Archive for March, 2008|Monthly archive page

Babylon 5: TKO

An old friend of Garibaldi’s wants to enter a dangerous alien tournament. An old Rabbi and friend of the family encourages Ivanova to finally grieve for her father.

There are two main parts to this episode. You have Garibaldi’s part with his friend Walker Smith, and Ivanova’s part with Rabbi Koslov. I don’t think any one enjoys the former as much. As someone who has taken some Taekwondo, I get the point, but it doesn’t really serve to push forward the characters or story very much. The one good part about Walker Smith is him saving Garibaldi from being knifed in the back, and as he leaves telling Garibaldi to watch his back. Talk about foreshadowing. And Walker Smith’s back story about being framed by those who organized the fights since he wouldn’t cheat is kind of inter sting.

Ivanova’s story, on the other hand, really pushes her character forward. It isn’t easy always to mourn for someone, especially if the relationship with them was complicated, like Ivanova’s was with her father. Still, Rabbi Koslov and Sinclair are right that the grieving process is important to go through. And I am glad that Ivanova had a chance to remember some of the good things about her father. Everyone has some good in them and it is good to recognize it.

Rabbi Koslov, as an old friend of an Ivanov family, is concerned about Susan.

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Walker Smith, Garibaldi’s friend and former champion fighter, is on Babylon 5 to prove himself in alien tournaments.

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Ivanova enjoying herself with a book when she’s not on duty. Then Rabbi Koslov pays a visit and makes her think about things she would rather not.

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The most honorable Muta-Do, former champion and supervisor of the Mutai games.

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Caliban, an alien who is sympathetic and helps Walker enter the Mutai.

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Sho-Rin, the current champion of the Mutai.

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Babylon 5: Signs and Portents

A mysterious man comes on station asking all the ambassadors the same question. Raiders strike again, and a Centauri artifact causes problems. Sinclair asks Garibaldi for help.

Here we go, the episode that season one is named after. This is the first episode that starts pushing the series in a different direction.

First, we have Mr. Morden, who asks all the ambassadors the same question: What do you want? The responses are interesting. G’Kar would love to crush the Centauri, but really has no other ambition beyond that as long as his people are safe. Delenn firsts questions the question, then throws Morden out when she realizes who he is. Moden and Kosh get into a fight. Actually, Morden probably never gets a chance to ask Kosh his question. Londo, ah Londo, says he wants the Centauri to be as they once were. This is exactly what Morden and his “associates” are looking for. Londo eventually very much regrets the answer that he gave.

Speaking of Delenn, she is building something in her quarters. And we are introduced to the concept of jump points.

Sinclair decides to confide to Mr. Garibaldi what he remembers about what happened on the Line, and asks for help in finding out the rest. Garibaldi of course is happy to help and listen. He doesn’t find out much at this point. He does come across one thing, however. The Minbari signed onto the Babylon Project with the proviso they could veto who was in charge. They vetoed everyone until they got to Sinclair.

Finally, Londo’s story. Londo manages to get his hands on a priceless Centauri artifact, the Eye, that belonged to the first Emperor. A friend, Lord Kiro, comes with his Aunt, Lady Ladira, to pick it up. Lady Ladira is a prophetess, a not uncommon thing among the Centauri apparently. She long ago said that Lord Kiro would be killed by Shadows. And she says that Babylon 5 will be destroyed. Indeed, the raiders get wind of the Eye, and place Babylon 5 in danger. Thankfully Sinclair is able to out maneuver them. But before Lady Ladira leaves, she says the present danger may be gone, but the future she saw still remains.

Perhaps it is Londo’s reminiscing about the good old days with Lord Kiro that prompts him to give Morden the answer that he does. In any case, Lord Kiro wants to become Emperor himself, and is the one who contacted the Raiders to help him. The Raiders of course don’t play along with him once they have both Lord Kiro and the Eye in custody. Then a huge black shape comes out and destroys them. So Lord Kiro was killed by “Shadows”.

Morden gives Londo back the “Eye”, and Londo is so grateful, you just know that he will be receptive to Morden in the future. And so the wheel starts to turn.

