Another one of JMS’ deeply philosophical episodes.
Directed by Adam Nimoy, a fan favorite, and guest starring both Louis Turenne (Brother Theo) and the absolutely brilliant Brad Dourif (Brother Edward) we have one of the most intense examinations of forgiveness, redemption, and consequences that you will ever see on television.
Aside from the obvious theological implications, which JMS handles with profound respect, these themes are going to play a crucial role throughout the remainder of the series for all of the key characters.
In keeping with the tone of the show, Jim and Raul have a spirited but always thoughtful discussion that does not shy away from the hard questions.
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.
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.
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?!?)
Forgive me folks, but I (Raul) am gong to start out on a soapbox here. Adrienne Barbeau is one of the single biggest reasons that I’ve come to hate the old TV show, Maude. I’ve long believed that show helped pigeon-hole her with her looks. Perhaps it was just the era of the 1970’s stereotyping. Regardless, while she is beautiful, she is also an excellent actress. Her acting chops really shine in this weeks episode because her performance makes the show.
A Spider in the Web gives a a lot of insight into the complex politics of the Earth-Mars relationship. We’ve been hearing a lot about it, but not we learn much more. It also seems that there are some much deeper shenanigans with the Psi Corp that we have dreamed thus far.
Eyes brings together a lot of pieces that have been happening all season. If you want to really get the idea that everything that has been happening is interconnected, this show will do that for you. It is the beginning of the roller coaster that takes us through the end of the the first season. Sinclair has been warned that he has made some enemies. From some of his actions on the station, that is to be expected. However, he has people he doesn’t even know about yet that are out to get him. Eyes is where it all hits the fan when a security audit turns into a full blown vendetta. This episode is a favorite of mine.
Fans, I’ve got to apologize. It’s been a bit of a bug fest in the Ybarra household lately. First the flu, then a pair of sinus infections. Hard to prep a podcast when you can’t hear it… I did have some help in the recording from my dog, Obi Wan. Or at least some encouragement. It’s amazing how large a tongue such a mid-sized dog has. 🙂
This week is a huge “Wham!” episode. We finally learn about the Psi Corp. I mean the real Psi Corp, not the idea of it held by Talia. One of the fandom’s favorite characters is introduce tonight – Alfred Bester, played by Walter Koenig. Bester is nothing like Chekov from Star Trek. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, you need to give yourself the treat. I made a challenge in the show to explain Bester’s hand. The image is not the hand in question. Look for his left hand…
The other part of the story is also an important part of the arc. We get Katherine Sakai back for a close encounter. The Walkers of Sigma 957 were a source of speculation and discussion for quite a long time when the series first aired. This part of the arc also gives us some hints of what really lies within G’Kar. He’s not as trite and petty as he so often seems.