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.
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.
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.
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.
It seems like each episode through the next several seasons just keep getting better. Most shows, you don’t find episodes like this until the end of the season when they are building to their finale. Heck, this episode could be a season finale with the Shadow war starting the next season. But no… JMS puts this one smack in the middle. If you’re new to the series, this episode will give you a hint of what is coming.
This is the arc episode of the season. The title of the episode also gives its name to the title of the season. This episode is also the first Hugo win for Best Dramatic Presentation for Babylon 5.
The season isn’t half over and the roller coaster has already begun…
Yeah, I know. I took multiple bits of grief for that one but, hey, I call ’em like I see ’em.
This week, we see G’Kar return with bad news, Garibaldi wake up, a mole revealed, Sheridan’s backstory and that, oh, he’s got a connection to the Shadows already. Oh, yes… Delenn hatches. Like I said, “Crunchy.” Actually, that’s quite a bit better than the Sci Fi tradition of slime. So there.
One important note regarding the Yeats poem after the closing credits; that is not the “fair lady” as mentioned during the show. That is the dulcet tones of our editor, Troy. Think of this as an artifact of the time between recording and editing.
Wow! I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year than with Signs and Portents. We meet everyone’s favorite bad guy, Mr. Morden. This is one of the best episodes of the season. Actually, you’re going to hear me say that a lot now. Let’s just say the second half of season 1 is one of the best episodes of the season.
This is one of our longer shows, but there is just so darn much to talk about. Fortunately, my dog Obi-wan reminds me that it’s time to go so he can have some lap time…