Lady Ladira gets lots of headaches. Seeing the future must not be much fun.

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Lord Kiro, too ambitious for his own good.

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What is Delenn building in her room?

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As a member of the Grey Council, Delenn recognizes Morden for what he is, and the danger he represents.

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Mr. Morden, a very friendly guy with an offer that is too good to be true.

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The Shadows make their first appearance.

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Babylon 5: By Any Means Necessary

After a fatal accident kills a dock worker, the workers go on strike, throwing Babylon 5 into turmoil. And Londo interferes with G’Kar’s most holy religious ceremony.

In this episode, we get a closer look at the Docker’s Guild. It is a very interesting commentary on worker’s rights and strikes and such. I can understand why they are government workers, given the nature of Babylon 5, but the government sure was unresponsive to their needs and addressing what they saw as problems. We also get some foreshadowing with Senator Hidoshi’s comments to Sinclair about making enemies at home. We also get some insight into Narn religions, which we did not get in The Parliment of Dreams. Interesting that G’Kar and Na’Toth do not share the same beliefs. And while we’ve seen G’Kar be somewhat nice in Mind War, this is the first episode where we truly sympathize with him.

Highlights include the interactions between G’Kar and Londo (as always). Also, the scene where G’Kar, Londo, and the reporter burst into C&C and Sinclair has Ivanova chase them out is perfect. Sinclair’s solutions to both the strike and G’Kar and Londo’s squabble is brilliant. And I love some of the guests they brought in for this episode.

Eduardo Delviento, dock foreman and disgruntled worker. Not that I blame him given that his brother died in a preventable accident.

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Londo is enjoying teasing G’Kar a little too much, perhaps.

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Orin Zento, government labor negotiator and not a very nice person.

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Neeoma Connally, who represents the Docker’s Guild and a tough advocate for worker’s rights.

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G’Kar finally celebrates the most holy day of G’Quan.

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Babylon 5: Survivors

The station is busy getting ready for the President’s arrival, and who should be in charge of Presidential security but the daughter of an old friend of Garibaldi who now has a vendetta against the chief of security.

We learn some about Michael’s past, including at least part of the reason why he has a drinking problem. It is sad that after apparently several years dry, he takes this episode to get drunk again. It is funny early on in the episode, though, when he is upset and says he wants a drink, he asks for “water, straight up”! We also see how loyal Sinclair is to his friends, and that that there are definitely problems back on Earth if someone wants President Santiago dead. We also get a look at what not forgiving can do as Lianna Kemmer goes after Garibaldi with more than necessary pleasure and vigor.

All in all, a good episode.

The daughter of Garibaldi’s old friend, Lianna Kemmer. Too bad she’s never forgiven Garibaldi for her father’s death.

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Cutter, Kemmer’s assistant. Too bad he’s secretly Home Guard.

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Babylon 5: Believers

The only way to save a boy is to operate, which goes after his parent’s beliefs. Sinclair is caught between Dr. Franklin and the parents. Meanwhile, Ivanova goes to rescue a damaged transport.

This episode may not be the most epic or most important as far as story goes, but the ideas it explores makes it one of the most powerful of the series. Both Dr. Franklin and the parents feel that their beliefs are the right one. How does one decide between them? Thus is Sinclair put in an impossible position when the ambassadors refuse to act on behalf of the parents. Though like Sinclair, I don’t blame them. The reasons they give are interesting. G’Kar won’t act since they have nothing to offer in exchange politically, Londo won’t because he can’t justify the expense for non-Centauri, Kosh while cryptic as ever clearly refuses to intervene, and Delenn follows the probably wise Minbari policy of not interfering in matters of belief because the Minbari policy of not allowing others to interfere with their beliefs. And what exactly belief is and how we react to the beliefs of others is also explored in a fascinating way. Dr. Franklin and his assistant Dr. Hernandez do a wonderful job of exploring this. And yes, Dr. Franklin’s belief that life is precious and must be preserved whenever possible is as much a belief as a religion from my perspective.

