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.
You know? It’s just been too long since we’ve had one of these. So before we start Season 3 after our brief hiatus, let’s give our listeners a chance to talk to us. I was surprised to get a particular fan mail and I was in an unique position for the writer to talk to us directly. Hope you enjoy it. We’ve got a variety of feedback from email, webpage, and Facebook. Enjoy! And keep the kind words coming in.
This is it. This is the episode you’ve been waiting for. Prepare to have a lot of questions answered. Or not. We get a big reveal for which we have waited since The Gathering. Or not. We get a great hour-plus of Babylon 5 discussion. Or not. Ok, we certainly do get that whenever you put Jim and Raul on the same podcast.
So you really don’t want to miss it.
Join us as we discuss the incredible season two finale; something Raul calls one of the best season finales in television. Players’ hands are revealed. Things planted in season one germinate. We also see just how well B5 can take care of itself since Gen. Franklin’s “upgrades.” (Think that might play a role in the future?)
For the penultimate show of the season, this is not what you would expect. Needless to say, that makes it perfect. This is one of the creepier shows in the series. It is also, as Jim points out, one of the most cost effective sets in the series.
Past meets present meets future in the pause and introspection that occurs just before all hell breaks loose in the finale. We also see some seeds of doubt planted regarding the Vorlons. Perhaps they are not quite as noble as Delenn seems to consider them? Time will tell.
Londo finally figures it out. His “associates” are far too dangerous to be around. Unfortunately he has figured it out far too late. The Narn-Centauri War reaches its final stage with some of the most poignant boom of the series. One scene in particular is just an incredible example of film-making. Yet, in spite of his repugnance of it, when the final time comes, Londo seems to embrace his fate and the evil associated with it.
As Londo grows away from the light, we begin to see the steps of G’Kar growing into the light. True, they are first steps, but we see the pettiness beginning to be stripped.
As dark as the episode is, we do have some lighter moments. One favorite character is back and we hear another mentioned. If you think this might be a clue; yes, it is.
For any other series this would be an amazing season finale. Guess what? There are still two more episodes to go and the just keep getting better.
The roller coaster to the end of season 2 continues in a big way this episode. It turns out there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing close to the command staff. A favorite character we haven’t seen in a very long time comes back. Oh, and it turns out that even the Minbari cannot resist a good gossip column. Delenn even has an excuse.
We also learn a lot about why Susan has such an issue with telepaths. As everything else in Babylon 5, there’s more than you think.
This episode would have been a lot different if the original cast from the pilot were still around. Jim and Raul talk about that, as well.
Dinner and a movie with a Minbari? Well, not quite. Meditation in lumberjack mode? That’s a bit closer. As with most things Minbari social customs, a simple dinner date is, well… not quite simple. Just ask Lennier.
This episode starts a bit light, but it doesn’t last long. It seems that one of the key races we’ve had since the beginning is about to go away. This is a episode that takes a hard look at faith vs. blind faith. Naturally we will get a bit philosophic at times. Of course that isn’t unusual for Jim and Raul.
The real part of this story, though, is the development of the relationship between John and Delenn. That takes this from what would be a largely stand-alone episode and turns it into one that is important for the big story.
Well, ok. We’re not an “cute kids” science fiction podcast. Especially considering JMS’ position on that subject (with which one of your hosts wholeheartedly agrees). But it IS the secondary story of this week’s episode. Plus it serves as a reminder for us not to forget about Babylon 4.
The main story, though, is a very interesting insight into Centauri society and politics. Londo also begins to see that there is a very personal price to be paid for his decisions. Will he back out? Will he double down? Will he just ride the roller coaster and hang on for dear life?
Join Jim and Raul as we chew over this and much more.