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.
This isn’t a Gremlins podcast, but it should have been. We were plagued with recording issues, but wow! Troy is damn good. I’ve said for years, a good editor is worth his weight in gold and this episode is proof.
But about Babylon 5… That this episode includes the name Zha’ Ha’ Dum, you might expect this to be a major arc episode. You would be right. This was the second episode that was up for the Hugo.
In this episode we get an idea of just how far Sheridan is willing to go to achieve an objective. Morden is not only back, but he’s apprehended and John isn’t going to let him go without some real answers. Finally, after a season-and-a-half, we finally get the background we have been after. And while we don’t see what is inside the encounter suit, we do learn what the Vorlons are.
One of the most priceless Vir moments also occurs in this episode. Will we get a payoff for the effort? We’ll just have to wait and see. A big part of Franklin’s story is set up, as well, though it will take until late season 3 to climax. We also get our first introduction to the Nightwatch. Hmm… wonder where that is going to go?
In this episode we learn that not everyone at ISN is like our beloved Jane (aka, Maggie Eagan). The bias of the press is a bit subtle here, but there are still some fair elements. We’re not sure if the problem is Babylon 5 itself or just the extraterrestrial races. One certainly gets the impression that there is something going on between ISN and President Clark. We’ll find out a lot more about that in Season 3, however.
Keep this episode in mind when you watch Severed Dreams in Season 3 and Illusions of Truth in Season 4.
A lot of lighthearted moments in this episode and some seriously comic Londo moments. Keep these images of Londo in mind because in just a few episodes we are going to see him beginning to realize the darkness he’s helped create. Not everything in this episode is about some deep space franchise, however. Sheridan begins his training under Kosh with a moment of perfect beauty. Right in the middle of his career nearly unravelling.
Oh, and let’s not forget a fan favorite makes a reappearance this episode. This time we get to see her without the Narn makeup.
Actually, there IS some boom today. Or perhaps we should just say some “Boom shaka laka…”
This is an episode of contrasts. It has some of the funniest moments of the entire series with the Ivanova Dance. Yet, G’kar’s pleas for help and his reaction to the responses are some of the most heart-wrenching. Londo is not only dressing darker, reflecting his turn of status, he is just beginning to feel the price of his darker path.
Well, I guess we did have a bit of a digital boom. In my attempts to get the podcasts out to all of you in a consistent timeline, I did pre-scheduled some releases. Something seems to have glitched out on it – probably a bone-headed user glitch (sorry Lennier). The result is that you are getting this episode out of order. If you’ll forgive me, I’ll promise to make sure it doesn’t happen again…
Remember Talia and Jason Ironheart last season? Remember wondering just what he did to her? Well, we get a hint in this episode and he did much more than just giving her a penny. This is Walter Koenig’s second appearance as the Psi Cop Alfred Bester and it pretty much cements him into the essential Bab 5 mythology. It seems that somebody has been funneling rogue telepaths through in violation of Earth law and it’s Bester’s job to ferret out the culprits. This is Sheridan’s first of many encounters with the “business end” of the Psi Corp.
If that isn’t enough Sheridan, Delenn asks him out on a date and goes from “crunchy” to “yummy” in the (arguably) best LBD number of SciFi fandom. If you were a part of the online community when the show originally aired, you’ll remember this is the episode that sent the John-Delenn ‘shippers into a tizzy that lasted the rest of the show. (Actually, you can still find people writing John-Delenn fanfic?!?)
Of the lighter Babylon 5 episodes, this is probably my all-time favorite. Both the A story and the B story have some of the most memorable funny moments of the show. In fact, it was so hard to choose an image for this post, I simply had to give you two. I just need to type enough to fill the space so two images fit.
In the first episode we get to meet Londo’s own personal Famine, Pestilence and Death. Along with Elric, the Technomage from The Geometry of Shadows, Timov is one of the favorite one-time appearance characters in the show. She is so popular that she has a central role in The Legions of Fire book trilogy. Jane Carr, who gave the role life, was just fabulous.
Normally, we don’t mention the B story in the notes, but in this case an exception must be made. Delenn is busy trying to come to terms with the human side of life. Not the easiest thing, if you aren’t born to it. She turns to the only person she can trust to put on her “girly side,” Susan Ivanova. Mira doesn’t get to do a whole lot of comedy in Babylon 5, but in this episode, she shows as that she has that mastered, as well.