The ending is sad, but I think that was inevitable. Ivanova’s story is a nice contrast. She goes against orders just like Dr. Franklin does, but with happier results.

Shon’s parents love their child, but won’t violate their religious principles.

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Dr. Franklin gives Shon some harmless gunk to play with.

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I hope Dr. Franklin has learned from this experience.

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Babylon 5: Deathwalker

When a war criminal comes offering immortality, Sinclair is caught between competing factions on Babylon 5. Meanwhile, Talia is hired by Kosh for some interesting negotiations.

It really is an intriguing choice that is offered here: give Deathwalker justice for all her crimes, or negotiate with her for her serum for immortality. Sinclair really is given an impossible choice, especially once the true nature of the serum is found out. And Lennier too is put in a difficult position, due to one of the warrior cast clans harboring Deathwalker.

It also seems Vorlons are rather mistrustful of telepaths that have not been further altered by then. Hence, the reason for his employment of Mr. Abbut’s services. Kosh really was busy in this episode as compared to usual. And we are left to wonder again about what Vorlons really are and what their motivations really are. We do learn, however, learn the Vorlon saying about how understanding is a three edged sword.

One highlight for me is how Ivanova cleverly stalls the ships from the Non-Aligned Worlds by getting them to argue about who had the best right to extradite Deathwalker.

Mr. Abbut, a living computer.

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Deathwalker loves manipulating people as much as she loves experimenting on them.

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G’Kar is sympathetic to Na’Toth’s blood feud with Deathwalker, and agrees to help her with it . . . once the secret of the serum is discovered.

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Talia inside her own mind.

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Kosh really has been a busy guy this episode.

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Babylon 5: And the Sky Full of Stars

Sinclair is captured by two “Knights” to find the truth behind the missing twenty-four hours in his mind and what really happened at the Battle of the Line.

So this is one of my favorite episodes. We finally get some answers about the Battle of the Line. Sinclair was captured and tortured by the Minbari. Now Sinclair is aware of this, though he hides it from Delenn. Not that I blame him. We are still left wondering, along with Sinclair, about why he was released and why the Minbari surrendered. We also find out that Dr. Franklin used to hitch-hike around the galaxy, trading his services as a doctor for passage. During the war he was told to hand over any notes he had on the Minbari for biological and genetic warfare, but the good doctor destroyed his notes since these orders went against his consience.

This is a very interesting episode visually. The scenes between Knight Two and Sinclair are rather minimal, and the flashbacks are surreal, both of which are very fitting. And the scene where Delenn tries to calm Sinclair down is wonderful. As is the ending scene where Sinclair says he doesn’t remember anything, then Delenn gets a visit from another member of the Grey Council. Oh, they don’t want Sinclair to remember what happened, at least not yet, but as we learn in Points of Departure and In the Beginning, I doubt they would have been able to bring themselves to kill Sinclair if he had remembered. And then the final scene where we learn Sinclair really does remember, wonderful.

Knight One, who keeps an eye on things outside.

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Knight Two, who plays with Sinclair’s mind.

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Mitchel, Sinclair’s friend who was killed on the Line.

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Mr. Garibaldi’s second in command.

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What does Sinclair see on the Line?

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Minbari aren’t too kind to prisoners.

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The Grey Counsel. What do they want with Sinclair.

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What was Delenn doing there ten years ago?

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Babylon 5: The War Prayer

When violence against aliens escalates on Babylon 5, Sinclair must root out those behind the attacks before the station becomes a war zone. Could an old flame of Ivanova’s have a connection? And Londo must deal with two runaway Centauri lovebirds.

In this episode, we are introduced to the concept of Home Guard. We also learn about Londo and his three wives and a bit more about Centauri culture. Ivanova takes over one of Takashima’s roles in having coffee plants on station that should not be there:p We also see Vir be assertive for the first time. And G’Kar shows his leadership skills. Too bad it is to almost incite a riot.

