. We will be contrasting him now with him in the future.