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.
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.
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.
[A special “Thank you,” to listener Big Brother (@back2babylon5 on Twitter) for letting me know the link wasn’t in the post. We should be fixed now.]
“Be somewhere else.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.