You have to love Kiron and Aria. They are such a cute couple! And it is hilarious that Vir told his family back home that he is ambassador. Londo’s wives have such great nick-names: pestilence, famine, and death! Londo’s speech about his shoes not fitting and his final decision regarding Kiron and Aria is very touching. Finally, I suspect that this incident with Malcolm Biggs is not the first time Ivanova has been burned. No wonder she has trouble making romantic attachments.

This is Delenn’s friend Shaal Mayan. She seems like such a nice person, it’s too bad Home Guard attacked her. At least she survived. Maybe she will one day write a poem about the experience.

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Garibaldi doesn’t smile too much, so I have to include this one that is a result of teasing Ivanova.

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The two love birds Kiron and Aria. Kiron is Vir’s nephew, and the two have fled to Babylon 5 to their uncle to escape arranged marriages.

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Ivanova’s old flame Malcolm Biggs. Too bad he is now a leader in Home Guard.

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Ivanova doesn’t smile too much either, so I have to include this picture. Too bad she isn’t smiling at the end.

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Vir is scared of Londo’s wives just by looking at their pictures. No wonder Londo is so inspired by them to stay on Babylon 5!

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La, G’Kar, but your voice is piercing!

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Londo arranges things so Kiron and Aria can eventually get married within the confines of Centauri tradition. How sweet!

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Babylon 5: Mind War

When an old friend comes to visit Talia with two Psi Cops on his tail, the station is put in danger. And Catherine Sakai faces danger of a different sort out at Sigma 957.

In this episode we meet Psi Cops for the first time, specifically the Psi Cop Bester played by Walter Koenig. Yes, this is where Babylon 5 becomes known as the show where Chekov goes bad^^; This episode really establishes the problems of Psi Corps that were only hinted at earlier. This is also the episode where JMS tried to get Talia onto Lyta’s arc. Talia gets a gift of telekenisis from Jason. Too bad it doesn’t work as well as Lyta’s connection with the Vorlons. Not Talia’s fault.

Catherine Sakai also gets some character development out at Sigma 957. We are introduced to the concept of the First Ones. And for the first time we see a nicer side of G’Kar. He actually waxes quite poetic during his discourse on the First Ones.

Trouble comes to the station in the form of Jason Ironheart.

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Meet our favorie Psi Cop, Mr. Bester. He sure loves to be annoying.

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Bester’s partner, Mrs. Kelsey. Too bad she doesn’t last long.

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a First One!

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Mr. Garibaldi doesn’t like Bester very much. Can’t say I blame him. Bester is someone it is easy to love to hate.

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Jason’s gift to Talia. I wonder what it could be?

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According to G’Kar, we are ants^^;

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Babylon 5: The Parlament of Dreams

While the various races on board Babylon 5 demonstrate their major celebrations and beliefs, G’Kar must fight off an assassination attempt.

We meet several significant characters for the first time: G’Kar’s second aid Na’Toth, Delenn’s aid Lennier, and Sinclair’s old flame Catherine Sakai. Personally, I like Sheriden’s romance better, but then again it had longer to develop in all fairness. Still, I think overall Sheriden was more of a gentleman in that area, and I am an old-fashioned romantic. Got to love Na’Toth, a great foil for G’Kar. And for the first time we feel a twinge of sympathy for G’Kar. Got to love the way he and Na’Toth sent the assassin away! And the religious demonstrations are quite impressive.

On that note, we are introduced to the Centauri’s pantheon of gods, and the Minbari rebirth ceremony. that includes the first mention of the concept of the One. And Earth’s diversity is quite impressive.

Meet Na’oth, G’Kar’s new aid. She’s as tough as he is, but it’s good for G’Kar to have someone like her around.

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The Centauri’s demonstration. Londo is enjoying himself a little too much here.

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G’Kar doesn’t like assassins hunting him very much, or black roses. Can’t imagine why^^;

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Lennier, Delenn’s shy new aid.

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Catherine Sakai, Sinclair’s on-again-off-again flame. I think I like her better than Carolyn, but again not fair since she was only in the Pilot.

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The Minbari Rebirth Ceremony. Very impressive.

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The assassin Tu’Pari gets a little too into his job.

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Earth’s demonstration of religious diversity: very impressive.

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